ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.


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Protecting my (fruit) investment 

I planted 3-year blueberry bushes in my garden. The third year is when the bush starts to produce fruit. The plants cost more (about triple the cost of a 2-year plant) but you get blueberries right away. My lovely bushes are two varieties: “bluecrop,” and “northland.” 

They set fruit, which now means I am in a never ending battle against the birds and other critters that want to eat my fruits. 

My first line of defense was to put the garden fence around the bushes. That will keep the deer out. Next was to build bird netting cages to keep the birds at bay. I finished them this evening to good success. I recycled leftover garden fence into two cyllinders. Then I covered them with bird netting. Here is hoping I get a few cups of berries from my bushes. 


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Illustrated guide to Garden 2.0


This spring has brought a large expansion of my vegetable garden. Illustrated above is a map showing what is planted in my new, bigger garden.

  1. Onions. Asian – style peapods. Snap peas. Their space here for pepper plants once it gets warmer.
  2. This is a round bed constructed of recycled bricks. I have planted annual herbs: parsley, basil, cilantro, shiso. I also put garlic chives in this bed. I was worried they would cross pollinate with my standard chives.
  3. Onions. There’s reserved space in this bed for cucumbers.
  4. This is the cooking greens bed: spinach, Swiss shard, kale, tat soi, and bok choy. These cold – loving crops of the only thing green in the garden right now that isn’t a weed.
  5. There’s nothing in this bed right now. Once my squash transplants get larger they’ll go out here. Since it’s on the corner of the garden, the plants can ramble all over.
  6. This is one of the two original beds from last year. My carrot bed continues to live here, and I planted rhubarb. Additionally, the backs of the two large raised beds have asparagus. Since these raised beds are extra – deep the tomatoes will go in here when they get transplanted.
  7. This is the other original raised bed from last year. There’s asparagus in the back, but I’m waiting to put my tomatoes in. 
  8. Hard to see in the picture, but I planted two blueberry bushes this year. My hope is they will bloom and I may get a couple blueberries this year.

I still have about another week until we are definitely pass the last frost. After that, I’ll be able to put out peppers, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. 

I know you’re looking at those tender vegetables and thinking, aren’t your deer going to eat all of that? Yes, if I don’t get out there quick and get my fence in place. Since we expanded the garden so much, I don’t have an a fencing to go around all of it. I’ll need to go buy some more. 


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Abundant Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Do you really have any zucchini left after all of these recipes? This is the BEST way to hide zucchini. You’ll never know it’s there… And POOF! Two zucchini will disappear without a trace.

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(Dry)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
(Wet)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3 large eggs
(Other)
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
5 2/3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ round or square cake pan.
Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, soda, powder, salt.
In the stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add Vanilla and coffee.
Combine the zucchini, chopped chocolate, and a third of the dry ingredients, making sure the zucchini strands are coated with flour.
Add the remaining dry ingredients into the wet. Keep the stand mixer on low to avoid a big mess.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. By hand, fold together the zucchini into the batter until just combined.
Pour into the cake pan and spread out flat.
Bake 45 mins, or until a probe comes out clean. Let cool.

Now, if you really need to get rid of some zucchini make two cakes, then make zucchini lemon curd, and chocolate frosting. Now ou you’ve used up about 5 zucchini!

After all of this, do you really still have zucchini left???