Monthly Archives: April 2020

Forming A Future

What’s a working plant? Trees clean the air, capture carbon, and offer homes and larders for lots of critters, so if they’re healthy and well placed, they stay. Native shrubs are also habitat for native creatures, and many are beautiful to boot, so for the most part, they stay, as do most native annuals, perennials and bulbs. Hardy herbs are useful in the kitchen, as traditional medicinals, and are terrific pollinator pleasers, so they stay. Edibles stay unless they require more space or more fussing than I can provide. Ornamentals stay if they are utterly enchanting for more than two weeks a year. That seems fair, right? In return, I supply balance; I provide good soil, compost and other soil conditioners, and adequate water. I also control weeds and keep rapid spreaders from taking over. If the garden gets out of balance, my work load goes up and the pleasure factor goes down. That’s how good governance works. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Garden Design, Health & Wellbeing, pests and pesticides, Pollination Gardens, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Simply Splendid Sourdough

The right flours can make a major difference to the quality of your bread. For a light but chewy loaf with a good crust, mix wet starter with high gluten/high protein bread flour, preferably at least 11% protein; the closer to 13% the better. You can also use part bread flour and part whole wheat or rye flour for a different flavor and texture. For especially good texture, add a couple tablespoons per loaf of gluten flour (vital gluten), a trick that makes many artisan yeast breads outstanding. Gluten flour runs as high as 70-80% protein, so just a little makes a big difference to bread texture and rise. It’s especially valuable for rye bread (yeast or sourdough), helping fragile rye flour capture and hold yeast gasses, which gives the heavy dough much better rise. Continue reading

Posted in Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition, Recipes, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Great Pause

Obviously we CAN stop, because we just did. But now what? It’s my deepest hope that we don’t try to return to business as usual, and I’m pretty sure that will prove impossible anyway. Instead, we seriously need to find new ways to live and work. Today I was moved to tears (yes, again) to learn that the governors of Washington, Oregon and California announced a Western States Pact, a plan to carefully restart our shared economies, putting the health and wellbeing of all our people first. The plan is based on science-based information, in vivid contrast to the amorphous national strategies of confusion, confustication and bebotherment. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Living | Tagged | 5 Comments

Keeping In Touch Without Touching

If you can’t dye Easter eggs, try sheep…natural dyes of course A Flurry Of Flower Fairies Today Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that schools will remain closed until September. A lot of other institutions and businesses will remain closed … Continue reading

Posted in Health & Wellbeing, Natural Dyes, Planting & Transplanting, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Teaching Gardening | 7 Comments