Can you Say She-hech-ey-a-nu

I first learned the shehecheyanu as a young 20 something, and it quickly became my all time favorite blessing.  My friend and I were strolling through a vineyard on a drive through Napa Valley.  We were giddy New Englanders discovering California and finding great amusement in the paper booties we were required to pull over our shoes during our visit to the vineyard.   The farmers were trying to prevent tourists from tracking in pests as they wandered through. I can’t remember exactly what my friend experienced as “a first” that day, perhaps her first time seeing grapes actually still attached to the …

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Perfect Weather for Plowing

It can be mesmerizing to watch a plow pull through the soil, revealing the darker earth beneath and with that hope for an awesome farm season and possibly a buried treasure. This weekend, we took advantage of the combination of a long weekend and unusually perfect weather for plowing.   The moisture was just right in the soil and the tractor was recently tuned up for spring. There have definitely been years when we have not been this lucky.  There can be many hurdles to getting the beds plowed in time for spring planting.  If the ground is too wet, you …

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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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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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