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Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm back. FINALLY.

In this short life of mine I have MANY mistakes. I've grown and learned from those. I also know that I haven't learned everything there is to know and I am still very IGNORANT to so many things. That is why I'm on a constant search for knowledge. In a hungry state to know more about how the world works and its inhabitants. I don't believe in wasting this amazing brain I've been given on numbing it with propaganda, reality shows, who's wearing what, etc., I've also, grown compassion for those beings less fortunate than us that don't have a say in their fate. It is so discouraging at times to come across the know-it-alls of this world that refuse to open their minds to the possibility that things aren't really as they seem. That animals do hurt and cry when young is separated from its mother or when taken into a slaughterhouse or hunted just because it's tasty. It is barbaric and inhumane. It is discouraging because that same closed mind is causing so much suffering on this planet. Innocent lives, human and animal, lost on a daily basis because of a difference in opinion. Resources are being depleted, ecosystems lost all because of man's greed. I constantly ask myself, "are people EVER going to wake up?" Or are we just going to sit around and wait for someone else to do something about our current state of affairs?, and in the meantime, we rape our environment. It's very easy to say, "YOU'RE an environmentalist" as if it's a choice. The last time I checked, WE ALL LIVE HERE, TOGETHER. We all breathe the same air, and eat from the same land. When did it become someone else's issue and not EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY? It's amazing what benefit a little awareness can bring. The sad part is that most people are just too proud and closed to open to just a little bit of information. I ask myself why. Why is it so difficult to lend a hand? Why is everyone stuck in a bubble of ignorance? Is it all the STUFF we're too busy with? Looking for constant approval on facebook and instagram? Afraid that if we don't have the latest piece of technology, we won't be accepted? Are our lives THAT empty that we constantly need to blast our every move to total strangers online, but won't give a homeless person something to eat? Why is it that the human connection has been so lost? Will we ever recover it? This isn't meant to offend anyone, just raise questions within ourselves. To look deeper within our minds and seek answers for the benefit of all, not just our immediate circle. Everything we do in this life affects everyone else, whether you believe that or not, it's a fact. We are all interconnected. We all hurt the same and we all laugh the same. Have we all been so conditioned by this material society that our spiritual ties have been completely severed? We are all spiritual beings aside from religion. We all have the same basic human needs. Something to think about......... I'm done with my rant thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here we are...

And here we are...

It's been quite a few months since my last entry and, naturally things have changed dramatically in the garden and personally as well.




I begin with the building of two additional raised beds to the front of the house. Over the summer thyme, dill & purple basil has adorned that bed. Giving incredibly vivid tasting plants.
I've used them for headaches (thyme), for helping to get my blood pressure up after surgery (basil) and of course cooking.



I also went through back surgery in July and with these heavy rains this summer, it was quite challenging. I was unable to tend to the main garden with all the basil varieties, so it all pretty much went to blackspot hell. I really had no choice but to take them all up and start from scratch once again. After all, this isn't the first time and dealing with nature, it sure won't be the last.

The pepper plants have had a challenging summer as well. Cayenne came in strong, purple bell pepper did as well. And even the poblano was made an impressive first impression.




Since then I keep getting fruit but it varies in size. I've recently re-potted in bigger pots to see if that helps consistency.
Ants have also made an impressive impression but not in such a great light. They've attacked pepper plants eating the young flower right before losing its petals.

We've even managed to grow a bit of mesclun mix & got lucky with one sweet potato (smiley face).












I'm looking forward to returning to the Upper East Side Farmer's Market again.



I went and sold my herbs a few times before the surgery and totally fell in love with it. It's inspired me to spread the word about herbs and their properties.


It's a real sense of community, strike up interesting conversations with costumers and always leave having learned something new. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning.



The garden is coming together yet once more and it's a wonderful feeling of another new beginning, new challenges.



Thanks again for stopping by.

~YRM

Saturday, February 12, 2011

OMG GMO!

It's been a very interesting couple of months for me. There won't be any pictures in this entry just links and it will be brief & to the point. I came across a very interesting article on Whole Foods supporting the deregulation of genetically modified crops of alfalfa. This means contamination for many a crop. I'd like to raise a bit of awareness by posting a few more pages including Whole Foods' own blog page. Talk amongst yourselves and feel free to leave your comments.

http://www.fitnessgoop.com/2011/02/the-gmo-battle-does-whole-foods-support-monsanto’s-genetically-engineered-alfalfa/

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm

http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/whole-foods-and-other-organic-groceries-cave-to-monsanto-and-gmo-products

http://rawsangha.com/2011/01/29/whole-foods-monsanto-and-gmo-food/

After reading these and a few more articles I became angry for a few days. I quickly just came to the realization that this GMO is even bigger than I ever imagined. I felt like they just told me there is no santa claus. Like the only ally there was has just gone into the dark side of the force.

