May 20, 2013
(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)
First off, thanks to the fifty-or-so cyclists that turned out for the Urban Farmers Ride yesterday. It was a great ride with great spring weather. Thanks Everybody Bike for asking Sustainable Bellingham to participate! Here are some pictures of the ride.
This week’s Roving Garden Party is in a wonderful garden on Chuckanut Bay. It is a short ride from town but worht the effort. If you bike to this RGP, you can probably catch a ride back into Bellingham. The host has done some wonderful things in this magical setting. There may be some music and a fire afterwards.
Tuesday’s Roving Garden Party – 3515 18th St., Chuckanut Village
** Where: 3515 18th St. (map)
** When: Tuesday, May 21st, 6:00-9:00pm
** What to Bring: Some fine weeding skills will be needed, along with edging tools and hand weeding tools
** Tasks: There is a scythe that someone might like to work with, and if someone creative wishes to help build a chicken “tunnel” for herding chickens into a “summer playpen” this would be a fun project that needs some detailing out. Also, if there is interest in dressing the Ferro Cement walls with tile, we could work on getting materials for that, especially if weeding is under some control.
** Food: A vegetarian meal, likely a soup and salad and bread. Bring your own special beverages, and basics will be provided.
** Host: Alison Kutz, email alison [at] soundhorticulture [dot] com or call 739-9095 for questions or more detailed directions. Sound Horticulture is a small local business that provides beneficial insects and natural products like compost tea brewers and organic materials to market growers, greenhouse growers and specialty crop producers. Her gardens reflect her interests in sustainable living.
** Other Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A carpool will depart from the Public Market around 5:30pm. Look for the white pickup truck.
And I will be traveling by bike (and ferry) to Vancouver Island this weekend, so the next newsletter might be a bit delayed. I wanted to let you know where next week’s RGP will be: 755 Top Place, Gelnhaven. This is a twenty-five minute drive from Bellingham, but if you know the host, Peter James, you’ll view the “party” part of the Roving Garden Party in an entirely new light.
Also, save this date:
Saturday, June 15th, 9am-3pm, Growing Veterans Farm Work Party
Growing Veterans Farm, King Tut and the Guide Meridian
Come help out on the farm for an afternoon. Bring yourself, a friend or two, and some tools. Music and food included. Rain or shine. This will be in conjunction with Sustainable Bellingham, Veterans for Peace, Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, and others. If you cannot make it the whole day, please consider stopping by for a few hours to lend a hand. Contact email@example.com with questions.
And some other events this week…
Backcountry Gourmet Camp Cooking with Wild Edible Foods
Tuesday, May 22nd, 6-8:30pm, WWU, Room AW-210 (map)
Join Kim & Chris Chisholm of the Wolf College along with Wilderness Chef Charlie Borrowman who will discuss pertinent topics such as gear, stoves and fires, MRE’s, ingredients, spices best quick meals, preparing a gourmet backcountry dish, wild edible foods introduction, the top ten wild edible foods for our area, and preparing a wild edible dish. Sounds like a tasty alternative to my standard Clif Bars, Snickers and fruit.
8th Annual Northwest Robotics Festival
Saturday, May 25th, 9am-2:30pm, Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, 1312 Bay Street, B’ham
The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention is hosting the 8th Annual Northwest Robotics Festival along with BAIRS – the Bellingham Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Society and WWU’s College of Sciences & Technology. Kids will build robots with the help of BAIRS members, enter a Robot Sumo or Fast Track Racing competition, and watch demonstrations from various robotics clubs and organizations.
Click here to add events to our calendar.
And other useful tidbits and such…
Bellingham Bicycle Master Planning
Community input is still being sought for bicycling in Bellingham. More specifically, input from people who seldom or never bike, but might like to. Our on-line survey and interactive map are open until May 27 for input. Please participate in to help in devising the master plan for cycling in Bellingham. The Bicycle Master Planning web page provides additional information about the process and updates.
Kids These Days Just Don’t Care About Cars
The latest report on declining driving trends — released recently by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund — argues that a rejection of car culture is here to stay. “The Driving Boom is over,” it declares. In fact, the report calculates that “If the Millennial-led decline in per-capita driving continues for another dozen years … total vehicle travel in the United States could remain well below its 2007 peak through at least 2040 — despite a 21 percent increase in population.”
