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Urban Foraging: Dandelion Coffee

Start by foraging for dandelions. For best results search in fall or early spring. After the Dandelions have experienced a frost, their flavor will enhance. When you have found some, bring them into the kitchen and wash thoroughly. Cut off all the green: You only need the carrot like roots. 

Grind the roots in a food processor until they resemble orzo or bloated over-cooked rice. 

Spread the ground roots out on a cookie sheet that you don't mind staining.

Place grounds in a oven at 220 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to watch carefully so they don't burn. When they are done you will notice that the roots are the color of coffee grounds. You will also notice faint smoke tendrils coming from the roasted roots.
You can further grind the grounds or leave them chunky. To brew: In a pot bring 1 cup of water to 1 tablespoon of Dandelion Coffee to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and use a small strainer to sift out the grounds. 

Dandelion Coffee is a non-GMO, sustainable, environmentally sound product. It has no caffeine and is loaded with health benefits. And best of all you can gather these weeds for FREE.

M-Wave Double Day Tripper Bicycle Pannier Review

Review M Wave Panniers
I have wanted to write a review on the M-Wave panniers I purchased 6-months ago, but I haven't seemed to get around to it until now. I purchased them from for $24.50 and they have a 4 1/2 star rating on the website. I like to start with the negative stuff and get it out of the way first, so here we go... The picture on the website showed an all black bag...they have changed the design and not the picture. The bags that came have a weird grey fabric on the flap, and it is flimsy. The rubber or plastic backing on the grey section came off and the bag is no longer waterproof and this is the only problem I have. Okay now onto the positive... The bags are huge, they are not only deep, they are wide as well. Some bags are one or the other these bags are both. The bags have a super sturdy plastic insert that makes the bags rigid and durable (aka NO DROOP). They have a great clip system to keep the bags from blowing open, and the clips also work very well at holding the bags to the rack.

Online there was a few negative reviews not about the bags getting caught in the spokes. But I believed their problems were caused by them not having the correct rack. These bags are huge, they need a sturdy rack. The bags fit extremely well on my dutch cargo rack as well as on my Public rear rack. They hang off the end of my Wald rack and I also found it difficult to stuff them full when they were not properly supported.  I also have skirt guards and fenders on my dutch bicycle and I believe that this is why I have not experienced any problems with the bags getting caught in the spokes. I also find the bags look kinda funny (too big) for my Huffy cruiser bicycle. But if you are not going for cutesie and are going for utilitarian then these bags will work for you.The bags were totally waterproof when I purchased them, and they still would be if the front sections rubber backing didn't rip. So if you take care of them they will be extremely useful, and more than worth the money. Overall I love my bags and I keep them on my bike 24/7 just in case I need them. I also find that the top is still available when the bags are closed and this allows you to carry extra goodies on top "pet food, toilet paper, etc." And the rigid inserts help to support the extra weight from anything you place on top.

15 Great Crops To Grow In The Pacific Northwest

Fall Vegetable Garden Ideas
15 great crops to grow in the Pacific Northwest for a beautiful and nutritious Fall garden.

