Frugal

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Doing more while spending less money

The Problem with Pomegranates

Apple Pecan Tart - after Thanksgiving

I have a produce bin full of pomegranates. This would probably be great if I was a Middle Eastern pasha but I’m just a gal who always puts her lunch together in a rush in the morning. I’d love to eat pomegranate seeds as a steady part of my diet but…they take too much time. Oh, now that we’ve been working our way through them, I’m getting faster but until they are bred so that the seeds just pop out in neat groups, this beautiful fruit is a lot of work.

Giving Thanks for a Community Garden

Santa Fe Railyard Community Garden 2009

Harvest festivals have existed for thousands of years, probably as long as farming has. A successful crop harvest is plenty of reason for celebration. While Thanksgiving in the United States is held on the fourth Thursday in November, the fall harvest usually happens much earlier. The Santa Fe Community Garden in the Railyard held their harvest festival in mid-October. The gardeners celebrated both their veggie harvest and the first year of community gardening in the Railyard.

Walk Softly and Carry a Heavy Stick

Mule Deer Scat

As I try to live more sustainably I keep learning about how far I have to go. Case in point - Sustainable Meat Eating. I'm an omnivore and I have learned a lot about the negative health and environmental impacts of Factory farmed meats. I'm shifting my diet away from CAFO produced meats, but I still want to eat some meat. My options are to choose animals which are raised in a more humane way, wild-caught meats, and hunting wild game myself. This fall I found out how difficult it is to catch your own four-footed meal.

Two Weekends of Ski Stoke in Santa Fe

In Deep: The Skiing Experience

Are you ready for the start of ski season? Stock up on excitement and gear over the next two weekends in Santa Fe. Watch 'In Deep' Nov. 6th and 'Flakes' on Nov. 15 at the Jean Cocteau Theater for deep powder fun and big mountain thrills. Pick up new boots, boards and bindings, clothes and assorted snow sports gear at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center during the Santa Fe Ski Team Swap from Nov. 13 through 15. Read below for dates, times and locations and mark your calendar for some pre-season stimulation. Until then, Think Snow!

On finding out how the neighborhood tastes.

Checking the Beehive

This past weekend, we found out how the neighborhood tastes...to a bee. I finished my fine beekeeping class series at EcoVersity and started thinking about how to wrap up the beekeeping season on my hives. That meant it was time to deal with honey.

Hunting the Fifth Kingdom

Wild Mushrooms

Are you a fungophobe or a fungophile? I love mushrooms, well the edible ones anyway. Mushrooms are great on pizza, in a pasta sauce, grilled, stuffed, in a soup or nearly any dish. Have you ever wanted to taste something beyond the ordinary button / Portobello mushrooms that most grocery stores carry? Some grocers carry more expensive varieties like oyster, shitake and enoki. A great way to find more interesting species of mushroom is to hunt them in the wild.

Saving the season, part two

Peach - Ginger Jam

It's Labor Day weekend and summer has begun winding down. I can only hope that it won't be winding down too quickly because it was just in the past few days that I noticed little proto-green beans on the vine. However, people are back in school, it is cool in the morning, and the scent of roasting green chile has permeated the northern New Mexico air. As the days get shorter, I feel this mad desperation coming over me to preserve what I can of summer.

Saving the Season

Tarragon Cucumber Pickles

Ladies and gentlemen, I have canned. It was a hot, sticky, dirty dish producing business. However, I have two lovely sealed jars of apricot butter waiting for my use some time this fall or winter. It better be this fall or winter, because I did not go through the processing step and hope that I kept everything clean enough to avoid botulism for awhile.

Living Off the Grid vs. in Town

Green Acres

Carbon Footprint. Peak Oil. Energy Independence. All of these are different ways to talk about how fossil fuels are a finite resource and supplies are running out, quickly*. Given that crude oil, dirty coal and natural (methane) gas reserves are at, or near, peak production how will you prepare for short supplies and high prices? In other words - Do you move off the grid or stick it out in town? Doug Fine has staked his claim on the Funky Butte Ranch in the backwoods of southwestern New Mexico while I'm here in suburban Santa Fe, NM.

A Midsummer's Night's Dinner

Zuchini & Tomato Sauté

Can you believe summer is half over? I know this not only from the calendar but the contents of our Beneficial Farms CSA box. Apparently, the recent heat spell signalled the end of the flood of greens (kale, collards, chard, etc.) or at least a pause until cooler weather this fall. I can't tell you how happy the sight of summer squash made me when it showed up this past week.

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