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Sheila Velazquez

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

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.

Plástica non grata

Photo by Nikki Dawson; via Pixabay

The vast majority of global plastic waste is being dumped into landfills or ends up contaminating the environment (80%). An estimated 4 million to 12 million metric tons of waste plastic contaminates the oceans annually.”

Fast Fashion: The environmental threat hiding in your closet

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When we think of pollution, we tend to think of single issues like air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and the bottom line, the climate change that is exacerbated by the production process. But the fashion industry encompasses all of these — the “Four Horsemen” if you will. And it destroys lives.

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