Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In the Spirit of Giving...

Its always nice to get something in the mail.
The REAL mail. When was the last time
you received a nice letter, with words
actually written by a human hand?

Call me a romantic, but that stuff is great.

I was lucky enough to be the receiver of
something amazing the other day.

Jo from Missouri was SO kind
and sent me a package of WILD PERSIMMONS!
You should have seen the smile on my
face when I picked up the package!

Now, many of these were pretty ripe,
so when it arrived, there was a decent amount
of persimmon "pudding" in the package.

No worries though...I picked out the firm ones,
and put all the mush in a zip-lock bag,
because I totally intend to plant some of these
in Minnesota next week. She said that these
trees are tough little cookies, so I'm hopeful
that with enough mulch and some ideal
placement, they should be alright.

Global warming...allowing us to grow more!
Yikes! Seriously though...I can grow persimmons
now, where 20 years ago? Forget it.

A huge thanks to Jo...I was so touched by
your kindness. I'm sending something to you
as soon as you want me to, just let me know.

And you left this message in the package.

Anyone know what it means???

This inspired me. I've got some great little
travel bottles of Healthforce Nutritional Products,
and I'd like to offer them to someone who
comments on this very post.
The bottles are...
Vitamineral Green, Earth, and Fruits of the Earth.
They are small though...don't get too excited.
Probably a one week supply.

I might randomly pick it, or I might
be totally inspired and pick a beautiful comment.
Not sure which. The winner will get the goods,
sent out...Friday...that gives you some time.
(P.S....I will only send to the U.S...sorry everyone else,
I'm not dealing with customs, and you're already lucky
enough to live somewhere else...hehe...)

Your chances are good, and the products are awesome.

I'll contact the winner via email.

In the meantime google "Gift Economy"
or check the Wiki link here.
The closer we can transform our lives to reflect
some of these principles, especially on a local level,
the closer to paradise we become.

Download a great article about it here as well.
Its a .pdf file, just so you know.

Thanks everyone! Keep giving!!!
Because as you may have heard,
it is in the giving, that we receive.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just for a laugh...

I mean...its funny, but scary too. The woman thinks dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. Ok....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

DC Roundup

Lots of Happy Glowing Raw Foodies..

The weather was kind...
it rained as we were driving down
and immeadiately as the event was wrapping up.
But during the entire get-together,
it was really pleasant and everyone had a
really good time. HUGE thanks to DJ
of Java Green for hosting the event
and for being a shining example of humanity.

DJ is a cut above...his story of perseverance
and overcoming adversity should be a
book or a documentary...truly living the dream.

I knock many policies of the US government,
and I'm not stingy with the social critique of the
American way of life, but where else could
a young man from Korea who spoke NO
English, come to the USA and in less than 15 years,
own and operate an award-winning restaurant?

Such a great guy...he had us as guests at his home
after the event and served us even MORE food (YEESH!)
and lots of liitle goodies...his kombucha coconut beverage
is a tasty and original treat for sure.

We all toasted to friends and community...
happiness and health.

Sure beats beer!

Also...huge thanks to Philip for driving!
We couldn't have made it without you brother!

Side note:
Anyone see the article I wrote on WLIR yesterday?
I need to keep this message strong...
I went so crazy early on in my raw journey
because I was so locked into the 100% mindframe
too early...I wasnt ready for it, despite all the
awesome facts and logic that convinced me.

We've gotta have fun and be happy.
Wherever we are on our path, is EXACTLY
where we are supposed to be.
No guilt.

Check out the article HERE.

Peace everyone...


Friday, September 26, 2008

Amazing Grace

I've really been reading a bunch of new stuff lately,
and this one is an essential piece of work. Seriously.

Here is the link from Amazon.com
...its on sale.
Just GET IT!!! Haha...no really. Its that good.

I had two castings yesterday, and for both I had
to sit around for about 90 minutes, so I was able
to get most of this book read in one day.

While other models were pacing around the room,
impatiently grumbling about the wait,
I was reading one of the best books of my life.

And the craziest synchronicity happened while doing this.
There is a part in this book about Muhammad Ali.
The casting agency that I was sitting in was filled
with little figurines of old G.I. Joes and superheroes, and
also old comic posters. Right when I finished reading
the section about Muhammad Ali, I looked up and not more
than 4 feet away from me was a figurine of...Muhammad Ali.
I had the craziest chills run down my spine.
I closed my eyes, smiled, and said THANK YOU.
Look for those signs. They are clues that point
you in the right direction. Follow them.

I'm going to rent "Ali" soon to see if there is something
in there that I can absorb. I'm sure there will be.

I could have sat in that casting room listening to music
or blankly stared at the wall, cursing my bad fortune
because of the excessive wait, but instead, I chose
to improve my life by reading something truly inspirational.

This book might be a bit far out for some, but approach
it with the open mind that I know we all have,
and it can really do wonders for your reality.

