5 tiny gardening ideas (so you can think big)

GMOs and the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers have caused many to reconsider the quality of food sold in conventional grocery stores. For those who’d rather be in control of where and how their food is grown, home gardening is an obvious alternative. If like me, you long to be a farmer but live in a small, urban rental property, producing food seems like a pipe dream. But living smaller doesn’t have to mean giving up the quest for self-sufficiency in the kitchen.

Read the full article here on Mother Nature Network, including a call out to Vertical Theory! 

Pasta Fagioli

½ large onion
5 large cloves garlic
1 15 oz can roasted tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
¼ pound (4 oz) shell pasta
14 oz can red kidney beans
14 oz can white beans
salt and pepper to taste

Mother Nature Network strikes gold again! The original recipe calls for almost twice as many tomatoes and white cannalini beans, but we made some adjustments. 15 oz of tomatoes seemed to be just plenty and Freddy’s was running low on its selection of beans, so I chose the smaller white beans instead. It was great how they just snuggled right into the shell pasta. I also chopped the onions as tiny as I could for dislike of onion chunks. I’m such a child. But AGGGHHHHH, the soup was so good. We paired it with some chicken breast and HALLELUJAH, even the twelve-year-olds liked it.

Next time, I want to try pureeing the tomatoes into a paste for a thicker soup (and because I personally don’t like the chunks) and maybe even wilt some baby spinach into it all. Healthy! And yummy. 

If you asked me to pick a single photograph that encapsulated everything that’s wrong with modern consumer society, this would be my choice.

The Citarum River in Indonesia is reputedly the world’s most polluted.  It’s almost beyond belief that 5 million people depend on the river for their water supply.

An ambitious $500m clean-up project is underway…..but you really have to question whether money and remedial actions are going to solve a problem like that.

Many people drink bottled water because they don’t like the taste of their local tap water, or because they question its safety.

This is like running around with a slow leak in your tire, topping it off every few days rather than taking it to be patched. Only the very affluent can afford to switch their water consumption to bottled sources. Once distanced from public systems, these consumers have little incentive to support bond issues and other methods of upgrading municipal water treatment.