Celebrating Salsa

Our gathering began a bit early last week, around 5:30pm, as it usually does. Lucky for us, Lisa brought reading material. She had picked up several copies of the Northside News, which had the article in it that Marge wrote about G4G, as well as a photo of us!

Just before six o’clock, the sun tucked itself behind a large front of clouds. It was a welcomed change in the sky, after a sunny and dry week. We even brought our yoga and mindfulness routine out from under the tent!

We then dispersed in the garden to see what needed to be done. Randy and Laura gave all the soil much needed water, but not before Anne and the troops harvested kale, collards, summer squash, some little cucumbers, and delicious red rose tomatos! Carol and Steve worked on digging up the bitter, flowering mesclun from the raised bed. We decided that we will plant some variety of kale this coming week in that bed. Rick watered and deflowered basil in the raised beds, while Andy and Daniel mulched around the plants. Meanwhile, Todd and Jo Jo made sure to cover all the bare soil in our garden with straw.

Later in the evening, John presented two of his freshly-made salsas: red tomato and green tomatillo. To each of his salsas, along with their respective tomato, John added onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. While the red was subtly sweet, and the green was tangy, they each were delicious in their own right. They both were bursting with fresh, savory bites charged by onion, garlic and cilantro. We all enjoyed these salsas together, excited that such wonderful flavor combinations can be created in a garden like ours, and comforted in knowing John made these salsas with love, for us to all enjoy together.

Here are some photos from the evening…


Under the Sun

Here are a handful of photos from last week’s gathering. We were fortunate to welcome back Phyllis Noble and Peter Leidy, who led us in a “Gardensong Singalong”. Andy accompanied on his ukulele. Laura twirled around freely to the rhythms and harmonies. And everyone enjoyed sitting back under the hot sun, singing along with our lovely and talented guests.

We look forward to seeing everybody this evening! John will demonstrate making two varieties of salsa, with samples for everybody!

A Special Night

July 23, 2015

It was a very hot night, with no breeze. Yet, everyone started to do the work of weeding, watering, harvesting. We pulled and picked garlic, onions, pac choy, summer squash, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini. The zinnias are bright and colorful at the front of the garden. Calendula and bachelor buttons bring cheerful color to the back of the garden.

It was a special night at the gardens. Toby and Denero got on a trailer twice, once coming to visit us at the gardens and once going back to their home in the country. Jeff drove them to the gardens in their trailer that they are used to traveling in.

Marge takes care of them at their home in the country. Tonight, she picked a really appreciative group of people who would lavish them with touch and scent and sound. What an experience to have so many people admiring their power and beauty. And they seemed to love the abundant grass and sweet clover.

We learned that Toby was a wild mustang who had lived in the West. He has lived with Marge for many years now, and knows her well. He knows Denero, and the other horses that they both live with.

Last year Denero was very excitable. There was too much new for him to be able to relax. But this year, he is older and he remembers where he was last summer. He remembers all of the touch and admiration that he felt from so many kind people. Marge showed how to breathe into his nostrils so that he could feel the emotions of the person, and know what is going on in order to feel safe.

Look at all of the happy faces!

Words from Laura

Gardening is soo fun because it’s fun to get out in the garden to plant things, pick fruits and vegetables, put hay around on the ground, pull weeds, water plants. –Laura Well

Pat and "Aaron"

Pat and “Aaron”

Mulberry pudgie pies & a miniature goat

Carrie Simon, pudgie pie chef

Carrie Simon, pudgie pie chef

Quincy & Tyrion

Quincy & Tyrion

This past Thursday at Gardening for Good, we welcomed two special, very distinguished, guests: Carrie Simon, local pudgie pie expert, and Tyrion, playful, one year-old miniature goat–brought from Heartland Farm Sanctuary by Quincy and Kay. We all had a blast together!

Mulberry cream cheese pecan pudgie pie

Mulberry cream cheese pecan pudgie pie

Carrie Simon, co-author of Pudgie Revolution!, joined us to share her fondness and wisdom of pudgie pies. We had so much fun talking about the endless fillings that could go into a pudgie pie. Our plan was to harvest some mulberries from the trees around the chicken coop to use in our pies. Everyone joined in the harvest, nibbling the dark juicey berries along the way. We got a wood fire going, crafted our pies using various breads, cream cheese, pecans, chocolate, and granola, and then cooked them up in cast iron pans. We burned some, we overfilled some, we didn’t sweeten some enough, and many turned out perfect! It was was so much fun brainstorming new pudgie combinations, learning from others’ mistakes, and sharing the tasty pies with everybody! And it is neat to think that our main ingredient–the mulberry–was in season and as local as can be (about 20 ft from our wood feuled grill).


gathering mulberries

Carrie demonstrating to Kate, Sarah, & Jon

Carrie demonstrating to Kate, Sarah, & Jon


pudgie party

Our evening's guests, Tyrion and Carrie

Our evening’s guests, Tyrion and Carrie

Andy & Tyrion

Andy & Tyrion

All the while, everyone enjoyed meeting Tyrion, Quincy, and Kay, and introducing them to Troy Gardens and our G4G plot. Tyrion loved climbing up on the massive stumps beneath the fruit trees. He wasn’t a fan of the mulberry fruit, but nibbled at the mulberry leaves. While we all were saying goodbye at the evening’s end, Carrie knelt down to the goat, and held out the last of our pudgie pie scraps. He happily chewed it down in many quick bites, providing everyone with an entertaining and fitting closing scene to the night.

Oh yeah, and before all that, we did find some time for weeding, watering, and more calendula collecting. And we added grapeseed oil to the dried calendula that we had collected prior. The project continues! Here is a short article that Tami found for us. It does a nice job concisely outlining calendula’s special properties: (article coming)

Our garden plots are looking beautiful. Shelly spotted a hummingbird enjoying our zinnias the other day! There will be lots of work for us in the garden when we meet again next week, July 9th!

REMINDER- There is no gathering this week (7/2), due to Fourth of July weekend. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

mary marge laura_02 kate john edward goat_01 caleb

Seeds, a poem by Laura Well

I’ve always wondered how a tiny seed can grow into the earth in many forms.
It’s just like a tiny seed turns into flowing rivers of water, boulders of rock mountains, fields of green land, rolling hills of open land, forests of trees, waves of splashing lakes, miles of desert land, and islands of ocean water.
This seed is what brings the five elements together fire, air, water, earth, and space.