Monday, May 31, 2010

fairy cactus?

the cactii around here are blooming like crazy. maybe it's because we got a lot of rain and snow this winter?

good year for pine nuts?

we're not sure if all the buds on the pinons mean it's going to be a good year for nuts. julian recalls a steady rain of pine nuts onto the tin roof 4 or 5 years ago, but we haven't seen any since. pinon nuts, while extremely delicious, have extremely hard shells which are incredibly difficult to crack.

pizza oven: work in progress

made of local clay and stone. after the coals burn down, we insert a shelf, on top of which we place the pizza stone. works GREAT, even without a door. we ate all the pizza (made with heavenly stewed tomatoes from our friend sandra's garden - last year's crop - and zucchini, onion, and garlic precooked in the sun oven) before we could get pix - promise to be more diligent next time.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

makers: DIY agents of social change

i've got another article published at truthout: makers: DIY agents of social change. it's inspired by joseph beuys' concept of social sculpture, and emphasizes the potential of acts of personal creativity to transform the world.

Friday, May 28, 2010

seeds for haiti

inspired by this article at truthout describing haitian farmers resolution to burn tainted seeds being donated to them by monsanto, i've managed to track down an organization in florida that is willing to accept donations of non-hybrid, heat tolerant, preferably organic seeds that they will deliver directly to haitian farmers and families in need. seeds can be home-grown, but will need to be labeled with seed type, approximate retail value, and estimated expiration date. commercially purchased seeds must not be past their expiration date.

please send seeds (tomatos, okra, squash, peppers - preferably summer crops that are likely to grow in haiti) directly to:

Friends of Paradis des Indiens, Inc.
PO Box 292234
Davie, FL 33329
attn: Chantal Bazelais

i've posted a page on facebook to publicize this seed drive. please feel free to forward this link or this message widely, and if you happen to have any contacts at garden stores or seed suppliers who might be interested, all the better.

thanks for any help you may be willing to provide!!

thanks so much,

Monday, May 24, 2010

spaceship earth: navigators wanted

today my latest article, spaceship earth: navigators wanted, was published in truthout. in it i outline why the climate debate needs to shift away from the ongoing argument over whether humans are causing climate change, and focus instead on the undeniable fact that POLLUTION is harmful to us all. there's no time left for bickering.

Friday, May 14, 2010

rice & beans cooked with the sun

A few years ago we became interested in trying to cook with the sun. Initially we'd planned to build something ourselves out of salvaged materials, but then some good friends gave us a Global Sun Oven as a gift. Since then we have used it practically every sunny, not too windy day, sometimes making three different dishes before the sun goes down. We cook rice, beans, bread, veggies, and cakes with this simple but very effective technology.

In the summer we now use 2/3 less cooking energy and the kitchen stays much cooler. We also use it extensively in the winter on sunny days. Although the cost of an "official" Global Sun Oven is way beyond our normal means, we must admit that it's a practical, efficient design. We also believe that a more economical and just as effective solar oven could be made with minimal material and know-how - search on "solar cooker plans" for lots of ideas!

For more recipes, please visit Alyce's Solar Kitchen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the french way to eat a radish

we harvested the first of our radishes yesterday (note to self: plant even earlier next year, and stagger planting so they're not all ready at once!).

to me, there's no better way to eat radish than to simply wash it and munch on it whole. leave it to the french to improve on this technique by adding...what else? butter and salt. what's not better with butter and salt?? as far as the french are concerned, rien du tout. this technique requires a bit of finesse, however, which i learned from the natives.


1. make a groove your whole radish with a beautiful knife.
2. pick up a pat of fresh butter (in our case, vegan butter - earth balance) on said knife.
3. slowly draw the blade through the groove, filling it with butter.
4. dip in freshly-ground sea salt.
5. bon app├ętit!