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Posts Tagged ‘farmer’s markets’

Red Bartlett Pears

Red Bartlett Pears by Linnell Chang

The first day of autumn tip-toes in this Saturday. Nowhere is the change of seasons more evident than at farmers’ markets. Displays of summer produce, such as musk melons and heirloom tomatoes, nestle up against fall standouts, such as pears, apples, and butternut squash. Are you ready to let go of summer and welcome in fall?

The changing of seasons creates a whole-body, sensory reminder of the passage of time: Our internal clocks try to adjust to the changing lengths of day; our sense of taste and smell reacquaint themselves with seasonal palates; our eyes feast on the shifting colors around us; our skin begs to be covered or uncovered; our ears pick up once familiar sounds – birds chirping, winds gusting, air conditioners or heaters humming, leaves rustling, fires crackling . . . . At the beginning of each season, I always say “This one’s my favorite!” And so it is.

#1 – Pears
Pears are good sources of phosphorous and Vitamin A. When selecting pears look for firm, well-colored, aromatic fruit with no blemishes or bruises. Ripe pears should be refrigerated and will last anywhere from 2 days to a week. If they are not ripe, put them, bottom-sides down, in a paper bag and store in a cool place. To hasten the ripening process, put a banana or an apple in the paper bag with the pears. Visit local farmers’ markets to find more varieties of delicious pears.

#2 – Nature and Art

Neil Dawson Sculpture in Gibbs Farm

Neil Dawson Sculpture in Gibbs Farm

On a beautiful piece of land, complete with rolling hills and adjacent harbor, exists a spectacular sculpture collection. Gibbs Farm in New Zealand is home to more than two dozen enormous pieces of artwork. This interesting juxtaposition of calming rural scenery and contemporary art can be seen by appointment only and is definitely on my bucket list of things to do! Check out some of the installations and their descriptions on Twisted Sifter or go to the Gibbs Farm link above.

#3 – Sugar, Sugar

This week I read an online article in a Harvard Medical School publication regarding computer games and brain fitness. The article states, So far, it looks like simply playing games that require concentration won’t help you remember important names, faces, and appointments. What can work are practical tools designed to address specific problems encountered in daily life . . . to stay sharp, your mind needs regular workouts in creative thinking, problem solving, and intellectual focus. To stretch and exercise your brain, choose an activity you enjoy—reading, playing cards, or doing crossword puzzles are some good examples. If you’re feeling ambitious, try learning to speak a new language or play a musical instrument.

Well, I just discovered this Sugar, Sugar game in which a player has to figure out ways to funnel sugar into coffee mugs. I believe this game, and the others I’ve linked to in the past, all require concentration AND problem-solving. And since the Harvard article says that learning a new language is good for the brain, why don’t we just play our favorite games in different languages?

#4 – Eyes: Windows Into You

Eyes are not just the windows to your soul. They are also windows into your health. According to this pictorial article, “Eyes can be very helpful when it comes to diagnosing an illness.” Reading this article keeps you more in tune with what your body’s telling you and that’s a good thing.

#5 – The Two Most Important Days

Have a great weekend!

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This tree. This beautiful weeping cedar, a graceful perch for so many birds, is dying. It’s just a tree, I tell myself. But nonetheless, for over sixteen years, without any special wants or needs, this tree’s long, downward-growing branches covered with silvery, grey-green bursts of needles created an elegant archway into my garden. Now, it stands almost completely denuded. The arborist came last week, dug around, and shook his head while he uttered, “Probably some type of fungus. It’s a wait and see game, now.” Everyday, I go outside and look at this tree. I examine it for new growth – there is none. I touch the branches – needles fall slowly to the ground. I scratch lightly at the bark to see if there is any green underneath it – there is. There is still hope for this tree.

#1 – “Staying” Green

Planet earth is counting on creative people to save it. Smart concepts such as this “Urban Hotel” illustrate my point. Although you would expect solar-power and rain water recycling systems in these hotels, a unique feature of this concept are the bicycles in the rooms. The bicycles can be used for exploring surrounding urban areas or used for exercising inside the rooms. While exercising, the bikes convert “the bike’s pedaling into kinetic energy to power the room and any extra energy is used to deduct rooming costs.” Make sure to click on the link to view all the features of this earth-friendly concept!

#2 – The Green Gift

My neighbor came to visit the other day and she brought with her two gift bags. One contained my birthday gift and the other one contained another kind of gift. The bag was filled with empty toilet paper tubes. She remembered a comment I made about how I compost toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes. After collecting several tubes, I cut them open, flatten them out and then feed them into my paper shredder. They add much needed “brown” organic material to my compost bin. There are many other items around the house that can be added to compost piles. TLC’s article on 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t is a good refresher course for those of us who compost. If you haven’t started composting, please consider it. It’s an easy way of redirecting some of your garbage away from landfills and back to the land.

#3 – When Chefs Get Bored

What do chefs do when they are bored? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine they play with their food! Check out this series of food art photos and see that creativity knows no bounds in the kitchen!

#4 – To Market, To Market

What could be better than going shopping? What about shopping outdoors in the fresh air and sun? Most farmers’ markets carry more than just produce. I love walking up and down the rows of stalls looking at and sampling the fresh seasonal produce. I also enjoy visiting the stands that sell olive oil, soap, honey, hand-crafted and fresh baked goods, plants and flowers. I always make sure to bring my own bags/baskets, cash, and, of course, my camera. For more tips, visit Recyclebank’s 10 tips to Shop Smart at Farmers Markets.

#5 – The Tao of Pooh

“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am,” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he said.

Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh

Happy Earth Day! What about this? Do one thing every single day that is good for the earth!

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