Good Shit

This is what arrived today, along with the beaming sun and a nice cool breeze to keep the sweat from getting out of control. I got half the garden planted; almost all the early stuff is in. The rest will wait for the warm-weather crops, so I can concentrate on various fruit beds and getting the asparagus in. I’m exhausted. And, just so you don’t think that every meal here is something lavishly extravagant, behold:

Pinto enchiladas. Collards braised in whey on the side. I soaked the beans for 48 hours with a little kimchi brine, so they cooked in no time in the pressure cooker with lardons of miso bacon and mirepoix from the freezer. The sauce was salsa, tomato paste, lime juice, spices, and cilantro.

So tired, so hungry, so good.

Also, edited for Hudson Valley readers, here’s the link to the compost source. If you get some, take a few minutes to talk to Byron about his dirt. Like Joel Salatin, he thinks of himself first and foremost as a grass farmer. The animals and their poop are secondary, and his attention to the quality of such a humble material is inspiring. I was so happy to fill and push barrow after barrow into the garden today; I think there’s nothing so ennobling as getting good and dirty.

6 comments to Good Shit

  • That looks like just the right meal after a day in the garden shoveling shit – I mean, compost.

  • El

    You know, I don’t brag on all the nasty phys. labor I normally do b/c I am foolishly of the “let’s not dissuade anyone” ilk, but now that you obviously succumbed, I would like to say I am with you in the slight muscle discomfort that you’ll likely be experiencing in the next 24/48. (Madly, I like it. It means something worthwhile has happened for which I am temporarily, corporally, paying the price.) And I love the fact that you’ve thought ahead. Normally this is when I call in for a pizza (which, with the beer, we likewise have to retrieve: how this saves me work I am at a loss but goodness it’s nice to give it up for an evening at least).

    May the gods of rain and sun smile happily on your plot this year.

  • Mo

    I loved it when we got our dirt/compost delivery for our garden. It smelled like heaven. I think the physical labor in gardening is one of the best parts about it. There is something about working your ass off that just makes you feel good.

    And your dinner looks delicious. We did a fennel and celeriac salad with some tasty and simple beef stew (and beer, of course). Yum!

  • Peter

    Zoomie: It hit the spot.

    El: The physical labor is a major selling point for me. I love projects, and after a long winter I love hard work. And there’s real value as you say to being bone tired. Alas, my foresight did not extend to having a six-pack in the fridge. I could have murdered a beer or three.

    Mo: Yup.

  • When I had a garden I had the best relationship with the horsefarm across the road. He mowed my hay and took it for the wee beasties and I got a truck load of manure in the spring. An excellent trade as my soil went from clay to gorgeous in a few years. The soil smelled healthy and was a beautiful thing. Getting good and dirty and eating that lovely dish… well that is a fine fine thing. Great idea to put brine in the soaking water now that it is proven that salt and beans are not a bad thing!!!

  • Peter

    I wish I had a farm across the street.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

Rage Against The Vitrine

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