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Month: August, 2007

Overcome by the Heat

by Scott Smith

I found this hen under the garden tractor looking like she’d just gone to sleep. The only explanation I can come up with is that the heat we’ve been having was too much for her. I’m pretty sure she was one of the older birds.

Article on Doug Smith

by Scott Smith

Doug Smith working on a toy boat
Shortly before my father went into the hospital, he had a visit from a reporter. Here’s a pdf of the article (it’s a biggie – 4mb). If anyone can find this online, please link it up in the comments.

Lemon Sunflower

by Scott Smith

This sunflower is from one of the very few seeds that the chickens didn’t manage to find and eat after I planted them.

Another Reason to Keep Ethanol Out of Your Gas Tank

by Scott Smith

Researchers have found 9,650 square miles of “dead zones,” or oxygen-depleted water, in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, the biggest area since tracking of the annual phenomenon began.

The Louisiana dead zone is caused mostly by nitrogen-based fertilizers carried by the Mississippi from America’s farm belt into the Gulf, she said. The nitrogen feeds the growth of algae, which depletes oxygen from the water.

Corn needs more fertilizer than other crops, which is probably why tests have found more nitrogen in the Mississippi this year, Rabalais said.

Reuters Article

Canning Renaissance

by Scott Smith

I came across this article this morning.

“I see an increase to the desire to learn about canning as we are moving to home-grown local food,” she says. The proof: The number of folks signed on to MSU’s food preservation correspondence course on canning is more than twice that of last year.

I googled the course and it’s extremely reasonable at $30 for a 7 week course that covers pretty much every aspect of food preservation including canning, freezing, and drying. Washington State University offers a Master Food Preserver program. How cool would that be on a business card?

Keeping Busy

by Scott Smith

Scott left for Medford today. I’m keeping myself busy putting food by. I’m doing salsa tonight. While I was out buying some supplies I came across Mrs. Wage’s Citric Acid which is a pleasant discovery since I much prefer the flavor of lime juice in my salsa to vinegar. I wasn’t sure if lime juice would be quite acidic enough for safe canning so I’ll drop in a 1/2 teaspoon per pint of Mrs. Wage’s just to be sure.


I also splurged on a lovely half-bushel of locally grown peaches at Dill’s Best Market.

McNally Story in VQR

by Scott Smith

John McNally’s story, I See Johnny, is in this quarter’s The Virginia Quarterly Review.

It is the best story I have ever read.


by Scott Smith

I have been wholly uninspired in the blogging department lately. I did find this website, which I plan to comb through later this evening.

And their national partner
Buy Fresh, Buy Local

An Edible Landscape

by Scott Smith

I’ve been working on making my perennial border more edible. So far I’ve planted some oregano that survived the winter in a terra cotta pot and a couple of eggplants – ‘green goddess’ and a white variety whose name I can’t remember now. I’ve also planted several packets of Hungarian Blue Bread Poppies. I haven’t seen a single sprout yet, but I let the first planting dry out so that one is probably on me.

Hungarian Blue