Saturday, February 19, 2011

Did you know . . .

. . . that someone trademarked the phrase "Urban Homestead" and they are making people change the names of their previously published blogs and books that contain that phrase? They even sent out a couple would-be "cease and desist" letters. That's absurd. Read more here, here, and here. People are pissed, as well they should be. That's like saying that you've trademarked the words "Community Garden" or "Urban Farm." Ridiculous. Follow the links to other people's well thought out blog posts on the topic.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Smells Like Spring!

The past few days have been the most soft, sunny, breezy, wonderful days ever! Yesterday I walked all the way home from my babysitting job in Center City (over 35 long blocks), just to get my fill of the weather. And today I've already spent some nice quality time on the porch with my beloved, just soaking in the sun.

I also took a few minutes on the porch to read an issue of Alimentum: The Literature of Food that my friend Nicole sent me (she was asked to contribute illustrations to this issue and they are adorable), along with one of the collagraphs that she's been working on! I'm so excited, this literary journal focuses on mixing fiction, non-fiction and poetry with food. Sounds perfect for a gardener who's antsy to get outside already. And the collagraph Nicole sent was absolutely perfect for today. It's called "Beam." :)

I also found out that the journal Poetry that I subscribe to (that Jaja subscribed me to as a gift) is giving away a limited number of free copies of their April 2011 issue to reading groups that request them. It's their way of helping everyone celebrate National Poetry Month (April)! So contact them by February 20th in order to get your copies:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tiger's Eye

That's the name of this gorgeous hand dyed sport weight sock yarn I bought at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture conference last weekend! It's from Steam Valley Fiber, in Trout Run, PA, and I can't wait to knit it into socks!

The conference was great fun and a wonderful place for networking. But the best choice I made was to go to the workshop "Dual Purpose Sheep: Meat and Wool" where I learned all about how to raise sheep for wool. Not that I'm going to, but it was really interesting to learn about yarn from that perspective.

The teachers of the workshop, Marie and Stephen Minnich of Marushka Farms, were wonderful and they brought lots of wool in various stages of processing from their own CVM/Romeldale and Icelandic sheep.

Up until this workshop I had been very good about not spending money at the yarn vendors that had come to the conference, but afterward I totally succumbed and got my Tiger's Eye from this gorgeous vendor.

Sigh . . the power of fiber.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Support Your Local Beekeeper!

Leslie, a gardener at The Woodlands Community Garden

My friend Duffy, who keeps bees at The Woodlands Community Garden, has come up with a great new youth beekeeping and CSA (Community Supported Apiary) program and he needs our help! He made a Kickstarter to raise money for the program, here. Basically, he wants to teach high school youth in our neighborhood about beekeeping and start at least ten new apiaries in The Woodlands. In return for support, you can get 1.5 lbs of honey from the hives, an selection of herbs from The Walnut Hill Community Farm, and more!

You might remember Duffy from when he came to speak about bees at The Woodlands back in the fall of 2009 when he was trying get the board of The Woodlands to approve the hives. He's also the friend who is making us the honeycomb hearts to top our wedding cake!

The two existing hives at The Woodlands Community Garden

I posted here about a community garden that was trying to raise money on Kickstarter to save their land from development a while back and they made 104% of their goal, so I have my fingers crossed for Duffy!

There's also a movement to get the EPA to ban the pesticide that's been linked to Colony Collapse Disorder. Check that out here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bedside table

I've been amassing quite a stack of reading material over the last month (gift cards from Christmas, woot!) and I wanted to share it with you:

McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales - Edited by Michael Chabon
- It turns out I've already read this one but forgot! I might skip it and get straight to the other books I'm looking forward to.

Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities - Peter Harnick
- I saw a panel discussion this week at the Academy of Natural Sciences that featured Mr. Harnick. It was wonderful and got me dreaming about all of the possibilities for greening in Philadelphia.

Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
- Squeeeee! One of my favorite authors, I haven't read this yet and just borrowed it from a friend who insisted that I will love it.

Poetry journal, February 2011
- Jaja got me a subscription as a surprise last year and I renewed this year. I'm finding that I almost enjoy the commentary more than the poetry sometimes, it's incredibly informative and an amazing peek into the inner world of contemporary poetry.

The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money - Jonathan Clements
- From my dad, of course. I actually tore through it, I think it's helped me with some basic understanding of investing.

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas - Tom Robbins
- Another of my absolute favorite authors. I try to meter out his work so I don't go through it all at once, the same with Barbara Kingsolver. But I treat myself to a new one once a year or so, can't wait for this one!

Fully Empowered - Pablo Neruda
- The ultimate romantic poet (sorry e.e.)
The Jewish Book of Why - Alfred J. Kolatch
- Part of my ongoing and endless education of all things Jewish

Webster's New World Pocket Dictionary, Third Edition
-Duh. Words are hard.

And finally!

Seed Savers Exchange: 2011 Catalog of Heirloom Seeds, Books and Gifts
Fedco Seeds 2011
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: Catalog & Garden Guide 2011