Gardening is my Religion

The word gardening for me does not simply apply to working in my “garden” it is a term I use loosely for any yard work I am doing. There are days when I cannot wait to get outside and grab a pair of clippers or a shovel and get to work. As I walk through the farm to the back to feed my animals first thing in the morning I take an assessment of what project I might be able to get done today either before or after work. Now the funny thing about that is by the time I finish feeding and tending the critters then find my gloves and tools I have often found yet another “project” that I wind up doing instead! I always have a “wish” list of things I really want to do and sometimes when I think about them all I can get a bit overwhelmed and then I put on my gloves and grab my tool of choice and like listening to the choir sing my attention becomes focused to one task and becomes a job of pure delight. The world around me disappears as I listen to the birds chirping, see the kitties playing all around me and I joyously trim, weed or plant.

Multitasking is greatly over-rated in my opinion; when one uni-tasks the mind becomes quiet, the world is manageable and you are able to let stress dissipate  because the job in front of you if your only focus. When approaching my ever-growing to-do list and pick just one thing and make that one thing impeccable, I feel accomplished and good. I feel whole and worthy. Then when I walk through my yard later on I see that one improvement that looks amazing and it makes me want to do the next little item.  My gardening is my meditation and my ME time. I believe that gardening is my grounding force and by nurturing and tending my land I absorb the good strong and earthy energy it provides and in return I put my love, sweat and happiness into it and viola! The creation is a relaxed, centered and earthy Jen (me) and a piece of property that exudes love, happiness and beauty.

One of my projects that really must get handled soon is to tie up the long new growth on the grape arbor. I planted these little tiny plants 3 years ago with dreams of producing a shady spot to sit under in the heat of the day. I had no idea how to grow grapes or prune them nor did I realize how much I would enjoy the enchanted grape arbor. This is my outdoor classroom and I take my iPad and books under here and study! I must say it is the best classroom to relax and learn in that I have ever experienced and to see the hundreds of bunches forming this spring is such a treat!

Making a smoothie to jumpstart your day!


I have made smoothies most of my adult life and it wasn’t until this past year that I made a few changes that have had a BIG difference in my energy and concentration. First and most improved is the BlendTec blender which is the best blender I have ever had and secondly are the ingredient I incorporate from my garden.


I go out each morning and pick 3 – 4 big heirloom kale leaves and look for other dark greenery that could be used such as beet greens, broccoli leaves and sometimes lettuce although I would rather use that for my salad.

Once back in the kitchen I do a quick rinse and hold the stalk in one hand and slide my other thumb and pointer finger down the stalk to remove the greenery. When the stalk breaks I feel that means the rest of the leaf and stalk are tender enough to go in the blender. I use everything I pick and feel that each smoothie is packed full of great alive energy from those greens. I also put in a heaping teaspoon of Spirulina and another heaping teaspoon on Maca two ingredients that I had been intimidated to use, I’m still not sure why!


Then my base is a banana, frozen organic blueberries sometimes frozen strawberries and whatever else is in the fruit bowl that needs to be used. My liquid of choice is organic unsweetened almond milk and then I blend that puppy until smooth. If you need it colder add some ice, I like mine medium temp and take my vitamins with it.


The thing with smoothies that I really appreciate is that there is no waste, you ingest all the fiber of each ingredient and you get more brave as you realize this greenish thick drink tastes amazing and gives you a wonderful foundation to start your day.

Yummy Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Oct 25, 2011   //   by myrakelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Mango season is upon us! Let the celebrations begin! Mangoes are up there with bananas as a staple food for me. They make a great base for smoothies and can hang out with both the sweet and the savoury crowd. In this recipe we are replacing the tomatoes that are commonly used in salsa for delicious ripe mangoes. You can use this how you might use a traditional fruit chutney. It’s sweet and sour and tangy and goes fabulously with savoury dishes. I like to scoop it up in fresh crunchy cos leaves but you could just as easily mix it into a salad or serve with a cooked lentil curry or gluten-free vegan pie.

Measurements are very rough, just use what suits your tastebuds. Unlike baking & other cooked recipes, the flavour of raw food dishes will vary depending on the produce that you use. So always taste your food as you are preparing it!

Mango Salsa

1 mango, cubed
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
finely diced red chilli to taste (seeds removed)
juice of half a lemon
tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt & pepper to taste

Red onion can be replaced with spring onions if that’s what you have, red bell pepper would also be a nice addition.