Spontaneous Stock with a Strong Scent

Conan-garlic_stock

By Kerri Conan

Last weekend I got one of those gee-I-wonder-what-will-happen-if flashes. I was standing at the sink, snipping the tough ends from the bottoms of just-picked garlic scapes, the lily-like flowers that sprout up from hard-neck garlic as the plants start to form bulbs underground; there should be some in farmers markets for at least the next week or two.)

Anyway, the pile of these extremely fragrant green sticks is growing, and they’re weeping a little garlicky nectar from the cut ends—sort of like tears—and now I’m thinking surely there’s a way to save my precious darlings who never hurt anyone from the compost heap. Or at least delay their demise.

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Posted in Produce

Garden Space for Gardeners without Space

Traffic_island_2Traffic_island_1Shared_garden

by Peter Rothbart 

[When I heard about the Seattle-based We Patch, I immediately asked executive director Peter Rothbart to write up a summary of its history; it’s a great idea, a super project, and one that I hope goes viral. Peter is also an editor at FOUND Magazine and a killer dodgeball player (he says). - mb] 

One afternoon in the spring of 2009, I was biking down Olive street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood when I passed a man standing at the edge of a small traffic island, staring intensely at an unkempt strip of soil. Circling to see what had captured his attention, I noticed how he was dressed: a faded t-shirt, dirt-crusted gloves, and a pair of pruning shears hanging from the back pocket of his raggedy work pants. A split second later, I took in the double-wide tire track that had carved a rut across the island, and the scene snapped into focus like an optical illusion in a M.C. Escher print. 

Such traffic islands, which are ubiquitous in Seattle, are often staked out by local gardeners who have nowhere else to plant. The city encourages the practice, offering maintenance tips and a list of recommended plant varieties on its website. Continue reading

Posted in Farming

Introducing the Food Corps

Melons

By Paula Crossfield

[Paula Crossfield is a founding editor of Civil Eats, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, a contributing producer at WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, and an avid cook and urban gardener. (I’ve seen her rooftop garden, and it’s amazing.) Follow her on Twitter.]

With one in three children (and one in two children of color) overweight or obese in this country, the health of America’s kids is under the microscope and, for the first time in our history, children born now will not live as long as their parents. Michelle Obama has launched her Let’s Move campaign and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution brought the school cafeteria to television. But as Oliver’s program showed, one of the biggest barriers to changing kids’ eating is a lack of  labor and expertise.

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Posted in Farming