Posted on Apr 15, 2013

Reflections On Discovering My Passion: Homesteading

Thank you Facebook. For if it weren’t for all your awesomeness I might not be writing here once again today.

I recently got a message on Facebook from an old high school friend who had come across my page and noticed what has changed for me since we last saw each other 9 years ago… I garden, a lot, and I’m super amped about it.

Her message to me was as follows: So are you like a total homesteader; beekeeping, growing food and all that? If so, I would love to get some tips from you! And just hear about your vision/projects! One of my eventual goals is to have a sustainable homestead situation, but I am so far from that at the moment. I’m excited about the idea, but a little overwhelmed thinking about learning all the necessary skills and finding the initial capital for even a small bit of land, etc etc. Anyway, I know this is a bit out of the blue, but I would love to hear your story of how you got into this stuff, what you are working on, how you’re making it work, if you had training of any kind, etc! If you have time, please do hit me up with your story!

Here’s what I wrote back, and in turn made me want to blog again:

It’s awesome to hear that you’re getting into homesteading, it’s such a fulling way to use your time. I feel that way so much so that when the time is right, I’d love to stop working for other people and start making a living through my homesteading life… a lot of thought needs to go into that before I can just drop my current income though, of course. But in the mean time, I spend as much time as I possibly can reading about the most specific things I want to know, and then- go do it. Just like with anything else, you can read about it all you want but when it comes down to it, it’s your trial and error that helps you learn the most! And it’s the funnest part too.

balcony garden

I would say that I first fell in love with small scale gardening. Literally, it was on my 4ft x 5ft balcony. Where my yard got no sun the balcony had it all so that was the decision. It consisted of an old chest that I found on the side of the road which I filled with soil and herbs, as well as a couple of super small planters for some sugar snap peas and flowers. I fell in love with this garden because of how small it was (and how easy it was to make very colorful and full of personality). I started with seedlings and that was a disaster because I didn’t know what I was doing. Soon after I realized I’d be more successful as a novice gardener if I started with stater plants from the nursery. Good people to make friends with, they have a lot of information for us newbies.

I’ve had three very successful gardens since then that produce so much harvest that my girlfriend Whitney and I can never ever seem to get through it all.

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That is when I discovered the second reason I love gardening… For me, it is by far the best feeling to grow organic produce and flowers and be able to share my harvest with my friends, family, and neighbors. It’s a feeling that I have yet to get from anything else in life.

Obviously you can only spend so much time out in the garden: watering, pruning, harvesting… so in order to fill my desires in other ways I started taking a lot of photos, and it turns out that I love to take photos of my garden/homestead projects as much as I love to garden itself. My photos were a way for me to watch and review my progress, and share my new found love with anyone who gives two shits.

This is also when I started slowly picking up books on the subject. I started with a basic book called The Edible Garden, then moved on to amazing books like Edible Landscaping and The Urban Homestead, Farm Anatomy, and The Backyard Beekeeper… all of which I recommend.

It wasn’t until summer of 2012 that I realized that I felt a huge pull to be outdoors working with the land to make an income. I’ve only ever worked in the restaurant industry, and at this point, I would give anything to be able to drop that and put all of my energy into working from home to make a fucking sweet homestead. But alas, I need to make rent.

I was fortunate enough to get to work in Santa Cruz with an amazing farm called North Coast Farms. It was me and 3 other farmers and we produced food for a group of engineers that live on the property. Through the farm I split my time caring for the garden and apprenticing with their personal chef. It was my time with this chef that gave me more of the homesteading experience. I had the chance to string and dry our hot peppers and turn them into ground pepper and hot sauces, blanch and can hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, fire roast Ancho peppers for dinners, pick 200 lbs. of apples for our homemade hard cider, and extract honey from our twelve bee hives.

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But by far the craziest, coolest experience I had on the farm was killing a rooster. I read aloud a thanksgiving prayer, walked over to the rooster and calmed him with some nice head strokes, we looked each other in the eyes, I slit his throat and let him bleed out. Then I cried.

It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had and I’m so proud I did it.

Honestly, I think that led me to my next phase of desiring the homesteading life. I knew I wanted challenges, and to start something for real from scratch, and live off of MY OWN LAND.
My girlfriend knows all this very well about me so I think for a long time without me knowing she was searching for this “land” for me, for us.
In January, she came across a Craigslist add for a sweet home on about a quarter of an acre not far from where we were currently located. We fell in love instantly; reconfigured our budget, brought the landlady a great big jar of local honey, and she liked us enough to cancel her other showings of the house. We found out that night that we would get to move in not more than a week later.
We’re now located in a small town called Aptos, in Santa Cruz county. We’re on the top of a mountain at the edge of a ridge. There’s more trees than the eye can see, ocean views, wild rabbits, deer, quail, turkeys, and birds of all kinds. It’s a serious natural habitat and it’s the coolest place I’ve ever been period. I love it here, and it’s because every single day I’m inspired to do what I love to do. Care for mother nature.

With this move came the calling for beekeeping. I’ve been studying on my own time for 7 months now and have slowly become pretty obsessed. I know how beneficial keeping bees will be for my garden for one, but I also knew I was ready for my next challenge. Everything with homesteading takes time, patience, experience, and knowing that you will fail at some things and you will succeed at others. Our successes will only be as great as our care for the matter.

So I suggest finding the one thing that interests you the most: starting seeds, soil composition, composting, canning, whatever, and read about it, a lot about it. Search it online, and find out how you can do that thing physically today. Touch the soil, can a tomato, buy a pack of seeds and plant them.
I’m on a huge kick of ‘just do it’.
So my friend, just do it, and it will happen!

Happy Homesteading,

Cait Scott

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Posted on May 3, 2011

Finished Harbor Cafe’s Garden

Harbor Garden Sign

Have you been to Harbor Cafe yet?

If you answered no, stop reading. Go to 535 7th Ave. Santa Cruz, Ca and order the fish tacos and 2 Bloody Marys (or, go on Fridays and get bottomless mimosas!), then come back and finish reading why it’s my favorite restaurant.

Well, I could spend an entire post writing about how much I love their food and the fun loving atmosphere, but instead I’m just going to tell you how excited I am that Whitney and I were asked to plant a vegetable garden for their restaurant!

Whitney and I go to Harbor Cafe often… very often, and we’ve been lucky enough to strike up some quality friendships with the staff and owners. The opportunity to design and construct the restaurants garden came about from tippys talk with one of our favorite servers. The three of us were looking at their raised bed (of sorts) filled with: palm trees, ferns, a huge jade bush, wild lilies, weedy grasses, and a ton of deteriorating boating equipment and surfboards. After a couple conversations we all agreed that change was necessary and it was time for that little plot of land to become an edible landscape for all to enjoy. Here’s what it looked like before we did anything to it.

Harbor Garden Before
Whitney and I started off by educating ourselves on a couple of things.

1) What to grow: We already knew Harbor’s menu extensively so it wasn’t hard to come up with a huge list of edibles for the cooks to use, however, with our limited space we knew we would have to narrow it down to just a few plants.

2) Companion planting: Once we had a pretty good grasp of what we wanted to grow, we had to find out if they would grow well next to each other, liked the same soil, preferred sun or shade, ect. ect. We really didn’t want to kill all of the plants just because we plopped them in the wrong spot and next to the wrong neighbor.

3) Design techniques: This is our first time designing a garden and we wanted it to reflect the informal atmosphere of the restaurant; so we chose to reuse a lot of their old boating and beach equipment for aesthetics. We also kept track of our color scheme making sure there was an attractive flow of colors to lead the eye through the garden.

After some research we got to the fun part, gettin’ dirty. We were ready and eager to get the project started so we plowed right into removing the old junk, cleaning up the years of trash build up, digging deep into the earth and ripping out old roots. Then, we gathered our homegrown seed starts, bought the other plants we decided on, and started planting!

