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.