Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Around the Color Wheel: An Excerpt from Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom

When it comes to weaving, applying a bit of color theory can be the ticket to eye-catching results.

Photo by John Polak, excerpted from Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom
One of the first things you notice about a textile is its color. A garment can be beautifully woven and masterfully tailored, but if it’s the wrong color, it can be hard to look at. Picking the right color or set of colors is important.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Salted Chocolate Caramels

Rich chocolate and delicate sea salt dress up this classic confection.

Powerless to resist the siren call of a buttery caramel? We are, too. But if you’ve been burned by past attempts at cooking it yourself, fear not! In his book Making & Using Caramel, author and chef Bill Collins outlines the process in a few simple steps so that it’s easy (maybe too easy) to create decadent treats like Salted Chocolate Caramels in your own kitchen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Q&A with Caroline Burch, Winner of the 2015 Pamela B. Art Humanitarian Award

The award, given annually, honors a Storey employee who enriches her or his community through charitable work.

Caroline Burch, with her award. Photo by Mars Vilaubi
Caroline Burch is a busy woman. At any given moment, she might be helping to plan a future Storey title, or traveling to a press to oversee the printing process, or inspecting the first official copies of a book to make sure everything is as it should be. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kirsten K. Shockey: Fermented Carrots, Three Ways

Make three easy carrot ferments — no crock (or cabbage) required.

Carrots are wonderful vegetables to work with when it comes to lacto-fermentation. For one thing, they are just plain beautiful, and who doesn’t like jars of good-looking food on your refrigerator shelves? There’s more to fermented carrots than just their vibrant color, though. They are also delicious and versatile.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Michal Lumsden: New Year, New Tricks

Storey’s copywriter finds the perfect book for days when winter keeps everyone, including the dog, indoors.

This is my dog, Sage.
She’s an English Shepherd, bursting with both affection and smarts.

Because she was bred to herd and we don’t have sheep, she works diligently to herd the humans in her life. We, in turn, work hard to tire her out. Often that takes the shape of long walks in the woods, scampering over rocks, up hills, and across streams, or throwing a ball down the steep hill behind our house. Again and again.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Brooke Dojny: Maine Potatoes — The Ultimate Comfort Food

The humble potato is a staple of the Maine economy and the star of a satisfying one-dish dinner.

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Children gathering potatoes on a large farm, vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, circa 1940. Photo by Jack Delano [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In Maine’s Aroostook County, often affectionately called simply “the county,” mineral-rich soil and a cool climate combine to create ideal potato-growing conditions. “The county” is huge, occupying more land than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. In the mid-nineteenth century, when rail lines extended north into Aroostook, Maine became the nation’s biggest potato grower, though much of the crop went into laundry starch, rather than to the table.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Colin McCrate and Brad Halm: How Much Garden?

When it comes to getting the most from your garden, size does matter, so plan before you plant.

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Photo by Spedona (Spedona) (Clichรฉ personnel - own work) GFDLCC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Annual beds can be created to fit whatever space you have available. As the garden increases in size, you’ll have more opportunities to diversify your crop selection, extend your harvest season, and increase the overall volume of food grown on site. Even the most intensively managed garden space has limits to how much food it can produce, so adding square footage will always add productivity. At the same time, adding space means that you’ll need to invest additional time and materials to create and manage your garden.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

DIY Recipes for Microbead-Free Skin Scrubs and Toothpaste

If you haven’t already scrubbed your hygiene routine of microbeads, the federal ban on the plastic particles in soaps and toothpastes means it’s time to start.

The first time I thought about microbeads — I mean really thought about them — was nearly ten years ago while reading Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us. Since then, parts of his book about what the world might look like if humans disappeared continue to haunt me, but none as much as the section on plastics. Though I stopped using products with microbeads the very day I read that chapter, I’ve been unable to rid my mind of the image of tiny, (truly) age-defying plastic particles streaming from sink and shower drains into the sea.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Andrea Chesman: Starting the Year Farm-to-Table

An author greets the new year with a full freezer.

Pigs grazing at Understory Farm. Photo by Jessie Witscher
The year 2015, according to the Chinese zodiac, was the year of the sheep, and I did buy one — well, actually a whole lamb for the freezer. The new Chinese year, which begins on February 8, will be the year of the monkey, and well...yechhh. As I have just stowed away seventy-five pounds of succulent pork from Understory Farm in Sudbury, Vermont, for me and my family, this year will be the year of the pig.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Winter Wonder: Five Ways to Connect with the Natural World from The Curious Nature Guide

Winter is a great time to get curious, no resolutions required.

Watercolor © Clare Walker Leslie, excerpted from The Curious Nature Guide
Let’s face it: January is tough. Winter tightens its grip; the holidays are over. Snow and ice make the landscape a hard, glazed surface; trees live in skeleton form. This starkness can be hard on the soul, and though the idea of resolutions is nice, I’ve learned from personal experience that the start of the new year is the worst time of year to try to be a new me.