Gardening Tips: When to Harvest?

July 11, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna
when-to-harvest
I’ve been asked by a few friends recently ‘when should I be picking these?’ And so I thought I’d share some pretty universal rules for harvesting from the veggie garden since it’s getting to be that time of year.
Brussels Sprouts – Trim the lowest leaves from the stalk to improve the individual sprout sizes.  Harvest sprouts from the bottom.  You can harvest late as the first frost sweetens the flavor.
Chard – Harvest throughout the season by trimming outer leaves through to the first frost.Cucumbers – Best when picked at a slightly immature level. Anywhere from 1.5″ – 2.5″ in width when 5″-8″ long.  Pickling varieties with be about half the length.  When in doubt pick earlier than later to get the best flavor.
Eggplant -Harvest when eggplants are bright in color and shiny, but not overripe.  They will begin dulling in color when they’re past their prime.
Hot Peppers -Pick as needed throughout the season.  Immature green peppers are hottest.  The pepper sweetens as it turns red.
Tomatoes -Best when the fruit is uniformly red (or colored), but before the ends get soft.  Tip – ripe fruits will sink in water.  To ripen green tomatoes off the vine – wrap them in newspaper and store in a room between 55F and 70F.  Green tomatoes stored this way should last 3-4 weeks.
Zucchini – Harvest when fruit is young and tender.  They will continue to grow large and become bitter when left too long.  Skin should easily be punctured by a fingernail.
These are general rules of thumb, and there’s so many more veggies I haven’t included, but I think I’ve covered some basics.  I’d love to see what you’re harvesting.  Take pics and share using #getalongandgoharvest and follow
Similar Posts

Happy Bithday America!

July 4, 2013 at 12:26 pmBY Joanna

4th

Happy Birthday America!

Similar Posts

The Ladyfingers Letterpress Give-Away

June 28, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

ladyfinger_letterpress

Hands down – this is the easiest post I’ve ever written simply because the content speaks for itself.  If you don’t know about the Ladyfingers Letterpress (and Morgan and Arley-Rose – the ladies behind the name) you certainly need to.  They are the talented couple creating so many beautifully designed invitations and stationary – and they were kind enough to allow me to interview them for Get Along and Go.  To top it off, they’re offering a special give-away to one lucky reader (details at the end of the post).

Give our readers a brief introduction to your business…What do you do, and who are you, what do you offer?
Ladyfingers Letterpress is a design + letterpress printshop, specializing in hand-drawn, custom invites and stationery. It is owned and operated by the wife + wife, designer + printmaker duo Morgan Calderini and Arley-Rose Torsone, who started the business in 2011 after having planned their own wedding and discovering the poor selection of wedding invites that were aimed towards same-sex couples. Their staff of 6 (and sometimes more) operates a studio out of the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, RI and provides one-of-a-kind wedding invitations for all couples, as well as a brand new line of social stationery that include cards for every occasion!

Is there something behind the name Ladyfingers Letterpress?  Are there any men working with you, or just ladies?
Haha, well when Morgan and I first met, we joked about having a gay bar bakery called a Gaykery, and we’d have a press set up and we’d sell stationery and you could eat and drink and hang out. Buuut we soon learned that solvents and ink are not really the best things to have around in a place where you serve food, so we scrapped that idea and stuck with the printshop. And yes, we do have ManHands on the team: our Accounts Manager Sydney vonDembowski. Wouldn’t be here without him.

You guys seem to have many different methods of printing available to you.  What different techniques do you use and do you have a favorite?
We’ve incorporated die cutting, laser cutting, hot foil stamping, 3D techniques, moving pieces, hand-stitched leather pouches, tiny books… the list goes on. Anytime someone says “I don’t know if you can do anything like that…” our ears perk up and we stay up all night trying ti figure out how to make it possible. If we can’t do it in house, we always reach out and team up with the best to make the most unique things possible.

