Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes

Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes

Check out this link! This is an absolutely amazing talk given by Pam Warhurst, the founder of Incredible Edible, a group in England who have taken guerilla garden up many levels! I believe that this could change the world!

A Blizzard is Coming!

So, it sounds like we might be getting snow. Every time I hear about it, it’s a little more. The guy who’s fixing my ceilings today just said that it’s up to 33 inches!  I didn’t live here in 1978 when the biggest blizzard of all time hit New England. It’s the storm that every other storm is compared to, including the event that’s forecast for tomorrow and Saturday. I can’t help but think that it would be nice for my kids to have “blizzard memories” like my adult friends do of the Blizzard of ’78. We’ll see what happens!

Our preparations are well underway starting with the most important thing, what should I make to eat? I’m thinking chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a Pioneer Woman chocolate sheet cake should do it. I know that there are other flavors but we are chocolate people. I have a good stock of milk, juice, tomato sauce and pasta. There’s also some canned food and two pounds of bacon (thank you Michael). I bought bags of apples, oranges, veggies and even some blueberries the other day.  Michael and the kids have the firewood stacked up and I may do a sweep of the woods to collect extra kindling a little later, just to be sure. I think we’ll be just fine here in the Salem Garden.

I have some fantastic snow day projects lined up. Last night we picked up the new white roman shades that I ordered for the office. I think that installing them while the wind whips at the windows will be fun! I also have a collection of matching boxes just waiting for all of my paperwork to be organized into. Hopefully we’ll spend some family time relaxing and playing a board game. I may brave the trip to Target to find something new and fun to play. My plan is that just as the troops get restless, I’ll whip it out and wow them, then peace and happiness will prevail until we can get outside to shovel.

I’m off to fill water containers!  I’ll keep you posted as the snow falls.

Stay warm today!

Love, Michele

A Few Thoughts About Garden-Based Learning

This morning over coffee I read this link   to a story about garden-based learning on Jamie Oliver’s website. It describes a school program in Morgantown, West Virginia and the work that’s being done to teach children experientially, using the garden. It sounds quite similar to the garden that I talked about here when I blogged about the Nathaniel Bowditch School in Salem last summer. Gardens are popping up in schools all over the country as we come to realize that our children need to learn, in a very hands on way, about where their food comes from, or perhaps I should say “where it should come from”.  Many American children are growing up with the idea that food comes from a box at the grocery store. I recently sent some zucchini home with one of my kid’s friends and heard later that they had no idea what it was. It really made me think about what I could do to share home grown food with people. I’ve always liked to give vegetables and eggs away.  Now I’m trying to give them to those who might not experience them often rather than to those whom I know will appreciate them. Even if someone looks at the zucchini on the counter for a few days wondering about how to cook it, then tosses it, at least there’s some thought about where it grew. Sorry, I’m digressing a bit, the point is, kids (and adults) really benefit from the hands on experience of planting, growing, harvesting and eating. Most kids don’t experience this at home for so many reasons so it needs to happen in school. Their health and the health of our planet depends on it.  Check out the link if you have a few minutes, think about giving some veggies away freely, and consider supporting your local school’s garden.

Thank you for indulging me for a few minutes while I stood on my soapbox! Sometimes I just can’t help it 😉

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

Beans, Beans, Beans

A week or so ago as I was cleaning up I encountered my usual fall “crop” of dried bean pods.  Every year some are just left out there and I always consider them to be one of my gifts of procrastination. They can be hulled and brought in. It’s kind of a fun activity and the kids enjoy it too!

Here we have Kentucky pole beans just as their ready to eat!And here we have the dried out, worn out looking remnants of the season.  I think that most of us find these! It can’t just be me!  I take them out and let them dry for another week or so in the air.Same story with my scarlet runner beans. I grow them as an ornamental, but I’ve read that  they are eaten in Central America, so they can be considered edible. They are lovely growing on a fence, trellis or even a telephone pole and hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to them. These are truly finished for the season!
Coming out of the shell…And full of color! The kids love to play with these. The last few years I’ve had much more than I’d ever need for the following year. They make pretty decorations in a cup or bowl during the winter.

After their dry (about a week or so) I place them in a labeled envelope and store them in a cool dry place until next spring. One important note is that you need to stick with heirloom varieties. Hybrid beans won’t produce when planted.  Don’t try this with beans harvested from a big box store plant. You’ll likely be wasting time.

Whew, okay, maybe I’m back!  Not a bad post for someone who’s struggling with blogger’s block!

Enjoy Everything!

Michele