A Garden, a Geek, and a Giveaway

Right now I'm sitting at a clean dining table, listening to Nina Simone, avoiding a sink full of dirty dishes, and contemplating what vegetables to serve with my favorite Hot Links from Coffee Pot Ranch.  Soon, the table will be filthy, the children will change my music, and there will be more dirty dishes in the sink.

What better way to fill the time in between with a blog post?  Writing certainly beats washing dishes.

I climbed up on the roof early Saturday morning to take this picture.

garden in july

Our green, green garden.  Or at least what I could capture of it with a fixed lens from the peak of our roof.  The tomatoes are full of green fruit, as are the zucchini and pepper plants.  About a half dozen eggplants will be ripe for picking this weekend, at which time I'll be paleofying my sister-in-law's Macedonian salad recipe.    The sprawling cucumber vines are just beginning to pump out cucumbers.  As long as I get one a day for my "not gatorade", I'm happy, but before long, I'll be pickling.

I let my rainbow chard go to seed and I'm anxiously awaiting the stalks to dry out and reseed on their own.  This morning while we were watering, George  pointed out some little volunteer sprouts mixed in with my yellow bell peppers.  I took a nibble, and to my pleasant surprise, it's arugula!  Have I ever told you I could live on arugula?

A neighbor recently asked us how much of our own food we grow.  Sadly, George and I had to admit, "Not nearly enough."  Far from enough to call our garden sustainable.  It's more of a hobby/science project at this point, but we're constantly learning and revising our gardening goals.  At least every meal we eat contains some homegrown ingredients, but one day we hope to grow most of our own food.  Now if I can just figure out how to keep pigs without my neighbors finding out . . .

Enough with the garden, and on to the geek.  I've been geeking out on podcasts and lectures lately, and I thought I'd share two.  Watch them, and you'll know me a little better.  Or at least you'll better know why I avoid sugar and grain, and also how much I love biochemistry.

(What? You don't have an hour and a half to watch a video about sugar? Take tiny spoonfuls. It took me a week to get through the whole thing.)

(Thank you, Dawn, for sharing this video! At 37 minutes, it only took me two days to watch.)

Do you want to hear another geeky thing I did last weekend, besides climbing up on my roof in my pajamas to take garden pictures?  I drove down to Costco in Sacramento to meet Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo.  She was there signing books, and I was so very nervous that I barely said more than "Hello" and "Thank you".  I intended to say something like, "I enjoy your blog and have made many of your recipes," or, "I'm a paleo/crossfit/food blogger too!", and, "Can you believe Costco is promoting Paleo?"

But no.  In typical geek fashion, I clammed up and blew my chances at an actual conversation, or as much of a conversation as one can expect to have at a book signing at Costco.  Let me just say, Sarah is glowing.  She is the perfect role model for Paleo living.  And despite my lame behavior, I'm glad I went and got my book signed.

OK.  I must confess, I did something else rather geeky.  I gave Sarah a piece of my art.  Sadly, I didn't have a chance to explain it, so I'll show and tell here.

my food pyramid

It's my food pyramid.  The real food pyramid.  A visual representation of my ideal diet.  Meat and veggies.  It's also a play on the folksy country decor of my youth.  I've been working on different variations of this theme for months, and I really like this version.  The original is a paper cut/photo collage (photos from various seed catalogs, animal outlines from various charcuterie resources).

I have a copy to giveaway, so leave a comment and I'll select a winner at random, to be announced Friday, July 6 (or the next time I find myself avoiding dirty dishes to blog about food).

May the fourth find you feeling free and full!


  1. Oh Molly ,I love it and would love an opportunity to hang this in my kitchen, thank you.

  2. That is really cool, I hope you consider selling prints!

  3. Paleo pyramid art, what a concept! Molly, can you explain your "not gatorade"??

    1. whoops! i forgot to add the link to the not gatorade recipe in my last post, but here's the skinny: for an electrolyte drink post workout, i blend a lemon cucumber, lemon and/or lime juice, a generous pinch of salt, a cup of water, and ice. yum!

    2. thanks! I bought a glass pitcher the other day, and a bartender's "muddler", but instead of mojitos I am muddling mint from my garden and lemon wedges, adding cold well water, and chilling--yum! I will have to give yours a try now :)

  4. Hey There,

    I think your print is mighty fine and love the fact that you created it.

    I've been quiet but I've been keeping abreast of your recipes and eating similarly myself though I came at it from a different angle--Rosedale/GAPS.

    Your garden looks splendid! It looks to me like you'll be getting a lot of food out of it in a month, perhaps.

    Hope to see you all again in the fall for some CA history. We were just backpacking on the American River by Colfax off of Idaho Rd. and I couldn't help but think of you. There was a bear on the trail! Is that normal for one to be so low in the hills at this time of year?