ladyfingers_letterpress_02You have so many sharp looking hand drawn invites on instagram.  Is hand lettering a specialty of yours, or is it a style that’s particularly in fashion at the moment?  Or maybe both?
Arley speaking here: When I went to college from 2000-2004, the digital design boom was happening. Our teachers were teaching us basic design skills using Photoshop and Illustrator, while my peers were designing things solely for digital use. As someone who has always drawn, painted and made things with my hands my whole life, I knew early on that I needed to have a physical outlet to my work. I took a typography class when I was a sophomore and it changed my life, but I was too sloppy to be your typical uptight typography nerd. I hated to read because I would just stare at the characters as if they were little people who were all waiting in line to catch a bus or mingling at a party. Each one had its own personality and deep down inside I knew there was more to them than Helvetica and standard x-heights.

My sketchbooks started to fill with type. My illustrations moved from image to image-with-caption to just-plain-caption. I wanted to read text as if it was a painting, where the feeling immediately hits you first and then you see that its a still life or a landscape painting, and if you look closer you can appreciate the nuances of color and  the way the paint sit on the canvas. I started to base my graphic design work around hand-lettering. Once, as the in-house graphic designer at AS220, I hand-lettered an entire monthly calendar that included the guide to everything AS220 does. It took me a long time, but after I saw that offset printed in a rainbow roll, there was no going back.

People ask me all the time if hand-lettering is a passing fad. In my mind I reply, “Yes, and when people get bored with it, I’ll go back to carving into stone”. I guess many people don’t fully realize that all type begins with a drawing, and to me, hand-lettering gives me more freedom on the page. I am not restricted by horizontal baselines or standard point sizes. Sometimes, designing type on the computer takes longer for me than just drawing it. I couldn’t imagine having a design business that didn’t incorporate the joy and freedom that hand-lettering allows.

ladyfingers_letterpress_03

Starting a business can seem so intimidating.  Do you have any advice about how to get started?  Particularly for artists and designers looking to work independently.  What five tips would you give to someone considering going on their own?
Before we both went full time, we had been doing some smaller invites for friends and family which got very little attention. Those smaller projects helped us become acclimated to working with clients and gave us time to build our website, portfolio and marketing materials along the way while we were still under the radar. For our own wedding, as designers and printmakers, we decided to do something really bold and beautiful, and totally us. We posted images of our final invitation suite on Flickr and they caught the attention of a popular blogger who featured it which basically launched our career!

The lesson we learned from this is that sometimes the work you make for yourself is often the most beautiful, original and unique. Pretend you are a client of yourself, and then ask for the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. Make it, try to share through social networks, and soon enough people will start contacting and you asking for something just as beautiful. Having this sort of portfolio piece will establish your style and unique voice among other makers.

That being said, here are our 5 tips:

1. Start small – growing organically is not only really exciting, but smart. Don’t invest in a huge studio or the most top-of-the-line equipment at first. You’ll get there, but start with what you’ve already got and make the most of it.

2. Just do it! Don’t get stuck on thinking that you need tons of money or a huge nest egg to get started. We had just spent all our money on our wedding and had only $200 in our bank account when we took out a business credit card and put everything on that. Sure, there will be some really hairy times, but staying hungry is the best motivator to succeed.

3. Get friendly with the internets – Don’t be shy about making connections online. If advertising is not in your budget, leave friendly comments on websites that may be associated with your craft and be sure to leave your name and website. Bloggers are always looking for something to post about, so you’re doing them a favor by giving them content! Be sure to read their submission guidelines before submitting and never refer to them as “Dear Blogger”. Always do your homework and be respectful of other people’s time. Also, we’ve had terrific experience in the past with trading our services for ads on blogs and high-traffic websites, you might want to try to give that a shot. Bartering is a wonderful thing!

4. Believe in yourself! Something that we struggled with at first was knowing what to charge. Modesty is a virtue… until you have bills to pay! I know it can be hard asking for money sometimes, but if you don’t ask for it, no one will give it to you. Create a budget that outlines your monthly expenses and also research what other people are charging in your field. Obviously, don’t charge at the highest rate you can find, but also don’t charge so little that you drive down the market. If you find that your demand is going up, you can adjust your prices! You can always increase them, but you should never start so high that you have to decrease them.

