Every once and a while, one needs to indulge in making a post with gratuitous pictures of baby animals. Today is that day. Farm life is particularly sweet as the new (well new to us) irrigation system slowly takes shape, and the animals all start to enjoy what feels like an early summer. While the days are hot, the evenings are perfect for laying out in a paddock and enjoying the beauty of what surrounds you. Laying still among the animals, it is hard not to feel like Dr. Doolittle in a menagerie; to be clear, I don’t have near the popularity my wife does among them. Whether it is penstemon going from flower to seed, or the folds in a turkeys skin–it is hard not to get a little lost, at least for a few minutes.
While it is rare that I post engagements here, there are a couple upcoming events that persons in and around Utah might be interested in.
On Saturday June 9th, I will be on a panel discussion as part of the Association for Community Design’s 2012 conference. The session will feature several dynamic people, including dynamo Emily Niehaus of Community Rebuilds. Dave Conine, who will be moderating the session, has been a champion for making affordable housing in Utah more sustainable and economically feasible, and has been a champion for creative local organizations such as Community Rebuilds, Epicenter, and Form Tomorrow.
Community Design in Utah
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Venue: Salt Lake City Public Library
Moderator: Dave Conine, State Director, USDA Rural Development / Panel: Dijana Alickovic, CommonIStudio; Emily Niehaus, Community Rebuilds; Peter Stempel, Form Tomorrow; Maria Sykes, Epicenter
Featuring a range of community-based practices from Salt Lake City and beyond, this session will give you the opportunity to engage in some of the local flavor of community design in Utah and see some innovative approaches to engagement.
On Monday June 11th I will be making a presentation the Southwestern chapter of the Utah Native Plant Society at the Springdale Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd, Springdale Utah. The description is as follows:
The Space Between: Native Pollinators and the Cultural Landscape
Many factors contribute to the success of Native Pollinators. In addition to practical considerations, we will explore the way in which cultural and aesthetic attitudes impact beneficial insects, and consider new ways of looking at spaces that are otherwise “left over”, or not normally considered. While we often spend a great deal of time talking about near-wild lands, cultivated lands, and gardens–the spaces we ignore, forgotten corners, roadsides and fence lines, may offer great opportunities for improving habitat and biodiversity, as well as making the larger cultural landscape more beautiful.
Hopefully we will see a few of you at one of these events.
I love soup, but don’t always want something heavy. The temperature today was getting up there, and we will be pushing 100 by the end of the week–so, the idea of a long labored stew is out of the question. That said, soup makes a wonderful dinner on a busy day. Nothing like a hectic schedule to spur improvisation.
It all started when I made some chicken stock from a carcass last night, nothing fancy, just carcass and a bit of salt, simmered at low temperature for a couple hours. This afternoon I managed to saute half an onion in a break between meetings. Added eight carrots and the stock, and simmered that for a couple hours while I attended to work. The carrots cooked until they were soft, but still had some tooth. The combination of carrot and onion made for a pleasant sweetness.
I finished the soup by adding half a cup of sushi rice, and cooking it until it was soft–the starch thickened the soup just a bit. I removed it all from heat, and added some chopped snap peas for texture. The peas ended up blanched enough to brighten, but were still crunchy. All of it fit the bill for Amy’s sweet tooth. A cucumber soaked with balsamic vinegar on the side just for something a little sour. For a hot soup, it ended up being rather refreshing. I should add that I did not bother skimming all the fat from the broth–as a little fat never hurt anyone, and the combination of fat and starch made for a luscious feel. I was surprised by how bright and refreshing it ended up being.
Even better, an easy dinner leaves time to sit with the animals and enjoy the cool evening.
The irrigation project is well underway, and our now dry sandy pasture will once again be in water. Spot and Stormy (her son and our new Ram) were checking out the work this evening. I will be ordering seeds tomorrow, and with luck all will be in order for our next irrigation turn. The weather has turned hot, and truth be told, this is all happening a month too late. We will make it work all the same. With the hot days, it is nice just to slow down once and a while, look out at the barn, and see that for a moment at least, all is OK.