I hope you pick it up!!! HERE is the link.
Amazon ships free if you spend
over $25...get The Sq Foot Gardening Book or
Four-Season Harvest or
Something from Derrick Jensen to get to $25.

Oh...one more thought.
I really have to send my thanks out to David Wolfe.
Some have said that he is becoming to full of himself,
but as far as I'm concerned that has to do with their
own issues...David is attempting to bring us to
superhero level and I'm really hopeful that this book
is widely read by all...raw or not. It doesn't matter.

Superheroes improve their mind,
others waste their time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

As the World Burns

Just a page from the excellent book
"As the World Burns: 50 Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial"
by Derrick Jensen and illustrated by Stephanie McMillan.
Click on the pic for a better view.

"We have been too kind to those who
are destroying the planet. We have been
inexcusably, unforgivably, insanely kind."
-Derrick Jensen

I think the cartoon above will ring true
for many of us...a good look in the mirror.
Just having positive thoughts and not
acting is totally impotent. We have to start stepping
outside of our comfort zones and making
real change. And that change does NOT
come from Green consumerism. SORRY!

All the while, more species go extinct,
more forests fall, more garbage piles up,
and more rivers dry up because the golf courses
need watering. Did you know that in the United States,
golf courses consume as much water as humans?

We need a complete restructuring of our lives,
and we are smart enough to make it enjoyable
and effective at the same time.

There have been massive mistakes made
in the past in the name of greed, and
its about time we admit it and move on
to the real solutions.

Sitting around mediating and being in the moment
and putting out good vibrations is a joke as far
as making a difference environmentally.
These things may help your personal life,
but if you dream of a new Earth...
manifestation requires serious action...NOW.
Those yogis sitting in their caves in the Himalayas
need to come down here and start doing something.

Check out the book HERE. You'll LOVE it.

"Dismantle Globally
Renew Locally."
-Derrick Jensen

New Youtube Videos!!!

At last...

Upon reading this message, I had to act.

"Come Back Plz..."

i miss ur videos. i always learn so much from them.

Its 415 am, and Ive finally finished
editing the videos...doing it for the love!

Sometimes I slack off in one area or another.
This summer was more non-internet
oriented activities...but now that I'm
back in the city, the posts are flowing
and the here come the videos.

New videos are being made too!
Lots of food stuff for sure,
and the organic gardening vids
will be coming more and more after
I return to MN in a couple of weeks.

So....here is the first video in a long time.
Me and my dad...moving the hives so we
could start building the dome greenhouse.


Oh...quick question too.
Favorite type of videos?
Food? Plain Talking?
Wild Food Forging? Permaculture?

Let me know...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A question from Marie

Here is a recent question I got via email...


I have been reading you blog for about four months now and I love it.
I started eating raw a little over 4 months ago and its the best
decision I have made, I feel great. I started at 100% right of the bat
and I dont regret it one bit...I havent had any cooked food since May 15th :)
Anyway, I emailing you because I want to plant carrots, kale, and
collard greens this weekend. I have a small concrete patio outside
so my boyfriend is gonna built me a box. We were thinking
about 3 1/2'' by 4''. We cant make it any larger but we might
be able to make it a little bit longer. I wanted to know if that is
enough space for me to grow those three vegetables and whether
I should by seeds or already grown ones (except for the carrots)?
Also, how deep do you think it has to be? Sorry for all the questions
but you are the only person I know that might have the answers.

The top part of three of my fingers on my right hand are constantly
dry sometimes it is so dry that it forms cuts (it started about
2 months ago with one finger and then a second one and finally 3).
I have been putting Nivea on them and that makes it better until it
dries up again. I drink plenty of fluids so I dont know what might be
creating the dryness. I went to the doctor and told me to put some
cream that would basically change my skin color so "no, thank you".
I really dont see how they expect people to use those kind of products.
Do you know of anything that I could put on it?
I have been drinking cucumber juice so that might help.
Thanks for your help,

Keep blogging...I keep forward to reading your blog everyday,


Hi Marie...thanks for the great questions.

The beauty of the sq foot garden (which is basically what youre doing)
is the complete adaptability it has to wherever you decide to grow.
I'm assuming by 3 1/2'' and 4'' you meant feet, which is perfect.

Mel, the author and genius of sq. foot gardening thought that 6 inches
was deep enough. If possible, I like to go a little deeper just in case.
Lots of boards are available that are 4 feet x 8 inches. This is good.

Equal parts of peat moss (or vermiculite if you like), compost,
and potting soil will get you started nicely. I like to add in extra
worm castings and some rock dust. All available online,
but you're better off getting the soil and compost locally
because its going to be HEAVY. Its worth the trouble though,
because you will be starting your garden with PERFECTION.
Thats what I love about this method, no matter where you live,
you can start out with the best growing medium available.

