Hello Gardening through Art friends!
What a season we are in! 🌍 I would be remiss not to mention that the gardens of the planet need us now more than ever! My gratitude extends to you, people of the earth, for taking necessary steps at this time to resume creativity and stewardship in a way that has the potential to heal Earth. Inspiration and stewardship encourage compassion, creativity, building rich soils to grow healthy food, enjoyable plants, filter air and water, sequester carbon, and increase endorphins to experience joy.
We live in the garden and planet need us now more than ever! Our state of planetary pandemic released some undue feelings of invincibility, to say the least. Creative souls, as we are, it is our ecological duty to serve our place - at least as well as it has served us. If that is the only reciprocity we were taught thus far, it is exactly the least we can do as evolved stewards of this incredible planet.
Humans, although we often have the unproductive feeling of guilt weighing on us when we imagine ourselves "at the top of the food chain" (better not get started). We could instead up to make peace with ourselves among the plants, birdsongs, and nutrients in the soil. Not the types of nutrients from a plastic canister, but the types are grandparents were built of, great greats, and so on. The type that lacks 60% than it did when our grandparents were our age.
The fact is that those who evolved into our species eat mostly weeds, the kind that grow where they are supposed to be and have full capacity to soak up their survival needs, creature comforts of suitable nutrients in rich soil, sweet sunshine, perfectly timed rain, and natures gift of pollinators.
Those humans evolved to meet the needs of continuing the species, obviously, and so shall we!
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Schedule (subject to change)
On the morning of March 5, my 4-year-old and I found an extra day in our schedule that allowed us to take a holiday to Bloedel Reserve on north Bainbridge Island, an assignment I had not found time for prior. Last year, a group of a dozen professional artists formed West Sound Printmakers, and we will have our first relief print show at Bloedel Reserve May 10, 2019.
Each member visited the grounds to find inspiration to create a 9x12" relief print (carved from a flat surface like linoleum) inspired by our visit to Bloedel. The 150-acre forested garden on the water was inhabited by a couple of heirs to the timber industry until the late 1980s, when they opened it to the public. (This was the same approximate timing that my family moved off the island, so I am told I had been there as a young child.) The gardens are diverse and manicured. The buildings are ornate and opulent.
The majestic feel of this location lends much creative inspiration. After the great snow of this February, there were just enough flowers peeking into spring to create a piece I titled "Bloedel in Bloom," featuring rhododendron (I hunted down a single rhodie bloom), camellia, heather, hellebore, snowdrops. There was also witch hazel in bloom. The honeybees in the print were imagined for a later date in the spring. I am looking forward to seeing the reserve again now that further blooms will brighten the already-picturesque landscape.
When you visit Bloedel, be sure to leave enough time to meditate, draw, converse, or contemplate the intense beauty of the forest and cultivated landscape. There are ponds, Puget Sound views, mansions, Japanese architecture, zen garden, moss garden, and meadows. Please enjoy it thoroughly.
As Prentice Bloedel said, “Nature can do without man, but man cannot do without nature.”
In our first feature exploring the joys of sourcing local food, journalist Elise Watness interviewed Chef Alan Davis about the favorites on his menu. Chef Davis is the man behind Hound + Bottle (formerly Scout Cafe + Honor Bar) in Manette. He sources local ingredients to create culinary magic on his rotating seasonal menu. Fun facts: He still plays music with some of the members of SoundGarden, and much of the stylish decor comes from his wife’s window designs for Barney’s of New York and the like.
1. What are your favorite things to make from locally sourced food in the winter?
In the winter months, ones options for fresh produce narrow in a bit. But they do not diminish in complexity. All the green leafy things out there build up their delicious “antifreeze”, and are at their tastiest of the year. The heartiness of those plants growing beneath the ground are equally at their annually unique.
We have a dish that features cider braised carrots and griddled Brussels sprouts. Making sure not to over do it while cooking is important. I want to see those vibrant colors. I just dress them up with lemon spiked yoghurt, good green olive oil and some Urfa ground chili.
2. What do people love about your local menu?
One of my favorite subterraneans of the winter are Sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes. You can do so much with them! They are both delicate enough that you can simply shave them into a salad, and also hearty enough to make into a surprisingly great mash. You can fry them into chips or purée them into a sauce for fin fish. Right now I have them sautéed with leeks and local mussels. They impart their exceptional flavor to so many dishes, in a variety of ways. It also doesn’t hurt that they visually look like they came from another planet!
3. What do you want people to know about local food?
At Hound and Bottle we are lucky to have a great community that comes out to support us by eating, drinking and just hanging out. I find that people like to take that seasonal ride. We do a menu switch every three months, with specials sprinkled in each quarter. As much as people let me know that a certain dish should “just stay” on the next menu, they realize the ingredients belong to a certain time of the year, and they seem to revel when a rendition of what they loved swings back around the next year!
