Meditating on Warm Weather

Spring is coming! This weekend it will be forty degrees and all the melting snow and warm air makes me reminisce about laying out on the grass, throwing a frisbee, and shopping at the farmer’s market. I found this picture from the fall, when summer still lingered in the colorful tomatoes and bright yellow corn. Hopefully we’ll be able to make it back there before the school year ends. Certainly we’ll continue to shop there next year as we move into new spaces.

If you haven’t been there…check it here!

Me at farmer's marke

Family Dinners

It’s a busy time of the semester but we still enjoy family dinners a few times a week. We recently made spaghetti squash with feta, basil, tomato and seasonings. It was a delicious pasta-like dish. The spaghetti squash lived up to its name! Yesterday we had daal, sweet cinnamon cous cous and roasted cauliflower. So much flavor and goodness. We are enjoying the veggies and pasta sauces that we froze during the fall – green peppers, pumpkin, tomatoes and red sauce. We continue to eat local food that we bought from the farmer’s market at the end of the summer, despite all of the snow and long-distance food imports at the co-op.

As we plan for housing next year we are getting nostalgic about leaving this comfy cove. If only we could live here two years in a row. This year has flown by…but it’s not over yet! We look forward to having author Atina Diffley come give a workshop on local, organic farming and shopping as well as celebrating Earth Day at the EcoHouse with another open house. Our farmer anthology project, “Conversations with Farmers” is coming along slowly but surely. We have finished our interviews with nearly 10 farmers around the Twin Cities area and our next step is transcribing and writing the book.

This Thursday we’ll be presenting at the Enviro Thursday talk in Olin Rice 250 about the EcoHouse – communal living, house features, projects and the experience of living here. Stop by if you’re on the Macalester campus!


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Talking with farmers…

We’re making progress on our anthology of local, organic farmers in the Twin Cities area. So far we’ve interviewed three farms and had wonderful conversations about their  relationship to the land, the beauty of growing your own food, the importance of sustainable farms, and the challenges and joys of farming. Every farmer has showed their passion about food and the environment through personal stories and lively political discussions. We have learned about how corporations have misappropriated organic, sustainable terms to claim that their products are “natural” or “green” when they are not. This phenomena is called “greenwashing,” read up on it here. We have learned that there are many varieties of garlic, all with distinctly different flavors. We have learned that many of the health issues faced by Americans can be solved by eating unprocessed, whole foods. We have learned that keeping weeds between rows prevents droughts and erosion. We have learned that to be an organic farmer, you must sweat and work hard every day, connect consumers to their food sources, accept the challenges of weather, plan far in advance, and care deeply about growing the beautiful, diverse vegetables that sustain us. We look forward to more rewarding conversations over homemade tea and muffins. 

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A CSA box of vegetables from Bossy Acres Farm in Northfield, MN. Delicious!

Fall Fest

we had our Fall Fest open house and it was a blast! About forty people came to eat fall treats and make crafts. In the kitchen we dipped Honey Crisp apples in caramel and topped them with peanuts, graham cracker crumbs, cashews, chocolate shavings, coconut or sea salt. In the living room, we served pumpkin scones, pear crisp, no-bake peanut butter bitend hummus with carrots. We sipped hot apple cider and made leaf crafts out of pressed fall leaves and contact paper. Overall it was a success. We loved seeing new faces and old friends together in our house. Can’t wait for another open house in the spring for Earth Day! ImageImageImageImageImageImageDSC_0070_2

Greek Pita Pizzas

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This is a staple at the EcoHouse! Greek pita pizzas with homemade hummus and tzaziki sauce. It takes a bit more preparation time for the sauces, but it’s totally worth it. Especially when you can use the tomatoes and cucumber from the Macalester MULCH garden.

Baked Squash with Vanilla Ice Cream

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We made this amazing dessert on a cozy night a few weeks ago. They are the taste of fall. We pitted the squash (and roasted the seeds!), sprinkled them with brown sugar, baked them for a long time in the oven, and topped them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Baked squash is also great with honey, cinnamon, or maple syrup.