Archive for June, 2012

Systematically, Francesca and I threw individual garlic cloves onto the raised bed. Clove after clove thudded to the ground, each six inches from the prior. As we worked, the white cloves began to transform the mounds of dirt into polka dot displays, a juvenile form of natural art. Snaking our way through the beds, we returned to the start of each to drive the cloves four inches underground using nothing but the force of our thumbs. Barefoot as we worked, we welcomed October’s cold and hard morning soil underfoot. So desperate to connect with the earth after too many months in the city, I wanted to align myself with the terra on every level possible. I savored the sensation of soil between my fingertips and welcomed the sun’s rays on my back. I watched the roaming chickens with adoration as the creatures pecked at the soil in pursuit of their morning breakfast. I inhaled deeply as the wind passed bringing with it the smell of cow dung from the barn. All the while, Francesca and I kept our system alive, mimicking the cycles of the earth. Throw garlic. Push garlic into the soil. Return to the start of a new row. A rhythmic routine.

Long after Francesca and I left Threshold Farm to return to the Big Apple, the scent of garlic followed us. We caught whiffs of the pungent yet somehow sweet odor lingering on our hands, and with that perfume still in our nostrils, Francesca and I vowed to return to Threshold Farm to see the fruits of our labor.

Now, five months later, we are back in the garlic beds, ready to reap what we sowed. Here we are in Philmont, NY. Stay tuned for more adventures on Threshold Farm.

the twigster,


PS: Threshold Farm now has some piggies! Oink.

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of the living,

evolving over years,

millions of years, so

rich in history, green,

intertwined netting, the

webbing together of lines,

the stringing together of

repetitive form. delicate

transparency of veins,

cleverly moving from

one end to the next,

carefully dancing

from one

end to



the twigster sister

Camping in Woodstock, NY

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We were enjoying nibbling on salad like little rabbits during yesterday’s lunch so much that the salad bowl needed a refill. Wanting to continue my herbivorous feast, I walked to the fridge and pulled out the bags full of arugula and mixed greens. I reached into the plastic produce bags from the grocery store, grabbed a handful of lettuce, and threw it into the bowl. That was strike one in passing New York City’s restaurant sanitation code. Strike two, occurred when I pointed out to my guests that I do not wash my salad before consumption. Talk about throwing yourself into the fire.

I’m assuming that you will probably refuse any salad offered to you at my dinner table with those factoids. I don’t blame you, but consider this first. Is a little rinse going to counteract the fact that the lettuce, not organic, was most likely grown using pesticides? No, how can a splash of water counteract that the lettuce is composed of chemicals, that they are integral to its being. Some concern rightfully paid to my choice of greens transformed my seemingly nutritious appetizer into a point of both moral and health concerns.

Consumers’ buying power is one of the greatest forces in promoting the organic and sustainable food movement. My purchase of non-organic greens is equivalent to accepting the use of pesticides and hormones in the growth of genetically modified food. I don’t accept that, so why the hell was I buying these greens? Like others, I am guilty of sacrificing my food quality for convenience. I can relate to the urge to make grocery shopping as painless as possible – in and out. I chose the first bunch of lettuce I saw. Yes, this had the benefit of time efficiency, but it was not worth the loss of attention paid to the sourcing and production of my food. Five minutes can mean the difference between supporting and protesting the current food quality standards. Take the extra minute to exercise your buying power wisely.

What’s more, convenience can by no means outweigh the detrimental effects of non-organic food on our bodies. A USDA Pesticide Data Program found 57 pesticide residues in spinach and 51 in lettuce. Consider the long-term consequences of these poisons in your body, your temple. Don’t test your body’s threshold for pesticide exposure. We too are animals; we too will feel the ramifications of what we put into and take from the environment. I urge you, much like I did, to re-evaluate your relationship with your food, exercise your buying power responsibly, and consider the effects of your food choices on your health.

The twigster,


PS: Stop the unnecessary use of plastic produce bags with me. Check out these great reusable bags on Etsy.com.

PPS: Don’t allow convenience to detract your moral responsibility to ensure sustainability of the world. Click here to check out some ways to make organic eating a reality.

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