Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guide to an Anarchist Weekend

Ok, it’s more of a “what’s-the-happs” run down on events around town. Ok ok, it’s what I plan to cram and/or wish I could cram into my weekend.

Saturday, May 2nd:
Get your tree hug on while the finest Long Beach child labor does the dirty work for you. Wrigley is Going Green is throwing their first tree planting of Anaheim Street with the youth from Long Beach Housing Development Company. Event commences at 14th Street Park and Pacific Avenue in Long Beach at 8:30 a.m. Adult volunteers are needed to help keep this project safe. I'll be there cracking the whip.

For more info email:

Hey hipsters William Elliot Whitmore will be performing at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood. He’s a farmer, tattooed, and belts out roaring verses. Need I say more? He goes on at ten. *Rawr*

He recently performed Old Devils on Later… with Jools Holland:

Sunday, May 3rd:
Start your week off right. Spreading the good raw vegan word and slingin’ heavenly fudge brownies, Judita will be teaching her Raw Food 101 class. It’s the perfect class for those who want to learn about raw food but don’t know where to start. I walked away inspired and have made some serious changes in my diet since taking her class. Thanks Judita!

I highly recommend this class. Email Judita now at because there are only a few spots left!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rocky's Snack Jar

Recently H and I witnessed very peculiar behavior while standing next to a strawberry jar. A very brash Rocky was sniffing out three lowly ripe strawberries I was babying. He picked off one strawberry at a time and retired to his weed patch for a little afternoon snack.

Rocky’s love for this healthy snack inspired me to redo a strawberry jar just for him. I set off to Armstrong and armed myself with armfuls of strawberry plants. The person ringing up my purchase shot me a look of disgust when I told him the strawberries were for my dog. He can suck it. On to the pictorial!

Song: All Systems Go from the album ‘You Were Never My Age’ performed by Stepmothers courtesy of Posh Boy Records (c) & (p) 1981

*One clean strawberry jar (Mine has 9 pockets and the top measures 9" in diameter)
*3 PVC pipes, 1" to 1 ½” in diameter (Depends on the opening of the pot)
*Drill and ¼” drill bit
*Strawberry plants (I used 11 strawberry plants)

1. Measure the top of your strawberry jar to determine how many PVC pipes will fit. If the diameter measures between 7" to 9" you can fit three PVC pipes.
2. Measure depth of jar to determine length of PVC pipes. Cut about an inch under. You don't want the pipe sticking out of the jar.
3. Drill ¼” holes along the length of the pipe. This will allow water to seep to the strawberries planted at the lower part of the jar.
4. Plug one end of the pipe to hold the water.
5. Position PVC pipes and start filling jar with soil.
6. Pause at the edge of each pocket and carefully shove in plants. I shove them from the inside out. It works for me.
7. Keep the soil and plants coming! Be careful not to get soil in the pipes. I usually cover them with my hands while H fills the jar with soil.
8. Plant the top of the jar. I comfortably fit three strawberry plants.
9. Fill the pipes with water and splash some on top y voila!

Why Do I Plant This Way? Thanks for asking. Ever planted in a strawberry jar only to have whatever you planted die a dehydrated death? Yeah me too. The PVC pipes allow me to water the plants at the bottom more efficiently. Watering the pockets individually sucks and is near impossible.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just D.I.!

I live in one of the many hoods throughout Long Beach. I have my ups and downs with Wrigley but so far the good outweighs the bad. I have cool neighbors that’ll walk my 55 lb grizzly bear while we’re away. We have the Wrigley Neighborhood Food Exchange where I often score loads of homegrown food and now we have two new guerrilla gardens on Willow (at Golden and Chestnut).

A very special thanks to Scott at So Cal Guerrilla Gardening; he provided all the plants and tools. This event would not have been possible without him. Thank you to Wrigley neighbors, Blanca and Ruben of South Central Resistance, and guerrilla gardeners from near and far that joined.

Song: Simpletones "California" from I Have a Date, 1978/79

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Raw Vegan Angel Hair "Pasta" with Pesto

Last night’s dinner was courtesy of the garden. The smell of basil is intoxicating; permeable when watered. I don’t think you can ever sow enough basil seeds. I’m considering growing it in my sunny foyer.