I dont know where you live, but there is still time to grow
those items, especially if you can cover them with a plastic
sheet during the very cold nights. If possible, get seedlings
that were started 3 weeks-1 month ago from someone
who cares about their plants. Many organic growers will
have extra seedlings started and would be happy to sell you some.

This gives you a great head start, and gets you right through
that tricky period early on in the growing stage.

You can even do arugula and spinach too...lots of options.

About your fingers...I'm no doctor, but if I had that issue
with my hands, Id be taking loads of MSM with my lemon-water
(about 4 tbls a day...for sure!) and rubbing cacao butter
on myself whenever possible. Maybe even coconut butter,
but I think cacao would be more therapeutic for some reason.
You could even mix in some msm with cacao butter and rub it
into your hands. Just an idea...I'm no doctor though ;)
(I didn't see the need to spend my 20's inside a classroom
in order to help people destroy their diseases and afflictions...
not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that).

I'm trying to think of what else you could do.
Your body is showing you signs of some distress.
Are you getting enough oils in your system?
Maybe wearing some gloves after applying the cacao butter?

MSM is in my opinion the key though,
but be sure that your diet is balanced
with the fats and oils. An avocado a day
can do wonders for skin and joints.

Here is a great little sunburger we made with
sprouts and avocado. Or just blend an avocado
with peaches or pears...1 to 1 ratio, youll love it.

I hope this helped...be sure to send some pics
of the garden when its up and running.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Central Park w/ Philip

Philip from Lovingraw.com was in town yesterday,
and called us to have lunch at Quintessence.

Everyone at our table had the Fofu Benedict...WOW.
By far the best brunch item I've had.
Dan...if you scrap that item from your menu,
you will have one (and many other) unhappy campers
to deal with...that dish is a GEM.

Philip wanted to hang out in Central Park later on
so we went up there and relaxed under a massive walnut
tree...it was great. I laid right on the ground and gently
let the grass tickle my hands and arms.
It began to feel vividly electric...no kidding.
We're all just energy, right?

We wandered around after that and
found a great drum circle going on.
So much life...I have to admit
that it's my own fault I get negative about NY.
There is so much beauty to see, and sitting in an apartment
crabbing about it all won't make it any better.

Thanks Philip for getting me up to Central Park!
Its been awhile and I needed it!

Oh right...we went to Pure Take Away after
that and I picked up the Oreo Ice Cream.
Hmmm...I'll stick with the Almond Butter Cup!

Gotta run...have a great afternoon everyone!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stir Crazy

My two fig trees sitting on the fire escape...
keeping me sane.

I'm going through withdrawals right now.
All I can think about is my garden.

I realized that I became addicted to growing plants.
I left so much unfinished business there too.
I still need to finish the dome greenhouse.

I still need to chop up fallen leaves and spread
them over the garden along with rock dust.

Waking up to the sun, and the sounds of the birds.
Walking to the garden, and starting an honest day's work.

I feel trapped. Even if I lived in the suburbs I could
do a sq. foot garden and plant some trees.
Here, I can sprout, and I've got those little fig trees.
But the sounds of the sirens, the noise of the cars...
its just really getting old at this point.
I've seen whats possible, and this is not for me anymore.

I go online and buy trees, and for a while it makes me
feel better. I'm like a standard American on the day
after Thanksgiving...running for the good deals.

Yesterday, I bought two avocado trees, a mango tree,
a passion fruit vine, and two more persimmon trees.
I can't seem to get enough.
Like an addicted gambler pulling the lever one more time.
At least my money is wisely spent.

I talked to my dad today and he told me
that the garden is looking great.
The bees are doing well, despite
the occasional hornet trying to get in.

I want to be there again.
I want to give this all up and just garden.
I want a reconnection with what I had.

My plan is to stay in NY until Jan 1st.
After that...travel until spring returns.

There is a great permaculture scene in Hawaii.
Id love to visit the Tree of Life in Patagonia, AZ.
I have friends in Monterrey, Mexico and would
love to head down to the Carribean and live off of
coconuts for a while. At least there are options.

All you youngsters out there still in school...
You choose your reality...if you want to get locked in,
find yourself a good paying job that is too hard to leave.

Modeling has locked me in for so long.
I stuck with it because it took so little time,
but I feel that its time to move on.
I am thankful for everything that has happened,
but going to Sedona last week was a wake-up call.

Its all a choice. Stay or leave. Fester or Thrive.
We all know when the time is right,
but few actually take the steps toward liberation.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Food! RAW Food!

I honestly forget sometimes that this whole
site started because of raw food.

Being raw has become such an afterthought now...
something so habitual and ingrained in my life
that I've pretty much moved on to other projects.

However, I've got to stay true to the game.

Remember, by being able to make TASTY raw
food quickly and easily, we can stay on track
and keep energized for the things that really matter
in our lives. Too many recipes call for far too
many ingredients, and it just scares some away.

