Tuesday, 6 August 2013 | 51 comments
Things seem pretty good for seasonal, local food, if you take a look at my dining room table. I don’t have a ton of disposable income, but I chose to spend a lot of it on tomatoes last week. And from the numbers, you might believe this reflects national consensus. Back in 2011, the USDA projected that local food would bring in $7 billion in sales.
A lot of you who read this site would probably consider yourself “locavores”. It’s a group with which I also identify, but uneasily. The movement is one under which people with very different priorities gather, united by a single objective: buy food grown or produced nearby.
Locavorism alternately emphasizes that local food takes fewer fossil fuels to produce and transport, supports the local economy, promotes biodiversity, preserves rurality, mitigates environmental damage, is grown more naturally and seasonally, and is generally healthier. It seems so simple, really. How can buying local agricultural products be panacea for so many of society’s ills?
The short answer is that it cannot.
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 | 34 comments
Maybe you’ve heard of Ruth Stout, who is quickly rising to the top of my Ideal Dinner Party Guest List (posthumously, sadly). She smashed saloon windows with Carrie Nation during temperance, and then went on to become a garden guru in the ’60s and ’70s. I’m reading her book called “Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent”. (If nothing else: such an appealing title!) Stout champions a way of gardening that essentially has one tenet: mulch the heck out of everything with straw, organic matter, newspaper, and forget about the rest. No weeding, and the organic matter of the mulch is supposed to occupy pests just as much as much as your plants themselves. The end. How she manages to fill up a book with this information, I’m not sure, but she does, and she’s lovable and eccentric and I enjoy every minute of it. It comes as no surprise, I suppose, that this woman was known to garden in the nude (as if I could like her more). » Click to read more
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 | 43 comments
I entertain the big questions with frequency but allow them to slide away unanswered with equal frequency, which is one of the 3,798 reasons I should probably never bear children into the world. This is a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is Dear Stephanie, I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Stephanie wrote me the kindest email weeks ago asking lots of questions, mostly answerable, except for one: How do you do it? » Click to read more
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | 31 comments
After considering taping a “dirty hippie” sign to my forehead and being done with it, I thought instead we’d talk a little about making your own kombucha, because it accomplishes the same effect. Maybe you’re a little more open-minded to me, but I had always written off kombucha as a vinegary punishment beverage to be served alongside tasteless vegan lentil loaves or plain brown rice. Worst of all, any mention of kombucha always seems to be accompanied by (at best) half-baked and possibly dangerous claims of health benefits. Here is a direct quote, for instance, that I obtained by Googling “kombucha health benefits”: “In the first half of the 20th century…Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called ‘tea kvass’ there, was the cause.” That’s some science for you, folks. You heard it here: kombucha does not immunize you from cancer. Okay, glad we got that out of the way.
» Click to read more
Monday, 15 April 2013 | 19 comments
spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window,into which people look (while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully
» Click to read more