Growing Food – What’s working what’s not

Aug 19, 2010 by

Pro urban farming graffitti LA

Found this picture via Xeni Jardin and I love it.

I also love growing food.  Its a truly awesome feeling to be able to walk out of your front door to pick a couple tomatoes for dinner or to walk around your garden and plan what you will eat based on whats ready to eat.

But it has not all gone as planned.  Its a learning experience as I go, and I’m learning a lot.

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As you can see from the above picture, my garden is growing like crazy.  The tomatoes have attacked and are quickly taking over.  I obviously planted way too many way too close together and as they get ripe I’m going to have a hard time just being able to pick them let alone eat all the tomatoes.

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The zucchini has been growing good, but some strange mold has been growing on some of the leaves and some of the zucchini’s themselves.

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My peppers and chilis are starting to come in and those are just awesome.

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here is the attack of the tomatoes (not killer as far as I know).   I started out by adding a couple of tomato baskets I had around.  Then I added a couple more as they were outgrowing those.  Then I added 3 more.  Then some string to help hold them in the planter box.  Then 2 more tomato baskets.   Its getting nuts.

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And this is just a sad sight.  My beans and peas have died.  I’m not sure what went wrong here.  I suspect I didn’t water enough.  They were growing great and I was snacking on the snap peas while I worked out in the garden one day and the next day, they were all dead.  Very sad.

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And my corn is stunted.  I think these are done as well.  They just stopped growing and are turning brown.   Very sad on this one as I LOVE corn on the cob.

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My broccoli came in quick and then I went away for a week and came back to find it had all flowered.   Very sad.  I still have a few that are almost ready to eat, so I didn’t loose them all.

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My cantaloupes are kicking ass.  Check those out!

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And so far my watermelons are looking good as well.

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And i’m really just not sure whats going on with my lettuces.  They are all growing in tree-like configurations now.

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And the carrots are coming in nice.  My wife grabbed these to throw in something she was cooking.  I’m going to start harvesting the rest soon.  I think those are growing well, but who knows, they grow underground. Crazy carrots.

Beyond the learning experience of starting a garden and the joy of being able to walk out to my front yard to grab something to eat, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to inspire others to start a garden.  I have many friends who have started gardens and I’ve heard from many readers that they are now starting gardens as well and that makes me smile.

I love that I can share the awesome feelings that come with growing your own food.

Our food system is broken.  Our food grown and covered with chemicals that we have no idea how they impact our body or our environment.  It is then shipped halfway around the world before it reaches our stores.  Its wasteful and not that good for us.  And thats the food that grows!  You don’t even want to think about the mass produced chemical laden processed food we eat every day.

But you have a choice here.  You can buy local at farmers markets. You can join a CSA.  You can grow some of your own food.  Even if its planting a small lemon tree in your yard or creating a small garden box and throw in a tomato plant and a few herbs.   Grow something.  You will love it, and you get to eat it!

Ben…

If you’ve got a garden project send me some pics and tell me how its going.  You can email me at Ben@TrulySimple.com

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Fire and Ice Salsa

May 16, 2010 by

IMG_8739I am making 2 gallons of salsa right now.  That is A LOT of salsa I’ve come to find out.  I have entered a salsa competition at the Wild West Fest in Carlsbad tomorrow.

I have never been in a salsa competition before.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  But I’m having a ton of fun doing it.

Salsa is one of those easy things to make.  You really just get a bunch of onions, peppers, tomatoes and mix them all together.  Its a little of this, little of that, no wrong-way to do it kind of recipe.

I’m just taking some of my favorite ingredients from different salsa recipes and throwing them all together to make some award winning (hopefully)  Salsa.

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Lets get started

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Whats for dinner: Garlic-lime pan seared shrimp with quinoa, corn on the cob and fresh blackberry cobbler

May 7, 2010 by

One of the reasons I wanted to start this site was to cook more.  I love to cook, but don’t always take the time to do it.  One of the main features of this site will be cooking and sharing recipes.  If you have a great recipe please share.

I love going out to eat, don’t get me wrong, but its expensive, and not always that great for you.  Cooking allows me to be creative, work with my hands, and eat good food.  What’s not to love?  And if you don’t cook, give it a try.  It is easier than you think.  I plan to feature a new recipe or two each week as I chronicle what I’m making and eating each week.

Tonights Dinner: Garlic-lime pan seared shrimp with quinoa, corn on the cob and fresh blackberry cobbler.

It sounds like a lot of work but its actually quite easy.  I made all of it in less than an hour (not counting baking time on the cobbler)

I am not an expert chef.  This is an easy meal anyone could make.  I promise.  Just give it a try.

Here is the recipe and directions

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Perfect plates for information geeks

May 7, 2010 by

Or for those on a diet.

I’m a geek.  I know I’m a geek.  I love data visualization.   And I love these plates.  Here is a clever idea using visualization to support better eating habits. It was created by Hafsteinn Juliusson, Rui Pereira and Joana Pais.

via SwissMiss

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Help feed the hungry…via the mail.

May 6, 2010 by

I Support Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive — Saturday, May 8th

helpstampouthunger is having a food drive on Saturday May 8th and you can help without ever leaving the house.

simply place a bag of non-perishable food products in a bag by your mailbox. Your mailman will pick it up and deliver it to a local food bank/pantry.

How simple is that?

Help out by cleaning out your kitchen/pantry and donate that food to others who need it.

Visit their site for more information

Ben…


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