What’s for dinner?

If only dinner came out this good every night.

Step 1. Throw some chicken, squash, onion, asparagus, whatever on the grill.

Step 1. Throw some chicken, squash, onion, asparagus, whatever on the grill.

Hot off the grill...

Hot off the grill...

I had marinated the chicken in teriyaki for about an hour. Mixed in some sesame seeds.

I had marinated the chicken in teriyaki for about an hour. Mixed in some sesame seeds.

My new sanduka knife is bad ass. Almost a little too sharp. Like it would cut your finger off and you wouldnt even feel it sharp.

My new santoku knife is bad ass. Almost a little too sharp. Like it would cut your finger off and you wouldn't even feel it sharp.

Combine veggies/wild rice

Combine veggies/wild rice

The final product

The final product

Plated up for my princess

Plated up for my princess

So there you go.  Nothing to it.  Anytime you are wondering what to do with those random veggies just sitting in the crisper drawer of your fridge – just throw them on the grill,  add some wild  rice and chicken (or meat less for the vegetarians in your life) . Everything tastes better grilled – especially vegetables. Make sure to marinate the vegetables in olive oil, salt , pepper and fresh garlic first – you could also throw in some fresh herbs like rosemary as well (a little goes a long way).

FULL DISCLOSURE:  These veggies didn’t come from my garden.  All in good time…

Walk me out in the morning dew….

My daughter wakes up obscenely early – especially on weekends. This sets off a chain reaction. Once my dogs hear her – then they start barking to be let out. So then daddy has to go down two flights of stairs to let the dogs out.

As much as this sucks – today it paid off. When I let the dogs out I checked up on the garden and saw this really interesting “dew formation” on my plants – the water would bead up on the tips of the leaves. Since I have decided to use my garden as an excuse to indulge myself artistically – I broke out the D40 and did my thing.

Morning Dew Code Red

Morning Dew Code Red

I really like this one.

I really like this one.

My neighbors must think I am crazy.

My neighbors must think I am crazy.

The whole time I was taking pictures this classic Grateful Dead song was playing in my the back of my head –

The Grateful Dead had a few songs that can only be described as “Transcendant” – Wharf Rat, Dark Star, and of course Morning Dew come to mind.

Guerrilla Gardening? What does that even mean??

End of week one....

End of week one....

No I am not some commie-fascist homegrown hippie insurgent. I just thought the name “Suburban Guerrilla Garden” sounded way cooler than “Suburban Gardener”.  I had read about the vego-hipsters in the big city  “Guerrilla Gardening” for a while now – planting clandestine veggie gardens in vacant lots and other public areas and was truly inspired.

Well I admit a veggie garden in my own backyard is not quite as clandestine as I would like it to be – but I am taking it to the next level in terms of “treehuggerness”. I plan to use only what I find laying around my house to build up/maintain my garden. The wood for my two “beds” came from our old deck surface – which we resurfaced with recycled composite boards actually made from milk jugs and water bottles. So as long as I don’t find out one day that this stuff is made from carcinogenic nano polymers assembled by child slave labor in Indonesia – I figure this is a good start for my “low impact” garden.

I also plan to not buy any fertilizer (organic of course…I usually use “Earth Juice” but hopefully won’t be needing it this season). All the nutrition for my crop will come from a years worth of compost.

All of my starter containers were left overs from previous years or old coffee jugs which I plan on re-using.

And today I started to construct my “trellis system” from some old poles and weed whacker cord I found in the garage. Because my garden is only 16sqft I don’t have much room to grow “outwards”. I have to grow “upwards”. I am going to have to use creative training and trellising to maximize yields.

So there is a little insight into my master plan. Pretty rad huh?

The Sanford and Son Square Foot Garden

"The Sanford and Son Square Foot Garden"

I hope my work doesnt recognize those easels.

I hope my work doesn't recognize those easels.

Portraits of Peas

So profound...

So profound...

Since I plan on taking a lot of photographs this growing season, I figured I might as well have fun with it. So here are some super pretentious, artsy fartsy garden shots. The flowers in this series are the business end of my pea plants. There are already about 4-5 pods budding out. I figure 7-8 peas per pod we are looking at approx 30 peas. 30 peas divided by 2.5 people is about a heaping teaspoon of peas each. Enough to provide us with sustenance for about 17 minutes.

Im basically the Ansel Adams of pea photography.

I'm basically the Ansel Adams of pea photography.

My pride and joy…

The Mother Plot - 16 square feet of veggie love (hopefully).

