Tag Archives: comfort

Denver Urban Gardens’ 5th Annual Bicycle Garden Tour

Sage and sapience at Steele School Garden

Sage and sapience at Steele School Garden

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure to participate in Denver Urban Gardens’ (DUG) annual bicycle tour in south Denver. Once a year DUG takes us on a cycling tour of some of their 80+ community gardens and then we have a potluck. Little secret here: the BEST potlucks are held by gardeners and foodies! Well, you can imagine. Like community gardening, the cycling tour was a way to commune with like-minded folks, make lasting friends, groove in the bounty of a summer’s garden and savor a morning in the sunshine! The weather couldn’t have been finer and did I mention the food? Yesterday’s tour covered about 8 miles of easy cycling. We started with our guide, Scot, from DUG at Rosedale Garden and then we pedaled on to South Grant Community Garden, Urquhart Memorial Community Garden, Steele School Garden, The Bridge Community Garden, and then back to Rosedale for our potluck. As will happen with firsthand observance and fun, I learned many interesting facts and insights about how community gardens and city farmers are flourishing!  [Please visit the photo album at City Farmer’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/City-Farmer/139796795040]

Rosedale Community Garden 

The Rosedale Community Garden

The Rosedale Community Garden

resides in the University Park neighborhood and is the largest community garden in the Denver metro area with 80 plots plus common areas including an orchard, grape arbor, beehive and picnic/gathering area. Their composting operation in the back has been well established and honed over the years. Among other amenities and resources, DUG provides its gardens with the expertise of a certified Master Composter. This garden was established in the 80’s and has a board of directors. The beehive is a new addition and is the only community garden beehive in the city. The bees here will produce 300+ pounds of honey this year! The hive is maintained by its owner who will share the honey harvest with the garden and will also donate sweetness to Project Angel Heart. There is also a resident fox and her cubs at the garden. She maintains the squirrel and rabbit population at zero. Ms. Fox lives in harmony with the gardeners – children, teens and adults alike – and the garden has built a protective fence around her den opening.  Continue reading

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Canning is comfort…in a Slow Food way

Beets ready for pickling

Beets ready for pickling

Last Saturday I was privileged to have a home canning class with Claudia Kuhns in Denver. I had watched my Grandmas putting up their fruits and veggies as a kid, but I never remembered the technicalities – I did, however, remember the art.

I’m the sort of person who needs to see and hear and feel this kind of thing in order to get it. I need to get the technicality of it. And further, I need to understand ALL aspects: the worship of the plant, the brilliance of saving it, and definitely the technique and the engineering involved. And finally, last but not least, I need to experience the gastronomy of it: the science of appreciating the plant and the palette. Let me see if I can share my canning album with you here. Otherwise, please find it on my Facebook page called ‘City Farmer’ and become a fan if you will http://www.facebook.com/editphoto.php?aid=140778&id=139796795040#/album.php?aid=140790&id=139796795040&ref=nf

And let me say more about home canning and your options: You don’t need to have grown the veggies and fruits yourself. Don’t be hesitant in the least about buying fresh, local organic food to can and preserve. We all need to support our local farms who work so hard to offer us fresh, organic foods.  Be a purveyer! And furthermore, don’t you want to have fresh, organic foods that you’ve canned (with love) to feed to your family in the winter?

Our produce – tiny little delicious beets – was provided by Grant Family Farm. And the exquisite, flawless sweet cherries were grown with love and provided by Ela Family Farms. Thank you farmers!

Claudia’s and Irena’s Pickled Beet Brine

1 qt organic apple cider vinegar

1 qt + 1 cup water

1cup + 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoon salt

Mix and modify to your taste. This would also be quite tasty with canned sweet potatoes and others. Experiment for more delight!

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