Here’s the list of veggies and herbs we decided on for Harbor Cafe’s Garden: snap peas, cilantro, basil, celery, jalapeno peppers, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and lavender. And here’s how the garden turned out!

Harbor Garden After

Harbor Cafe is a respected restaurant in Santa Cruz and hundreds of people are flowing through their patio doors daily. The addition of a vegetable garden is a small yet progressive change that many people will see, and it’s a great step towards larger changes to add to their eco-friendly contributions. The list of benefits could go on and on for what a quality vegetable garden would provide and save a restaurant; and if they’ll have me I would be privileged to continue the expansion of this project so it could be of even more use to their kitchen.

But for now, if we can all find a voice representing the importance of being served fresh, local food when we go out to eat, then perhaps many more restaurants will hop on the garden wagon and start gettin’ dirty.

What restaurants have you been to that grow some of their own produce? And what do you think the benefits would be if I tried to expand the Harbor Cafe garden?

Here’s my favorite photo of the gardeners: (left to right) Jasmine aka Jam, Whitney, Cait (me).

Harbor gardeners

Posted on May 3, 2011

Eco-friendly Eggshell Seed Starters!

pansies

As a novice gardener I’m finding that I am overly eager about starting seeds, transplanting, and harvesting… really, the whole shebang. I want to learn about it all and I want to do it all right now! However, as you may know gardening takes patience, and that’s where side projects have become my savior; an outlet for keeping my hands in the dirt, my green thumb up, and my garden anxieties down. I recently came across an awesome eco-friendly planting project from my family friend Terry. She made the project sound so simple and I already had all the necessary supply’s at home so I immediately got to it.

If anyone you know ever gets stumped on where to begin with sowing seeds, tell them it all starts with breakfast. Well, to be more specific, it starts with egg… shells. Ok, so it has nothing to do with breakfast but if you do have some eggshells ready to go out to the compost, grab em’, and I’ll show and tell you how to make eggshell seed starters.

First, your going to rinse out all of the half eggshells and let them air dry, and make sure to keep your egg carton to reuse and hold the shells!

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Next, poke a few drainage holes with a nettle in the bottom of each shell.

pansies

Then, fill the shell to the brim with potting soil and poke your pinkie 1/4″ into the dirt; this is where the seed will then be placed and covered lightly with soil.

pansies

I chose to plant basil because I can never get enough of it, but you can choose any seed you like. Just make sure to follow the seed instructions on the back of your seed packet, as each plant has basic differential watering, temperature, and spacial requirements. This project would be wonderful for kids or anyone who is curious about starting a little eco-friendly herb garden. From beginning to end you can reuse, reduce, and recycle with this fun project!

I encourage you to share your growing experience or a recipe that you gained from your garden!

Posted on Apr 21, 2011

Seed Starting Movement: Triscuit Advocates Urban Farming

Triscuits an advocate of Urban Farming

Since I’ve found my passion in gardening it doesn’t take much to make my head turn and my senses perk when the subject arises; so when I saw Triscuit crackers advertising to “Plant a Seed, Grow a Movement” I was naturally curious. At first glance, I scoffed at Triscuit’s marketing mechanism: using gardening as their tool to maintain Kraft’s $48 billion annual revenue. I figured Triscuit’s involvement in the gardening scene was just an image decoy to make their snack seem healthier, as if all the ingredients just popped up from Mother Nature.

Not to be persuaded by first assumptions, I decided to inform myself on the connection between this huge corporation and homegrown food.

The first piece of information I stumbled across was that if you buy one of the 8 million specially marked boxes of Triscuits you may get a free pack of dill or basil seeds to grow in your garden! Although I didn’t find a pack of seeds in my cracker box, it’s the prospect of free food that seems to get me every time. It’s not quite as good as finding the golden ticket, but it sure is a golden way to campaign for local food.