    1. Hi Kristin!

      The GAPS trail definitely crosses the Paleo trail at multiple junctures!

      And I too have a feeling we'll be swimming in homegrown produce come August.

      As for bears, they are quite active in our area come summer. A few years ago, on the fourth of July in fact, we followed one down the street coming home from viewing fireworks in our neighborhood!

      See you on a field trip come fall - it's hard to believe how fast summer is going by!


  5. ooo i want to win !! :)

  6. Awesome art Molly. I LOVE that you gave one to Sarah! That rocks.
    I also love that you climbed on your roof for a garden shot. Classic.
    And the internet is such an amazing resource for learning... I will be spending some time with the sugar video. While I did a great job of avoiding grains on our recent trip to Maine sugar found it's way pass my lips and I am now feeling the sad effects.
    Happy 4th!!!

  7. You continue to impress. I would have been tongue tied as well. But that art - wow. Just a better representation than what is given to most people. Much better way to live. Oh I dream of a huge garden and pigs as well as chickens. One day soon. I just know it.

  8. Thanks for the link to the other blog. She has some meatballs with pesto that I am keen to try. And your garden well that there is something. I am quite pleased with my version this year; last year was a bust as we were too late getting started as we had such a dismal spring. This year I was more prepared and even though the spring was just as dismal - we have prevailed and we have lettuce and beets and beans - tomatoes and herbs... I wanted to plant some more substantial veggies like squash and zucchini but, that will have to be next year.

    1. my mom and dad made those meatballs and raved about them!

      have you tried beet chips? we will be planting beets in massive quantities from now on.

  9. AnonymousJuly 04, 2012

    YES! I love your pyramid. I want your pyramid. I especially love that you handed it over in conjunction with a fan-girl clam-up. I have had similar experiences (yes, plural) with Robyn Hitchcock. One particularly embarrassing incident involved the handing over of my business card, back when I was spinning a series of yarns based on his music. Yep, pretty dorky.

    Right now, I'm trying to figure out how we can reduce and/or remove the grain from the diets of our animals...the piggies will have a ton of potatoes/beets/squash/acorns late in the summer, but now the pickings are slim and they get a considerable amount of grain feed. I notice, now that it's grass and insect season for the chickens, they hardly eat any grain at all and I have a much easier time eating their eggs. Hmmmmm...

    1. i'm right there with you on removing grain from animal feed. and i love your fan-girl clam-up.

  10. Oh, how I LOVE your pyramid. It's so simple when you look at a graphic, isn't it. We are making the slow and steady transition to this Paleo thing. In January we stopped having pasta and rice and bread at home. We hung with the starchy root veg since it was in season. Now we are working on making better choices if we eat out or at a friend's home. Many people have been confused. When I say, "no grains or sugars, mostly" they make mine out to be a complicated diet. But that artwork...so easy to 'get it' looking there. Maybe if I didn't win it, you could make a few for the etsy shop? Or sell the file? I'd love to hang one in my kitchen and maybe have them on recipe cards, too?

  11. AnonymousJuly 05, 2012

    Hi! I'm a long time follower of your blog, and I enjoy each and every post. While I'm not a Paleo follower myself, your attention to what goes in your body and where it comes from and how to improve it is something I relate to in my own kitchen/life. How I wish that my red clay yard could hold a thriving garden such as yours!

    Anyhoo, your art and photography are incredible...and I hope I win. I know exactly where I'd put your Food Pyramid...why in the kitchen, of course!


  12. AnonymousJuly 05, 2012

    Thank you! Great work!


  13. I thought of you for some reason when I made Ratatouilli this week.
    I've spent quite a bit of extra brain space over the years contemplating the food pyramid- triangles are so attractive. I'd hate to ditch it completely, but it definitely needs serious revision. Have you thought about balancing an Egg on top of the pyramid? I think that it would look very attractive on top of the chicken. We had our first chicks hatch this week- eggs are on my mind. :)

    1. or maybe an egg inside the chicken. hmmm . . . enjoy those chicks!

  14. I love your blog and look forward to new posts. Your art is beautiful and inspiring. I hope I win. Fingers crossed!

  15. Please enter me in the giveaway. I just watched a video on youtube you might find interesting, Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

  16. AnonymousJuly 06, 2012

    I'm working my way through the videos. Thanks for posting them. And I love your artwork. I would do the same thing at a book signing!

  17. Sorry for the late comment! I am still super jealous that you got to meet Sarah. I wouldn't of been able to have said one word to her lol but then again... I do that with everyone lol I hope I get to meet her someday, but you are like the Sara Fragoso of Auburn :p Love the art!


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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