Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are You Prepared for Allergy Season?

Someone I see periodically asked me that question, and for the first time I was able to say yes. Yes, I am prepared for allergy season.

Shiitake- miso dashi with sauteed carrots, daikon, cabbage and green onion. Served over bún gao kho, (rice vermicelli) and topped with fried tempeh.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New look, New URL

wow, it's been a while since I've had my hands on this blog. cleaning things up a bit, and I was finally able to change the url. please note the new one:


that's all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sea Salt Soap

a tremendous hit in our red hook store, now available in our web shop.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Three Part Compost

a couple of weeks ago I started a third compost bin. the main bin was getting too full, and was too heavy on the food scraps. ideally the bin should be equal parts scraps, green clippings and brown matter such as dry leaves, grass or sawdust. I started my compost two springs ago, when we first moved into the apartment. the first season in the garden was glorious- so much learning and even a few successful crops. last summer was a wash with the running of the store. didn't have time to plant much beyond herbs, and the compost got neglected too. so now I'm back with a vengeance and much appreciation for the time to be able to do this.

last year I did separate some of the compost out into a second bin. here is that one, finishing up nicely. I added some more green/brown to it recently and it has a couple of worms to help it along. Compared with the bagged compost I have it's softer and lacking in wood chips. I might add some chips in a few weeks if it needs it.

Here is the bin I started most recently. I separated a much larger portion out of the main bin this time, layering it with green and brown. It's been sitting inside the dark colored bin with a tight fitting lid getting lots of heat from the sun, and man is this compost active! It has many worms, but also lots of fruit flies and fleas. I stirred it well today and let it sit open for a while- the more air, the fewer bugs. I think I will drill some more holes in this one for better ventilation.

See the white spots all along the edge? those are fruit flies flapping their wings.

worms! these guys are hard to photograph- they burrow back into the compost just as soon as you uncover them.

and here is compost #1. the main bin where the fresh food scraps go.

I've been keeping it covered with white plastic mesh. It works well for keeping out excess sun and rain, while providing air flow. its one drawback is that squirrels and raccoons can lift it up or chew straight through it. not that I mind sharing my compost with them.

I have to say that composting is pretty darn easy once you get the hang of it. since we've been living in a garden level apartment, I can't imagine not having a back yard. there are methods for composting indoors, but you do need space. my red worms found their own way to the compost, but they are the same worms you will use if you do an indoor bin. in nyc the lower east side ecology center provides instructions and resources for crafting your own. it's no harder than drilling holes in the giant bins you see above! as for the electric powered composters, we had one for a short period of time. although it broke down the food pretty quickly, it had a tendency to get jammed. I was forever untangling things from the churner, and ultimately I couldn't get the motor to reset itself.

the end!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Museiam @ The Muse

heya! the great and powerful diane tomasi is co-curating a monthly series called the museiam, at the muse in williamsburg. and you thought williamsburg was OVER!

b and I attended the march installment and it was great fun- a mixed evening of comedy, modern dance and aerial work. if you have something you'd like to present, contact diane.


if you'd like to attend, the next museiam takes place thursday, april 5 at 8pm.

the muse
32d s. 1st st.
brooklyn, ny

Saturday, March 3, 2012

aboard the mary whalen

on saturday b, pamela and I had the great fortune to tour the retired oil tanker mary whalen, which is docked in red hook. carolina salguero, who conducts the tours, is the ship's caretaker and founder of its corresponding nonprofit portside ny. her goal is to educate people on the important role shipping has played in the shaping of nyc, and how it's still a vital part of everyday life here. while on deck carolina pointed out two types of barges as they were tugged by. one was carrying waste to one of the city's many sewage treatment plants. the other transported cement. the mary whalen herself carried fuel up and down the atlantic coast and around nyc from the 1930's until 1994. b and I had visited the mary whalen in 2010, but this was the first time we were treated to a tour of the entire ship, including the engine room below deck.

click here to see the full set of photos on my flickr page.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

up next: bijouterdee

gold vermeil tail stud $44

brass sparkle hoop $34

today I took a break from the endless task of putting the apartment together, and shot some pics of Bijouterdee. neighborhood gal Dayna Seman creates her collection from cast and fabricated sterling silver, brass and gold vermeil. each piece is hand made, meaning they vary slightly and contain their own character. since I am a maker of huge and chunky jewelry, that's usually what I pick out for the store. Bijouterdee offers a lovely contrast, with their fine bits and delicate chains. we have a nice selection of Dayna's work at everbrite mercantile co., coming to the webshop very soon!