Visitors.

Amanda’s parents came to visit us for a week. We took them crabbing.
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Don’t mind the blood.
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We attended various markets.Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 3.21.40 PM They made dinner for us.Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 3.21.49 PM
Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 3.22.01 PMWe They ate crab by candle light. Which is much more fun and romantic in theory than in practice.

Deadliest Catch, Seattle Washington.

Aboard the “Greenwood Guppy” we heard rumors of good crabbing areas near Seattle. Funnily enough, the tips came from some people working with Elizabeth Swann when she was in town. She is no longer a pirate.

Keepers.

Keepers.

So we paddle out in the Guppy (the canoe in all of our pictures), drop our pots with bait like salmon heads and tails from Fresh Fish Co., and then go home. The next day, the pots were full of hundreds eleven crabs. The Dungeness (Dungies) have to be male and 6 1/4 inches. We tossed back a couple of small guys. We also released all of the females.

Black tipped claws!

Black tipped claws!

Chef Ed (I know a couple of those) is preparing the crab the same day that we caught them. Tomorrow, we are headed out to collect the pots again. It feels a bit like observing, except this time it is fun!

Crabbing in Seattle, Washington.

Don’t get too excited by this first picture. It was a female and it is illegal to keep the females. It was also the only crab that we have caught, yet. However, I just found out that you have to let your pots soak overnight to have real success. I feel good about our future trips. We mostly catch starfish and seaweed. But we also find awesome beaches with nobody around. It is just like Hawai’i.Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.19.40 AM Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.18.54 AM Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.19.06 AM Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.18.45 AM Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.19.24 AM Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 10.19.34 AM

Local Blueberry Farm

Not far from the house (and the Orvis job) is the Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm. As the name implies, it is near some water that looks fishy to me. The farm is separated from the public by this small fence. The walking trail on the right has signs telling about the agricultural history in Bellevue. It is impressive now that Bellevue is such a commercial district.Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 3.14.47 PM Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 3.14.33 PM Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 3.14.42 PM Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 3.14.27 PM Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 3.14.20 PMI will get back this summer to fish the area. Seattle has meny green space near cities. Nobody seems to be out there. I think that most people in Bellevue sit in their fancy offices and then drive to their fancy homes.

Bacon wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates.

 

 

Holy moly, these are good. We had something like this at In The Red recently.

Step one: Get dates. Costco has the best deals. But you have to remove the seed yourself.Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 1.46.08 PMNext, push as much goat cheese as possible in the center. This is messy and it helps if you like to lick your fingers when you are finished. If not, find a dog that loves cheese. I have one that you can borrow.

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If you are feeling frisky, or want to add something special to these, you can push in some walnuts or almonds. This was supposed to replace the bacon for the vegetarian in the house. Nothing replaces bacon. And she didn’t complain when the bacon grease seeped onto her dates.Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 1.46.50 PM

Wrapping bacon may also attract the attention of the local dog. He seems to know when the cheese or the bacon comes out of the fridge. The dog can be very smart when he wants to be.Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 1.46.57 PM

After cooking the dates, the house smells like delicious bacon and cheese. The most difficult part is waiting until they are cooled enough to eat.Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 1.47.09 PM
Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 1.47.17 PMHe may have gotten some bacon and cheese that night.

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Chicken coop rain barrel waterer.

First we made a roof that would direct the water to the new gutters.

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The gutters drain into a bucket. Rain barrels are becoming common enough that Home Depot has devices to make it easy to make your own.Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 9.51.11 AMThe bucket drains out of the far corner. We had to drill a hole in the bucket and push a piece of PVC through that would hold the tubing we have left over from the aquaponic wall garden. We found the buckets outside on trash day as the neighbors seem to go through a lot of cat litter.Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 9.51.24 AMRunning along the wire.

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The tube then is connected to a PVC pipe with a cap.Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 9.51.33 AMThe last step is to install the nipple waterers!

Vertical aquaponic wall garden.

I am damn near finished. There are always small details to fix, but the major stuff is finished. I built a shelf for the fish tank, made a light, and put it all together. The light was my first time playing with electrical things. It felt good to see the light come on without me getting electrocuted. Thanks to TomorrowsGarden.net for showing me how to save $100 by making my own light. It was about $15 to make the light and another $20 for both light bulbs. Typically, these reflectors are about $100 without the bulbs.

photo 3Here is the light after being mounted to the ceiling.
photo 1Now we need more plants.
photo 2The fish poop and fertilize the plants. I got the idea from other aquaponic companies, but really didn’t want to pay what they were charging for complete setups. Amanda hates all of the wires, so those will be hidden somehow and then I will really be finished… until we work on the next one beside it.