Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

By Shannon Penrod

Just when I think I have the food thing figured out I hear God laughing again.  He laughs at me a lot.  I eat really healthy, my child eats really healthy, I can’t speak for my husband but let’s just say he eats healthier now than he ever has and leave it at that.  My child willing eats vegetables, even requests them, so I must be doing something right.  Still….I read and wonder.  I am religious about having my son on a GFCF diet (Gluten Free/casein Free for those of you outside the Autism community), he is also free of sugar and artificial sweeteners.  This is not a some time thing, it’s an all the time thing.  I’m the crazy woman at the birthday party with the weird-looking cupcake and the sliced beets on my kid’s pizza.  So you would think that I am crazy organic too and great friends with a group of sustainable farmers.  Yeah…not so much.

I don’t know if the rest of you have noticed, but organic stuff is expensive.  I’m talking EXPENSIVE!  I used to care more about organic before the whole Autism thing came to live at my house.  But Autism is even more expensive than organic vegetables so it won the fist fight.  Now I’m thinking that may have been a bad choice.  A new study has come out that suggests that ADHD may be linked to pesticides.  Apparently pesticides are designed to disrupt something in the bug’s neurotransmitter system.  I didn’t know that, I thought it just killed them.  That probably sounds stupid, but I never thought about it before.  I just figured it choked the bugs somehow that wasn’t great but wasn’t all that harmful to humans.  You’re talking to the woman who used to run into the fog made by the DDT truck when she was a child.  Those pesticides probably killed the neurotransmitters in my brain that allow for higher thinking about pesticides.  I digress.

If this pesticide disrupts the bugs neurotransmitters and we eat vegetables that are sprayed with it doesn’t it stand to reason that we would see a BUNCH of people having neurotransmitter issues?  Oh, yeah, we have. Hmmmm.  How about that skyrocketing rate of Autism, ADD, ADHD,  Depression, BiPolar disorders and the list goes on.  So I am arranging to have an organic farm co-op bring us a box of food every week.  I don’t see how I can’t.  It’s not even that expensive, maybe $10 more a week than I would have spent, but I would have spent that in gas driving to 3 different stores.  It’s an adventure.  I’ll let you know how it goes!


Read Full Post »

By Shannon Penrod

I caught myself mentally gardening on the drive home today.  In times of stress I know most people like to think of themselves on a tropical island; I like to mentally garden an organic, tiered vegetable garden.  To quote Roz from  GREASE, “There are worse things I could do!”

This year I may have gone slightly off the deep end with my mental gardening…I ordered seed catalogues.  I live in a condo; this is not well behavior.   My husband, after nine years of marriage is used to my pre-spring planting insanity.  Last year our balcony was filled with Topsy Turvy planters.  The year before it was “patio salads” in coconut husk baskets.  But this year I’ve discovered EarthBoxes.  This is the equivalent of crack cocaine to the frustrated gardener living in small quarters.  I might be slightly obsessed. 

I find myself at odd times of the day and night mentally planting rainbow swiss chard and 14 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes.  I can’t help myself.  It’s genetic.  You can tell me that my Welsh, Irish, and German ancestors fled their homelands to escape religious persecution but I know the truth; they came to America because there was more land to be planted!  How sad my ancestors would be to see me attempting to grow Long Island Cheese Pumpkins on a 4’x8′ balcony, EarthBox or not.

I keep thinking that someday they will open a community garden in my area.  I guess with all of my spare time (HA!) I need to do some research into how to make that happen.  Until then I will gleefully pour over my organic seed catalogues, dream of tiered vegetable gardens in cedar lined raised beds and order a couple of EarthBoxes to place below my Topsy Turvys.  Heavy sigh.

Read Full Post »