Will 2013 Continue The 7-Year Downward Trend In American Driving?
And if you like charts, and more detailed statistics, read on. It is heartening to see more and more bikes on the road. Keep it up. Cities like Bellingham, Seattle and Portland could be the bellwether for this trend in our car-ravaged nation. If driving is down, why do we keep building more roads?
Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated
Research has shown that you don’t even have to touch a tree to get better, you just need to be within its vicinity has a beneficial effect. And to
Why Does Organic Matter Matter?
Adding organic matter to soil may be the key to unlocking your garden’s full potential.
Permaculture Living/Learning Opportunity At Inspiration Farm
This is a permaculture design project for this property so that it integrates with existing expanding system at the farm. Get in on the design and implementation process on an established permaculture farm. This is an 11-acre homestead farm, using Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture farming practices. Community minded folks and people interested in homestead farming are especially encouraged to apply!
The property for rent is a 1200ft², 2 bedroom, 1 bath spacious energy efficient home. newly remodeled. Mid-county location. Bright and sunny, with good southern exposure. Nice pastoral views. Bamboo floating floor with radiant heat, gas on demand hot water heater, gas stove in the kitchen. The house is super insulated, which makes the utility bills low. Vaulted ceiling in the kitchen with a skylight. There is a laundry room/pantry area, and a small mudroom. There is a large shop that is shared. This is on an acre lot. Nice yard with fruit trees. Lots of room for a garden. Available June 1. On Laurel Rd. between Guide Meridian and Hannegan Rd. Yard care is required. Non-Smokers only please. No dogs. Contact 398-7061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
J Pod Back in the Puget Sound
Captain James Maya reported yesterday that J Pod, a 26-member killer whale family, is back in the region. He wrote, “finally, J Pod returned this morning after a long absence of over 70 days, and all of them are there!”
Lemonbalm, like it’s cousin mint, grows rapidly in these (and most) climes. Fortunately, it has many beneficial health attributes, including curing stomach ailments, anti-anxiety & calming effects, and its antiviral characteristics. It is also high in antioxidants. The time is nigh to trim it back and dry some for tea. I usually cut it back to a few inches above the ground and dry it in a dark, low-humidity closet, either using a rack, or hanging it.
To prepare the tea, simply take one bag and steep it in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to achieve the best flavor. It is generally healthier and more common to sweeten it with honey; a small amount of milk can also be added for taste if preferred. You can drink 5-6 cups a day, as felt necessary or desired.
May 13, 2013
(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)
Tuesday Roving Garden Party – Paradise Way, Ferndale
We have seven more Roving Garden Parties remaining for this spring. A deep appreciation goes out to all those that have helped to make these successful. This week’s will be in Ferndale, and we will be returning closer to Bellingham in the upcoming RGPs, which run through the end of June.
When: Tuesday May 14th 6-9pm. (work for 90 min; enjoy a meal together for 90 min)
Where: 1260 Paradise Way, Ferndale. Take I-5 to Ex. 262 Ferndale. L. on Main St. Take the 1st Left onto Barrett Rd. Take 1st R. onto Paradise Rd. Turn R. onto Paradise Way (second house on the right).
What to Bring: Wheel barrows, pitch forks, shovels and any small weeding tools.
Tasks: Weeding, moving mulch and maybe gravel.
Food: We will make a vegetarian Lazania and a meat Lazania. There will be a large green salad. We will also have something for vegans and gluten free peeps. No alcohol or special beverages available unless you bring it. There will likely be some small desert.
A carpool will depart from the Public Market around 5:30pm. Look for the white pickup truck. Next week’s RGP will be held down in Chuckanut Village near 18th Street.
And Bike to Work and School Day This Friday!
Join us for our 16th annual Bike to Work and School Day and celebrate the most energy-efficient form of transportation ever devised. You’ll also enjoy the fresh air and physical activity, help the environment, save money, and have FUN–all on your way to work, school or wherever you’re headed! The weather is predicted to me sixties and partly cloudy. Stop at one of the many celebrations stations on your way to work or school. We’ll be over at Sunnyland Elementary on James Street, so stop by for a treat or just to to say Hi. This is the day to leave the car at home.
