Small Gardens Produce a Healthy Soup

How about some Healthy Gazpacho Soup?

It was a great day in the garden.  The cherry tomatoes are growing like crazy as they always do.  We never did cucumbers before, but they are sure producing really well.  So well, that I had to figure out something to make with them, because a simple salad was not enough.


According to wikipedia (, it is a Spanish dish

One thing about the internet that is nice, is all the different recipes. All the recipes call for

  • Tomatoes (some say tomato juice also but is really only took a few tomatoes to make a good 4 adult servings)
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers (I didn’t have)
  • Onion, usually red (I only had white/yellow)
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • lime juice (that I have because the wife was making margaritas)
  • Worcestershire sauce (warning you have to leave this out if you want it to be vegan or gluten free)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin
  • basil leaves for a topper
  • stale bread (this I did not have so I guess it will be gluten free) – left over bread from the Italian market works best.
  • Jalapeño (this was my add because we have so many and the spice might work and it did)

I used Alton Brown’s recipe from the food network (  He always seems to have good basic recipes.  I did not use as much tomatoes as he suggested and I threw in another cucumber, juts because I had so many.  The blanching of the tomatoes in boiling water worked perfectly to remove the skin.  Also I highly recommend removing the seeds from the tomatoes, cucumbers and Jalapeño, it makes the final product so much better.  Without the seeds, the texture is perfect. In some recipes the mixture is blended really well, but I left it some what choppy on purpose.


So I realized also that Worcestershire ( will make any recipe non-vegan ( and non-gluten free (  The ingredients include barley malt vinegar (barley is not gluten free) and anchovies (not vegan, but I love them).  I don’t know how you all do it.

I tried it after a couple of hours of sitting in the frig, but if you let it sit over night!  The flavors are amazing the next day and you can really taste the cucumber.

We let you all know how this cucumber and avocado dish comes out.

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.

Old 2St Tree Benefit Calculator

Overall Benefit:

This 34 inch Trunk Diameter Tree of heaven provides overall benefits of: $310 every year.

From National Tree Benefit Calculator

Tree Benefit Overall
Tree Benefit Overall

stormwater runoff:

Your 34 inch Trunk Diameter Tree of heaven will intercept 14,151 gallons of stormwater runoff this year.

Urban stormwater runoff (or “non-point source pollution”) washes chemicals (oil, gasoline, salts, etc.) and litter from surfaces such as roadways and parking lots into streams, wetlands, rivers and oceans. The more impervious the surface (e.g., concrete, asphalt, rooftops), the more quickly pollutants are washed into our community waterways. Drinking water, aquatic life and the health of our entire ecosystem can be adversely effected by this process.

Trees act as mini-reservoirs, controlling runoff at the source. Trees reduce runoff by:

  • Intercepting and holding rain on leaves, branches and bark
  • Increasing infiltration and storage of rainwater through the tree’s root system
  • Reducing soil erosion by slowing rainfall before it strikes the soil

For more information visit: The Center for Urban Forest Research


Your 34 inch Trunk Diameter Tree of heaven will conserve 291 Kilowatt hours of electricity for cooling and reduce consumption of oil or natural gas by 8 therm(s).

Trees modify climate and conserve building energy use in three principal ways (see figure at left):

  • Shading reduces the amount of heat absorbed and stored by buildings.
  • Evapotranspiration converts liquid water to water vapor and cools the air by using solar energy that would otherwise result in heating of the air.
  • Tree canopies slow down winds thereby reducing the amount of heat lost from a home, especially where conductivity is high (e.g., glass windows).

Strategically placed trees can increase home energy efficiency. In summer, trees shading east and west walls keep buildings cooler. In winter, allowing the sun to strike the southern side of a building can warm interior spaces. If southern walls are shaded by dense evergreen trees there may be a resultant increase in winter heating costs.

For more information visit: The Center for Urban Forest Research

Air Quality:

Tree Calc Air Quality
Tree Calc Air Quality

Air pollution is a serious health threat that causes asthma, coughing, headaches, respiratory and heart disease, and cancer. Over 150 million people live in areas where ozone levels violate federal air quality standards; more than 100 million people are impacted when dust and other particulate levels are considered “unhealthy.” We now know that the urban forest can mitigate the health effects of pollution by:

  • Absorbing pollutants like ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide through leaves
  • Intercepting particulate matter like dust, ash and smoke
  • Releasing oxygen through photosynthesis
  • Lowering air temperatures which reduces the production of ozone
  • Reducing energy use and subsequent pollutant emissions from power plants

It should be noted that trees themselves emit biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) which can contribute to ground-level ozone production. This may negate the positive impact the tree has on ozone mitigation for some high emitting species (e.g. Willow Oak or Sweetgum). However, the sum total of the tree’s environmental benefits always trumps this negative.

For more information visit: The Center for Urban Forest Research


This year your 34 inch Trunk Diameter Tree of heaven tree will reduce atmospheric carbon by 1,236 pounds. 

Tree calc CO2
Tree calc CO2

How significant is this number? Most car owners of an “average” car (mid-sized sedan) drive 12,000 miles generating about 11,000 pounds of CO2 every year. A flight from New York to Los Angeles adds 1,400 pounds of CO2 per passenger. Trees can have an impact by reducing atmospheric carbon in two primary ways (see figure at left):

  • They sequester (“lock up”) CO2 in their roots, trunks, stems and leaves while they grow, and in wood products after they are harvested.
  • Trees near buildings can reduce heating and air conditioning demands, thereby reducing emissions associated with power production.

Combating climate change will take a worldwide, multifaceted approach, but by planting a tree in a strategic location, driving fewer miles, or replacing business trips with conference calls, it’s easy to see how we can each reduce our individual carbon “footprints.”

For more information visit: The Center for Urban Forest Research

The data for this post were taken from the 
National Tree Benefit Calculator website