Tag Archives: Bento

Spring means Peas

On a suburban farm in Everett, Washington.

We have been eating raw peas for a couple of weeks. More are on the way. Our peas do not like hot weather, and we sure have been having unusual heat. The main crop is just coming on.

June 5, 2016 (3)

Cascadia Snap Peas…. about the best snap peas I’ve ever had.

Golden Sweet sno-peas

Golden Sweet sno-peas live up to their name. Though they are small for a flat, Chinese style pea, (traditionally used for stir-fry) they are sweet and golden. The flowers are a pretty lavender and purple that age to a deep blue and magenta. When I first saw them years ago, I thought, “If all these are good for are the pretty flowers, then they will always have a place in my garden.” Then I nibbled my first crisp golden pod. They live up to the “sweet” part of their name. I bought my original seed from Uprising Organics. It is nearly impossible to harvest all the pods, even though they are easy to find with their sunny yellow pods, so saving seed from these heirloom vines is really effortless.

June 5, 2016 (7)

Golden Sweet sno-peas

Purple Pod Shelly Peas

Just for fun, I picked up a package of Purple Pod shelling peas from Ed Hume Seed Company. I have not seen any pods yet, just a load of beautiful flowers. Like Golden Sweet Sno Peas, these are full size vine peas, meaning they need a good support for the six foot-heavy vines.

June 5, 2016 (1)

Purple Pod Shelly (English) Peas

The original: Sugar Snap Peas

These are the peas that turned my pea-hating husband into an enthusiastic muncher of peas. We have tried dozens of different types of snap pea in the 20+ years since growing our first crop of snap peas. With the exception of Cascadia, none of the short vine snap peas come close to being as tender and sweet as a plump Sugar Snap in our seldom humble opinion. The six foot vines require strong support. It is still a little early for sugar snaps, the pods in the picture (June 5th) will plump up before they are ready to harvest.

June 5, 2016 (11)

We have been eating tiny Dakota, and our favorite early pea, Maestro, for a couple of weeks. I only planted a taste of the early peas. Their vines are starting to dry up, ready to pass on to the chickens. Working full time, I only have time to tend to short rows. School will be out June 8th, and if the Almighty is willing, there will be time for me to be a farmer, field-to-table epicure and prepper. Still to come out on the pea frame are  Tall Telephone Peas. An heirloom that will hopefully go into the freezer. (I’m am not a fan of canned peas).

May 23, 2016 Bento

Maestro Peas for a sweet treat in my bento

The pea frame

Early morning at The Toy Box Suburban Farm. Because we are making a transition from Square Foot Gardening to Back to Eden, we seldom need to water. But after a stretch of unusually hot days, I ran the sprinkler for 20 minutes in the morning, just to keep the vines from prematurely drying out. You can make out the pea and bean frame Ray put together (the Tomato tree can also be seen.) Climbing beans are just getting started on the other side of the frame. The legs of the frame are set about 18 inches into the ground. We hope that is enough to survive July storms. The plant in the foreground is parsley that I am saving seed from.

June 5, 2016 (18)

Late Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm

June 5, 2016 (15)Blue Sky Sunday. Very surprising after the black smoke that rolled through the valley from a fire that ate a recycling center and two other big buildings on the water front. Thanks to the fire men who put on hot bunker gear to fight those fires !!

1 Comment

Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Bento, Fresh from the garden, Square Foot Garden, Urban Farm

February Chores Done!

January 30, 2016 (3)
Pretty Cold” meaning it was a pretty afternoon and it was too cold to work without a hoodie and long-sleeve shirt. The crocuses have been in bloom all week but it has been raining in Everett. Finally a beautiful day, so I ran out and planted Fava Beans. If the squirrels do not dig them up, and the dogs do not run them over, and if the deer do not eat them, we should have fresh favas for 4th of July.

