zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes,basil and more

Here’s another summer dish that’s fitting for dinner and a great one to take to a potluck… How many of you go to potlucks? It’s a regular thing here on Orcas Island. We don’t have a lot of entertainment.I think this zucchini pasta loaded with kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion should peak the interest of the paleo and plant based eaters alike! And anyone in-between for that matter.

wendyellenthomas.comI got this handy dandy spiralizer that I’m sure I mentioned last summer. or did I?

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basilThis thing rocks. I’m watching my zucchini plants blossom and literally can’t wait to harvest the first few baby zuchs. I cherish this anticipation and basically block out what happens after about the 100th green or yellow fruit. That’s when the livestock start doing the squash dance. Here are summer squash plants-

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See those little yellow guys?

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I turned about 5 medium green and yellow fruits into ringlets.  It’s a good idea to salt your zucchini (about ½ tsp) and give it 20 minutes to sweat then strain it. Worst case you don’t, and you end up with some liquid to make dressing with. Chop up one can of drained artichoke hearts…

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and about a half a jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Slice onions…

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And chop/slice roughly ¾ of a cup of pitted kalamata olives. I try to get artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives by the case as it almost makes them affordable when you buy in bulk. Any one of these ingredients crank up just about anything a couple notches.

Lastly, a handful of fresh basil leaves…

wendyellenthomas.comSimply toss it all together and dress with a ⅓ cup of olive oil, half a fresh lemon and a splash of white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste-


  • 5 medium zuchinni spiralized, cut on a mandolin or try using a julienne peeler
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 drained can artichoke hearts chopped
  • ½ packed cup of sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • ½-¾ cup kalamata olives chopped
  • ¼-½ sliced medium red onion
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (throw a little zest in there too if you’d like)
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional- 1 clove pressed garlic

This really doesn’t need a printed recipe, trust me- save the paper. Just have a go at it and plus or minus the ingredients you like. Make it your own.

Simple,fresh, healthy and full of flavor.

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-5And here is the farm in early June- the garlic is outrageous. I’m hoping the soil wasn’t too fertile. We’ve got some hefty stalks.

garden 6-4-15Ollie wanted potatoes this year… and potatoes he shall have. We gave up a lot of real estate for 4 ROWS! Usually I plant 2 sides of 1 row but this year decided to give them lots of room. German butterball, Yukon gold, Pontiac red, and 2 varieties of fingerlings

garden 6-4-15-6Greens are doing great, weeded and mulched…

garden 6-4-15-8But wanted to throw this in so you see all parts of the garden… kind of like me. You think you are looking at a bed of weeds and that’s partly true. But there are soon to be sweet strawberries in there. My theory was the birds won’t find the berries in all those weeds. Really this bed will be turned over this fall. It’s just too full of buttercup but due to lack of time I thought I’d try out my rationalized theory:)

garden 6-4-15-9See what’s hiding in there- don’t tell the birds

garden 6-4-15-10Here’s a couple favorite roses in the landscape. A little thorny tea rose…

garden 6-4-15-16I focus up on them to avoid looking down at the weeds that need attention… This massive wild rose is breathtaking every year.
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And the kids are growing…

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oh this sweet face…

garden 6-4-15-13Have a lovely beginning of summer

Compost and pre- gardening

It is a busy busy busy time. And so beautiful. The winter veil has lifted and spring shines with sun and heat-well the Pacific Northwest’s version in the high 50’s and 60’s at least. Not like what I grew up with in Florida! We have been busy in the garden and I’ve been ordering loads of merchandise for the bricks and mortar Chez Chloe. Boy is that fun. Like consumerism on crack, I’m sure I’ve used that line before. And now we are in CA for spring break. Party on garth (that one too). We will spend two days in San Francisco and then head to Santa Cruz and La Selva beach. Once back to Orcas we will be in full on garden mode so I’m making this one long post!

Flowering currant and forsythia

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The slugs are are making me nuts eating our daffodils

spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-7 One of my favorites- hellebores. I get more of these every year.

