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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project

“The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library’s collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions….The Feeding America online collection hopes to highlight an important part of America’s cultural heritage for teachers, students, researchers investigating American social history, professional chefs, and lifelong learners of all ages.”

I can already tell this website will be occupying a nice chunk of my time for the next few weeks. Such a wealth of information, especially for a cookbook fan like myself.

The Historic American Cookbook Project



Strange seeds

Last summer I bought a few unique melons from the farmer’s market. I had no clue what they were called or what they would taste like. As I recall, they had white to yellow flesh and were all very sweet. I saved the seeds from each, without knowing what I was doing at all. I vaguely remember placing them in a tupperware container in the refrigerator for a few days (maybe a week?) before I had time to clean, seperate, and dry them. I saved them in a mason jar, stuck them on a shelf in the garage, and then promptly forgot about them. While looking for something else the other day, I found the little jar of seeds. Next to the melon jar was another container of unidentified squash seeds. Maybe pumpkin? Maybe acorn squash? The plot thickens.

Although it’s late in the summer now (possible too late for these mystery seeds) I decided to go ahead and plant them anyway and see if they would sprout. The garden is totally experimental right now, so why not? A few days after planting, I visited the seed bench and was suprised to see that they had indeed sprouted. The mystery squash seedlings (the middle row of the photo) are quite large and healthy looking, although only the initial leaves have opened so far. (I will wait until the second set of leaves emerges before putting the seedlings in the ground.) Most of the melon seeds sprouted, but not all.

I am reading Amy Goldman’s wonderful book Melons for the Passionate Grower, and gleaning a ton of information from it. Melons are unique and varied, but slightly complicated when it comes to pollination and growth. You have to keep melon plants far away from each other if you don’t want to risk cross-pollination, for example. But one step at a time for me. I have to see whether or not these seedlings even survive transplanting before I worry too much about future problems.

Time will tell what these strange seeds do and become. And maybe this will teach me to start labelling my seeds? Let’s hope so…

Onion harvest

We got a pretty decent onion harvest this weekend. Enough for our small family, anyway…

California native garden

The California native demonstration garden at work is really coming together. The drought tolerant plants are thriving in this Mediterranean climate. They are also attracting a host of hummingbirds, moths and butterflies, and an array of insects. Water use in the garden has been reduced dramatically without any compromise to its beauty.

Cherry Sage (Salvia microphylla)

Bush Monkey Flower (Mimulus longiflorus)


Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana)


The Wild World

Lloyd’s Awesome Blog

“…goshdarnit, the wild world just reaches out and grabs me again and again.” — Lloyd Kahn, editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications


Dharma Talks

Dharma Talks

Here is the link to the San Francisco Zen Center’s online library of Dharma Talks. So much good stuff here.


Fresh Lemon-y Health Water



For a refreshing and uplifting summer beverage, try a glass (or jar) of Fresh Lemon-y Health Water. Take a few sprigs each of lemon verbena and lemon balm. Place them in your chosen container and set in a sunny spot for an hour or two. Then remove the herbs and refrigerate, if desired. Relax and enjoy!

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