February 10, 2016 Potatoes Potatoes chitting in the kitchen window. Everything I planted in the soil blocks video is up and looking hopeful. I love seed saving but for some reason I am such a skeptic about being successful with my own saved seed. I seem to have the mind set that if it doesn’t come from a professional it will not be any good. Peshaw! The seed that I saved is coming up strong!

February 20, 2016 (4) Putting all my sweet peas into one container (per the royal sweet pea society) seemed like a fantastic idea on a cold February after-school-noon. Now I am looking at all those sweet peas and wondering, “what was I thinking?” I have two more tubs just like this one. Normally I plant about two and a half foot long row of sweet peas. This year I am going to be sweet pea central! All of them are the tall climbing type because that is what what I could find at planting time.

February 8, 2016 (12) bento I like to keep my menu as seasonal as possible. Obviously this bento has more then home grown or local foods. The tomatoes scream “south of the boarder!” But look again. see those cute little tartletts? They are made from Toy Box eggs, leeks and kalette which were harvested just moments before being chopped and baked with Toy Box parsley into those tarts. Thanks to Foodie Laura for the fantastic idea. I tend to think of quiche as complicated, but with the filo tart shells, easy-peasy.

February 23, 2016 Weather I am a teacher, it is Tuesday, but looking at the weather prophecy, it sure seems like a good day for the Blue-Sky-Flu. I won’t do it but I am thinking about it.

3 Comments

Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Urban Farm

Morning Devotions: Psalm 4

Hear me when I call, O God of my right! Thou hast given me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1 rsv+

Front Garden tomatoes. October 2 and we are still getting tomatoes from the neglected front garden.

Front Garden tomatoes. October 2 and we are still getting tomatoes from this neglected front garden. Our main garden on the south-east side of the house was done a month ago.

This week’s Psalm is Psalm 4. It is a song about the connection of prayer and peace.

Psalm 4 begins with restlessness. Whatever it is that David is facing at this time in his life has him in distress. He reminds the Almighty that he (David) is righteous because of his relationship and obedience to God. He remembers that in the past the Almighty has given him relief from the circumstances that cause him distress. I personally think that David wants a sign that he is not just saying words but that God hears him and is answering. I can almost hear David begging the LORD to show him something, let him see that his words have been heard. I bet you know how that feels.

As believers, we try to live our lives in The Way that we believe is pleasing to YHVH (the LORD). Sometimes we have an attitude that living according to what we understand the Bible to say about The Way is some kind of currency we can spend when life gets hard. “I’ve been careful to tithe, I do not swear, I hang with people who love Jesus, I try to be kind… “ but our prayer does not seem to be answered. We know why those who do not believe in Jesus are having distress, but why are we?

The Cucumbers are nearly finished. Nights are down to the high forties. A long summer of drought was hard on all of the vine crops. We still have just enough pickle and lemon cucumbers to keep fresh, crisp veggies in my bentos.

The Cucumbers are nearly finished. Nights are down to the high forties. A long summer of drought was hard on all of the vine crops. We still have just enough pickle and lemon cucumbers to keep fresh, crisp veggies in my bentos.

Psalm 4 lets us in on one of the Almighty’s secrets! We have nothing to offer to YHVH but listening ears and a heart that will do exactly what He tells us to do. Psalm 4 is telling us to sit still and listen to the Almighty. Verse 3; the LORD has set apart believers for himself and hears our prayers. Maybe we need to stop talking when we are distressed and start listening from our heart.

Verses 4 and 5 remind me of Proverbs 3:5 and 6.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. nkj

During your most distressful time the Almighty will give you supernatural peace even while you sleep. He has heard you pray. If you feel as if things are not going your way and you are still feeling restless with worry, you do not need to repeat your prayer, you need to listen.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 nkj

No more big central heads. In point of fact, there are no more large side shoots. I still have broccoli daily in my bentos. This late in the year the plants are getting desperate to produce seed and it is difficult to stay ahead of the flowers. But I love the flowers in my lunch and in my salads. Nothing goes to waste.

