Individual Greenhouses for your Garden

***A repost for those of you who are planning a garden***

I love fresh vegetables, and I grew up with a vegetable garden and there is nothing better than a vine ripened tomatoes picked fresh and made into bruschetta or some other yummy food.  Our family started its first vegetable garden to introduce the older kids to healthy eating.  It was great when the realized how food was grown and they actually wanted to try the tomatoes and the zucchini. The chocolate zucchini cake was a hit, the tomatoes were not.   So we keep trying.

Since we live in the Pacific Northwest and our summers are finicky.  I have friends who have migrated from California or Texas and they bemoan the fact we can ski until March and wear hoodies until July. So, it helps to have a green house or a cold frame to give your plants a healthy head start.

I, however, have 3 small boys to raise. Which means they would break any cold-frame, accidentally of course, and I can’t afford a green house. (Their feet never seem to stop growing!).  So, I came up with another, much cheaper idea after visiting Williamsburg with family. According to the period actors, the settlers used glass bells over plants as miniature green houses. I don’t want breakable glass around the kids and the food, so we used Milk  Jugs. Yes, Milk jugs. We go through a gallon of milk a week and have plenty of them around.  Its easy. Cut the bottom of the milk jug off, leave the cap on the top.  The plants get their water from the surrounding ground.  And, the milk jugs let light through while heating the surrounding air, to encourage growth.

As the garden grows, watch for more posts.  The first round of spinach is about ready to be harvested!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts- Amazing!20120422-190121.jpg

I saw a picture of Roasted Brussel Sprouts on Pinterest (You can follow me here) but I was intrigued. I like to try new things, but my only experience with brussel sprouts was as soggy boiled or steamed nuggets of limp green grossness. Yes, I was not a fan of the my family’s traditional method of preparation. Then this picture. I was done for. I like roasted potatoes, so I thought I would give it a whirl…

*2lbs Brussel Sprouts (ends trimmed and QUARTERED)
*2tbs Olive Oil
*Kosher Salt & Black Pepper (coarse ground) to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the ingredients together in a big bowl. Put on a rimmed cookie sheet and put in the oven on a lower rack setting. Time for 10-15 minutes and stir once so the sprouts don’t burn, cook for another 15min until well caramelized. Serve hot, these are really yummy and are easy to eat!