January 31, 2012
This is an exciting weekend for Sustainable Belliingham. We are holding our Community Seed Day on Sunday at the Majestic in Downtown Bellingham just south of the co-op on Forest Street. In prior years we called this the Seed Swap, but it created some confusion from those attending. “What if I don’t have seeds? Can I still participate?” was commonly asked. So we changed the name to Community Seed Day in hopes of eliminating confusion.
We live in precarious times, and if you are not concerned with the state of our planet’s food supply, you should at least be aware of it. Learning how to grown your own vegetables, generating and saving your own seeds, and meeting those in the community that actively share these interests is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon in January.
Come, listen, share, and meet fellow seed savers and gardeners in Bellingham. We are lucky to have such a deep pool of resources from which to draw, as well as active seed savers in the community. Every seed tells a story and carries a legacy with it; a symbol of life in the simplest and purest form. If you have no seeds to offer, you are welcome to participate. We only ask that you take what you will use.
We all look forward to seeing you at this popular event.
-Jeff Westcott, Sustainable Bellingham
Items of Note:
Compiled Saturday January 28th by Shannon Maris
4th Annual Community Seed Day
Getting Seeds into the Hands of the People!
** Free and Open to the Public **
Who Should Attend: All who wish to learn about, share or receive seeds to grow!
When: Sunday, January 29th, 2012, 1:00-4:00pm
Where: The Majestic, 1027 North Forest Street, Bellingham
Presentation: Basic Seed Saving by Celt Schira – 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Cheryl Gough will also be in attendance. She is the author of “The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds” and will be there selling and signing her books.
You are welcomed to bring/share:
- * Your extra store bought, packaged seeds
- Heirloom (non-hybrid) seeds – In labeled containers/envelopes
- Edible tubers or potatoes
- Extra envelopes to share if you have them
- For info or questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Light refreshments will be provided
- Parking: Two lots on either side of Maple St. just past the Majestic & on street parking.
- Sponsored by: Sustainable Bellingham, Forest Garden, Earthcare Garden Designs, Center for Local Self-Reliance (CLSR), The Majestic, Irish Eyes Seeds
Bills to label GMOs have been introduced in the House and Senate.
- SB 6298 is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Water & Rural Economic Development at 10:00 AM on Thursday, January 26, 2012.
- HB 2637 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources at 8:00 AM on Friday, January 27, 2012.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Write your state reps to ask them to cosponsor the bills.
2. Write your state senators to ask them to cosponsor SB 6298.
3. Call your state reps to ask them to cosponsor HB 2637.
4. Call your state senators to ask them to cosponsor SB 6298.
5. Come to the hearings in Olympia! RSVP for a bus ride from Seattle to Olympia Thursday. RSVP for a bus ride from Seattle to Olympia Friday.
6. Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund so we can reimburse the travel costs of supporters who couldn’t otherwise attend the hearings.
7. Learn more and get involved at GMOFreeWashington.com.
We need your help to get these bills passed!
Organic Consumers Fund
Birchwood Garden Club’s February Meeting
Date: Wednesday, February 1st
Time: 7:00 P.M.
Where: Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room
121 Prospect Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Topic: Birchwood Garden Club member, Judy Boxx will be speaking on, “Water and Art in the Garden.” Judy has been a member of the Mt. Baker Garden Club for over 40 years as well as a Birchwood Garden Club member and has been a Master Gardener for 7 years. This will be a fun program with lots of great ideas that Judy has used in her own garden as well as ideas for the art she has made from cement, stained glass and wood that she has decorated her yard with. Please join us!!!
India Gets into Urban Composting with Cool Terra Cotta Pots
Bangalore produces over 2000 to 3000 tonnes of waste everyday. The centralized government composting plant can handle only 500 tonnes per day. The rest reaches dumps that are illegal. In just five years the Daily Dump team has helped over 4,500 customers in Bengaluru to compost household waste in terracotta pots, and these customers keep around 5,522kg of organic waste out of landfills every day. What is remarkable about Poonam Bir Kasturi’s waste management process is its simplicity, and the cleverly designed terracotta pots add a touch of earthiness to it.
Beware of Agent Orange Burgers
Now, as the Environmental Protection Agency is set to release the first part of the dioxin risk assessment it’s been working on since 1985, food industry lobbyists are attempting to block EPA action yet again. Why? The EPA is likely to confirm what the FDA has reported:
“Although dioxins are environmental contaminants, most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats.”
The food industry doesn’t want you to know that you can easily exceed the daily dioxin limit proposed by the EPA by consuming a single large meal of non-organic animal products. Most of all, the food industry doesn’t want to have to take responsibility for the dioxin contamination. If they did, they would have to submit to common-sense food safety measures, like those embraced by the organic industry that ban toxic pesticides and slaughterhouse waste from animal feed.
Community Acupuncture with Ed Layton, LAc
Thursday, February 2, 6:30–8 pm
Come learn about the Community Acupuncture movement, whose goal is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible through offering acupuncture treatments in community settings for a sliding scale ranging from $15 to $40. Ed Layton, acupuncturist from HamsterPuncture leads this informative, informal evening discussing acupuncture’s role in “the calmest revolution ever.” Free event, registration requested/Downtown Co-op/register at Co-op
Make Your Own Hard Cheese with Mark Solomon
Saturday, February 4, 1–4 pm
Mark Solomon of Seattle teaches how to make cheddar and gouda—two great cheeses that exemplify different hard cheese-making techniques and provide a window into the production of many cheeses. As we make the cheeses, we’ll talk through the steps and delve into cheese chemistry. We’ll discuss sources of cheese-making equipment, starter cultures, and cheese molds with an emphasis on simple low-tech solutions. We’ll also eat lots of homemade hard cheeses and evaluate them. $55 members and non-members/Cordata Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
Introduction to Fermented Foods with D. Marith, T. Kanoa, and C. Witham
Thursday, February 9, 6–8 pm
Learn all about enzyme-rich fermented foods and their health-promoting properties. The class will include a demonstration on how to make sauerkraut, kim chi, and other pickled veggies. Traditional diets all over the world have featured a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria developed through fermentation. The instructors are members of the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. $29 members and non-members/Cordata Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
Stir-Fried Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Balsamic Butter
A stir-fry that uses the leaves and the stems of Swiss chard
By Susie Middleton
“It may seem strange to stir-fry, rather than sauté, Swiss chard, but I think the stir-fry pan is handy for cooking both the stems and leaves (as well as for browning the nuts). Often recipes will call just for the leaves of Swiss chard, but I think it’s a shame to waste the stems,” says Susie Middleton, Connecticut chef and author of Fast, Fresh and Green: More Than 90 Delicious Recipes for Veggie Lovers (Chronicle Books, 2010).
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
• 12 ounces ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard (do not trim)
• 1 tablespoon peanut oil
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts
• Kosher salt
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and dark brown sugar.
2. Pull or cut the stems away from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.
3. Heat the peanut oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot (it will loosen and spread out), add the pine nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they’re all lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully, because they brown quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the pine nuts to a heatproof plate or pan, leaving behind as much fat as possible.
4. Return the pan to the heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, about 5 minutes. (They will begin to crackle in the pan as moisture evaporates.) Add the garlic and stir-fry just until fragrant, a few seconds. Add all of the chard leaves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and, using tongs, toss the chard leaves in the pan just until wilted (30 to 45 seconds).
5. Scrape the balsamic mixture into the pan, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and toss and stir until it’s melted. Fold in half of the pine nuts. Transfer the chard (including all the stems and liquid) to a small serving bowl and garnish with the remaining pine nuts.
Serves 2 to 3