The Dryer Diaries

I know this blog has been on the very, very quiet side lately.  Sort of taking an unintended sabbatical, even though hundreds of little ideas keep jumping into my head to write about.  No promises on doing better since I will be away from a computer a bit this summer, but there is always hope! On the farm, I am pretty giddy to have my very own project. Sort of like a room of my own within the larger farm operation.  For a little history, my husband and I started out farming as equal partners. But after children, I pretty …

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Introducing the Perfect Flower

So it turns out we have been growing flowers for ten years now and that is a while.  We have raised lilies, glads, snapdragons, asters and all manner of zinnias and sunflowers. We have learned about selling to florists, wholesalers and farmer’s market customers.  We have brought flowers to weddings and parties and some of our flowers have even found their way to the White House. We have dried them, made wreaths and filled our dining room table countless times with abundant bunches.  But I feel like the super simple blue cornflower on the long delicate stem is the best …

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Book Review: All Natural* by Nathanael Johnson

When I heard about the new book “All Natural” by Nathanael Johnson, I was immediately intrigued.  There are not many writers who delve openly and honestly into questions about whether “natural” approaches to eating, childbirth, and medicine are actually healthier. Most people come at these topics with pretty strong leanings or an all-out agenda already in place. So those of us who want to figure it out for ourselves are usually left reading two wildly opposing opinions and trying to sort it out on our own. Nathanael Johnson offers a rare helping hand that might save some of us from …

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Yom Ha Shoah: Remembering to Remember

Tonight is the start of Yom Ha Shoah or Holocaust Memorial Day.  I feel like whoever set up the Jewish calendar made a strategic mistake by placing Holocaust Memorial Day after Passover when everyone is exhausted and just getting back to normal. Maybe if it were in the middle of Passover it would be more widely recognized.  Passover naturally brings up thinking about the holocaust, and there are similar themes but with completely different outcomes.  In our post-holocaust era, Passover has lost meaning for many. How do we celebrate God actively saving us once upon a time, when in more …

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The Four Grown Ups: A Haggadah Supplement

This morning I was thinking and reading a little about the four children in the Passover Hagaddah, which are usually depicted as the wise child, the wicked child , the simple child and the child who is too young to ask. Every Haggadah will interpret these children a little differently, but they all have suggestions on how to parent each child according to their needs. While not directly related, I was also inspired by this piece by the Velveteen Rabbi about parents obligations at Passover to children.  And since the children were playing with magnetic tiles for a long time …

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Spring Time Hurry

– A  guest post by husband/farmer Scott Hertzberg (who tried to post this on his blog but it wound up here, he says)   We have had a real winter this year capped off with snow a few days into official spring. Unlike last year, I do not have much planted yet, just some onions and garlic. We have a lot of greenhouse plants ready to go out and this week the weather will finally warm up enough to get them into the ground. It will be a mad dash to do six weeks of work in three weeks.Soon after …

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Keeping Children and Parents Engaged at Passover Seders

This piece originally ran in the Washington Jewish Week. With Passover just a few days away, most of us still have a long list of things to accomplish.  Between cleaning the house, removing chametz, shopping, gathering recipes and planning a Seder, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But if you are a parent it is worth adding one more thing to the list: deciding about how to occupy young children during the Seder and holiday.   Since Passover is all about passing on tradition, ideas abound for engaging children. One way to engage children during the week of Passover is by …

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My Passover Parenting Fail

This piece originally ran at Kveller.com. On the way home from Sunday school, my tiny children asked so many uncomfortable questions. They asked about God, and death, and bad guys, and then something even worse. That Egyptian child from the tenth plague was just temporarily frozen, I told them. Once Pharaoh realized his mistake all the children were fine. Then I desperately tried to change the subject, but it kept coming back. My children watched Prince of Egypt in Sunday school this weekend. They didn’t watch a short excerpt either. They watched a pretty big chunk of the movie and it was nowhere near …

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Shabbat and Farming Piece

Those of us in in the mid-Atlantic are hopeful that tonight will bring our first real snowstorm of the winter.  We need the moisture and I am ready for a nice mid-week snow day. Maybe it will give me a chance for a real post tomorrow if we don’t lose power. In the meantime, I want to share an article I have up on Huffington Post Religion today about the challenges of trying to do better at observing Shabbat beyond Friday night during the farm season.  Please jump over there to read it and feel free to leave a comment …

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Check out Food Politic – A Newborn Journal

Since I seem to be becoming a regular on Twitter (follow me @thelettuceedge)  I am finding out about millions of great things that are happening in the world.  I think that is where I learned about a new online journal called “Food Politic”.  They are up and running and the site looks really great.  So, check them out in general, support them if you like and read my new article about why the farm bill was such a disappointment which was posted there today.  You might recognize the photo. And, I am so pleased that the Huffington Post decided to …

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