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8 posts from June 2010


Man of the Soil

This stunning film follows Jerry, a true lion of a man who I was most fortunate to live with and learn from while living in Dominica for several months.  The pace of life in the Zion (as he and others refer to the rainforest which rises above the coastline, ripe with forest agriculture), the lilt of Kweyol (the French Creole of the island) and the rhythms of sustaining oneself from the land come through like a fresh breeze.

Watch the movie.

"Man of the Soil" is directed by Pierre Deschamps with assistance from Jym Renault.

The ital stew Jerry is making in the film is a good representation of the favored culinary style of many rural Rastas in the West Indies.  Fresh coconut is grated, soaked and wrung out to yield the delicious, creamy-textured 'milk' that lends the stew its signature flavor.  Nearly any vegetable can be added--roots are especially popular.  As you might say in Kweyol, "U ka twuve wacine la," or "You'll find roots there."

Here's another site to watch "Man of the Soil"


Behold: Living Food

 Skip the canned and frozen veggies, and get the nutrients you need with a taste that can't be topped.  Eating fruits and vegetables in their season locally is the best way to maximize the nutritional value of your diet choices--this doesn't have to mean going to a strictly raw foods diet.  You can even have some fun with "forcing" or sprouting tender shoots from many vegetables, even in the winter (a veggie like this beet with both edible root and leaves would yield good payoff for your effort).  Or, try sprouting right in your own kitchen--sprouted almonds or chick peas are especially fine. 


  In fact, if you've never made hummus with soaked, sprouted chickpeas, you are in for a treat.

Click here for great tips on sprouting chickpeas (garbanzo beans) from The Daily Raw Cafe.

Then, use your sprouted beauties to make this yummy recipe...

Continue reading "Behold: Living Food" »


Father's Day Scape

Yes, garlic scapes.  People will tell you that removing the scape once it takes on its characteristic lance or spear shape will direct more energy towards the garlic head growing under the surface of your garden soil. 

This is almost certainly true.  But personally, if I miss a scape or two when harvesting for the garlicky green wonders this time of year, I don't notice that much of a head size difference between the plants I scaped (or "de-scaped") and those I skipped in the excitement. 

The point is moot.  Why harvest scapes? To enjoy home-grown garlic now without jumping the gun on those still-developing heads underground!  Cut the scape where it emerges from the leaves and cook it up--chop and use as regular garlic, grill whole, you name it.  


Some folks pull the scape right out of the center of the garlic stalk (it makes a pluck sound).  I think cutting with a scissors, pruning shears or sharp knife is least likely to damage plants.  

Continue reading "Father's Day Scape" »


BikeIt! Encampment Braves the Rain

On their way from Madison, Wisconson to the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, a dedicated group of environmental enthusiasts parked their bikes (and bus, and tents) on the future Cottage Lane development surrounding my house.  


Continue reading "BikeIt! Encampment Braves the Rain" »


Strawberries in Season

Strawberries come in three varieties based on their growth habit.  June-bearing plants typically provide an abundant harvest June--good for preserving.  Ever-bearing plants offer a mid-sized June harvest, some berries through the summer, and a smaller harvest in early autumn.  Day-neutral strawberries depend on the amount of light they receive to determine fruit production.  If growing your own is still more of a dream than a plan, enjoy some of the delicious berries grown by your local farmer.  Allen St. Farmers Market is hosting their Strawberry Festival on June 30th--the perfect chance to sample some fresh berries and more.

Continue reading "Strawberries in Season" »


Sunday Night Harvest

A light supper of kale, chard and baby beets and broccoli can be quickly broiled with a few splashes of balsamic or liquid amino acids for a healthy, crunchy snack.  Steam or enjoy raw all the various late-spring treats in the garden to curb junk-food cravings at evening-time.


 See those bug-eaten holes on the greens?  Got leaves like that in your garden?  Try pickin' and cookin' 'em, leaving the healthier leaves to support the plant (now that flea beetles have receded as spring looks to summer...).  For more on natural pest control, check out the workshop Tuesday, June 22 at Let's Garden Lansing.  Stay tuned later this week for a seasonal strawberry update and more.


Hold the hormones, please

With all the hype about local-this and organic-that, it's understandable to experience some food-info overload.  Between the hard core Monsanto stooges and reactionary neo-hippies, it can be hard to find a moderate discourse on food that doesn't devolve to extreme sloganeering.  Here are a few basic things to consider when evaluating food choices.

Continue reading "Hold the hormones, please" »


Down with homicide, up with harmony

Lansing's Hunter Park hosted one of the Be a Tourist in Your Own Town sites Saturday with their World Day, featuring fantastic music and a vibe reminiscent of nineteen-sixties sit-ins as portrayed on the television shows of that decade.  One of the highlights for me was the young mom occupying her two daughters to the point of hilarity by playing fetch with a hula-hoop.


Continue reading "Down with homicide, up with harmony" »

Gabriel Biber

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