5. Be nice to everybody. Whether they’re a client, co-worker, intern or contractor, treat them the way you would want to be treated. I know I might sound like your mother right now, but writing thank you notes and following up is a great way to make a great impression and build lasting relationships.

ladyfingers_letterpress_01

You seem to have many different methods of printing available to you.  What different techniques do you use and do you have a favorite?
We’ve incorporated die cutting, laser cutting, hot foil stamping, 3D techniques, moving pieces, hand-stitched leather pouches, tiny books… the list goes on. Anytime someone says “I don’t know if you can do anything like that…” our ears perk up and we stay up all night trying ti figure out how to make it possible. If we can’t do it in house, we always reach out and team up with the best to make the most unique things possible.

I’ve taken a look at your instagram, and Ladyfingers Letterpress looks like a busy, but completely fun workplace…what about your ‘office’ makes it so special?  For instance – the in-office hair cuts…that’s a nice perk.
There’s that cheesy quote that says “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”. We figure that if we make the workplace a respectable place while giving ourselves and our employees the room to have fun, everyone will have a better time, be happier, and make better work. It helps that some of our clients do really awesome work that we love to barter for: we’ve gotten designer sunglasses, haircuts, free advertising and delicious food! Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in trying to barter for one of our clients adorable 1 year old. This does not mean we will stop trying.

What’s on the soundtrack over at Ladyfingers Letterpress print shop?
We keep Spotify and Pandora on a pretty good rotation of Robyn, and whatever station is “hip” with our “interns” these days.

Your prints certainly make good use of fantastic colors.  We love bold colors at Get Along and Go, and I’m always matching personalities to colors….If you were a color, what would you be?
Neon Red!

Any big plans in the works for the printshop?
We’re hoping that the wholesale thing keeps up. We had a terrific response at the National Stationery show and 50 stores placed orders for our work to be in around the country. We’re excited to continue to make new ways for people to reach out and touch.. other… people… with stationery.  I guess I would say stay tuned for the release of our social stationery line which will debut on our website on June 22.

ladyfingers_letterpress_04

Beautiful designs right?? Bet you would like to get your hands on some of their stationary. Well…you’re in luck because Arley-Rose and Morgan were generous enough to offer up 3 complimentary folded cards from their brand new online shop to one of our readers.  To enter to win, visit their shop, pick your three favorite designs, and come back here and tell us which you love in a comment.  We’ll announce the winner next Wednesday, July 3rd.  (to keep up with the Ladyfingers Letterpress follow them on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest) UPDATE: GIVE-AWAY IS CLOSED – WE HAVE ANNOUNCED A WINNER.  THANKS!

Similar Posts

Making It: Macrame Plant Holder

June 26, 2013 at 10:30 amBY Joanna

macrameI’ve been feeling all crafty recently.  I think it’s in part a response to our recent visit to the Martha Stewart headquarters to attend the Alt Summit, and in part to the warmer weather and nostalgia for summer camp activities.  Whatever the reason, I’ve found myself at Michael’s Crafts a bunch lately, and I have a number of crafty projects going at once.  It feels good to be making things.

This past weekend I taught myself how to make a very simple macrame plant hanger.  All of my plants were removed from my living room during our recent house repairs.  Bringing them back in has been a real eye opener to the fact that I have awful (really terrible) plant hangers.  Not sure how I never realized this before, but sometimes if you stare at something long enough it disappears, and it takes a little shaking up to even notice the plastic Home Depot planters you’ve been living with for years.  That being said, it was time to remedy this long standing problem I never knew I had.  I was determined to make my own plant hanger (I’m completely stubborn about buying something I think I can make myself).  I became so involved in the project I made three – and it was so super simple I thought I’d share it with you.  The materials are inexpensive and easy to find, and the entire process takes about 30 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 x 104″ strands of macrame rope (like this, this or this)
  • wooden beads with large center holes (these are completely decorative and serve no function.  If you can’t find them, forget about it – no biggie)
  • a 2″ key ring
  1. 1. Take the 4 strands, group them in a bundle so that the ends are even.  Find the center (somewhere around 52″).  Pull the stands through the key ring and tie together in a knot near the 52″ mark, securing the key ring in the center and creating 8 52″ strands hanging from the key ring.
  2. Hang the project from the key ring on a hook for better access to the strands.
  3. Divide the strands into 4 groups of 2 (group strands adjacent to one another together) and add wooden beads to each strand.
  4. Tie each grouping in a simple knot about 10″ down from the key ring, making sure the beads are between the key ring and the knot so they are secured.
  5. Take one stand from a grouping and knot it together with a strand from it’s neighboring grouping.  This will create the ‘web’ that holds the plant in place.  Tie the knot about 10″ down from the prior knot.  Continue with all strands until you have 4 new groupings.
  6. Gather all stands and tie together in one large know about 8″ down from the second.
  7. Add plant (this was actually the trickiest part for me because my plants were getting tangled with the rope.  It took a little patience, but I was able to untangle them).