I harvested a hoodie full of basil or 3 tightly packed cups and several zucchini including pastel green Clarimore and buttercup yellow Golden Dawn. Seeds are from Squash, Zucchini, "Tricolor Mix" and were purchased from Renee’s Garden Seeds.

I learned to make Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto at Judita’s Raw Food 101 class and speaking of, her next class will be held on Sunday May 3 and I highly recommend it. Since taking her class I have incorporated more raw foods into my diet, feel full and fueled, crave less cooked food, and have experienced weight loss. I fit into 3 pair of old jeans. Woot!

The pièce de résistance; a perfect spring/summer dinner. Not one burner needed for this rich guilt-free dish. This pesto recipe is sans blanching and I used raw almond slivers instead of pine nuts because it’s what I had on hand.

My tweaked recipe for pesto:
1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (I use Braggs)
¼ cup of raw almond slivers
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon of sea salt

Pasta Noodles:
3 zucchini, peeled and cut into thirds. Cut in half if zucchini are small.

Thin noodles can be made with a vegetable spiral slicer or you can simply use a vegetable peeler and make “fettuccine” type noodles. Draw the peeler down all sides until you reach the core.

Toss with pesto and enjoy!

Lastly, yesterday I started day 1 of pre-cleansing in prep for THE colon cleanse. The wonderful Judita turned me on to Blessed Herbs colon cleanse. The first three days you gradually decrease your solid food intake in anticipation of a five day liquids only fast. Here’s the satisfying and sustaining food I ate:

Breakfast: Organic Raw Kombucha-Multi-Green flavor
Lunch: Organic apple & a handful of organic flax & sesame seed tortilla chips
Dinner: Raw vegan angel hair pasta with pesto & three vegan chocolate chip cookies. I had a weak moment.

Tonight’s dinner will be sunflower herb pate with shaved beet salad and chard with homemade lemon herb dressing. Beets, chard and lemons are from the garden and I’ll forgo the cookies.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Drink Your Beets!

While watering the vegs this morning I thinned out a few beets. It is important to thin beets because beets are a dried fruit with 1-5 seeds in each fruit. Thinning is très important. If several seedlings emerge from one fruit in the same spot quickly yank out the weakest link and thin to 1 seedling per 1”. After 3-4 weeks thin to 3-5 inches apart.

Or you can soil block your beets like I do and transplant your seedling 3-5 inches apart from the get go. You’ll still have to sacrifice a beet like described above but you’ll only thin your seedlings once instead of twice.

Here’s kind-of- a-meal from the garden. I skipped the usual lemon water this morning and instead went straight for a smoothie. The beet thinnings are from my garden. The kumquats were scored through the food exchange and the vanilla almond milk is homemade. Here’s a short “video.”

Disclaimer: Punk rock will be heard.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

“I Don’t Need Anyone!” – Dead Boys

In the last 24 hours I’ve been riding the rollercoaster of shock and delirium with a big dose of bawling. I was crossing my fingers and hoping I would remain unscathed by the economic meltdown. After all I’m an accountant for an engineering firm that’s going after stimulus money. Silly me. Yesterday I officially became a statistic.

I’ve never experienced a lay off before. It’s weird. I didn’t get much or any sleep last night. My thoughts ranged from joy to being able to dye and cut my hair any way I please to finding innovative ways to further simplify my life to mortgage payment terror.

My husband is a rock. I keep asking him if he’s worried and he doesn’t seem to be. He’s helping me contain my hysteria. He reminds me that I’m not one to feel or act like a victim. He reminds me that I’m a tiger and I am because I’m a Leo. For him I am eternally grateful to his mother.

I draw inspiration from my friends that call this a blessing in disguise. My feelings towards several aspects of my employment were clear. I often referred to where I worked as the soul sucking OC. No offense dude but you are. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite fond of my ex-boss and the accounting group I belonged to but the rest I could do without.

So here’s to a new chapter in my life. I’ve compiled a list of things I look forward to:

1. Anarchy in the Kitchen™ - Recession Cooking from the Garden. If you’re not familiar with Depression Cooking with Clara or Joe Lamp'l and his Twenty-five Dollar Victory Garden then get acquainted. I plan to produce similar albeit lower quality videos. The goal is to cook as many meals from the garden as I can. Whatever I’m not growing I’ll hopefully be able to trade with my neighbors.

