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Category Archives: Sustainable living

Rethinking the growing season

Volunteer cabbage I should have noticed the possibilities for winter gardening long ago. I suppose it was that I was conditioned to think that gardening season ends with the frost or with the first hard freeze. But that’s not true. There are many vegetables that will keep growing, though slowly. Certainly some winters are milder […]

Let’s hear it for the wobble

Illustration from An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics Surely one of the coolest things about this planet is that it wobbles on an annual cycle. That causes the intensity of the sun to be about half as great in midwinter as it is in midsummer. The result is that life at most latitudes had to evolve […]

And I thought it was spring fever

Pale greenhouse basil bought from Trader Joe’s gets a boost from some rays before it goes into pesto. Where did all this energy come from? Why am I spending more time outdoors instead of in front of the computer doom-scrolling? At first I thought it was an ordinary case of spring fever, because January has […]

Village-building

Whether we approve or not, Amazon is now important for rural people, just as the Sears catalog was many years ago. We recently put up new signs to help keep the Amazon trucks from getting lost. I usually think of myself as a hermit, hiding down in the forest, ruled by a bossy, devoted, and […]

Wild persimmons — and persimmon pudding

Persimmon pudding and cognac. Click here for high-resolution version. I had persimmon pudding today for the first time in at least 50 years. If you’ve ever once had persimmon pudding, you’ll never forget it, because there’s nothing else like it. I have my own persimmon trees now at last, so I have done my best […]

Donegal tweed

Click here for high-resolution version. I seem to have become a collector of vintage Harris tweed jackets, after a visit to the Isle of Harris and Lewis in 2019. That’s a slippery slope, because, before long, the tweed habit leads to Donegal tweed as well. Much has been written about Harris tweed. Less has been […]

Are you a prepper now?

I am 60 miles to the east of the epicenter of this earthquake. What next? We are in the midst of a pandemic that is getting worse in many areas, including the state I live in. A severe tropical storm just moved up the Atlantic coast. That was only the first blow from what is […]

The long history of hiding in the forest

Deer in the Forest. Painting by Eugen Kr├╝ger, Germany, 1832-1876. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Click here for high-resolution version. I’m about three quarters done with William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. On April 9, 1940, Hitler’s armed forces started their attack on Denmark and Norway. Tiny Denmark fell quickly. Norway had the […]

It was 94F in the garden, though

Vegetables don’t like to be picked in the heat of the day. Early morning is the best time. But basil wants to be clipped five minutes ago, so this basil, squash, and tomato went from the garden to the supper table in 35 minutes.

Borage

Click here for high-resolution version. I had not previously encountered borage. I think it is not as commonly used in the U.S. as it is in Europe. But we grew some this year in Ken’s herb trough, starting from seeds in a variety pack of favorite German herbs that I bought on Amazon. The borage […]