Yum avocado!

That’s what we tell Jonathan when we feed him avocado. We started feeding him solid (mushy) food last week. We started the first day with rice cereal, which he did not like. As you can see below.

Even my silly attempts at convincing him he liked the rice cereal didn’t elicit much response.

Me: Mmmm delicious mush!
Jonathan: Lady, you’re nuts.

He seems to like avocado better. We’ll do another day or two of that and then we’re moving on to sweet potato! I am making my own baby food. It’s purer that way. I control the ingredients. There aren’t any preservatives. It’s less expensive. So far the food I’ve made is a single ingredient, such as avocado, sweet potato, or peas, mixed with breast milk. I’m freezing the extras, and I’ve made enough for now that we’re set for a while. I’m using the book The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. It has recipes from age six months to two years. So far I like the book a lot. Beyond recipes, it also has tips for feeding your child and nutritional information.

Making baby food from scratch is easy, but it does take some time. The avocado recipe is easy, and requires no cooking, just blending the milk and avocado together. The sweet potato and peas recipes do require cooking (baking and steaming, respectively). After cooking I mix the ingredient with breast milk and blend. Then I freeze the mush in a special, nasty plastics-free baby food freezer tray (1 tablespoon blocks, since a serving for a baby is 1-2 tablespoons). After that, I put the cubes in glass containers for storage. The containers have lids that also don’t have nasty plastics.

Jonathan hasn’t quite caught on to the whole solid foods thing yet, but I’m sure he will soon. At least it’s fun for my husband and I. And so far, only one projectile experience!

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Renovation of the world

“There is, indeed, something inexpressibly pleasing in the annual renovation of the world, and the new display of the treasures of nature.” – Samuel Johnson

A week ago, before planting the transplants I bought, my husband built up five more beds in the garden.

We ran out of the horse manure compost that a friend with a horseback riding operation gave us, so we used organic compost from a local gardening shop in these beds. We laid a thin layer of compost, and I added some organic bone meal, too. I did this, because, as mentioned before, my soil test showed that the garden’s soil was lacking in nitrogen and phosphorus.

Here’s yours truly spreading the compost. Yes, I am wearing a fleece. Why? Because up here at 48 degrees (latitude), that’s also been the high temperature for a while. We have glorious autumns here, but cold and wet springs. In fact, there’s a winter weather advisory in our area today. Sigh.

Here’s the garden as it was about a week ago after planting the transplants. I apologize I haven’t posted this sooner, but I’ve been busy, ya know. The garden looks much the same now, except the lettuces and carrots are coming up, as are the onion sets and the buckwheat. And the weeds. Oh the weeds. I weeded for half an hour yesterday and got one half of one bed done. Well, that’s what I get for not weeding for a week: Now I get to spend my free time weeding!

Of the transplants I planted: I planted a pumpkin, a zucchini, a squash, two tomatoes, a pepper, mint, cilantro, shallots – all of these from the local Terrapin Farm. From a local greenhouse, I planted corn, more squash, cucumbers, cabbage, lavender, parsley, basil, oregano, and dill.

From seed I planted spinach, red romaine, rainbow chard, ruby red chard, carrots, acorn squash, cucumbers, snow peas, blue lake bush beans, onion (from sets, technically), sunflowers, and a bunch of wildflowers on the outside perimeter.

Here’s the herb garden we planted. In it there’s parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, lavender, mint, and dill. We love to use fresh herbs in our cooking.

Here are the corn transplants. I will not be doing these again. At least not transplants that are this big. These transplants have taken an absolute beating with wind and rain, and yesterday, hail. They don’t have the established roots they need to stand up to the beatings, which, looking at the weather report, will continue until morale improves. Lesson learned.

And yesterday it hailed for fifteen minutes. The hail was about blueberry size. Big enough to cause some damage. I think I lost a squash plant, probably some of the corn, and time will tell what else I’ve lost once the lake in the middle of the garden recedes. We also had a bird get in the house, trying to escape the hail (we had the door open because we were standing on the porch watching the hail come down). It flapped around inside for a few minutes until we could get it out. Hopefully the hail didn’t kill it! It is supposed to rain more today (and snow up high). The picture below shows the hail. And the puddles full of hail that are probably three or four inches deep.

It’s supposed to warm up in the next few days. Hopefully, if everything didn’t drown, I’ll see some real growth out there!