oh, hello!

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

Friday, September 17, 2010


Calendula is in the daisy Asteraceae family, as you can see by the arrangements of petals and overall shape of the flower. (Also in this family are echinacea, daisies, black eyed susans, chocolate flowers, and more).

Calendula officinalis is special, though. While the entire flower is edible- used in salads and on plates to add beauty and color to food- it has incredible healing properties.

The bright flower petals, which can range from yellow to orange to red, have the ability to soothe and heal irritated skin, such as with eczema, acne, and rashes. Taken as a tea, calendula can ease cramps and help move intestinal troubles along.

All this, and they're beautiful, with incredibly fascinatingly shaped seeds!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September greens

view of our greens, through the hoops

It's the season for greens again. The cool weather suits tender greens such as lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, chard, and cabbages much better than the sweltering heat of the high summer. Our fall planting is flourishing! We have 2 beds- baby kale, lettuces, chard, and a few onions in the first, and various kales and cabbages in the next.

luscious flame marigold

Marigolds are beneficial plants to have in the garden. Besides being beautiful and attracting pollinators (such as bees, who help to increase fruit yields by disseminating pollen from plant to plant), they help to deter pests from eating your vegetables. Something in their chemical make-up makes the munchers away.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Honey: Bron's Bees at Heritage Prairie Farm

Dietrich and I, on our farm bound road-trip, visiting Bron of Bron's Bees at Heritage Prairie Farm & Market. Located in Elburn, IL, their family farm has grown to employ many people, and include honey, vegetables, micro-greens, grains, events, and more!

Bron took some good time to show us around the farm, give us some history, and really talk to us about what Edible Alchemy and the Eco Rooftop were all about. Here are some pictures from our adventures.


the entrance to the hive, which you never approach from the front.

empty supers containing beeswax and little tiny bits of honey. Set out like this, the bees gather any spare bits of honey. Quite thrifty, they are. And also really good at cleaning.

The Chef Supported Apiary Program hives, where our honey will be coming from. The empty blocks held hives that are visiting a field of sunflowers, to pollinate them. Many have restaurant names on them, showing the chefs came out to visit them as well!

Bron showing Dietrich and I a frame filled to the brim with honey. Freshest honey we've ever tasted! It practically burst out of the comb.

The farm was also wonderful, it's much larger than I initially thought it would be. 2 huge greenhouses, a hot house for micro greens, and rows upon rows of all types of vegetables. Even calaloo!

The fields and greenhouses at Heritage Prairie Farm. You can see Lacinato (or dino) kale and cabbages here at the front.

The cherry tomato greenhouse

Friday, September 3, 2010


view of the garden from the new attic windows

golden vidalia onions from the garden, delicious and juicy!

a day's harvest from our garden. So colorful!

We're finding the rooftop to produce a bunch of dwarfed vegetables and plants. Because of the limited depth of soil that we have up on the roof, the plant's roots don't get as much depth. The depth of the root structure reflects the height of the plant above ground. Less dirt=less height. I also found that I planted too many plants too close together- which will decrease each individual plant's size overall. Less plants have more room for roots, especially with a limited depth of soil.

But, the produce is still delicious.

This fall, we'll be amending the beds with our compost that we've been making for almost a year now. This will increase the nutrient content of the soil, as well as adding a good deal more for the plants to expand their roots. We'll be scouring home depots and such for ripped bags of peat moss and potting soil to add to the beds as well, as they are light-weight soil additives that hold moisture and increase volume without adding a bunch of extra weight.