Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can you help out?

From Dave Goldman, chair of Ganondagan's League of the 7th Generation Committee:

In our 2 year existence our committee has become known for our signature mission of reducing the amount of landfill destined waste generated during our annual NA Dance & Music Festival. This has been accomplished through the hard work & dedication of volunteers. 

As a matter of fact, in our effort to move our success to a higher level, we have replaced the previous out-of-the-area composting company, thus saving expensive transportation costs, with a local company to take food waste & cooking oil and turn it into biofuel. Also food in the volunteer/ performers food area will be served on compostable plates, bowls & cups  and compostable utensils.

This year, however, this mission may be in jeopardy due to the reduced response for volunteers.

I'm appealing to you to step forward and help us by participating in our continued success. Shifts are only 2 1/2 hours from 9:30am to 6:30pm each day. Please, if you can help for 1 or more shifts, please step forward.

Thank you,

Dave Goldman

[Last year's composting and recycling efforts cut waste going to the landfill by 86% over 2009's festival figures. Please help Dave's committee do that well or better this year! Contact the the Seventh Generation Committee at or the Volunteer Coordinator at if you can help. Nay:weh from us and from Mother Earth!]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fun & Games

Hawk Feather at Barnes Creek Gully (Canandaigua, NY)
Did you know that we added a "Fun & Games" page to our website a few months ago?

We have puzzles, coloring pages, and computer wallpaper currently available. We are always adding new things to the page. Just today I added another set of computer wallpaper files for download. The set includes a variety of sizes so you can choose which wallpaper image best suits your computer screen.

This set of wallpapers are of a hawk feather I found on a hike. Hawks have always been a special animal for me and I'm sure for many of you too. I hope you enjoy!

After you check out the "Fun & Games" page, let us know what you think. Did you like it? Anything that you would like to see more of? Find the fun & games page at:


Monday, July 4, 2011

What are you picking today?

Maybe I would have found the joys of growing, harvesting, and preserving my own food myself. But perhaps not. Who's to say now? I was, however, introduced to it young by my parents. Both my parents grew up on farms so picking wild berries, having large vegetable gardens, and preserving food was just something you did. And after a death in the family, my family along with other relatives ran my grandparents' dairy farm for some number of years. My farm days started when I was in those gloriously fun neither-kid-nor-adult tween-years. I ended up spending my summers playing on the farm, helping to bring in hay, feeding ducks and geese, throwing green plums at siblings, and so many other experiences that have become very rare in our urbanized America.
Summer Berries

Summer was always a time for wild berries and luscious tomatoes still warm from the sun. Our favorite wild berries were the wild black raspberry (aka "black caps").  The black raspberries grew every where poison ivy grew and where the mosquitos were the most blood-sucking vicious - going berry-picking was always quite an experience! I knew I had to pick 2 quarts so my mom could make jam with them. Oh, and was that jam good!  If I picked more than 2 quarts (which was always the goal in my book), we could have the surplus washed, sprinkled with sugar, and drizzled over french vanilla ice cream - no finer dessert was ever devised by man!

Now I have kids of my own. I teach them to pick berries, some wild and some we grow. All the berries in the picture above we have been picking over the past week. If you don't recognize them all they are (starting at the left and going clockwise) mulberries, strawberries, black raspberries, and juneberries. They are so very tasty, all of them! The kids, my husband, and I have all been picking berries. Some just to munch, some for other purposes like the strawberry jam I made. I'll make some cherry preserves and raspberry jam soon. Mmmmm, they all taste like summer sun when the snow flies.

I urge you to grow and/or pick some food today. If you have young people in your life, share it with them. And if you don't have your own food plants like raspberries or strawberries or a vegetable garden, there are so many U-picks that you can visit for not only for the wonderful food but for the unforgettable memories.  I urge you to also try your hand at making some jam. It is the easiest of all canning to do. Occasionally you get a soft-set, but there are few other failures if you follow the instructions. It is so very easy and so very good.

If jams are not your thing, salsa is another simple thing to make with the summer bounty you can find in your own veggie garden or at the farmers' market. New to canning? If that is the case, I urge you to pick up a copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It is the quintessential book of canning and preserving. Have your kids help you pick the tomatoes or even cut the tomatoes. I helped my mom peel and cut oodles of stuff for canning and I still remember it all these many years later. They are good, fond memories that are always warm and comforting to look back on.

I've included some book links below for wild food field guides and cookbooks plus the Ball Blue Book. Check them out. May your summer be fruitful and full of memories!



Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
Native Harvests: American Indian Wild Foods and Recipes
Stalking The Wild Asparagus
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places
Enduring Harvests: Native American Foods and Festivals for Every Season
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guide)