So – that’s it.  The directions may sound complicated, but I assure you they are simple once you get going.  And the finished product is just what I was hoping for.  This project is highly customizable, so have fun with the rope you use and feel free to embellish with whatever you can add to a strand of rope.

 

Similar Posts

New Favorite Summer Cocktail: Tarragon Lemon Fizz

June 21, 2013 at 8:00 amBY Joanna

 

TARRAGON-LEMON-COCKTAIL

 

 

I often struggle with the more traditional summer cocktails.  Mojitos, margaritas, daiquiris…they’re all delicious, but so sweet, and that means a terrible hangover the next day.  I can hardly handle any sweetness in these days.  I’m thinking it’s a process of aging, but who knows.  Either way, I’ve been looking for a new go-to refreshing summer cocktail, and I think I’ve found my match.  I’m calling it a tarragon-lemon fizz.

TARRAGON-LEMON-COCKTAIL-02

This tarragon-lemon fizz is a concoction I came up with for a recent get together with friends, and the results were surprisingly easy going down, and gentle the next day.  The ingredients are simple, inexpensive, and so great together.  Here’s what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS: 1 bunch fresh tarragon, 2 lemons, vodka, club soda, 1/2 cup sugar.

DIRECTIONS: In a small sauce pan combine sugar with 1/2 cup water.  Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.  Pour simple syrup mixture into a glass jar.  Add 3 sprigs of tarragon and juice from half a lemon.  Allow to cool.  Over ice combine 2 tbsp simple syrup (less or more depending on your sweet tolerance), 2 oz of vodka (I like Tito’s), 5 oz of club soda, slice of lemon and pinch of a tarragon sprig. Stir and enjoy!

Similar Posts

Eating the Alphabet: B

June 19, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna and Lorien

eating-the-alphabet-b

For our second installation of this series, Lorien and I sifted through a long list of our favorite foods beginning with the letter ‘B’.  This series is really fun to work on (reminiscent of sesame street).  The ingredients are overwhelming….think of all the amazing foods beginning with ‘B’.  It wasn’t an easy choice, but we each chose a pair of ingredients and recipes we’d like to try.

borscht

Joanna says: What would like be like without beets?? I don’t really want to know, but it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.  I can eat a beet in just about any form, picked, roasted, mashed, baked….I’m a big fan.  Aside from staining my cutting board, beets have never left a bad impression on me.  I’ve attempted so many varieties of beet recipes, almost always resulting in delicious dish.  One beet recipe I’ve been meaning to try out, but haven’t tried on my own is Borscht.  This traditional and refreshing Ukrainian soup can be served hot or cold, but being summer, I think I’ll try out a cold version.  I found this recipe for Cold Summer Borscht straight from Alan Ginsberg.  Can’t wait to try it out.

lemongrass-basil-sherbet-646-1

As much as I love a good beet…I have to say, basil is absolutely a staple in my summer diet.  One of my fave crops from the garden, basil can be used in a cocktail, in a pasta dish, endless salads, and the list goes on and on….I’ve tried my hand with so many basil recipes.  I think they’ve all been fantastic, and it must be due to the basil.  This herb is quintessential summer.  I had to dig deep to find a recipe I hadn’t tried, but I think I’ve found the perfect one on Bon AppetiteLemongrass-Basil Sherbert.  I’m already dusting off my ice cream maker.  Yum!

