a delicious landscape

Spent the better part of today polishing up a presentation about the outdoor garden at The Plant that I’ll be giving, along with Ryan Wilson, the head of our board and a landscape architect who does stormwater management projects and education for the Center for Neighborhood Technology. We’re speaking at the MidAm Horticultural Tradeshow at Navy Pier tomorrow morning… I’m almost done, and more than a little nervous.  I generally loathe public speaking, which is why I said yes when Ryan asked if we’d present with him.  I figure I need to get over it, and the only way to do that is to do it.  The up, or downside, is that it’s really early in the morning- we’re speaking at 8:30 am.  Heck, I’m usually at the “one and a half cups of coffee, feeding the chickens, try not to go back to bed” part of the day at 8:30, not halfway across town on a podium.  I know, I know.  I live a charmed life.  I’m not complaining, but I am nervous!  Early to bed tonight for sure.

In between rearranging slides and adding comments today, I made some breakfast tacos with our eggs, potato and onion, and salsa I canned this summer, topped with super-sale avocado and our neighbor’s “It’ll Knock Yer Panties Off” Bhut Jalokia homegrown hot sauce.  That’ll wake you up.  Then I made a savory cheesy egg strata with fresh basil from The Plant (god, what luxury to inhale on a brisk mid-January day!), some now-stale french bread our carpenter buddy brought over on Sunday, the last of the counter-ripened cherry tomatoes from the fall garden, and a goodly handful of rehydrated dried summer tomatoes.  Then buzzed up the last of the bag of basil with a clove of spicy local garlic, olive oil, romano cheese, and toasted sunflower seeds.  Nom. Nom. Nom.  I thought about just eating it with a spoon instead of putting it in the fridge but mostly restrained myself.  I’ve been typing away ever since, and have almost wrapped up the presentation in time to go to the Neighborspace planning meeting for a community gardener event in late February, both of which are luckily right in our neighborhood at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.  Check it out if you haven’t been there… lots of inspiration and green building ideas to be found!

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