Pears should be in season now.
I like pears, but they are tricky...have them
before a heavy meal and you'll be ok. Have them
after and they are like apples...they will fester
in your stomach and could make for some discomfort.

I'm really into blending 1 part fruit with 1 part avocado.
This gives it creaminess, and mellows out the sugar,
allowing for a more steady absorption and longer-
lasting energy throughout the day.

So...1 part pear, 1 part Avocado.
I throw in some Vitamineral Green too,
because I just can't get enough of that stuff.

Add in some raisins or coconut shavings,
maybe some bee pollen or goji berries,
and all is well with the world again.

Enjoy! You want more food articles?
Let me know!!! I can do it, I promise.


Quick Sarah Palin Anti-Wolf Video

Now the last thing I want to get is political.
It's by being political that got our world into this mess.

By walking away from politics,
we can empower ourselves not to need
them or to rely on their watered-down
promises of "freedom" and social reform.

That is what self-sufficiency is all about.
Self-endowed independence.
Producing our own food, water, and energy.
Living a life in balance with nature (or close to it)
with a core group of family and friends.
For a fine (but somewhat rustic example in appearance)
check out this article HERE.

We have come to rely on the notion that
we need authorities to fix everything for us.
That they are our symbols of hope.

When it seems that in reality, they are the ones
tearing this world apart and forcing us to work
at jobs we don't love so we can buy stuff we've
been deceived into wanting.

You (we) are directly responsible for the reality
we create, and we must empower ourselves to live
that truth every day of our lives. When we finally
give the power back to ourselves, we can begin
to re-create the paradise that has been destroyed.

Ok...off that little tangent now...had to say it.

I just wanted to share this video I found,
perhaps you have already seen it.
Share it with friends and relatives that
have been tricked into thinking that Sarah Palin
is someone who is finally going to save them.
Although I doubt this would make much difference.

I always would vote for the environment.
If some politician is really pro-environment,
they seem to be very evolved on other issues too.
Strange how that works.
Seriously...look into it and see.
Those who are anti-environment are usually the
same monsters that seek to take our freedoms
and liberties away as well.

Here is the vid.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I dont know how many of you check
out my youtube page, but one of my
favorite channels was that of Teabowbraine's.
The videos offered were critical of some government
policies and our unsustainable way of life.

Youtube found those videos threatening,
and shut the channel down.
Youtube doesn't want us to be
free of mental slavery.

Luckily, a video was saved and reposted
by another user. Here it is below.

The corporations and governments need us
to be ignorant so we continue to support
their culture of death with our taxes, labor,
consumer dollars...without those, they are powerless.

I am just so ready to drop out of all of this.
I'm actually scared that by speaking out,
some of us might be targeted. I mean,
these videos encouraged no violence, they
simply were critical of government policies.

We simply must keep spreading the culture
of life and invest in sustainable lifestyles.
We have to keep spreading the knowledge
and tools of true liberation.

Now is the time...please, spread this.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Culture of Life vs. The Culture of Death

(photo courtesy of the Office of Sarah Palin)

Governor Sarah Palin, pictured here above the
unarmed Alaskan Caribou she just shot with a high-
powered rifle. Observe...the culture of death?
Vote Obama...PLEASE. For the sake of the World.

For some reason, I thought that by Sunday
evening, the Raw Spirit Fest would have sputtered
out, and that if I left around 7pm I wouldnt have missed
anything. Like a proper New Yorker, I thought that
if I could get the red-eye flight back to NYC on Sunday
night, I could be back in the city on Monday morning,
ready for any castings or auditions.

Sunday night, I heard, was the best one.
Which I find hard to believe, because Saturday
night was so outrageous and amazing that
I couldn't imagine it being any better...

Anyways, I had to catch the shuttle back
to Phoenix at 7pm. The shuttle was just a minivan
and I was the only passenger on the way down.
Always being the conversationalist, I struck it up
with the driver. What followed blew my mind.

Warning...it gets a little...um...shocking at this point.

I found out that the driver was an ex-Army Ranger.
One of the black-ops guys that get into really hairy situations.
He served in the first Gulf War and says that he still
wakes up in cold sweats about it frequently.

Upon learning that he was an Army Ranger,
I knew that he must have some serious survival skills.

I wanted to know about starting fires by rubbing
sticks together and building shelters in the desert,
and he starts telling me about
killing people with his bare hands.

I went from doing mediations with Gabriel Cousens
on Saturday night...envisioning myself as pure peace
and love...and then spreading that vibration across
the entire planet, to listening to G.I. Joe telling me
about murdering people without remorse.

The dichotomy could not be more drastic.

This guy was really into hunting too,
and he told me that after killing so many animals,
killing people doesn't feel very different.
(Note: This is HIS feeling...not necessarily the feelings
of all people that kill unarmed animals...you get the idea.)

