Archive for January, 2010

The Visitor

January 31, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: A very brave and very chubby creature showed up in our lot to bury some treasures when the ground was still soft. He (she?) was scavenging the green tomatoes we never picked.
The dogs were released when the little dude’s digging started getting out of control, but he held his position on the fence post until Ellie Mae left, and then went back to his business of storing food.

Anyone else out there have any crazy critter encounters? We don’t see much in the way wildlife here in Brooklyn, but I have heard rumors of raccoons at the Bushwick.

dem apples

January 30, 2010


Greenpoint Farmers’ Market. Thanks for existing.

For My Girls… and yours…

January 27, 2010

ALL OF NYC & Beyond: Attention New York City area mommies, a few good women have come together to form an amazing super team for all your kid’s birthday or other special event  needs! I am very excited to announce Gypsy Craft Socials, an ingeniuos blending of craft, entertainment and documentation (yes, the full party package includes professional photography.)

See their website here:

http://gypsycraftsocials.blogspot.com

In an attempt to make this post relevant to my blog, I am imagining a Secret Garden birthday party with a how to make silk roses workshop and victorian decorations, along with english sandwiches and cakes. Maybe a potted plant for each little lady and copy of the famous publication to take home. Here is the garden in Kent England that supposedly inspired author Frances Hodgson Burnett:

I can’t get over what a creative combination of talents Gypsy Craft Socials presents. With these ladies on the job, the possibilites are endless. Make your daughter’s next birthday magically unforgettable! Check them out!

The Great Thaw

January 23, 2010

HUMBOLDT ST, Brooklyn: Have I mentioned it has been so warm this past week? Temperatures have ranged from 36 – 50. Tomorrow’s forecast says 48 and rainy. The ground isn’t frozen anymore, all my planters have thawed out.

In the Belly of the Beast

January 23, 2010

221 WEST 26TH, Manhattan: A change of pace for the winter weather, I took the morning off work a couple Thursdays ago to attend a taping of the Martha Stewart show, with Brad. The least likely person to ever have sat in on Martha, it was about this point standing in line outside headquarters, surrounded by middle aged housewives, we were wondering what we were even doing there. Well, we were there to see Martha.

Woah! The theme of the show was blogging, the crowd was dominated by tech savvy mommies typing all about parenting. I was surprised the only other garden related blogger in attendance was the author of these two: www.gardeningbythebook.com (a pretty awesome source for garden related reading I was happy to find, perfect for this hibernating time of year…) & www.ourlittleacre.blogspot.com. The complete list of the attendee’s blogs is not even worth posting here, there is a post on Martha’s site somewhere if anyone is dying to know.

I’m sorry I’m not even going to link the show, here is a still from the intro, our 1 second of fame, enhanced with arrows for recognition purposes:

Woo hoo! Hilarious. It took me a really long time to figure out exactly what to say about this experience, and I have finally decided, to keep things posi, some things are better left unsaid. The following is a photographic summary of our visit, sort of cataloguing all the plants on set. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, if I may be so cliche.

It was hard to tell if the plants were real. I was hoping deep down in my heart they were, but couldn’t figure out how that would be possible in a windowless studio. The “greenhouse/garden shed” setup was pretty divine.

Even if it was all fake, it was nice to take in all the foliage on a cold winters day. And daydream about an alternate universe where I have a lush misty greenhouse off my penthouse over looking Manhattan. What if…

I enjoyed trying to identify the potted wonders decorating the set, and thinking about expanding my house plant collection. These can’t all be real, can they?

Orchids, this may have inspired me to buy one sometime soon to distract myself from the gray of winter.

Lemon tree, with fruits!

Pineapple, I have been reading up on how to grow one of these from the crown of a store bought fruit, will post soon.

Martha has a terrarium! You can buy one of these for yourself from Sprout Home on Grand Street in Brooklyn! Or make your own like I did, at their next “how to” class!

Sprout Home has these crazy looking plants for sale too! I don’t know what it is. I will find out and update soon. It kinda reminds me of a vegetarian version of those mounted buck heads often hung in log cabins.

Oranges!? No way.

Here she is, the queen mother of marketing genius. The best part of the show was when she decided to show off her amazing golden high heels by throwing her leg up on the counter. Who knew Martha was so flexible?