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 Just before we tilled last week. I’m trying to warm up the soil in a couple beds

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and keep the girls out of the sorrel- they love this tart, high vitamin C filled green

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Budding blueberriesspring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-9

Our garlic is doing well. My original seed came from Filaree Farm in Eastern WA. We’ve got a couple hardecks, rocambole and spanish roja, and two soft neck varieties that I like to braid, nootka rose and inchelium red. It is an easy crop that is planted the first couple weeks of Oct and harvested around the first week of July depending on the weather and amount of rainfall. We are still eating garlic from last year’s harvest but the garlic clove knows it’s seasons and they are starting to grow germ and wanting to reproduce. Still edible though.

spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-4 Garden view from the house side. Just in front of those plastic covered beds is soil that was cover cropped with an overwinter mix of clover, vetch, rye and field peas. It will all be tilled under shortly.spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-5

We’ve been working hard on our compost. These shots are from last year. We put the fresh kitchen scraps into this old olive oil barrel and layer with depleted soil often from the greenhouse beds, leaves, and now chicken manure/straw from the coop. We can periodically roll it around to mix it upcompost  wendyellenthomas.com

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Then we shovel it into a wood compost bin

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I found the design for this compost bin at vegetable gardening with Lorraine – It was about $175 in new cedar materials but aesthetically pleasing in the garden and it will last yearscompost  wendyellenthomas.com-8 We love how they stack and the top has a hinged lid but we find we aren’t putting new kitchen scraps in here. I might make some adjustments.compost  wendyellenthomas.com-9Otis doing what dogs do- blehcompost  wendyellenthomas.com-6 compost  wendyellenthomas.com-2

The girls waiting to dig their beaks into this yummy stuff

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See all that green in the back- we are seriously talking about fencing it off for sheep and maybe even a couple goats:) I’ve been stalking my neighbors with animals, I mean helping them milk their goats and it’s getting my livestock yearnings going again. Well you know I mean that in a good way.spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-14 This is our new asparagus bed. Nice and deep, layered with our home made compost, some old recycled soil from greenhouse beds that needed refreshing and finally some sacs of Whitney Farms mushroom compost and garden compost. It’s important to do the asparagus bed the right way from the start as it will last years and years if cared for properly.It is now filled to the top. We also planted four new apple trees. I’ve never been a good long range planner but I’ve decided to change that story. We put in a Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Spartan, and an Akane. We presently get so many apples but it’s time to start insuring for the future. Next year more plums.spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-13A couple shots of the girls- I can rarely get them all in one shot. We started with 15. Lost our 1 exotic chick the first night…Then lost 1 rooster who was left outside of the coop and was taken out by a raccoon. We sold 4 to our neighbor and then for the first time in 20 years, one was snatched by an eagle. And then there were 8spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-11 They will soon be fenced out of the garden. They do an amazing job of scratch tilling and fertilizing when the time is right (fall/winter) but that time is over. They will do the same to freshly sowed beds and pea starts and this makes me want to put them on the dinner table. So we need to get them secured on their side of the yard!spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-10

Our new babies- 5 Welsummers including 1 rooster and a little cuckoo maran. We lost one cuckoo the first night home. These guys lay the dark chocolate brown eggs… in about 4-5 months. spring happenings 2014  wendyellenthomas.com-15And now a few egg dishes we’ve been enjoying with the abundance of eggs- fresh pea shoots, sorrel, chives and fresh goat cheese

farm eggsFrittata with sorrel, spinach, capers, and a little fresh goat cheese… it’s a staple I tell you

How about a little chives, sorrel and spinach with tomatoes and avocado:) This also had a couple green garlic leaves diced and tossed in.IMG_4955 Ok- here’s a little something different. A couple fried eggs with bacon, polenta croutons and fried avocado IMG_4911 And last just a simple dish with wilted spinach, bacon and fried eggsIMG_4891Hope your spring is off to a good start!

Summer harvest begins!

Here we are already ending the first week of July. The garden is going gangbusters and we’re loving every minute and every morsel. We’ve been enjoying greens since March, peas over the last month and the broccoli has actually gone to seed now. But for me when the root veggies start showing their true selves, I feel summer harvest knocking at the door. These baby carrots and beets are only moments shy of fully maturing. We are devouring the first zucchinis, blissfully ignorant to the idea of the late August green giant overload. We have Green zucchini, Costata Romanescos with the racing stripes, and Scalloped green/yellow pattypans soon to arrive. Unfortunately, I mismarked the yellow crookneck and they seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

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Celebrating spring and mid life!

I want to share a little of my lovely 45th birthday and a little of our goings on…

I’ve always loved that I decided to push on through to this scene on April the Eighth. My life runs on even numbers with a real focus on the number eight. It’s a little bizarre at times… like I could sign up for some reality show about number freaks . Do they have that yet?

Here’s my new birthday boots…

Celebrating bday and more-10


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