Thursday, December 18, 2008

A slice of summer to get through the cold...

Local foods aren't all about fresh produce from your farmers market. Happy Girl Kitchen is bringing back the traditions of food preservation and PICKLING! 

They buy food from local farmers that they may not be able to sell at market because it's just too ripe to make it in wholesale shipping to markets far away, or it's too wierdly shaped, or just because they're the best cucumbers for pickling! 

I'm so lucky to see these guys at farmers markets all over the Bay Area. Look for your local picklers at your farmers market. And if you want to get inspired check out the Happy Girl Kitchen story you can even buy some for your Christmas presents. So. Good. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The making of the gifts...

I hope to make use of my plant collecting for my Holiday crafting this year. Step one: photos...

Foliage... cool. December is all about planting here in the fog belt. A trip to Building Resources and Flora Grubb has a little green going on in our urban jungle. Next stop--taking over the backyard for some serious veggie growing!!

PS tons of new trees on Irving between 6th and 7th! Go FUF!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eating Less Meat Hits the Global Climate Conversation

Meat production on a corporate scale, is a huge emitter of greenhouse gases (not to mention a huge drain on our water supply here in CA). 

A lot of vegetarians and environmentalists alike have been talking about this on the fringes.  It's finally hit the discussion boards at global climate change talks. Check out this NYT article here

"Producing a pound of beef creates 11 times as much greenhouse gas emission as a pound of chicken and 100 times more than a pound of carrot."

Could I be 100% Organic?

A Doctor who ate nothing but organic food for three years reports he feels more energetic and gets sick less often on his all organic diet. A good read here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye November.

I blinked and you were gone....

The last day of November=
a sun soaked flop out at the Botanical Garden
potting new plants for the front stoop
fall pizza at Park Chow
(that's right butternut squash and brussel sprouts on pizza. DAMN.)
& a sleepy sunday night of soup making and catching up
good night november.

Giving Thanks Beach Side

Made butternut+apple soup and roasted beet+goat cheese+spinach.

Post dinner-pre dessert seaside stroll. Thankful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A week of them. Worm compost bin, started. First batch of homebrew, bottled. Skype, downloaded. Roux/gumbo, attempted. Breeders, revisted live=the most fun show, ever.

my camera is dying...

...a slow death. It is just about 5 years old & it's been good to me. But I think I have to move on. What kind of camera should I get??

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It is ridiculously beautiful outside & I'm stuck on the 28th floor, freezing in our air conditioned environment. At least I have a view....

Monday, November 10, 2008

I can breathe again.

Spent most of October and the beginning of November already, traveling for work and play--but now I'm back in the fog-kissed hills I call home.

Last Tuesday night, a weight I didn't even know I carried was lifted from my shoulders. I can breathe again. This country can find words and meaning again.

What I love most is Obama's unrelenting call to each and every one of us to take ownership over this country, to take responsibility for our lives and for each other. It's not all about the government, it is about how we live and give each and every day.

So much has floated in the interweb that is inspiring this week. Here are some tear-jerkers, and don't misses for you...What's inspiring you?

A Campaign in Photos: My experience of the 2008 election has been words, save the few debates, words spoken over the radio or seen on the written page. I'm glad these photos will be the few cherished images I'll remember.

A reprieve of Langston Hughes' " Let America Be America again"

An eloquent editorial from the Times. "You can’t proclaim freedom as you torture. You can’t promote democracy as you disappear people. You can’t stand for the rule of law and strip prisoners of basic rights. You can’t dispense with the transparency and regulation essential to modern capital markets and hope still to be the beacon of free enterprise."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Travels captured in the heart, soul and belly

3 hour dinner with lovely ladies at Gottino--small plates not to be missed. Crostini with fresh cheeses and walnut pestos and pumpkin flowing wine.

Yoga @ Sivananda center in Chelsea followed by a home cooked polenta pizza

Dancing the night away to Jens Lekman at the Bell House

Making beet/apple/pear juice to go with fresh bagels in a cozy Brooklyn apt

Paying $2 to get into the Met and discovering Rudy Burckhardt photos and the life of a curator

Running through the rain to grub at Momofuku = soy eggs, shitake steamed buns and veggie ramen with roasted romanesco

Travels Captured on Film

DC to NYC by way of the Acela--the only way to go.

Thanks to a co-worker I found Madison Square Park and it is magical.

A view from my temporary office...
Scary hotel shots...

Pocket Seed Library

Seed libraries in SF are sprouting! Yay! Check it out here: Pocket Seed Library

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blogging for what?

