AAAAaaahhhhhh so long overdue this post is. The holidays and “real” work got the better of me and I have sadly neglected my cyber outlet. The bright side of this is that I have been cooking a ton and truly enjoying myself. I have had new clients, cooked holiday feasts for work and for pleasure and eaten quite a bit of delicious food…and I cannot seem to stop. One of my favorite new recipes is Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread that is to die for if I do say so myself and still appropriate despite the passing of the pumpkin holidays. There have been days that I did not leave the house even and did nothing but hang out in my kitchen with my new kitty Isabel, listen to classical music and “work”. In fact my house and kitchen have had such a hold on me that sometimes I have trouble leaving…although I have loved it, I am not sure that this is a good thing. After all I am a bit too young to be the agoraphobic cat lady who only leaves to buy provisions. At least I have this portal so that if it becomes too bad I can shout for help!

I had to put this in...SO deelish! Amazing photo by Emma Del Rey

One of my favorite developments of my homebodiness (aside from all of the wonderful food) is my new garden. My parents were out visiting for Christmas and my dad Tom “gifted” me a garden planting. I can say that this is truly my first garden. My fledgling attempt was as an 18 year old at my first country studio apartment before I realized that watering was actually necessary…you see how this can hardly be considered a true quest to grow my own food. Now I not only am interested in saving money and eating organic but more importantly I want to truly understand what it means to cultivate that which we eat. Like so many I take for granted the ease of going to the store and selecting any and pretty much everything that I want at any given time. Seasons have become practically irrelevant in the modern supermarkets, even in places like Whole Foods the imports abound catering to your every culinary whim. I myself try to be conscious of the seasons but still sometimes cannot help but buy that ingredient that will go perfect with my recipe, regardless if it was flown in from Chile. Of this I am not proud as it is not so fabulous for the use of fossil fuels nor does buying out of season lend itself to the freshest most amazing produce. It is however pretty darn tough to know what’s in season these days as we can pretty much buy it all year round. The following is an abbreviated account of our little garden project.

Mixing the organic soil mixture to distribute into the individual pots.

We did a blend of organic potting mix, chicken manure and "Plant Tone" and organic bio tone plant food...the plants seemed to like it 🙂

We had some cement dividers laying around and made a makeshift bed in a corner of the backyard and gathered some random pots that were in the yard already and filled them with the dirt mixture.

Being a gardening novice and new to the tropical climate of Miami, we decided to keep it simple and do a variety of herbs, some tomatoes, collard greens and squash.

An eclectic mix of containers but this project was virtually free apart from the starts and a few bags of soil.

This is it, just two short weeks after is incredible how quickly this little garden is flourishing, I can already harvest and use some herbs! The pots have worked out well as I am able to move them around according to the sun exposure.

Though this is a small garden, a tiny fraction of the things that we consume in the house, I am really excited. Not only because I can save some cash on expensive herbs and potentially grow some tomatoes worth eating; but most importantly because it is a grasp at connecting to this great earth and cultivating not only food, but also an awareness of how it all comes to be…and hopefully begin not take it so much for granted.