Sunday, December 19, 2010

a good find

The Paris Review has hundreds of interviews of artists and authors dating back to the 50s online. Hemingway. Ellison. many amazing people!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

weekend weekend weekend

watch out.
I'm feeling the spirit of the season for the first time in...forever.
weekend= bike riding, coffee drinking, arizmendi pizza eating, and botanical garden wandering

weekend was also: organizing, and lots of sunday cooking.
Fire cider brewing to keep the winter sicknesses away. Hummus.
Rustic cabbage & white bean soup.
(shoulda gone for the gorgonzola, nothing like leftover cabbage soup over gorgonzola toast)

Friday, December 10, 2010


A magical wintry night had me walking the streets of my neighborhood last weekend--windows decked with holiday wishes, neighbors stringing christmas lights on tiny porches, the last of the drunken santas tired from a full day of SFs ritual santa con eating slices of greasy pizza on the street, teenagers preening for their QuinceaƱera celebration with manicures. Mission street glowing with bright the reds, greens, and golds of holiday consumables for a $1. Valencia street such a stark difference just a block away with people waiting outside restaurants for a fancy meal.

Photos from my stroll...

I decided to peek into one of my favorite used bookstores Dog Eared Books.

My life long love affair with books has been on a bit of a hiatus. My books still hold a coveted space in my tiny room--each old favorite a reminder of a time or place or emotion in my life, each unopened book the potential for a new adventure--but I haven't finished a book in I don't know how long. I check out stacks of books from the library, mostly of the gardening and non-fiction sort, but reading a book cover to cover, it's been too long. I spend too much time in front of the screen--my attention span dwindling to the length of half an article in a magazine. Since I made the switch to biking, my commute is no longer a refuge for reading.

Since the shocking self-revelation that I've been ignoring the printed word, I'm back on the sauce...and my visit to the aisles of Dog Eared rekindled my love. My wanderings brought me to the back of the store, where they were the feature story in that Sunday's New York Times travel story about the literary scene in SF. Serendipitous!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hard work

This spring I started working with an incredibly dedicated group of young urban farmers to focus on SF local food policy. Lately this work is seeing the light of day--sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the are my latest thoughts.

We came together to make a mandate have some muscle. We came together to promote growing food in this little city by the sea. We came together because we all feel the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Because we should all have access to affordable, healthy, and chemical-free food.

Such hard work.

We spent hours around conference tables after our day jobs hashing out the question: how do we build a strong urban agricultural system in SF? and do it with no money. and put that on one page please.

But then, right out of the gate, our good idea was turned into the wrong idea in the wrong place. A little over a week ago the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center / Native Plant Nursery received a 90-day eviction notice. Despite 3 hours of public testimony--when local food advocate after garden advocate after homeless advocate stood up in solid support for the Recycling Center. Instead, over 36 years of providing recycling services will be put to an end and 10 green jobs will be lost. All in the name of putting in a new community garden and resource center. The same type of center we recommended to the city--a place where residents can get mulch and compost and manure and other foundations for starting a garden. But this neighborhood already has access to one of my favorite SF garden resources, Garden for the Environment. There is a glimmer of hope that the recycling center will be saved. Good will come of this -- because as urban farming advocates this is a huge lesson to be more strategic and organized about our next steps. It's time to get active.

Today's Huffington Post article by SF Public Utilities Commission president Francesca Vietor provides some hope that SF food and farming policy will move forward for the better. She's continuing the PUC innovation of providing public land for public good--growing food.


view from up high. emerging from the fog.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

workin it.

Here's some rad photos and a blog post from a recent trip I took to the Sierra Meadows--the new focus of my day job :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

my red lentil sweet potato soup

Cause you know you want a big warming bowl of soup on these cold nights. This recipe is simple, fast, and forgiving -- don't have something, you can probably get away with it.

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup
1 1/2 tblspoon olive oil
1/2-1 large onion, chopped
1-3 teaspoons of cumin seed (or more ground cumin if that's all you got)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (don't be shy...)
1 inch ginger, chopped or grated (if you've got it)
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
1/2 cup canned tomatoes
2 celery ribs (if you've got em')
1 carrot chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt (at least)
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups water
red chile pepper flakes, dill, yogurt to top

(other things to add if you've got them: curry powder, lime/lemon, chard/spinach/kale)

The cookin;
  1. Heat oil over moderately high heat until hot, then saute onion, stirring until golden about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic cumin, salt other spices if you like, then tomato, celery, sweet potato and carrot--saute stirring for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add lentils, water, broth and simmer, uncovered stirring every once in awhile until the lentils are tender.
Top with red chile pepper flakes, lime, dill, and yo if you've got some on hand. Mmmmm.

Friday, November 26, 2010


a big bike ride to 42nd and Clement for a hike along the north west coast of the city.
I like being a tourist in my own city.

a day of decadence

a crisp bernal hill hike
five carefully crafted courses
first. cheese, homemade hummus, and red wine

second. fresh from the garden salad.

third. ben's borscht with chickpeas.

fourth. a shroomy pizza piled high.
banjo & belgian beer course...

the most beautiful of pizzas.
yes that's kale, four cheeses, chantrelles and portobellos, olives, and fake sausage. damn.
fifth. vegan chocolate mousse & champagne with garden grown strawberries.

thank you for the day of decadence. goodness itself.

Because Sundays are fun days.

ask yourself: what does it mean to know a place?

Rebecca Solnit & Infinite City @ the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. Solnit, a writer/activist/San Franciscan that draws circles in thought where you may have only seen a straight line, tells the story of SF through maps.
"we are each an atlas of a place"

to know the center is to know a work of art, a military base transformed,
a place of quiet green beauty, where you can apprentice as an artist or a baker. Where this room of found objects connects all the dots...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


community garden plot!

my first chayote harvest!

big sky

galette a la 327 bartlett

the best way to start my day -- to find this in the fridge at work...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Henry Coe Fall 2010

90 minutes away from SF and you're in an oak woodland wonderland. My first backpacking trip! I love getting to a place on my own two feet.

Early am foggy photos & sun soaked blown out pm photos, but still worth posting.

home sweet swampy home.

Lessons learned: cotton is bad. chocolate is key. and good people, essential.