A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Sprouts for the Win

This is the season of sprout. As  a verb, sprout is synonymous with spring, and means both the fresh growth itself and the activity it’s engaged in. The sprouts are sprouting up all over the place, tough but tender, on a sunward journey to transformation. Grab a rake on any patch of dirt and you’re […]

Keeping it Vibrant: How to Make Friends with Your Soil

Generally, being compared to dirt isn’t considered especially flattering. We strive mightily to keep dirt out of our houses and off of our clothes, call it “the dirt” when nasty secrets come out. Cleanliness is said to be “next to Godliness” and being “dirt poor” is hardly a happy state of affairs, while being filthy […]

Nature of Exchange Dinners: September 2021

I like to think of my vegetable garden as a community. Tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and corn. Each fruit or vegetable has its own unique personality, yet they all share a common goal, a goal not far off from our own human desires. But plants are just non-thinking, non-feeling, senseless beings…. Or are they? I’m not […]

Our Harvest: Some Like It Hot! Horseradish

Horseradish is a perennial plant in the Brassicaceae family, along with mustard, broccoli, cabbage, and its fierce cousin, wasabi. This root vegetable is cultivated worldwide as a spice, condiment, herbal medicine as well as a religious symbol.  The name has nothing to do with horses, in fact it is poisonous to horses. The name was […]

Seed Saving Techniques

An ancient way of life finds its way into modern society Reprint: Country Wisdom News October 2011 Each year a garden or farm produces many more seeds than vegetables. These seeds have the potential to become a new plant, bursting with thousands of its own seeds, and so on. This is precisely how plants carry […]

Protect Your Trees From Winter Damage

Reprint: Country Wisdom News 2010 Winter weather can damage landscape plantings. Freezing temperatures, wind, and winter sun can desiccate foliage, damage bark and vascular tissue, and injure root systems and branches. Temperature extremes and fluctuations can harm plants. Typical winter injury is desiccation of foliage due to moisture loss when the soil is frozen and […]

Bumper Crop Seeks Preservation

Mason jars and food mills reappear in homes throughout region Reprint: Originally published in September 2010 in the original issue of Country Wisdom News A combination of warm dry stretches and periods of light rain this summer have resulted in abundant harvests and content farmers and gardeners. After last year’s somewhat miserable weather that resulted […]

For Pasta-erity

A Family Tomato Sauce Tradition Reprint: Originally published in September 2010 in the original issue of Country Wisdom News A traditional momDoing traditional thingsHanded down from mom to daughter A child, as she grows to a woman, has to decide for herself if a tradition is worthy and has value for her. Everything seems to […]

A Taste of CSAs and Local Markets Still Operating During the Pandemic

Obercreek Farm  89 New Hamburg Road, Wappingers Falls Obercreek Farm is a USDA Certified Organic farm located in the hamlet of Hughsonville and has been in production since 2012. They grow diversified seasonal vegetables, flowers, herbs, and hops on plants maximizing the growing space through efficient and thoughtful growing techniques that require less land to […]

Planting for Victory: Government’s Love/Hate Affair With the Garden

Back before the Industrial Revolution when the Great Pirates decided they needed us to go indoors and mass produce things for them to sell back to us, hardly anyone needed to be reminded to garden—certainly not those who weren’t wealthy, and the wealthy would simply make someone else do the weeding. One of the first […]

Grow Blueberries!!

I contend that anyone who gardens and doesn’t plant blueberries is a fool. Yes, this is a harsh statement, but consider how easy blueberries are to grow. Insect and disease pests are insignificant; pruning needs are minimal. I grow all sorts of common and uncommon fruits, each suffering from the occasional vagaries of pests and […]

Our Harvest: Black Locust

The black locust tree is one of North America’s treasures. Native to the southeast, few trees can rival it for its usefulness yet in modern decades it appears to have fallen into obscurity. Our colonial predecessors grew black locust trees for both ornamental and utilitarian purposes. At one time the United States government distributed the […]

Celebrating Local Creativity and Innovation: Nancy Copley and Harvey Fite

Water, Earth, Stone, Art, and Architecture The Mid-Hudson Valley is a known canvas for creativity and innovation—one of the main reasons I moved to the area. I am fascinated by the intersection of architecture, art, creativity, and freedom, and it is a privilege in this week’s column to pay tribute to two notable designers and […]