Read this old NYT Magazine article on the way home from AZ: Blog-Post Confidential. Made me totally question the existence of this blog and my own motives. The article is so self-indulgent and narcissistic--everything I don't like about blogging, most likely because I feel exactly like that when I do blog. Who gives a shit what I have to say, what I like, what I'm reading right now, or what photos I take? I don't really think about people reading my blog, my motives are to get me writing and taking photos for myself. I've been a habitual journaler forever, this seemed like a logical extension of that. Then I get excited about something and I decide to tell another friend that I have a blog. Then, every once in awhile I get a mysterious comment and I'm reminded that randoms do lurk this page. And then I start to feel silly and stupid for putting things up for the world to see. Maybe it's because I'm so new at this--I haven't done myspace or facebook, so I'm not used to putting a piece of myself out there. We'll see...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

From AZ to Back East...

I've been on the after 3 hours in the pre-am hours at the airport, my trip east has been postponed a day. Hell yes, I've got my Sunday back! (Did you know some airlines charge $15 per bag! & over book flights by 50-75 people? WTF

Tomorrow, could be hellish, my luggage could be lost in Dulles, but today is Sunday and I love it.  Drinking coffee, eating homemade poached eggs over wilted spinach on a thick slice of Arizmendi bread. 

Good things: 
Check this to get inspired about your waste and your DIY carbon footprint. 

Don't miss this Food Issue from the NYTimes. And it's interactive article after my own heart here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In Mourning...

Ella Bella Farms has been a regular stop in my farmers' market shopping for over two years---first as a gem at the Temescal market then every Tuesday at the Ferry Plaza Market. I'm addicted to their beautiful berries, first strawberries, then black and raspberries. All of their produce just glows with deliciousness. Broccoli, dino kale, fuji apples, romaines and gem lettuces and I can't even begin to describe their repertoire of tomatoes.

Last Tuesday I bought the last of my produce at Ella Bella -- the family is living out a life long dream, farming on the Big Island in Hawaii! Despite efforts to pass along their land to another family for farming, the big berry mogol Driscoll's will be monoculturing that soil into oblivion.

This loss, another loss of a family farm in our community is what I'm mourning. Yes I'm mourning some of the best produce I've ever had, that has nourished me through many seasons. Yes, I'm mourning losing some of the biggest hearted, friendly farmers at the market. But really I'm mourning the loss of land dedicated to our food sovereignty, land dedicated to healthy soils and healthy foods for the Bay Area.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Report from Litquake

I made it past the bass and the crowds of scantily clad Love Fest goers into my favorite of all public institutions The Public Library, for a Litquake event on Saturday. It was the food focused part of an afternoon dubbed, "Off the Richter Scale". All Litquake events are notable in that they are readings---instead of an author talking about their work, they read it. Some are great readers, others a little less impassioned.

But what's fascinating is what authors choose to read, which passages they pick to share in an intimate way in a very public setting. A new trend, moving past reading passages from books to reading blog posts/newsletters and the like. Being an author in the now is about utilizing all of these mediums to reach an audience, to explore an idea, to be creative, to be more marketable.

The highlight for me was the person who brought me out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the first place: Bryant Terry. He read an excerpt of a rant/blog post turned article that addressed a need to reclaim Southern Food traditions--instead of being fried meats with a side of overcooked vegetables and sugar layered upon cream and sugar for dessert--instead, Southern Food traditions are so much more than that. Get inspired, read his article, Reclaiming True Grits, here.

There was barely anyone there, yet when I contemplated introducing myself to this food hero of mine I couldn't think of anything intelligent to ask or say. Something to work on...

Other highlights included Rothko inspired desserts by Citizen Cake, sake as food, and tales of the Mission Burrito.

Food grown and jammed

Plum & Tomato Jam (tomatoes, jalapenos, ginger, sugar, and other goodness, mmmmm) Thanks Ms. E for getting me on the jamwagon.

Scoping out a community garden plot...only to discovered the only person to be thrown out of a community garden. Steve, the guerrilla gardener, who cultivates the space just in front of the fence. In a few months we may make it past the wait list...

My new favorite Saturday afternoon activity: cappuccino w/ chocolate biscotti and a book. Right now? Zen Mind Beginner's Mind and Stegner's Here the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

War Memorial Opera House...

MUNI 74: The culture bus & a rant rebuked.

The California Academy of Science just reopened in my neighborhood--you know I love it's living roof & LEED Platinum status but I'm hating the fact that it is a car magnet. Yes, there are lines of traffic throughout my neighborhood because the garage is perpetually full and there are few car free options.

