Out of the Garden Today – June 14, 2014

Every evening, going into the garden is pure delight. Onions, shallots, carrots, mustard and lettuce greens will make a delicious soup tonight. Today, the New York Times had an article Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity today about the growing incidences of fatty liver.

In the past two decades, the prevalence of the disease, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver, has more than doubled in teenagers and adolescents, and climbed at a similar rate in adults. Studies based on federal surveys and diagnostic testing have found that it occurs in about 10 percent of children and at least 20 percent of adults in the United States, eclipsing the rate of any other chronic liver condition.


A more progressive form of nonalcoholic fatty liver is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. It is estimated that 2 to 3 percent of people in the US, some five million, have NASH. Many of these people will eventually need liver transplants. In 2001, 1 percent of liver transplants were due to NASH, but by 2009 NASH patients accounted for 9 percent of liver transplants.

The increase in NASH is due to poor diets and lack of exercise. Thirty years ago, the condition was so rare, there wasn’t even a name for it.

Some point out that access to fresh vegetables and fruit is limited in many communities, forcing residents to rely on fast and junk food. Yet you can grow a lot of fresh vegetables in a small space. Even a ten by ten foot plot can provide enough greens for a daily salad for a family. Travel through any city and you will find plenty of unused lots which could be used as community gardens to provide fresh produce for the neighborhoods.

City parks could be redesigned to include vegetable gardens and fruit orchards to be used by local residents. These spaces would not only provide delicious, healthy food, they would also provide exercise opportunities and could be used to teach children where food comes from, how it grows, and how important a clean environment is for everyone.

On the Board Today – June 5, 2014

Greens for this evening’s meal include young onions, chrysanthemum greens, lettuce, and arugula. Vegetables are best eaten as soon as they are picked, and yet few live in an environment where that is possible. If you can step outside your door and harvest the produce for your meal, consider yourself infinitely blessed.


Out of the Ground Today – June 5, 2014


It’s egg and salad delivery day. In the cool, early morning, the produce in the vegetable beds is awake and succulent. Picking the greens in the quiet of the morning is almost a meditative exercise. It’s an opportunity to clear the mind and think of nothing as I snip, snip, snip away. It’s much better than toiling away in a corporate cubicle, staring into a monitor for hours on end.

Once washed and stacked, the fresh produce has a beauty all its own. If you’re eating at Tweets this weekend, you may be lucky and enjoy some of these fresh greens. Currently, I’m making a single delivery on Thursdays, but in the near future I will be making deliveries of produced picked that morning on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You’ll enjoy salads at Tweets made from greens picked just hours before. You can’t get that Mickey D’s or most any restaurant.


On the Board Today – June 3, 2014

This time of year there is an endless supply of fresh greens to eat. I’m not even sure what the first green is. I found it growing amid the garlic. Besides the mystery green, there are dill and onion scapes, kale and mustard blossoms, oregano and sage and lovage, and finally garlic scapes, the first of the season.


Recently I read, in disbelief mind you, that some consider cooking and eating such a nuisance, that they have developed a powder you mix with water to make a liquid meal so you don’t have to fuss with getting food and cooking. According to their website, solvent.me, creator Robert Rhinehart and team developed Soylent after recognizing the disproportionate amount of time and money they spent creating nutritionally complete meals. Their catchphrase is what if you never had to worry about food again? Hmm, now wouldn’t that be a boring life.

I’ve never considered the amount of time I spend growing, gathering and preparing food a chore. Going out into the vegetable beds to see what is good to eat is pure pleasure. Watching apple blossoms turn into buds turn into small green fruit turn into ripe red apples is living.

Gathering food, preparing meals, and eating are so much fun, I can’t imagine subsiding on quick, liquid meals. To each their own I guess.

On the Board Today – May 24, 2014

It’s lunch time and on the board today are onion scapes, asparagus and garlic stalks, fresh kale, lettuce and mustard leaves. All refuse from an hour of weeding and thinning. The nice thing about cleaning out vegetable beds is that nothing gets thrown away. The weeds and stems you don’t want to eat, the bugs and bacteria in the compost pile are always ready to accept. The pretty stuff ends up on the lunch table in fresh salads and sautéed dishes.

How many restaurants can you go to where you get to taste greens that are just minutes out of the garden? People pay an arm and a leg for such exquisite fare. Here at a man and his hoe® it’s what’s for lunch every day.

Onion Scapes
chopped asparagus and Garlic
Fresh Kale
Lettuce and Mustard

The Trellis Restaurant in Kirkland, Washington, serves fruit and vegetables harvested daily at Executive Chef Brian Scheehser’s 10-acre farm in Woodinville. This is what they say on their website:

Experience Seattle’s most pure “farm-to- table” restaurant dining experience at Trellis. Executive Chef Brian Scheehser practices sustainable farming on his 10-acre farm in Woodinville. He grows and harvests fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs featured on the Trellis menu, including his signature “Two Hour Salad” with ingredients harvested within two hours of being served. Enjoy a down-to-earth wine country cuisine, lovingly planted and artfully prepared with our hands.

Eating greens picked within two hours isn’t bad. It’s not quite up to my standards, but it’s acceptable. The next time you are eating out, ask how long ago the greens were picked. Find out where they came from. It would be interesting to know.

On the Board Today – May 18, 2014
On the Board Today – May 10, 2014
On the Board Today – May 9, 2014

On the Board Today – May 10, 2014

On the cutting board today for lunch: lovage, eggs, chives, dill, arugula, shungiku (spring chrysanthemums). Half the fun of making and eating lunch is gathering the ingredients from the garden.