Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twoo nub, part deux

Great news. Of course, nothing is decided permanently, and I fear what will happen when this gets to the Supremes, but it's good news nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Garden anxiety

This time last year we were eating cukes, zukes, patty pans and possibly even beans out of our garden. This year, plants are still tiny, half my seeds didn't germinate, and I only just now noticed we have fruit on our tomato plants (nothing ripe yet, of course).

I find I've been experiencing actual anxiety over our garden this year. We had a long, cold wet spring (it rained on the 4th of July, something almost unheard of here), and so far summer seems to be progressing in fits and starts, weather-wise. Everything is late, and some things haven't come up at all, despite repeated sowings (I don't think we'll have any onions this year, which bums me out).

We planted a lot: potatoes of various varieties and colors, basil (not doing well yet, but I'm hopeful), carrots and greens in pots this year (they seem to do better than when I planted them in the ground, plus slug control is easier in pots), tomatoes, cukes, zukes, patty pans, delicata squashes, asparagus beans and bush beans. Oh yes, and strawberries, which we planted as a ground cover and hope will produce a bumper crop next year. So lots of food potential, but no actual food yet.

The poor growing season is definitely impacting our grocery budget, as I'm having to buy veggies and fruits that in other years we'd be eating out of the yard by now. But it's not the financial burden that occupies my thoughts. What's interesting to me is how my mindset has completely altered. I watch the weather reports now with the eye of a grower, and when I hear about hot weather coming I'm happy, even though I hate heat (dry Oregon heat notwithstanding). I track the sunlight and note where it falls in the yard each day. My hatred for the non-native hemlock on my neighbor's property grows, as it continually shades out parts of my yard that were formerly sunny. My thoughts are constantly wandering out to my garden, as I take breaks from my symphony work.

I'm just a nice Jewish girl who grew up in Los Angeles. I never gave any thought to weather or rainfall or soil temps. I mean, there is no weather to speak of in LA; it's always 72 and hazy. I was an urban kid in most senses, although I loved being outside and felt an affinity for forests and oceans from the time I could walk.

Now, although I continue to live in a city, I've become much more attuned to the vagaries of growing. My thoughts and mindset are that of a food producer, of someone whose fortunes are, albeit in a small personal way, tied to the land and the seasonal cycles. I like the change, and I love how growing food has given me a personal stake in, and attachment to, the patch of dirt in the city in the state on the planet I call home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random stuff from Folklife

Best picture:

Best name for a business (could double as an indie band): Mutual Fish. My friend A tells me it's a great fish market.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pictures and video from NW Folklife

Got back yesterday from NW Folklife. Fabulous as always. Am too tired to write much about it, but here are pics:

The Bobs, whom I first discovered as a college student, lo, these many (many) years ago in Santa Cruz. Musically interesting and lyrically silly a capella vocal group.

A closeup of Amy "Bob" Engelhardt's skirt. Thought it was cool.

Two points if you can identify this instrument.

Seattle Chinese Orchestra, the only traditional Chinese orchestra in the Pacific Northwest.

Classical Indian dance. This was one of my favorite things at Folklife this year; it just transported me. The video doesn't really convey the experience, of course. If you've seen this kind of dance before, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, get yourself to a classical (not Bollywood) Indian dance performance ASAP. It's amazing.

We saw Tango Argentino (caught their show last year) and once again I got to lust after the fabulous shoes the women wear. I have flat feet and use custom-made orthotics, so I'll never be able to wear this kind of shoe, which is possibly why I think they're so sexy. If you're interested, do a google search for tango shoes and you'll see what I mean, but you can't appreciate their full effect unless you see the women actually dancing in them. Yowza. Here's a video (this isn't the group I saw, but you'll get the idea):

There are about a gazillion tango videos on YouTube, if you wanna see more. It's pretty hypnotic stuff.

We got to see friends we (regretfully) only see once a year, and managed not to melt (it rained most of the weekend). I satisfied my yearly urge to contradance, and my sweetie got to play drums with Yeshivas Goldensteyn, otherwise known as the University of Washington Klezmer Ensemble. Here's a link to sweetie's blog entry if you wanna know more, complete with pics.

Gotta go collapse. Am SOOO tired, but also basking in the post-Folklife euphoric glow...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Michael's done it again

Michael Pollan's assessment of the current state of the food movement, through five book reviews, in the June 10 New York Review of Books. As always, he manages to gather all the strands of this complex and often conflicted socio-political movement and present them with eloquence. Really worth reading.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Shameless self-promotion for a good cause

So if you want to know about the Hazon Food Conference I attended last week in more detail, there are a number of posts on The Jew and the Carrot, which you can check out here. I wanted to mention specifically one article in the JTA online service, which quotes yours truly about food justice at the conference.

I plan to blog about my personal experiences at the food conference later this week, so stay tuned.