I got off work early!  Aside from a chance to run errands, this means that I actually made dinner today.  (Usually I just toss together some nachos)
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Today's concoction?  Tangy chicken mizuna.  And yes, it's as delicious and gourmet as it sounds.

Mizuna?  What the heck is mizuna?  I'm glad you asked.  I didn't know either.
Mizuna is an 'Asian' green, similar to bok choy, or mustard greens.  A little crisp, a little bitter, but relatively mild - the taste is growing on me by the minute!


 
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Last week, I was a vegetarianThis week, I bought whole fryer chicken, and stretched its galline goodness as far as I could. 

The three stages are simple: 
Roast, Leftovers, Stock

By using all available parts of the chicken, we honor its death, nourish our bodies, and spend our money wisely. 


 
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Yesterday I brought home an armload of seasonal veggies, fresh from the farm.  I asked for suggestions for what to do with my braising mix and green garlic, but I got hungry waiting on y'all! 

So I went ahead and made a delicious, all-local breakfast!  Incidentally, it's Paleo and gluten-free, for those who are into that.


 
Free vegetables are one of farming's biggest perks.  Of course, drought and job insecurity are major drawbacks, but those veggies are damn good.

This week in the Rocky Mountain Foothills, we have arugula, bok choy, braising mix, green garlic, pea shoots, radishes, and spinach.  We have much more than that, really (walking onions, lovage, sorrel, and turnips), but this is what I brought home:

 
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It's official - I'm a farmer! 

Well, a farmer's assistant, anyway.  And pretty soon here, I'll have the farmer's tan to prove it (okay... it's a freckle line - who am I trying to kid?)  So here's a run-down of my 'breaking-in' on the organic veggie farm, here on the Rocky Mountain foothills - it's really a 7-day stretch over two work weeks.

Coming up on this week's Farm Girl Diary - new friends, local food politics, Spanish-language learning, major drought drama, and a lot of planting! 


 
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It's hardly a secret - I love cheese.

My all-time favorite is extra sharp cheddar, but any cheese is worth my time!  After making yogurt last week, I had about a quart of milk left over.  So I made some cheese!

Farmer cheese, and its cousin paneer, is by far the simplest cheese to make - you don't need rennet, it doesn't need to age, and there are only two ingredients. 

Got milk?  Got vinegar?  Great - let's make cheese!


 
Well, I never intended to become a ladybug wrangler, but the everlasting Aphid War has forced my hand. 

It started with my arugula plant, and a hatchery of baby ladybugs that ravenously tore through the aphid population (thank goodness!).  I know that sounds pretty gruesome, it was, but those aphids were coating every surface of the arugula.  I could stand five feet away and watch little showers of aphids fall from the leaves.  Gross.

Last weekend, at the farmers market, I bought a cilantro start (yaaay cilantro!) and a bundle of chard.  When I started to put the chard into my bag, my friend stopped me, "There's a bug on your chard.

Indeed there was.  Or, rather, an almost-bug.  A ladybug pupa.

 
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I've wanted to make dandelion wine for, oh... six years now.  And guess what?  Today, I made dandelion wine!

Sure, it won't be drinkable for months, but I'm excited!  And since dandelions are blooming everywhere right about now, it's the perfect time to do some wild foraging and harvest your own bottle of wine.


 
I'm a 23 year old feminist, am unmarried, don't have kids, live in rental housing, and have no plans to 'settle down' any time soon.  Yet, I identify as a homemaker.

Call it urban homesteading, simple frugality, traditional skills... I like to call it radical homemakingI am creating home, wherever it may be, with conscious intention.

My version of homemaking often doesn't look like others' - mine is a bit more ragged, opportunistic, and environmentally focused.  My homestead is less fleshed out than others' - my home is rented and shared, and my gardening and fermentation projects are tucked away into corners and windowsills.  My motivations are my own, too - though I'm sure many of you share them:

 
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Quick and dirty recipe - homemade tempeh salad!  Delicious, nutritious, easy.  Like many lovely things in life.

When your immune system is struggling, protein and greens are the ultimate combination.  When your energy is low, quick meals are a godsend.  Ta-da!  Tempeh salad, at your service.

Now, you don't have to use homemade tempeh, but I highly, highly recommend it.  It's less expensive and more delicious.  Plus, how cool is it to ferment your own tempeh?!?  Way cool.



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