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Today was a typical Sunday for me. It was cool but dry, so Penny and I sat on the porch while I drank my morning coffee. The garden is finally starting to come to life. Peas and buckwheat are coming up nicely and we're finally starting to see some growth on the seedlings in the mini greenhouse. Today the basil and lettuces finally started poking up through the soil. I have two types of leaf lettuce and two types of basil this year, plus Swiss chard, peppers, tomatillos, and some herbs. A few of the pepper plants have sprouted but I may have to plant more because the seeds were old and only about 20% have sprouted after a few weeks in the greenhouse.

Last week I pinched back the spearmint and oregano plants and it's paying off; they're starting to spread and throw out new growth. Really hoping to get those established before the weather gets hot. Gardening on my second-story deck is always a challenge because heat, wind, and cold are magnified by the elevated position and southwestern exposure. I think the addition of the new mini greenhouse will help, though, because it sits on the southern side of the deck and offers some afternoon shade so I can move tender plants over there near the end of June.

I found a planting pot with a built-in tomato cage sitting next to a dumpster yesterday. It was in great shape so I brought it home. I'm trying to decide whether to put a compact zucchini or cucumber plant in there. I also got the multi-tiered worm bin set up yesterday so I should be able to put worms in it next weekend. I've missed having a worm bin but I think this new stacking system will be much easier for me to manage than the large bin I had before. It produced great compost, but having to turn it and dig it out was a chore.

After my morning me-time in the garden I came inside to start on chores and do some cooking for the week. I must be in a breakfast mood because that's where I focused. I made a large batch of green smoothies and divided it up into jars for the freezer. If we want a smoothie for breakfast we can just take it out the night before and put it in the fridge to thaw. I had a big block of tofu that needed to be eaten up, so I made a curry-spiced tofu scramble that I can warm up quickly with some toast on work mornings. I also made coconut milk chia puddings with a simple jelly of blood orange juice and cornstarch swirled into them and some overnight oatmeal soaked in alternamilk blended with almond butter and some stevia extract that I divided into mason jars and topped with blackberry chia jam.

I also had a lot of jalapenos to deal with. I got a really good deal on a large bag of them two weeks ago; I couldn't resist. I canned two half-pints of jalapeno slices because I found a vegan nacho cheese sauce that I've been wanting to try and I do love pickled jalapenos on my nachos. I still had about three pounds of jalapenos left, so I chopped enough to fill a quart jar and put it in the freezer for easy cooking later (I do that same with leeks and scallions); I can just scoop out a spoonful when I'm cooking and toss it in. It thaws in minutes and saves me some prep time when I'm cooking on busy nights. The rest of the jalapenos got halved, seeded, and popped into the Excalibur dehydrator. By the time I get home from work tomorrow they should be ready to grind into jalapeno flakes for cooking and powder to make jalapeno salt for my popcorn.

All in all a pretty satisfying day. I thought about making a batch of our favorite lentil vegetable soup but I was tired by that point. I'll make it tomorrow. I think that the rest of the night is going to be about crochet and listening to the radio.

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handsinthedirt

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