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Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 | 0 comments

Fall Favorite Pumpkin Bread

Fall Favorite Pumpkin Bread

If you don’t already have a favorite pumpkin bread recipe, here’s the one I’ve been making for years. The recipe comes from Yankee Magazine and the secret to its deliciousness is the orange juice and spices baked inside and the sweet orange glaze on top. Bread Ingredients: 3/4 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 2 cups white sugar 1/4 cup orange juice 3-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg Orange Glaze: 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 1/6 cup orange juice 1/4 t cinnamon Preheat oven to 350 degrees and either grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans or use foil pans (I use these foil pans because the bread comes out clean every time and I can reuse the pans for storing or giving as a gift). In a standing mixer or using a hand-held mixer, combine the oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar and...

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 | 2 comments

Enjoying Fall Leaves

Enjoying Fall Leaves

Fall is quite an inspiring time of year. The leaves are falling quickly and piles of leaves are accumulating everywhere. There is so much inspiration in these leaves. On the East Coast, we get such a variety of colors. The colors really light up a house. Whole books are written celebrating their beauty. I recently read Leaf Man to my kindergarten class. They loved it and created lovely leaf pictures. We also had fun building their names using fallen leaves. All you need is a sharpie, paper, glue, and colorful leaves. Children love seeing their names incorporated with nature. Leaf piles are a joy for children to jump in. Let them do it! Enjoy the leaves while they...

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 | 0 comments

JC’s All-Year Urban Farm

JC’s All-Year Urban Farm

We met JC last year when her garden was one of the standouts on our 2014 Urban Farm Tour. JC was gracious enough to invite us back for a fall gardening workshop for DIY Del Ray readers. Not only did we learn what vegetables we can grow in the fall, we also walked away with tips for how to keep our gardens going all year long — yes, even right here in Del Ray. Our tour started with the front of JC’s property where she grows enough fruit to satisfy her family of four. Strawberry plants create a lush groundcover in the fall, with delicious strawberries making an appearance in the spring. If you want to limit your amount lawn mowing, grow strawberries. Did you know birds have no interest in sour cherries? Apparently so, we learned. But they do love strawberries and figs, so plan to net those if you want more for yourself. JC admits she didn’t get to enjoy as many figs as she wanted this...

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Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 | 3 comments

Planting Your Native Garden in the Fall

Planting Your Native Garden in the Fall

I’ve had a native garden for about five years, and each year my plants come back bigger and more beautiful. Native plants have an advantage over non-native plants because they are naturally prone to thrive in their existing ecosystem. Fall is really the best time for starting new plants in the garden — their roots will develop during winter dormancy allowing the plant to emerge bigger and stronger. Spring rains nurture the plant and spring provides the ideal temperature. Native plants are better for the earth. They reduce water costs, protect the soil, and provide habitats for wildlife. Below is a picture of a native butterfly weed plant in my garden last spring. I get most of my native plants at the annual native plant sale on Quaker Lane. This year, my daughter and I returned to buy hydrangeas. There were many beautiful plants there. Right now, they don’t look like much, but there is usually a good photograph of what you will see in the spring. I got...

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 | 0 comments

Easy Fall Gardening: Arugula

Easy Fall Gardening: Arugula

If you’re a relatively new gardener (like me) looking for something easy to grow this fall, arugula is the answer. My friend Catherine (whose amazing garden you can see here) encouraged me to grow arugula from seed and I’m happy to report, it was just as easy as she said it would be. First, I made sure my garden beds had good quality soil in a sunny area (I used Leaf Gro mixed in with the existing soil). I dug two shallow rows, about 2 feet long each, sprinkled in the seeds, covered the seeds with dirt, and kept them well-watered for the next week. Sure enough, about a week later, the seedlings started to peek up. I watched the seedlings for another week before I starting thinning them out to give them more space to grow. After about 3 weeks total, the arugula was sporting some nice big leaves and it was time to enjoy the first harvest. Catherine says the leaves will fill back in as you...

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