DIY Garden 2020 – Partial Shade PNW Zone 8b/9a – 1 Month Progress Report

It is now exactly one month out from my original garden post which you can view here.

Front yard – my ‘orchard’ – I keep reorganizing the front orchard to better utilize the sun, plant potatoes, keep the landscaping company from destroying anything, and to create tomato supports. This is my final design for the season. I lined up the six buckets each with one tomato plant and rigged my own support out of the plastic international shipping box twine that holds your box together. I also received some t-posts from my BuyNothing group and utilized them here. By clicking on the image you can see in the larger zoom that I have 0 tomatoes fruiting… Did I not prune enough or correctly? Did I not plant soon enough? Am I not getting enough sun or water? Is there too much water and not enough drainage? The stalks are also more spindly than others I’ve seen at my local Pea Patch.

6/2/2020

The side yard – my ‘berries’ – None of my berry bushes (huckleberry, salmonberry, blueberry) have changed since I planted them. The blueberry was full of unripe blueberries and none of them have ripened. I also planted some cilantro and parsley in this box and they’ve sprouted nicely above ground.

6/2/2020

The backyard – ‘greenhouse’ – I’ve already harvested some of the spicy Mesclun lettuce mix and will attempt to eat my way through these two rows this month so that the three squash starts I planted between the rows will have room to grow. The zucchini in the back are doing nicely but I don’t see any zucchinis yet. These plants seem to be larger than the ones I planted in the other planter box without the greenhouse tarp. The best crop by far is the mint you can see in the large pot behind the stump. I wish I liked mint more and am not sure what to do with such a large crop… The chocolate mint is delicious to eat plain though and I highly recommend planting this variety!

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The backyard raised bed garden – the big ‘project’ – three raised garden beds with potato planted in front and thimbleberry bush start and a raspberry bush start off to the side. These beds are growing nicely but haven’t produced anything yet… The corn in the back appears to be leaning towards the neighbor’s fence and I’m not sure they’re getting enough sun in the back there.

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The beds have the following planted in them:

Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet

Spinach
Spinach
Chard
Chard
6 cucumber mounds

4 rows of corn
6 zucchini starter mounds
1 row of mounds of cauliflower seeds

My future projects include the following:

  1. Build a trellis and grow loofah!
  2. Build a seed library and place it near my Pea Patch if I get permission
  3. Plan for a winter crop
  4. Finish using the free pallet wood and build a long planter box and small square raised garden boxes
  5. Giveaway the rest of the project wood pieces

Adventures in Veganism/Vegetarianism – One Week Vegetarian

Look ma, no meat!

I did it again… but this time instead of eliminating animal products I prioritized fruits and vegetables. What does it mean to eat vegan or vegetarian? Privilege. I can find, purchase, prepare, and consume hearty vegetables and supplement my diet with vitamins. I didn’t eat rice and beans for a week. I spent my time, effort, and money to micromanage my diet for 6 days – two of which were vegan days.

I did not plan to eat ‘vegan’ per se, because my partner wanted to try out the ‘fruit diet’ for a week. Fruits happen to be vegan! I decided that I wanted to balance my diet and prioritize vegetables instead of fruit. Because veggies! Because why not! Because macros and balance!

Here are a few of my takeaways from this round of vegan/vegetarian eating (see my previous challenge here: http://rachelbarnardvegan.blogspot.com/)

