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March 31st, 2011

juiced

Have you ever had a sip of kale? Nikki and I turned the test kitchen at the photo studio into a juice laboratory.

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For our experiment, we juiced grapes, carrots, clementine oranges, apples, lemons, limes, cucumbers, kale, and mint. Nikki had the idea of making all the juices separately, and then mixing our own concoctions.

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Some things I learned:
1. Juice is better fresh. It didn’t keep well when we tried to save the leftovers (though I may try this again in ice-cube trays for smoothies).
2. Cucumbers made a lot of juice, but the mixes tasted better when cucumber juice was used sparingly.
3. Berries are better in smoothies; they don’t give you a lot of juice.
4. Mixing green and orange juices together may not make a pretty color, but the taste can be really good.
5. You can’t even taste the kale when you mix it with apple or carrot.
6. Nothing goes to waste—we gave the kitchen scraps from the juicer to Troy for his chickens.

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This could be a new way to consume my leftovers—I may not have time to eat a carrot, a bunch of kale, and a few apples before my next CSA pick up, but I could drink them on my way to the office. Troy came up with an apple, carrot, ginger, and parsley juice. It was delicious! Nikki’s favorite juice is cantaloupe, apple, mint, and potato. I kept making things with cucumber and melon, but I definitely need to spend more time experimenting. Or at least keep better notes. I got a bit juice-slappy, and kept stirring everything together with no regard to measurements. I may have succeeded in making the ugliest looking juice on Earth. (Or maybe Staci really had a meeting to get back to, and that’s why she couldn’t try the juice.) What are your favorite juice recipes?

I can’t wait to get some cold crops from the Rodale Institute’s April plant sale. I think it’s time for a kale smoothie.

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January 6th, 2011

Grouchy Photo Person Escapes to Farm

Yesterday I got a little (okay, A LOT) grouchy from sitting at my computer and at my desk—just ask Gavin and Nancy.  This morning on the way to work I made a side trip to the Rodale farm for some fresh air. The same old cold chilly January greeted me when I got out of the car, but I grudgingly admit the frost looked very pretty on the lawn.

The dirt/potting mix/growing/life/soil smell inside the greenhouse brought me, well, back to earth. I took off my wool coat and scarf and wandered a slow loop. Ah, moist air and sunlight!

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This place will be jam packed in a couple of months, but right now the flats are full of lettuce, microgreens, chard, and coleus cuttings–a mix of purple and green.

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This mini field trip got me thinking about other winter escapes I could make—the Fernery at Morris Arboretum, a trip to Longwood Gardens—but this morning’s detour on the way to work was a good break. Even the outdoors looked more sunny and cheerful when I left to head to the office.

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