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‘General Chat’ Category

  1. Vacation Photos: Tulum, Mexico!

    April 8, 2013 by Jocelyn

    Well, the boyfriend and I just got back from our first real vacation in about 7 years.  We went to Mexico for a week, spending  time in the cities of Tulum, Akumal, and Cancun.  The warm weather and sunshine was much needed, and now we’re back in Minnesota and very ready for spring!

    While on vacation we toured around a bit, and I got to check an item off my bucket list!  On our third day, we traveled up the coast to Akumal beach. Once there, we rented snorkel equipment and began exploring the ocean.  Sure enough, just a few minutes out we saw a few sea turtles eating sea grass. This one was only a foot or two away from me; he was swimming to the surface for air.

    Sea Turtle

    If you ask my close friends, any of them could probably tell you that my favorite animal is the turtle. I was so excited to see these guys up close, and just floated above them for quite a while. It was really incredible, and I’m so thankful that I got to have the experience.

    Fern Leaves

    Two Hibiscus Flowers

    Obviously there was a huge variety of flora everywhere we went. Many of the plants that were growing wild in Mexico can only be grown indoors, and with a great amount of care, in Minnesota. It was refreshing to see so many flowers in bloom, and got me excited to start my garden at home.

    Early Waves

    Flowered Archway

    These last two photos were taken in Cancun, the night before we flew back to Minnesota. IF you’d like to see some of my other photos from the trip, just head on over to my Flickr page.

    Overall, we had a great trip! It was a much needed break from our cold and snowy Minnesota weather. Now that I’m back, I’m ready to dig in the dirt! I’ll be posting my Seed Starting guide in a couple days, so check back soon! Thanks for reading!

  2. On Joining a CSA: and Bonus Salsa Recipe!

    February 4, 2013 by Jocelyn

    I have great news! My good friend Amanda from Casa de Lindquist is joining me this year in our first ever CSA farm share!

    What is a CSA, you may ask? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Having a CSA farm share is a wonderful way to give your family amazing, quality food, from a nearby local farmer. When we found the Lake Superior CSA, we sent in our application right away. We’re both super excited for all of the farm fresh goodies that we’ll be getting starting in May, and personally, I can’t wait to see what we each decide to do with all of our wonderful foods!

    About our CSA share

    We’re starting out small, since this is a first for both of us. Our share is a Whole Diet share, with an additional Grains and Goodies share for the 11-month contract. Over those 11 months, we will be getting approximately this much food:
    Local CSA farm share
    Whole Diet Share
    12 chickens, 1 holiday turkey
    22 lbs of Lake Superior fish
    11 lbs lamb (ground, kabob and/or stew) plus one boneless leg of lamb
    100% GRASS-FED BEEF:
    38 lbs of ground (1 lb packs), 8 lbs of roasts, 7 lbs of steaks
    50 lbs of assorted cuts of pork (chops, roasts, hams, ham steaks, ground, brats, pork steaks, etc)
    1 dozen every other week May 22 – October 16
    Every other week, May 22 – October 23 – 3/4 bushel box of seasonal vegetables
    Monthly, November – March – 3/4 bushel box of storage vegetables and seasonal hardy greens
    Every other week, late-June – October – 4 lbs of Bayfield fruit
    Honey, maple syrup, and other tasty treats
    Grains and Goodies share
    11 lbs farmstead cheese
    8 – 3 lb bags of Maple Hill Farm Four
    3 – 3 lb bags of Maple Hill Farm Pancake Mix
    11 – 1/2 pint jars of Spirit Creek Farm Garlic Scape Pesto
    11 – 1/2 pint jars of Great Oak Farm Organic Honey
    18 loaves of Starlit Kitchen bread
    18 various baked goodies from Starlit Kitchen
    11 pints of Bayfield Apple Company Jams & Jellies
    11 – 6 packs of White Winter Winery’s NA fruit spritz
    11 pints of Spirit Creek Farm fermented veggies

    So yeah, it sounds like a lot of food. Still, I’m incredibly psyched to start getting our deliveries! I’m particularly excited about having fresh eggs and berries. I don’t usually eat much beef, lamb, or pork, but I’m looking forward to trying out new recipes. And I figured that if I am going to eat any of those meats, this is the best way to get it, since the animals were all well cared for and treated humanely.

    I am still planning on having a full vegetable garden of my own this summer, so we’ll see how crazy I’m going to be during harvest time. I may try to adjust my garden plans to accommodate more flowers and fewer high maintenance vegetables. Anyhow, I’m glad that I have a few months before we’re going to start getting food. Now I have time to clear out our freezer and pantry before I’ll starting putting anything up again! Sounds like fun, right?

    How to Join a CSA

    If you’re interested in joining a CSA yourself, then firstly I’d like to say that you’re awesome! Secondly, I would recommend checking out Local Harvest to find a CSA near you. You can also just Google “CSA + your location.” It’s also a good idea to search popular local websites. We actually found ours via Perfect Duluth Day, not through Google or Local Harvest.

    Bonus Salsa Recipe!

