Eco-Moms & Eco-Dads Unite!
Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn Oakley and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Watermelon-Cucumber-Mint Juice

It's summertime, and that means eating fruits that I don't normally get to eat. My most recent experiment was watermelon-cucumber juice. I used about 1/2 a cucumber and 2 fist-sized chunks of watermelon.  Before I poured it into my glass, I muddled a few leaves of fresh mint into the bottom. I finished it off with about a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lime juice. My first impression of the juice was just so-so, but after I poured it over ice, it was amazing. I guess this is one that really needs to be chilled.
I think that next time, I will add more mint, or maybe even run the mint through the juicer.

Do you have a favorite summer juice combo?

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

What We Have Done with All of Those Blueberries

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I went blueberry picking. And came home with 9 pounds! I thought about making jam, or fruit leather, or just drying them, but I really like them just as they are... I decide to freeze about 2 pounds, and we have been eating up the rest.
Most have been eaten as is, but we have found some yummy recipes to incorporate them in to....

Blueberry Mojitos. Mine didn't look quite as fancy as the ones in the recipe, but it sure did taste good!

Blueberry Zucchini Muffins. I used the recipe I posted here, but I just made it into muffins. And added some ground flax seed as well.

This delicious lemon pound cake.  Seriously, it is good.

I have also been juicing the blueberries as well. My latest combo is blueberry-spinach-celery-cucumber-lemon. Yum! I didn't take a photo, but honestly, it doesn't look all that appealing. It is basically brown. But trust me, it tastes good.

Honestly, I feel like I need to go back and pick some more. Blueberries are some of my favorites. After 7 pounds of them, I thought I would be sick of them, but I'm not.

What's your favorite blueberry recipe?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our July Garden and A Link-Up

Our garden has exploded over these past few weeks! It's full of blossoms and new growth, and it is amazing to watch it change every day.
We normally have fairly mild summers, but this year it has been quite warm. Most days in the past couple weeks have been over 90 degrees F, and I have found that now, instead of battling slugs and powdery mildew, we have new issues. Namely aphids, and something that is harming our squash. We have already gotten quite a few zucchini off of our plants, but we also have several types of winter squash and cucumbers planted as well. We keep getting fruit that starts to grow and then begins to rot almost as soon as it forms. I am guessing we have some sort of a soil fungus, but haven't yet had time to investigate it further. Any thoughts?
So, what are we growing? We are currently harvesting blackberries, basil, heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, zucchini, strawberries, and kale. We are eagerly awaiting grapes, green beans, beets, potatoes and winter squash.
More than anything, I like to sit outside and watch the bees. At any point on a sunny day, we will have 20-30 bees in our tiny garden. They are so busy and so very beautiful.

Do you have a garden? Would you like to share it with me? Please join the link up below!!!

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Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along.

I had a little bit of time this past week to knit, and started the sleeves for my sweater. I was questioning if I wanted to do the sleeves as 3/4 length, as the pattern calls for, or adjust them to another length. And, I decided that I think I am going to do them as the pattern calls for. It is a very thin sweater, and I can't imagine wearing more than a tank top underneath it anyways. However, I decided to knit down a bit more, try it on, and make my final decision then. I have plenty of yarn to do full length sleeves if I change my mind. And, as I was taking pictures this morning outside, I realized that my sweater is the green of summer. I guess I will be camouflaged when I wear it!

I  am still reading The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, and although it is much more technical than I had anticipated, I am enjoying it. I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand that I am eager to start, but I decided that I am going to finish this one first.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night.... three little peeks into my day yesterday.
Joining in with Kim at Mothering with Mindfulness.

Morning: Bedroom Forts

Noon: Elk Rock Island

 Night: the First Blackberry
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Oregon Country Fair

I remember hearing about the Oregon Country Fair many years ago, before I had ever even been to Oregon, and hoping that one day I would get to go there.
We moved to Oregon in 2007, while I was pregnant with Finn, and I didn't make it to the fair that year. I didn't make it the next 2 years either... we always seemed to have another obligation the same weekend that fair was. Finally, in 2010, when I was newly pregnant with Phoebe (and oh-so-very pregnancy sick), I decided it was time. Todd wouldn't come with me, so me, Finn (and Phoebe in my belly) headed to fair for the weekend. We camped with some friends, so I wasn't completely alone, but I was tired, nauseous, and dealing with a 3 year old. It wasn't the most relaxing weekend, and I didn't feel like I got to enjoy it for what it was.
So finally, this past Friday, 4 years after I went the first time, I had a chance to go back to the fair. Just for a day, but I was with a friend, and we were both child-less, so it was pretty amazing. We browsed, we wandered, we stared. By 4 p.m. my eyes burned like I had been watching movies all day. Visual overload!
If you have never been to the fair, it is wonderful. The grounds are a lovely wooded spot near a river, with decorations and costumes everywhere you turn. There are stages with music in every nook and cranny, crazy parades, gorgeous handmades, and so much to take in.  I feel like my photos don't really do it justice. It's pretty hard to take a photo as I want to capture everything, not just what fits into my camera frame.
I know that once my kids are older, they will enjoy dressing up and running around the grounds. But, for now, I think it would have been a long and tiring day for them.. and it was nice to only have to watch out for myself for a change...

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Gratitudes

This weekend, I am feeling grateful for some quieter time after a busy week. Todd is gone until tomorrow, the kids have been playing well together, and I have managed to sneak in some me-time to get some things done. Next week will again be busy, with preparations for some upcoming camping, so I am going to make use of this down-time while I can.
We are getting a reprieve from the heat today as well, and even got some rain. I may have to set aside my productiveness and curl up with a book and a cup of tea for a bit....

What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn of Wooly Moss Roots for a Gratitude Sunday post. Pin It Now!