Archive for the 'Micro Greens' Category

Exceeding My Expectations


June 27th, 2009

tomato bush
I think it’s safe to say at this point that my GARDEN is exceeding my expectations. Being that it’s my first one, I would have been happy to get ANY growth whatsoever. But yesterday, my boyfriend sent me this insane picture of the monstrosities that our tomato plants have become (Did I mention that I am out of town? I left him in charge of the garden for five weeks. I’m MISSING EVERYTHING.)

sunny side
This is that same area a month ago. AMAZING!

aquacones
I’m wondering if these aquacones have contributed to the growth spurt. It HAS been hot and sunny. But apparently, we’ve outgrown all the plants in our community garden. My boyfriend had to rip holes in the netting to make room.

lettuce side
This is the other side of the garden. The shady side…where we are growing many varieties of lettuce. I am so spoiled now. I can never go back. GOURMET SALADS for FREE.

happy plants
They just look so happy. And they taste that way too.

salad mix
It would cost a fortune to buy this many heads of lettuce every couple days.

marigolds
This garden has been blowing my mind. I’ve been thinking crazy thoughts. Things that I would have never EVER considered. Things like…moving out of the city?!

kale
This is going to be the year of the KALE CHIP. I have at least fifteen kale plants going right now!

chard
I think the chard has been the most persnickety of the greens. There is some kind of pest that is making the leaves get this fungus-like illness. We’ve been mostly spraying with cayenne and picking yucky leaves. And that seems to be working alright.

stone arch
I am a little sad I’m missing this. I miss Minneapolis and going to the garden with my boyfriend. If I weren’t having so much fun, I’d be really homesick. But I’m actually finding Seattle to be really friendly to my dietary issues. More updates soon…

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First Harvest


June 18th, 2009

aerial shot
Time for a GARDEN UPDATE. This is an aerial shot of our garden plot. We actually just inherited a second smaller plot, but I don’t have pictures of that yet.

garden back
Being that this is our first garden, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth the investment. I would have just been happy if anything came up. But so far, I can say that the output has definitely exceeded my expectations. I think we will save a lot of money on groceries this season. We trying to keep a tally. So we’ll see where we are at the end of the season.

greens
We have a really lovely variety of greens right now. Here you can see the arugula, kale, a little chard, some romaine-like mystery lettuce, and some of the mixed microgreens we have going.

harvesting
Here’s me pulling our first harvest.

first harvest
It’s a nice mix of greens. The chard is so much puffier than it is in the store.

first salad
This was our first garden salad with some blackberries and dried fennel. WOW. Gourmet greens and they are so fresh.

We got some other things popping up too. But I’ll save that for another post…

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Square Foot Gardening


May 12th, 2009

me and garden Hey everyone! Check out my new garden. It’s my very first one (besides the one I started in my WINDOW). My boyfriend calls this the shot of me taking credit for all his hard work. :)

seedlings
It all started a few weeks back when I started some SEEDLINGS in my window. I had little to no idea what I was doing. I planted maybe 150 seedlings! Most of them didn’t survive my incompetence. But the tomato and arugula seedlings seemed pretty determined.

square foot gardening Everyone kept talking about this book. Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew. So I picked up a copy. It seemed to make sense. More vegetables in less space. Who could argue with that really? And it was a better idea than anything I had come up with personally. So I went with it. Admittedly, the plans seemed way more ambitious in terms of yield than any novice gardener could hope for. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to dream big dreams, right?

plans These are my inital plans (now waterlogged). It’s going to be really funny to look back after it’s all said and done to see how much of it actually came true. Our garden has a tree on one side. So one side is sunnier and one side is shadier. Thus, we tried to plan accordingly.

seedlings Once the seedlings got to be about so big, we started planting…Can you tell we’re new at this?

seedlings planted Well, they looked really impressive in my little pots in the window. But once they got into the ground, they looked kinda pathetic.

tomato seedlings Don’t laugh! Apparently, it’s better when your tomato plants are small. They survive the transplant better. Though they didn’t survive the squirrels so well. OY! The Squirrels!!