  • Arugula start seed in late summer, to harvest up until frost.
  • Beets_ Begin planting beet seeds directly in the garden one month before your last spring frost date, followed by a second planting two to three weeks later. Beets prefer a well-drained, sandy soil. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers as this will encourage top growth at the expense of root development. As with all root crops good soil aeration is key to uniform, robust development. Consistent moisture is also important. Keep areas weed free to avoid competition for nutrients.
  • Broccoli(Transplants)  Broccoli seedlings should be planted 10 weeks before the first frost date in your area. This means planting them during the last hot summer days so it's important to mulch around them to help keep the ground cool and moist. Feed the plants 3 weeks after transplanting into the garden. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer. 70 days to maturity.
  • Brussels Sprouts (Transplants) Brussels sprouts are ideal for fall gardens because they really taste best when allowed to mature in cool weather. In my mid-South garden, summer comes too quickly to grow them in the spring garden. Set the plants out in mid-summer. It will take about 3 months before the sprouts appear. They are ready for harvest when they are firm and green. 90 days to maturity.
  • Cabbage (Transplants) Plant seedlings 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. If the heat of summer is still intense when it's time to plant in your area, give the young plants protection from sun. Cabbages are heavy feeders that require fertile soil rich in organic matter and consistent moisture. 70 days to maturity.
  • Carrots Begin sowing seeds for fall and winter carrots 10 to 12 weeks before your average first fall frost.
  • Cauliflower (Transplants) Plant seedlings 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Cauliflower can be tricky to grow. Rich soil and consistent watering are the keys. Fluctuations in temperature, moisture and nutrients can cause the plant to "button" or produce small, undersized heads. Blanch the heads by tying the outer leaves together over the heads when they are about 2 to 3 inches across. This keeps them from turning green and becoming bitter. 60 days to maturity.
  • Collard greens _ Plant 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost for fall and winter harvests.
  • Kale (Transplants) _ You can begin planting kale 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost for fall and winter harvests, and continue planting throughout the fall in zones 8, 9, and 10.
  • Kohlrabi _ Is a member of cabbage family, but it looks and tastes similar to a turnip. The bulbous edible portion grows just above the soil line. Shade young plants from summer sun. 40 to 60 days to maturity depending on variety.
  • Mustard greens Sow seeds 6 weeks before the first frost. Seeds will germinate in soil that is 45 to 85 degrees F. Keep the soil consistently moist to encourage rapid growth and tender greens. 45 days to maturity.
  • Radishes Sow seeds for radishes 4 weeks before the first frost. Winter varieties such as China Rose, mature slower, grow larger and store longer. They should be sown about 6 weeks before the first frost. Sow the seeds evenly so you don't have to thin them. No feeding necessary, but soil should be fertile and well drained. They are quick to mature so check them regularly. They are ready to harvest as soon as they are of edible size. 25 to 50 days to maturity depending on variety.
  • Spinach Sow seeds 5 weeks before first frost date. The short days and cool, moist weather of fall is even better for spinach than spring. An established spinach crop will last well into winter and can survive temperatures down into the 20s. Spinach prefers very fertile soil to encourage rapid growth and tender leaves. 45 days to maturity.
  • Swiss Chard If daytime temperatures are still over 80°F, start seeds indoors 11 weeks before the frost date, or purchase transplants (if available). The plants will mature more slowly in the fall because the days are shorter. If you provide some protection, you can continue harvesting after the first fall frost.
  • Turnips Any well-drained soil will do. Consistent moisture is key for healthy root development. Although it is not necessary, the greens will be the most tender if you plant in a fertile soil.


Hurry New Earthbound Farms Organics Coupon

Organic Food Coupons
Shop for organic fruits and vegetables for less with this awesome new coupon good for $1/2 Earthbound Farm Products. Print until 8/20/2014 so hurry.
Use it on their organic carrots, strawberries, blueberries and more, they produce a lot of organic produce.
Look for the coupon at the bottom right hand side of the page.

Homemade Healthy Chicken Recipes For Your Kitty Cat or Dog



1 Whole 4 to 5 Pound Chicken
1 Pound Brown Rice
3 1/2 Cups Chopped Carrots
3 Cups of Chopped Celery
2 Cups Chopped Zucchini
2 Cups Chopped Yellow Squash
1/2 Cup Green Beans
1 Cup Of Broccoli
2 Cups Chicken Broth Organic Low Sodium
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Roast whole (thawed) chickens for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
  •  Cook Carrots, Celery, Broccoli and Green Beans with chicken stock until vegetables are almost tender then add your squashes. Cook until all veg is completely tender, but recognizable.  Reserve any broth remaining.
  • Steam rice until it is fully cooked and no longer tough.
  • While vegetables and rice are cooking de-bone chicken and chop into kitty size pieces.
  • Blend or puree vegetables and rice adding chicken stock as needed. Pour out the veg/rice mixture and stir in the chicken pieces or blend them in depending on how your kitty likes his/her food. Store remaining food in bpa free ziplock bags in the freezer.
1 Cup Of Roasted Chicken (chopped)
1/4 Cup Of Jasmine Rice, Quinoa or Amaranth (cooked)
1/4 Cup Of Cooked Carrot, Sweet Potato, or Squash
Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth

Mix all ingredients in a food processor adding chicken broth as needed to blend into a palatable consistency. Store leftovers in bpa free containers in refrigerator or freezer.

2 Cups Ground Chicken
1/2 Cup Chicken Organs (hearts, liver or kidneys)
1/2 Cup Raw Vegetables (shredded carrot, julienne green beans etc.)
1/2 Cup of cooked organic quinoa, jasmine rice, oats, or amaranth

Sanitize your work environment to cut down on any bacteria. And only use very clean and sanitized equipment. And always use fresh FRESH ingredients. If your cat does not eat raw vegetables puree them until they are a fine mush .Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If you have a senior cat you can run the mix through a blender or food processor. Package the food into individual portions and freeze. Defrost in refrigerator overnight. DO NOT LEAVE RAW FOOD OUT ALL DAY PLEASE.

