Failing Vegetarianism

I used to be a vegetarian. The best thing about being a vegetarian is how much you learn about industrialized meat production and animal welfare issues. The best thing about being a former vegetarian is bacon. I originally chose vegetarianism primarily for the purported health benefits. Unlike some vegetarians, I never had an intrinsic problem with the killing of animals [Continue Reading...]

Green Your Greens: DIY Convenience Produce

Here’s the thing those plastic bags and clear clamshells of pre-washed lettuces and greens have going for them: they are super convenient. Need a salad in 25 seconds? Done. Need a handful of baby spinach to throw in an omelette? Easy. Need a mix of baby braising greens like kale and chard as a side [Continue Reading...]

Big Wheel Keep On Turning…

This past weekend I ran up to the thrift store to look for new puzzles for family game night. Next door to my destination – Value Village – was the City Markeplace, an indoor, weekend-only flea market I’d never seen before. I was there with my friend and our four kids (combined total) and we [Continue Reading...]

Weekend Inspiration: Emergency Readiness

As you are certainly aware, a huge earthquake and resultant tsunami have wrecked tragic loss of life and property in Northeast Japan. Here on the other side of the Pacific we watch, horrified by the replayed scenes of mud and water crushing towns and farms. We hope that loved ones are found and homes and businesses are rebuilt quickly. [Continue Reading...]

Backyard Orchard Culture: Too Good To Be True?

I have struggled for a few years with a desire to have more fruit trees than my 1/3 acre lot can accomodate. A third-acre is actually pretty big by urban standards, but only one-quarter of our property is given over to edibles. The house, driveway, paths, shady areas and kid’s play area (aka lawn) take [Continue Reading...]

They Put What In My Beer?

We tend to think of the problems of our age as new problems. Take, for example, food adulteration. When you hear about children dying from melamine-tainted infant formula it’s easy to conclude that the food supply is starting to go to hell in a hand-basket. Without minimizing the seriousness of modern food supply adulteration, I’d suggest [Continue Reading...]

Is It Cookware, Or Is It A Blunt Object? Re-Seasoning Cast Iron

I’m partial to cast iron cookware. I also use stainless-clad aluminum pots and pans for soups and blanching vegetables and making oatmeal, but my daily-use pans are a set of five Lodge Cast Iron Skillets.  I say ‘set’ like I went down one day to my local Williams-Sonoma and got a deal for buying the [Continue Reading...]

It’s Called Gleaning. No Relation To Glee.

I have a friend, the Shoreline Fruit Lady. Today is her birthday, so in her honor I thought I’d talk about one of her favorite things: gleaning. Fruit Lady is a neighborhood gleaner. She walks around her ‘hood with kids in tow and if she notices a big overgrown plum or apple tree in someone’s [Continue Reading...]

Urban Homesteader Day of Hot, Hot Video Action

Today is another Urban Homesteader Day of Action, but this time it’s not just words, people! We’re taking our radical message of homegrown zucchini and backyard poultry to YouTube. My contribution (and my first ever video, so be nice, okay?) is a discussion and cook-up of that maligned and under-appreciated vegetable, the brussels sprout. Come join [Continue Reading...]

Weekend Inspiration: Growing A Giving Garden

I am planing on planting a row for the hungry this year and donating the proceeds to my local food bank. I am excited to do this, and believe it is a small but important thing I can contribute. If you are fortunate enough to have the space, will you consider joining me in some planned giving [Continue Reading...]

Be A Very Lazy Garden Planner

When I look out the window right now my garden has big bare patches that trick me into thinking I have far more room for fruit trees than I really do. When the rain is coming down and my infant is asleep, I like to stare out to the garden, imagining a wonderland of edible [Continue Reading...]

Homebrew Husband Hacks

Back when I was in college, I worked for a while with the support team for a big physics lab. The guys I worked with were a bunch of old Navy and Air Force radar technicians, so when the microwave in the lunch room stopped working, they didn’t go out and buy a new one. [Continue Reading...]