I was living in the culture of life all weekend,
hugging strangers, dancing under the moonlight,
and eating live food free of dead animals.

Now, I had an inside look at the culture of death.
People that see violence as a solution.
People that eat dead food and eat murdered animals.
I know we are actually all one, but jeez....

It was truly bone-chilling. Never in my life
have I sat next to someone who claimed
to be a murderer. I was shocked.

He told me about soldiers cutting off
the genitals of Iraqi soldiers in 1991,
and what guns I should buy to protect my
permaculture project in Minnesota.
Thanks for the tips man...

As bringers of the light,
we must simply bring on positive solutions
instead of fighting the negativity.
Because if we fight the negativity, we BECOME IT.

They already win if we decide to fight them.
We must stop supporting their culture and put
our energy, time, and money into our communities
of LIFE. Immigrant communities around the world
have flourished because they have supported each
other and have built a tightly-woven economy for themselves.

We, as people who support peace and love for all creatures
should do the same. Buy products from companies that
you know are a part of the solution. Go to classes and workshops
held by individuals who are contributing to a peaceful world.

We vote with our money, our labor, and our time.
Spread the light and the darkness evaporates.

Strangely enough, I was happy that I was in that van.
We must experience what we are not to truly know
what we really are. I would have preferred to have
stayed in Sedona, but that ride somehow made it worthwhile.

Positive vibes are on the way...
a great video and update on my Grandma Aggie
is coming up very soon...stay tuned!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Raw. Spirit. FEST.

Without a doubt, one of the best weekends of my life.
Top 3 for sure.
I would recommend this to everyone, raw or not.
Even vegetarian or not. This was just so fun.

When we arrived in Sedona, it was already 1:30 am.
The moon was bright, and it lit up the landscape
so beautifully that I seriously got choked up looking at it.

This place is magical. I'm being totally serious here.
When I heard about the vortexes and all that stuff,
I thought it was really cheesy and didnt believe it.
5 minutes after getting out of the vehicle and looking
upon the landscape, that perception changed drastically.

We camped the whole time, and I likely had the most
uncomfortable sleeping situation of anyone in the area.
Little pebbles digging into my back, but not caring
enough because I was so tired and so excited for what
awaited us the following day.

I must apologize now, I took a pitifully small amount of pictures.
I was so in the moment, and just didnt feel like documenting
it that much. Usually I'm really good about it, but for some reason
I kept my pics to a very bare minimum.

I recieved great feedback from my talk.
Lots of friends were there (hey...at RSF we are ALL friends)
and the two talks just breezed by.

Here are some pics of it -

Me talking with my hands again...

A wider angle....

All the speakers were amazing.
It felt so great to be around such positivity.

The nights were totally overwhelming.
Tribal drum music under the moon and stars,
barefoot and connected to the Earth again.
I felt transported back hundreds of years ago,
and it felt so right. I felt like I had come home.

It was actually too much for my Minnesota psyche
to handle all at once. Looking up at the moon and feeling
the good vibrations from everyone around,
it was just overwhelming.

My friend Jade and I did some great hikes
and found some amazing prickly pear cactus fruits.
It is such a great place for foraging.

This land is so unique...I truly felt like I was in another world.
And at night...I was speechless.

The one downside of the festival was that everyone had
to leave the festival at 10pm. It was held at a hotel,
and there were residential neighbors nearby,
so we had to respect the noise level.

A bunch of people went to a club to dance more,
but there was no way I was going indoors.
We would drive out to the desert and just walk around.
It was exactly what I needed.

I live in NYC, so if I ever wanted to go dancing
at some club again, I could easily do that.
But one thing I can't do is lay on the red ground
and stare at the fiercely glowing moon and the twinkling stars.
The connection to nature was so strong.

The plan was to go dancing after the night desert walk,
but after being there, the idea of being in a loud
club full of people is exactly what I didn't want.

Everything was perfect.

I want to thank everyone who walked up and visited,
and came to my talks. YOU are the reason that
I keep writing and making videos, hoping to inspire more to try
the culture of life and love. Getting to meet everyone
in person was the best thing I could have asked for.

A big thanks to the organizers, vendors, and speakers
for adding so much value to the event.
Word to the wise: The cost of the ticket
is minimal compared to the savings you get
when you buy products at these festivals.
I was getting too many deals, and was really
struggling to get it all home this morning.

Next year we will meet again near Santa Barbara, CA
where the music can go all night and we can all
sleep under the stars.

And thanks to Philip from Lovingraw.com for
getting me to go this weekend. I had held off
for too long, and Philip convinced me that it was time
to go and see for myself. Ill be back for sure.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pre-RSF post

Pecan Fudge Brownie!
1 part pecans, 1 part dates, 1/2 part cacao powder.
Add a little sweet cashew cream on top and some berries.
Sacrifice? Boredom? Not in my raw diet.

