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The Organic Dilemma

Growing up in a family concerned not only about our own health but also the health of the planet and the surrounding wildlife, buying and growing organic food was naturally an important part of our lives. During my last two years of college, as I studied food from cultural, historical, human rights and environmental perspectives, […]

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A Weekend of “Learning and Tasting” in Mestre

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My boyfriend and I had just enough time to settle into our new home in Mestre, Venice before discovering the food festival hosted in the main piazza just a few days after our arrival. Il gusto della cultura: una giornata di saperi e sapori or “The Flavor of […]

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Finding Balance in Bologna

It’s only been a week and a half since I arrived in Bologna and already I miss the variety of ingredients I was able to find in the United States. How ironic to be surrounded by traditional, local ingredients yet search for products that are anything but common in Italy. Suddenly, the Italian staples I […]

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Gardening in a Time of Climate Chaos

Last month was the wettest April on record in these parts. And right now May isn’t exactly feeling dry. Lake Champlain has reached record levels; the rivers leap from their banks; the fields are soggy.  Even our pond which never ever floods is making noises about heading out over its banks and down to the […]

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On Volunteerism in the Vegetable Garden

Published in the Addison Independent PATCHwork Column 4/21/11 Some call them uninvited guests, interlopers, opportunists, ne’er-do-wells, even weeds. Earnest gardeners work hard at banishing these trespassers from vegetable beds, pulling them in fall and spring, evicting them when they pop up during the summer. It makes sense, I suppose. If left to their druthers, they’ll […]

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One Problem with Our Turn to the Local

I started Open View Gardens to help open our notion of what we can grow and therefore eat locally.  I want to explore as much of the world as possible through garden and kitchen.  As are others in the North country, I am experimenting with foods we don’t normally associate with this region, and foods […]

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Waiting for Spring: Gardening for Optimal Health

It’s snowing again. Hard. The wind is fierce. Winter has a long way to go yet. But last week brought the faint breath of spring. A couple of warm days swelled with transitional birdsong–not their nesting songs, but then again not the single, plaintive notes of midwinter. It was the loveliest reminder of what’s to […]

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Winter Work

It’s the last day of January, a cold day (8 degrees F at 1 pm) with just enough of a breeze that I probably won’t venture out for some cross-country skiing about the land.  And tomorrow we’re supposed to get more snow and then more again.  Sounds just the way January ought to exit and […]

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Falling into November

October slipped by with me flat-out busy in the gardens and in the kitchen and in storytelling work (and then in Spain and Morocco) but not on the blogs. Freezer and cellar swelled with the garden’s output, and I worked deep into many nights to stay up with the lemongrass, the tomatoes, the tomatillos, the […]

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Mentors Aplenty, Part Two: My Kind of School

Earlier in the summer,  I wrote about learning from family, students and friends.  Actually, since I started blogging in 2001, I’ve often remarked on being far more student than teacher even when I taught in formal schools. Every day since then I’ve learned essential and moving lessons from the non-human inhabitants of the gardens, but […]

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