Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.
When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.
In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.
Journalist Murray Carpenter has a new book out called Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. It is a big picture look at caffeine.
Carpenter has been a steady caffeine user since his college days staying up late in the campus library drinking a couple cups of coffee so he could remain focused writing, or getting that “performance enhancing boost” it offers before a bike race.
Caffeine users are everywhere. Walk into your local coffee shop any morning and you’ll be in line with people who say they need that cup of joe to get started. Early morning, big day ahead…caffeine will make it all right. Have a late night, another cup of coffee or maybe a soda for a light buzz. Caffeine dependency creeps in and stays put, because it is the most socially acceptable form of drug use period.
A few images from Sunday's pancake breakfast celebrating Maine Maple Sunday at Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm in Raymond, Maine.
About this time of year, farmers in Maine are getting ready for another growing season, and some are preparing for extreme weather events, including flooding.
Originally I was going to write about flood insurance, but you can’t write about floods without looking at the weather and how New England is getting warmer and how that has led to an increase in precipitation in the region. If you grow food, heck if you are “just” an aware consumer, you have probably considered the agricultural consequences of climate change. It’s a fascinating and in some ways terrifying subject, especially in Maine.
As it turns out, climate change is a pretty popular subject this week. The American Association for the Advancement of Science just released the report titled "What We Know," which according to the Los Angeles Times lays out many effects of human-caused climate change already underway.
Federal Emergency Management Agency’s nationwide program to modernize Flood Insurance Rate Maps has been in the news since last summer. Residents of Cumberland and York counties are encouraged to view the new maps, and understand their level of flood risk, and learn how their properties may be affected.
The espresso machine at Tandem, it was formerly at the Blue Bottle Kiosk, where Kathleen Pratt used to work. Image by Ryan Shimala.
In the Root’s newest series on coffee, we connected with some of the craftsmen who make up Maine’s rapidly evolving specialty coffee industry and learned about where coffee comes from, environmental issues associated with coffee farming, and the aromas and tastes of brewed coffee. The coffee these craftsmen serve is the antithesis of the water-soluble instant coffee you will find in grocery stores or the over-roasted cup from the corner Starbucks. There is a lot more than an expensive marketing campaign behind their beans.
For this group of articles, The Root worked with Anestes Fotiades, the Editor of the Portland Food Map and someone who appreciates great coffee.
2014 Fedco Seed Catalog
Last month was spent enjoying seed catalogs and contemplating how many varieties of lettuce I want to grow this year (three). In a little over two weeks I will head up to Unity for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) Annual Seed Swap to pick up seeds and talk to growers who are gearing up for the season. Fedco is instrumental in putting the event together.
Over the years gardeners near and far have anxiously awaited the Fedco Seeds catalog, with its whimsical illustrations, seed descriptions, and articles. Nothing indicates the coming growing season quite like that catalog.