Oh, Martha. Full of surprises.

So Far, So Good

January 18, 2010

LORIMER STREET, Brooklyn: Potatoes, apples & squash from the Greenpoint farmer’s market. I am keeping good on my word to visit the market every Saturday through the winter, and purchase the majority of my produce there.

Find Brooklyn Farmer’s Market listings here:
www.nyfarmersmarket.com

I am excited to report that Boneshaker’s brunch menu now includes potatoes from the Greenpoint Farmer’s Market, deliciously and simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Oops, I just gave away the secret recipe.

There are a lot of good posts coming soon… I have so many links to share, and was in the studio audience for Martha Stewart’s “Blogging” show on Thursday – which was a completely surreal experience, that I am still collecting my thoughts on – so coverage of that is happening sometime this week. In the mean time, stay warm and happy growing!

More from Monsanto

January 13, 2010

From NPR.org:
GMO Ignites Big Seed War

Shit’s fucked up.

I Heart Sprout

January 13, 2010

Grand Street, Brooklyn: Sprout Home, an oasis and paradise, right here in Williamsburg. A great place to escape the cold this time of year, I am lucky to have a good buddy work here – and have made other buddies through her, because everyone here is so damn nice. These are some pics I took back in August, but it is still just as green and inviting even in the depths of winter. I still have to post a pic of the super sweet terrarium I made here last week, but i decided to keep it at work to brighten up my incredibly boring workspace so it might be a while before I get around to it.

These are banana branches! I could not believe this when I saw it! See the little tiny baby bananas!? Amazing.

During the spring, summer and fall the massive back yard is stuffed to the gills with plants. It is pretty crazy to walk around back there and feel like you are in the middle of a park. I heart Sprout. I really do.

Sprout Home

Sprout Blog

ps. to my midwest connection (if there’s anyone out there!) Sprout is in Chicago too! Check it out?

Cavemen? WTF?

January 10, 2010

New York City, from the New York Times:

The New Caveman Lifestyle

I would like to argue that agriculture is crucial to human evolution, and this whole paelo diet is just silly. The hunting and gathering lifestyle was without a doubt an extremely important  point in our history as a species, but reverting back to it at this point in time, especially so out of context, is invalid.

I think it is true that in our current society, bad habits have formed. The entire food industry in the USA is full swing into a terrifying down spiral of processed and engineered “food like substances” (to quote Michael Pollan.) However, I urge the entire human race to look forward to a new evolution (i am not a hippie) which molds our knowledge of agriculture and technology into a responsible and efficient way to feed everyone.

The end.

Zombie Land

January 10, 2010

HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: Winter waste land, wishing the ground wasn’t frozen solid while salivating over farm listings on wwoof.org.

Talked to a farmer today at the farmers market about growing apples and bought some beautiful blue potatoes from him. Also purchased a wedge of Dorset from a 146 year old cheese making co-op, Consider Bardwell Farm. About the cheese I selected:  “A washed-rind, raw Jersey cow milk cheese. A soft ripening cheese with a rich, buttery texture and seasonally influenced pungency. An elegant appetizer or dessert…” Winner of both the American Cheese Society & World Jersey Cheese Awards in 2008. Looking forward to enjoying my little dairy nugget.

This 1/4 lb of cheese has gotten the gears turning about a few projects I have been wanting to tackle for a long time, one of which is making cheese. The new year seems like a good time to lay out a goal or two, so here are a few things I would like to accomplish this winter:

Make mozzarella!

Grow a pomegranate shrub from seed!

Future trees! (I want to draw out a plan to add some fruit & nut trees to my parents property in CT this spring)

Pickling nonstop!

Compile a garden & food book list! Read more!

Make beer! or hard cider!?

Farmers market every weekend!

Visit Brooklyn botanical garden!

Start seeds early this year! (finish/repair the cold frame?)

Ok, that should be enough to keep me busy. Between all this (besides my full time office job, of course) I will be cooking and baking, researching and daydreaming. I expect all my readers to do the same, and share the results. I’d love to see what you all are up to: igrewthis@gmail.com, send me your ideas for staying sane through winter!