Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Bounty of Greens

I ran into the Boca Whole Foods on Glades Road, Monday and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of local produce they had. It was mostly greens. In fact, there were so many that I couldn't fit them all in the picture. There is an array of chards, collards and beets (with the edible tops still on) both golden and ruby. Not pictured were several lettuces. All of the greens are from Lady Moon Farms in Punta Gorda.In addition to the greens and beets, there were lots of (expensive) local tomatoes and what must be the last of the citrus. I saw oranges and grapefruit from Clewiston and even from Lake Worth. There was a good selection!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Growing Gift

This week I started feeling a little bit better and have been able to venture out of the house a couple times, as well as eat some small meals, which are still extremely bland. I noticed that sitting outside in the sun and spring breeze makes me feel a lot better and really, how can it not? I think living things need to be outside as much as possible.

Today I felt the best, and as a result, I completed a small project. If you know how very ill I've been over the past six weeks, then you can understand what a gigantic, big deal this was for me. I made an herb garden for my sister and her husband.

My sister has been on vacation for the past week celebrating her and her husband's birthdays, which are close together. I wanted to give them a gift they could share. Earlier this year, right around Christmas, I made a vow that from now on I would only give people gifts that were useful, healthy and not wasteful. I think so often we get gifts for people that they don't need and that just end up as clutter. We do this because we feel obligated to get people things on special occasions and a lot of times we have no idea what to get, and then, out of desperation we just get something to say we got something. Many of these gifts aren't healthy and contribute to wasteful consumerism. A lot of them don't have the meaning we wish they did. I don't want to be a part of this problem anymore.

I decided to make my sister and her husband an herb garden for their balcony. They live in an apartment like I do, but are lucky enough to have a balcony that gets some sun and shade throughout the day. They like to cook and an herb garden fit all of my criteria for a gift - it's healthy, pretty, not wasteful and very useful.

I bought the herbs and terra cotta pots at Home Depot for under $50.00. I also added in some plant food for edible plants and a nice, new garden spade in case they are inspired and wish to add to the garden I started. I have a feeling they will. I started their garden with basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, a hot banana pepper bush and catnip for their two kitties. It took me less than an hour to pot all of the herbs and arrange them on the table they already had on the balcony. Now, tonight when they arrive home from a long drive, they'll have a surprise waiting - a surprise that will continue to grow and thrive and that will become a part of them when they eat the herbs they grow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Update

I'm getting a little but better, but still not enough to where I can actually get out and about that much. I still don't have my appetite back, but I saw a salad on TV today and it looked good instead of making me gag, so I take that as a good sign.

I thought I would still update you anyway.

What I've been eating: Jamba Juice. I know it's not local and probably not even remotely healthy, but you know, you have to get something down and sweet and icy was the only thing that worked. I can get a vita boost and at least I know I'm holding down one banana a day. Bananas are good. So thank you Jamba Juice for keeping me from starving to death and for allowing me to consume more than pills.

What I've been reading: Fed Up With School Lunch! This is a blog by a teacher who committed herself to eating disgusting school lunches in a public school cafeteria in order to expose how truly vile and unhealthy they are. The blog is gross, but it's supposed to be, and this woman should be sainted for making what I consider to be a huge sacrifice. Lord knows, I would NEVER eat any of this stuff.

I also read this article: "In Florida, The Seafood Becomes Less Local" from the New York Times. This article explains how most of the fish that people think is local is actually shipped in from other countries. Consumers are being BSed into thinking the fish was caught around here because it's sold by local distributors who deceptively slap a local label on foreign product. This reminds me of last summer when I was duped into buying blackberries from Chile and I've seen this scenario several other times as well. If it's not born, raised or grown in Florida, it's not local for us. Is that clear?? Someone needs to stand up to this practice. It's false advertising and it's lying to consumers!!

What I've been watching on TV: When you're sick, you watch a lot of TV. I am currently obsessed with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. If you haven't seen it yet, please set your DVRs. The show is frustrating, funny, heartbreaking and inspiring. It's just incredible to watch on so many levels. You will be horrified at the way people eat, at the way children suffer from "chicken nugget syndrome" and how most people think that children shouldn't eat with real utensils. (I actually worked in a kindergarten where we gave children knives and taught them to cut vegetables and would you believe, no one ever lost an eye or a limb or killed someone?) And although you will be horrified at the resistance Chef Oliver encounters, you will also be inspired by the people who are committed to change, especially young people. It is official - I love Jamie Oliver and what he's doing and I am so thankful for him and for others (like our First Lady Michelle Obama and Chef Alice Waters) who are working to change the way we feed our children. Go to Jamie Oliver's website (linked above) and sign the petition.