UMD Community Learning Garden Banner

Check out our crew in front of the fancy new UMD Community Learning Garden banner! We are but a few of many burgeoning gardeners who meet at 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays to learn about sustainable food production and help tend the raised beds and terraced plots.

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At the official hoisting of the garden banner last Monday. I ended up in the middle of the photo. This is awesome.

Sustainable Ag advisor Meredith Epstein (middle, in teal) manages the garden and leads the work hours. When I started working with Meredith at the Institute of Applied Agriculture, the garden quickly became one of my favorite spots on campus. This summer I grew soybeans, pole beans, green peppers, tomatoes, kale, thyme, sage, and basil in my garden plot.

I was excited when Meredith asked me to design a 12×4′ banner for the garden. I had previously made a sticker design for the garden club, so I took this as an opportunity to build consistent branding by pairing the same colors and fonts with the provided terp/carrot logo.

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At 12′ wide by 4′ tall, if you can’t see the banner to find the garden I feel bad for you.

The UMD Community Learning Garden is one of four campus gardens at the University of Maryland, College Park. Formerly called the Public Health Garden, it is nestled between the School of Public Health and the Eppley Recreation Center. You should definitely follow on Instagram.

Baltimore Rent-A-Tour

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I just bought tickets to my second Baltimore Rent-A-Tour experience, for this coming Sunday. The last one, a Christmas lights tour, was magical. Our group met at happy hour and then a charter bus drove us through the city while our tour guide, Chris, pointed out various historic sites.

This time it will be another tipsy tour, but on the water. We’re going to take a Water Taxi and Chris is going to narrate the pub-related origin of our National Anthem, describe the Baltimore-based forerunner of the modern sports bar, and tell us the history behind one source of many of my college hangovers, National Bohemian beer.

Looking forward to my second tipsy tour reminds me of a project I did for fun when I used to work with my friend (and Chris’ girlfriend), Jen. In the storage closet on Jen’s floor there was a pin maker that I always coveted but never got to use (it would have halted productivity). After having so much fun on the Christmas tour, I created these pin designs in Illustrator.

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If you are in the city, definitely check out Baltimore Rent-A-Tour! Unless you hate history. Or fun. Or both. Then we don’t want you.

 

 

 

Marc’s Secret Onion Salsa Recipe

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cilantro-onion-tomatoThis recipe for onion salsa was taught to my boyfriend, Marc, by Ecuador’s culinary gift to the world (and Marc’s best friend’s mom), Leonor. You might not think you like red onions this much, but make this one time and you will be amazed. It’s like a pickled onion, but squared. It’s like an onion morphed into a space unicorn and drove Apollo’s chariot into your taste buds. Think of it as pico de gallo, but with a shift in the ratio of ingredients.

Ingredients:
5 Roma tomatoes
3 medium red onions
1 fistful of cilantro – varies based on size of fist
1/4 cup Kosher salt
3 limes, for juicing
water
Optional – 1 jalapeño

Tools:
mixing bowl
fork
sharp knife
cutting board
colander

What to Do:
1. Wash your hands. I know that you have been scratching inappropriately.

2. Slice onions lengthwise, then thinly crosswise. Slice once more to achieve see-through onion half-rainbows.

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(1) Cut onion from top to bottom. (2) Slice each half thinly. (3) Cut the slices in half.

3. Transfer your sliced onions to a mixing bowl and cover them with Kosher salt. It should look like your onions are blanketed in snow (scroll down for slideshow visuals).

4. Cover the onion/salt mixture with cool water. Massage the onions, salt, and water together for five minutes. Let the mixture sit for an additional five minutes while you dice your Roma tomatoes and cilantro (and jalapeño, if needed). Do not add these to the mixture yet.

5. At this point, the onions should be limp and somewhat translucent. If the onions are still hard, let them sit for another couple of minutes. Pour the onion mixture into a colander and rinse with cool water. Return onions to mixing bowl, add water, massage, and repeat the straining process. This will ensure that your onions are not overly salty.

6. Return the onions to the mixing bowl and use a fork to juice all three limes over the onion mixture. To get the most juice, roll the limes on the counter and apply pressure by hand before you cut them.

7. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the mix. Fold the mixture with your hands. Taste the salsa and add more salt if desired.

8. Select desired Netflix program and proceed to stuff face. This salsa is delicious when served with black beans and rice, or on top of some grilled chicken. Or get some Tostito’s Scoops and just go to town.

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Happening Right Now

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Attention Montgomery Countyites: Drop your golf clubs and go to Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg right now! One of my favorite student organizations at the Universities at Shady Grove, Campus Kitchens, is hosting an all-day fundraiser with food, fun, games and prizes. All money raised will be used to aid the club in their mission to eliminate food waste and prepare nutritious meals for those struggling with food insecurity in Montgomery County.

To enhance your enjoyment of the delicious culinary offerings of Dogfish Head Alehouse, you may enter a raffle to win tickets to ABC’s The Chew, purchase a seasonally appropriate dayglow shirt that I designed using a brand-new illustration from Dogfish Head artist Andy Butterman, or enter a zombie trivia drawing for the chance to win free raffle tickets for the aforementioned prizes.

Have a heart and take a bite out of hunger; celebrate the Apple Zombie Apocalypse with Campus Kitchens.