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#CrazyColorChallenge: Green is for Microgreens

Did you know that the stuff that makes plants green is more like human blood than any other stuff?  That just has to be healthy.  I’m not crazy interested in the science behind it all.  I know intrinsically that microgreens are nutritious and I like to grow them in clean filtered water on my window sill and munch on them at their maximum freshness.  I know they are not only organic, but nobody else has touched them but me.  No dirt, no bugs, nobody else’s germs.

My favorite microgreens root easily in water, grow fast, taste good, have a nice texture, are hardy and have a vining habit.  I like to grow at least 15 different kinds of microgreen at once in order to get enough supply to meet my demand and to get all the different nutrients I can get from my plants.

The plant pictured above meets all my criteria, although a few people who have a disorder called favism are allergic to the pollen and seeds of this plant and possibly to the leaves as well.   It is vicia faba also called broad bean or fava bean.  Curiously, when I was growing up in Illinois people in my neighborhood grew and ate broad beans, but were deathly afraid of fava beans, which I remember them telling me not to eat.  After moving to the West Coast I was amazed to learn that broad beans and favas were one and the same.  I had eaten them many times without knowing it!

The tender young leaves can be used any way that you might use spinach.  They seem perfect for the #CrazyColorChallenge here on paint Virily Green Week.

What do you think?

13 points

Written by Ann Hartley

The whiskered cat is a lucet, a mediaeval tool still in use today to hand weave I-cord, which you see coming out of the hole in kitty's head in my profile photo.  I hand carved this lucet a) to see if I could, b) because I needed a lucet, and c) because I didn't see any cute cat lucets for sale online.  I weathered it a bit (is "distressed" the correct term?) because  that seems to be the trend these days, and because it is probably going to get banged up anyway.

I like to camp and as my late husband's motto was "If you have seen one tree, you have seen them all!" and he has been gone ten years now I have gone on a camping frenzy of late.  Love it!  One of my challenges is to find ways to take my interests camping with me.

Cats:  Why do I list cats as an interest but not have one?  Because I am nomadic and even when I am not camping, I have trips to take from my summer residence to the winter one, and then there is spring, and my favorite season fall.  Can't expect cats to put up with all of that moving around.  Not getting up at 5:30 to feed something just because it meows, either.  But I can draw and paint them, carve them in wood, and weave them in tapestry.   That and I am blessed to have friends with cats.  The cats, of course, know I belong to them and those other people are just their caretakers.  Right?

Camping:  I cannot take golf with me camping either, but all of my other interests I can.  I can take a lucet, a small tapestry loom, tools for drawing,  painting, and carving, and live plants if I'm not crossing state lines.  All that and I can still fit in a comfy pillow, fresh sheets, and a double sleeping bag.

This is the first year that I have taken beet kvass and kombucha with me on a camping trip and it worked fine.  My favorite picnic lunch is home-made sprouted grain bread, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, sauerkraut, kvass, and kombucha with nuts and chocolate for dessert.  Of course I take a sub-zero ice chest and when I come out of the forest my first stop is for a double-double cheeseburger with caramelized onions.  Yep.

Plants:  Unlike cats, plants are pretty easy going about the travel.  I just take cuttings, and where legal, of course, transport them with me.  Almost all the plants I like are fast-growing nutritious edibles that come from cuttings or regenerate from scraps, so I am constantly experimenting with and learning about these little green guys.

Fermentation:  Fermentation is not only and age-old and effective way of preserving food for safe consumption, but it adds nutritional value.  So I take diverse kinds of fermented food on trips and it grows along the way and keeps and if it doesn't get eaten right away there will be more of it for later.   I also like to take pictures of and write about different kinds of food that I have fermented, so I won't enumerate them all here.

Weaving and other arts:  There isn't a wholesome art form that I've met that I didn't like, but I have some training in drawing, painting, and fabric arts, and have just recently decided to learn something about woodcarving because I have recently taken an interest in weaving and needed some custom tools, which I've found to be fun and easy to make.  For years I avoided weaving in part because it looked very expensive, but then I discovered repurposed fabric yarn, particularly "tarn" which is twine made from old t-shirts and the like.

Golf:  I read 19th century writer Sarah Cleghorn's prize winning poem "The golf links lie so near the mill / That almost every day / The laboring children can look out / And see the men at play" back when I was a starving college student and resolved never to play golf and ended up living near a luxurious golf course for 30 years without ever playing.  But we grow and change.  When I was a kid the other kids loved to play marbles but I didn't have any, so a 6-year old friend loaned me hers and told me to go play for "keepsies" and win and give hers back and keep the rest.    What if I lose, I asked her.  I was terrified.  She said she was willing to take a chance.  I didn't believe in myself then, but she believed in me.   Pretty soon I had lots of marbles.  The friend who taught me to play golf was in his 90's when I met him and he told me before we even started that if I learned to play I would soon be making money.  He believed in me.  Hey, I don't make a lot, just enough to cover my entry fees, balls, tees,  and a new club every year or two.  But now I love to play golf and as there is a positive correlation between golfing and longevity, I plan to play it for a long time.   I had the best of teachers.

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    • I am a fickle friend to plants. As soon as I fall in love with one, then I find another to like better. Today’s favorite is Lebanon mint which is a type of spearmint that has red stems and bigger and fuzzier than the American kind. The owner of my favorite restaurant gave me a bunch of stem cuttings so I should be overrun with it soon.

      • I have an abundance of lemon balm and catmint. And many varieties of blooming sages. And irises are in their glory now. I’m having time to notice because we are both working on weed abatement in the front lawn and flower beds and we also have the entire back lawn area to cut before Tuesday is over. I think it’s too late to hire someone. Kosta is using the weed eater and I’m pulling the grasses that have very shallow roots and come right out. What a way to spend my birthday. I’m feeling everyone of my 76 years after this workout.

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