Followed by the Spring Bike Tour of Urban Gardens on Sunday!
Urban Farmers: Curious about raising farm animals in the City? Visit chicken coops, bee keepers, and friendly goats on a bike tour of household farms in Bellingham neighborhoods. Taste samples of local cheeses and goat milk lattes from Wailing Goat Espresso. In partnership with Everybody Bike and Sustainable Bellingham. Ride meets at 1pm at Elizabeth Park Gazebo. May 19th at 1:00pm.
And some other events this week…
Traditional Food Plants of Cascadia
Wednesday, May 15th, 7pm, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, 2309 Meridian St, B’ham
Learn from Heidi Bohan about the once common important food plants that were part of the daily menu that predated the introduction of potatoes and processed foods along with harvest and preparation techniques using plants which played an important role in this traditional food system.
Cascade Cuts Plant Sale
Saturday, May18th, 9am-4pm, Cascade Cuts, 632 Montgomery, Bellingham
Each year Cascade Cuts opens up their wholesale nursery to the public as a fundraiser for the Sustainable Connections Food & Farming Program. Tons of huge hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, herbs, organic veggie starts and even some oddities are on hand to greet you as you wander through over a dozen covered greenhouses, outdoor growing spaces and many nooks and crannies throughout the nursery.
Introductory Plant Walks: Backyard Habitat Fair Padden Lagoon Walk
Saturday, May18th, 1-3pm, Meet at Fairhaven Village Green, Bellingham
Join WNPS at the Backyard Habitat Fair. We will walk from the fair area down the City Greenways trails around Padden Creek to see a variety of fun native plants. Make sure to stop at the fair before the walk to purchase some native plants.
Sprout Walk – A Family Plant Walk at Tennant Lake (Hovander Park)
Sunday, May19th, 1-3pm, Tennant Lake Interpretive Center (Fragrance Garden), Hovander Park
This walk is designed for children 4-6 yrs old with adult guardians. Plants are hard at work for you every day! Explore plants together and discover shapes, textures, and colors.
And other useful tidbits and such…
This Is What Seattle’s Bike To School Revolution Looks Like
Hundreds of Bryant Elementary students filled the streets Wednesday for what had to be the biggest bike to school ride in Seattle history.
Center for Local Self-Reliance Nearing Renovations of Historic Caretakers House & Gardens
The Center for Local Self-Reliance (CLSR) is a Fairhaven-based non-profit organization whose mission is to renovate and revitalize the historic Caretakers House & Gardens at Fairhaven Park and offer the space for community members to practice and teach gardening and food preservation skills. This renovation has been a huge undertaking. Great job CLSR!
Six Insect Repellent Plants to Grow
This includes plants that repel biting insects such as: mosquitoes, gnats, ticks & fleas; and plants that protect other plants from aphids & mites etc.
How Dogs Keep Kids Fit and Trim
A new study shows that buying a dog may keep your family in better shape. And speaking of dogs…
Foster Homes Needed – Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County
This is a great local organization with no office or paid staff. It is no-kill and all of the dogs relinquished to the AHS are kept in foster homes. E-mails go out periodically when dogs are available and you choose the dog(s) that you would like to foster until they find a forever home, usually for a few weeks or months. The AHS pays for the food and other bills, so there is no expense to the foster home. It is great for people whose lives do not allow for a permamnent dog in the family, but still love dogs. (My current foster dog is going on a home visit tonight!) Contact email@example.com for more information.
Recipe: Chard Gratin
This dish takes a little while to prepare, but it’s worth it. Using the stems and the leaves lets you really enjoy the complete flavor of the chard.
* about 2 bunches of chard
* 1 onion
* 1 garlic clove
* about 2 tbls. fresh dill
* 1 cup breadcrumbs
* 1 tbls. flour
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 cup semi-hard goat cheese (or mild white cheese of your choosing)
* salt, pepper
1.Wash leaves and stems.
2.Trim. With a sharp knife, cut the leaves off the stem, on either side of the rib. Sort the stems and leaves. Roughly chop the leaves. Cut the stems into about 1-inch pieces.