No more big central heads. In point of fact, there are no more large side shoots. I still have broccoli daily in my bentos. This late in the year the plants are getting desperate to produce seed and it is difficult to stay ahead of the flowers. But I love the flowers in my lunch and in my salads. Nothing goes to waste.

With each prayer YHVH answers, you will grow in confidence that you are precious to Him. He protects you with his mighty hand. Do you think that the last thing he will ever do for you was done at the cross? Or in the upper room (Acts chapter 2). I’m telling you, the life you live as a believer is dynamic, up-to-date, in the moment.  (Galatians 2:19-20) Keep walking The Way, keep your eyes on Jesus. You will grow in your trust in the LORD and the sweet rest of Psalm 4 comes when we are able to stop being frantic about what we want God to hear and start to listen to the Almighty. Remember Peter in Acts chapter 12? Go read it if you don’t remember. Peter was about to be killed for political gain. The church prayed through the night. Peter was in prison, chained between two government thugs, men who were accustom to keeping the public safe from murderous criminals. What did Peter do? He slept soundly, just as Psalm 4 says. (really, go look at Acts 12 and see for yourself just how soundly Peter slept on what could have been the last hours of his life on earth).

That is a lemon cucumber, but the orange tomato and the broccoli are from the plants pictured above. The tiny egg came from one of this years hens.  There are even a few ground cherries from the Toy Box in this Bento. Underneath the steak and tomatoes there is a layer of spicey greens that we grow for fresh winter food. The watermelon and blackberries come from TJ's but we save so much by growing our own food, expensive store fruit does not break us.

That is a lemon cucumber, but the orange tomato and the broccoli are from the plants pictured above. The tiny egg came from one of this years hens. There are even a few ground cherries from the Toy Box in this Bento. Underneath the steak and tomatoes there is a layer of spicey greens that we grow for fresh winter food. The watermelon and blackberries come from TJ’s but we save so much by growing our own food, expensive store fruit does not break us.

Is something bothering you today? Is your stress level making you feel as if your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Remember what God has already done for you, starting at the cross. Remember the day you were born-again (and if you do not remember, then please, take care of that right now!). Go to your favorite Psalm or passage of scripture. Look for what God says about himself and praise him for it. It can be as simple as, “Abba (Father) I praise you (or love you) because you are my righteousness” Ps 4:1 Or, “I Love you because you hear prayer” Ps 4:3. Or maybe, “I praise you because you are trustworthy” Ps 4:5. Or even,” I love you because you are my safe place” Ps 4:8. You get the idea.

It used to bug me when my mother-in-law would tell me that reading scripture and praying would put her to sleep when she was restless. I wondered if it didn’t bother the Almighty that someone would fall asleep while He was talking to them. I am pretty sure that Psalm 4 answers that question. He is the one who gives us peaceful sleep when our mind is on him. Give it a try.
Mrs. Hagerty; September 29, 2015

1 Comment

Filed under Bible Study, Fresh from the garden, Prayer, The Way

Morning Devotions: Jeremiah 17:5-10

Jeremiah 17:9-10  “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. nasu

I work at a small Christian school for seed money but in one way or another I bring the farm with me in my bento-lunches everyday. They are made of a couple of ounces of protein from dinner the night before, a serving of carbs and fruits and vegetables in the five colors. Just because I love it, I also like to bring a silicone cupcake of plain yogurt with fruit (or, in this case, with Trader Joe's chocolate coated sunflower seeds. This bento also has thinly sliced steak and cubed baked potatoes. The green comes from raw broccoli and celery, th red is from sliced strawberries and beets, yellow from raspberries, white from cauliflower and blue-black from blueberries and blackberries

I work at a small Christian school for seed money but in one way or another I bring the farm with me in my bento-lunches everyday. They are made of a couple of ounces of protein from dinner the night before, a serving of carbs and fruits and vegetables in the five colors. Just because I love it, I also like to bring a silicone cupcake of plain yogurt with fruit (or, in this case, with Trader Joe’s chocolate coated sunflower seeds. This bento also has thinly sliced steak and cubed baked potatoes. The green comes from raw broccoli and celery, th red is from sliced strawberries and beets, yellow from raspberries, white from cauliflower and blue-black from blueberries and blackberries

I love my apple tree. It celebrates spring with flowers that awaken the bees from their winter nap. In the summer she provides rest in her lush shade. But in autumn there are apples. Some sweet, some refreshing in their pucker power. Bright reds and yellows that call me with my eyes, even from a distance.