Im heading off to Phoenix tonight,
got all my camping gear yesterday
and Im packing right now.

For all of you coming this weekend,
my talk will be broken down into two sections:

The first part will be about multi-tasking
while juicing or working out. Im going to demonstrate
some exercise routines that I do and give some tips
to make them enjoyable so we can stay consistent about them.

Forget about a certain technique, the results will
always be found in consistency. The person doing
any kind of exercise consistently will see results far
faster than someone going to a gym using fancy machines
once or twice a week.

I like to improve my mind while I improve my physique,
so I'll be sharing some tips about that as well.

Part two will cover The Model for Living Permaculture Project.
Why, How, Ups and Downs, Plans for the future...
You get the idea, or by tomorrow you surely will.

I'm appearing in some other places as of late too on the web.
Im now a writer for the Huffington Post.
I was shocked and honored to have been contacted by them,
and there will be lots more to come from me over there.
Here is my first post!

Two days ago I had an awesome talk with Dhru
from Welikeitraw.com and luckily the whole thing
was recorded and is now online.
Check the link HERE.
Dhru has brought more mainstream people into
raw consciousness than probably anyone I know of.
We are forever in debt for his commitment
and easy-going, approachable style.

Wish we could have you there this weekend Dhru!

Time is flying by...
off to finish packing.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, MIRACLE.

I'm a huge fan of podcasts,
and one of my favorites is a weekly show
on NPR called "Speaking of Faith".
I really love this show.
If you listen to a few of them,
hopefully you will understand why I do.

This particular show features renowned author
Barbara Kingsolver. You might have heard of her.
I had no idea until I heard an interview with her
on this show about a year ago.

It inspired me to start reading the book,
which I am now. Its great.

After about 5 minutes you will see how
relevant this interview is to this website
and to the messages that I'm trying to convey here.

Remember, up until the 1940's
we all ate organic food grown locally
and sustainably. Now, it seems like a luxury
reserved only for the rich and snobby.
Almost as if anyone doing this is some sort
of elitist, when in reality, this IS BY FAR the most affordable
and sane way to live. Elitism is having your water shipped
in from Fiji or Iceland, and eating coconuts from Thailand.

Download the AMAZING podcast HERE.

I really hope you listen. Get in on your ipod if you have one,
or play it while you catch up on your stretching,
or while you are making your green juice. MULTI-TASK.

Learn more about her gardening projects HERE.

Windy day here...my fig tree is getting whipped around...


Monday, September 8, 2008


As most gardeners realize, our plants do not live
in some sealed off vacuum, free of competition from Nature.

Despite the severe disconnection from Nature
that affects most of our lives today, we are still
encased in the natural world.
The bubble is an illusion.

Ive had some interesting run-ins
with critters who have found my plants
to be equally tasty as I have.
Here is the line-up:

This colorful fellow is the gypsy moth...(pre-moth stage).
Guess what...they LOVE apricot leaves.
They will turn into massive gypsy moths,
and from what I've heard they are pretty rare
around the area. If we provide the habitat,
the animals will come. ALWAYS.

Here is me pondering what to do.
They really tore into one of the apricot trees.
I wish I had chickens that I could feed them to.

Now, Im not claiming to be a saint here.
I've killed many caterpillars eating
the kohlrabis, cabbages, and cauliflowers,
but these new guys were so much bigger.
Does size play a role in the right to live or die?
Sounds funny, but if you consider it, you might find it to be true.

Even the type of animal makes a difference.
What if rats were eating your produce?
Would it be easier to shoot them dead instead of
a rabbit who was doing the exact same thing?
Can you see how biased we all are?

So what did I do?

We put them in a jar for a couple of days
and fed them some other leaves.
Later on we let them out further away.
That is my dad's writing. Funny guy.

Alright...moving on.

The tenacious woodchuck.

(Photo courtesy of Alaska Dept of Fish and Game)

This little furry MONSTER will devour a garden.
They have ferocious appetites
and have no qualms about taking one bite
out of a cucumber and then moving on.
Cute though, right?

When all the trex deck materials were piled in
the yard, one made a home underneath it all.
You should have seen the hole.

A day after we noticed it, he hit the cabbages above.

I didnt feel like killing him, although every other
gardener I know in the area would surely
stick a pitchfork in one if their livelihood was in danger.

Often common is dropping smoke bombs inside the hole
and basically gassing them.
That seems horrible, but if your livelihood
depends on raising food to sell, what do you do?
Remember, they don't have all the time that
I do to play around. Its not all fun and games.

Instead, I stuck the water hose
down the hole and let it run.
Not to drown him hopefully, but to make the
den wet and unbearable to stay in.

No dead woodchuck (I think?)
and after we moved the lumber,
he never came back.

