Thursday, April 26, 2012

Community Garden

Our Community Garden brings great joy to my heart. I've spent a decent amount of time in the space over the past several weeks since returning to Abilene and already I have decided it is well worth the effort and perseverance that it took to see it come to fruition. It is continually a work in progress but just in the past couple of weeks I have observed several great moments.

  • On a personal level, I love having the space to grow all my crazy vegetables!
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with others measuring things out, hauling wood chips, sharing ideas, and planning for demonstration garden ideas. 
  • Already I've observed gardeners helping each other out with garden knowledge and sharing of time and watering skills.
  • I got to watch a family of four plant their plot. Pretty great interactions between Mom & Dad and teenage boy and elementary age girl. Youngest is sprawled out on the soil at one end of the plot while Mom orders the rest of the family around and then noticing small child is taking a nap snaps her back into planting action. So great. They also put down some serious newspaper and leaves mulch.
  • There is apparently an older garden couple that bring in a small generator and electric tiller to till the one foot space between their rows. They have the prettiest plot ever! Today I used it for some photo opps since mine is covered in grass that desperately needs to be covered in mulch.
  • I've even already been blessed with vegetables from a kind sharing garden neighbor. The asparagus given to me did not come out of the community garden but still to think that we are a bunch of sharing generous folks is beautiful.
  • Tending the soil and nurturing the tiny seeds that produce abundant crops is just a holy indescribable process. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Local everything: raw milk cheddar, free range eggs,
freshly harvested beet greens, spinach,  & epic sourdough!

This is how I start my Earth Day celebration! Actually I didn't even realize that it was earth day until I was reminded by my fabulous neighbor as I ventured over to bake an amazing loaf of bread in the wood fired oven. I am so thankful for this beauty of a earth that I get to inhabit and the beauty of people that we are put on this earth to commune with. Praise the Lord for His many blessings!

I have been without a levain, aka sourdough starter, for quite some time now after mine died last summer when my fridge crapped out on me while away for a week. With that being said, yesterday I managed to steal a bit of levain from the master of all great bread in Manhattan and was able to get together a loaf to bake this morning. I am definitely a little rusty on my skills since I honestly haven't made any artisan bread in over 6 months. I haven't really even eaten any great artisan bread in over 4 months. For a while I was attempting a gluten free diet but I have officially decided that artisan bread is way too amazing for me to go without. So crusty bread thank you for returning to my life!

Going into the magical oven!

This is the real deal folks!
Not too shabby, but certainly not ideal looking.

Hope you can enjoy this Earth Day 2012 and take in as many close encounters with the ground that we walk on in a special way today. Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


It has been a whirlwind of activity since my return. I have been loving the fabulous weather to spend outside and have definitely been spending every last moment of sunlight out in one of my several garden spots. We have a real official community garden and it is so great!!!!! It just seems that the warm weather is ready for everything to be in the ground already so I am definitely trying to get it in. Praise the Lord for my first real lettuce and nasturtium harvest today that resulted in one epic salad! 
My epic salad contained lettuce, sprouts, avocado, goat feta, fresh beat salad, toasted sunflower seeds, and nasturtium flowers. It was quite delightful. I made the beet salad by grating beets and adding a juiced orange plus zest, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. So fresh and fabulous. I'm totally not a beer drinker but the Shock Top that made it's way into my freezer was darn good as well!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Got Lettuce?

Let me tell you about one of the most interesting discoveries I encountered while in Atlanta. PodPonics. I know that somewhere in my past I was introduced to this concept of growing plants and specifically lettuce hydroponically inside shipping containers. Little did I know that one day I would have the experience of a live after-hours tour by the man that designed and built the pods himself. Definitely blessed to stay with a friend of Barrett's in Atlanta that plays a daily role in seeing this amazing fresh lettuce come to the table in many restaurants across the city. It really is a fabulous site to see and has so much potential! Really, food could be growing daily, year-round, in controlled environments across the country inside shipping containers. Seriously people, let's just get a little creative and stop making excuses for why we don't have enough fresh real food.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Southern Conclusion

My time in The South has come to a conclusion. It was a most fabulous adventure and one that I will not forget. I want to make a list of all the life lessons that I learned on the trip but I think I'll keep that for anger day when I have more time to reflect. Today, I am wrapping up my picture list.

This cutie may be one of my favorite southern friends. We had a blast at the bull riding event with her fabulous family. Once again so blessed to stay with great people along the way!

Visited the Road to Tara museum entrance in Jonesboro, GA. You know I was too cheap to actually tour it or take the driving tour so a picture of the front is all I got. I also found a plantation in town but no Tara plantation. Love Gone With the Wind!

I found a fabulous little urban garden while spending the day in Atlanta. It is always so great to find the little places where the best food is grown.

Our final morning together we enjoyed breakfast at the Thumbs Up Diner in Atlanta. It was most wonderful and I think quite possibly one of the best buttermilk pancakes I've ever had. Pretty fabulous buckwheat with pecans pancake as well! I was truly blessed to share life with Barrett for this time. Seriously love that dude and his heart for Jesus, orphans, people in general, and life. Let's party!

- Grace and peace to you

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Couchsurfing Blessing

I am continually reminded of the goodness of God's provisions on this trip. He always provides and especially chooses to bless us when we are giving of ourselves and serving. We have been so blessed by the people that have opened their homes to us and most recently it has been complete strangers that have showed us the most gracious hospitality. We stayed two nights last week with an FFA advisor in Roberta, GA and then an evening with a friend of a friend that invited us into the family for the weekend. We were blessed to attend an amazing bull riding event with them and attend their precious rural Baptist church on Sunday.

Presently we are enjoying our stay with a fabulous family that I found on! They have been so great to get to know and share life with for just this short while. They love Jesus, gardening, living a simple lifestyle, eating healthy live giving foods, and traveling and missions as well. So you can imagine we've had some great conversations and Barrett and I decided we could both just move into their shop/game room/sleeping quarters behind their home. Just quality people that are passionate about sharing what they have and opening their home to others. This is what Jesus calls us to do, to break bread with others, and simply be in community with others. Praise the Lord for people that are following Jesus in this way.

You know I love a great garden and can't wait to get back to my multiple gardens at home. This morning I got to help harvest some lettuce and eat it for lunch so that was super exciting to me! My first fresh lettuce salad of the season was so tasty!

Check out the largest rosemary bush I have ever seen in my life! And the plethora of homemade jams and jellies on the table this morning demanded that I enjoy more biscuits while living it up in the south.

- Grace and peace to you