Community Gardens, Spicy Lentil Hummus, & Beard Losses

Posted: 28/02/2014 in Uncategorized
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Hi there, I hope February was nicer than January for a lot of you.  Just think–it’s almost over…the cold weather, the unrelenting snow(at least where I came from in Ohio) & ice storms, the overcast days…it’s almost over & now it’s time to…



I’m pretty lucky in the fact that it isn’t so bad here in Jacksonville, plus in a couple of days it’s going to be No Meat March(did you sign up or check it out?  If not, it’s described in the last post)!

So there’s that.

That said, I’ve got a good start to my community garden & balcony garden(despite a three day freeze we had in January, but I won’t dwell).

The community garden is less than a mile from where I live, so it gets me out on my bike to check it out daily & work a bit on everything.  After all, my plot is typically pretty well-kept, weeded & pest free(save the cat that thinks the plot is a litter box two minutes after I get done sowing seeds into the ground), so I like to take care of other parts of the garden as well.

Like this part I just started on:

Weeds, weeds, everywhere.

Weeds, weeds, everywhere.

In the next post, I’ll show the progress.  At the time of writing & editing this, I’m halfway done getting the weeds out of there.

You kind of have to look at it like this:  if there are weeds in the pathways, there will be weeds in your garden soon.  If there are pests somewhere, same deal.  You have to be preemptive when it comes to this, because nature will fight a controlled area(I love that about nature, that rebel fighter!).

Last year, I had a bumper crop of chili peppers, peanuts(yes, I grew PEANUTS!!), sweet potatoes, green onions, tomatoes, kale, okra, and a whole bunch of herbs.  So far this year I have green onions, kale, mustard greens, tobacco(I don’t smoke it anymore, it has absolutely beautiful flowers though), a plethora of herbs, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and two avocado trees started.  Here are some of the pictures:

Mustard green kale onion salad, anyone?

Mustard green kale onion salad, anyone?

The rest of our garden.  Not at all shabby I must say.

The rest of our garden. Not at all shabby I must say.

Even balconies need gardens.

Even balconies need gardens.

Indoor gardens are cool too, especially when you have fresh herbs for cooking.

Indoor gardens are cool too, especially when you have fresh herbs for cooking.

This particular community garden plot only costs ten dollars & is a great getaway/meditative break from the typical hustle & bustle of our current, often confusing, busy society.  Plus, when you do it right & put in some time, you get an unlimited amount of veggie grub!  Needless to say, I’m a giant fan of that.

So get a plot.  Or just start gardening.  I didn’t have a green thumb until I tried, so there’s no such thing as a “black thumb” or whatever it is called when you can’t keep a plant alive.  You just have to try & give it love, just like everything else needs to grow.  Or just start with weeds.  They grow great for anyone(plus some are edible!!  Dandelions, anyone?!).

I guess it’s because I’ve been taking enough time out of my day to go out there & work extra that I was made the garden manager.  It’s not a giant deal, just being the eyes & ears for the committee taking care of this little piece of heaven–helping out where needed, encouraging other plot owners to jump in and make sure their gardens are clear of pests & weeds, that kind of stuff.  I’m pretty excited for all of that; it helps the community & is a great cause!

That’s my take on community gardens–it is a great year-round project that anyone can do, plus it gets you active & outside!

Now an easy recipe!!

Gather this stuff:

2 1/5 cups of cooked(I like mine a bit overcooked) lentils

1/2 cups of water

1 tablespoon of lemon juice(squeezed fresh if possible)

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

2 tablespoons of tahini

a clove of garlic

four small ornamental Thai peppers or half of a regular Thai pepper

Here’s the trick….throw them all in a food processor or blender & blend that until it is creamy.  It shouldn’t take too long.  Put it in a bowl, add some paprika to the top, & refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Cut a cucumber, bell pepper, whatever your dipping veggie of choice & enjoy!  It should feed a few people or be a cool dip at a party.  I totally would have had a picture, but it went so fast.

Last thing.

I was growing a beard(not a tough thing for me to do), and had to cut it off for work.  Apparently people don’t like vegan chefs to have beards or something crazy like that.

So I let the beard go out with a simple, fun picture slideshow.  WITH MUSIC.

I hope I don’t get sued.

To start with the shaving process, I tried what’s called a “monkey tail”–look it up, people have been asking me to pull that off for a bit & I finally did, but it looks horrible.  Toward the end, I swear I was trying for a Charlie Chaplin(or just a Hanes commercial Michael Jordan).

In any case, I hope you laugh, I hope you get outside, & I hope overall that you enjoy life.  It’s kind of what we are all here for.  Here you go.

Have a great couple of weeks!!


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