Fashion Week with Work Boots

Post by Cheryl Corson I left home just before 7am Wednesday for a 2 hour drive south to Sandy’s Plants near Richmond, Virginia. Sandy McDougle is a retired school teacher with a slight Southern twang, whose 35 acre family home has grown in her retirement to accommodate one of the finest perennial growing facilities in the region. All the well-known retail garden centers around DC get at least some plants from Sandy’s. I use them for my clients, and for our own place outside the city. Sandy and her Sales Manager Elise host some events in the spring and fall …

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Eulogy to a Greenhouse

The weather is starting to warm up and it is time for hibernating farmers to wake up from a winter slumber and get back to work.  Yesterday, we kicked off the season by taking down the remainder of our collapsed greenhouse (technically it was a hoophouse because it was covered in soft plastic). We used the greenhouse for 5 years on our farm.  It provided warmth for early and late tomatoes and strawberries and sheltered giant rosemary and lavender plants in the winter.  Over the years, we harvested thousands of pounds of full sized tomatoes and hundreds cases of our …

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February Fondant

by Tanya Tolchin I found my husband standing at the stove today dumping white sugar into a giant canning pot and rooting around for the elusive tiny jar of cream of tartar.  He was making his first fondant, armed with a circa 1921 recipe and a candy thermometer.  Fondant is that smooth white frosting you see on wedding cakes.  You might consider the date, February 14th and assume he is preparing a wonderful Valentine ’s Day delicacy inspired by the Ace of Cakes. In fact, he is preparing the fondant for his three beehives.  This late in the winter, many …

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On Challah

by Tanya Tolchin Most Fridays, I bake two loaves of challah for Shabbat dinner.  Sometimes I have no other plans for dinner beyond the challah, and we need to scramble to add something to complete the meal. I use a standard recipe, which varies based on how much whole wheat flour I add, whether there are raisins on hand, how much time there is for rising, and the temperature and humidity of the kitchen.  They come out differently each week and even between the two loaves on the same week there is often variation, one dough compliant and neatly braided, …

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Welcome to the Lettuce Edge

post by Tanya Tolchin Welcome to the Lettuce Edge, a new blog on farming, gardening, sewing, parenting, Jewish life and living green. The name refers to a few things. First, I recently read that many people consider lettuce to be the quintessential vegetable, possibly representing the very essence of vegetable-ness.  I live on a small family organic vegetable farm, so lettuce (and beets, and garlic and flowers) are at the center of our lives and table. And secondly,  I am beginning to sew and many mothers of little girls can tell you that the “lettuce edge” is as lovely as …

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