Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The reason I garden

I garden for countless reasons.  Chief among them is taste.  
You cannot buy a strawberry as sweet as the first strawberry from your very own garden in late May.  You cannot buy a salad of wrinkled crinkled cress, mizuna, arugula and red veined spinach that was picked minutes ago.  You cannot buy a radish pulled from the ground seconds ago.  Gardening tastes so good.  It tastes especially good in the last weeks of May as we harvest our first early salads, watch flowers form on the snow peas, watch in awe as the radishes and turnips grow bigger and bigger.  I love gardening in every season, for so many reasons, but I especially love gardening in the moment that I savor the first ripe strawberry of the season.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Olympic Coast

All of this warm Bellingham weather prompted Ian and I to throw together our backpacking gear and head to the coast.  We opted for a short hike out to Yellow Banks.  A few years ago we hiked a long stretch of the Olympic Coast during spring break and I noted on the map that there was a great campsite and "beautiful, sandy beaches" at Yellow Banks.  Sounds nice!  So we headed out with Abel.
It should be noted that the drive to Lake Ozette is not for those who don't enjoy car rides, or those who are troubled by car sicknesses!  Abel and I both fall squarely into those camps.  We arrived, albeit somewhat worse for the wear at the Lost Resort on Thursday night.  The plan was to spend the night at the "resort" and start hiking Friday.  The resort was "rustic", I promptly locked the key in the cabin, and it turns out they were doing some plumbing work that they'd failed to mention!  We worked all of the above issues out and managed to get back into the cabin before dark.

The hike out to Yellow Banks was pretty quick, only 5 miles and most of it was on a board walk.  Abel loved every minute of it, so much so that he really didn't want to sleep in the pack!  Hilarious.  We did more scouting for a nice site than we thought we would, turns out the beautiful site I noted is great for grown-ups but a little sketchy for little folks.  In the end we stayed at the "not baby friendly" site and it totally worked out.  We just spent most of our time on the beach!
We've decided that backpacking with toddlers is more work than backpacking with infants.  We've also realized that it's all about preparation.  So before our next trip Abel is going to try out his sleeping set-up and we're actually going to use the checklist I created last year so I don't forget my insoles!  I should also mention that Ian finally found the perfect, lightweight backcountry flask, a plastic baby bottle.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Putting Abel to work!

I've been pulling Abel around on his tricycle for a few weeks now and I've finally realize I might as well us the tricycle as a cart too! Abel loves it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh how I love sunny weekends

The Rae Clan headed out to Guemes Island for a much needed mini vacation and we had a great time. I had a small amount of "garden guilt" as we loaded onto the ferry, the weather was amazing! How was I leaving the garden in it's messy, needy spring state for three days?
I pretty quickly got over it. We stayed at the Guemes Island Resort, which is on the beach, and spent the weekend playing on the beach, taking mini hikes, harvesting and eating copious amounts of wild nettles, throwing sticks for Maddie, reading, napping, and eating. It was great.

We stopped in Edison on the way home for snacks (okay, we stopped in Edison on the way to and from Guemes Island). We couldn't pass up Bread Farm and Farm to Market Bakery. No, not even once. How is it possible that such a small town has two of the best bakeries I have ever been too? And they have Slough Foods? I really love Edison.
So, we took our bounty (Allium bread, fresh local Chevre, and a pear danish) and headed to Maria and Dennis's new farm in Alger. We met the new chicks (all 35 of them), Ian helped Maria fire up the tractor for the first time and we wandered around the property talking about what critters would live where, someday.
It was a great, relaxing weekend. Pretty much exactly what we needed.