Cait and Whitney seed starts beets and crackers

However, In order to better understand the roots of this movement, we need to take a step back and be introduced to a wonderful non-profit organization called Urban Farming. Triscuit partnered with Urban Farming to help support the construction of 65 community-based farms across the country. Urban Farming began with just 3 farms in Detroit, Michigan in 2005 and today they have created and planted the equivalent of 3,800 community and residential gardens across the globe. The organization sounds amazing to me.

It is for obvious reasons that big names, (like Ellen DeGeneres) and corporations want to get involved with Urban Farming; their message is so pure and heart felt. Through their work, Urban Farming encourages an awareness of diversity, community, non-violence, health, wellness, sustainable living, and education.

After discovering Urban Farming my attitude was warmed a bit towards Triscuit’s involvement. They are helping to spread community-based farms to 20 U.S urban centers and many to low income-housing facilities. They also set up a website that is extremely interactive and informative, helping us at home to plan our own gardens. On their site you’re able to track your gardens progress, share photos, ask questions and view community conversations. I absolutely recommend checking it out. Who knows maybe you will be persuaded to get involved, start your own garden, or learn a few tips, tricks and recipes.

While I do admire their contribution, I certainly don’t think it’s necessary to buy a box of Triscuits to participate. However, I do think it’s as easy as planting a seed to continue this amazing movement.

What seeds do you have started?

Posted on Apr 15, 2011

Paint Your Thumb Green And Get Crafty With Your Garden!

Green Thumb

If you’ve ever had a garden then you know about the caring and maintenance involved in having a healthy edible landscape. Every so often it’s necessary to paint your thumb green, pull out the pruners, and get trimming. Sometimes we prune to remove the dead or unhealthy leaves and stems, while other times we prune to redirect and promote growth in our veggies, herbs, and flowers. This week I went to town on my garden. The fennel became a shady forest over the cilantro and parsley, the broccoli rabb bolted, flowered, and towered over the rainbow chard and well, the lavender just smells so good that I couldn’t resist cutting it back just to be engulfed in its scent. I ended up with two different piles of plant cuttings: the dead and the living. The dead pile went directly into our home compost and the living was transformed into home decoration.

After all the hard work that goes into keeping a beautiful landscape producing, it’s a heart break to cut back the good stuff and just toss it. So, this time I was determined to reuse all the healthy cuttings in some fashion. Here are a few easy ways to recycle your plants after they’ve been pruned:

Edible Bouquet:

Some of my herbs and veggies were getting a little crowed, so I made a centerpiece bouquet out of: fennel, broccoli raab, parsley, cilantro, purple kale, and lavender. Making the edible bouquet was such a simple and beautiful way to reuse the clippings from my garden.
Edible Bouquet

Dried Flower and Herb Greeting Card:

My Pansies produced, my Poppies popped, and once again lavender is just the best thing ever. I gathered the fallen petals and it became necessary that I cut back the flowers so they could better produce in the future. Going along with my scheme of reusing the plant clippings, I set my colorful collection in the middle of a heavy book to dry for a couple of days. With the dried flowers and herbs my girlfriend Whitney and I made a cute greeting card for my grandma, sending her a bit of everything from our garden!
dried flower greeting card

Hanging Lavender:

This is the easiest project in the book. In fact it shouldn’t even be deemed a project; but it’s amazing how simple and decorative hanging lavender can be. Just get some thread, tie the bundle together any way you like, make a loop at the end and enjoy it’s beauty and scent.
hanging lavander

If you’re interest lies more in kitchen projects than home crafts, here are some great resources for other methods of utilizing those healthy clippings!

5 Cool Things To Do With Herbs

Preserving The Harvest

Maintaining our gardens can be a lot of work. But… it is for our bounty and pleasure that we tend to and make use of our gardens to the fullest and share our rewards with one another. What crafty projects have you done with your garden clippings?

