Going Nuts, Eventually

Hazelnut seedlings - ready to plant

Whew! I just planted three small hazelnut seedlings after weeks of watching the mailbox. It turns out that I planted these seedlings just days before the weather turned quite cold (the forecast high today is 29°F). Why hazelnuts? Well they're an experiment in permaculture and hybridization. That, and we've been looking for nuts that would grow in the high desert climate of Santa Fe. Now I'm crossing my fingers that they survive the winter and sprout in the spring.

The Problem with Pomegranates

Apple Pecan Tart - after Thanksgiving

I have a produce bin full of pomegranates. This would probably be great if I was a Middle Eastern pasha but I’m just a gal who always puts her lunch together in a rush in the morning. I’d love to eat pomegranate seeds as a steady part of my diet but…they take too much time. Oh, now that we’ve been working our way through them, I’m getting faster but until they are bred so that the seeds just pop out in neat groups, this beautiful fruit is a lot of work.

Giving Thanks for a Community Garden

Santa Fe Railyard Community Garden 2009

Harvest festivals have existed for thousands of years, probably as long as farming has. A successful crop harvest is plenty of reason for celebration. While Thanksgiving in the United States is held on the fourth Thursday in November, the fall harvest usually happens much earlier. The Santa Fe Community Garden in the Railyard held their harvest festival in mid-October. The gardeners celebrated both their veggie harvest and the first year of community gardening in the Railyard.

Power From the Sun ... and Donuts!

Powdered donuts could be key to affordable, renewable power!

Walk Softly and Carry a Heavy Stick

Mule Deer Scat

As I try to live more sustainably I keep learning about how far I have to go. Case in point - Sustainable Meat Eating. I'm an omnivore and I have learned a lot about the negative health and environmental impacts of Factory farmed meats. I'm shifting my diet away from CAFO produced meats, but I still want to eat some meat. My options are to choose animals which are raised in a more humane way, wild-caught meats, and hunting wild game myself. This fall I found out how difficult it is to catch your own four-footed meal.

Two Weekends of Ski Stoke in Santa Fe

In Deep: The Skiing Experience

Are you ready for the start of ski season? Stock up on excitement and gear over the next two weekends in Santa Fe. Watch 'In Deep' Nov. 6th and 'Flakes' on Nov. 15 at the Jean Cocteau Theater for deep powder fun and big mountain thrills. Pick up new boots, boards and bindings, clothes and assorted snow sports gear at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center during the Santa Fe Ski Team Swap from Nov. 13 through 15. Read below for dates, times and locations and mark your calendar for some pre-season stimulation. Until then, Think Snow!

Take Climate Action in Santa Fe (and worldwide)

350.org Cadillac Ranch

WHAT: 350.org International Day of Climate Action in Santa Fe, NM - Human 350 Postcard, Coal March, Procession of Trees, and Critical Mass Bike Ride to the Roundhouse, and Rally to demand action on climate change, plant trees, and deliver a powerful message (both literally and figuratively) to our representatives.
WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2009 1-4PM
WHERE: 1:00 CCA – for 350 Human Postcard, 2:00 March to Roundhouse departs from CCA and marches down Old Pecos/Old Santa Fe Trail. Rally at Roundhouse (West side).

Food Journalism Takes a Hit

in

The only good news to come from the end of Gourmet magazine is that now I have time to catch up with the recipes I ripped from its pages.

Smarter Than Your Average Building

Professor Andrea Mammoli and solar collectors on the UNM Mechanical Engineering Building

The phrase 'Smart Grid' has been thrown around quite a lot recently. Unfortunately, it isn't clear to many of us what a 'Smart Grid' actually is. Some folks at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque have built and are testing one of the first pieces of the future smart grid - a smart building. The Mechanical Engineering Building at UNM has a newly refurbished solar-thermal energy array that provides 90% of the building's heating needs and 35% of its cooling.

Desert Rock Air Permit Remanded

Navajo Woman in Gas Mask Banner

Good news for the Four Corners region and everyone downwind of the proposed Desert Rock Coal Power Plant. The EPA has been ordered to remand (i.e. revoke) the Air (pollution) Permit that had been granted to Desert Rock Energy Company LLC. The Environmental Appeals Board held that the permit had not properly considered the possibility of CO2 capture. Coal-fired power plants have many other dirty problems beyond CO2 emissions, including mercury and other heavy metals pollution. But perhaps most notable is the problem that Carbon-capture coal plants simply don't exist!

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