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Sheila Velazquez

Sheila Velazquez is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in more than 100 print newspapers and magazines, including Grit, New Woman, the Hartford Courant, the New Haven Register, the San Antonio Express-News and Bay Area Parent. Her awards include two from the Society of Professional Journalists for a syndicated column. Sheila has contributed to online websites, including commondreams.org and dissidentvoice.org. She served as contributing editor of Organic Producer magazine and wrote biographical material for reference collections that include “Contemporary Authors,” the “Encyclopedia of International Biography” and “Notable Sports Figures.” Feel free to send her an e-mail.

Column:
Selling Jesus on Cyber Monday

Keepin' the Ho! Ho! Ho! in Oh, Holy Night; graphic by Jason Velázquez.

Is faith eternal? Maybe not within every individual, or even every family. The relics of piety do seem to be vectors of belief, however, as Sheila discovers while working her side thing.


Graphic by Jason Velázquez

Dried tomatoes: Summer’s bounty becomes winter’s secret ingredient

Juliete tomatoes on the vine; photo by Jason Velázquez

As you who follow my food rants know, I’m a big fan of the dehydrator. In mid-September mine has one major task—drying tomatoes. This year the fruit of choice is the Juliet grape tomato. A bounty of them will provide the special touch to the soups, stews, and pasta dishes of winter.

Green beans and carrots: Good individually, spectacular baked together

A ridiculously small space can yield massive taste and nutrition. Green beans picked right off the vine in your yard have a taste you'll remember — especially when you combine them with their BBF, the humble carrot, and some spices.

Green beans and carrots, ready to go in the oven; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

Savoring Homegrown Onions

A photo of a pile of assorted onions on a table: A treasure trove of oniony goodness; photo by Sheila Velazquez

Home-grown onions, like home-grown anything, have their advantages. In the case of my little garden, no heavy doses year after year of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Plus, the taste is always superior.

A collection of onions; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

The need to nurture: We all need somebody, or something, to love

Baby African Violets waiting to be separated from their mother leaves; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

What typically comes to mind when we hear the word “nurture” is a mother holding a baby. But nurturing is not a gender-specific activity, nor is it only applied to human babies. In fact, if you think of every instance when you viewed a scene or picture of a farmer cradling a lamb, calf, or

Confessions of a prepper: Freeze it, dry it

There are a few things everyone can do to be more food secure, including learning how to plant a simple garden that bears enough to keep for another day (unless Peter Rabbit gets to it first...); photo by Sheila Velazquez

Climate Catastrophe: Why isn’t the poster child an actual child?

Mashup: Bangladeshi children; photo by Sadman Chowdhury; Antarctic Penguins on icefloe; photo by Jerzy Strzelecki, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While the mainstream media feeds us a daily slop of pablum about the foibles of the president and the clown car of Democrat presidential candidates, the problem that won’t go away with an impeachment or an election is, for the most part, ignored.  Very often, when you see a story about climate change/global warming, it

Farmers market coupons distributed to Williamstown seniors

Franz Burnet-Gocht receives his farmers market coupons from Marion Quinn-Jowett; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Elders lined up bright and early on the first day coupon books became available at the Williamstown Council on Aging’s Harper Center. Each book contains ten coupons valued at $2.50 each, which can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, and honey in markets across Massachusetts.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question: Wary shoppers slow retail sales

Mannequins doing their best to incite consumer desire; photo by George Shervashidze, from Pexels

Quarterly financial reports often portend the future. The retail apparel numbers are out for the first quarter of 2019, and they aren’t pretty. Sales dropped by 24 percent, the biggest decline since the first quarter of 2008, when they were a bellwether for the last recession. People aren’t buying clothing. Maybe some of them read

Spring tonic

Green River, Williamstown, Mass.; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

Immersion in a slowly blooming landscape, and in the rituals of the season, can make the wait for Spring-proper beyond bearable.

Green River, Williamstown, Mass.; photo by Sheila Velazquez.

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