How Does Your Garden Grow?


So far so good this week,  but last week will be tough to beat. 🙂

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Rancho Alegre

It started with an evening class at Rancho Alegre.  Pilar led a discussion about  probiotic drinks and essential oils.  I’m always game to discuss Kombucha and Keifer!  Besides she and I have really hit it off and it was great to see her and experience her farm first hand.  My daughter loves animals so I took her along for the ride.

Mid week, I went to Truly Living Wells Wednesday Market in East Point.  Remember Rashid? I met him at the Multicultural Sustainable Argriculture Conference last month.  I purchased okra, tomatoes, and red peppers. It’s okra season so I never pass an opportunity to get my hands on them!

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Some of the goodies found at Truly Living Well’s Wednesday Market in East Point

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My favorite Fall Stew

I wasn’t able to speak to Rashid that like I had hoped so when I found myself in downtown Atlanta on Friday, I decided to swing by  TLW’s Wheat Street garden (I had heard from a reliable source that he would be there). He didn’t seem to mind that I was stalking him; he actually invited me to have a seat and join in on an interview that was being conducted by a group of Georgia Tech students.

I had stumbled into a gold mine.

Rashid gave detailed (and sometimes irreverent) accounts of his experience starting his garden and his vision moving forward. He explained how urban agriculture addresses many different urban community concerns including: need for quality whole foods, skill/trade building, crime control and connections between neighbors.  He obviously knows what he’s talking about; it shows in his garden. While we sit, children chase each other through the rows of growing vegetables and young men and women working on behalf of TLW guide customers as they make purchases; all while the city buzzed in the backdrop.

As it turns out Atlanta is a perfect place for growing your own food. Rashid is very proud of the fact that he has an operating market every week of the year. He also sees the demand for the vegetables being greater than the supply  to be a good problem to have; it shows that the community (from high-end restaurants to local residents) value what they offer.  It was great to hear this leader speak about his love of food and people. How wonderful to be able to bring the two together!

Here is how I prepare my okra and tomato stew:

Ingredients: 2 cups sliced okra, 1 onion, diced,  2 cups diced tomatoes, 5 garlic gloves (I leave my cloves whole), Himalayan  sea salt, turmeric, 1 diced chile, (all seasonings to taste- my momma taught me to tap the spoon on the back of my hand and taste until it is right) 1.5 pounds shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Bring all vegetables and seasonings to a boil (I do not add water, I find the tomatoes are all I need to keep it nice and chunky!). Simmer  on low heat for 10-15 minutes (don’t let the okra get mushy).  I add the shrimp after I remove the heat. The hot liquid cooks the shrimp and they don’t get rubbery. That’s all! It taste even better the next day!  The boys eat theirs with rice and hot sauce. 🙂

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Shirt says “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” Sure Ain’t!!! Big things are happening… stay tuned!

I was in downtown Atlanta to scope out locations for an upcoming photo shoot.  It is connected to a really AWESOME project! Yeah I am being secretive. I wish I could say more but  I’ve been sworn to it! Very hard for me but I promise when I share… it’s going to be good!!! The photographer on the project is Jeff Guyer of Guyer Photography.  Check him out, he is an awesome photgrapher and very patient person. Anyone who photographs me has to be. <— not kidding.   Here’s a test shot from that day. I wasn’t prepared to be photographed (hence the t-shirt and barely combed hair- I cropped out the flip flops) but I’m all smiles inside!


2 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow?

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