Fresh Veggies and 65 miles in the saddle

Halfway up the climb on Farewell trail above Tumalo Falls (Broken Top in the background).

Tomorrow is 2 weeks out from TOE 50 Mile MTB race. So, I thought I should go do a really long ride on Friday. I got up early and ended up spending nearly 6 hours in the saddle—64.8 miles with only 12 miles paved…10 miles double track…the rest sweet Central Oregon singletrack. We just got 3 days of rain, some of which was pretty hard. The trails were primo. Tacky, hard packed.

What a stellar ride. It was my first time up to Swede Ridge this season (only a handful of small snow piles left), down South Fork and up Farewell to Mrazek and back to town. The weather was in the 70s and sunny. Perfect. I felt pretty good all day. Ran out of water about 20 minutes from town, stopped into FootZone, refilled, downed two gels, grabbed a turkey wrap from Strictly Organic drive-thru and pedaled home for the 8-mile cooldown to my house. What’s that have to do with veggies? Recovery.

Well, my recovery meal today consisted of my own home-grown veggies out of the garden, first harvest of the season. The kids and I harvested fresh spinach and radishes from the garden this evening.

Side Note: After fighting my first really large outside garden last season and losing a bunch of stuff to our climate’s anytime-frost-potential, I decided early this year to invest in a 12’x 20′ commercial hoop house for my garden. It has 8-4’x 4′ raised beds, utilizing the highly-intensive square foot gardening method. It’s been awesome (picture below). If you’ve never grown a garden, I highly recommend this method and start with one 4’x 4′ raised bed—easy and low-maintenance.

We had organic steak on the grill, fresh home-grown organic spinach salad with fresh broccoli, mung bean, lentil, and alfalfa sprouts on the top (my wife has really got into sprouting stuff lately). If you haven’t tried sprouting, you should try it. Great article in Mother Earth News on sprouting.

It’s a great way to add some serious nutritional variety to salads, as sprouts are highly digestible and once something sprouts, the nutritional value goes through the roof. Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from free radicals. If you’re an endurance athlete…that means you recover faster…better than some highly processed powder concoction. Money, y’all.

And, as any of you out there that grow a garden…there is nothing mo’betta than eating something 5 minutes after its cut. Mmmm, it was tasty and I had two large salads. Giddyup!

View into my greenhouse (the only way to grow properly in Central Oregon’s 61-day growing season). We live at almost 4,000 feet, lots of cold nights. So, most of my veggies are in here. The cat loves the “micro-climate” of the greenhouse, she hangs in here a lot. The spinach (after cutting a bowl full), is the largest green patch on the far right of the frame. I have 16+ varieties of veggies growing in there right now. I also grow squash, zucchini, and wax bean outside in another garden area…but those are cold tolerant and do okay outside in our climate.

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