So the Master Gardeners would probably be horrified, but on this beautiful day in February I popped a few of our onions into the dirt. They weren't seed onions, they were actual onions. OK, so is that Kosher? We will find out. My theory is that they will give us seed relatively early on.
Regardless, I needed to get my feet in the dirt today. Feels so good!
The weather got up to 60 degrees yesterday and we all enjoyed the sunshine. It makes a person ready to start seedlings, and certainly it isn't too early to get started with the longer growing plants.
In celebration, our own Melody Munson wrote a song. Lift your mood and enjoy the call for Springtime.
My family is prone to auto-immune problems. My mom has had lupus and shingles, multiple time. Actually I just got a text from my brother about it. He asked me if I had gotten the vaccine, and I told him I was not a big fan of vaccines. I trust my God given immune system. That being said, I do look for ways to try to keep the immune system healthy.
I have been having some strange immune type symptoms lately. First right at the front of my ear, by the jaw, then under my arm, then on my neck. It seems my lymph nodes are on high alert. It is not surprizing that our immune systems go bananas given all the toxins we are exposed to.
There is a powerful way to improve your immune system that doesn't require tinctures or pills. You don't have to change your diet (although you might consider it...).
All you need to do is take off your shoes and stand in the dirt. It is called Earthing, or Grounding and it causes us to release any negative charge we have built up in our body and let it be released into the ground.
I am not an electrician by any means, but I do know that electrical circuits need to be grounded or....uh-oh. What I do know about is the brain and nervous system, and WE are electrical. Every neuron in your brain, every muscle fiber in your body carries electrical charges. This is how the cells communicate. It creates an electrical field around and within you body. Throughout the day as we are exposed to so many EMF we can start to become saturated, this causes havoc with your nervous system and causes inflammation through hyperactivation of your immune system. Earthing is so easy, but rarely do we do it. Our shoes are mostly insulated, and well, you are supposed to wear shoes outside, right? Wrong. Not all the time. So ask youself, when did you actually connect with the earth?
Now go barefoot, and hug a tree! Your body and immune system deserves a break.
Also watch this amazing documentary on Earthing
Last year we were blessed to have the group Feeding America provide us with 40 garden boxes. Well we put them to good use, and since we have had a number of requests to share these boxes, we will be picking up another 40 or more!
If you would like some garden boxes for your backyard garden, just contact us at email@example.com.
Thank you Feeding America!!!
When it is cold and snowy, I never feel much like going to the grocery store, but I was in need of something not processed. I had cans and even homemade tomato soup (see recipe here). But I needed something green! Time to take a walk around the property.
It is December 7th, but that doesn't mean foraging is over. Some of God's most nutritious plants are also the most hardy. No more wild lettuce, but amazingly the narrow leaf plantain, dandelion and even sorrel are doing just fine. All of the plants were smaller and interestingly much less bitter, especially the dandelion.
Albeit, we haven't had a long prolonged deep freeze, but we have had a good couple snowfalls that stayed around for awhile. When the snow melted, it gave way to a beautiful bounty of green. So I bundled up, and took a walk. It was both healing for the body and soul.
God is Great, God is Good, Let us Thank Him for our Food.
Everyone knows the mulberry bush. Few people do much with their berries, and almost no one that I know uses the leaves. Personally I love mulberries. I love the flavor, and I love how abundant they are. So when I discovered you could also eat the leaves, I got myself a bowl and made a beautiful salad. Not sure what else I can do with them. I will have to keep you updated.
Also known as Mexican spinach, this is a super hardy nutritious forageable. I love the flavor of this plant. It tastes to me a bit like artichoke. As a substitute for wherever you would use cooked spinach, this is a versatile forageable in many pasta dishes, stews, or casseroles. The only caveat is that it must be boiled 2 to 3 times. It has a high level of oxalic acid, which is not lethal, but can interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
Oxalates are considered anti-nutrients and are present in many of the wild foragable plants. Oxalates exert their effects by binding calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals such as iron, making them unavailable for assimilation. But when these plants are boiled, and the water is changed, these compounds are negligable. So don't hesitate to use Lambs Quarters in all your recipes. Just don't eat it raw.
One thing to note about anti-nutrients is that magnesium stearate falls into this category. Magnesium stearate acts like a barrier substrate on many of the active nutrient absorption sites. So where do we get magnesium stearate, and how can we avoid it? The number one source of magnesium stearate is in over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements!
Read your labels!
The story of the fox bad-mouthing the sour grapes is a classic tale of how the mind works to justify our thoughts and actions. But what if we turned those sour grapes into grape jelly. Oh my! That is a treat.
You have never had a PB&J like this. The most tedious part is plucking all of the grapes off of their vines. It took four of us 3 hours. While we plucked we sat in a circle and talked. We each said something that we were grateful for in this past year.
I once attended a workshop at the AERO conference in Seattle, Washington called the Tabouli Dialogues. What we did at the workshop was prepare tabouli and share stories and experiences. People opened up and were very honest with each other in this space. When we were done we all sat down and ate together. An event that nourished the body and soul.
We live in such a fast-paced world and even when we sit down together, many times we are on our phone, distracted by what we need to do next, or by what we want to say. We don't slow down enough to be fully present in our own lives, let alone the lives of others.
Our sour grape vines were a beautiful gift this year. Bringing the opportunity to share and connect as a community while making the most delicious jelly a person has ever tasted. So bring on the sour grapes. But not next year, because these vines only produce fruit every other year. So next year, I guess it will just have to be dolmades. Yum!
It seems like nearly every year I have been in Peoria, I have had the pleasant surprise of self-sowing squash and pumpkin. The first year it was butternut squash. Oh my, that was delicious. I got creative with many recipes, my favorite was a soup made with fennel root, coconut milk, and roasted butternut squash. Yum!
I love volunteer plants, as much as I love my wild forageables. This year we had a bunch of random squash pop up around our chicken coop. In the late Fall months the previous winter, our neighbor gave us pumpkin and squash for our chickens, and voila come Spring we had a bunch of little squash plants coming up in our chicken run. I brought them to the Community House Garden, we popped them in our new boxes, and waited to see what we would get.
There were a couple spaghetti squash and one tiny little pumpkin.
Maybe it wasn't a bumper crop, but it was fun for the kids, and another example of God's powerful gift of food in this amazing natural world.
Our garden this year has had many many edible forageables, but that is not what this post will be about. As we were weeding at the Art Garage Garden, we saw someone had left an old chest freezer in the back alley. The compressor was gone and so was the cord, but it was in perfect condition to become a worm farm. Worms are amazing creatures that help transform yard waste into nutritious soil.
So don't throw away your leaves, build a compost and create a worm farm of your own.