Guest Post: Melody on Sharing Food


Hey guys!

Hope you enjoyed Anne’s post! She is the master of quick, easy, and tasty! Today, I welcome another master chef: my friend Melody. This isn’t Melody’s first CR guest post. She honored me with her presence about a year ago, when she wrote a post on eating high raw and vegan on a budget. Budget conscious veganism is, in fact, Melody’s specialty as a blogger: her blog is famously structured to reflect meals that add up to no more than $3.33 each day. No one is more dedicated to frugal eating than she.

As someone who is suddenly operating on a student’s budget once again, I appreciate Melody’s tips general ethos as a blogger, and I’m thrilled to welcome her here to CR to tell us about her exciting new project, Share a Plot, which allows people in need of fertile land to connect with people who have it, all in the interest of community farming. Thanks, Mel, for being here!


My name is Melody Polakow. I am the author of the blog, Melomeals : Vegan for $3.33 a Day.

Basically, my goal is to feed myself and my son who lives with me part time for $3.33 a Day or $100 a month. This was born out of necessity; two years ago I was laid of from my job as a vegan and raw food chef. I was living off of savings and unemployment and had to be very strict with my budget.

Fast forward two years and several more chef jobs. I have made a conscious choice to follow my dreams, branch out on my own, as Personal Vegan and Raw Food Chef, Recipe Developer and Photographer. This is an exciting time for me and I am budgeting carefully as I build my business.

I have developed a pretty good system ( ) based around conventionally grown produce, which is great, but not ideal. Ideally, everyone would have access to local, organic and sustainable foods, but in reality it is not so. I get a lot of email and the biggest concern/criticism has been about this issue. I feel somewhat helpless to address it. I have been asked why I don’t garden and the answer is I don’t have any space that would allow me to. I live in a basement apartment surrounded by pine trees with no patio. There are community gardens in many cities and towns and those are a great resource, but space is often limited so not everyone can access it.

So, I was pondering this situation and an idea came to me: What if there was a way to connect people who had some land with people who need some land? This could be an answer for many families and individuals. I started to get excited and did some research and found that others have had this idea too.

I started a blog ( ) that will list links and resources and I’ve started a face book page ( ) that will be another home base for links and information.

Gena has so generously allowed me to do this guest post to connect with YOU, her wonderful readers. I am asking YOU and YOU and YOU to get involved with this cause!

I want this idea to go viral! By helping individuals and families access healthier food, we can bring neighbors and community together. It can slow us down and re-connect us with the earth and where our food comes from. If you don’t have land, but have a sunny patio, can you lend some space for container gardening? Do you have a sunny window to grow herbs in over the winter? How about planting some for your co-workers or neighbors?

Here are some suggestions you can do to help:

  • Like us on Facebook(
  • Tweet this
  • Blog about this and link back to
  • Tell co-workers
  • Organize a community meeting ( many libraries offer free space and will include your cause in their monthly calendars )
  • Talk about this with your kids schools/teachers/PTA
  • Talk to neighbors about it
  • Connect with food pantries / churches / social services to find people in need of land

I tend to get overwhelmed when I think of the big picture and how many people don’t have access to healthy food. By breaking this down to one family or individual at a time, we are part of the solution.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you Gena for sharing your blog!

Melody Polakow

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  1. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. I love eating and feeding my friends. I invite my friends at my place and feed them I learn from recipe sites. Of course your recipe has delighted me and I am planning to prepare this at my home. Can you please share any thing like Cheesecake or the kind of dishes can be prepared with Cheese?
    I will be grateful if anything you can share..

  2. Michelle, that’s hilarious..

    You know, one great benefit of yard sharing is that people can teach each other skills.. I am not an experienced gardener at all, but am hoping to learn a lot this summer from other people!

  3. hi Melody:) i…..might have seen your other blog..and thought it was about writing… plots..writing..get it? ugh i feel so dumb. i struggled to keep a mint plant alive for seven months, after that not really ready for a garden.:) lol jk. i love your idea!!

  4. I love your budgeted point of view. Now that health food is becoming more popular, younger people (students) are getting interested in organic produce and specialty health food products.
    Sharing a garden or a plot of land is such a great idea for growing abundant produce. We plan to grow our own food this summer, should be fun!
    Your blog is awesome, I will be referring to it if I’m tight on cash, and any other time for that matter!

  5. It is quite annoying to me that organic produce is so much more expensive than conventional. I try to remind myself that the nutrients in the organic produce is much higher than in the conventional (studies have been done and are documented in Green For Life). But still, access to it is tough. Considering how easy it is to keep a kale plant alive, I wish more would do it. I have a container mini-garden on my porch and grow herbs year-round. I used to have a plot in a community garden. Seattle has many but the waiting list is really long. Then I see vacant lots that would be perfect for one. I wish you lots of luck with your new blog!

    • I hope that people run with this concept and start to share their land!

      I can tell the difference in locally grown, organic produce.. it is such a gift to us as human beings and to our earth…. I wish money was not one of the huge road blocks for so many.

  6. Great post. I just checked out your blog, and it has lots of helpful recipe ideas for those of us on a tight food budget. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Typo alert! The last link is incorrect and sends me to a strange Bible website.

  7. Melody I love your blog and your message about feeding yourself healthy, wholesome, vegan food…that’s affordable! I strive to keep budget in mind when feeding myself and my family, too.

    I am not ever one of the bloggers who drops money on WF’s hot bar salads or buys the latest and greatest superfood or the organic gogi berries or things like that…I think it’s wonderful that some people can and do, but they are not choices I can afford to make and that’s fine for us!

    Really I actually get excited over sale produce and finding and coming up with at-home recipes that are fast, easy, and use cheap/commonplace ingredients and taking it from there.

    Love your message, Melody! 🙂

    • Thanks Averie, I know what you mean about getting excited about sale produce. The other day I scored 2 heads of cauliflower and 1 large Nappa cabbage for $2.07… a couple weeks ago I found 10 lbs of ORGANIC banana for $1.90 and daikon for .$29/lb. I’m lucky because one of our local grocery stores has a great selection and a reduced produce bin.