Savoring the Seasons: Growing inspiration
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
Ahhh ... As I write this column on Sunday, it is raining and rain is forecast throughout the week. Mr. Indigo Bunting and many bird neighbors are singing in my yard and woods. I’m so grateful the rain and birdsong drought has eased.
Several readers commented on my drought/bird silence column. Nancee Bershof from Greenfield wrote, “I so resonate with your thoughts on the warm, dry spring and the alarms going off for you. Me, too! I can move right into ‘fear.’ But, then I remember I’m actively working on my backyard permaculture development (not as far along as Sue Bridge (I recently toured her place) and that helps remind me I’m doing something active about the problem. I, too, need my community of people who are aligned with me in this awareness and asking ‘what do we do about this?’”
We are fortunate that many are taking action to help us all live and eat well, however the climate changes. Sue Tippett reminded me of our discussion about a great book by Joel Salatin titled “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.” Salatin, a third-generation “alternative farmer” in Virginia, is known for raising healthy grass-fed beef while building soil and reducing global warming. Get his book at the World Eye Bookshop and the Solar Store of Greenfield. Salatin’s warm humor shines through on his farm website, www.polyfacefarms.com, which includes information about his work as “a localized, compost-fertilized, pasture-based, beyond organic farmer.”
Inspiration for growing food and living well is a lot closer than Virginia. Deb Habib and Ricky Baruc of Seeds of Solidarity in Orange are a huge inspiration for us all. Saturday, May 25 is a great opportunity to meet Deb and Ricky and learn about Seeds of Solidarity’s solar greenhouses, no-till cardboard methods for abundant low-maintenance gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, energy efficient buildings, and youth and community programs that Grow Food Everywhere. You’re welcome to bring a potluck dish to share after the 10 to 11:30 a.m. tour.
Visit Seeds of Solidarity’s solar-powered farmstand and stock up on Seeds of Solidarity’s famous greens, as well as art and farm products from their neighborhood. Ricky and Deb will be on hand from noon to 2 p.m. to share gardening tips. The farmstand is stocked with fresh greens daily and additional Solidarity Saturday tours are Saturday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 26. There is no cost or pre-registration, but donations to support Seeds of Solidarity’s youth and community programs are appreciated. For information and directions, visit www.seedsofsolidarity.org or call Deb at 978-544-9023.
Where do you find inspiration for growing, sharing, and enjoying good food? How do you inspire your neighbors? Please share. And, please support local food pantries and community meals so all of our neighbors can savor healthy, tasty food.
Center for Self-Reliance Food Pantry Crock Pot Project welcomes donations of gently used and clean or new crock pots to distribute to families including recipes and basic ingredients for meal preparation. Drop off crock pots at 3 Osgood Street, Greenfield. Visit:
for pantry hours. Email wholesome, easy-to-fix crock pot recipes that feature six or less primary ingredients to
This Week We’re Eating ...
Fresh Lemon Chicken with Rice
2 C. long grain white rice
2 C. water
3 T. butter, cut into small cubes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pound total)
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. garlic
1 whole lemon
Place rice and water into slow cooker. Place cubed butter evenly into rice and water. Place chicken pieces into the slow cooker, on top of rice. Pour lemon juice over chicken. Sprinkle lemon zest and garlic evenly over top. Cut whole lemon into thin slices. Arrange slices on top of each piece of chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.