3.Finely chop an onion. Add to stems.
4.Finely mince the garlic and the dill. Set aside.
5.Heat 2 tbls. butter in a medium pan over medium-low. Cook onion and chard stems for about 20 minutes.
6.Add chard leaves, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tbls. water. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes. Set this mixture aside in a bowl.
7.Using the same pan, melt another 2 tbls. of butter. Add breadcrumbs, garlic cloves, and dill. Stir until the breadcrumbs are brown, about 1 minute. Set aside.
8.Melt 1 tbls. butter. Whisk in flour. Whisk in milk. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and a little white pepper. Simmer this sauce on low for five minutes.
9.Fold the sauce into the chard mixture, along with cheese. Pour into a buttered 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping.
10.Bake at 400F for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
* To store chard until you are ready to use it: Keep bunched and placed in a glass of water. Place a plastic bag loosely over the top. Refrigerate.
* To make homemade breadcrumbs: Dry out old bread in the oven and using a blend or food processor, whiz until fine. I store mine in a container in the freezer, with a paper towel in the top to absorb moisture.
(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)
We have the busyness of an early summer upon us. (Let’s hope I don’t regret this statement in June-uary.) But no matter how hectic life can be, the balance of work and play, solitary time and companionship is critical. Bellingham has so much to offer. So get your work done in the home and garden, and experience the water, woods or town that we have at our doorstep. I personally find my life is much more productive and fulfilling when I carve out time for pleasure.
And speaking of activities around town, if you have something community oriented that you would like to have included in our newsletter, please add it to our calendar here.
But getting back into the swing of the Roving Garden Parties…
Tomorrow’s Roving Garden Party, May 7th,, Marietta-Alderwood, 6pm, carpool departs Public Market at 5:30pm
** Where: 3960 Hoff Road. (MAP)
** Directions: North on Holly/Eldridge, this will curve around the north side of B’ham Bay, head in a westerly direction and turn into Marine Drive. You will pass the turn off for the Airport at Alderwood on your right. Continue forward westbound on Marine Drive 1.7 miles from that intersection. Turn right onto Hoff Road. Turn into the 1st driveway on the right. (single wide mobile & large pole barn).
** When: Tuesday, May 7th, 6-9pm.
** Requested Items to Bring: Gloves, pruning shears, shovels, rakes. Your bowls/plates/silverware/mugs/happy songs & stories to share
** Tasks: Weed/mulch small garden. I may have raised beds ready to assemble there, Weed long trellis bed, plant w/peas/beans & hardy kiwis, help move small shed to new location (on roller logs…fun, fun, fun!), Weed strawberry bed, prune (shear) lavender, flip lumber stack (drying, “stickered” cedar material that needs to be flipped – future garden project lumber!), plant 2 gooseberries & 1 black currant.
** Food: Hearty vegetable soup, matpe beans w/garam marsala, green salad, canned plums, king apple cider & tea. Please bring your own dishware, silverware, mugs and happy songs & stories to share.
** Host: Sandie, cameronfrancis@comcast. net. This land provides much abundance and has potential for providing even more in a balanced sustainable way – a work in progress!
** Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also carpool from the Public Market, leaving around 5:30pm!
Next week’s RGP will be held in Chuckanut Village on 18th Street. I hope to have the web site updated with current information on these RGPs.
And Bike to Work and School Day is Friday, May 17th. The following Sunday, May 19th is the Spring Garden Tour of Bellingham Urban Gardens (with Everybody Bike). And come by this weekend at the Farmers’ Market to experience Belle on Wheels, a fun event with vendors, performers and fun times. Sustainable Bellingham will be there offering free bicycle maintenance. See below for more information.
Other events this week…
Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter, Foraging the Urban Wilderness
Tuesday May 7th, 7pm, Village Books,. 1200 11th St, Fairhaven
In Dandelion Hunter, forager-journalist Rebecca Lerner sets out on to find her inner hunter-gatherer in the city of Portland, Oregon. The result is engaging, uplifting, and often humorous. After a disheartening week trying to live off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home, she learns the ways of the first people who lived there and, along with a quirky cast of characters, discovers an array of useful wild plants hiding in plain sight. As she harvests them for food, medicine, and just-in-case apocalypse insurance, Lerner delves into anthropology, urban ecology and sustainability, and finds herself looking at nature in a very different way.