B-brussellsprouts

Lorien says:When we did ‘Eating the Alpahbet: B’ I had a heard time choosing which foods and recipes I wanted to share, with ‘B’ I knew immediately that I wanted to share this Garlic and Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts recipe. Although b sprouts are not really in season, I’ve been drying to try this recipe… it just has to be good. My usual go-to recipe for cooking brussels sprouts is to coat in salt, pepper, garlic powder. Cook until crispy, almost chip like in a 350/400 degree oven. Squeeze lemon on before serving. It’s my favorite way and the easiest way to cook them, it even converted a brussels sprout hater into a brussels sprout lover.

b_brownies

Choosing brownies was also a no brainer for me. Brownies are efinitely not the most chefy food, but I’m a sucker for a good, simple and delicious brownie. If there is a brownie in front of me, just like pizza or fries, I can not resist. If it’s a brownie icecream sundae, oh forget it…. While I’m exploring recipes for gluten free brownies, sometimes you just need the real thing and Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies can do you no wrong.

Similar Posts

Interiors: Dash & Albert Rugs

June 12, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

dash-and-albert

all images from dashandalbert.com

Lorien and I are pretty excited to be heading out to Alt Summit NYC next week.  It’s such an amazing gathering – packed full of bloggers at Martha Stewart Omnimedia for a day of amazing speakers, conversation and introductions.  We look forward to going all year.  Last year we had a blast, and this year should be even better.  Particularly because this year we’ll be attending a sponsor dinner the night before with Dash & Albert!  I’ve been a big fan of this textile company (mainly rugs, but they also make great tote bags, throw blankets and pillows) for quite some time.  One of my first jobs was in a retail boutique and they had me selling Dash & Albert rugs to interior designers for fancy beach houses.  Their designs are truly timeless, and most everything is stripped, so you know I’m on board.  I just checked out their site, and I could easily live in any one of their sets (they have the cutest pets lounging on their rugs). Having just refinished my floors, I’m in the market for a few new rugs, and I’ve got my eye on this Fair Isle Rosemary rug.  I think it would look great in my new grey living room.   Like most decisions I make – I’ll probably ponder this one for another year or so before I decide I should just buy the rug, but I hope it will be mine some time soon.

dash-and-albert-2

The throws….oooh the throws! They have the best cotton throws that you can toss in the washing machine and dryer.  Mine has survived puppy chewing and years of washing, and it’s still going strong (with a few small holes).  I don’t need anther one, but I want another one – I’m trying to recognize the difference these days.  So maybe I’ll treat myself this summer.

Needless to say – I’m excited to join Dash & Albert for dinner next week.  I’ve been a customer, admirer, fan for quite some time now.  We’ll share pics with you next week.

Similar Posts

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

June 7, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

FATHER'S-DAY-GIFT-GUIDE-01

 

clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4  / 5 / 6 / 7

I’m always at a loss when it comes to father’s day.  My dad seems to have everything he needs, so I inevitably end up buying him gardening supplies every year.  This year I’m swearing off the garden center and trying to come up with something more unique.  I’m fairly certain my dad would like just about anything in this guide.  Some of my faves (because I’m always shopping for me really) are the 100lb coal bag from Best Made and the Things Come Apart book.

FATHERS-DAY-GIFT-GUIDE-02

clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

The Grillbot seems kind of awesome too…no?  Letting a robot clean my grill for me.  I think my dad would appreciate the help.  And the Dynazap bug catcher.  Safer than harmful bug spray, and if it works, it’s well worth the price.  OK, I think I’ve found a few non-gardening related options.  What are you giving your dad?

