Sunday, June 27, 2010
Why You Should Grow Plants
Everyone out there should be growing plants. Even if you live in a studio apartment. You have space for some plants, or you can get off your butt and get a p-patch. In many farming areas you can rent p-patch space for around $1 a square foot. $20 would get you a good sized, manageable area. If you don't want to do that, get a pot and grow your own herbs, edible flowers or even some lettuce. Just look for things that are a little shade tolerant and acquire a plant light.
The reason you need to grow your own vegetables is because as soon as you cut them their quality begins to degrade. We recently went to a fantastic little restaurant that only serves local-in season food. It's a great place, and their food is local and they tell you where it comes from, and it's completely fresh. When we were there we got this little goat cheese salad with baby greens, and I could tell that they were old! I don't mean like two weeks old, but after eating all this lettuce from my garden within an hour of cutting it, I could tell that the lettuce at the restaurant was cut the day before. It's kind of depressing to loose out on such a good thing because you don't own a patch of dirt, that's why I suggest the pots, I grow lettuce around things in pots all the time. Just get a good sized pot.
I love my garden. I love being able to go out and pick my dinner. It's amazing to put some seeds in the ground, surround them with electric wires to keep out the cats and squirrels, and pour water on them and in a few weeks... KABLAMEE, produce!
I also love plants, I think they're so neat, and wonderful. A little fertilizer (organic of course) and water and you can grow bib or butter lettuce, the most expensive and fragile of lettuces for a few pennies! No more tough old spinach leaves for me, only young tender baby spinach leaves. More tender than the so-called baby spinach leaves you can buy in the store.
I made this great salad. First I went out and picked it. I cooked up a Boca Burger and cut it up and took my fresh greens and some black beans and then I made an all-fresh-all-the-time mayonnaise dressing, and I will give you the recipe for that. Starred items are ones that I am growing (not ready yet) or have ready in my garden.
Spicy Green Dressing
1 farm fresh egg
1/2 C. organic sour cream
*1 big handful cilantro
*1 jalapeno or other spicy pepper
*1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
grape seed oil - about 2/3 cups.
In your blender put the egg, sour cream, cilantro and part of the chili pepper and garlic. Add some salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of oil. Turn the blender on and let it blend a bit, slowly pour in the remaining oil. You might not need all of it, you might need more. You want to pour in the oil until you have a thick looking salad dressing. You might stop the blender to see how it's coming if you haven't done this before. Pour into a small clean jar and keep in the fridge.
A note on pouring your oil: a small stream is better. If you add the oil to fast it won't turn into mayonnaise.
Also remember the USDA says raw eggs will kill you.