Posted on Apr 9, 2011

Epic Places In Small Spaces

Cait's Balcony Garden

This year I tripped on passion and fell head over heals for gardening. I found my smile in the dirt, my head in the books, and the butterflies in my stomach from the giddiness of my future, becoming a gardener. I’ve planted a couple gardens in the past – they survived, yielded, and provided me with food.

But this year is different. This year I don’t just have a garden; the garden has me.

I have a decent sized backyard that’s full of weeds and dog-do-nots, but even in the utmost excitement I held back from the yard and decided to create a balcony garden.

I’ve come to really appreciate the personal qualities of this garden: the companion plants closely placed together, the vibrant colors complimenting one another, and all the different textures and scents that surround me. There’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be.
Lavender Pretty Pansies

My balcony garden is often used as an experimental lab. The first experiment was to see how many veggies I could fit on the 11×6 foot, forty year old balcony. Turns out you can get quite a bit growing in a very small space if you’re creative. I know you’re supposed to start small as a beginner, but I already did that by using my balcony rather than my yard, so I had to go all out on the veggies. There was no holding back this time, and here’s what it’s holding: 2 raised beds with 17 different veggies and edible flowers, 5 herbs in pots, and 17 different seed starts.

My gardening projects are just for fun, and of course good eats, but I’m quite convinced that the success of my plants is due to the petite space that is provided and some simple creative ideas for saving space. Lately, I’ve come across some really amazing people sharing innovative ways they have saved space for gardening. A couple of my favorites are: up-side-down hanging containers, self-watering containers, soda bottle hanging planters, and a vertical herb garden with a shoe organizer.

My balcony garden seems a bit tight at times when we have two chairs for my girlfriend and me, and our Dog Jasmine is on squirrel patrol, but that’s half the fun. The garden is such an intimate space that we can’t help but put our hands and noses in the soil, feel the health of the broccoli leaves, and notice every new snap pea that has sprouted. This is the place where I read, ponder, sleep on the ground next to Jasmine, spy on my neighbors, and have a moment of escape. Some day I would love to have an entire front and backyard dedicated to an edible landscape; purely fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to bring the natural world to my home, but for now my balcony is a sanctuary that holds my finest treasures.

Wet Nose Garden shot

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

We’re Building A Garden at Harbor Cafe

Have you been to Harbor Cafe yet? If you answered no, stop reading. Go to 535 7th Ave. Santa Cruz, Ca and order the fish tacos and 2 Bloody Marys (or, go on Fridays and get bottomless mimosas!), then come back and finish reading why it’s my favorite restaurant.
Mimosa Friday!

Well, I could spend an entire post writing about how much I love their food and the fun loving atmosphere, but instead I’m just going to tell you how excited I am that Whitney and I were asked to plant a vegetable garden for their restaurant!

Whitney and I go to Harbor Cafe often… very often, and we’ve been lucky enough to strike up some quality friendships with the staff and recently the owners Dan and Max. The opportunity to design and construct the restaurant’s soon to be garden came about from tippys talk with one of our favorite servers. The three of us were looking over at their raised bed (of sorts) filled with: palm trees, ferns, a huge jade bush, wild lilies, weedy grass, and a ton of deteriorating boating equipment and surfboards. The space is small and cluttered but it’s certainly more room than we have at home, and we’ve got over 30 types of veggies and herbs growing, so space is of no issue to us. After several conversations we all agreed that change was necessary and it was time for that little plot of land to become an edible landscape for all to enjoy.

The addition of a vegetable garden to Harbor Cafe is a progressive change, and the previous changes that have been incorporated since new ownership are monumental as well; their ban on Styrofoam and switch to biodegradable to go boxes, their use of a compost, and their support for local businesses and community members. Harbor Cafe is a leader in its community, and a snowball effect could be on the rise for more restaurants to be like this one if promoted, encouraged and talked about. So let’s start talking.

