Purposeful Pursuits

The American Dream has been failing the masses and the world, fooling those who perpetuated the lie. We have been taught and therefore teach our children to find purpose and happiness in externals. We have taught each other to seek fame, fortune and power in such things as bigger houses, flashier cars, grander titles and larger bank accounts. Maybe I am assuming too much. Could be that most people are just fine with this. So let me then say, my experience has been – the simpler the pursuits, the happier I seem to be.  For me, this happiness really came through first realizing that there is no going back to the purity of wilderness on a full time basis. So the next best thing is to stick my hands in dirt and grow something.

“You have never been told that your real mother is Mother Earth, who is actually controlling your electromagnetic field.”

I have learned through nature and gardening the wise man knows there are a few profoundly purposeful pursuits; Peace, love, joy and purpose. These things cannot be found in external things and possessions. They can only be found within. Modern man seems to never slow down long enough to search his soul.  He cannot stop chasing the goal, and the tyranny of both the chase and its elusive end thwarting his quest for fulfillment. Since I have never had the opportunity or maybe more accurately the discipline to do a Vision Quest, (being aware of nature hard at work, doing what she does in the most elegant way), gardening seems to be the answer. Watching a flower slowly open, a bee lazily drop down on flowers happy to have the visit, realizing that it takes months to grow one watermelon, understanding the relationships between the wildlife, plants and soil – are gifts in educating who and what I am made of.  It has changed how I think. Of course, patience, living in the moment and grounding a busy mind are the obvious benefits. But more importantly is the connection to the mother of us all – Earth.

“You have to start your thoughts like this: “I come from the Heavenly Father to be on Mother Earth. She will nurture me and nurse me if only I ask.”

Our Earth Mother has been patient in her continued scolding of how we are treating her. She understands that we are her children and we are still finding our way. She resonates the pulse of who and what we are whether we are paying attention or not. I find her tolerance of us to be quite astounding. We pour poison into her yet she still generates, flowers, forests, lakes, springs, grass, our irresponsible food production and so much more. The Grand Mother patiently watches as I move through my busy life, sure that what I am doing is so important, setting off an imbalance to where I am not paying attention to my physical, mental and spiritual survival. The lack of balance is the result of her reasonable scolding, gentle reminders to get back to what is real..

I have received my marching orders. So with dirty hands, sweat and creaking knees I can be a part of consciousness that change is possible only if there is a recognition that people and planet are ultimately one and the same.  We carry Mother Earth within us.  She is not outside of us. Mother Earth is not just our environment. Once we have this insight, it is possible to have real communication with our Mother, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship I have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change my life. Like an earthworm, borrowing through fear, separation, hate and anger I have come to realize that the Great Mother and I are not separate entities. We are the center, the part and the whole. I breathe in this knowledge….in and out, loving my sprouting children with joy and knowing that I can no longer be disconnected.

From My Garden to Yours

Let’s talk Gardening!

I have everything ready to go. Yes, for all of my talk of how the garden teaches me patience. I am still impatient to start. So what I can do before actually putting the seed in? Here is what we have done so far.

  1. Decided what to Grow.
  2. Ordered the Seeds
  3. Purchased Garden Supplies
  4. Stocked up on Manure/Compost Combo and Canadian Peat
  5. Prepared the Soil
  6. Checked on Plant Compatibility.
  7. Made Labels
  8. Plotted the Garden
  9. Cleaned up, Painted and Prepped pots and beds – making sure they have plenty of drainage.

Garden Pizza with Kale Pesto

Makes: 4 servings
Yield: One 13- to 15-inch pizza
Prep 45 mins
Bake 15 mins to 19 mins
Use kale in your pesto for this tomatoey creation, though you can substitute arugula, spinach or basil if you prefer. Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays for use throughout the year.  Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag to pull out as you need them.”
Ingredients

1 12 – 14 – inch Pizza Dough or desired pizza crust  (You can substitute with other grains if you are gluten or grain sensitive)

1/3 cup Kale Pesto (recipe follows) or basil pesto

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)

2 medium fresh garden heirloom tomatoes, such as Cherokee Purples, green zebras, and/or Marvel Stripe, or desired red or yellow tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices or 1 cup mixed baby tomatoes, such as sungolds, yellow pear, and/or sweet 100s, halved

1/2-1 teaspoon pizza seasoning

Directions

Bake crust in 450 degree F oven 7 to 9 minutes or until light brown; remove from oven. (Or grill as directed in crust recipe.)
Spread Kale Pesto evenly over crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
Bake about 8 to 10 minutes more or until heated through and crust bottom is crisp and brown. (Or grill as directed.) Remove from oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes one 13- to 15-inch pizza (four 2-wedge servings).
Note

* If you like, substitute 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, torn fresh arugula or spinach leaves with stems removed for the kale.

Kale Pesto

Ingredients

1 pound fresh kale

8 cups water

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

2 large cloves garlic, quartered

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

Directions

Using 1 pound fresh kale, remove leaves off stems; rinse leaves. In a Dutch oven, bring water to boiling. Drop leaves into water and cook, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Rinse leaves under cold running water; drain well. Wrap leaves in several layers of paper towel or clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Coarsely chop and measure for 2 cups.
In a food processor or blender, combine the chopped kale, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, walnuts, garlic, and salt. Cover and process or blend with several on/off turns until a paste forms, stopping the machine several times and scraping the sides. With the machine running slowly, gradually add olive oil and process or blend to the consistency of soft butter. If you’re not serving the pesto immediately, divide it into five 1/3-cup portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 1-3/4 cups.
Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4, Thiamin (mg) 0, carb. (g) 39, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Fat, total (g) 22, vit. A (IU) 1749, cal. (kcal) 398, vit. C (mg) 15, pro. (g) 15, Folate (µg) 77, Monounsaturated fat (g) 11, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3, Niacin (mg) 3, chol. (mg) 34, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, sat. fat (g) 6, iron (mg) 2, sugar (g) 3, sodium (mg) 434, Potassium (mg) 294, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, fiber (g) 4, calcium (mg) 263, Trans fatty acid (g) 0

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