The hawk slept peacefully, snuggled against the trunk in the upper branches of the old pine. As the early morning sun rays spread, he woke and began to shake off the night’s slumber. The first flight of the day was most satisfying. Hawks like to fly, and this one was no exception; flying was its happy place. He soared in the cool air letting the wind current take him higher. On the second loop, he picked up the scent of carrion. Biggie wheeled around seeking the source. He spotted three hawks flying in that direction. Then he saw what they saw, a squirrel laying by the creek, with another hawk already in the process of claiming it. He sent out a sharp warning and began a swift descent, his red-tail gleaming, making him appear as a crimson bolt of bad news. The other birds scattered. The hawk on the ground protested loudly and reluctantly flew away, not wanting to get into a fight. At the last moment, Biggie extended his claws, smoothly picked up the carcass, and flew away.
From the kitchen garden window, Annie watched the drama play out. “Wow, nature’s cycle of life,” she thought.
“What are you looking at,” said LJ as he handed her a cup of green tea.
“Biggie, our favorite red-tail, just picked up breakfast and stole it from another hawk.” LJ chuckled as he pulled radishes from their pot. “Look at these, and we just planted them about 30 days ago, right?”
“Yes, there’s nothing more satisfying than fast-growing veggies, especially in the winter when we need lots more to do indoors. Radishes are bright, peppery, and a great source of vitamin C, calcium, folate, fiber, and potassium. Their sprouts and microgreens appear after only 1-2 weeks of planting and are also good to eat for their vitamin A, iron and thiamine, (turns carbs into energy). I like radishes in your delish sugar snap peas with ricotta and mint salad.”
“If you like how fast the radishes grew, check out the scallions; they sprouted in three weeks.” LJ clipped the new shoots, washed, and put them aside. “I’m harvesting them now because I want their subtle flavor for the mushroom stir fry I’m making for dinner. The bulbs will continue to produce more shoots until we pull them out. Scallions are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.”
“Okay, if you’re making the mushroom dish, I’ll use the baby carrots that took less than two months to grow for one of our freshy-fresh homemade salads. Even though carrots are root veggies, they can be grown in pots. You just have to make sure the pot is at least eight inches in depth. I love their crunch and the fact that they are weight-loss friendly, and their color due to their beta carotene content (antioxidant) is converted by the body into vitamin A, a great vision protector. I’ll also include the red leaf lettuce we grew in a little over a month. Its good levels of magnesium and potassium supports heart health. The leaves have high water and fiber content too, which means it’s good for hydration and keeping you feeling fuller longer.”
LJ nodded as he plucked several outer leaves of spinach. “Do you mind adding spinach to the salad? We’ve got a bumper crop that grew in one month. Once the plant reaches maturity, its leaves get bitter, so if we want all of its nutritional benefits, we better start harvesting pronto.”
“Harvest, harvest, harvest. Is that all you think about LJ?”
“No,” he laughed as he reached for her.
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced on the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.