Wow, mushrooms are magical — and not in the ‘make the walls start undulating’ way….but really magical….like in the save the world sort of way.
I’ve recently become obsessed with soil (you’d think as a gardener this might have happened a long time ago) but I mean really, really obsessed. I read Dan Barber’s The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food* while on vacation and now I want to get a spectrometer to measure the sugars in my carrots and graph that against the levels of trace elements in my soil.
*You must read it. It is excellent.
Between contemplating every aspect of my own soil, and all the things I have learned while gathering of information for a story I am working on (for Issue #1 of PITH + VIGOR) about designing a mushroom garden; without ingesting anything illegal my mind has been completely blown.
The networks that mycorrhizal fungi create in soil are amazing (I had no idea) and this Ted Talk by Paul Stamets lays out some of the most interesting potential uses. It is worth the time to watch.
Wow! The last month has been quite a ride. There are just 4 days left in our campaign to raise $12,000 to launch PITH + VIGOR and as of this morning we have just $2889 left to go. We are going to make a newspaper, we are going to build a community! I can’t wait! This is going to be fantastic and I am so grateful for all of you believing in me and my team and this idea. But first we need to get through these last 4 days….can you help to put us over the top? The perks are pretty fantastic…Everyone who donates gets a copy of the publication….but maybe you want to subscribe or advertise – there are some very reasonable rates. Or maybe you need some help with your garden…we even have a couple perks where I will work with you to design your garden (or even just a portion of your garden). It doesn’t matter where you live, we will make your garden happen…How fun is that? If you have questions, thoughts or ideas, by all means let us know (comments or email are always appreciated). We will build this together. If you can’t help financially we appreciate all kids of other help too…maybe you can spread the word (tweet, like, share, etc) – as always, the more the merrier. And if you have already helped… THANK YOU! xo – Rochelle
Whew, this week has been a roller coaster. The book is finally – FINALLY! – done. I quite happily spent a large amount of time making new proposals for the cover (I am soooo much happier with the new version to come! – I’ll share it next week once it is final). Despite being put in a boot cast for a 2 week old ankle sprain (that just kept getting worse), I spent an inordinate amount of time in the garden — that cast cloth toe thing is disgusting – quite damp and muddy – but its a gardening badge I am wearing with pride. I’ve also started taking on clients now that I have a little time; I had a couple kick-off meetings this week and finally, last night I spent the evening touring the new Michaels store in Boston. My arms are quaking from a morning of chopping down raspberry bushes and now I am quite ready to have a relaxing Friday night. Here is what is on my desktop as I shut down for a couple days…
Top Photo: This is a shot from #getcraftyboston at Michaels craft store. I am happy to report that they are unveiling a makeover of all 27 Boston area stores this weekend. There are lots of giveaways going on this weekend so if you are in Boston – you might want to stop in this weekend – you might win a gift certificate. My local store is a shadow of its claustrophobic chaotic former self — and it is now a place I can shop for supplies in a more organized relaxed way. Glad for that!!
Til Monday – x – Rochelle
I’m filling this vacation week with activities that I can simultaneously call productive (for me) and entertaining for my little people (it is spring break, we are home, and I’m doing the working mom juggle). A visit to H-mart on a Wednesday afternoon with the specific purpose buying dog bones is a stretch, I know — but I was optimistic that Wednesday at H-mart, might be like Saturday at H-mart – a wonderland of exotic asian grocery store samples of things we would never dream of trying – mostly because the labels on the package are in utterly foreign logograms and we have nowhere to begin on the journey of preparing this stuff or the foggiest idea what is inside. But the samples, they let you know what is not only good, but you can also watch how they make it. If you have an H-Mart nearby, go there on a Saturday if you can – it will be crowded and insane – but it is an excellent adventure.
I wish they had some sort of sample demo thing going on for the bag of Sesame Dregs that I bought on impulse (yes, I am the type of person that will buy something foreign because it combines the words ‘dregs’ and ‘fertilizer’ together and I just can’t ignore my curiousity. – plus it was something like $2.50 for a 5 lb bag). There aren’t a lot of words in English on this bag – ‘Sesame Dregs Fertilizer’, and ‘Nitrogen Rich’ round out the selection. I thought for sure google would hold a wealth of answers when I returned home with my prize. But no.
I have found precisely two references to this product —
There is apparently a place called Winterdoon in Tasmania who uses it to organically build up their Tasmainian soil for vegetable growing. They list some impressive NPK #’s (by comparison to other organic materials).
And then there is this post about Korean Natural Farming Methods which uses them in a version of Compost Tea.
So there it is — the sum total of information about my treasure. It is exotic and remote and I am a little unsure what to do with this bag here in Massachusetts. I see experiments in my future….
But surely there must be more — who knows anything about Sesame Dregs?
Yes! – I’d frame that. I find the ‘G’ particularly nice and it reminds me of Colorado history and some of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. I’m also partial to the H – (I love a good bridge) and the W (maybe my parents would like that — it is the first letter of my maiden name) seems so pleasingly garden-y.
The full set can be seen at the British Museums website. This illustrated alphabet was create between 1818 and 1860 by Charles Joseph Hullmandel and includes a full set of 26 contoured landscapes.
These are my favorites — which do you love?
I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Mine was nice, even if it was completely taken over by an elementary school production of Mulan. We’ve had 4 shows since Friday night and I am just tired. I’ve done a lot of makeup, handed out programs, stack and un-stacked chairs, and pushed around a ton of large school furniture. I think I only have the mental capacity to park myself on the sofa in front of an episode of Parks and Rec and wait for my the roast chicken (in the oven) to be ready for dinner. Ahh…. and it is spring, I’ve got the fever and I am ready to get things done. These are things that have been hanging around on my desk this week. I hope you enjoy them!
image by Chris Waits (CC 2.0)