Saturday, January 9, 2010

Movie: The Garden

I am an avid lover of Netflix and have enjoyed many recommended films, based ones that I rent. One recent recommendation, was as spectacular as it was timely. It was a documentary titled, The Garden. Nominated for many awards, the documentary shows the emotional fight of the South Central Farmers in Los Angeles, CA to hold onto land they had cultivated into the largest community garden in the U.S.

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers.

For more information visit:,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thank you Campbell's..I think!

While scanning The Cheap Vegetable Gardener a few months ago I saw a posting about getting free tomato seeds through a Campbell's Soup promo on their Help Grow Your Soup site. Since I had a can of soup on hand (you needed to enter a can code), I requested the seeds...and yesterday I received about twenty tomato seeds!! Thanks Campbell's!

However, while receiving free seeds is great, these are not entirely without issues. Here is why...
  • the tomato seeds!!
  • the bad...all I know is that they are tomato seeds...I have no idea what kind!
  • the ugly...the package says I should plant by March, 2010.
Florescent lights are my only hope for starting plants indoors as my apartment hardly does not have enough natural light. However, I have not quite figured out my plan yet!

Although the seed promo appears to be over, they still have a few exciting community projects going on and even a virtual garden to test out your gardening skills during these winter months!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The White House Garden in the spotlight again...

...this time on Iron Chef America! I am not a die-hard viewer of the show but a commercial for an upcoming episode perked my ears as I heard that First Lady Michelle Obama, The White House and the White House Chef Comeford were going to turn the show into a "Super Chef Battle."

In watching the episode I was thrilled to see that the "secret ingredient" was anything from the White House garden!! Each team of two chefs collected as many fruits and vegetables from the garden as they needed!

The mission was that each team's cuisine "must inspire America to eat fresh, eat local and eat well." In addition to the ingredients from the garden local meats, eggs, milk, cheese and even honey from the White House beehives were brought in!

Another highlight to the episode were the judges: domestic goddess, Nigela Lawson (a personal fav), actress Jane Seymore and Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

If you didn't see the show tonight, I recommend trying to catch a replay. You can also always check the Food Network website for highlights. In addition to all food prepared, I was impressed with the quality of the White House vegetables and learned a few things about icicle radishes, japanese eggplant and romanesco.

Bon appetit and think spring!!

P.S. The Obamas are huge sweet potato fans!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Free Gardening Workshops in Boston!

Happy New Year!!! I gladly welcome 2010 as it will provide me with another year (and chance) to grow fresh produce in the city. I learned and accomplished so much in 2009 and and cannot wait to develop my skills in 2010.

I was happy to discover that the date for the 35th Annual Gardeners Gathering has been announced! I attended this event last spring before I received my plot assignment! I learned the basics of gardening, discovered the wonderful world of vermiculture/worm composting and heard about the benefits of raised beds! Now that I have gotten my hands dirty, I cannot wait to see what I learn this year!! I highly recommend attending if you are a gardener - or want to be gardener - in the Boston area!!

Here are the details, taken from the Boston Natural Area Network website!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Curry Student Center, Northeastern University, Boston

Click Here for Directions
Free Event, All Welcome
Walk-in Registration

The Gardeners Gathering is an annual citywide event for community gardeners and other garden enthusiasts. Held in the spring of each year, the event is a welcome kick- off to Boston’s upcoming gardening season. The event is filled with informative and fun activities and workshops. Gardening and green space organizations are present to provide current program information. Door prizes are awarded and pre-ordered seeds (provided by BNAN) are distributed.
All are invited to join more than 300 community gardeners to welcome spring.

There will be Community Gardening Workshops for Beginner and Experienced Gardeners. Networking, Door Prizes, Info Gallery, Community Garden Awards, and More!

One of the typical highlights of the Gardeners Gathering is Mayor Thomas Menino’s greeting and presentation of the annual Community Gardening Awards. BNAN is grateful to Northeastern University for hosting the event each year and to the City of Boston for its ongoing support of community gardening.