oh, hello!

oh, hello! Welcome to a little bit of my world.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The starts are taking wonderfully. ! It's been a really warm November for them to establish well. Soon, we'll be eating as many greens as we can stuff inside our bellies :)

The hoop houses look great, and continue to hold in the heat and moisture much more than we thought (I always have this weird feeling that they won't work... but they do!). My first foray with winter growing is proving to be complicated in construction- but easy. Plants persevere wonderfully in the strangest of conditions, slowly growing continuously and finding a way to make it work.

We move into Eco officially on Dec 1; The rooftop garden will essentially be our back yard. It's the 6th time I've moved since May of 2008. I hope that it's the last move for a while.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It gets dark so early

The early darkness is really wearing on me, already. Thank you daylight savings.

It's hard, as I want to go and work in the garden in the afternoons, but they're so limited as it's dark. The lights from the El station do brighten things up a bit, but it's not enough to be able to

We have all the plants in, and just the mache to seed now. Hoophouses finally closed yesterday, as the cold spell finally hit. The plants established themselves in the ground pretty well already, thanks to those lovely couple of days. Soon, we'll be harvesting some delicious greens!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Kale is a member of the brassica, or cabbage family; relatives include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and brussels sprouts. It comes in beautiful colors ranging from gray-green, to deep green, to a burgundy purple, and is native to North America and prefers colder climates. (Those colorful curly cabbage like things used for decoration are also kale. edible, too.)

A super-good-for-you-green, it has beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, zeazanthin (a compound necessary to eye health, and found in saffron and paprika), sulforaphane and Calcium.

With each frost, it gets sweeter.

Kale Chips:

(from dietrich)

1. De-vein many, many leaves of kale. (Cut out the largest veins, as they don't crisp up right). Rip or chop these into bite sized pieces.

2. Rub these leaves with olive oil. Salt and Pepper to taste.

3. Lay on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, or until crispy and edges are just golden brown (but not burnt).

4. Eat while hot, like potato chips.

kale starts given by Windy City Harvest to plant at ECO

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More work on the garden. ECO.

The rooftop, looking southwards, on a beautiful and sunny beginning to our workday. We were greatly gifted with beautifully warm days to continue to work.

Dietrich, in front of the bins that he (with much help from Egon, Richard, Iat, and myself) built.

Our compost bins; sparklingly finished and partially filled. We sent out a call for our friends to bring us their leaves, and received 15 bags of leaves! Now we can begin composting with fervor, and continue to compost (as the leaves are a good source of carbon to balance out the nitrogenous food scraps we'll be producing all winter long.) throughout the winter and next year.

Dietrich working on the hoop houses. It was a challenge to get the hoops secured underneath the soil into the back beam of the beds. Especially when avoiding to step in the soil and trying not to fall over the edge of the roof. The challenges of rooftop gardening are much different than those of regular gardening. More creative problem solving...

Two of the finished hoop houses on the west side of the garden. Kevin and Brian shovel away to fix a drainage issue at the end of the roof. Hopefully the last one.

Now, we're ready to plant. (!!)

We picked up more donations of soil and starts yesterday in the van, then carried them all up to the rooftop. Things will be growing soon! Especially with this beautiful sunny and warm (for November) weather.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sweet Potato Latkas

1 lb sweet potato, grated
1 sm onion (i used tropea), chopped finely
1/3 c flour
cayenne pepper
2 eggs

Mix grated sweet potato, onion, flour, all spices (to taste) well. Beat the eggs separately, then mix in very well.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Scoop pancakes to be around 3-4 inches in diameter. Fry on both sides, until a nice crispy golden brown.

Serve with sour cream, and applesauce.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eco Rooftop Garden Workdays

Somehow, things have been falling in my lap. Opportunities galore! Most recently, the rooftop garden at ECO has been dormant for 2+ years. This past week (after over a month of prep on my and dietrich's part), we hosted 2 workdays and fixed most drainage issues, built 9 amazing beds, started huge composters, and organized the work areas. I'm sore absolutely all over. It feels good. :)

The east beds filled with dirt.

