Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Break staycation and Garden to Table Challenge (starting 4/30th!)

Sure there aren't clusters and clusters of blueberry blossoms, but enough to start the Garden to Table Challenge creative flow! Will it be blueberry buckle? Maybe blueberry sorbet? Perhaps I'll try blueberry tarts, or... how about chocolate covered blueberries!?

Folks - the Garden to Table Challenge will begin this Saturday! Each Saturday, I will be posting about how I've used some part of my garden harvest that week. Each week, I encourage you to join me by posting on your blog and then linking via mr. linky. Or, if you choose, participate simply by leaving a comment. Here's a sample posting - I searched through the old GTTC posts and forgot about the week I made jalapeno pesto. Gaaawwd - am I excited for summer!

Last year I got so many wonderful ideas from people who joined me. I also found it super fun to think about creative ways to use my harvests. PLUS, I will be offering a contest for participants. Details will follow on Saturday. For now, go see what you've got in the garden and get cookin'! If you're not a vegetable grower - don't fret. You can still participate by posting about how you've used your seasonal vegetables purchased from the market. The goal is to think creatively and eat seasonally.

THIS WEEK ONLY - if you leave a comment explaining how you've helped advertise the opening date of this year's Garden to Table Challenge, I will give you two entries to the 2011 GTTC contest (probably in the form of a raffle for prizes to be drawn for at the end of the season).



We've taken a reprieve from our usual Spring Break adventures. This year, we did the ultimate staycation. It was very low-key. One of the days, my husband even cancelled our day trip was raining. My Spring Break started with my afternoon with the Satanic Boy Scouts. The next day, it was demo time. See that mess below? This is not a corner in a run down shopping mall stairwell where bums pee. This is my home.

After several hours of cutting out moldy drywall, jackhammering the concrete in my basement, a beautiful pipe and sump pump were buried in the ground, then all covered up with new concrete. Don't you just love (large!) expenses that you can't even show off to your friends?

The first of our official trips was to Longwood Gardens in PA. I want one of those orange hoses that shoot mulch! Can you imagine what life could be like? And if you could have a helper follow you around and unkink your hose and reload your mulch shooter? I could get so much more done.

This is the curved "Whispering Bench" - a large curved stone bench. If you sit on one end across from your friend sitting several feet away on the other end, you can have a covert conversation just by softly whispering into the curve of the bench.

I've posted about this before - this is a large hallway with living walls. The doors you see in the wall lead to individual "bathroom pods" - each with its own skylight.

The next day, we hiked our nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. It's a very steep (and fun) 1/4 mile to the summit.

Below, our second child - not quite the nature child - is very proud of how brave she's being holding a gigantic beetle (notice I'm several feet away shielding my face with a camera). Her dad is assuring her it is friendly and does not bite.

...though he failed to mention the sharp burrs on its legs that have just cut our totally freaked out child's hand. Tears don't help the descent.

Once on the ground and about to enjoy a picnic lunch, she's back to being the happy annoying little sister again. Big sis is not amused.

On a rainy day - hours of Super Mario Bros. Here, Lyric is again proud. This time it's because she's earned 99 lives. She tried to flip it to 100 but the game won't allow it. Remember the good old days when you got 3 lives that were totally precious and if you lost them all, you needed to go beg your parents for another quarter? Or sometimes you could get another life, but you'd have to earn 10,000 points first.

At the National Gallery of Art to see Gauguin. This is the moving walkway connecting the West and East buildings. The moving lights are actually a light sculpture by Leo Villareal. It's very cool and fun for kids to pass through.

At my parents' house. My father is fishing. In the house, the incubator is completely full of duck and goose eggs! I'm sure I'll have some fun photos to share soon!


  1. So many projects and fun you all had! You girl is just so cute!
    Blueberries? YUMMY! I don't have it in place where i live...

  2. Hi Wendy, so pleased you're having a good spring break. A bit of nature, a bit of art, a bit of food, a bit of family - the best things in life. cheers, catmint

  3. Lots to see ... thanks for sharing. Your daughter, so dear!

  4. Hello Wendy,

    I think everybody has a "gross" place in their house that needs fixing. Even if it isn't a conspicuous fix, it still feels great to get it cleaned up.
    We did the same thing for our spring break; staycations are fantastic. Besides, there is usually so much to see in our area, we forget about it.
    Funny pictures of your daughter with the creepy crawly.
    I am glad you are bring back the GTTC. It really gets me thinking about creative ways to eat veggies.

  5. Hi Wendy,
    It sounds like you got lots done and seen on your staycation! I know what you mean about spending money on things that aren't seen. Our tree cutting down project cost quite a lot. Your husband looks like my son from the back. How cool we both have kids holding insects in our posts.

  6. I don't like doing in-house project since it always makes such a mess. But after look always makes me think it surely worth it! Sounds like you have done a lot! Love, love that living wall!! Your daughters are so cute!

    Tell me more about your farther's garden and pond.

  7. Sometimes staycations are the best way to revive! Looks like you guys had a blast!! I'm excited about GTTC starting up again. ACK! Will I have anything to harvest??? =0)

  8. Boy oh boy, you have been busy. Even though you can't show off you home improvement, think how much you will enjoy it every time you go down there.

    Still yucky here in Michigan, so I've got nothing planted yet. Can I cheat and buy garden ingredients? That's the only way I can participate this early in the season.

    And finally, I am so happy you made my bean soup. It makes me so happy when someone makes one of my recipes. Did you like it? I sure hope it turned out good. I followed the same recipe and made pea soup, which I just love. It was great and Luke loved it. Yeah.

  9. Wendy I love that photo of your father fishing. It has such a dream-like quality.
    I am anxiously awaiting the pics of all the hatchlings!

  10. I love the challenge! The only thing sprouting in my containers so far is chives, so maybe I can whip up some chive butter over the weekend. Blueberry sorbet sounds fantastic!

  11. Congrats on winning the composter! I just saw your name over at Jan's blog.


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btw - if you're trying to show me nude Miley Cyrus photos, sell me nikes or viagra or antibiotics, or encourage my lovely garden readers to visit your site on solar panel construction, or seo-whatevers, sorry, but I'm not publishing your comment. If you want to moderate my blog - well, I can't keep you too busy, and the pay would be horrible. And lastly, no. I'm not interested in Club Penguin cheat codes. Thanks anyway.

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