Urban Homestead Meal Plan - Week of 1/16

Hello, and happy Monday! If you're reading from Iowa, I hope you're snuggled in and avoiding the sketchy weather we're having. If you're reading from Florida or California, I hate you. Kidding.

Did you see our first "apartment living" post on Saturday night regarding recycling in an apartment complex that doesn't offer a recycling service? John and I are pretty stoked to bring you a series of posts in January and February that highlight sustainable, eco-conscious living for folks in apartments or condos. Although we'll be living in an apartment for a few short months, this gives us a fantastic opportunity to practice some of the sustainable living concepts we hear and read about. It also allows us to try new things and share them with you with personal experience and testimonials

If you don't already, please follow us on Instagram. We're posting there all the time and would love to have you along. 
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In this week's meal plan (which is sometimes a photo of our menu board in our kitchen, sometimes a screenshot of my Real Plans, sometimes a simple list with links to recipes), you'll find several homegrown or local item from our urban homestead. Of course, there will be a few repeats throughout the week since we try to eat in-season and lots of leftovers for lunch. Breakfast is usually a smoothie or steel cut oats; something that can be prepared quickly in the morning. 

Monday - Leftovers of some sort
Tuesday - Sweet potato soup with coconut and ginger
Wednesday -  Savory coconut pancakes and steamed cauliflower
Thursday - Turkey burgers (no bun!) with sautéed veggies and more steamed cauliflower (there was a sale on cauliflower, ok?)
Friday - Leftover turkey burgers and creamed turmeric kale
Saturday - Chicken, veggie and lentil soup
Sunday - Leftovers! Anything from the fridge gets eaten up!

It might seem complicating to eat locally and in season, but we actually get the bulk of our meal plan ideas from Real Plans. You can go here to learn more!








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Recycling in an Apartment that Doesn't Offer Recycling.

Happiest of New Years to you!

We are celebrating these early days of 2017 in our new home: A nice, cozy 2-bedroom apartment a few miles from our beloved home that we sold just after Christmas. We're building a log cabin home on our acreage, but it won't be ready until early summer (hopefully!) and we needed a place to land for a few months.

One of the things John and I like about this apartment is the nice amount of natural light in each room, the new carpet, the pet friendliness (they have a dog park and pet clean up stations!), and the quietness of the complex. There's not a lot of noise, and we really appreciate that.

However, we knew upon signing our lease that this particular apartment complex doesn't have a recycling service or a place to compost kitchen waste. This means everything - EVERYTHING - goes into a trash bag, into the dumpster, and directly into the landfill.

The gravity of this circumstance was evident when I took our tiny HyVee sack of trash to the dumpster and was greeted with two huge, overflowing dumpsters.

Our trash consumption consists of about 1 tall kitchen bag every week or week and a half.


It breaks my heart. Unfortunately, the office manager for our apartment complex said the owners aren't prioritizing a recycling service at the moment. This doesn't mean that those who live in apartments or condos are out of recycling options.

Here's what John and I are doing to recycle in an apartment complex that doesn't offer recycling:

We set up a bin in our office for paper recycling. 




Near the door, we have a large recycling can for mixed recyclables. As often as needed, we'll lug that can down the (three flights of) stairs and will take it to the nearest recycling facility. They accept recycling 6 days a week for free. Yes, this is time consuming. Yes, this requires more effort on our behalf rather than putting recycling on the curb. But, it's important. Sometimes what is important takes more time. 



Near the door, we also have a small can for glass recycling, which we will also empty as needed at our community recycling facility. 



In our old home, we would fill the large recycling can once a week, easily. However, it's not realistic to assume that John and I will be able to lug that can to the recycling center each week. Therefore, we needed to make some intentional adjustments: 
  • Break down all boxes and large items. 
  • Stuff those recycling cans full, strategically. Like a game of Tetris. 
  • Eliminate junk mailers, and eliminate paper waste by moving things to an electronic database or via email notification. 
  • Reduce the capacity of our recycling consumption. Recycling is great and all, but we can eliminate even more fossil fuel use by reducing the amount of packaging we consume in general. This is an entirely different post coming later in January!

Do you live in an area where recycling isn't offered? What tips do you have for recycling anyway? 


Urban Homestead Meal Plan - Week of 1/2/2017

Happy New Year! 

The craziness of the holidays are {finally} over. My sister gets married this weekend, which is the last major event that will culminate the whirlwind that has been the last 2 months. If you don't remember, since October we have (in no particular order):

Listed our home for sale. 
Taught an Urban Farming Series. 
Hosted a Bridal Shower for 70 people for my sister. 
Sold our home. 
Moved to a 700 square foot apartment. 
Celebrated the holidays with family. 
Finalized details for our 900 square foot log cabin home. 

It's time to slow down and be still in 2017. We're building a home, which isn't typically conducive to stillness. I am hell bent on enjoying every moment of this journey, even the part of the journey that requires us to live 'communally' in an apartment for 6 months. 

Look for a few posts coming up in January on how we're composting and recycling in an apartment that doesn't offer such services. You can bet that we're stepping outside the box on this one!
….


In this week's meal plan (which is sometimes a photo of our menu board in our kitchen, sometimes a screenshot of my Real Plans, sometimes a simple list with links to recipes), you'll find several homegrown or local item from our urban homestead. Of course, there will be a few repeats throughout the week since we try to eat in-season and lots of leftovers for lunch. Breakfast is usually a smoothie or steel cut oats; something that can be prepared quickly in the morning. 

Monday - Vegetable stir fry with a homemade peanut sauce
Tuesday - Roasted bone-in chicken breast (we'll share one, they're large!) and a sweet potato mash
Wednesday - Baked tilapia with a tahini sauce and almond green beans
Thursday - Leftovers! Anything in the fridge and pantry is fair game. 
Friday -  Wedding rehearsal dinner
Saturday - Wedding!
Sunday - Travel home

It might seem complicating to eat locally and in season, but we actually get the bulk of our meal plan ideas from Real Plans. You can go here to learn more!








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