Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: How edible is your landscape?


When you look around where you live, do you ask yourself, “How edible is this landscape?” That’s a question I’ve pondered for awhile.

Many of us have vegetable gardens, grow food in containers, or raise sprouts in jars on our kitchen counters. And, we’re fortunate to live in an area with LOTS of farms and commercial food producers. Yet most of us think of growing food only in specific sections of our gardens, or as something that someone else does.

Marie Stella from Ashfield thinks about the bigger picture of “edible landscape.” She’s a landscape designer and instructor who lives in Ashfield at the Beaver Lodge. Along with a vegetable garden, Marie has fruit trees, edible shrubs, and an herb garden. She also eats many of the flowers that grow in her garden. Did you know tulip flowers are edible? I didn’t until Marie told me about serving chicken salad stuffed inside a tulip blossom. Wow!

I talked recently with Marie about her participation in the Green Building Open House this weekend ... see information below.

“Edible landscapes” makes me think of Seeds of Solidarity and their “Grow Food Everywhere” motto. Fifteen years ago, Ricky Baruc of Seeds of Solidarity helped dream up the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, which is happening Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6, in Orange. At the Festival, you can learn a lot about making your landscape edible, including how to grow your own garlic. Check out the festival schedule, exhibitors, performers, local living workshops, travel, and parking information at

Part of what makes our landscape wonderfully consumable is turning food waste into garden compost. Garlic and Arts composts and recycles almost everything and is almost trash-free. Inspired by Garlic and Arts, I’ve helped Conway’s Festival of the Hills reduce the amount of trash at the Festival. Come to the Festival of the Hills on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and say “Hi.” I’ll be wearing my “It’s Not Garbage Til You Throw It Away” apron. Get the full scoop about Conway’s Festival of the Hills at

Be a savvy festival-goer and bring your own place setting, reusable water bottle and reusable shopping bags to every festival you visit.

Green Building Open House, Saturday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring many Franklin County buildings, from single-family residences to educational buildings to farms. Regional event sponsored by Greenfield-based Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). For information, visit For information about the Beaver Lodge, contact Marie at 413- 625-2009 or

This week we’re eating ...

Roasted Pear Crumble

By Pat Lively, Seattle (from

We tried this recipe last night and I must say BEYOND DELICIOUS!

2 ripe, firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, halved & cored

2 tsp. olive oil

2 T. olive oil

¼ C. raw almonds + pecans, coarsely chopped

¼ C. pumpkin seeds

2 T. brown sugar

2 T. old-fashioned oats

pinch kosher salt

1 T. sesame seeds, preferable black

½ C. mascarpone

2 tsp. sugar

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. Place pears, cut side up, on small baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tsp. olive oil, roast on upper rack until soft, 20-30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Toss almonds, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, oats, salt and remaining 2 T. oil on small baking sheet. Toast on lower rack, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in sesame seeds. Let cool. Whisk mascarpone and sugar in small bowl. Spoon mascarpone onto plates and top with pears and nut-oat crumble.

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