Kale-a-Rama makes me Wonder: Is Veganism the Next Big Thing?

Veganism has been creeping into my consciousness for a while now, but it was the recent vegan festival in my town that makes me wonder if it’s now mainstream.  The festival, modeled after the successful Garlic Festival  in California (now in its 35th year), and billing itself as the first-ever Kale-a-Rama, managed to draw over […]

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Posted by on May 17, 2013 at 8:38 am   This post has 28 responses.

When Food is Too Convenient for Our Own Good

Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry were in Louisville during the first week of May. They weren’t on the Derby celebrity runway that rainy day at Churchill Downs. That was left to Kid Rock, Smokey Robinson—among the few names I did know—plus dozens more B-list television, music and sports “stars”...

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Posted by on May 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm   This post has 7 responses.

Free-range birds and farmer fizz

This week begins a month (more or less) of eating—and drinking. Thanksgiving looms large, but after that there is also a continual round of work parties, holiday dinners, cookie-making parties, and excuses to drink Tom & Jerrys. The gift-buying part of Christmas might be a drag, but I like...

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 am   This post has 5 responses.

A Few Thoughts About Timing

I’m convinced that once the basics are in place in a vegetable garden–namely a lot of sun, good soil, and sufficient water–timing is the most crucial factor for success. Vegetables generally go from seed to plate in the course of a single season. This is a dramatic transformation, one...

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Posted by on November 6, 2012 at 7:59 am   This post has 5 responses.

Sisyphus as Orchardist

The Fedco Trees catalog has arrived, and once again I find myself failing to pay any attention to my children and job.  The Fedco catalog is not just informative, it’s entertaining, and so are the hundreds of different fruit trees it offers. I prefer ordering fruit trees from catalogs...

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am   This post has 12 responses.

Want to Live to 100? Two Words: Vegetable Garden

Check out this delightful New York Times Magazine piece by Dan Buettner considering why the inhabitants of a Greek Island named Ikaria are exceptionally long lived. Gardening is mentioned over and over and over.

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Posted by on October 24, 2012 at 8:32 am   This post has 5 responses.

Half-Assed, Lazy, and Extremely Successful

The one real contribution I hope to make to the literature of vegetable gardening is my total shamelessness. I’ve been growing so much food for so long that failures of any kind do not faze me, whether due to Acts of God or my own negligence. I firmly believe...

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 at 10:39 am   This post has 14 responses.

Most Likely To Be Pilfered

When my mother heads back to New Jersey after visiting me in upstate New York, she generally gets up very early. She’s 81, but still works six or seven days a week in a bakery, and if she hits the road by 5AM, can be there before 8AM. She’s...

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 at 9:22 am   This post has 9 responses.

Vegetables Should Taste Good!

The New York Times ran a piece this week about the results of federal legislation mandating healthier school lunches beginning this year. Because of puritanical restrictions on fat and salt, the healthy food has no flavor and many kids are just rejecting it. Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune...

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Posted by on October 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm   This post has 17 responses.

Low-Hanging Fruit, Part Two

Back in April I reported on the surprising blooms on a pair of semi-dwarf apple trees I’d given up for dead after a freak October snowstorm had ripped their roots out the ground, leaving the trees on their sides. I left the trees in the ground, not really expecting...

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Posted by William Alexander on October 4, 2012 at 5:42 am   This post has one response.

Adoptive Mothers on the Job

After much struggle, I have succeeded in getting some chicks into my coop. I picked up a box from the hatchery yesterday at the post office and was able to quietly, over the course of a few hours, stick 26 bantam chicks under the hot butts of two broody...

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 at 11:33 am   This post has 9 responses.

A Barren Year

I’ve had hens for 5 or 6 years now, and don’t plan on ever living without them again. They’re fluffy and pretty. Their scratch-and-peck is mesmerizing and tranquilizing. Their eggs are so delicious that I can no longer eat ordinary skunky-smelling eggs in ordinary diners. Of all the denizens...

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Posted by on September 21, 2012 at 8:12 am   This post has 11 responses.

Stanford Organic Study Ignores Variety Differences

Rant readers, please welcome Dr. John Reganold of Washington State University, who has done groundbreaking work demonstrating the value of organic agriculture, including studies that show a correlation between the quality of the soil and the quality of the food it produces. In the wake of the recent furor...

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Posted by on September 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm   This post has 21 responses.

An uproar over organic

As you know, we carry a bunch of feeds from other sites that might be of interest to you all. The ScienceDaily posts are the most frequent, and I usually can’t keep up with them. Their headline about organic food having  “little evidence of health benefits” did grab my attention however. The...

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 at 7:40 am   This post has 46 responses.

Pick Up Both Shovel and Fork!

Friend of Rant Christopher C of Outside Clyde is the rare exception that proves the rule: He grows beautiful vegetables, but feels inept cooking them. (Must send you some cookbooks, Christopher!) But most vegetable gardeners live for the kitchen. They grow the tomatoes because they want to make the homemade...

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 at 11:12 am   This post has 25 responses.

Watch: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx

TED calls Stephen Ritz  a “whirlwind of energy and ideas” and boy, IS he.  My notes on his TED talk include: “Poorest congressional district in the U.S.” “First indoor edible wall in New York City.” “Triple bottom line.” “Si, se puede moments.” “Growing organic kids.” “From 40 percent attendance...

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Posted by on August 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm   This post has 5 responses.

No Babysitting Required

I’ve been away on vacation for most of the last few weeks, and as is typically true in August, have returned to ridiculous explosions of food, weeds, and crabgrass. You’ll notice that one of the explosions, at least, is positive: food.  So many tomatoes that sauce-making is the only...

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm   This post has 20 responses.

Send Me to the Commune

Grated beet salad with red onions, carrots, and a delicious vinaigrette. Grass-fed beef steaks, perfectly grilled.  A potato salad made with homemade mayonnaise and chipotle relish. Melting, sweet homegrown tomatoes with good olive oil, sea salt and basil. Boiled Maine lobster. Broiled baby eggplant with lemon basil and a...

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 at 7:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

Another illegal front-yard garden, and this one’s gorgeous!

This time, the craziness is in Quebec.  And this time, the gardeners’ health is an issue.  According to this story, the couple has lost a combined 100 pounds since they planted the garden in March!  Expect to see a garden-to-lose-weight book coming soon, based on their experience. They already...

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm   This post has 10 responses.

A Theme of Complaint

“Every man may be observed to have …some peculiar theme of complaint on which he dwells in his moments of dejection.” Samuel Johnson I was having a delightful phone conversation with my old boss last week.  He always makes me laugh and gives the best advice of anybody.  We...

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm   This post has 11 responses.
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