Let Your Silver Dollars Grow Themselves

Whoever said that money doesn’t grow on trees was right. It grows on a small, bushy plant. Just one type of currency, though: silver dollars. You have a couple of options in planning your investment with the aptly named silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua). For quickest returns, sow seed indoors in a seedling flat, filled […]

Our Harvest: Dandelion Make a Wish

“Mama had a baby and its head popped off.” Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is an edible herb originally from Eurasia and was revered by ancient people for its edible and medicinal value. In the conformist 1950s when everyone was on the lookout for communism and crabgrass, Abraham Levitt & Sons came along. The King of Suburbia […]

On Villaging: FRUIT FOR FREE

By Helen Zuman I first went fruit-hunting in July 2002, in Davis, California, with a college friend who’d moved there a few years earlier. He already knew a number of promising spots—including, most notably, the lush central green of a local cohousing community, Village Homes—and, together, out walking and biking in the fierce, dry heat, […]

Honoring its Roots: Historic Herb Farm Carries on Original Mission

By Erica Paige Schumacher The Hudson Valley is filled with important landscape artists, local nurseries, farmers, seed-savers, and stewards of its beautiful, mysterious ecosystem. But if you’ve ever felt the pull to explore the Tweefontein Herb Farm and apothecary, it’s worth the visit. Chris Boelsen and Jill Battista are herbalists and wildcrafters who offer a […]

Herb Gardens – Wild Plant Foraging and Conscious Gardening with Dina Falconi

By Erica Paige Schumacher Somewhere between the imaginative lands of “How Does Your Garden Grow?” and the Beatles’ song, “Let it Be,” lies an untrammeled path of conscious cultivation that may lead us somewhere new, yet very old, and perhaps somewhat wild (in a good way). To a place of balance with nature, at least […]

The Honeybees’ Gift of Spirit and Life

By Grai St. Clair Rice     Honeybees hold a special place in the realm of gifting, and they give without question or concepts of reciprocity. The history of gifting across human cultures has often defined communities, and yet it is unlikely that honeybees are conscious of gifting in the way contemporary society engages the […]

Cleaning Up Leaf Litter

To Rake, To Bag, Perchance to Mulch By Harry Matthews     With the oft-stunning beauty that is the autumn leaf change coming quickly to its peak of color, the next and much less stunning change on the seasonal calendar is the inevitable leaf drop (hence the name of the season being called “the Fall”). […]

Laws Of The Land

  The Effect Of State Ag Regulations By Anne Pyburn Craig     Farming has been a vital part of the Hudson Valley economy for generations, supplying food for the tri-state metro area and beyond. A lot of hungry people means a large market. But neighboring a vast population center also means development pressure that’s […]

Reclaiming Fruit Gone Feral

Bringing Historic Harvests Back To Life By Harry Matthews     As fall gets underway with leaves changing color, the nights getting cooler, and the days shorter, it’s not an uncommon sight to pass an old overgrown apple or pear tree studded with ripening fruit left unpicked.     Why is this, you might wonder? […]

Stay Curious With Honeybees

By Grai St. Clair Rice     When we are four and five years old, most of us are curious about everything. “Why” is the common childhood mantra. There is infinite newness and fascination as we learn about our world. Our nascent consciousness is full, open, and focused on things immediately in front of us, […]

EXPERIENCING BEES IN TREES

By Grai St. Clair Rice     Have you ever sat under a tree laden with flowers and humming with bees? It is a mesmerizing and life affirming experience. The fragrance emanating from the blossoms can be intoxicating and the gentle vibration of honeybee wings in concert is a seduction unlike any other.     […]

The Morel High Ground: Perfect Spring Mushroom Hunting

By Harry Matthews After a long cold winter the first signs of Spring are a huge and welcome relief. Everywhere you look forsythia and lilac can be seen throwing great splashes of color across the otherwise bleak land, while the croci push their delicate heads up through the newly soft earth. But wait, there are […]

The Promise Of Spring

Pollen Starts Flying Into The Hive By Grai St. Clair Rice Why does the promise of spring feel so darn good? Though winter is not yet over, the renewal of spring beacons our spirits and draws us into the lengthening daylight.  In the cycle of life, spring holds out the promises of youth, as if […]