Until MUNI 74x the Culture bus went online Sept 20th complete with it's own logo and look. It could also be called the tourist bus, hitting almost every major museum and shopping spot in the city. I'll be curious to see if this bus works to reduce the traffic congestion in my neighborhood and the rest of the city...and if my rant can be rebuked.

Here are the stats according to 7x7:
-- The 74x runs daily (approximately every 20 minutes) from 8:40 a.m.-5:50 p.m.
-- The route begins downtown at Howard and New Montgomery, with a few stops on out to the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park
-- The cost runs ya $7 smackers for all-day transport ($5 bucks for seniors and youths ages 5-17)
-- MUNI monthly FastPass holders pay an additional $3
-- Tickets are available onboard; exact change required

Free Advice

I've been lurking craigslist looking for free wood pallets for a garden project and I came across an offer for free advice. So good I'm tempted to ask.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Graze the Roof!

Glide Memorial
(a progressive church/community services center) is now host to another amazing program--a rooftop garden for youth! Put together in 4 months with the help of many great volunteers this space has been transformed to a space of beauty that is now producing healthy , local food for people who need it the most and providing youth a place in the tenderloin.
A self-watering container. A feat of technology.

A garden made from the excesses of our transnational food system. All items can be found in the trash behind suburban big box grocery stores...Planters are all made of reclaimed wooden pallets, painstakingly plied apart, sanded, stained and reformed. Inside are lined milk crates to keep soil out but allow for good drainage.

Dresser drawers converted to salad producers! missed photo op---the awsome murals all around the space.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Should our libraries have seeds too?

Our shared food knowledge is disappearing. Our knowledge on how to grow our food and how to prepare and preserve our food is not being documented or recorded or learned or taught. Can we find ways for our public institutions to support, to document, to nurture this knowledge?

I love this exhibit that is just a stones throw from the Civic Center Victory Garden--it's a compelling way to start the conversation. Maybe this is so close to my heart because it blends two things that absolutely capture me--libraries and gardening.

"This project is a seed planted in the cultural soil of the city to be nurtured, irrigated and grown to full maturity by the San Francisco community.

Through this art project, we propose that our Public Library system create a new branch dedicated to seed exchange, as well as the loaning of gardening tools and literature associated with farming, gardening and urban greening.

The simple seed is at the core of a new narrative about urban preoccupation in a sustainable food system. the seed poses the question: What are the ethical, and social ramifications of feeding ourselves today?"

What do you think? For more info and pictures about this exhibit look here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fallen Fruit Takes New Life

The NYTimes reports on a new wave of urban gleaning--when community activists harvest the bounty of neighborhood fruit trees. Figs, citrus, apples & so much more that would otherwise go to waste is donated to food banks and helps spread community and local food knowledge.

This is one of the most inspiring actions going on in the local food movement--check out groups like Fallen Fruit or Amity Works for inspiration.

Ball of joy

I got to hang out with this one all weekend...I'm going to be the coolest Aunt. Ever. Why? Cause she makes it easy, she's happiest little one I've seen. Highlights? Watching her sleep, waking up to her in the morning, her first trip to the beach when she wouldn't stop talking.

The strangest thing I found out is that she just makes me want to LOVE and show my love. No holding back, no limits, no bullshit. & not just with her, with everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a day to look towards hope

The 7th's hard to look at hope today, with no real action towards ending the fear and hatred in the world at the root of it all, when I've spent the last week screaming at the radio as I follow the elections that have become such an outrageous circus. But every time we succumb to cynicism, we chip away at Democracy.

So it's a good time to look towards hope---to look at the clouds and create your own vision. Thanks for inspiring me with your photos mr. p.albert Check them here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Had an incredible potluck birthday celebration at my place this weekend--I'm so lucky to have so many good people in my life that can cook some damn good food (and can knit, jam the best dam blueberries, and get zenned out). Can't believe I don't have any photos of the feasting: black bean salad, spinach dip, spring rolls, homemade pizza and breads, quinoa salads, chickpeas saladed and masala-ed, broccoli wonder, carrot cake, crumbly cookies, and a trifle complete with birthday candles. Lots and lots of wine, and a little homebrew too. MMMMM. Thank You!

Inspired to Travel...

Check out this article/blog/videos for good ideas on traveling cheap in Europe. My sister will be settled in Copenhagen by the end of many reasons to go. Now. I've got the travel itch.

Monday, September 8, 2008