From the Farm to Table 2016 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — A hundred years ago, more Americans lived on farms than in cities. Most food was locally grown, and seasonal foods were enjoyed fresh or not at all. As food-preserving methods improved, our fascination with convenience took us to dubious depths of overprocessing. After decades of fast food and speedy dining, Americans hungered for a new relationship with food. Today we have come full circle. Inspired by Italy’s Slow Food movement, we prize the local and the sustainable, the authentic and the handcrafted. What’s more, America’s changing demographics have enormously enriched our dining choices with international flair. Continue reading
From the A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Gardeners often seem to be happy people, and now we know why. Recent research indicates that getting our hands “dirty” gives our brains a boost of serotonin. Mycobacterium vaccae is a soil dweller that offers humans who dabble in dirt a lovely lift. Like so many health advances, the first recognition of mood elevating effects from M. vaccae came about accidentally, when a dose intended to boost immune response serendipitously created an antidepressant effect in advanced cancer patients. Continue reading
From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — If you’re still growing old standby greens, expand your usual selection with a few newcomers. Red or green Salanova® lettuces are bred for cut-and-come-back use, so you can start trimming off a few leaves when the plants are 4–5 inches tall. Several flavorful new cool-season crops are hand bred (not genetically engineered) from classic European leafy greens. Purple Peacock broccoli, a cross between regular broccoli and kale, produces frilly foliage and tender florets that are attractively streaked with rose and purple. A similar cross between brussels sprouts and kale is called Petit Posy, which offers tender rosettes with tightly folded centers that are delicious when eaten raw, steamed, or roasted. Continue reading
From A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Our culture encourages us to think of treats in terms of eating and spending money. This year, why not explore ways to enrich your life with wholesome treats that increase your health, strength, stamina, and wellbeing? For many of us, this positive path might begin by creating a healthy relationship with food. Continue reading
From A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — A healthy life is a tapestry woven of many threads; some are bright and colorful, others are plain and workaday, yet all are an integral part of life. There can be great joy and beauty in simple daily living, especially when we strive to be mindful and present to what is all around us. Finding that simple joy is a gift we can all attain. Continue reading
We’re thrilled to introduce our new contributor Waverly Fitzgerald. We look forward to sharing her wealth of knowledge about holiday and calendar lore with you here on our blog. ~ Amber Lotus Publishing
Most Americans know the semi-mythological story of the first Thanksgiving, how the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony after a successful harvest in 1621 shared a meal with members of the Patuxet people, who had helped them plant their crops. But what many do not realize is that they were both acting out long-standing cultural traditions. The harvest festival, although it is celebrated at different times of the year and with different foodstuffs, is part of every culture around the world. Continue reading
From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Crisp, crunchy, and flavorful, cool-season greens have been winter staples for centuries. With the protection of cold frames or plastic tunnels, kale, chard, and cabbage can be harvested all winter, even in the snow. For variety and good looks, plant rainbow chard or Bright Lights Swiss chard, both of which produce vividly colorful stems in shades of raspberry, coral, peach, and salmon. The crinkled foliage holds up well into the cooler months and can be sautéed, steamed, or stir-fried.