Writing Down Writing Goals

It is resolution season (eye rolls allowed) and most of us have some.  I spent New Years Day cleaning the house and wondering how we got to 2015 without any housecleaning robots. Really, there are smart phones and drones but somehow it is still mostly up to women to get the dust gathered on rags or stuffed in vacuum bags. And when my phone tries to talk, it still sounds like Mac Classic’s Talking Moose circa 1993, just saying. So, time to set some goals. I am hoping to hit 2015 a bit harder with writing. Starting by showing up …

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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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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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Chickweed and my Jewish Farming Retreat

Last weekend my family attended this amazing retreat in Baltimore, the Beit Midrash at the Pearlstone Center.  You can read my article about the retreat in the Jewish Daily Forward here. I absolutely love pluralistic Jewish events, especially when we get to talk about farming.  I have been thinking a lot more about the idea of shmitta, the once in every 7 year sabbatical from farming and I am sure I will be writing more about that soon. One very compelling piece of shmitta is the idea that if you had to feed your family without any farming, you would …

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The Fiscal Cliff and the Little Farmer

The following is a piece I wrote for my the Maryland Organic Food and Farming newsletter.(MOFFA).  If you live in DC or MD, come to our winter meeting (the 22nd annual!): details below. At the very end of the year, in the midst of fiscal cliff madness, Congress passed a controversial farm bill extension. Maybe you saw headlines like this one from the the Center for Food Safety, “Congress Passes Damaging Farm Bill Extension in “Fiscal Cliff” Package”. The extension of the farm bill contained many disappointments and has left the sustainable and organic agriculture community with lots of work …

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Hanukkah Goes to Public School

This week I went to my son’s kindergarten class to talk about Hanukkah.  My husband and I read a story, showed the children a manorah, introduced the Hebrew letters on the dreidel and the talked about olives and olive oil.   It was all over in a short and sweet 20 minutes! While preparing for our 20 minutes in the Kindergarten spotlight, I did some research and wrote a piece for the Washington Jewish Week.  Following are some resources and my article in case you are planning a similar presentation. My blogging friend, Joanna Brichetto, aka The Bible Belt Balabusta is …

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Hurricanes, Elections and Croup (oh my!)

I want so much to make this little blog shine but I seem to be stumbling and falling over dozens of distractions and writing hurdles, large and small.  I will have to develop new strategies to keep writing even when it gets hard.  No need to leap hurdles gracefully when there are ways to crawl underneath, sneak around, or knock them down. Here are 7 reasons my blog has been so quiet this fall: 1) We all had colds by many names: croup, regular colds, bronchitis, possible sinus infections. I lost lots and lots of sleep and spent what would …

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Blogging is Like Riding a Bike

Blogging and writing in general are like riding a bike.  When we say, “it’s like riding a bike”, we usually mean that you never forget how.  The minute you start again, it is like you never stopped.   But for me it means that you have to pick up a certain momentum in order to enjoy the ride. Ride too slowly or stop too often and you get shaky and start to question your balance.   You remember learning to ride, your chin hitting the pavement, the awful sound your teeth made slamming into each other.   You need to pick …

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A Talk with Sandor Katz about Pickled Peppers

I love the taste of naturally fermented sour dill pickles. Since I don’t live anywhere near a Jewish deli and I have lots of fresh vegetables on hand from the farm, I really want to learn to make my own. But my initial attempts at pickling have not been a success. Natural fermentation is the traditional way of making pickles taste like they are fresh from the barrel at a Jewish deli rather than fished out of a jar from the supermarket.  They are not packed with any vinegar and not refrigerated, giving them the amazing taste and some say …

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