It became clear before long that we were going to need some help beefing up our garden. We went to the FRIENDS SCHOOL PLANT SALE (a GIANT plant sale at the State Fairgrounds) and picked up a few things.

plant sale Mostly, we got herbs (chocolate and orange mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, milk thistle, some peppers, more tomatoes, and some hostas for my boyfriend’s mom).

fighting back I also picked up some kale and swiss chard from the SEWARD COOP.

http://blog.punkrawklabs.net/pics/2009/may/gardenporn/transplanting.jpg Once I started transplanting, things started to take shape. Except for the squirrels who were munching on everything and digging up plants. Did I mention that SQUIRRELS ARE MY NEMESIS?! (ASIDE: My battle with squirrels began several years ago. I was getting bombarded with calls from STRANGE old ladies and people who later died on my answering machine. My calls were also getting rerouted to Canada. Very bizarre! I called the phone company, and the phone guy literally told me that my problem was squirrels first. Then terrorists. Terrorist squirrels. That should be a band name. Anyway, I did a radio show about it when I used to be DJ. You can check it out here…VOLUME 29: MYSTERY CREOT.)

netting system Anyway, back to the matter at hand. We needed to find some gentle way of encouraging the squirrels to eat someone else’s food. That’s when my boyfriend designed this netting system to keep the squirrels out. It seems to be working so far (keep your fingers crossed). Plus, now we’ve earned a reputation for being the most anal gardeners in our community garden! Our neighbor saw what we had done and kind of giggled to herself. Like, ‘hey guys, trying to keep the bears out?’

shady side This is a closer look at the shady side of our bed. This is going to be focused mainly on different varieties of lettuce. Here we have swiss chard and kale I just planted. There are some marigold in the back (supposedly to deter pests). And my little arugula seedlings are still hanging in there. We also have a square for the mystery lettuce which was left behind by last year’s gardener. And a square for micro greens.

sunny side The sunny side is mostly tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The eight squares in back are all different tomato varieties. In front, we three kinds of peppers, and herbs. I’m still filling these in. So I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

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Staging My Comeback


March 15th, 2009


Well, I think we passed a hump here in Minnesota. It’s still cold, but I think we’re definitely past the sub-zero era for this year. And the days are getting longer. Time to get my WINDOW GARDEN going again.

mixed sprout
This is a mixed sprout tray I started. I suppose, technically, it’s a micro-green tray, as sprouts grown in dirt are officially micro-greens. (I kind of prefer the micro-greens to the stringier variety.) This tray is a mix of buckwheat sprouts and a spicy sprout mix from SPROUT PEOPLE.

wheatgrass
Initially, I was having a bit of a mold problem on my wheatgrass trays.

plastic wrap
I suspect it largely had to do with this. Did I mention that it gets REALLY COLD here in Minnesota? Everyone covers their windows here with plastic wrap. It’s good for keeping warm, but bad for air circulation which is apparently the number one cause of mold on wheatgrass trays. So anyway, I got an air purifier going. I’ve been cranking it, and it seems to be helping.

graceful sprouts
Aren’t they graceful little things? They turned out really colorful. They have this beautiful reddish color which is supposed to mean a really high mineral content (at least that’s what I’ve been reading). I tried something new this batch which I read about on the TREE OF LIFE page. They’re EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISMS – kind of like probiotics for the soil. I initially got them to help with the compost in my kitchen. It was really starting to stink. This has definitely been helping with that. It seems to produce more heat as well which is kind of interesting.

high mineral content
But the added bonus is that my sprouts are looking really healthy and beautiful. This was a spicy mix (arugula, cress, and daikon). Look at that beautiful purple color. I haven’t seen that before.

tray of sprouts
Here’s is a tray of really healthy some looking sprouts. These little puppies are gonna fuel my comeback. They are. I have big plans for this year, and being sick is NOT one of them. No sir. And guess what else happened this week? My BAND got played on the radio for the first time! Strangely, it wasn’t here in Minneapolis. It was in Berkeley, CA…You know, I always liked that town. :)

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Orange Poppyseed Salad


July 2nd, 2008


This is another recipe I got from ANI PHYO. I got some new recipe books this week which I’m VERY excited about, but I’ll save that for another savory post.


I was attracted to this recipe because I had an abundant supply of MICRO GREENS that I needed to find an outlet for.


This is a bowl of freshly cut sprouts (mostly buckwheat with some spicy sprouts) from my garden. I got the seeds from SPROUT PEOPLE. They have a nice selection of different mixes. I have to say that eating sprouts for lunch esp. fresh sprouts (though I suppose these are officially micro-greens since I grew them in dirt) makes you feel really good. A certain clarity and focus that you can’t quite put your finger on.

