Health & Activity

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.

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!

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!

Hunting the Fifth Kingdom

Wild Mushrooms

Are you a fungophobe or a fungophile? I love mushrooms, well the edible ones anyway. Mushrooms are great on pizza, in a pasta sauce, grilled, stuffed, in a soup or nearly any dish. Have you ever wanted to taste something beyond the ordinary button / Portobello mushrooms that most grocery stores carry? Some grocers carry more expensive varieties like oyster, shitake and enoki. A great way to find more interesting species of mushroom is to hunt them in the wild.

Breeding Diversity Organically

IFOAM Conference logo

What: 1st International IFOAM Conference on Organic Animal and Plant Breeding
Where: Santa Fe Convention Center, Sante Fe, NM, USA
When: August 25-28, 2009

  • The Conference Opening Ceremony and Reception on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 7 pm, are open to the public at $10 per person. Keynote speakers include New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Miley Gonzalez and Indian food activist Vandana Shiva.
  • IFOAM Conference Program
  • 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

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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