The west beds, outfitted with drainage. Dirt to come!

Compost bin skeletons. We will make so much compost...

From writing a business plan in the Windy City Harvest class I graduated from today, we have been able to accept huge amounts of donations, such as 100 pieces of 2x6 lumber from the Rebuilding Exchange, hundreds of seed packets from Donna at Gethsemane Gardens, and aggregate from David at Brew & Grow. Donations and volunteers are coming in rampantly. (more are always accepted!) It's amazing what community can do, eh?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Japanese White Pine Bonsai "Pinus Parviflora"

I always thought bonsais were strange and slightly uninteresting.

Japanese Maple "Acer palmatum"

Now I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of pruning a seedling until it becomes a very tiny adult. fascinating.

Japanese Maple "Acer palmatum"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

time today


Non-profit Organization


(I have not done so much research on my own, ever. ( Researching business ideas and terms? Andrea? Are you alright?) But, don't worry. It's all for the fresh-veggie-life.

At least I feel like I'm doing something that matters. MATTERS? yep. It's been my dilemma ever since I first learned you could be socially conscious. I just didn't know how.

Life takes you in crazy ways. Bumps you into the right people to be with, if you're open.)

On another note, I had a dream that I drank acid-laced water last night, out of a red nalgene. I was set to perform, in the back labyrinths of some badly picked out cream hallways and dressing rooms. Just bopping about with the girls from another life, from my time at Savelli's.
Anxious, for some reason. I think that I wanted some sort of altered consciousness or new view on things. However, this didn't come with the methods my dream self chose.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Change happens when a person connects their passion and talents with the needs of the community.

We make a powerful impact when we live the change we want to see in the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Steampunk Tree House


If I were to live in a tree in the desert...


a dream

Woken from a dream by post-nasal drippage coughing to climb out of a warm-lover bed and sit up on the blue glow whirring computer, sucking on a drop with a roll of toilet paper.

Treading through shin-high water for escape. Looking to take the short cut to where ever it is that we're going: a destination that's safe, comfortable, and home-like. Wading through the marsh, crouching down as car boats pass, our bags are not cumbersome. Urgent, but cautious; 2 men and 2 women boasting face paint (I cannot see mine, and Dietrich's is of a raccoon) problem solve and whisper. I hop the barbed fence to the other side first. Dietrich next. Egon third. April finds a hole underneath and scootches through. Dry land walking, we've almost made it.

We all come to a large gray-toned industrial shop. We know where we are going, somehow: down this hallway, into this elevator: floor 2. The janitor pays us no heed, the mother with the stroller aggressively hip checks the elevator doors to get on. We are inwardly giddy. I grin uncontrollably on the inside. Red light ignites, we're off to sit and rest by some stairs. Exhausted, Dietrich wipes his raccoon face leaving shadows of edges around cheekbones and forehead.

We wander around for a while, climbing stairs, being safe.

Edible Alchemy

Edible Alchemy:

Alchemy (Arabic:al-kimia) (Hebrew:אלכימיה al-khimia) is both a philosophy and a practice with an aim of achieving ultimate wisdom as well as immortality, involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of several substances described as possessing unusual properties. The practical aspect of alchemy generated the basics of modern inorganic chemistry, namely concerning procedures, equipment and the identification and use of many current substances.

-from the wiki.

We are alchemists. We alchemize with edibles.

The mission of Edible Alchemy is to create, connect, and expand a vibrant community through food; we are a catalyst for people to discuss, share, and enjoy food together. Food is our community connector: we believe that good food is essential to healthy individuals and healthy communities. Edible Alchemy organizes potlucks, local organic produce box distributions, volunteer opportunities, and organizes and provides food for related community events.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The world of gaea.

So this is a blog, eh?