Grow. Fish. Cook. Meet Nathan the Bartender/Gardener!

Posted on Oct 15 2015 - 3:03pm by UOG
capture-20151015-044553How did you get started with your blog?
It started 3 years ago. I was just showing some of my food and veggie pics to one of my coworkers
and he was like wow those are some awesome pics. He asked had I heard of Instagram, said it was like Facebook but photo based. Im not a ‘Facebooker’ so I was immediately intrigued. Signed up that night, he taught me the whole hashtag thing, woke up the next morning and had a new follower from Brazil. Im from Washington DC and now connecting with someone from Brazil from just a posted photo….too cool.

Did you start your blog when you started your transition to live this life style? Have you always been this way?
No. I’ve always loved food, love to cooked, create, etc. I did change my username once I delved deeper into the gardening/farming world. My first name was @slangin_tails I am a Bartender, I slang cocktails! It was about 2 years ago when I came up with @grow_fish_cook that’s what I love to do…grow…fish…and cook!
capture-20151015-043916What sparked your passion?
It was a friendly competition between a buddy of mine about 7 years ago. At the time tomatoes in the supermarket were tainted with Salmonella. We were like, WTF??? He said he was going to start growing his own tomatoes, went to Home Depot and he bought 4 plants, containers & soil. A week later, I went to his house, the plants had tripled in size, I was shocked, then I went and bought double what he had purchased! The following week The Washington Post featured an article in the Food section all about Heirloom Tomatoes, I had only thought tomatoes were red. Nope! Recommended literature from article was ‘The Heirloom Tomato’ by Amy Goldman, I purchased that book and I have been infected ever since.
It’s so funny because now I wouldn’t ever dare think about purchasing a plant from Home Depot!
What are some of the other things you would like to have other people understand about living a healthier and self-sufficient life style? 
That it is very simple. Growing is simple. Dirt, seed, sunlight, water. We are such a ‘I want/need what I want NOW society’ – I’m just gonna go buy so called “organic” produce from the store for $5 a pound and think I’m living that lifestyle. Are you informed? Do you really know what’s allowed to be in your “organic” produce? Growing yourself gives you the choice on what nutrients you choose to provide and they’re so cool. Compost, Compost Tea, Seaweed or Fish Emulsions, planting cover crops in the fall, no Salmonella!

What tips and tricks could you share with other people? 
Love your plants. They are going to love you back. Provide the absolute best for them and they will produce. When I harvest it’s like a sped up version of raising children and seeing them off to college!
Grow from seed. Be informed. Pull your suckers ’til your fingers are black.
capture-20151015-044150Have you ever made mistakes or failed doing something? 
Nope. Never. OF COURSE I HAVE! The second year of growing for me I learned a lot. I went from 8 plants the year before to over 40. I started everything from seed that year, planted in ground and containers. Everything started great until about a month after planting in the containers I noticed they weren’t doing great, starting to wilt, discolor, etc. I thought I had created the perfect environment for them. I got online typed in symptoms and that’s when I discovered Aphids. It was too late, I had a complete infestation of thousands of the little juice sucking pricks. I lost 90% of the container plants and half of plants in ground. I was crushed having started everything from seed 12 weeks prior. I learned, never had another Aphid problem, yay for Spiders & Ladybugs! On a side-note, I make mistakes every year, its gonna happen. I’m never satisfied with my knowledge always trying to learn more.

How did you overcome any obstacles?
The internet is just awesome. So many garden forums, blogs, posts out there and people are willing to help.
It’s also a lot of trial and error so take notes.
Have you ever dealt with a person who disregards your life style?

What are some of your greatest rewards with a lifestyle such as the one you live?
The freshest most delicious food you could ever imagine. I’ve been featured on quite a few sites, sold produce to some of the top restaurants in my area, received great compliments. But nothing is more rewarding then creating your own meal from everything you caught and grew. In the summer I go fishing out in the Atlantic Ocean, return home with my catch and stroll through my plot and pick whatever I want to pair with my fish. This is how people back in the day provided for themselves, that is often over looked.

Follow @Grow.Fish.Cook. on Instagram! 


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