2. Consistent blogging!

3. Sow More Seeds! This is my currency. Interested in organic seedlings? I’ll sell you some. Better yet, if you have something you’re growing in your garden that I don’t let’s make a deal.

4. Going back to school. I’m 10 classes away from a second BA in Financial Accounting. I’m a number cruncher geek!

5. More time with my fur kids!

6. Volunteer. I like So Cal Harvest .

This list is incomplete; I’m sure I’ll be adding to it. Who caught the Dead Boys on the TV show Nubm3rs? The TV was parked on whatever channel the show comes on and I suddenly heard angels. If you missed the song here’s a vid.

Monday, April 13, 2009

DIY Deep Watering

Hey, so check it out. Victory Home & Garden will soon become Anarchy in the Garden™. Not to diss VH&G but I was never in love with her. It conjured up too many images of the victory gardens of yore and that’s all good but it’s not what I’m about. The victory I speak of is victory against the man, corpo agribusiness. It’s the ability to whip up an organic vegan feast from the garden in minutes and with two dogs and an omni husband I need to!

Anarchy in the Garden™ is a mixture of DIY ingenuity and tried-and-true old timey techniques with a punk attitude. It’s not your grandma’s grandma’s garden. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel; just give you my perspective, share my techniques, what works and what doesn’t. Most importantly I’ll share my failures so you don’t screw up 160 soil blocks like I did.

So here’s a short slide show on the high tech deep watering system I employ. A video would have been better but the mic on my camera is useless.

Step 1: Locate a 1 gallon nursery container (you know you have a ton in your shed).
Step 2: Drill ½ in holes (or get the husband to do it like I do) all around the container up to the lip.
Step 3: Dig a hole where the container will be “installed.” I usually shove one of these between two tomato plants.
Step 4: Fill the container with water. Y voila!

Why do I do this? Good question. Firstly, this is the only way I’ve ever watered my tomatoes. Second, I don’t have a fancy drip irrigation system. That would just be too easy.

These watering containers slowly allow water to seep through the holes and directly to the plant’s roots. Establishing a strong root system equals happy healthy long producing plants. Did I mention I have tomatoes long into December?

Also, it frees up your hands. I’m a multi-tasker. I can’t just do one thing at a time. Dump the hose into the watering container and walk away; tend other garden chores. Keep an eye on the water level, once it reaches the top toss the hose into the next container. You can even splash a little Sea Magic Organic Seaweed Growth Activator like I do. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's For Lunch?!

I don't know about you but I am having this. It's sitting right behind me and I kinda can't stop thinking about it.

I recently acquired a New West Knife Works Chef 8” knife and I haven’t had a chance to use it. I must have felt inspired this morning because at 7:30am I started to chiffonade rainbow chard. I’m a tad embarrassed to say that the chard had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I don’t want to hawk a bunch of goods but let's just say I use a certain as seen on TV produce bag and well, it works!

On to the food, b*tchin Not Tuna (I think it should be called Nut Tuna) that Judita taught at her Raw Food 101 class, homemade sprouts, avocado, jalapeno-stuffed olives, on top a bed of rainbow chard tossed in lemon and a smidge of EVOO. Did I just say that? Let's eat!

*Rainbow chard (not pictured but it's pretty, trust me), celery and Rossa Lunga di Firenze onion from the garden.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You Are What You Eat

Here I be, footloose and fancy free in 2006. Who knew one day I would resemble a cauliflower.

This badass is Cauliflower-Purple of Sicily. These Italian heirloom seeds where purchased from one of the raddest seed suppliers around, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. If I don't attend the Spring Planting Festival in May I'm going to run away to Bakersville.

A flawless cauliflower! Planted in the shade garden and undisturbed by the insect infested broccoli raab that sat next to it. I fearlessly snapped off a shoot and consumed it immediately. Normally I wouldn't do that considering I spit out a slug recently. Oh yeah, no joke, it was living in my salad. Bleh.

Pretty and delicious. Mild and not at all caulilflowery. I roasted half in a little olive oil, sea salt, and ground pepper. The other half I’ll eat raw. Clear out room if you like cauliflower because I highly recommend this variety. I’ve never harvested such a perfect vegetable.