Saving the Season

Tarragon Cucumber Pickles

Ladies and gentlemen, I have canned. It was a hot, sticky, dirty dish producing business. However, I have two lovely sealed jars of apricot butter waiting for my use some time this fall or winter. It better be this fall or winter, because I did not go through the processing step and hope that I kept everything clean enough to avoid botulism for awhile.

Native Plant Day in Santa Fe

Native Summer and Fall Flowers

What: Native Plant Day, promoted by the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.
When: All day Saturday, August 15th
Where: Agua Fría Nursery, Payne's Nurseries, Santa Fe Greenhouses, and Plants of the Southwest

Living Off the Grid vs. in Town

Green Acres

Carbon Footprint. Peak Oil. Energy Independence. All of these are different ways to talk about how fossil fuels are a finite resource and supplies are running out, quickly*. Given that crude oil, dirty coal and natural (methane) gas reserves are at, or near, peak production how will you prepare for short supplies and high prices? In other words - Do you move off the grid or stick it out in town? Doug Fine has staked his claim on the Funky Butte Ranch in the backwoods of southwestern New Mexico while I'm here in suburban Santa Fe, NM.

Are You All Natural?

All Natural ?

Fairtrade, 100% Organic, All Natural, Salmon Safe, CSA Sustainable Forest Management. All of those sound great and are the sort of labels that many of us look for on the food and other products we buy. But, what do all of those labels REALLY mean? Food labeled USDA Organic is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. On the other hand, a, 'All Natural' label doesn't mean much at all.

A Midsummer's Night's Dinner

Zuchini & Tomato Sauté

Can you believe summer is half over? I know this not only from the calendar but the contents of our Beneficial Farms CSA box. Apparently, the recent heat spell signalled the end of the flood of greens (kale, collards, chard, etc.) or at least a pause until cooler weather this fall. I can't tell you how happy the sight of summer squash made me when it showed up this past week.

Conservation Parks - No Swingset Needed

Owen Conservation Park, Madison, WI - Bumble Bees

After our tour of National Parks last fall it's good to be reminded that good things come in small packages. We visited friends and relatives in Madison, Wisconsin and among all the usual vacation fun we checked out a local conservation park. Throughout Madison are 14 conservation parks, totaling over 1600 acres, dedicated to preserving native plant and animal life in the metro area. Our 8 year old guide showed us there was plenty of fun to be had, even without a swingset.


Here are a few images from the Owen Conservation Park in Madison, WI.

High Speed Rail from Texas to Colorado

Santa Fe R.R. Freight Train

Could New Mexico be on the path of a new High-Speed Rail Corridor running from Texas to Colorado? Imagine being able to take a bullet train from El Paso, TX north to Denver, CO with stops in between at Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Colorado Springs. You could catch a dedicated, high-speed passenger train instead of spending hours driving by car or trying to book a flight that doesn't connect through Phoenix, Dallas or even further away.

Roll out the Rain Barrel for Colorado

Wine Barrel to Rain Barrel

Colorado has just begun a new program to allow rainwater harvesting. Strangely enough, due to the complexities of Colorado's water laws, it had been illegal to catch and hold the rain that fell on your roof! On June 2, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed the rain water collection bill into law. While there are many restrictions as to who can harvest the rain in Colorado, it is definitely a good step towards sustainability. Congratulations Colorado, starting July 1st you will no longer have to hide your rain barrels! Next, we have to work on Utah.

More Info:

On not turning on the oven

Oh I felt so clever last night. I had radishes and pearly barley to use and, strangely enough, I found a recipe that used both. Thumbs up! But it involved turning on the oven to roasted some very pretty cubes and slices of vegetables. Thumbs down! It was hot yesterday evening and the house had not cooled off yet. But when I get an idea in my head...

Why I Garden #13

Garlic Scape bouquet

Few things stand out more than Garlic Scapes in the garden. They have a curly, serpentine look that even got the neighbors asking about them. But even better than their look is their taste. We harvested (a little late, but just barely) garlic scapes from our hard-neck garlic this weekend. They became part of a White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip. We had friends over for dinner and the four of us nearly inhaled the dip.

More Info:

Syndicate content