I’d like to learn how to do some guerrilla gardening while it’s still (technically) summer here in Chicago.  My cousin told me about seed-bombing a vacant lot in Kentucky and filling it with wildflowers, and it caught my imagination.  There are several empty, gravel-strewn, fenced-off lots in my neighborhood that would be much more beautiful if they had some greenery.  Here’s a basic recipe for seed-bombs I found online:

1) Choose sturdy plant seeds that grow native in your area, such as sunflowers, certain lilies, baby’s breath, or poppies.

2) Combine seeds and compost.

3) Combine seed/compost mixture with red clay, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to keep out ants.

4) Add water til the mixture gets doughy.

5) Roll seed-dough into small round balls with smooth surfaces.

6) Let dry in the sun for at least 24 hours.

You can plant them almost anywhere, wait for rain, and check to see how your garden grows!

Guerrilla Flowers

I want to try it, but I don’t have much in the way of gardening tools.  Instead, think I’ll be volunteering at the City Farm or community garden this month…


I just spent possibly my favorite Thanksgiving holidays ever, with my housemates and friends rather than with my beloved but admittedly crazy extended family. Here’s one of the best recipes we ate, courtesy of my sister. It’s called Kentucky Derby Pie, and is traditionally made around the first Saturday in May when the Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs (another time for family gatherings). It can be easily made vegan with egg replacer and veggie margarine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TB of cocoa (optional. But I looove the chocolate.)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted in microwave and cooled
1 cup pecans, chopped. (Or you can buy whole shelled pecans, put them in a plastic bags, and whack them with a rolling pin until broken up. It’s a great way to get out displaced aggression.)
1 cup chocolate chips (or more. Hell, why not?)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TB (1 shot) of Jim Beam bourbon
pie shell

Combine in order given. You can add some extra chips in the bottom to form a chocolate base. Mix everything together, then spread in pie shell. Before baking, I like to create designs like spirals or wagon wheels with whole pecans on the surface of the pie. Bake for 30 to 35 min at 350, and test with a toothpick. Toothpick should come out clean. Brush top of pie lightly with bourbon, let cool before serving. Enjoy with whipped cream or ice cream–or plain!