Veggie Patrol

Behold, my first veggies! After a busy week, I admit, I haven’t had much time to portray my ‘farmer’ role. However, I was back at it again today.

To my surprise, a cucumber and two peppers were ready for harvesting! These veggies look as veggies should look- different and beautiful in their own unique way. No pesticides, “steroids” or wax…just organic goodness.
Our season seems to be about a month behind. Maybe I’ll be harvesting cucs in October. Oh, that’s more like it! At least I hope we don’t get cheated out of a longer Fall because of the delayed season of Spring. Eh, I don’t even want to think about the Fall yet…
One thing that continuously freaks me out is the idea of genetic engineering of organisims (our food). Ever go into a grocery store and observe that all the produce is the exact same? There’s something about that which we would prefer to avoid. Nishad has been eating and drinking organic since he started solids (Arun will follow). Milk is a lot more expensive ($6-$7 a gallon). I pretend we live on Hawaii when we buy it. 🙂 Our boys are really the motivation behind our garden. I want to know what they are consuming. Growing stuff in our very own backyard makes us feel as though we have a bit more control. I have yet to read “Stolen Harvest” by Vandana Shiva, but it is on my list of hopeful reads.

Here’s a great summer salad recipe that has become our favorite! We use our herbs straight from our garden. It’s a great side dish with fish. Pictured above is a tandori salmon I made with the rice salad.
Herbed Rice and Spicy Black Bean Salad
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups cold, cooked white rice
1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped black olives
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make a seasoning by mixing together the basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.
Gently mix together the rice, black beans, celery, olives, and green onions in a large bowl. Season the rice mixture with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning.
Make a dressing by whisking the vinegar and olive oil with the seasoning; allow to rest for 10 minutes. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture; stir to combine.