Category Archives: Health & Wellbeing

Following The Light As Days Grow Dim

Print PDFLifework is like a tree with branches going everywhere Standing For Kindness (And Fabulous Soup) Foggy mornings give November mornings a ghostly quality, like fading old photographic images. Misty nights capture waxing moonlight in silvery nets, spangling plants with … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Celebrate The Equinox With Tree Planting

I have to remind myself forcibly that despair is exactly what the current regime and others like it around the world intend; despair is notoriously debilitating, as are depression and anxiety. People without hope are easily overwhelmed and tend to hunker down rather than stand and fight. As people of color everywhere have known forever, it’s hard to keep on fighting through many weary years. So what helps? Well, for me, trees do. Plants do. When I weed my tiny yard, I notice hundred of seedlings, sown with a lavish hand as nature works to replenish what humans destroy. The world-wide strikes for climate change fill me with hope, even though the kids are clear that they want our help, not our hope. I still offer my hope, because I’m not hoping that the kids will magically “figure it all out” and repair our battered, broken world. My hope is that their clarity, energy, courage and strength continues to revitalize those of us who have felt derailed or despairing. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing | 3 Comments

Harvesting & Healthy Soil

When both pantry and freezer fill up, it’s time to make soup! Make enough to share and sit down with younger folks who just might want to learn a little more about growing and cooking.

Tuscan Bean Soup With Black Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 organic lemon, juiced, rind grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bulb fennel with greens, chopped
2 sweet carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups cooked white cannellini beans (or any kind)
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
1 bunch Black Tuscan kale, cut in ribbons

In a soup pot, combine oil, fennel seed, half the garlic, the lemon rind, pepper flakes, onion, fennel (reserve 1/4 cup chopped greens), and carrots, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium high heat until barely soft (8-10 minutes). Add beans and broth, bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Puree in small batches with remaining garlic and return to pan. Add kale and pepper, cover pan and cook until barely wilted (2-3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice to taste and serve hot, garnished with fennel greens. Serves 4.

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Posted in Annual Color, fall/winter crops, Garden Prep, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sneezing Through Super Pollen Events

Though few gardening references include information about how much pollen a particular plant sheds, a book called Allergy-Free Gardening by Thomas Leo Ogren is a reliable resource. In it (and on his website) Ogren offers both plant lists and strategies for pollen avoidance. For starters, most heavy pollen shedders are male. Thus, we can seek out shrubs and perennials with big, showy, scentless or lightly scented blossoms. These tend to be female and/or pollinated by critters rather than wind. Pollen-rich, wind-pollinated flowers (candidates for allergy triggers) tend to be small and less vividly colorful, so eye-catching showboats are safer bets. So are bird-friendly plants, which are generally pollinated by nectar-seeking birds. If your allergies are acute, pick sterile hybrids of any kind, from ornamentals to annuals, since they don’t produce pollen at all. Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening, Tomatoes, Weed Control | Tagged , | 1 Comment