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Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 | 0 comments

A Garden Consult with Love & Carrots

A Garden Consult with Love & Carrots

I’d love to be able to claim that I know exactly what I’m doing when I garden, but truth be told, it’s been mostly luck if I get something to grow. We’ve tried various vegetables over the past several years — some worked well like last year’s broccoli, but others like the lettuce I planted two seasons ago withered away after a week or so in the dirt. Determined to improve my gardening skills, I met up with Meredith from Love & Carrots, an organic gardening business whose goal is to “take the intimidation out of home gardening.” They provide a range of services from a personal consultation to design work to full-service garden maintenance. (Psst — We’re doing this post with Love & Carrots as part of a giveaway which we’ll announce tomorrow!) Meredith came over on a weeknight for my consult. After I told her about my past gardening successes and failures, the first thing she did was take an accurate sunlight reading using a solar pathfinder....

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Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 | 0 comments

Early Spring at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market

Early Spring at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market

We’re happy to report the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market is back! Yesterday was the first day of the 2015 season, which will run Sundays through October at Four Mile Run Park. There were plenty of food offerings — vegetables, herbs, cheese, jam, bread, coffee and gourmet hot sauce. We also saw a friendly Del Ray face, Kremena, who was selling her homemade Bulgarian pastries. The artisans tend to vary each week but yesterday we found eco-friendly soap, flowers and handwoven linens. You can also count on a different musician each week, a wide open space for kids to ride bikes and tables and chairs to sit and enjoy a pour-over coffee, perhaps, in the warm morning sun. We look forward to another great season at Four Mile...

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Sunprinted Natural-Dye Easter Eggs

Sunprinted Natural-Dye Easter Eggs

I stumbled upon this blog post about sunprinted Easter eggs and was instantly intrigued. Though they aren’t technically sunprints (that requires special chemicals) they have that sunprinted look and seemed to be a nice change from our typical natural-dyed eggs we’ve made over the past couple of years. (You don’t need natural dyes to make these, but I’m providing the instructions for how I made these using blueberries as my dye.) Supplies: A dozen hard-boiled eggs Small pack of blueberries 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup white vinegar Fresh-picked leaves of varying shapes and sizes One pair of pantyhose (or pieces of cheesecloth), cut into 3-inch squares To make the dye, I simmered a small pack of blueberries in a pan with some water, mashing the berries with a fork to get the juices out. This took a few minutes. Then I strained the berries and added vinegar to the liquid. As the dye cooled, I prepared the eggs. I didn’t have any interesting leaves, so I used a weed...

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 | 1 comment

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Potomac Yard Workout Trail

Del Ray Parks and Rec: Potomac Yard Workout Trail

A few weeks ago, I noticed from the window of the Metro train on my commute home that there were several bright green stations on the walking trail that connects Braddock Road Metro to Monroe Ave. I found out these are workout stops, part of the overall plan for the new Potomac Yard Park. Each stop, accessible for kids and adults, comes with instructions for use and a soft surface. The lower section of the trail near the Braddock Metro Station still needs some work. But the upper part of the trail close to Monroe Ave and Bell Del Ray is landscaped and the pavement is marked. Up at Monroe, you can cut left and head over to Del Ray or continue north to the rest of Potomac Yard. We look forward to adding these workout stops and a little variation to our morning...

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Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 | 1 comment

Creating a Backyard Community Garden From the Ground Up

Creating a Backyard Community Garden From the Ground Up

I’ve always been impressed with Catherine’s garden. By September it’s overflowing — tomatoes, peppers, carrots, greens, beans, garlic, onions, herbs and more. She even grows flowers solely for arrangements. But this year, the garden is going to change. It’s getting bigger (2-3 times bigger) and turning into a community garden she and her neighbors can work on together, sharing expenses, time and, of course, harvest. Right now, there are about five raised beds along the side of Catherine’s fence, and an additional five by her neighbor Lauren’s house. But they want more. The boxes above contain unassembled frames for more beds. Everyone on the block was invited to participate in the community garden project, they held brainstorming meetings over the winter. Currently three households are participating, but they hope more will jump on board once the real work gets started. Catherine and Lauren created a detailed map for the expanded garden, each raised bed is numbered and coordinates with a spreadsheet that lists what will go in each bed,...

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