Here’s a couple reasons why I’m really excited for this project:

  1. The Harbor Garden Cafe will be my first garden project for an establishment outside my home. Yes, I’m stoked!
  2. I think all restaurants should find a space to grow some veggies; as it would save them money and the hassle of ordering that product, help the environment, and customers will think they’re way cooler for having a garden.
  3. And, because I want to get my hands dirty, plant some food, and have people eat it.

 

Here’s the space that Whitney and I are working with to start off. Stay posted for the changes to come!
harbor cafe plot

old anchor chain on fence
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Posted on Mar 19, 2011

Reclaiming And Crystallizing The Pansy

The first flowers I bought for my balcony garden were Pansies; purple, maroon, yellow and orange in color.
the ones we chose to eat

Of course, they are adorable looking flowers because they look like little human faces and they remind me of those singing Pansies in “Alice and Wonderland”, but they didn’t mean much more than that to me when I got them. First, I planted them in a planter box that was far to small for their wild ways (they can grow to be 9 inches tall and their flowers can get to be 2 inches in diameter) and all their buds went dormant; so my girlfriend Whitney and I moved their long leafy stems to a huge pot we found outside. After several weeks of thinking they were just completely dead the flowers started to bloom again. With their new and improved home the pansies were going nuts, they became a wild creature of their own and I fell in love with them.

When the heavy winds and Santa Cruz storms came in (as they have today) I got very nervous for these petite, delicate flowers; thinking the color of my garden would get swept away and lost forever. Yet they’ve withstood every harsh weather condition thus far. They intrigue me for this very reason, hardiness; so I started on some research. When researching a topic I first want to know it’s formal definition. Here it is from Merriam-Webster.
1) Pansy: a garden plant (Viola wittrockiana) derived chiefly from the hybridization of the European Johnny-jump-up (Viola tricolor) with other wild violets; also : its flower

simple enough.

2) Pansy: usually disparaging: A weak or effeminate man or boy or, a male homosexual.

Not so simple to me. I’ve know about the connection between the term Pansy and it’s slur undertones for a many years, but I never thought about it before. I learned that ‘Pansy’ is derived from the French word ‘Pansee’ which means ‘thought’ and in Italy the name “Flammola” was given to the Pansy meaning “little Flame”. (That information I got from Wiki, so don’t quote me on it.) The flower has been associated with the human face and manner for a long time so I was eager to find some connection between the slur and the biological meanings. This task turned out to be a bit of a flop and I’m still left as curious as ever, but I thought I would share the minimal, furthest to date information I stumbled upon. In the early 1930’s New York’s fabulous gay, straight, you name it, would gather together in post-prohibition nightclubs to enjoy the featured gay entertainment; this era was called the “Pansy Craze” (Gay LA: A history of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians, by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons.) Say what? Why was it called that?… Anyone?

Beyond that, I’m seriously stumped. I’m missing the historical link between an effeminate man and this flower that can withstand harsh climates, death, life, and death again, and on that note be crystallized and eaten for my very own pleasure. Let me know what you think.

Ok, that was all a side note, here’s the other cool thing I did. Crystallized my Pansies.

First, you pick your Pansies.
cute whitney and pansies

Then, you say goodbye to your Pansy.
cutting pansies

Next, you rinse with water, dry, and paint your flower with whipped egg whites.
painting pansies with egg

Generously coat with sugar.
crystallizing pansies

And Eat! Pansies are awesome, I think I’ll reclaim the word.
crystalized pansies with Ice Cream


Posted on Mar 15, 2011

In One Week

My first blog post was a month ago. I talked about my new found passions; gardening, photography, and blogging. Within that time I have been able to show my progress in photography and some projects I’ve been working on in the great outdoors (my backyard). Here I want to mention a bit about what’s going on in the blogging world for me.