As for the recipe, it’s very similar to the GRAPEFRUIT FENNEL AVOCADO SALAD which is one of my favorites. Not quite as gourmet, but definitely easier to prepare. While I prefer the flavor of the other salad, this micro green punch definitely adds something to your day…

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Some Observations About Wheatgrass


February 4th, 2008

art of analog

Well, it’s been about a month since I started my experiment with my WINDOW GARDEN. I like how you can see the back of the audio geek magazine in the lower left corner. It says ‘The Art of Analog’.

harvesting

My boyfriend took some pics of me harvesting wheatgrass from the garden. I found that initially I was not cutting the grass close enough to the bottom. So, I wasn’t getting the maximum harvest.

one day harvest

This is about how much grass I harvest from half a tray of wheatgrass. I’ve been doing about a half a tray a day. Ann Wigmore says that it’s important to take at least one day off a week. This somehow makes your body more receptive to it. I guess it’s sort of like how they say you shouldn’t work out every day. You need a day of rest.

one day juice This is the max amount of juice I’ve harvested from a half tray.

shot and a half It works out to be a little less than 2 shots.

grapegginerparsleyapple We’ve made some pretty intense juice concoctions. This one is grapefruit, apple, pear, parsley, ginger, and wheatgrass. WOAH!

lime parsleypear wheatgrass This one is similar but we used lime instead of grapefruit – a little more mild but still pretty punchy.

lime parsley pear grass apple juice

I like how there’s a guitar pick in this picture.

cooking with gas

Now we’re really cooking with gas. I moved all the raw books to another shelf so I could get the maximum output from my window. This is how my garden looked a couple days ago.

garden 2-1

I’ve got 4 trays of wheatgrass going (at various stages – about 2 days apart) and 2 trays of sprouts (one buckwheat and one french garden blend).

wheatgrass

I know what you’re thinking…The all important question: How do I feel? Do I think it’s helping?

Well, it’s interesting. People talk about how you get all this extra energy after a few weeks and get addicted to the feeling. I have definitely been noticing that I’ve been craving more greens. Esp in my smoothies. We made one the other day that was just coconut and fruit – one of my favorite a few months ago. I felt somehow unsatisfied. I wanted something green in it. I’ve definitely noticed a pick me up from drinking it. But I will say that as I’ve mentioned in EARLIER POSTS, I’ve been working through some health issues lately. So I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet. There have been days especially in the last week or so where I’ve gotten glimmers of feeling AMAZING. But they aren’t consistent. I’ve also had days where I’ve felt really tired and nap prone – kind of like I’m trying to work through something. So I guess my answer to the how are you feeling question is that I’ve had little teasers about where this can go, but I get the sense that my body is going to have to work through some things before I can get there. If that makes any sense. It took Ann Wigmore 3 years to work through her chronic diarrhea this way. So, I’m not expecting an overnight miracle here. And I AM really encouraged by the glimmers I’ve seen. If I could get to a point where I felt that way consistently, amazing things would happen. So, I’ll keep moving in that direction. And I’ll keep you posted…

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Hey La, Hey La…


January 21st, 2008

spring rollsMy boyfriend’s back! Poor thing. He came from a beautiful, warm summer down under to below zero weather. So, I thought we should make something kinda summery for our first meal. I found these beautiful spring rolls in RAW FOOD, REAL WORLD. We modified the recipe slightly.

sprout selection

First, I harvested this wonderful collection of sprouts from my SPROUT GARDEN (I suppose technically it’s a micro green garden).

marinated root veggies

We marinated some root vegetables (carrots, parsnip, sunchoke), mango, coconut meat, red pepper in a mixture of lime juice, sesame oil, shoyu, honey.

almond crunch

We diced some almonds really fine.

spring roll filling

Then we filled up a spring roll wrapper (WARNING: NOT RAW) with the above mixtures plus some fresh avocado and some julienned cucumber, basil, and mint leaves.

close up

Look at how yummy that looks!

Welcome back, Kotter!

Finally, we made some dipping sauce from red peppers (hot and mild) and coconut (plus some kelp and miso thrown in for kicks) and voila!

Welcome back, Kotter!

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New Food Processor and Other Musings


January 18th, 2008

new food processor

Check out the new food processor I got for Christmas! My mom gave it to me. She says she’s generally had good luck with anything GE. The last food processor I had was a steal for $25, but pieces started breaking off of it less than a week in (it was a Black and Decker). The blades and the motor on it were pretty good though. So I kept holding it together. I made it for almost a year like that. But I think my mom is trying to support my healthy changes. For the most part, my family thinks my diet is maybe a little strange, but they are happy that I’ve found something that seems to be helping me deal with DARRYL. This kind of thing doesn’t really run in my family at all. So they’re kind of at a loss as to how to help me.

fp action fp action

Here are some shots of my food processor in action. The blades on this one are really great too. And the design is much better. No small plastic pieces which are easily broken off. This one’s a keeper. Here I am making a cheesecake last night for my friend, Elizabeth. She APPEARED in my blog early on and then disappeared (as she used to live across the hall and moved). But I’ve been trying to get her over here to try some stuff as she has fibromyalgia, and I really think this will help her some.

