Friday, June 4, 2010

Dark Times, Garden Update & Some Sunshine

I usually keep things cheery on this blog, but I've been feeling quite glum lately. With the horrifying situation in the Gulf of Mexico, and the horrendous violence and brutality at Conklin Farms exposed by MFA  last week...actually,  glum is an understatement. Try brokenhearted, angry, deeply saddened, and disgusted.

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way. I mean it's extremely sad and disgusting that dairy/animal product industries exist at all, but it is especially so when things like that come to light. Likewise, although we are polluting the earth at an alarming rate in the best of times, the spill in the Gulf is a devastation. When I see the images of pelicans soaked in oil, all I can do is cry...and that's just one small part of it.

Of course, there are various ways to get involved and help with the rehabilitation efforts in the Gulf. And whereas sadly, that type of brutality is the rule rather than the exception in the dairy industry, at least MFA exposed the crimes at Conklin Farms, and hopefully those monstrous people will be brought to justice. No punishment could be too harsh for them in my opinion.

So, when I'm down, I spend time in the helps center me and reminds me to grateful. In this way and on a slightly brighter note, here are some lettuce, mesclun, cilantro, and rocket that are coming into harvest mode:

lettuce and mesclun

rocket and cilantro

 A resulting salad:

On the cabbage front, it's been an ongoing effort to repel the cabbage moth. I've been spraying the cabbages after every rain with a homemade garlic/chili-pepper barrier spray. The spray consists of garlic cloves, hot chilis, and a bit of sunflower oil liquified with water, and is meant to repel the moths. It's a long haul  trying to keep cabbages predator-proof and intact until harvest. I'm not sure I'm coming out on the winning end of that one this year.

Under the row cover behind the cabbages, you'll  find three rows of heirloom carrots, (hopefully) safe from the carrot rust fly.  In addition to the row cover, I also did a bit of companion planting with onions--the carrots are surrounded by them. Onions are supposed to repel the rust fly. June is an emergence time for this little fly, which like to lay their eggs around the carrots so their babies can feed on the roots...the problem is, I want to feed on those roots too.

Potatoes are coming along...I hope they are busy growing tubers.

Spinach is coming onto the scene as well:

But, these little mustard mizuna sprouts are trailing behind their spinach-y neighbors:

I separated a rather large clump of garden sorrel into two pots...never a shortage of sorrel around here:

Kale is going to seed, which I'll collect for an early autumn planting:

And this is kind of looks like I will be getting a few chickpeas! As an experiment, I planted four little chickpea sprouts about 2 months ago...and here are the four little plants beginning to set their flowers...I've never eaten green chickpeas before, and I'm looking forward to it.

Soon, I'll be transplanting my tomato starts outdoors...but my peppers and eggplants are still very small, so I don't hold out a lot of hope for getting a harvest from those:

And now, some sunshine:

A few days ago, Blessed Mama from the Blessed Vegan Life blog, graciously bestowed the Sunshine Award upon this blog. I want to thank Blessed Mama very sincerely for this award: Thank you, Blessed Mama, most sincerely!  If you haven't done so, check out her blog...she feeds five hungry vegans everyday with delicious vegan creations from her kitchen!

Now, as is the custom, I am behooved to pass this award on to other worthy recipients...but not being one to follow rules especially well, I simply convey this award to all vegan bloggers are inspiring, talented, soulful, and compassionate! In this (largely) uncaring world it can sometimes make the difference between a grey day and a bright day just knowing that there are other like-minded people out there. You are all a little ray of sunshine for me.

It has been a brutal week at my work, so we're heading out of town  for some fun and play. Hope everyone has a good one.

Ciao for now.


  1. i wish that movie didnt start automatically. i didnt need to see that. farm animals are so docile, sweet and forgiving. every couple of months i get really depressed about how much cruelty is still around.i mean i feel like that everyday but i know what you are going through. sometimes its hard to take. you just get really ovewhelmed once in awhile.
    love you Rose:)

  2. Rose,

    I have to admit I had not heard about the issue at Conklin Farms. Like Michelle I get bummed about the cruelty people are capable of, it is very sad.

    On a happy note your garden looks amazing. I can wait to hear more about your first fresh chickpeas. Where did you get the chickpea sprouts, did you grow them yourself? I have sprouted chickpeas before but it didn't occur to me to plant them. But now it seems so obvious, LOL.

    talk to you later,

  3. It's because of the issues that you mentioned that it is so important to keep raising awareness of the vegan lifestyle till it becomes mainstream. You are doing your part. I wish I could help rescue the wildlife in the gulf or on these factory farms, but I try to tell myself that charity begins in your own backyard. Your's not mine;-)

  4. Your garden looks great. Things will get better...hopefully.

  5. I'm sad that my flower girl - Rose/Dandelion - is so blue. I pray things will get better for our planet, I really do. Glad you liked the award. :-)

  6. Rose, like you I am broken-hearted and just plain sick over the gulf, along with the fact that animal cruelty and the horrible abuse are pretty much the norm today. I am so glad that you have your lovely garden to work in, I know that is one of the things that helps me too. It is alive, green, and peaceful. I hope you had some fun this weekend, I'm thinking of you and pray for some comfort for you.

  7. Hi, Rose!

    I feel your pain too, and share your despair. I find it a very difficult balancing act to stay informed and involved without feeling overwhelmed and insignificant. Sometimes I just have to take a break and ignore the news and email alerts, but more often I find comfort and refuge in the joyful things that are all around but too often overshadowed by the sorrowful things. Your beautiful garden is clearly one of your sources of joy, and I can sure understand why! To be surrounded by all that life and beauty that you've nurtured is a healing balm for sure (and again when you eat all those healthy goodies!) :-)

    You know me and my quote collection. ;-) Here's one that I find to be a good and inspiring reminder during the dark times...

    However much concerned I was at the problem of misery in the world, I never let myself get lost in broodings over it. I always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of it to an end.
    ~Albert Schweitzer

    Your positive impact on people, animals and the planet should never, ever be underestimated. All the animals you've rescued and that you help at the shelter along with the hundreds you've saved and are saving by being a compassionate vegan; the beautiful photos you take, the warm friendship and laughter you share, the positive difference you make and the wonderful example you set by living a peaceful, simple, humble life in loving harmony with our natural world...

    I just want to thank you for the the all the things you do, every day, to dispel misery and suffering and replace it with joy and healing. You really do bring a tremendous amount of compassion, grace, and light to our world... more than you know.

    I hope you had a lovely getaway weekend, and feel rested and restored.

    Love, peace, and hugs to you... xoxo

    P.S. Your chickpea crop is especially exciting ~ may it thrive and prosper! :-)

  8. Thanks for commenting everyone. I know I'm not alone in worrying about our planet and our fellow creatures!

    Just back from a long weekend away, so feel restored and newly hopeful...thanks for the great quote Laurie: I'll keep that in mind going forward!

  9. I can relate...I don't know how people can be such monsters. People have rosy visions of Farmer MacDonald and his cows, chickens, etc in a bucolic setting, but that is so far from the truth.

    My brother apologizes for eating meat by saying: "this cow only had 1 bad day"...supposedly the day she died...I can't get him to watch the horrific truth in the videos...he doesn't want to know.

    Unfortunately, he is a typical person.

  10. JessyS,

    Your brother sounds like some of mine...when I described to him the conditions that the average chicken lives in...he said: "Who cares; it's just a f'ing chicken"

    Yeah, who cares, you're just an f'ing how I replied.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


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