I’m not all that computer savvy yet, which is pathetic for a 23 year old living in 2011, but I have my go-to people. One of them being Emlyn Stokes– Emlyn is a Santa Cruzan, Surfer, computer guru (at least to me) and longtime friend. One day I was chatting with Emlyn online and I- asked if he would be willing to help me set up a blog, so he sent me a link to caitscott.com; it was done before I even thought of it. I keep Emlyn close. The other person is my brother Whit Scott- Whit is a videographer, social networker, and well my older brother, so he’s helpful. Whit has taught me some really important skills on social networking; the latest piece of advice was to “be tuned in as often as possible… taking notes on things you think about and figuring out where to put that thought. That me means check on twitter and Facebook from your phone when you’re on the toilet.” A classic Whit comment. For me, this blog has become a space where I can hone in on my new aspirations. Writing a post is still difficult, but I’m realizing that I’m only successful when it’s a topic I’m truly interested in, and writing has certainty helped me discover those interests thus far.

Social Networking has worked for me in a way it never has before this week. See, Whit has a blog of his own whitscott.com, just one of many sites he publicly shares what’s capturing his attention these days. Whit mentioned me in his last post, and had a link to my blog caitscott.com for people to check out. Turns out a few really cool people decided to do just that. A day later I got an email from an old Ultimate buddy David Anderson, who’s job is essentially to figure out how to make it possible for people with a passion for blogging about important topics easier to do so effectively. He’s a social networker and a huge help to me.

After a couple of chats with David (or Pug, as I have always known him from Ultimate) I felt like I was on my next step in my blogging adventure. He introduced me via email to a wonderful woman named Becky Striepe, who is an Entrepreneur, sharing in her blogs: ideas, news, and projects, and her own line of recycled vintage aprons and lunch bags. Meeting Becky was the next step. The first great surprise to me was that she check out my blog, that always puts a smile on my face, and the second was her invitation to me to be a guest blogger on one of the websites she administrates called, Eat Drink Better. This site focuses on food and it’s health and environmental impacts, and I’m thrilled to start sharing my information and stories on their blog too! I’ll let you know when that happens.

In the past week I’ve made some really big steps for myself and have connected and reconnected with some amazing people. To all of those whom I mentioned, and for all that are reading and continue to support me, I really appreciate you.

Here’s to excitement and anticipation.

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Posted on Mar 11, 2011

Plants In The Windowsill

Whitney and I have a decent sized backyard where we could plant more vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, and flowers but we spend most of our time out of view of what could be an incredible edible landscape. Instead we utilize our balcony, a much smaller space indeed, and we choose this space for it’s easy access. When cooking a meal our cilantro, parsley, spinach, chives, and rosemary are just steps away.

Isn’t that a central point of having a home garden?
Creating the shortest distance from earth to table,
expending the least amount of money and energy,
and of course being able to visually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

My brother Whit recently told me he wanted to start growing some food of his own and asked me to help choose the right plants for his home and spacial conditions. He lives in a small apartment in San Fransisco and in his kitchen there’s a South facing window where he should be able to successfully grow herbs indoors. He has 2 9inch planter boxes that he can pack full of delicious greens. Here’s what I think he should grow.

Basil and Parsley: Stick these two right next to each other and not only will the bright greenery perk you up but your kitchen will smell wonderful, and you won’t be able to resist cooking with them. In fact, I might stick some Chives next to them too.

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Chamomile: A companion to many other herbs, Chamomile can help revive your ailing plants and make them taste better too. You should learn how to make your own Chamomile tea and then teach me!
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Cilantro: A must. I would get 2 of them.

cilantro

Spinach: Always worth having a lot of. I’ve never grown Spinach indoors but I think it would be successful as long as it stays moist and gets good light for a majority of the day.
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Rosemary: Enjoys the company of Sage and will help improve the growth and flavor of it’s companions. Rosemary also has the cutest little purple flowers that will make you smile every time you look at it.

My cousin Sasha just visited us and she gave me these 2 beautiful pots that she made.
I planted Chamomile, Sage, and Lemon Thyme.
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Also, I found this site to have helpful information for growing herbs indoors.
I hope your kitchen flourishes with color and good flavors Whit.
Happy planting.