HOME + GARDEN

I used to live in a tiny apartment on the cozy third floor of a historic brownstone. Now I live in a bigger apartment in another historic rowhouse downtown in our small city. We have exposed brick walls, a back deck and enough space in our kitchen to dance while I cook. I’ve also made a few brave attempts at urban gardening: tiny pots of herbs and salad veggies resting precariously on our window ledge and a terrifically unsuccessful attempt at growing tomatoes in a Topsy-Turvy on the back of our bathroom door. The home and garden are both works-in-progress and when I remember, I like to share that progress with all of you.

Click on the categories below for all home & garden-related posts.


DIY + HANDMADE

I started this blog back in 2007 as a place to chronicle my sewing adventures. Since then, it has expanded into a delicious hodgepodge of stories detailing my efforts to create meaningful traditions and experiences as part of the handmade, homegrown movement. Making things with your own hands is a great way to save money (sometimes), reduce hyper-consumerism and introduce more beauty into the world.

Click on the categories below for all diy & handmade-related posts.

FOOD + RECIPES

I cook and bake and eat food, usually tasty food. I'd like to share those recipes and stories with you, even the ones that turn into epic kitchen failures, because the more cooking and baking we all do the better the world will be. Seek out healthy, natural ingredients from local and/or responsible producers and then whip those ingredients into a culinary delight. Invite friends over, turn up the music and enjoy.

For posts about my food writing elsewhere, check out Potluck & From Scratch Club.

Click on the categories below for all food-related posts.




& all recipes

Everyone eats, Or my day at FarmAid

Last weekend I tabled with From Scratch Club as we co-presented the Homegrown Village Skills Tent at FarmAid. I don't even know how I ended up in such an incredible situation. When I look back on the past few years, I look at the facts and I still pinch myself sometimes that I get to meet and know such great people doing so much good in the world of local foods. Through FSC, I've interviewed farmers and cook book authors and regular home cooks for our podcast. I've met dozens of awesome peeps at our local food swaps. I chat with people throughout the country through our online book club. And now I can say that I've sort of shared billing at FarmAid with the likes of Neil Young and Willie Nelson. All because I like eating, and I like eating well.

It's a natural interest, is it not? Everyone eats. Everyone needs food to survive. So why not start to know more about where your food comes from? Find out who grows it and how. Try your hand at cooking, even if it's not your passion. Build your confidence in the kitchen with a few simple recipes- those are often the best ones anyway. Bake a loaf of bread. Put a pot of Sunday Soup on the stove. Learn how to can your own jam or tomato sauce. Dehydrate a tray of hot peppers for the winter. You don't have to be fancy, you just need to start somewhere, when you have the moment.

Because everyone eats and everyone needs food to survive, it seems like an obvious rallying point for folks to come together. This past weekend was an awesome reminder of how food can bring people together in the best ways. At FarmAid, folks of every type joined in to support local food systems and farms. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who stopped by the Homegrown Village and Skills Tent with genuine interest in our demos and classes. They asked great questions, shared tips and stories of their own and helped raise consciousness and inspire those around them. We figured most people would ignore the educational and informational tents in favor of the beer stands and the epic musical lineup. (Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and surprise guest Pete Seeger just to name a few of the headliners.)

Then on Sunday, From Scratch Club held our September food swap in Troy. Maybe I was just running on adrenaline at that point, but I was blissed out. There were regular swappers who have become dear friends and new, excited faces and I was so so grateful to be among the organizers of this rad food community. Christina and I didn't even bring anything to swap, but we still left with goodies generously given to us by other swappers. They are the kindest and the best and so inspirational.

Here's to a great foodie weekend! In between the food love, I also finished the longest run of my life and thus successfully completed the peak training week for my first-ever marathon. If there's anything that makes you appreciate good food even more than usual, it's running twenty-some-odd miles. More about that in the coming weeks.

View more photos from the Homegrown Village at Homegrown.org's album or From Scratch Club's Facebook page. More swap photos at the FSC Swappers Facebook page.

On the #road2farmaid

This Saturday, I will hanging out with Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson and others. More or less. I'm psyched to be a part of the From Scratch Club contingency that will be showing off our DIY antics at FarmAid! The Homegrown Village Skills Tent is hosting all sorts of demos and workshops on topics ranging from my old standby, making butter in a jar, to growing mushrooms, making bacon or cheese and even making friendship bracelets from llama wool. We're partnering with HOMEGROWN.org, FarmAid's little sibling and the raddest online community for diy-ers, farm folk, urban garden enthusiasts, canning and preservation mavens, earth mamas and all of the wonderful people that make the earth spin. I've contributed over there in the past- maybe you recognize the little icon over there in the sidebar? Check them out!

It's going to be wildly DIY, earthy, homegrown, farmer-supportive and fun. If you have tickets to the sold-out FarmAid, stop by and see us! There's a map here showing where the Homegrown Village will be. If you don't have tickets, we won't be able to high five during the day but you can still watch the whole concert on livestream here!

Also, there will be Chipotle, Ben & Jerry's and veggie poutine for sale at the festival. Like I said, it's going to be fun.