I recently heard from another source that Obama was lobbying for Monsanto over in India. Even more angry.

This is another confirmation that it's ultimately up the individual. It's really up to us. It's going towards the direction of growing your own and really knowing where it is your food is coming from. And by that I mean getting to know your local growers and supporting them.

Thanks for stopping by for this rant.
~Y

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Arugula Take Over

It's looking up again in the garden. Due to the drastic weather changes in the last couple of months, the garden has slowed down considerably. The basil had to be pulled completely because it dried, the dill just thinned out, the papaya lost all its leaves and so on.

It's been about a couple of weeks that they started showing some improvement. I also added a little organic fertilizer to help the process along and a few have been moved to bigger pots. Culantro, Sage, Chillies, Basil & Rosemary have filled up nicely. Even the swiss chard made a comeback.








I've also planted a few new additions to the garden. Thai Basil, Purple Beauty Peppers, Brandywine tomatoes & Cherry tomatoes. So far the Brandywine and the Cherry tomatoes have made an appearance & everyone else is barely breaking through the soil.

I thoroughly enjoy this process of planting seeds and seeing those first few sights of little stems pushing through the soil. Those days previous to that are filled with excitement and anticipation. It's these little simple things in life that bring a smile to my face.


I am especially pleased with greens.


That bed is filled with mesclun mix, endive, purple lettuce and of course my stellar, arugula.
The fabulous Rocket was planted last July. Yes, July. I didn't know anything about greens but later on found out they do better in cooler weather. Despite the heat & humidity of last summer, they did amazing.
We have been eating it at least once a week since their first harvest. It has flowered and seeded. And the floor of that greens garden is covered with a green shaggy color almost as if a bath mat. I might have to move other bunches elsewhere because of space. I wouldn't mind a full garden. I enjoy it in salad, eggs, stir fries, grilled cheeses and on and on.




In conclusion, things are looking up once again in the garden.

Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

~YRM

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Beautiful Miami Evening

It's a chilly, windy and very tasty Saturday night in Wynwood. It is the Food Truck Meet Up and it's loud, cold and so delicious. Tonight I was fortunate enough to enjoy about a full hour with my husband and toddler at the same time, at night and outside the house. Very rare. Usually by 9 pm, Bodhi's out of bed and he's probably letting everyone know just how tired he is by how loud and viking-like he behaves when he's tired. So we went to the food trucks.
We were meeting friends there so it was even more worth it. It's a very cold and windy night but between the music, the company & the food, it made for a nice balance.


I felt honored to meet the builders, owners & runners of the Grill Master Cafe Truck. They specialize in Cuban style gourmet truck cuisine. Featuring the classic Frita to hot dogs to the original Mojito Wrap. They are independent and authentic.




I had a such a delightful and educational conversation with Maria the owner. She described the amount of work, time & money she and her husband invested in this dream of theirs. She also let me know the current extra effort they are now putting in since they've been up & running for some time now. The excitement of crowd rushing their window and making that initial, unique connection. Maria lit up when she spoke about the connections made daily and the smiles she brought to them with a simple comfort food on the go.

Grill Master Cafe is leaning towards organics and sustainable, seasonal ingredients as well. They are also looking to expand their menu with vegetarian and vegan dishes. We had a lengthy talk about learning more about wanting to be part of the "green revolution". That was quite refreshing. (there she is on the left with the apron)






Besides the Grill Master Cafe truck there other trucks like Latin Burger, Jefe's & Cheese Me. I tried Dim Sam a Gogo. Very fresh Asian flavors.


On a side note, our friends the Krafts were there as well. I enjoyed some laughs and a glass of wine with my foodie friend Mytte. We enjoyed some laughs (as usual), very tasty wine and some fresh, hot Asian truck love. Thank you Bon Bon.




All in all it was great. Bodhi had Churros, Frita and hot chocolate. Not bad for his first food truck meet up.


Thanks for stopping by guys.
Much Love.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy 2011.
Over the last several months there has so many different topics going through my noodle. From the oil spill, to the holes in the Tundra, to dolphins, to Monsanto, and on and on and on. I decided to stay consistent. It all keeps coming back to the local and familiar. So this entry is a tribute to the ones that are making those efforts.

I begin with these:

Mytte & Cole Kraft's:


















The Krafts are growing everything from tomatoes, to carrots, to a variety of herbs. These are a couple who is committed to seeing the big picture and not only because they are both amazing chefs, but because they truly understand what it means to grow your own.
Their garden consists of a variety of carrots, herbs and mixed greens. They share their gardening with their three year old son Mace. He is part of the process from planting the seeds to harvesting delicious carrots. Absolutely delightful. Thank you guys for sharing your knowledge and seedlings and endless sense of humor.


