I harvested some of my broccoli and spinach from my garden yesterday, quite lovely specimens:
The thrill of growing things that you can then eat never goes away. Well, it probably would if you have been a farmer your whole life, I suppose, so I guess there is a sort of privilege in having the luxury of growing some of your own food for your own interest and reasons and not necessity. But I think it’s a healthy trend, the way more and more people are learning crafts of the past, how to do things like grow fruits and vegetables and what not. It generates an overall healthier lifestyle; I’m working on a partnership for the small non-profit I lead, Living Histories, that would have us creating a community garden for a housing project in North Long Beach, the idea being that the youth of the community would learn about gardening and ecology and all the writing and art projects we’d conduct connected to the garden, and in turn, it would help promote healthier eating habits for them and their families. It’s a subtle thing, but it works; I eat pretty well overall, and in the past year have really gotten into cooking, but my dinner of broccoli and spinach (and an excellent baked portabella mushroom from a recipe my friend Sumner gave me. Again, my point in action: Sumner is a few years younger than me, a good friend I first met while working on the Warped Tour. And we share recipes. Home economics is hot across the board...) was a decision definitely made in reaction to my excitement over my harvest.
The rains of the last few weeks really made my gardens pop, makes me wonder how bad the water we use day in and out really is. It’s always crazy how much better the plants look after a good rain; I know part of the issue is the good saturation that happens, but there is also a leeching that occurs, impurities run away. I’ve created rain barrels this year, to try to use less water overall and capture and reuse more of the good water coming from the sky. Anyhow, yesterday morning, after reading about my friends on the east coast digging out of snow banks the height of a toddler, I was out clipping away in my garden ahead of the rains that have since come in, bringing in my first harvest of this year, which I proudly showed everyone as though it was new jewelry. I’ve always loved that Emma Goldman line; “I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
For the record, I have some lovely fresh roses on my desk as I write this as well.
I also made what I am calling my ‘Holy Hell’ apple cinnamon muffins, because they are so good that one reacts with a ‘holy hell!’. I had apples going bad, not so bad that they couldn’t be used, but not really the type of apple you’d want to eat as it was. I’m a big fan of taking mushy fruit that isn’t quite at its prime anymore and making muffins and bread out of it. I got the recipe and inspiration from Smitten Kitchen a great website, check it out!