About the Author

With some pygmy goats at Social Goat Bed and Breakfast in Atlanta.

I’m Jessica Pendergrass, welcome to my Urban Sacred Garden! This little blogging project was started in February 2011 out of my love for great food, gardening, travel and spiritual pursuits. You can read more about my cooking and gardening class offerings on my personal website, and about my love and vision for food and gardening here. In addition to this blog, I write for local publications, teach cooking classes, develop and test recipes for cookbooks, volunteer as a Master Gardener, and work to implement urban gardens and food resources in my community. My recipes and writing have most recently been published in Southern Living, Kentucky Monthly and Edible Louisville.

By day, I am a corporate attorney working in-house for a software company. But after hours, you can find me wandering the streets on my latest travel adventure, in my kitchen cooking up a tasty meal for friends, or out in my yard prepping for the upcoming gardening season. At 32, 33, 34, I can already say with certainty that I’ve lived an amazingly awesome life.

With my Best Guys on my Birthday.

I have an unsettled sense of place and have a tendency to move around a lot. I currently live in Louisville, Kentucky, the state where I’ve spent the majority of my life. I also spent many years in Portland, Oregon and Raleigh, North Carolina, and some time in Europe. While I’m currently based out of Kentucky, I’m traveling about 50% of the year visiting friends and family.

With my Mom in Rhode Island

I look for the best of culinary experiences wherever I go and have a great love for local foods, but am fed by culture and travel as much as I am food.

I am so lucky and blessed by wonderful people and the heavenly kismet of circumstances. You can see a few of the fabulous people in my life on this page. When days aren’t as cheery, they’re the people who lift me up and keep me going. They’re my best partners in adventure and my guides through this life. I’ve also been told I’m a sheep dog, as I love herding up my friends into groups of all sorts. (And now I have my very own furry herding dog to help me – see below.)

I host writing groups, book groups and creativity groups at my home. We connect long distance through Skype and if you’re a lucky local member you’re guaranteed a tasty home cooked meal and a bottle of wine.

Her majesty, The Queen

I recently created the Southern Food Bloggers Community with my online food friends, and am crafting some plans to create broader networking opportunities for this amazing group of writers.

In Paris with my travel buddy Jen.

I try to approach life with spiritual purpose and believe I’ve traveled through many lifetimes with the people in my life now. Sometimes you meet another soul for the first time in this life and they are already known to you. We’re all coming back around, helping each other out and fulfilling our karmic contracts.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention I have the cutest cat in the world. Her name is Queen Elizabeth I, just “The Queen” to those who know her. She is a ball of fluffy, purring joy.

Burley, the newest trusty companion (and Louisville Cardinals fan) in the house.

Burley, the newest trusty companion (and Louisville Cardinals fan) in the house.

She likes to sit in my lap or nap in my office chair while I write to you. Now there is a new dog in the family, too. Burley is a gregarious and loving Australian Shepherd and Bird Dog (maybe English Setter?) mix, at least that is as best as we can tell.

Burley was named after Lord Bur(gh)ley (respelled for simplicity and to match the variety of tobacco grown in Kentucky), Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted advisor. I can’t say my two are best friends yet, but they are getting to know each other and settling into their mutual space.

I love to hear from you, so please leave comments on my posts and, as always, e-mail me with any questions or comments. I’d love to connect with you!

Wishing you heart filled blessings of love and light, Jes

With the sheep on Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.

16 Comments

  1. Cheri Lewis says:

    Dear Jessica,

    My husband and I read your blog and we are inspired by your attitude to life, your travel, your enthusiasm and for sharing your recipes. We love to share inspirational stories and stories about people who are enthusiastic about life!

    We noticed that you have shared the poem “If” on your website, in fact that is how we found your site. Last week was the anniversary of Kipling’s birth, and January 18th marks 76 years since his passing. Even a century-and-a-half after his birth, his poem continues to inspire millions of people who come from incredibly varied backgrounds all over the world, including you and us.

    We have started a blog at at http://www.allthingsif.org with friends to share with inspirational people like you. The blog is still in its infancy and will include short fiction, editorials, sections for “Poems like If” and “Books like If,” and in the next two months, you’ll find interviews with notable people under the heading “Kipling’s Hall of Fame.”

    We would love to feature you on our blog, and any help that you can offer to improve our blog would be greatly appreciated – articles, stories, suggestions, ideas, comments, etc. We would also be very grateful if you would consider posting a link to “All Things If” under the text of “If” on your site. This way after reading “If” on your page, your visitors could find articles and even music that expand the poem’s message at “All Things If.”

    We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best for 2012!

