Blog : Food & Health

Redefining community gardens.

I get asked a lot about what I do – as if bartending 40+ hours a week isn’t enough.  I garden, and some could say I am a professional gardener.  But I am not about to grow you shrubs and decor.  I want you to grow something good for you! I want you to be growing so much food you are giving it away to your family, friends, and neighbors.

What a thought right? A whole community of people, neighbors, growing food and sharing in the abundance! Can you imagine if Tom next door had the best sun so he is in charge of peppers and to know everything about peppers…and dill.  And then Susan and her husband Nick who live 3 doors down have the second best sun plus 3 kids so they get tomatoes and the kids get weeding duty! Get where I am going with this?  A community garden should not be a place we go to but where we live.  Our neighbors should be our community garden and each neighborhood designed with the ability to sufficiently grow plenty of food for all!

Don’t think it’s possible.  I put possible to the test this year.  I have 60 square feet of garden space in my rental home in Interlochen.  That is 6 raised beds each have 10 square feet.  Each bed is 7.5″ raised from the soil level up.

As of today, Friday September 18th I have harvested 55.9 pounds of produce from my garden.  That is nearly 1 pound of food per foot.  1lb = 1sq/ft.  To me that’s impressive because were not growing pumpkins or large heavy set squash.

The breakdown

27.1 lbs of TOMATOES

11.9 lbs of Zucchini

6.4 lbs of Cucumbers

2.5 lbs of Acorn Squash

8 lbs misc(documented but not detailed)

1 pound for every square foot.  I have tomatoes stuffed in drawers everywhere and I’ve even given plenty away.  We made 3 loafs of Zucchini bread and 2 dinners of Zucchini boats and still….Zucchini was around!

We never measured our herbs cause well – it takes forever and I don’t have the right scale.

You don’t need the space you think you need and you don’t need the light you think you need.  I don’t recommend growing the hard things or things that are technique very hard, surprisingly this is carrots and lettuces.

Imagine communities with 3 gardens focusing in on growing one or two things in 30 square feet.  5 houses with 3 gardens each would be 15 gardens, 150 square feet – that’s 150 pounds of produce in 5 houses.  That’s only 5 houses – not hard to do! Do it with a friend and coordinate a friend network of gardens and share in the wealth! Just give me some credit when ya do it!

I had extra space too…plenty of it! Next year we’ll shoot for 2 pounds per foot…seems crazy, but it can be done. You just have to know what you are planting.  And stop planting carrots please!

Why you’re really sick!

Lets face it – YOU’RE NOT HEALTHY.  But then again, neither am I.  In fact I’d bet very few are actually healthy – what sucks is that you didn’t really choose to be this way but you’re also not helping yourself out of this way.

Let me guess – you eat right and by eating right I mean you had some lettuce a few weeks ago.  You exercise and by exercise you walk to work or you walk around at work.  You probably take all your vitamins and by vitamins you mean plastic capsules filled with hopes and dreams.

Here’s the problem with being healthy – it’s too forward thinking.  Being healthy is like insurance – you pay for it but hope you never need it.  I have phone, car, forced healthcare, business and so on and I pay forward for each hoping I never have to call on them because we all know what that means!

Why is it so hard to explain to people good real food is your insurance plan for health?

Here’s why it’s not your fault.  Industry & Marketing.  The second you walk into a grocery store more than 3/4 of what you see is literal crap, fillers, and mainly corn.  The first 1/4 of the store, that department called the produce department – that’s where we find the good stuff.  But big ads and false advertisements across every package lure you in to buy this so called vitamin rich product – ok so they got me too at one point.

Here’s why it is your fault.  You don’t balance your diet with raw healthy foods.  The process of cooking anything removes and degrades vitamins, minerals, proteins, and so on from any food.  From broccoli to beef if you cook it – it craps out.  Yes there are still things left but not as strong as before.  When was the last time you had raw anything?  Broccoli, beans, cauliflower, onions, or cucumbers! And not as a snack but as a meal! When was the last time your meal didn’t come from a box or a can?  And do you really think that one time made a difference?  No, it didn’t.  You felt food for maybe a day but then again you can at least function.

Do you get sick a lot?  Your body has this thing – called an immune system.  The, say it with me, IM-MUNE SYSTEM is what keeps you from getting sick.  Life has good bugs and bad bugs and we need to keep at bay the bad ones.  But this system requires fuel in the form of good food not process, canned, boxed, or dehydrated shit!

Bear this thought – if you are about 75% water all together, your cells around probably around 95% and if you predominantly eat processed, boxed, or dehydrated foods(no water in each) then how can you expect your bodies cells to function?  You aren’t giving them anything! And that old adage of when we were young “our bodies find the good things in food and expel the rest” is a complete lie and furthermore you’re not giving your body anything in the first place.  Plants and vegetables are 95% water – hence their real value is not only vitamins, proteins, and minerals but at best water content for your cells!

Still not convinced.  Well I can’t force you but try eating a raw or more raw diet than you are now.  And document your progress or just keep in mind if you’re not sick – it’s working.  Just like any industry we like to complain more than we praise.  We expect to be healthy and be on autopilot – I can’t look after me while taking selfies! But when we get sick we immediately play the blame game and co-workers come first.  I’d point the finger at your diet and lifestyle first before you go blaming the world for your oreo wine dunking butt!