A book that I read a while ago,
titled "This Organic Life" by Joan Dye Gussow,
points out an obvious dichotomy between the ethics
of veganism and the large amount of animal deaths
that actually occur due to the raising of fruits and vegetables.

Animals are killed all the time because they compete with
our food supply. The only way I can really see to avoid it
is to grow our own and try to prevent the animals from getting in.
If we still have problems with them,
we can then try our best to treat the animals humanely.
Maybe we could use live traps or have a dog near the garden.

We just can't escape death.
In NATURE, death is an everyday occurrence.
In order for us to live, other things must die.
Sad but true...its a fact.
This includes plants, animals, and sometimes
in extreme cases unknown to us, people.
We are so intricately connected, that we truly will never
know the consequences. So with a humble heart, we must
at least honor the fact that because someone is vegan
doesn't mean that animals were not harmed in the
growing of all their food.

A big thing I realized this summer while starting
the garden and the orchard was how I was
the newcomer to the area. The deer, rabbits,
woodchucks, squirrels, raccoons, and caterpillars
have all been there for millions of years.

"Some jerk human comes into the area and thinks
he owns the place?? You've got to be kidding us."

They are trying to eat the goodies, just like us.
Killing them because of it might seem very lame,
but some gardeners might see no other way out.

I haven't reached that point yet,
but hey...I haven't had my garden massacred by animals.
And its not like gardeners want to kill these animals,
but when it comes down to who eats, well...

Vegans can act VERY holier than thou when it comes
to that stuff. Ironically enough, they usually haven't
raised bees, milked goats, raised chickens,
so despite their ideals, their real life food-raising
experience is usually minimal at best.

Vegans are some of the most conscious eaters on
the face of the Earth, but it doesn't give them the
permission to be self-righteous.
And remember please...I AM a vegan...wait, I'm a bee-gan ;) .

Until we walked in someone else's shoes,
we shouldn't be judging them.
There are so many factors involved already,
and farming is hard enough without animals
eating all of the food meant for us.
We just don't appreciate this fact at all.
Our separation from Nature runs far deeper than
most of us can actually deal with.

Can we do it differently? Sure, but many gardeners
still can't. Especially if they don't want to spray their plants,
or are blessed to live in areas teeming with natural wildlife.

Instead, we can do our best to keep the animals out, and if
they do take some of our produce, maybe consider it a tax paid
to the Earth for finally being a part of Nature again.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bees...ups and downs

From practically knowing nothing about them in March
to being able to at least seem well-versed about them now,
its been an interesting road traveled with my new bee friends.

Its not all sunshine though. Those ladies DO get cranky
if you get up in their business too much.

I've been stung about 5 times so far,
each time except one was my fault.

Why did I get stung? Good question.
My hives were too close to my working areas.
The guy building my deck was taking up the space
where I planned to tuck away my hives, so I had
to have them more out in the open temporarily
where the greenhouse will eventually be.

Dont get me wrong though...if you are conscious,
and move slowly and methodically,
you can walk around the hives very closely
and not ever get stung. I would actually sit in a chair
2 feet in front of the hive and watch the comings
and goings of all the lovely ladies collecting pollen.

I have found that its a wonderful mediation technique
actually. To sit there for 30 minutes and just watch
the activity...it will change you if you do it long enough.

But once in a great while, I would be making too
much commotion or my dad would have bothered
them by checking the honeycombs, and then
I would get it from one of the defensive bees.
No biggie, but just so we all know.

If you have bees, have them situated so people don't
have to do things close to the hives.
Bees will rarely sting you if they are just flying
around looking for pollen. It just seems that when
we are close to their hive, that they get a little tense.

I have never smoked my bees, and have not
collected honey or pollen from them this year.
I have protected them from wasps who were
ferociously attempting to take over the hive
by sitting above and smooshing them with a cedar stick.
Check this picture. I was never stung doing this.

I wore masks while moving the hives but otherwise no.
I'm not advising anyone to do anything unsafe.
You are all big girls and boys and you need to
make a wise decision based on sound research
and what you are able to handle. If you are
allergic, you need to really consider the pros
and cons of raising bees on your own.

If you get stung, don't blame me.
I spent all my money on this project anyways,
so it would be like squeezing blood from a turnip.

See the wasps? We are protecting them the bees.
All those vegan nuts that say beekeepers simply
use and abuse their bees need to wake up.
Small organic beekeepers are in a symbiotic
partnership with bees. Its just something
that vegans who are disconnected from the REAL
Earth need to get wise about.

Here is my viewpoint...smooshing the wasps
with a cedar stick. Never killed one bee.
You should have seen how the bees would
tackle these wasps. But the weaker hive was
getting overwhelmed and the human element
finally had to play a part in the dance.

Here's a thought...in pure nature, would those
wasps have taken over? Probably.
One hive is VERY strong though, and you
should have seen how impossible it was
for the wasps to get in that one. There was no chance.
The guard bees would beat them up every time.