For sick cats or orphaned kitties

1  Cup of goats milk (canned is ok)
1  Cup of  filtered water
1 jar of chicken baby food (safeway's O organic is sometimes cheaper)
A TBSP or Two of plain yogurt
1 envelope of Gelatin (KNOX)

Boil water and add gelatin, stiring well. Add goats milk chicken and yogurt. You can add a kitten or senior vitamin paste if the kitten or cat needs extra nutrition.



2 Chicken thighs cooked
1/2 cup of celery steamed and chopped
1 cup of carrots steamed and chopped
1 cup of cooked potatoes cubed
3 cups of cooked rice (cook in chicken broth)

Debone chicken and remove skin. Chop chicken thighs. Add celery, carrots, potatoes to rice. Mix everything together. If you dog prefers pureed food toss it all into a blender with a little extra broth. Store extra food in refrigerator or freezer in bpa free containers.


4 Cups of Rotisserie or Roasted Chicken
2 Cups Of Mashed Potatoes
1/2 Cup of Cooked Diced Carrots
1/2 Cup of Cooked Diced Celery
1 TBSP Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients and separate into manageable portions and refrigerate any leftovers.

( Standardized Grapefruit Extract Controls Salmonella Bacteria)
Treat poultry with a solution of 6oz of water to 4 drops of standardized grapefruit extract (liquid concentrate)
for every one pound of poultry). Pour the solution over the chicken, turkey, or other poultry and mix. Let the mixture absorb into ground meat and allow chunks or whole breasts to soak for one hour in the refrigerator. Refrigerate extra oil. )

Five Must Sew Leather And Canvas Bags (Tutorials)

I am absolutely in love with this lunch bag. If you are looking for sewing patterns for that hard to gift person- look no further. This is a lunch bag no one will be embarrassed to carry. The tutorial over at Design Sponge is very easy to follow and contains lots of pictures. Beware once you make one_ everybody is going to want one.
DIY Canvas and Leather Camera Bag (Bicycle Bag?)

This camera bag is one of the coolest I have ever spotted. At Sew Fearless the tutorial shows you how to construct the bag from beginning to end and has lots of pictures. This bag would look so attractive on a bicycle.
Filson JCrew Style Knockoff DIY

Fall is a great time to head to your local farmers markets and shop for fresh produce. Instead of dragging those cheap and flimsy store bags try making a durable and long lasting canvas and leather tote bag. Bags similar to this from Filson, JCrew, or Lands End run upwards of $100.00. Tutorial is at FrugalNomics fabulous website.
DIY Canvas Drawstring Backpack

With school starting in a few weeks, it it time to start getting your supplies in order. This year why not make your own backpack for you or the kids. This this tutorial will show you how to make a bag from beginning to end. Tutorial is over at trashtocoutur's website.
Diy Carradice Bicycle Bag Sewing Tutorial
If you are not into panniers and love the classic design elements of Carradice bags check out the tutorial to make your own longflap bag at Peddling Nowhere. This bag holds a generous 23 liters compared to 24 liters in the Carradice. Make this bag with whatever color canvas you like or stick with black or olive.

Homemade Jammy Jam is canning season at our house, and boy have we been  busy. We have been super blessed this year, we have had a very productive plum tree, as well as a booming blackberry bramble. We have also had an abundance of beautiful tomatoes. I really wish it wasn't so horribly hot as it is, but it is August and at least we got a Summer season this year. Some years it seems like Spring just merges into Autumn, oh well. We also had a blazing hot July this year with 13 days at or over 100 degrees. Our tomatoes turned red, berries turned purple and the plums did too. So, we ran to our local bimart and bought us a pressure canner and some jars. Wish us luck on our new-ish project canning. New-ish because we can, however we have never owned a pressure canner, or had the opportunity to put up as much produce as we have this year.

Blackberry-Plum Jammy Jam:
  1. Place 8 cups of pitted, skinned, and halved plums into a mixing bowl & drizzle with 8½ cups of sugar and 4 cups of blackberries. Stir plumbs and berries until they are coated with sugar. Let them sit for 1 hour or 2 than transfer the mixture in to a big pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil uncovered, while stirring occasionally. Boil until mixture is bubbling hot and simmer for 10 minutes than turn off the heat. Cool to jam reaches room temperature. Mix in a box and a half of pectin.
  3.  Bringing mixture back to a boil and then the lower temperature, stir frequently to prevent scorching. Do this for 5 more minutes or until the jam slowly rolls off of a cold spoon (what is known as jelling stage).
  4. Ladle it into hot sterilized jars.  Put on lids and rings which were also hot (YO! don't boil your lids).  Tighten until they are finger tight, but don't over-tighten you WILL crack the jars.  Place in water bath canner and process for 10 minutes.