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Beyond the Witches: 48 Hours in Salem

Over the centuries, Salem has managed to steadfastly preserve its history while transforming into a modern tourism destination—one with a penchant for festivals nearly every weekend of the year, a burgeoning dining and cocktail scene, and a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.

For locals and tourists alike, Salem Willows has been the heart of Salem for generations;

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

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.

Sheila VelazquezSheila Velazquez is

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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.

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Savoring Homegrown Onions

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.

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

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

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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

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

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 is

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Weekend Travel Pick: Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival

A few facts you might not know about hot-air balloons: it’s hot—as in, skin-prickling hot—riding directly beneath their burners. Hot-air balloons also rise off the ground a lot faster than you’d think, and can vertically travel 10 feet or more per second.

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

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

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