Updates, news, & the good stuff!

News and updates!
We’re excited we are coming out with two new products! Based all around recycling, growing, and supporting local markets and communities.

Grow logo_BW

More exciting is that we are bringing on retail vendors to spread the word about what we do and our products! Want to get ahold of me and talk business!

The fun is not done! Starting March 21st you can find Midnight Harvest LLC at the Traverse City Farmers’ market in the Commons at the state hospital. We will be featuring home gardens transplants, our photography, and two new products!

As always we are striving to educate with each product and each sale comes with seeds or growing information so you can become an informed home gardener!  If you’re into gardening already we encourage getting seeds now!

For now I am off to read about more soil blocking and perfecting soil recipes for the best transplants!

 
 

Verification

 

The least of 3 evils.

 

The least of 3 evils: An examination of GMO’s, Big Farming Practice, and Preservatives.

GMO’s.  Oddly enough it’s not as common as a term as I had thought.  I recent documentary highlighted this issue and I was myself astonished thinking….how do people not know about GMO’s?  But then again – it is tied into a field which is at the fabric of what I am doing and I am sure, 100 percent positive, there is much I don’t know about a product I use that is quite controversial.  So I don’t blame you, I understand.

Lets shed some light on the GMO.  Genetically – Modified – Organism.  They are basically playing gene therapy to plants we eat.  Who?  Lots of companies.  Why? GMO’s grow better – they can cross pollinate, inject, change the DNA of a plant in order for it to grow better and be less harmed by the environment.  This is predominantly for mono-crop systems like big agro.  They need the crops that can withstand a lot because well they are going to grow it well beyond it’s normal means and need to assure there is profit. If you grow one thing in one area for a long time you need help, in many ways.(pun intended) What?  Still don’t get it? The biggest argument is that GMO’s do not have human trials so we have no idea what these new organisms will be doing to our molecular body so many years from now.  But does that really matter – you have diet coke in the fridge.  So do you really care?  No.  And in all honesty they aren’t planting new chemicals into the plant and they aren’t playing god.

Now to give you something to worry about.

Chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and anything else that ends with “cide”.  Why?  Because it’s still on your food! You should always wash your produce for two reasons.  One – kids.  Two – kids.  Three – farming sprays.

I know the USDA said it was ok to spray this chemical at this time and no point past bloom and it would evaporate or come off in a rain before harvest but when was the last time I trusted the USDA?  USDA organic?  Oh ok, define organic? That’s a certification you get by paying up not planning out.

We should be more concerned with what they put onto our food rather than what they try to cross-pollinate it with!  I don’t particularly want chemicals of any sort in any capacity on my food! There is a reason the farm workers where full protection suits while dispensing these chemicals! It is bad for you.  A list of chemicals which chernobyl can’t concoct and here we are spraying it on our food and wondering where the cancers come from?!

They need to spray each chemical because mono-cropping, producing one item in a large area, invites all the predators! You can expect a tomato horn worm family to show up if you put up a buffet table acres long and of just one item which is their favorite item!

Most of the time GMO and Pesticides are connected.  It would be rare if you had GMO but not organic.  Or if you had organic but GMO.  Now granted most of your local farmers are GMO but Organic.  What does that refer to?  It means they are using a GMO seed/varietal but have organic practices(usually listed as Hybrid and not a GMO).  And you can have not organic raised GMO.  Yeah…I had to think about that one too.

So which do you go for?   Which matters more?  I’d say Organic is list topper.  If they used a GMO seed but raised it organically without sprays/chemicals – awesome.  Probably got some good yields but were still having to raise it properly.  But it was Heirloom(non-gmo) variety but raised un-organic(technically not a coined term yet even though this is almost all your food) in which they raised a naturally occurring plant but applied chemicals then I don’t want chemicals.  If you don’t think chemicals affect you in the smallest ways then feel free to take a benadryl and see what happens. A small pill the size of a pez can knock you out so why it is you think chemicals and sprays won’t affect you.  Sure – not on a level you notice – but you body notices.

Third party problems – preservatives. Everything beyond the ‘grocery’ or ‘produce’ isle has preservatives.  Keep that in mind.  Isles 1-15 whatever are boxed, canned, concocted, mixed up, dried up, and dressed to sell.  It likely has more sugar, corn syrup, and starch than you’ll ever need.  Keep this  in mind about grocery stores – it is a store – where you buy things and those things are meant to profit other things(CEO’s) and do you think they are there to keep your best interests in mind? NO! A store is a store is a store.  There is no such thing as anyone selling for under cost.  They will put whatever ads, vitamin labels, and fancy coloring to sell to you – and if you’re with kids then they are not targeting you.  They are targeting the little buyer next to you – the one who is crying.  I won’t even touch the soft drink isle.  I get mean.

Does this help? Does this make sense?

Maybe now go out and buy a cookbook and learn how to cook food again.  Do the dishes.  Talk, converse, laugh, cry, sing, dance while doing the dishes(I do) and be human.  Find out about your food – you are on a computer – you literally have the world’s library in your fingertips.  Ever looked up what baking soda is?  You should! Cause last I checked  we don’t grow plants called ‘soda’.  hint hint.