Here is a peek at the things that get my heart racing on Pinterest right now…
I’ve always loved beautiful gardens and admired the green thumbs that could make those gardens blossom and grow. I’ve not had so much luck in my short gardening career, and now know how much time, hard work and dedication it takes to succeed. I have also learned in recent years what a difference a great landscape designer/architect can make.
If you were lucky enough to sit down and enjoy the New York Times Design Magazine like me yesterday, you probably came across the great article about Judy Kameon of Elysian Landscapes. Judy’s career has lead her many places, but ultimately, she is now a very successful garden designer to the stars. Her client list includes Sofia Coppola, Marc Jacobs and The Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. I love her desert-chic style. It’s simple and elegant, but clever and quirky all at the same time.
I’m completely and madly obsessed with Pinterest. Have you heard of it? It’s an amazing site where you can “pin” images to your own online “bulletin boards”. It’s so easy and so much fun! Here’s my site – check it out!
I ventured back to the New York Botanical Garden on Thursday night for the last “Edible Evening” of the summer. This week was titled “Preserving America’s Food Traditions,” with keynote speaker Josh Viertel, President of Slow Food USA. Slow Food started in Italy when Romans protested the opening of McDonald’s at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Since then it’s grown into a world-wide movement with over 18,000 members in the US.
Once the sun went down, the stage was reset for the M Shanghai String Band on the conservatory lawn. I expected classical music, but was delightfully surprised by rockin’ Bluegrass! An altogether fabulous evening in the Bronx!
Dan Barber of Blue Hill wrote a wonderful op-ed piece for the New York Times this past weekend about the tomato blight spreading through the Northeast. Frighteningly enough, Barber reports: “weather alone doesn’t explain the early severity of the disease this year. We’ve had wet, cool summers in the past, but it’s never been this bad. Instead we have to look at two other factors: the origin of the tomato plants many of us cultivate, and the renewed interest in gardening.”
Barber goes on to discuss the effects of large retailers like Home Depot and Walmart who bought starter plants from industrial breeding operations and the importance of starting plants locally from seed (if possible). He also discusses the need for agricultural education with the surge of home-gardening throughout the country. All of us who have home gardens, myself included, must educate ourselves on how to prevent and detect plant infection so that diseases like blight don’t develop and spread. Lastly, Barber discusses the need for the food community to support sustainability and natural diversity.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, where Barber buys his produce for his restaurants, offers a variety of gardening classes which teach all the theories he discusses in his article. I took one this past winter before I started my own vegetable garden, and encourage others to do the same.
Lovely photo from the Union Square Farmer’s Market by Lindsay Beyerstein from Flickr.
New York Magazine is full of great stuff this week, but the real show-stopper is a fabulous article about food titled Eat Good. Authors Beth Sahpouri and Christine Whitney set out to tell us what common foods we should avoid and what to eat instead.
Here’s a snippet: “Eating was once an enjoyable, relatively uncomplicated experience; the biggest dilemma was how much butter to put in the mashed potatoes. No more. In this post-Pollan, Food, Inc., locavore-aware world, your dinner plate, like it or not, is a minefield. Beyond the enduring concerns about calories, artificial ingredients, and, of course, taste, there are now a host of politically minded food anxieties. Is the chicken free-range? Is the salad from a labor-friendly farm? Was the coffee shade-grown? Sometimes it seems the future of the planet is riding on your hamburger.”
Next to each image in the article is a list of symbols identifying why that food should be avoided. For instance, we should not eat bananas because: big carbon footprint, unfair labor practices, pollution, ecosystem damage, corporate monopoly and overfarmed. Instead, we should eat local apples while they’re in season. Makes sense to me.
When we got home from our sailing trip yesterday I noticed that our zucchini blossoms were starting to open. It reminded me of an amazing dish I just had out in LA – fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta cheese and garlic. Absolutely amazing! I’m not sure I’m going to have enough blossoms to make a proper appetizer, but I’m going to give it a try. Just found this amazing recipe.
I was reading GOOP this morning – Gwyneth’s new post is all about eco-friendly solutions for daily life. She posted a link to the website for Good Magazine, which is full of fantasic articles about eco-solutions, green companies, etc.
I was particularly intrigued by an article by Morgan Clendaniel about a new 6,000 square-foot rooftop garden ontop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Here’s a snippet: ”New York City has very little land that is not covered with buildings, forcing New Yorkers to find innovative solutions if they want to keep their agricultural production truly local. But while some people grow a few herbs on their fire escapes, Ben Flanner is transforming an entire industrial rooftop into a living garden. Atop a defunct bagel factory in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood—a Polish enclave more known for its pierogies than its organic tomatoes—Flanner dropped 200,000 pounds of dirt on 6,000 square feet of rooftop (by crane), and in so doing brought new life into a mostly concrete neighborhood….Flanner used to work at E-Trade, but decided he had had enough of the corporate life: “About a year ago I came to the conclusion that I’d learned what I needed to learn from the jobs that I’d had,” he says. “And I decided that it was time to put together a plan to move on and continue my learning in a new realm.” He had always had an interest in farming, but the recent wave of interest in local produce and sustainable agriculture helped give him the courage to go out on his own. With the help of Annie Novak, his partner on the farm who also works at the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and visits to other farms to learn from more experienced farmers, he has started to master the techniques and knowledge necessary for a working farm.”