Vintage Ball jars
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. Vintage Ball jars that I scored in Orderville, Utah, in a random antiques store a couple weeks ago. I adore the blue color and am so happy Ball brought it back with this year’s Collection Elite Color Series. As one of their ambassadors, I’ve been working with this great brand all summer to promote the simple pleasures of whole food and home canning. They recently released a survey about gardeners and how they plant, preserve, and prepare their harvests. Among the interesting tidbits: Did you know that 33 percent of gardeners are millenials? And that almost a quarter of gardeners are city dwellers? The survey also found that tomatoes top the list when it comes to garden excess, followed by peppers and cucumbers. Click here to learn more from their fascinating infographic.

Trimming chard

2. Trimming chard may be a mundane task in the kitchen, but that stem isn’t making its way to the compost pile. (And it normally doesn’t, as I cook it alongside the leaves in most of my recipes.) I’m a strong believer in the no-waste movement, as you may have seen in The CSA Cookbook, and recently experimented with a new way to eat the stems: as pickles! Look for the recipe later this summer as part of my collaboration with Ball Canning.

Homegrown tomatillos

3. After battling flea beetles in the garden for the last two years, I finally have a decent crop of tomatillos!

End-of-season radishes

4. The last of the radishes from my garden. (I’m letting a few plants go to seed so I can harvest seed pods in a couple weeks. Seed pods for pickling, that is!)

Visiting the National Parks

5. I’m finally getting around to putting gear away after our last road trip. (Okay, so it’s been over a week since we’ve been back… what can I say, unpacking is my least favorite part of any adventure.) All my years of visiting National Parks, I never knew about the Passport To Your National Parks until a friend suggested we start one for Gemma. It’s such a fun way to discover new parks, and a major motivator for future road trips. Thumbing through it now, I can’t help but smile at all the stamps we collected for her on that trip. We picked it up in Colorado last month, then proceeded to gather four more stamps on four more National Park visits in Utah. Five parks in her (then) three-month journey of life. At the rate she’s going, she may need a new passport by the time she’s five!

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