Monthly Archives: November 2017

A Barrel Full Of Beans

For the very best beans, brine them overnight in cold, salted water, rinse them well, then cook them in plain water. I learned this sweet trick from master foodie Harold McGee, author of On Food And Cooking; the science and lore of the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite go-to resources when I can’t figure out why something kitchen related isn’t working the way I think it should. McGee has written extensively about all kinds of foods, including beans, and he says that many factors can cause beans to turn out tough, hard, or mushy. Continue reading

Posted in fall/winter crops, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Giving Gratitude, Accepting Change

Changing Times, Changing Celebrations Yesterday I hosted an early Thanksgiving with my kids in my newest home. I quite happily spent several days preparing a more or less traditional feast, but having lived in three houses this year, I sometimes … Continue reading

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Backyard Permaculture

One important consideration for all who are thinking about creating a more natural garden where insects and critters are welcome is the fact that all critters need water, food and shelter. Unless we have natural ponds or streams, we may need to provide shallow bathing bowls and keep them clean and full of fresh water. Food will be abundant wherever we offer a diversity of plants but providing food and shelter means allowing some visible “damage” to plants we may hold dear. It also means leaving much of the garden undisturbed in winter, when butterflies, frogs, toads and other creatures are hibernating. If you tend toward neatness over the natural, this may be painfully difficult, so one way to ease into a new way of caring for your garden might be to allow sweet disorder to reign in areas you don’t have to look at every day. Keep you entry and walkway as neat as you please and comfort your tidy self with the knowledge that letting go of a little control now will pay a dividend of flourishing garden life in the future Continue reading

Posted in composting, Garden Prep, Growing Berry Crops, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition, pests and pesticides, Pollinators, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gardening For Bees, Bugs and Butterflies

To forward this worthy agenda, many folks designate an area near orchards and vegetable beds to become home ground for beneficials. Organic growers call such areas “bug banks,” since they become storehouses of invaluable insect garden allies. In its simplest form, a slim strip of bug bank might line or abut each row in a veggie patch, holding perennial herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary as well as annual flowers like feverfew and sweet alyssum. The greater the variety of plants on offer, the greater the assortment and quantity of insect helpers that will make themselves at home. Continue reading

Posted in pests and pesticides, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening | Tagged | 3 Comments