The Yardavore

Eat the Revolution by Maria Reidelbach Diversity—it’s a buzzword in these days of tightening immigration policies, national isolationism, debates over gender identity, and even over who is a patriotic American. Diversity is a hot issue in agriculture, too. Despite the fact that a typical modern supermarket carries over 100 flavors of ice cream, dozens of […]

The Wonders Of Honeybees: Backyard Beekeeping Takes Off

Written by Grai St. Clair Rice Imagine opening a hive of honeybees, as if gently opening a beating heart full of sweetness and life. All your senses focus on the now of hearing, feeling, seeing, smelling and awe for this gift of nature. Tending honeybees in a gentle, educated manner takes us out of the […]

Bee Well This Winter: Healthful Tips from the Honeybees

By Grai St. Clair Rice Winter can be tough on us, even if we like the cold and snow. Reaching for fortification from nature at hand, however, is easy for a beekeeper who can use products from the hive as a medicine cabinet. Think of what we all contend with most winters: Dry, chapped hands; […]

Natural Versus Green Building: Expert Looks Beyond LEED and Passive Haus

The emphasis has become so imbalanced towards over-engineered buildings that even many “natural builders”  I know build these monstrous hybrids of hermetically-sealed toxic boxes, just less toxic, with some straw and clay thrown in-between all the synthetic caulks, glues, fancy house wraps, and spray foam. Passive solar will be outdated when we no longer live […]

Keeping the Heat: Winter Home Heating Guide

The days shorten, the wind begins to bite hard, and we brace ourselves for the high cost of indoor comfort. As of mid-October, prices for heating oil and natural gas were nearly the same as last fall, both locally and nationally; should the forecasts for a long, cold winter be realized, they’re likely to rise. […]

Decorating with Nostalgia: Antique & Thrift Shops the Perfect Place for Home Decor

With a booming trend in rustic furniture and decor these days inspired by hit shows like “Fixer Upper” and “American Pickers,” the market for anything with a vintage appeal is sending shoppers in one of two directions: a retail chain, where pieces are already made weathered, or straight to an antique or thrift shop for […]

YARDAVORE: All You Need is Lovage!

The mere existence of an herb like lovage gives me great hope and joy. Lovage is incredibly delicious, extremely versatile, grows better than a weed, and it’s beautiful, too. And lovage is, these days, almost unknown.   Lovage is a gorgeous perennial plant that appears first thing in the spring and grows five feet tall […]

Tribes of the Hudson Valley Pt. 2: The Woodsmen

by Emma Parry In England, you can’t remove a branch without getting permission from a phalanx of officious finger-waggers. Which made it all the more exciting to find we could design our house over a few nights on inky napkin backs, and, without any agonizing, get a green light. (It might have helped that for […]

Repair Café: Repairing our Disposable Mentality

by Beverly Keith    There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole. Then how shall we fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry? Then how shall we fix it, dear Henry, that hole? –traditional children’s song I remember tin buckets with tin can lids […]

Mushrooms: Chickens, Hens, and “Eggs”

by John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi Some chickens are hens and all hens are chickens, but when it comes to mushrooms chicken-of-the-woods and hen-of-the-woods are two completely different fungi. Around this time in September I wish these mushrooms made as much noise as their namesake birds, so that I might find them easier. Until these […]

April Flowers

When April Kinser was three, her mom brought home a bunch of pansies to plant in the garden. Tiny tottering April grabbed a trowel and planted all of them herself. This love of gardening has persisted throughout her life, though it took time for April to reconceive of it as a potential profession. April uses […]

Who’s Job is it Anyway? Choosing the right pro for your home project

by Terence P Ward    If you’ve got ideas about how to improve your home this spring and summer—knocking down a wall to open up some space, or maybe adding a floor or a sun room off the back—and you aren’t in the building trades yourself, you’re probably going to need a professional to walk […]

The Potluck Party Phenomenon: Why people just keep coming back for more

by Rebecca Shea    I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve attended and hosted my fair share of potluck suppers and they are one of my favorite ways to catch up with friends and family. When your ticket in is just one dish but you can sample from many, while meeting friends or visiting with […]