Wakame Hemp

I made ones of my FAVES the wakame hemp power slaw. I tweaked it a little though as I can’t really just leave recipes how they are. This time I added some red chard, sesame, dulse, and miso in the dressing. And of course, I added some fresh sprouts from my SPROUT GARDEN…buckwheat and some of my spicy mix (which i got from SPROUTPEOPLE – it’s a daikon, arugula, cress mix…YUM!). The sprouts really spiced the salad up in a GOOD WAY.

dinner for e

I also made a VANILLA CHEESECAKE which I’ve made too many times to count. I’ve been tweaking this recipe too – adding some vanilla bean, dates, and almonds in the crust.

Elizabeth was pretty into it. I think I may have a convert. She was looking through recipe books and asking lots of questions. She said the food was ‘restaurant quality’ which kind of caught me off guard. I mean, I’ve been working in the restaurant/catering business for 10 years, but not on the cooking end. My palatte is overly developed, but I don’t have much experience cooking. In fact, I never cooked AT ALL until I got sick and had to go raw. But her little comment planted a little seed in my mind. I might put that seed into the ground and see what sprouts up. :)

Egg shelf

There are some other small but revolutionary changes going on in my kitchen. I found a really good use for the egg shelf. I’ve been making lemon/lime water every morning to replace that horrible caffeine habit I had for years. I noticed that I was always digging through my two shelves of produce every morning looking for the most ripe citrus until I had this eureka moment.

the garden

Here’s the SPROUT/WHEATGRASS garden as of yesterday. I’ve almost finished my first tray of wheatgrass. Ann Wigmore says that once you’ve harvested a tray, you can let the grass grow up once more before you compost the mats (the dirts and roots). So, I haven’t exactly figured out how often to space the trays apart yet, but I’m starting another tray today and the second tray seems about ready for harvesting as well. I’m in LOVE with the taste of the sprouts so far. I read somewhere though that officially sprouts are grown in water only and anything you grow in the dirt is a micro green. So, I suppose it’s technically a MICRO GREEN garden. Either way, I’m definitely hooked.

green juice

I’m gonna try to have one of these EVERY DAY. It REALLY makes you feel GREAT. I haven’t quite worked myself of to the 32 oz. CHLOROPHYLL BOMB that Anthony (aka RAW MODEL) swears by, but I’m getting there…

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Harvest Time


January 15th, 2008

seaweed chowder and sprouts

Well, spring has sprung (in my windowsill, at least). It’s time to start getting down to business. I’m still figuring out what to do with these lovely sprouts. So, I thought I’d start with something simple. Like adding them to something I make all the time…SEAWEED CHOWDER.

buckwheat sprouts

The BUCKWHEAT SPROUTS were crying out to be used. Plus, they’re kind of a nice delicate little sprout that seems ideal for soup. AND they get used in lots of asian recipes (the soup is kind of an asian fusion). So, I went for it.

Can I say YUM?!!! WOW. Who knew a little sprout could pack such a punch. They really added a lovely dimension to the soup. Kinda spicy.

I was a little less successful with the wheatgrass this morning. I might go so far as to call it a wheatgrass debacle. But, I’m late for work. So I’ll expoud on that later…

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Smoothie Fixation


January 14th, 2008

Bunny Spice

I’ve been experimenting with some smoothies this week. I usually do some variation of a coconut smoothie in the morning. But my boyfriend is on tour down under, and he’s the one who really excels at opening the coconuts. So, I’ve been spreading my wings. This is one I tried from RAW FOOD REAL WORLD that was really fantastic. It’s called Bunny Spice. It’s basically NUT MILK, carrot/ginger JUICE, banana, and cinnamon. WOW. It’s really amazing. It’s really sweet, but I didn’t really add any sweetener (other than what was in the nut milk). It just makes you realize how sweet carrots are. You just don’t notice it as much in that context. I felt really strong that day too. Carrots are powerhouses of energy.

blue sunset

I also tried this lovely concoction called the Blue Sunset. This one cost me an arm and a leg as it’s pretty tropical and it’s kind of the middle of winter, but man was it yummy. I actually made the two person batch and had no trouble finishing 2 1/2 pint glasses of this all to myself. I was drinking it in honor of my boyfriend who sent me this lovely pic from New Zealand.

Karekare beach

This is Karekare beach. Can you believe that?! You would splurge too, wouldn’t you?

Finally, here’s an update on my developing URBAN GARDEN.

Sprout Update

The sprouts are starting to shed their hulls all over the place. It’s so interesting how they pop off completely clean. No energy is wasted. Our modern society could learn a lesson or two from these little guys.

grass update

The wheatgrass looks so amazingly healthy! Not bad for a first try, eh?

Time to start thinking of recipes…

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