Introductory Plant Walks: Hidden Forest Foray – Sehome Arboretum
Wednesday May 8th, 6pm, Meet at Arboretum Drive (off Bill McDonald Pkwy)
Explore the plants of the Sehome Hill Arboretum, a “secret” natural area in the heart of Bellingham with guidebook author and Arboretum board member Mark Turner. Sehome Hill was logged in the early 20th century and is now developing a mature second-growth forest. We’ll look at trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and a vine or two. Learn what’s native and what’s not.
Belle on Wheels
Saturday May 11th, 10:30am-2pm, Bellingham Farmers Market, 1000 Railroad Ave, Bellingham
Fabulous fashion and Chic cycles at the Bellingham Farmers’ Market! Featuring gorgeous spring outfits, handbags and accessories modeled on matching chic bicycles – you could win a beautiful handbag, basket, or accessories!
Experience a mini-fashion show, coordinate a great look with an elegant ride. Try out one of the cruisers and see how comfortable a bike can be. Lots of fun performances and vendore of cycling attire and other fashions.
Diversity in the Garden- Tour of an Urban Homestead
Saturday May 11th, 5pm, 2812 Iron Street, Bellingham
Be Inspired! Learn how bulbs, self-sowing annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees can be artfully combined for a low-maintenance, permaculture alternative to a lawn. Second in a monthly series of talks hosted by wonder-flora, $5. Suggested donation, selected plants for sale.
And other useful tidbits and such…
15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. (Thanks Jamie J. I gleaned this from your Facebook post.)
Sustainable Happiness? 6 Ways to Get There
Now that you’ve given up things in pursuit of happiness, here are some ways to achieve sustainable happiness. Discover natural highs, map your interdependence, and other ways to discover joy within your reach.
Lilac Arrangements That Last
If you are like me, right now you have an overabundance of lilacs in your garden. Their smells, along with myriad other fragrant flowering (and non-flowering) plants, make spring in Bellingham my favorite time of the year. How much more Parisian can you get than biking to a friend’s with a fresh boquet of lilacs in your satchel.
Wild Greens Risotto
Some friends have said that the nettle season in on the wane;others have told me that the fresh shoots are still able to be picked as long as they haven’t flowered. Regardless, here’s another recipe.
This dish is designed with nettles, but it also works well with any wild green. Blanched, nettles and dandelions will keep their emerald loveliness even after a good 15 minutes of cooking, which makes this risotto visually stunning. If you have leftovers, you can add the risotto to a beaten egg, form into patties or balls, roll in breadcrumbs, and fry in olive oil. It is delicious.
• 1 cup cooked, drained nettles or other wild greens (see note)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
• 1 large shallot, minced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup carnaroli, Arborio, or vialone nano risotto rice
• 2 to 4 cups beef stock,* divided
• 2 to 3 tablespoons grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt.
2. Grab the nettles with tongs and put them into the boiling water. Stir the greens and let boil for about 1 to 2 minutes for dwarf nettles, 4 to 5 minutes for regular nettles. (Dandelion or chicory greens need about 3 to 5 minutes to get tender yet still bright green. Amaranth, orach, and lamb’s-quarter can handle a full 5 minutes.)
3. Remove the greens with a skimmer or tongs and immediately dump them into a big bowl of ice water. Once the greens are cool, drain them in a colander.
4. Roll up the greens in a cloth or tea towel. Twist one end of the cloth one way, then the other end of the cloth the other (like a candy wrapper) and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
5. Chop the greens finely (don’t use a food processor, or you will get mush). The finer you chop, the smoother your risotto will be. Remove any stray stems.
6. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucier or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Wait until the butter stops frothing and add the shallot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
7. Add the garlic and the rice and stir to combine. Stirring constantly, cook everything for a minute or so or until all the rice is well coated with butter.
8. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of the beef stock into the rice and increase heat to high. When the rice starts boiling strongly, turn down the heat to medium and stir often, at least every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat with a second cup of stock.
