Finally, a travel mug that Does Not Leak and is Easy To Clean

For Christmas, my cousin Tiff gave me a stainless steel, double-walled coffee mug made by Stanley, pictured at right.  I must admit I wasn't enthusiastic at first.  I've had a lot of travel mugs,

Hoop house in the snow

Here's what happened to our hoop house after we got six inches of drifting snow:

interior of hoop house in snow

Sheet mulching with ragweed

ragweed and cornstalk layer in an okra bedMidsummer poses a number of challenges here at our urban farm.  It's when I've finally gotten around to preparing garden beds for sheet-mulching, but that means I need a large volume of green organic matter, as well as the leaves or straw I've saved from the previous fall.  Grass clippings are easy to come by, but they tend to turn slimy and smelly under sheet mulch conditio

cheesy walnut burgers

When I lived in Fairfield and Jessie would come to visit every few weeks, one of her favorite things to do in town was to go to Small Planet Cafe and have a cheddar walnut burger.  We both agreed it was delicious and had a great texture.  On our last visit to the restaurant I asked for the recipe, only to find that the burgers were a frozen product made in Minnesota!  This appears to be it: http://www.walnutburger.com/  We were disappointed, not least because Small Planet claimed to be inspired by the famous cookbook, which rails ag

In praise of Tyfon, King of Greens!

photo courtesy of Daphne's DandelionsBack in the summer of 2008 when I was first ordering plants for our winter garden, I came across an item called "tyfon" or "Holland greens." It was in the section of the Territorial Seed catalog devoted to cover crops, and indeed when the seed packet arrived it said "EDIBLE GREEN MANURE."  How appetizing!  But in farming lingo, a "green manure" is just a cover crop that improves the soil... multiple sources said that tyfon could be eaten by people as well as animals, so I ordered it, along with several other crops that Territorial promised were winter-hardy.

The case for "smart" surge protectors

I've been seeing magazine and newsletter articles for some time promoting the new "smart" surge protector that shut off power to peripheral devices when a "master" device is turned off, but I figured we didn't need one because we usually turn off our power strips manually.  In practice, though, we often weren't turning off the one in the living room, because we'd turn off the TV with the remote and then walk away, go to bed, etc.  So I decided to pick up a Philips mo

Why we keep making movies like Avatar

This is a response to a blog post called "When will White People Stop Making Movies like Avatar?" by Annalee Newitz.  The post made me upset when I first read it, but I hadn't seen Avatar yet, and besides, her argument is protected by the good old rhetorical ploy, "If this makes you feel defensive, you must be a racist."  Now that I've seen the film, I disagree more strongly on a number of po

"Stories and Songs for a Green Earth" now available!

My mother's new album of stories and songs is now available on CD Baby!  You can download individual tracks for $.99 or the whole album for $9.99, or buy a disc for $12.97.  More information about the disc is available on her Web site.

Garden 2009 report

In preparation for tomorrow evening's Green Living Emporia meeting, which may or may not actually happen, here's a list of plants we grew in the garden's first year:

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