In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.

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Berry Grateful

Welcome to my new series: how to suck at gardening and still feed your family!

One of the greatest disappointments we face when producing our own food is a scrawny, mangled harvest.

Mangled berries are still edible!

Mangled berries are still edible!

It’s important to keep trying, and not let your spoils, well, spoil.

Those mangled berries are edible, so use them! They are great in shakes, fruit leather, jams and syrups.

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My Reward


Hard day in the garden, prepping for fall planting, saving the last of the “free range” strawberries, and beating back the weeds blocking access to the blackberries. My reward: blackberry cobbler!  Also a great use for not-pretty-produce…who cares what they look like when baked in a cobbler?  Especially with vanilla ice cream!

Quick Berry Cobbler

Preheat oven to 375. Melt 4 Tbs butter in a 9 x 9 pan in the oven.

While butter is melting, mix 1/3 c sugar, 1/2 c milk, and 1 c Bisquick (or similar baking mix) in one bowl to make the batter.  Mix 2 c berries 2 Tbs sugar in another bowl.  When the butter is melted, pour the batter into the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle the berry/sugar mixture evenly over the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes. Top with ice cream or anything suitably delicious and enjoy!

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New Favorite Solution for “Not Pretty Produce”


Our new juicer! Well, technically my husband’s, but I get the benefit of it too! One of my hardest adjustments to gardening was realizing that produce is never as pretty as it was in the super market. Tastier, fresher, healthier – sure. But also sunburned and bug nibbled and misshapen.

I think commercial produce growers deal with this by selling the prettiest fruits and vegetables for the produce department, and reinvent the not-pretty-produce into other revenue streams. Juice, jellies, prepared & packaged items (bagged lettuce anyone?)…the possibilities are endless.

So I’ve created a new tag for my own personal solutions for the not-pretty-produce we produce….except from now on, we’ll probably just throw everything in the Breville!