Similar Posts

Friday Giveaway: Sweet Shades From Queen of Hearts

May 31, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

qoh giveaway

Today is the big day!  Our first friday giveaway over here at Get Along And Go.  It’s been a while now that I’ve wanted to partner up with a shop owner and offer our readers a chance to win some Get Along And Go approved goods.  The first give-away partner that came to mind was Karen Beebe’s shops Queen of Hearts and Modern Love (she owns two stores!) in Providence, RI.  Both of these businesses are chock-a-block full of clothing, shoes and accessories we’re dying to own, so it seemed like the natural pick for our first give-away…plus Karen is incredibly generous and jumped at the opportunity to participate.

Not only does Karen curate two beautiful stores, she’s launched a web shop as well, where you can easily pop in and shop from home.  It’s easy to build up a lengthy wish list poking around her site.  She has an abundance of summer dresses right now, I could buy an entirely new wardrobe!  And the best part of all, Karen has a selective eye for the well priced – super reasonable fashion finds – so nothing is priced outrageously.  We’re pretty lucky to have such a great store within walking distance.

qoh-give-away-02

Queen of Hearts is giving away these sweet Pamela shades to one of our lucky readers.  To enter to win – visit the Queen of Heart/Modern Love online shop and come back to this post and let us know what you liked the most.  Leave a comment here and you will be entered to win…that’s it.  Simple.  Entry for the give-away will be open all weekend.  We’ll announce the winner Monday morning on Twitter/Facebook (so make sure you’re following us on facebook and twitter).

Similar Posts

Eating the Alphabet: A

May 30, 2013 at 12:30 pmBY Joanna and Lorien

A-getalongandgo

Welcome to our new series on the blog – Eating the Alphabet. We will be “eating” our way through the alphabet in this series. We will be sharing with you different foods, recipes, favorite meals and restaurants that have been inspired by a different letter in the alphabet. First up is the letter ‘A’:

eating-the-alphabet-A

Lorien says: As I was thinking of which foods I wanted to feature for ‘A’, I was going through my memory of meals I’ve had, which veggies are my favorite, which spices I’ve been using lately, now that Spring/Summer is here which foods I’m craving….. and I decided on apricots and asparagus for their simplicity in preparation this time of year. They’re fantastic on their own or a tiny something takes them over the top.

Apricots: Apricots are heavenly by themselves or in jams, in salads, in drinks, in sorbets, in ice creams… for all these reasons they’re a favorite of mine in the summer. I’m really looking forward to trying these recipes this summer: Apricot-Chile Hot Sauce, Gluten Free Apricot Strawberry Cake and Apricot and Pistachio Crumbles with Vanilla Ice cream. (image)

Asparagus: When asparagus is in season and when they’re cooked right, asparagus is as addicting as french fries to me. My favorite preparation of asparagus is simple – roasted with a little cheese, breadcrumbs and lemon sprinkled on top. Combine that with eggs or pasta, or both, I can eat various variations of these ingredients weekly. (image)

Joanna says: Asparagus, Arugula, Artichoke, Avocado…what a great letter to start of a series all about our favorite foods.  It’s hard to choose with all these options – but if I had to pick my favorite food beginning with the letter ‘A’ I’d have to say…errrr…I really can’t pick a favorite when it comes to artichokes and avocados.  That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child.  I just can’t – I love them both too much.

eating-the-alphabet

Avocado: I’ve never grilled avocados myself, but I’ve had them in restaurants and they are so good!  It seems like a strange concept at first – cooking avocado? But it works, and it’s simple to do.  This recipe includes grilled tomatoes, garlic, chiles, cilantro, sea salt…what more could you want really.  And if you’re entertaining outdoors, these avocados are easy to assemble and the presentation will impress.  You grill the halved avocados with the skin on and fill the hole with the grilled tomatoes and chiles – eat with a spoon – skin on.   I’m absolutely trying these for my next BBQ.

Artichoke: My new obsession is the combo of shaved artichoke and truffle.  Ever since having the Artichoke Crudo and Celery salad at Bacaro I can’t stop thinking about this pairing (I made my own version at home the other night and I have to say – it came out great).  This recipe from Saveur looks like a good one to try at home too.  Garlic, lemon, baby artichokes, white truffle, Parmesan. Yum. Perfect for a light Spring dinner.

Similar Posts