Grow Your Own: Weeds

This is the third post in a series about gardening. Today I’m going to give you a few ways to avoid weeds. Because they suck. No one likes weeds.

Although, according to A A Milne and his beloved character Eeyore, “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” Way to be positive Eeyore.

So the best way that we have avoided weeds is by putting down landscape, or weed block fabric. It’s about $5 a roll and is probably not awesome for the environment…but I work full time and have lots of other commitments to family and friends that are more important than weeds. So weed block fabric works for me. It will run you about $20 for the whole garden.

Another option I haven’t used but I have heard about:

Cardboard and newspaper. Lay down your paper flat (if you are using newspaper, lay down a bunch of layers.) Cut holes in it and plant your seedlings. Cover the remaining bare newspaper/cardboard with grass clippings or leaves. Eventually the paper will disintegrate and decompose.

Also, you can get fancy and plant low crops around ones that are taller- plant lettuce seedlings around your pepper plants, for example. The pepper plants take awhile to produce so you can harvest lots of lettuce before the peppers take off and need the space.

Overall, you will have weeds in your garden. I still have to go through and weed every week or so. But if you use preventative measures, you shouldn’t find it to be a huge problem. Just think of it as garden cardio!

Lamb Shank, easy & delish!

This one is 100% Eric’s doing…enjoy! ImageImage

2 lamb foreshanks

Coarse salt and pepper, to taste

Enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your dutch oven twice

2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

1/3 cup tomato paste (diced tomatoes are fine too, just strain them well)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 bay leaf

4-8 cloves of garlic, smashed or minced

1 cups red wine

2 cups beef, lamb or vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 300°F

Over med-high heat add enough oil to coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed (and oven-safe, with a tight fitting lid) pan and just as the oil begins to smoke, add the shanks, browning them on as much as their surface as you can.

When you’ve completely browned the outside of the shanks, remove and put aside

Add another splash of oil and add the garlic celery, onion and carrot. Cook until these are softened. (About 10 minutes)

Add tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add wine and broth then bring to a simmer while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all the great stuff on the bottom

Add the shanks back to the pan and cover.

Place the whole thing in the oven for at least three to four hours but as long as six (especially if your 8 month-old baby is about to go to bed and you want to be able to enjoy this great meal.)