Sunday, May 16, 2010

...being Veg...again...for the fifth time...

Hi all, not many people read my posts but you know it's nice for me to have a place to put down my thoughts and if people want to read then so be it. This post is about my choosing to become a vegetarian, or at least a compromised version. When I graduated high school for a while I was a vegetarian, but quickly realized in college you ate salad, cheese pizza, and veggie burgers. There was not much else of a choice. I also didn't have much money to spend on food so I had to choose whatever the cafeteria had to offer. So I started eating chicken and then just ate whatever. A few years later down the road I geared myself up again and quickly dropped meat, but again I was hit with the staunch reality of limited food, limited knowledge of what was out there and a general laziness. I mean I really did not like eating salads for 2 meals a day and eggs or cereal in the morning. It was my own fault for not gaining the knowledge I could at the time. Really I didn't think to seek anything about being vegetarian, I just knew what I knew and went from there.
I wasn't armed with much ethnic food, Chinese food was fried chicken fingers, chow mein and fried rice. Italian food was pizza, pasta with red sauce, and typically the "italian" sandwiches we would get from the store. In Maine an Italian consists of meat (usually ham), American cheese, long cut dill pickles, white onions, tomatoes, and green peppers covered in salad oil all on a 12 inch or so white italian roll. They are good, everyone in Maine knows when you say Italian, you want this sandwich. Outside of Maine I realize they have many names: Hoagie, Grinder, Hero, Sub. The difference is the oil, the pickles, and the meat. Veggies always came from the ground and were mostly whatever came out of our garden. We never really strayed from the veggies we could grow. Typically (and I have written about this) they consisted of Peas, beans, beets, corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cukes, potatoes squash, and zucchini. Most of these were cooked in the typical fashion, steamed with butter, salt and pepper. We ate meat with every meal, ham, hamburger in some form, or chicken. So this is what I knew. In Maine being a vegetarian typically meant you ate chicken and fish. It is a meat and potatoes state, almost literally since their big crop is well, potatoes. I knew I was a daring eater and always liked trying new foods, so I decided again to not eat meat and not eating meat isn't cheap, you would think it is since you aren't paying for the meat, but fresh produce is expensive for some reason, reasons which I have since learned.
I have read a lot of books and I have seen a lot of documentaries about the farmers in America and also where food comes from. I have watched Food Inc and King Corn all about the food in America. Also have read Omnivores Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. They all provided me with good info that I could arm myself with and what not. I have also read a lot of diet books and have read about different diets. They all seem to say the same thing, eat small meals with lots of whole foods. I mean its true. Veggies and fruits are good for you, and it doesn't matter how much you eat of them. Obviously the fruit sugar can add up but a balance is good. The meat on the other hand just seems a little out of place. I know where it comes from, I know how they are treated or can be treated. I have just come to the conclusion that I am over meat. I am over the fact of how the meat is treated and preserved. I feel that if I can shoot or kill my own animals I would eat them because then I would have been a part of that animals life. If I could raise and kill my own food I would, but until then, I will stick with raising veggies and learning how to do things that will help me survive if I need to. I know how to cook, fish, garden (we'll see,) knit, crochet, sew, make cheese, and other stuff.
So I guess my whole point was this time I am sticking to it, I am eating vegetarian with the exception of fish and unless I kill that deer or moose or raise my own chickens, I will let everyone else eat them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Garden today

SO here is the most recent pictures of the garden. These were taken today May 14th 2010. This one shows all the plants at their present state. In front there is cauliflower and to the right is the Brussels sprouts. In the back of the Cauliflower is the broccoli to the right is the beans, beets and carrots. In the back are the tomatoes and my little garden gnome. So far so good, I am hoping not to use any pesticides on plants. I have been told by a few people to watch out for bugs and worms and grossness on the Broccoli. I will look out and I will look out for other things on the other plants too,

Here is a some of my herbs, here is the Oregano that I am growing I am hoping that it stays and grows back next year as a perennial. Right now it is in a pot but eventually it will either make it to a big pot or in another 4x4 raised bed like the one I have here. I can kitty corner another one to this bed and then have even more veggies, well maybe this bed would be the herb bed. Then instead of
having them on the side of the steps in little pots. What I would really like is a bed full of herbs. I would love to have a lot of basil so that I can make my own pesto and freeze it to have available in the winter when the basil is all dead. The other herbs I have here are dill and flat parsley. I also have a plant of Thyme but that is in a pot next to the garden. I ran out of room in the garden for now, so I will have to eventually get a bigger pot. Like I said I may put a new bed in down the line somewhere. I am hoping for a bountiful harvest, but we shall see when everything comes! Look for more pictures as I post them!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2 weeks or so?

Here is the garden, well the picture was taken on May 7, 2010. As you can see some plants are up. These plants are the seedlings but THEY DIDN'T DIE! I think that is the important part, to me anyways. My father put some seedlings in so I am trying to do a little bit of both. Some seeds, some seedlings. I have been writing in a little journal about the weather lately which has been off and on raining. April was really a pretty nice month but not much rain. The thing about these raised beds are apparently they warm up faster in such a small space. Also the drainage is pretty good. I planted the seeds for the beets and carrots and they came up pretty quickly. The beets came up within a few days, and the carrots took about 10 days. I cleaned up the carrots so hopefully we will get a bountiful harvest. The other good thing about the small raised bed is that I can plant seeds once I harvest. The broccoli is growing quickly so I can then replace it with other plants. I have herbs not planted in the bed, but I have them on the steps, I am excited for some delicious fresh herbs and not spend a bunch of money on them. Will post more pictures as the garden progresses!