For tens and even hundreds of thousands of years,
humans have been shaping the natural world,
and today is no different.

Funny thing though...the bees never bother my dad.
Well...maybe just a little bit. But while we were working
on the greenhouse, I was all decked out with my jacket
and headmask, and he was just wearing this.
Not stung once. You should have seen the bees ALL over.

He wears my old skateboard t-shirts from high school..
I just love that. The shorter hive is the weak one.

Here he is checking out the wasp situation.

SO...to wrap it up...
Any semi-intelligent person should by now realize
that bees are great for pollination, and when teamed
up with humanity, a partnership develops that can
be beneficial for ALL...especially Mother Earth.
A few bee stings here and there (even in the face)
are the price for all of that. By taking just a
few precautions, your chances of getting stung
are very low. Just don't wear black clothes.
They really don't like black clothes.
The beatniks would not have been happy beekeepers.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Leaving the Garden (just for awhile...)

Cucumbers came first for me...two a day, seconds old.
I am SO ruined when it comes to cucumbers now.
Perhaps nothing will compare to the ones I had last week.

We've all got to pay the bills somehow,
so I'm back in NY to make it happen.

Make no mistake, as frugal as this whole project really is,
I have not taken out any loans and it ALWAYS
cost more than what one would believe at first.

I thought the trex deck would cost about $5000.
Multiply that by 3 and you'd be in the ballpark.

Still. This is for the long run, as all permaculture really is.
Blessed are those who can plant a tree and wait patiently
for 3 years before they are rewarded with fruit.

Its a bit strange to be back in this man-made-mess
called a city, but I'm adjusting quicker than I thought.

How did I cope? I bought a wonderful fig tree at the
Union Sq Greenmarket today. $18!

Now that is FAR cheaper than I would have expected.
I dont know how I'll get a four foot fig tree to MN,
but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Ok...picture time.

These are "Black Krim" tomatoes.
Again, I'm spoiled forever.

This was my first year, and I did have a lot of tomato
plants, but I came out with over 250 tomatoes.
Multiply that by the crazy whole foods price of about
$3 a tomato (for heirloom organic) and you can see
why its worth growing your own.

AND...you grew it, you picked it, you made a
wonderful dish of it with your loved ones.
No strangers involved really.

Its funny, I'd be up in the garden all morning without
breakfast, and around noon I would come down to eat.
Stopping myself a few times, I would remember:
"The food is HERE. Stay and enjoy."

(using my picking pouch...my t-shirt)

When you eat these tomatoes, you will now know
why they are really classified as fruits.
That dark red beauty pictured above is a Cherokee Purple.
Simply divine.

These are some Shintokiwa Cucumbers.
Finest above all so far.
Click HERE for more info...
Grown from seed...nothing more satisfying.

Here is a darling watermelon that I had to leave
behind...maybe my parents can mail it to us?? Wink wink ;)

Notice those massive leaves all around?
SQUASH! If you want to create a luscious
living wall full of foliage, go with squash.

You wont get the same effect with most melons
and I couldnt imagine tomatoes ever coming close.
Go with squashes if you want quick results.

One of my better kohlrabis.
Blend the leaves in a smoothie
(they are VERY similar to red russian kale)
and mince or dice the ball below for a salad
or to create raw sushi rice. A great substitute
for jicama. I love this vegetable for its diverse uses.

Here is a tip. Do NOT grow these or any
of its relatives in the brassica family
(kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli)
UNLESS...you want to be picking off caterpillars...LOTS.
Little white "butterflies" will magically appear
and start to lay eggs on these plants.

I would go over each one every other day and clean them up,
but this is a hassle to say the least.
If you do choose to grow them, as you should,
because they are great and are wonderful
late season crops, keep them separate and put
a netting over them that will allow sunlight in
but will still keep out those butterflies.

Beside that though, NOTHING else was touched.
I even saw a rabbit in my garden once,
and even had a woodchuck take up a residence
not more than 6 feet from the garden,
and the only things injured were brassicas,
mostly cabbage and kohlrabi.

Were my other fruits more mineralized and impervious?
Maybe mineralized, but impervious...? Come on.
Still...not one thing touched my cukes, tomatoes, or anything else.
I did continuous sprays of putrified eggs and garlic around
the perimeter of the garden, so maybe that really did the trick.

Still...Im in the middle of the woods. There are deer everywhere,
and many more little creatures. Maybe there was food elsewhere?
Anyhow, I'm more than thankful that I didn't have to
resort to brutal violence to get rid of them.

Inspired at all? Its not too late to start,
even if you live in the northern latitudes of the world.
Many greens can still be started,
as can radishes and more.

If you live in the south, get some good soil and
GET OUT THERE! Plant some seeds
and show some love...you cant go wrong.

250 heirloom tomatoes. How can you not love that?