Archive March 2011

Intro to Urban Beekeeping 2


Today I took a class at the Garden for the Environment called Introduction to Urban Beekeeping. This class is part of a series, and for those of you who are in San Francisco and are interested, I recommend checking out the remaining classes. It was taught by Paul Koski of the San Francisco Beekeeper’s Association, a knowledgeable and engaging teacher. I’ve been around bees and hives, but wanted to take this series to see if I felt comfortable starting a hive in my backyard.  continue reading »

Where Do Your Seeds Come From? 1


I have long been a proponent of saving and exchanging seeds and small regional seed companies, but recently I was shocked by two news stories in the world of commercial seeds. The first was the purchase of two of the largest seed suppliers in the country by Monsanto: Seminis, purchased in 2005, controlled 40% of the U.S. seed market at the time, and De Ruiter Seeds Group BV, a large Dutch vegetable seed breeder in 2008. This feels pretty ominous to me, that Monsanto, with their “copyright everything that exists” policy, should have such a large control over our seeds.

The second piece of news, which was more recent, was the discovery of a newly discovered pathogen that exists in much higher concentration in Roundup Ready soybeans and corn that may be responsible for “significant harm” to both plants and animals. continue reading »

Garden Bloom Day 2


Another Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day rolls around and, once again, I am caught napping, so I’m going to post mostly just photos for March. It’s exciting to see the ground waking up elsewhere around the country, and bulbs start to poke out of the ground.

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We are ALL Urban Homesteaders 5


This is a characteristically late response to the Urban Homesteaders brouhaha. I was outside transplanting some seedlings, and I wanted to write about the plants but I just couldn’t let this go. I had to stake my claim to the right to use a term I’ve been using for over 20 years.

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Hulled Barley Risotto 0


Here’s a little healthy but decadent thing I threw together last night. Barley is a great warming comfort food for those chilly spring evenings.

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