My New Favorite Squash


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Last spring I picked up two Cinderella Pumpkin seedlings at one of RIPE’s monthly garden swaps we hold in our local park. I didn’t know anything about the squash except that the pumpkins resembled the pumpkin used to make Cinderella’s magical carriage. I thought they were of the decorative sort.

I planted them in a corner of my community garden plot, made sure they had water, and largely ignored them for a few months. Continue reading

There is Something About Beans


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Late one afternoon I finally got to picking the dried black beans. As soon as I reached up to remove the first pods my daughter squealed and asked, “Are these different ones!? Don’t tell me what they look like!” She ran off holding a single dried pod like it was a present all wrapped up in pretty paper. Continue reading

When Tomatoes Take Over the Counter


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Those of you who grow several tomato plants every summer will be no stranger to the image below. It is that time of year in the northern hemisphere when the tomatoes keep coming, and coming, and coming. It is what we planned when we sowed all those seeds and said yes to the seedlings our friends didn’t have room for. This year I ended up with 18 plants. I am not sorry.


Continue reading

How Las Vegas Changed Me (just a little)


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I recently had to spend five days in Las Vegas. Five days and four nights too many. Despite living just a four hour drive away for most of my life, it was my first time there. I was attending a teacher’s math conference, which was great, but I could barely tolerate my surroundings. To me Vegas (the strip in particular) shows off some of the most despicable traits of our capitalist, sexist society. Its excess invokes strong feelings in me. I won’t go into all the reasons I despise Las Vegas, but I will say for one, it all sits in the middle of a desert, which just adds insult to injury. It is like giving the finger to Earth. Continue reading

Bitter Cukes and Bandits


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If you have ever grown cucumbers I can bet you have been unlucky enough to bite into the awfulness of one gone bitter. I have planted my cucumbers in succession this year. The first bunch is thriving – vigorous, green vines setting lots of fruit. I harvested the first two cucumbers earlier in the week and sliced one up as soon as I got it in the kitchen only to immediately spit it right out. There is something especially horrible about a bitter cucumber. For me I think it has to do with the stark contrast between that and a good cucumber’s mild flavor. Continue reading

A Few Last Moments


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My daughter has four days left of school. Four short days. Due to a twist of circumstance, my son has been in preschool five mornings a week instead of three for the last month. These mornings, this time to myself has been a gift, the quiet before the storm. I see the end of this school year as an end of an era, a short era, but one none the less. In the blink of an eye I will be swimming in lesson plans and first day of school jitters. The quiet mornings to myself will be fewer and farther between. Continue reading


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