The Ultimate Farm Girl Skirt (Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt)

You know those pieces of clothing that you wear as often as (hygienically) possible, and you still find yourself missing them when they're in the laundry? Well, I made one.

Introducing the Madeleine Skirt from Victory Patterns, or, as I've been calling it in my head, the ultimate farm girl skirt! This is my second serious foray into sewing for myself, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

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Asian Steamed Buns (Char Siu Bao)

I'm pretty excited about this post. We're getting into prime vegetable harvest season up here, and these buns, besides being a family favorite, are the perfect companion to a quick stir-fry of fresh garden veggies.

What are char siu bao? Pork or beef, slow-roasted in a sweet-salty Asian marinade, shredded to bits, and wrapped up in a tender steamed bun. In one bite, you get the sweetness of hoisin, the richness of sesame, the saltiness of soy, the pungency of garlic, and the deep caramel taste of well roasted meat. And mellowing the intense flavor of the meat is the bun - fluffy, yet chewy - like the inside of a freshly-baked loaf of bread.

Besides being utterly, addictively delicious, bao are inexpensive, easy to freeze, and quick to reheat. Making them the perfect summer side to whatever veggies are growing in abundance near you.

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Garden Update – June 1st, 2016

It's been too long. I had a pretty good posting rhythm going there for a while - averaging about once a week - and then, I don't know. Life happened. I think the coming of warmer weather had a good bit to do with it. We're spending a lot more time outside now, and a lot more time working out at the property. Sitting in front of a computer sounds a lot less appealing when the weather is glorious.

But I'm going to try and get back on it. I've got quite a few posts in my head that I'd like to get out into the Internets. I'll start with a garden update, though, because we (and the plants) have been busy!

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Garden Update – April 11th, 2016

I've been thinking lately about the importance of keeping better track of my garden, week to week. In past years, I've recorded a lot of the bigger picture things - which vegetable varieties I bought and how many of them I planted; when I started, transplanted, and harvested crops; how big my harvests were (and how big I wished they were); what I spent in various garden-related categories... Stuff like that.

What I haven't done, and what I've been thinking about doing, is trying to get a better feel for what's going on in the life of the garden at any given time of the year. What was I thinking, feeling, seeing, planning, wondering, harvesting, preserving, dreaming? What was in my head, in my hands, and in front of my eyes? I want to be able to look back and see not just notes, but life - week by week, season by season, the dismal and the bountiful.

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Winter Sowing – Introduction

Before we jump into the meat of the Backyard Fruit Production series, I wanted to catch you up on something that's been happening a little closer to home. A few months back, I read about a seed-starting technique called winter sowing. Now I already have a whole indoor seed starting set-up (I'll post on that soon, it's pretty slick), but I was drawn to the idea of winter sowing because it's incredibly low-maintenance and basically free. Good things, right?

Winter-sowing involves starting seeds in recycled gallon jugs. They can be milk jugs, vinegar jugs, large water bottles... whatever you've got. They don't even have to be a full gallon, as long as they're reasonably large and either transparent or translucent (so that light can reach the seedlings). A hinge is cut in the jugs for easy access, drainage holes are poked in the bottom, their caps are removed, and seeds are planted inside. The jugs are placed in a clear plastic tote, taken outside in the dead of winter, and left there.

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