What I want people to know about locally grown food, is simple. There are people not too far from where they call home that are in their fields watching closely and working diligently to grow food from soil cultivated in as many ways as there are farmers. My job is to take their products and prepare them in a way that makes the diner care as much as the farmer and the cook. I adore the times that I get a delivery from one of our farmers and folks in their seats get to see these hard working beautiful bada**es bring in crates of food that will wind up on their plates!
Join us March 19 at the Mountain View Library for a Botanical Drawing workshop!
"When a schoolboy has diligently used his faculties and energy for eight or ten months of the year in learning those good things assigned to him, then he usually has a vacation that means a rest from school.
It has been learned that a man's faculties need such a rest of change of surroundings and activities with which the body and mind have been busied.
Many believe that a school vacation should not be used in laziness, idleness or freedom from hard work. The body must and will breathe as long as it lives. Likewise the mind must be active every day in one way or another.
If the body does not really exert itself in exercise that also occupies the mind and leads it in a different direction than before, thereby giving rest on the one hand and on the other sound development during vacation, then the body becomes indolent or only eats, drinks and sleeps while mental activity continues in the same direction as in school with the only difference that it believes it should have light and very often harmful reading material. When that boy or girl begins school after a vacation, it is found that neither body nor mind has received any notable rest or growth during vacation. There is no noticeable change other than that they associate with parents, brothers, sisters, friends and relatives instead of with teachers and companions in school. The activity of both mind and body is essentially the same at all times, both in school and during vacation.
Such school attendance and vacations may well explain the fact that after some years even stout farm boys appear to be nervous, absent-minded, helpless louts who among farmers hardly know "beans from buckshot," or can harness a horse. When such parlor philosophers go out into the work as pastors or teachers they are in many ways an amusing spectacle or comedy in which many might see themselves. In our opinion parents and teachers do not serve students well when they make them believe that hard work during vacation is not good for them. This harmful belief has crept into our society more and more. Good, hard, busy reasonable and useful physical work is the best vacation, ordained by God, for students. We believe the work should rather be in the free air and so hard that the mind loses almost all desire for other mental activity except for what family devotions and church services supply together with the most necessary newspaper reading. Not only my experience as a youth, but also the hard work during the last year and a half while on a difficult journey into the goldfields of the Yukon have strengthened me in this belief."
Rev. Bjug Harstad (my great-great-grandfather), Founding President of PLU
Aug. 18, 1899 (Dr. Montessori would have been 29 years old at the time)
Tercera (3a) semana de diciembre:
Hello Farm School Friends,
(Hola compañeros de la Finca Educativa,)
Here's the farm report:
(Aquí está el reportaje de la finca:)
LIFE RECIPES for each farm task
- 3x5" life recipes may be deposited to the Flower Box that is to stay on Irene's desk.
- On one side: the task depicted (labeled in English/Spanish/both).
- Other side: date/season, your name, sequenced description, any pertinent information
- See contents for examples. Would we prefer them to be listed by category, season, or alphabetically?
- We installed a new wood stove! This one heats up the house. (And the old one may still be in a truck in the carport.)
(Review Sam's intro Dec 3)
HOPS + BEANS
- We may take down hops (carport) and beans (in current pig pen) to be repurposed as we see fit (compost, burn, distribute supplies.)
- I cleared the utility room so it is ready for installation of coat racks and benches. We may mount coat racks on the north end and hang chalkboards over the table. There are towels to fold.
- I began setting up a sewing/textile room in the first north bedroom (between the utility room & bathroom). Clear containers can be used to reasonably sort textile/sewing tools (as modeled). Drawers may be set up to organize supplies for sewing, knitting, weaving, and the like. (Shall I donate my yarn stash and rocking chair?)
- We are re-evaluating storage containers - many of the clear jars (Grateful to Lora) are being used for sorting supplies and making them more accessible on the desk and in the hall.
- The roof was cleaned off. The mossy bits may be swept up and composted as desired (perhaps in the pile in the back yard out by the pond). Or they make for an interesting sensory experience to be walked upon, especially in the rain.
- We may rake up walnut leaves if still accessible in Irene's garden. They inhibit growth of other plants.
- Talk to Elise if you would like to purchase a pig (or go in on it with somebody) in January.
December 17 is the last Farm Day before we resume in 2019.
Looking ahead -
Wrapping up Cycle 2:
January 7 (last session of Cycle 2 with whole group.)
January 14 (HMS is not present during Immersion Week.)
January 21 (Observation of Dr. King as desired, I will likely be present.)
Cycle 3: January 22 - March 29
February 4, 11, 18, 25
March 4, 11, 18, 25
Cycle 4: April 1 - June 7
April 1, 11, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20
Peace, ♡ Elise
segunda semana de diciembre:
Sunny and fresh
Hace sol y fresco.
Walk to river: salmon life cycles + physics.
Camino al rio: ciclo de vida de salmon + físicas.
Feed chickens and pigs.
Alimentar a los pollos y cerdos.
visit by Katelyn Anderson of Umber Heart Photography.
Visita de Katelyn Anderson de Umber Heart Photography.
Grateful for: teamwork. ◡̈
Agradecidos por: trabajo en equipo. ◡̈