  • Planning became essential
    • Going out and picking the fruits and vegetables was essential
    • Food prep took quite a bit of time measuring, chopping, etc. Weighing foods takes so much time!
    • I created a spreadsheet with all the veggies, nuts, and fruit I bought with 1oz serving sizes and then puzzled out how to attain a good balance of fat, sugar, carb, and protein from there
    • Basic google research told me that I should be eating around 1,367 calories per day of which 40% would be protein (137g), 30% would be carbohydrates (103g), and 30% would be fats (46g). No mention of sugar… hm. I attempted to cap my sugar intake at 25g (hahaha that didn’t happen. Did you know that fruits have quite a bit of sugar? Did you know that vegetables have carbs?
  • Fresh foods take up a lot of space in the fridge (yeah, I know canned and frozen foods exist, but again privilege)
  • You can stock certain products to add balance and protein to your diet.
    • Hemp seeds/hearts are high in protein and fat and very low in sugar
    • Chia seeds have no sugar
    • Chlorella is gross and will overpower your smoothie but it is pure protein
    • Flax milk seems to be the highest of the non-dairy milks in protein with very little carbs and no sugar that I could find at our local Safeway. I don’t recommend drinking it plain but it makes a great addition to smoothies and coffee. It even tastes creamy
    • Nutritional yeast is a great protein additive for topping salads, mixing into smoothies, and hiding in a stir fry but it will also start to overpower the flavor of your food and to me it doesn’t taste at all like cheese
    • Coconut milk is a great fat and delicious for making chia pudding
  • You can eat a great volume of vegetables without consuming that many calories (not true for all vegetables). Sometimes my salads were too big for my appetite and they were less than 400 calories.
  • You don’t need to eat as many nuts as you think… if you eat them intentionally they will satisfy you and I quite like the taste of all the nuts I got (the order of my favorites that I ate would be cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • When I cut out processed foods and sugars I didn’t experience my daily crazy hungry/bored eating/food fascination that seems to occur daily between 2pm-5pm
  • I felt more satisfied and full from my snacks/meals even though I was consuming less calories overall
  • My bowel movements changed, becoming less frequent (only once daily) and more dense and very green! The same green as if I’d consumed that black cherry Icee at the movies
  • After two days I came to the conclusion that a vegetarian is simply a vegan who eats cheese. Cheese is delicious.
  • Did I miss meat? No, I was too busy enjoying delicious fruits and veggies.

Here is my calorie consumption chart for the week (I didn’t weigh my food for Saturday)

Budget  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Calories 1300 903 928.3 1279 1313.9 1108.8
Protein 137 40.4 36.94 57.2 48.7 38.51
Carbs 103 142 118.95 160.69 132.15 145.66
Sugar 25 42.3 30.58 34.37 58.2 99.92
Fats 46 41.82 41.25 63.74 129.24 55.92

Pictured below are a few meals I ate:

Left: Portabello mushroom with cheese and egg on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries

Middle: Watermelon salad with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon next to lemon sauteed asparagus (can you still call it a saute if you saute in water?)

Right: a picnic we brought to the park -to eat in our car- apples, watermelon, plums, Oreo, feta, mixed nuts, dried and salted beans

More detailed breakdown of consumption for days 1-5:

Day 1:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 369 4.4 7.38 1.62 14.75
Lunch 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9
Dinner 133.5 6.8 48.45 8.55 0.2

Day 2:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 320 6.2 43.2 28.3 15.02
Lunch 236 9.5 54.6 7.6 0.7
Dinner 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9

Day 3:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snacks 540 12.7 66.2 14.8 30.84
Lunch 413.4 14.09 37.215 6.03 28.63
Dinner 136 15.5 30.12 2.63 0.73
1279 57.2 160.69 34.37 63.74

Day 4:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast: watermelon and feta 100.5 3.4 14.6 14.6 3
Breakfast: Nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch salad: 567.4 36.3 53.4 11.8 86.7
Snack: watermelon rind salad 320 2.35 28.25 2 17
Snack: 1/2 plum 15 .25 4 3.5 .1
Snack: Candied watermelon 100 0.8 24.8 24.8 0
1313.9 48.7 132.15 58.2 129.24

Day 5:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snack: candied watermelon 200 1.6 49.6 49.6 0
Lunch watermelon salad 133 5.68 14.65 11.87 6.16
Snack: nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch: Asparagus 99 4.9 9.0 3.9 7.2
Snack: 1/2 apple 78 .4 21 15 .3
Dinner: Salad 179.8 5.02 12.86 4.5 14.48
Dessert: Strawberry 18 .4 4.3 2.64 1.8
1108.8 38.51 145.66 99.92 55.92