Skip to main content

Sunday Reading

Stubbers "helping" me stay on task.
The new office assistants are keeping me hopping, that's for sure. Last week must have been a fluke of peacefulness, because it's been a steady run of laundry, food, and play time all for them ever since. It's a miracle I got to read anything this week. Here's a few items I got to savor in between kitten attacks.

Food and Farming

What 'No Antibiotic' Claims Really Mean at Consumer Reports lays out in detail what that means in different contexts. The related links on food labeling are also worth sitting down with, too.

Nature in Various Forms

Hundreds of Shoes Form Memorial in Puerto Rico After Maria Death Toll Spikes at Huffington Post is a vivid portrayal of the grief and frustration these U.S. citizens continue to face nearly a year after the hurricane struck. Check out the good work being done by the Land+Heart Project in Puerto Rico to see one of way of how to help.

Invasive Beetle Threatens Japan's Beloved Cherry Blossoms at The Japan Times tells of the threat posed to the nation's beloved trees by the red-necked longhorn beetle. A stowaway on imported lumber perhaps, the beetle is munching its way along.

The team and I recently listened to Krista Tippett talk with Michael McCarthy for a recent episode of On Being, and then I found this amazing piece, Nature and the Serious Business of Joy, at Brainpickings. Deep, complex, and beautifully written, the article is worth the time it takes to read and ponder.


Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro