Kitchen Gardening

Kitchen Gardening

Yesterday, we made ants on a log with celery, sunbutter and raisins. Delish. And then we planted the base of the celery in our garden beds. The kids are fascinated by kitchen gardening. We determined what would and would not grow by this method….green peppers, cucumbers, lol, nope. I think they had visions of replanting every fruit or vegetable that they eat.

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Guerilla Gardening, Bursts and Happy Hippies.

Our school has a wildflower patch along the front entryway.  We planted it a few years ago with the help of the Florida Wildflower Association.  It’s zero maintenance, drought tolerant, awesome for beneficials and eye-catching.  After all of the bad news this week, the heaviness surrounding us, I wanted to give the kids some time for play therapy.  Even middle schoolers can appreciate the art of getting your hands dirty, kneading soil and clay and seeds together to create something purposeful, something that brings hope.  So we made seed bursts.  Balls clumped together with compost, clay, seeds and a tiny bit of water.

Image They started with gloves, but then they liked the feel of the clay.  With the exception of my son, lol.  Cosmically funny, he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.

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With seeds we saved from the wildflower bed, some spent arugula and marigolds, we created these gems.  Next week, when they’re dry, the kids will take them home and toss them somewhere, planting mini-flowerbeds in random locations.  We talked about Guerilla gardening, spreading the love in abandoned lots, fields, bare spots in your garden.  They were jazzed.

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Our snack time was blissful, too.  Fruit salad including granny smiths, nectarines, grapes, kiwi and a meyer-lemon, agave nectar dressing infused with lemon thyme and fennel.  Yum.   Oh, and some pansies for kicks.  I think I may be a happy hippie.

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Week in Review

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We’re at the peak of spring planting in Central Florida.  Our middle school garden class broke a sweat on Wednesday, planting a few tomato transplants, saving arugula seeds, watering cucumbers.  We sowed some sunflower seeds, a tiger’s eye mix.  The rainbow chard is thriving, along with kale.  We have plenty of greens. 

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Garden clubbers were excited to pick bouquets of fresh flowers from our beds.  The boys are fascinated by worms.  Collecting worms, moving worms, measuring worms. 

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The beds at Herban Farms are a dream.  Bursting with lettuce, peppers, amazing basil, collards, beets, broccoli, the last of some peas, radishes, pretty much anything you can imagine.  We started sunflower seeds here, too.  Mammoth ones.  A statement plant.  Probably THE statement plant.  Oh, and the cucumbers are fruiting 🙂  Benita informed me they are pickles.  I affirmed they were on their way to becoming pickles. 

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To celebrate a lovely gardening week, I walked around Lake Eola with a friend.  We watched black swans, uncommon loons, and ducks.  Talked about our week and were blessed with a random rain shower as we left. 

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Evening Harvest

Evening Harvest

I hosted a self-guided you-pick harvest in my home garden yesterday. I grew a salad. Except the kale. Eating raw kale requires a ton of chewing. Maybe someone should invent kale gum, you just keep chewing and chewing.

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Radishes the size of baseballs!

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The community garden at New Image Youth Center is bursting with produce, bursting I tell you.  Yesterday, I tended to the beds in the rain for a few hours; the rain and I were partners, cleansing the plants, nourishing them.  We have quite an ensemble in our little farm: radishes, beets, collards, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, every herb imaginable.  And the lettuces…how many varieties you ask?  I counted six. We have a gourmet selection of lettuce.  Image

Two hours of gardening in the rain is rejuvenating.  Sure, you get funny looks.  People ask what you’re doing.  You get wet.  Maybe even soaked.  In the midst of it, though, it’s perfect.  A gardener’s spa treatment, if you will.

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Yesterday’s harvest was nine bags of produce.  Nine.  And to my surprise and delight, our radishes were enormous, the size of baseballs!  And they weren’t split open from being left too long.  We dominate in radish production.  Next week, we’re planting mammoth sunflowers.

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Eat a homegrown salad, kids. Add some edible flowers.

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Our middle school garden class harvested heads of lettuce today and made themselves salads.  We added baby Swiss chard and celery that was ripe for the picking from the beds.  For an interesting twist, I brought in homegrown edible nasturtiums.  2013-04-03 14.03.27

 

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We learned that the orange nasturtiums are spicy!  Not a dash of pepper, a mouthful of flavor and heat.  The yellow ones were mild in comparison.

Next week, we’ll be saving arugula seeds and adding liquid seaweed to the beds.

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Wealth

I am surrounded by the rich.  have you met them?  our friends who are blessed beyond measure?  I am surrounded by people overflowing with love.   the oppressed, the marginalized, the victims, society names them.  I say no.  you have it backwards.  my wealthy friends tell the truth, it flows like sweet honey from their lips.  they know the value of words, actions.  it’s their currency.  strength, unity, loyalty comprise their foundations.  the rich.  empty individualistic deception escapes their reality because they see the Truth with eyes that we don’t have. 

Open your eyes.

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