    Cheri Lewis

    Cheri.Lewis@allthingsif.org

    • Jes says:

      Hi Cheri, thanks so much for the wonderful compliment! I’m so happy you found my site. I’ve added your site into my “If” post. I do love Kipling, and it was a prominent feature at the Ali Museum in my hometown in Louisville, KY. I’ll send you an email to discuss your site, I’d love to be a contributor. :)

  2. Tharika says:

    Thank you for your eyes view. You made me realize that I often take this beauty for granted. I do know that I find love, comfort and peace when I play in the dirt, touch the flowers, listen to the birds sing and breath in the many fragrances. God has given my much to be grateful for .

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Melissa says:

    Hi Jes! I wanted to write and say I love your blog. I accidentally came across it because I as I am thinking ahead about where I want to practice medicine next year when I finish residency, I have been googling some key words from my personal life vision. Urban, healing through working with the land, the importance of knowing we are spiritual beings filled in with matter, the importance of gardening, work, active spiritual development, community… I would love to find a place in the states like the blackthorn trust in kent england. Its pretty amazing. (Google if you are interested to learn more.) I dont think it exists here yet.

    So I get what you are saying about questions of purpose, direction and how to contribute in life’s work. I love, love rumi, hafiz, rabia, rilke, other favs are goethe, tolle and read a lot of rudolf steiner too.

    It’s nice to see others being nourished by these works as well. And this blog is such a great way to reach out~

    best wishes and kind regards,
    melissa

    • Jes says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I’m so happy you found me here! Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment. This blog has really been a wonderful outlet for me over the last year. I really love the vision you have of life. It is so true. And I love that list of spiritual poets!

      I hadn’t heard of the Blackthorn Trust previously. Thank you for sharing that info. I just looked them up and their work looks amazing. I was just in London and traveling the English countryside last week. I wish I’d known about it previously – it would have been an amazing place to visit. There must be something similar here in the states. I’ve heard of programs in local botanical gardens that provide rehab and gardening therapy. Seems like there should be something on a larger scale. It would be so wonderful to create a community garden created specifically for healing.

      I have to believe that when you want to do good, healing work in the world the universe will find a channel for you to do so.

      Wishing you all the best!
      Jes

  4. Hex says:

    Hi Jes,

    Your blog is very impressive. What stands out the most is how full of life your perspective is! More power to ya.

  5. Sarah says:

    I found your blog while looking for a mayo-free pimento cheese recipe. I live in Raleigh NC and have a foodie friend named Mark who lives in Louisville with his wife. I’ll send him a link to your blog and maybe he’ll catch up w/you.

    • Jes says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m so happy you found me (and I hope you enjoy the Pimento Cheese recipe)! I lived in Durham, NC for 2 years. I really love that part of the country, and Raleigh is a great town. Thanks for passing along my info to your friend Mark here in Louisville. I’m always happy to connect to as many foodie friends as I can. Take care down there and stay cool. :)

  6. Julie Wright says:

    Hi Jes,
    Doug Wright, yes, that Doug Wright from Mentor, my husband, has been raving about your site and recipes for quite some time now. He finally sent me the link today….and I’m so glad he did. The variety in your recipes is fantastic. Like you, I also love poetry (Oliver is a favorite), travel, great meals. I’m so excited to finally have this link–I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.
    Take care,
    Julie Wright

    • Jes says:

      Hi Julie,

      I’m so happy Doug gave you the link and that you visited my site. :)
      I really hope you enjoy the recipes you try.
      I do love great poetry, and Mary Oliver is amazing.
      She is so in tune with the good stuff that matters.
      I’m very happy to connect with you here.
      Thanks again for visiting!

      Jes

  7. Rosemary Ringler says:

    Hi Jes!
    What an inspiration!!!!
    Just located your site- you are an amazing gal to say the least! The world needs more of you!

    • Jes says:

      Hi Rosemary, Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment. I’m very happy you found my page. I hope you continue to visit and enjoy it! :)

  8. I read where you were given a 1938 Household Searchlight cookbook. I am looking for a pecan pie recipe from that book. If there is such a recipe, would it be possible for you to email the recipe to me. My mother, who passed away 3 months ago, had a Household Searchlight cookbook. I could not locate it in her cookbook collection she left (which was well worn as my mother was an excellent cook for 68 years). The recipe called for 6 eggs, half a bottle of Karo syrup and that is all I can recall. If you can take the time and trouble to look for this, I would be very grateful!….Thank You.

    • Jes says:

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for contacting me! I am out of town and traveling this week, but I will look for this recipe as soon as I’m home on Sunday. Hopefully it is in there! :)

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