9. When the second cup is absorbed, add the greens and the third cup of stock. If using store-bought broth, switch to water for this third cup—otherwise your risotto could become too salty. Stir well to combine. Keep stirring constantly to develop the creaminess in the risotto and to distribute the greens evenly. Let the stock absorb well.
10. Add additional salt, if desired. The risotto may need another full cup of stock or water, as you want the dish to be loose, not firm (and you will need at least a little more stock to loosen the risotto for the cheese).
11. Add the final tablespoon of butter as well as the cheese. Stir everything well and let the butter and cheese melt in the risotto for about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as a main course or 4 as an appetizer
Note: Depending on the variety of greens, you will need four or five big tongfuls to get your cup of cooked greens. One tip: Regular nettles (Urtica dioica) are more substantial than their daintier cousins, the dwarf nettle (U. urens) and retain more of their volume when cooked. Also, I say tongfuls because you do not want to pick up fresh nettles, as they will sting you. Thus the name. If you are using another wild green, you can just pick them up by hand.
April 29, 2013
(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)
We have a light week coming up. We are taking a week off from the Roving Garden Party, but will resume next Tuesday through the remainder of June. The weather is supposed to be wonderful over the next few days, so it’s a perfect time to finish getting spring starts in the ground and keeping the morning glory at bay.
Also, May will be the month for Bike to Work and School Day (Friday, May 17th) as well as the Spring Garden Tour of Bellingham urban gardens (with Everybody Bike, Sunday, May 19th) and events throughout the month at the Farmers’ Market. Stay tuned for more information. And ride your bike!
But on another note, there’s a movement by the Parks Department to hand off the community gardens to private volunteer organizations. Whatever your thoughts are on this, there will be three meetings held in the next few weeks regarding the ‘privatization’ of the community gardens, which is estimated to save the city $10,000 per year. If I can throw my two cents in, it’s unfortunate that the city is stepping away from a successful community garden program that is only increasing in popularity to save modest amount of money. Tomorrow’s meeting is at 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Park Pavilion to discuss the garden at 10th Street and Wilson Avenue – a year-round organic garden with thirty-four plots. Here’s the Bellingham Herald link, and another from the Cascadia Weekly.
And other useful tidbits and such…
Community Gardens May Produce More than Vegetables
People who participate in community gardening have a significantly lower body mass index—as well as lower odds of being overweight or obese—than do their non-gardening neighbors. Researchers at the University of Utah reported these and other findings in the American Journal of Public Health published online today.
Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?
I’ve often wondered what all the labels meant on coffee and hpw effective these programs are. This article gives you a pretty good idea. Considering that coffee is the world’s second largest commodity, let’s hope for increasing positive impacts globally from they way we buy and drink coffee.
It’s time to outsmart the weeds, especially during the time of year when the most healthy plants in your garden might be Creeping Buttercup or Hedge Bindweed.
And speaking of weeds, here’s an interesting site on the noxious and non-noxious weeds of Washington.
Locally Owned Businesses Can Help Communities Thrive — And Survive Climate Change
Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies. I think we are all well aware of this, and it’s heartening to see it catching on around the nation.
Stinging Nettle Infusion
A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy. This is high season for harvesting stingng nettles (Urtica dioica). I have my secret stash in Bellingham and I hope you’ve found yours. Thanks Brian K for our conversation that prompted this!
Lentil and Rhubarb Curry With Potatoes and Peas
It’s nice to make a rhubarb dish that doesn’t require tons of sweeteners. Here’s one that’s pretty simple with a nice array of spices. Serves 4-6
* 1 tablespoon ground coriander
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon ground fennel
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
* sea salt or kosher salt 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
* 2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
* 2 cups diced potatoes (1/2 inch)
* 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
* 1 cup French lentils, soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
* 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 cup thawed frozen peas
1. For the Spice Blend: In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
2. For the Lentils: In a heavy 3 to 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, ginger, and a large pinch of salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 8-10 minutes. Uncover, stir in the garlic and the spice blend, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3. Add the cabbage, potatoes, rhubarb, lentils, brown sugar, and bay leaf, along with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary to keep the dish fairly soupy.
4. When lentils are tender, season with salt to taste, stir in the peas, and simmer until the peas are just tender, about 4 minutes.