Monday, June 27, 2011


The wagon survived its first winter outside and uncovered. It held up amazingly--especially considering our record snowfall. Nonetheless, it's time for some touch-ups and improvements as we prepare to bring it to Deek Diedrickson's tiny house workshop in a few weeks. Stay tuned for some musings on maintenance and the addition of some new features!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Herb Bag

For the past half year Libby and I have been sifting through this bag at meal time to find our thyme, sage, and oregano. Last fall we filled this paper bag with herbs we picked from our CSA. Whenever we cook we take a sprig and crush it into our cooking. This bag has lasted us through the year, and now our new thyme and oregano plants are filling up the outdoor pot we planted them in. As a result we haven't had to buy any this year. It's surprising how little space and effort it takes to grow enough basic cooking herbs for a couple. A pot on the deck or a few snips from the fields of your local farm is all you need, and for virtually no cost. All it takes is a little planning ahead to have responsibly sourced herbs year round.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Summer

Strawberries from the Tuesday Market with garden mint and local blackcurrant cordial cocktails. Ah, summer!

Dear Readers (if there are any readers left):

I can't believe I haven't touched Whittled Down since February! We have spent the last several months adjusting to our new lives, which seem to come with less free time than ever before. It seems a bit daunting to get back in the swing of things after such an absence, but here goes nothing. In brief, here's what's going on here as summer sets in:
  • Our porch is brimming with potted plants, including my latest obsessions: lemon, dragon fruit, hops, fig, and lemongrass.
  • Our building has an informal community garden. Our plot is planted with peas, lettuce, kale, pickling cucumbers, melons, patty pan squash, tricolor bush beans, soybeans, leeks, garlic, walking onion, tomatoes, hot peppers, and tons of herbs.
  • Our CSA farm, Town Farm, is a 3-minute walk from our house. We are so lucky to be able to walk out the door, down the street to the dyke, and along the dyke to the farm. Now that's local food!
  • We're back on the fermentation bandwagon. A batch of lager from the winter months is dwindling, and we have a hard cider ready to bottle. We've added a red wine vinegar mother and kefir grains to the mix as well. 
  • The prairie schooner is currently living up in Vermont, on my parents' land. In a few weeks, we'll haul it out to eastern MA for Deek Diedrickson's tiny house workshop. In the meantime, we've got lots of touch-ups and extra features to add.
I'm headed to Puerto Rico for a week, where I will see an old friend and, at long last, get to meet folks from the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, who I have been consulting with (over the phone) as they work to build a new community radio station in Vieques.  These folks were in large part responsible for getting the US Navy to stop using the island as a missile range, and I can't wait to finally meet them in person. When I return, the blogging commences in earnest. Promise.