Thursday, July 7, 2011

Miss Me? Confessions of a Lapsed and Lazy Blogger

I haven't been around for a while ... been mulling over the pros and cons of blogging and trying to figure out the aim of my site. After all, the Food Revolution is a pretty big topic and a pretty big deal -- how to do it justice? In truth, I have spent a lot of time the last few months debating the merits of social media in general. One day I feel compelled to join Facebook so that I can be part of the mass ego-sharing, the next day I imagine online conspiracies aimed at secretly documenting my every move and comment. In any case, I have spent some serious thought time on the subject of blogging, mostly in lieu of actually writing about it.

Patio Farm at this moment both thrives and languishes. The tomatoes are busy and gangly and strangely heavy for their feathery appearance. The bean leaves bravely diminish into papery sheets, the cucumbers yellow at the edges and, the peppers betray that clearly someone has been taking precise half-moon bites from them on the sly. There have been seasons worth of concerns and thrills as the first year of Patio Farm evolved. Triumphs of the carrot harvest. Giggles at the two tiny turnips I grew, crooked and narrow and looking nothing like a turnip. Wonder watching the process of blooming my immigrant poppies, so delicate and ephemeral but vital in the far corner of my garden. Each event has seemed so normal each day, unremarkable and at the same time the most exciting thing in my sphere of experience. What seemed so mundane a few months ago now I remember as being the crux of a season or lifespan of some plant friend or another. And yet I have actively avoided writing about any of it for fear that it may not be worth recording. Or that I may not be worthy of recording it.

Part of my reluctance has been in view of the anniversary of My Food Revolution. About a year ago I made a drastic break from my normal life and decided to explore the possibilities of pursuing my heart-felt passion for food and letting some of my previous expectations about career and achievement fall to the wayside for a while. A year later I revisit my priorities and reevaluate both my mission and also my desire to write about it. Why revolt? Why write? Why share? Why not?

I don’t know. But I am still compelled to document my adventures in Patio Farming somehow, if only as a personal record of my seasonal activities and their failures and successes. To that end I am trying something new at, for any who care to chart the course of my experiment in urban farming. I plan to continue My Food Revolution as well, but not sure yet the form or direction that it will take. Of course this will continue to be the repository of my list of food books and food movies. After all, my research and learning still runs strong and I am daily amassing evidence about the power of vegetables.

My heart still lies firmly in the heart of the Food Revolution. Viva comida! Viva la revolucion!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Garden Stories

Blake was confident that he would close this deal today. With a little charm and a briefcase full of earnest money, soon this useless farmland would be transformed into the biggest MegaFood franchise yet. And he stood to make a tidy profit on the deal…so it was clearly win-win all around. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden Stories

Hugh was pleasantly surprised at how quickly he had adapted to the change from builder to farmer – but then, so many of the tools and skills were the same. The Great Recession had done him an unexpected favor and he was glad to be nurturing the soil now instead of paving over it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I spent some enjoyable time digging up worms in my garden and relocating them to pots with old roots & leaves. My strategy is to keep on distributing worms throughout Patio Farm and also to continue to dump coffee grounds and bury leaves and scraps. Already my soil is fluffier than when I started. These little guys are just awesome, so wiggly and so helpful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Carrot Harvest

One of my favorite things about growing food is harvesting ... especially the excitement and satisfaction of pulling something out of the ground. I planted carrots in a few pots in September, and have been lovingly watering them and waiting impatiently for the carrots to grow large.

With low light and cooler weather, it has taken a good 6 months for that to happen. Six months! I find it amazing that it can take 6 months to grow a carrot, but that you can buy them at the store for less than a dollar a pound. My appreciation for the energy and effort that it takes food to grow was enhanced by my waiting and watching over these guys all fall and winter.

So, finally the big day arrived and Ryan and I took turns pulling out carrots until we had the full haul -- one 12" terracotta pot full of carrots. Sweet, crispy and each with its own personality and adorable shape. Lucky me! The next step is to make tajine, one of my favorite carrot recipes... 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Garden Stories

Wendell had sworn up and down that he would always defend his rights to tend his land and to grow his own food as he saw fit as a small American farmer. But he never anticipated this would mean fending off the GMO-fueled caterpillars that showed up this Spring, ravenous after devouring the monoculture crops at the neighboring mega-farm.