Fading into the Soft White

...s congregate on our floating row covers to die. Every day, two, three, four or five will choose to land one last time on this billowing white fabric that covers one of our garden beds. There they will cling while their strength wanes, until they fall off to be lost in the mulch. I know worker bees don’t live very long. They work so hard that by the end of their lives, their wings hang in shreds. Their little bodies just give out. And I know...

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Appletastic Apple Cake

...ll lose points for presentation if you have to dig it out of a regular pan, but it will still taste mighty good. The cake batter: 1/2 cup flour1/3 sugar1 tablespoon baking powder1/8 teaspoon sea salt1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract2 large eggs, lightly beaten2 tablespoons vegetable oil1/3 cup whole milk Apples, about 2 pounds worth. Wells says that’s about 4. I found it took 5 Fujis to add up to 2 lbs. Peel and core the apples, cut them in half...

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Behold the Squash Baby

...own here: It’s 36 inches long as of today, and mystifying passers-by. I think I underestimated its size in the first post, where I claimed it was 20 inches. It was probably closer to 30″ at that point. The curvature makes it hard to judge. (I love the way it arches out of the raised bed–see the pic below). The thing is actually inching into the driveway now. Every time I pull the car into the garage I worry that I’ll clip...

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All is Fire

...th Taleb, that the “highly improbable” is more probable than we think and that it’s best to do the things within our power to do and not worry about what’s going on beyond what we can change. That China’s Sovereign-Wealth Fund is considering investing in the bearish (to put it mildly) investment fund Taleb advises worries me. Time to turn that RiteAid parking lot into an olive grove! I’ll rent the jackhammers&#...

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Seeding Change

Lora “Homegrown Neighbor” Hall is in the New York Times this week in an article by Michael Tortorello, “Packets Full of Miracles.” Tortorello asks six gardeners to pick out their favorite seed varieties. Homegrown Neighbor chose New Zealand spinach, Nero de Toscana kale, Red orach, Sugar Ann snap pea, Crimson California poppy and Verbena bonariensis. I’m sure Homegrown Neighbor would appreciate a reminder that if y...

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Post Petroleum Lecture – a reminder

...fu presses, and author of eleven books, including Shutdown: Nuclear Power on Trial (1979) and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do (1990). His Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times (New Society 2006) envisions the world as it will be transformed by peak oil and climate change, and offers a prescription for re-inhabitation. As one of the founders of the Eco village Network of the Americas (19...

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L’hamd markad – Preserved Salted Lemons

One of the big problems with citrus trees is that you get a whole lot of fruit all at one time. There are two ways to deal with this–share the harvest and/or preserve it. Homegrown Revolution has done both this week by mooching some lemons off of a friend’s tree and preserving them by making one of the essential ingredients of Moroccan food, L’hamd markad or preserved salted lemons. L’hamd markad is easy to make. HereR...

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Bulk Bin Microgreens

...alth food store scent. Is it some chemical reaction between soy, wheat grass and carob fumes? But I digress. For the sake of science I chose this forlorn store, which will remain nameless, since I assumed the stuff in their bulk bins has been sitting around a long time and I wanted to test seed of questionable viability. This store sells seeds for sprouting and microgreens, such as radish at around $9 a pound. The much cheaper bulk bin items, how...

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Kent’s Composting Tips and Secret Weapon

...add a couple shovels-full of rich soil to get things started, particularly with some worms and bugs to propagate the new pile. I’m not fastidious about what goes in, so the occasional fish and chicken scraps and leftover cat food gets into the mix, even oily stuff, but mostly it’s the usual veggies, fruits, paper napkins, etc. Though experts say no fats should go in, I’ve yet to see (or smell) a problem. Each time I add new kitchen scraps, I add...

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Gideon Lincecum Virtual Herbarium

...y common summer sidewalk weed. Recognize it? Conyza canadensis (image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) And along the way I found a charming resource to share with ya’ll: The Gideon Lincecum Virtual Herbarium, a project hosted by the University of Austin, Texas. Dr. Lincecum was a 19th-century naturalist and “botanic physician” who lived in Mississippi and Texas. This virtual herbarium includes scans of more than 200 pressed sp...

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