April 2, 2012
April 2, 2012 – Noteworthy Items and Upcoming Events
(Compiled by Shannon Maris/ Garden E-News, Arthur Tenebrae, and Jeff Westcott)
Join Sustainable Bellingham’s Tuesday Roving Garden Party series, where volunteers help their neighbors create an edible garden. These fun events consist of approximately 90 minutes of gardening, followed by a shared meal. This week, come spend a few hours and help Mary get her second garden in. We’ll plant and dig and have some fun until the sun goes down! Everyone is welcome! To get on the mailing list to hear about future SB Roving Garden Parties and other local events, please email email@example.com.
** Where: 1471 Grant Street, York Neighborhood. Map: http://g.co/maps/sqzf3
** When: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012, 6:00-7:30pm work, 7:30 shared meal
** Requested Items to Bring: shovels, work gloves, pitchforks
** Tasks: Planting blueberry bushes & celery plants, tilling/turning soil in veggie beds
** Food: Chili (vegetarian) and garlic bread BYOB or wine!
** Host: Mary, 323.405.2477/360.756.6643, maryloq (at) q (dot) com
** Questions: email Jean at artiseverywhere [at] yahoo [dot] com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in hosting a Roving Garden Party at your home or community garden, email Jean at artiseverywhere [at] yahoo [dot] com. We ask that you be prepared to provide a meal for ~15, and that you give back by volunteering at another Roving Garden Party.Sustainable Bellingham – promoting and supporting sustainable community.
Birchwood Garden Club’s April 2012 Meeting
“Gardening for Butterflies in the Puget Sound Region.”
Wednesday, April 4th, 7:00pm, Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room, 121 Prospect Street
David Droppers, Vice President of the Washington Butterfly Association, will be lecturing on, “Gardening for Butterflies in the Puget Sound Region.” Learn all about creating butterfly friendly gardens, identifying the butterflies in our area, areas that are premium sites for watching butterflies and so much more! Please join us!!
Bicycle to Work and School Day Planning Meeting
Wednesday, April 4th, 6-8pm, Whatcom Council of Governments 314 E Champion St.
Help plan Whatcom County’s biggest and best bicycle event of the year: Bike to Work and School Day will be the third Friday, May 18th, with lots of festivities leading up to and around it. You can be part of the fun. Info: 671-BIKE or mary@everybodyBIKE.com
Three Sisters CSA
In an effort to stock your pantry with local staple crops, the Backyard Beans & Grains Project and Dragon Tongue Farm are pleased to bring you a winter storage CSA. The CSA will include heirloom dry beans, grains, seeds, garlic, winter squash, potatoes, and storage onions. A share is $300 ($100 deposit with the balance due at pick-up). Pick up your share in October/November 2012. For more information, contact Krista Rome at email@example.com or (360) 224-4757.
Backyard Beans & Grains Project Internship Opportunity for the 2012
Looking for 1-3 interns for the 2012 season to work alongside me in furthering the goals of the Backyard Beans & Grains Project. The internship will run from April to October and involve a total of 10 hours of work per week. Times will vary according to the season. Those that should apply include students with an interest in growing and processing dry legumes and grains using low-tech methods, sustainable farming, and gaining self-sufficiency through growing food for year-round local eating. For more information, contact Krista Rome at 224-4757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greater South End Grain and Dry Bean Test Gardens
Looking for a group of individuals interested in helping with an educational garden at the Center for Local Self Reliance. Celt Schira has been kind enough to advise on the garden, and do classes following the harvest on growing and harvesting local heirloom varieties of beans and grains. We just need to get them in the grow and nurture them to maturity! Be a key part of a sustainable future, and grow test plots of grains in Fairhaven! Contact Shannon at 676-1859 or email@example.com to volunteer. With many hands, it will be light, fun work!
Blueberry Cooperative\Restoration Project
Looking a group (a dozen or so) of dedicated people to adopt a row of blueberries on a small one-acre field on the corner of Axton and Hannegan (a blueberry cooperative). There are thirteen rows of about one thousand plants (on approximately one acre), or roughly eighty mature bushes per row in need of attention. Time commitment is estimated at 10 – 25 hours per row, including mulching. What you get is free blueberries and some inner blueberry time. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 223-0876.
Reviving an Ancient Agricultural Practice
The Root Gardens of Canada’s West Coast Aboriginals
One of the traditional practices Chief Dick recalls is the type of specialized agriculture done in root gardens along the west coast of North America known as t’ekilakw, or “places of man-made soil.” T’ekilakw is a system of perennial root gardens constructed along coastal estuaries using natural inputs from the sea. Due to governmental, intellectual, and societal repression of indigenous lifestyles, these root gardens had all but been forgotten or actively covered up until only a few years ago. The unearthing of what may seem to be a minor discovery could have profound cultural and even political ramifications.
41 Garden Paths – Sunset Magazine - PIC slide show. Quite the selection, and a few from the Pacific Northwest as well as food gardens.
To Cut The Risk Of A High-Fat Meal, Add Spice
Researchers have found that a meal loaded with spices like turmeric and cinnamon helps cut fat levels in the blood — even when the meal is rich in oily sauces and high in fat.
Herbal Plant Tea
Nutritive herbal teas are just as good for plants as they are for us. Some favorite recipes for fertilizing plants include teas of horsetail, nettles and kelp. Horsetail is high in silica and other minerals that build strong plant tissue. Nettles are high in iron, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and many trace minerals. Kelp concentrates minerals from the sea and has over 70 growth regulators and growth stimulants in it. To make any of these teas, simply mix one-part fresh herbs with two-parts hot water or one-part dry herb with five-parts water in a bucket or large pot. Let steep over night. Strain herbs and use to water plants.
Wild Greens Risotto By Hank Shaw
I designed this dish 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. Makes 2 servings as a main course, or 4 as an appetizer.
* 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 saucer 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.
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.
Yay! Wisdom…from those who came before us!
“The river is alive. It is an essential part of our lives. When it is vibrant and healthy, our well-being is preserved. We must heal and protect this precious resource, not just for our own tribal treaty rights, but because it’s a wise and respectful thing to do for everyone who lives here.” -- Lew Goodridge
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood