Heating Up and Cooling Down

They called for 90 degrees here in my little corner of the Mid-Atlantic yesterday.  Nine-Zero.  That’s 32 for my Canadian friends, and well, pretty much everybody else in the world…  It’s not an unheard of temperature for our region, but for April, it’s a little, shall we say, prematurely extreme.  What’s a person to do with all this crazy flip-flopping of temperatures?  I covered one half of my garden three days ago to prevent it from freezing overnight and another half yesterday afternoon to protect tender seedlings and cool weather plants from excessive heat. To deal with yesterday’s temps, I also used my greywater recycling system (I use the word “system” with quite a smirk here) and at the end of the day, we all cooled off with a delicious (and healthy, oh my!) treat that I’d love to share.

Grey water gardening implements…

So first, the water.  I figured I’d give all the veggie children a little extra water so they could bear up under the extra heat of the afternoon.  When I saw the forecast, I decided NOT to let the tub drain after my twins took a bath the other day.  I’ll start at the beginning.  We have a HUGE tub.  It is stupid big, and frankly I have little use for it, not being a bath kind of gal (I am far to antsy to simply sit in the water), but my children LOVE it.  So, I occasionally let them take a “submarine” bath.  This is, admittedly, as much of a treat for me as it is for them as a submarine bath can keep them happily occupied for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  In fact they’ve never announced that they are done and have always been removed at the behest of an adult.  At any rate, I digress.  They love the bath, but I am uncomfortable with the amount of water that it uses.  And so, we use natural soap and when they are done, we do not drain the tub.  I use a watering can and a bucket to remove the water from the tub and take it to my rain barrel.  Yes, this is a pain in the patootie and yes, I’m thinking about a more efficient way.  Regardless of the technicalities, the point is I put a WHOLE lot of water in my rain barrel (which looks to stay empty for a while judging by the forecast) and also gave some extra water to my most recent and tender plantings.  As a bonus, I eased my sense of waste related to the ridiculously large tub used essentially for swimming.  Giant tub greywater recycling system successful.  Check.  To complete my heat wave in the Spring garden accommodations, I placed row covers gently over some of those same tender seedlings and moved bits of cardboard around to provide shade in the hottest part of the day and kept my fingers crossed.  The kids played outside as long as they could stand the gnats and the pollen and we retreated indoors dirty, but satisfied with our efforts.

The reward came later (which I’m finding 5 year olds are far more able to handle than say, 4 or 3 year olds, by the way) and it was WAY good.  Inspired by my pal Somer at Good Clean Food…..

Just add frozen bananas…

ChocoNana Milkshake Goodness

  • 2 cups whatever milky beverage floats your boat (I used a combo of coconut and almond)
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao (I’m sure cocoa powder would also rock)
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup

Put milk in blender with chia seeds to soak while peeling and cutting bananas.  Add all remaining ingredients to blender and go to it!  Makes 3 generous or 4 modest servings.  It IS filling, so if you are inclined as I am to overserve yourself with this kind of thing, I advise you drink slowly.  I was a little…  urp…  full…. but happy.

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22 responses

  1. I have a huge smile on my face right now! Love the addition of chia, and I just bought that big ol’ jug of maple syrup at costco last night! Woot Woot! My kids love our ridiculously large bathtub in my bathroom (it could seriously fit 5 people), what a great idea for preserving water. We try to conserve too, but for some reason that idea of using bath water had never crossed my mind. I make my own soap so it should be safe! My garden (and the planet) thanks you!

    We are only just hitting the 60’s in Utah and it snowed a little on Saturday, not that I am wishing for 90’s but I love the sun and can’t wait for a little more warmth.

    Oh and I think we have the same granite counter-tops in our kitchens! Ha ha!

    • I feel bad that I say I’m a vegan and I still use honey in my recipes, I have a huge organic bucket of it that my parents brought me from a local beekeeper near their beach house in Santo Thomas, Mexico. It is so good and tastes like wildflowers, surely I’m not too evil for using it up, the beekeeper treats his bees kindly 😉

      • Love your concern over the honey. I am sure the bees would rather it be used by some organism than thrown away! Surely bees have a green collective conscience? Gonna substitute this shake for our usual kale smoothie this afternoon. Sure sounds good.

      • Thanks! I went plant based for health reasons, but now I can’t walk through the meat isle of the store without gagging. It’s a tough thing, I have leather couches in my home and I wear (some) leather shoes, surely it’s best that I use them and enjoy them. I could donate them to good will, but then I would just have to spend a grundle of money on new furniture and shoes and that doesn’t necessarily seem better for the environment. I think organic honey is less of a gray area.

  2. Ah the bucket brigade! Soon they will be big enough to help with the removal of the water from the tub… or maybe our discussions about a tube connected to the side of the house leading to a big funnel next to the bathroom window and dumping into a rainbarrel would work!

  3. your environmentally minded way of living puts me to shame. i’ve read about set-ups in which laundry water (with environmentally friendly detergent and the like can be funneled into the garden. so great that you do this without the set-up! i’m going to talk to my man about trying it, too!

    • Believe me, we don’t put anybody to shame. Truth is, while I’d like to claim it’s all environmentally driven, I am also famously cheap. 🙂 If you can, make sure the system you all come up with doesn’t include hauling buckets of water up and down the stairs. Your floors will thank me.

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  6. I’m pinning this right now-that looks amazing!

    I would be thrilled if you could share this post at my weekly Say G’day Saturday linky party. It has just started and this would be a brilliant addition.

    Best wishes for a great weekend,
    Natasha in Oz

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