I’ve been to the desert like dunes in summer. The “trees” there are like bushes, but even bushes are more lush then the junipers at the beach where the water is too salty for life and the winds too harsh for lush growth. The berries of the juniper are rejected even by many of the birds. Crafters collect them to scent their candles but not to sustain life.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  “For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.  “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. nasu

Chopsticks and a cloth napkin means I do not have to add anything to the trash. Bento is so simple. This was Taco Tuesday. Tortillas were cut with a cookie cutter. I rarely use the microwave at work but for this bento the beans and beef mixture was placed in a silicone cupcake and covered with the tortillas for a hot lunch. The chopped tomatoes and onions were also in a cupcake to keep their liquid from getting everything else wet. I love taco-tuesday.

Chopsticks and a cloth napkin means I do not have to add anything to the trash. Bento is so simple. This was Taco Tuesday. Tortillas were cut with a cookie cutter. I rarely use the microwave at work but for this bento the beans and beef mixture was placed in a silicone cupcake and covered with the tortillas for a hot lunch. The chopped tomatoes and onions were also in a cupcake to keep their liquid from getting everything else wet. I love taco-tuesday.

In this morning’s devotion, Jeremiah 17:5-10, believers are compared to trees. Those who are dependent upon strength in the flesh are said to be like those junipers of the dunes. They just survive, stunted, unable to even give shade in the heat of summer. Not only fruitless, even their leaves are prickly. The juniper is like the Christian who is an off grid prepper, the rugged individual with his gun at his side to protect himself and his meager provisions instead of the sword of the Spirit to rescue those who perish. He see the needy as predators instead of those sent by the Almighty for mutual blessing and aid.

The believer who puts his hope in the Almighty, who puts his confidence in the provision of God with thanksgiving is like a lush tree planted near water. Unafraid for itself when the rest of the world is tested by harsh conditions, this believer still blossoms with hope, protects others in the shade of their healing leaves and gives abundantly of their fruit (Love, joy, kindness, gentle self-control, patience, goodness, and a bubbling faithfulness that the Creator has put them here to serve others instead of living simply to survive. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Edible flowers-kale blossoms and johnny jump-ups. Fruit slices cut with star-shaped cutters. I put my boys through school as a florist (part of my duty as the produce girl at a small grocery store in an even smaller town) , making bento scratches a creative itch. Micro greens from the garden and Ray's enchiladas made this bento one of those

Edible flowers-kale blossoms and johnny jump-ups. Fruit slices cut with star-shaped cutters. I put my boys through school as a florist (part of my duty as the produce girl at a small grocery store in an even smaller town) , making bento scratches a creative itch. Micro greens from the garden and Ray’s enchiladas made this bento one of those “can hardly wait for it” lunches.

In Malachi 3:10, the Almighty issues a loving challenge for us to give. Try to give more than you think God can. Throw down! You will not be able to keep up with his blessing. The trouble with us is that our hearts lie to us. Our own heart tells us that if we give then there will not be enough for us. If we give stuff away we will not have enough to live. “God helps those who help them-self.” That is the old way of thinking, but the Almighty has given you a new heart and a new mind. You may have a difficult time trusting that new way of living, the way that gives and gives because you are an arm of blessing from the Almighty. There was a time when taking care of yourself because no one else will was how you lived, but no more. Now you have a benefactor, a provider who wants to use you to make others rich. Test him and see for yourself. I am.

