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"Simple Sustainability"

Gardening, Pickling, and Tacos from Scratch

Drone Footage by Jake Potts

Video by Logan Snyder

Songs: "Brightwood" by Amine, "Family For" by Chance the Rapper and Jeremih

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Recipe: Pickling


  • 3 parts vinegar

  • 2 parts sugar

  • ½ part salt

  • A bunch of ice cubes

  • For example:

    • 3 cups vinegar

    • 2 cups sugar

    • ½ cup salt

    • A tray of ice cubes


  1. Measure all vinegar, sugar, and salt in a pot

  2. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved

  3. Bring to a boil

  4. Take off heat and add ice cubes

  5. If hot pickling, pour over ingredients immediately

  6. If cold pickling, put pickling liquid in the fridge until cold, and then pour over ingredients

Recipe: Homemade Tortillas


  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3 tablespoons butter, lard, or oil

    • I used butter

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (not hot)


  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder

  2. Add the butter, lard or oil

  3. Rub in the fat with your hands until fully dispersed

  4. Add the warm (not hot) water and mix with hands until a rough ball comes together, and then move it to a flat table or cutting board

  5. Knead the dough until it becomes much firmer and smoother

  6. Cover with a somewhat damp kitchen towel and let dough rest for about 15 minutes

  7. Cut off pieces of dough and roll into balls 1.5x bigger than ping pong balls

  8. Using a rolling pin (or rolling pin substitute) roll out dough until you can see the shadow of your hand through it

  9. Place on very hot skillet for about 30 seconds each side (nonstick or cast-iron skillet preferred)

Recipe: Garden Tacos


  • Cauliflower

  • Bell pepper

  • Yellow onion

  • Acid of choice - Lemon, lime, or rice vinegar

  • Cooking oil (olive, vegetable, etc.)

  • Sesame oil

  • Salt, pepper


  1. Slice cauliflower, bell pepper, and onion into long slices

  2. Bring a pan to medium high heat and add oil

  3. Add all ingredients to pan, add salt and pepper

  4. Sautee all ingredients for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened and gotten color

  5. Turn off heat, add acid (I used rice vinegar) and sesame oil and stir around with remaining heat in the pan until all vegetables are coated

  6. Season to taste, and serve on homemade tortillas with pickled onions and cilantro

The Science Behind Pickling:

"Pickling is a sort of controlled decay, according to according to Dr. Bruno Xavier, a food processing authority at Cornell University. "When living organisms die, they activate several responses in the tissue that trigger the release of enzymes," says Xavier, that start to break down the vegetable. The acid from the vinegar, along with naturally forming acids in the food itself, slows down that decaying process. "There are certain salts," Xavier adds, "especially those containing calcium, that will help preserve some of the crunchiness of the pickle." You'll find those salts in commercial pickles" (Bonem).

Gardening at Home/ in Isla Vista:

To learn more about growing your own food as a UCSB student and Isla Vista resident, visit "Karma the Farma", where you can immerse yourself in an in-depth overview of Karma's real life gardening experience.

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