Cristina Pulido-Lopez:







Cristina is currently in school majoring in environmental sciences. She's also a mom who truly believes in teaching the next generation to be sustainable and grown their own. She brings a lot to the table as far as educating the masses on what's currently going on with our green movement. Thank you for being a strong, informed and involved entity. Truly valuable.

Ailen Rivera:







Ailen is also a mom of two gorgeous kids. Ailen is the perfect example of the long time effects of eating GMO's. For years Ailen had rashes on various places of her body. It turned out to be that her chemistry is extremely sensitive to GMO's. Since eating clean (organic) these discomforts have disappeared. A testament of what a difference eating clean makes. She grows herbs that she uses for multiple recipes including an assortment of teas. Ailen is also one of those voices who believes on shining the light on the current issues that affect us all whether we know it or not. Thank you for the insight on the establishment.

During this time I've come across a great organization running an urban garden out of a local school. They are called Troy Gardens. Growing everything from Swiss Chard to Papaya, they are undoubtedly realizing the sustainable culture. And more importantly with the next generation.

As for me things have been kind of slow. I've had success with the herbs, alliums, and the mixed greens. I've fallen in love with garlic chives, which I found out go back to Asian cuisine. They are amazing in an omelette, salad or marinade. My aloe plants have thrived and provided much needed liver/bloodstream/colon cleansing.







So I'd like to close with yet another sincere message. Please educate yourselves about what it is you're consuming. The more you know, the more control you have, the more powerful you are and the more difference you can make. It all starts with ourselves. It's not easy, but it's worth it. The cell phones, the cars, the clothes, the gadgets, these aren't the long-lasting. What is long-lasting is the basics.

Plant something. Nurture it. Watch it grow. Enjoy it.

A sincere thank you for stopping by..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

keep goin'

It's summer 2010 and I've decided to name this entry "keep goin" feeling inspired by my Buddhist practice and the people I'm surrounded by. This won't be an angry rant.

Since my last entry, life with three children has kept me very busy. They're out of school for summer so we've done quite a bit of growing together as a family. We moved into a new place. Great vibe here. Glorious, inviting back yard that truly has inspired me to really get serious about being on the road to being as self sustainable as I can be in this concrete jungle that is Miami. In the last 1 1/2 months we've planted tomatoes, spinach, arugula, mesclun, pineapples, papaya and various herbs and flowers, all still very young. Still so much more to plant. Still so much more to learn. We have put so much work into this project & we've barely made a dent in what is our master goal. Between my oldest son, daughter and husband we've started a vegetable garden in the middle of Miami's Design District. We're surrounded by a great night life with great restaurants, galleries and studios and a contagious bohemian lifestyle. There's something in the air that is a unique and captivating. We have done everything from planning the placement, planting seeds and now starting to taste our hard work. We started with herbs back in February and they are now a staple in our kitchen. Just recently we build a raised garden starring spinach, mesclun & arugula. My daughter and I built the frame. Ethan and I turned soil, added compost and planted. They are barely a couple of weeks old but already are little bright green bunches of love. Our tomato plant is doing quite well. Counted 10 flowers yesterday. It's exciting to be a part of.

Ethan is 14 and Mia is 12. Teens! At this point in time technology is mind blowing. All these kids talk about is what the latest gadget is. Or texting (can't stand it). I have made it a personal mission to exposing them to be involved in their food from seed to plate. At first it was like pulling teeth to get those two to be out in the sun with me helping with a simple bamboo fence, but after a few threats and motherly guilt they were very eager to help. Every morning now we go outside, observe the progress and discuss the developments. They're deeply involved in this journey and feel a true connection to another form of life. As a mother, it feels great to see them learn and spread the word to their friends. They're open and anxious to keep growing not just veggies but as activists.



I have also been experiencing this buzz of all this catching on, especially among fellow moms. That's also as much as inspiring. There's that fellowship of aware mothers that are growing their own and passing it along to the little ones as well. Cheers to you and keep up the brilliant work! A friend commented on an article I posted and she was right (Thanks Cris). It is absolutely up to us to start this revolution with our children now. Small steps are being taken to start to make somewhat of a change in the way this country eats. Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancers are taking our loved ones down quickly. But we all know the real change must begin at the home. Yes, it's a lifestyle change, but only a slight shift in the grand scheme of things. For us, it brings us together outside in the sun and in the kitchen. Keeps life (of all types) in perspective. Yet another connection, another respect for life.

So for the rest of you out there who just "don't have time", I implore you to just start with an herb. Easy to maintain and a good start to something that benefits all in the end.

Thanks for having time for my rant and keep goin'.
~Y