Mrs. Hagerty, September 18, 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible Study, The Way

Chicken Tractors and today’s bento

Chicks out for a little sun

Chicks out for a little sun

The last day of April started out chilly and wet but by this afternoon it was beautiful. I brought the baby nuggets out for a little bit of sunshine. Meanwhile, the original nuggets (now 5 years old and still giving us eggs every day) were in their own tractor getting a different planting bed ready. The bed in front of the tractor is where I get my daily greens for my school bento.

Sweet ol' girls

Sweet ol’ girls

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Speaking of Bento today’s featured slices of Ray’s Enchilada with our fresh greens, the newest radishes, kiwi, cantaloupe and watermelon stars, plain Greek yogurt with bananas and blueberries. (one day soon there will be some kind of fresh fruit)

Everett’s pretty day: 59/46 but it felt warmer then that. Sunrise at 5:52, soon to set at 8:20 for 14 hours and 28 minutes of day light. A little rain this morning but it hardly registered in the rain-gauge. Expecting the same tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chickens, Fresh from the garden, Urban Farm

It is still April in Everett

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Warm days, no sweater needed (inside at least) may have seduced me into believing that early summer has come to Everett, Washington. Outside there was a gentle, north wind. Chilled me to the bone! If I had not needed a handful of parsley and a pinch of oregano I would have stayed inside. Burrr!

Later that Shabbot evening, Ray and I settled in to watch Chris Travels take us places we cannot afford. That was when we first heard the pelting of hail. Uh-oh! There was nothing we could do but wait it out. Our early food would either survive or not, it was out of our control.

At first light, everything looks good from the kitchen window. I’ve only planted the hardiest of of greens and peas. Hallelujah!

Now I’m worried about the pepper sprouts in the unheated green house.

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

I wonder where the birds go when the weather gets mean?

Everett, Washington; April 25, 2015 (Happy Birthday Jackie!) 56/39 but the wind has swirled around to the south-east instead of coming from the north. Twenty percent chance of something wet coming down, though the morning is honey-colored with sunshine…. which has been up since 6:01, and will not set until 8:13 for 14 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. Shabbot Shalom!

Leave a comment

Filed under Everyday Adventure, Urban Farm

A Pumpkin and a Monday Bento

Just before the Polar Vortex (November 2014) Ray found and brought inside one last pumpkin.

The last pumpkin of 2014, unceremoniously dropped into the potato bucket.

The last pumpkin of 2014, unceremoniously dropped into the potato bucket.

This is where the pumpkin landed about a week ago, I forgot that we even had it… until I came home from school today.

The pumpkin formerly known as Cinderella

The pumpkin formerly known as Cinderella

Pumpkin Snicker Doodles, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pie and roasted pumpkin seeds. The house smells AMAZING! We have the puree of four other pumpkins in the freezer… it’s gonna be a yummy winter! I bet there is some left for next year when we do not plant because of the Sabbath Year.

Monday Bento, Nov. 17

Monday Bento, Nov. 17

Beautiful blue sky but who shut off the heat? Burr! MSN is saying the high will be 50, but I don’t think it got that warm today. I do believe it will get down to 26 tonight. Sunrise was at 7:18, it’s fixen to set at 4:29 (9 hours and 11 minutes of daylight)

About the Monday Bento, slim pickings today. No starch in this one but I’m sure the two cookies I wolfed down after school make up for that! By the way, it surprised me that peeps were liking the last bento post. It is my everyday and I forget that bento is interesting to some of you. Thanks!

Protein from chicken salad left over from our Sabbath dinner.

  • Red = tomatoes and strawberries (on the yogurt)
  • Green = broccoli
  • Yellow = cantaloupe flowers
  • white = cucumber slices and cauliflower
  • Black = grapes, blueberries and blackberries

Todays hydration came from lemon-mint infused water. The morning snack was sliced apples, dates and almond butter for dipping.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fresh from the garden, Urban Farm