    This is the Best. Salsa. Ever. I’m not lying. It even has cucumbers in it.
    Best. Salsa. Ever.
    I admit that I don’t actually can this salsa, I just keep everything in canning jars. But it’s amazing when everything is fresh out of the garden.
    1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    1 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 large red or orange pepper, diced
    3 large chopped tomatoes
    1/2 large cucumber, diced
    1/4 bunch of cilantro leaves (or parsley if you prefer)
    juice of 1 large lime
    1 t kosher salt
    a dash (or two) of your favorite hot sauce

    I did all of this by hand, but it can be done with a food processor as well. Once everything is mixed together I refrigerate it for a bit so the flavors can mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve fresh with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

    Thanks for reading, folks!

  3. Well, My Garden Didn’t Need THAT Much Water…

    June 21, 2012 by Jocelyn

    I’m sitting in the Duluth airport, getting ready to fly into Detroit.  I planned this trip to visit my family months ago, and it was almost ruined by the flash floods we had the night before last.  Yesterday was extremely chaotic, and the entire city was pretty much shut down.

    If you haven’t heard our stories about the flood or escaped zoo animals, you can read more about it here, here, or here.  Other than the poor little zoo animals, we were quite lucky that no lives were lost.  The damage to the city however, is major.

    Even my garden on the rooftop could not escape the damage caused by the heavy rains.  Our drainage on the roof is good, but still not quite good enough.  Here’s a shot of my garden from yesterday afternoon after the rain cleared up a bit.

    Garden after Duluth Floods

    Luckily, I was able to drain quite a bit of this water thanks to a loose board on the side of the garden bed.

    On my way down to see my garden, I took a few shots of the runoff and the damage that was done do our streets.

    Rushing Water!

    This was right by my house! The road was completely destroyed.

    Flood Waters

    You can’t see it, but there are HUGE holes in the street as you go down. The pavement was completely torn apart.

    No one I know sustained any major damage to their homes or cars as far as I know, but it’s still sad to think of all that was lost with this huge storm. I know that we’ll be repairing damage from this one night for at least another year or two, possibly longer. It makes me realize how easily disaster can happen, and I feel very grateful for what I have.

    On a more positive note, I’m really looking forward to my time in Michigan! We’re going to the Balloon Fest this weekend, and I’m really excited to see a hot air balloon! I’ve NEVER seen one before. And yes, I did grow up in the middle of nowhere, thank you very much.

    I won’t be at the computer at all until I get back to MN on the 26th. Until then, I hope everyone has a great weekend, and good weather!

  4. Rainy Day: Some Photographs

    May 28, 2012 by Jocelyn

    Another thunder storm is rolling through this evening, after several days of dark clouds and heavy rain. I kept myself tucked inside where it’s dry and warm all weekend, but I’m starting to feel the need to get outside. Unfortunately, the forecast doesn’t look too promising, so I spent this afternoon distracting myself with PhotoShop. It kept me busy for a few hours, as I’ve been neglecting all of my images taken within the past few weeks. Here are a few of my favorites.

    Botanic Beauties – a collection of leaves I picked during a hike last weekend in Minneapolis.

    Yellow Ranunculus
    Romance in Yellow – Fresh Ranunculus flowers that I found at Bachman’s while in Minneapolis. They’re one of my favorite flowers.

    Espresso Time
    Latte for Your Thoughts – my espresso latte from Sun Street Breads. It was so yummy I almost drank it all before I got a picture!

    Sail Boats
    Sailboat Races – several sailboats parked on their trailers just off the shore. The Duluth Sailboat Races started a few weeks ago.

    I’m back to work tomorrow, so I guess I’m okay with this yucky weather continuing for a couple days. I just hope it’ll be nicer for the upcoming weekend, as we have a wedding in Rochester, MN to go to.

    Also, I added more photos to my Flickr photostream, if you’d like to take a look. I have yet to add any new prints to my Etsy shop, but feel free to contact me if you see one that you’d like to have available for purchase!

    Thanks for reading, everyone, and have a wonderful week!

  5. Weekend Warrior Edition – New Camera!

    May 11, 2012 by Jocelyn

    I’ve been a busy bee this month, and while I haven’t been posting much recently I have many projects in the works. So don’t fret! I have a LOT of good posts coming your way soon!

    In recent news, the most exciting thing I have to reveal is my new camera! I recently purchased a Canon 5D Mark II, and I’m having a ton of fun taking a crazy amount of photos. My weekend is already packed full of photo-shoot activities!

    Here are a few, just for fun:

    This one’s on Etsy
    Colorful Sewing Thread


    Vintage Fishing Rods

    Moonrise over Lake Superior

    Mason Jars all lined up

    I’ve been snapping so many photos, that I’m falling behind with PhotoShopping them. They’re all in RAW format, so I at least have to convert them. I’ve just been plugging away at it during the evenings, and hopefully you’ll start seeing more of my new images being listed in my Etsy Shop!

    In other news, I’m kind of a big deal. 😉

    I was on the news! I was a little nervous, but after watching it I’m happy that I came across as less awkward than I thought I would. As you can see, my community garden plot is a raised bed on top of a building, which is awesome for me since it’s within walking distance of my job. Here’s the video:

    Since our last average frost date here is May 31st, I have yet to actually plant anything in my garden. When I do, I promise you’ll all be the first to know! 🙂 Have a fantastic weekend everyone!