"The Mother Plot" - 16 square feet of veggie love (hopefully).

Well here she is, the fruit of my loins. Well…not really but kind of. My loins were involved in the creation of this garden only to the extent that they were present during the construction phase.

That being said – all my hopes and fears reside within in this 16sqft of humus and worm castings. The sweat, the blood, all of the rainy late night trips to the compost pile just to dump out some coffee grinds and banana peels. The backbreaking work of turning the pile. The planning, the procuring, the pampering.

All in pursuit of that elusive prize: A bumper crop of the fattest, juiciest, most fragrant and delicious veggies to ever spring forth from such a seemingly inconspicuous backyard suburban lot.

Now more than ever does man need to reach deep within his agricultural heritage and prove that he hasn’t become so lost in the modern jungle that he can no longer feed his family with his bare hands and sunshine, dirt and water.

Just kidding…kind of. I just really like growing things. And I am looking forward to seeing all of the compost I made come full circle and provide some legendary veggies. I like spending time outside, checking out the critters in the garden and taking pictures of all the cool stuff I see. Hopefully some of this interest will rub off on my daughter – since her generation is pretty much doomed to fend for itself in the post apocalyptic nightmare that is the future of American Society (At least that’s what I heard some guy on FOX News say, something about Obama and gay people)

Here is the aerial view. Pretty awesome huh?

Here is the aerial view. Pretty awesome huh?

Pre Game:

My babies...

My babies...


I use an old coffee container to collect kitchen scraps for my compost pile.

I use an old coffee container to collect kitchen scraps for my compost pile.

  • My compost pile. We renovated our deck last summer and I saved the old wood to build a compost bin.
  • My compost pile. We renovated our deck last summer and I saved the old wood to build a compost bin.
  • Different view of my compost.

    Different view of my compost.


    Close up and personal with my compost - coffee grinds, eggshells, misc veggie trimmings, grass clipings, etc. No meat or dairy though!

    Close up and personal with my compost - coffee grinds, eggshells, misc veggie trimmings, grass clipings, etc. No meat or dairy though!

  • Some young plants getting ready to transplant.
  • Some young plants getting ready to transplant.
  • Here are some of my heirloom tomato sprouts. Looking good.

    Here are some of my heirloom tomato sprouts. Looking good.


    Cilantro sprouts. Perfect for guacamole and salsa.

    Cilantro sprouts. Perfect for guacamole and salsa.


    More young plants...cucumber.

    More young plants...cucumber.


    Bean sprouts...yes they are magical.

    Bean sprouts...yes they are magical. (Doug correctly pointed out - these are actually Peas - not beans, but the do grow extremely fast like the beanstalk of "Jack and The Beanstalk" infamy.)


    Herb sprouts. Basil I think.

    Herb sprouts. Basil I think.


    These are going to be the best strawberries ever.

    These are going to be the best strawberries ever.


    Big, fat, healthy earthworms...always a good sign.

    Big, fat, healthy earthworms...always a good sign.


    The new garden. 4X4 raised bed. Compost/top soil/potting soil base.

    The new garden. 4X4 raised bed. Compost/top soil/potting soil base.


    My garden security system. Know to consume small mammals and birds. And yes he needs to brushed in a bad way.

    My garden security system. Know to consume small mammals and birds. And yes he needs to brushed in a bad way.

    This year I am stepping the gardening game up from the container garden I had last year (with less than spectacular results) to a 4 X 4 raised bed this year.  I started composting last summer so I have plenty of dark, rich compost to use as a base.  I mixed in 4 40lb bads of Potting Soil, and 8 bags of Top Soil. I think it should be a pretty good mix. It’s loose, airy soil so it should drain well.  I will be planting tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, hot peppers, peas,  lima beans, herbs and even some cantaloupe.

    The garden will be all organic.  No synthetic fertilizer and no toxic pesticides/herbicides. I’m hoping a variety of   strong plants, plenty of air and sunshine and a healthy soil ecosystem will yeild me the bumper crop of my dreams.

    I am doing this because I love to grow stuff and I’m curious to see how much food I could grow in a small suburban backyard. I also wanted to reduce my waste in the form of food scraps that would end up in a landfill- and use this same stuff in a compost>garden>compost life cycle.

    So there are a few pics to kick off the official garden launch. I got the bed filled and transplanted everything – I ll be adding more pics soon.

    Welcome to the Suburban Guerilla Gardening Blog

    Welcome – this blog will document my quest to grow a bumper crop of organic veggies.

    Getting Dirty is good for you.

    Getting Dirty is good for you.