"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Saturday, March 20, 2010

F is for Fennel W is for Walking

Since our weather has been pleasant lately I have been walking to our library.
Here are a few things I have seen along the 2.5 mile walk...
Lake Oswego has an outdoor gallery of sculptures scattered throughout the city....some good some not so hot....I like this Totem made from recycled motorcyle parts....

At the base of the Totem is this plaque-
So I thought what do I do?
Well for starters I walk to the library and spend 2 hours helping out....

On the way to the Library I photo what I like-
I love this green moss and leaning tree with ferns....

Looking even closer at the ferns...........

I love getting a pedicure every 6 weeks or so....
My one really luxurious treat....ahhhhhh

And I love to cook- here's another addition to the Alphabet Recipes....
One thing I forgot to do before I took this photo was to garnish the dish
with a few fresh Fennel fronds....both Russell and I enjoyed this meal....yay.
Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Small edit of Eggplant recipe

Here's a photo of my version of the last post's recipe for Stir Fried Eggplant.
I pretty much followed it except I added a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger and one
thinly sliced carrot. I also reduced how much sesame seed oil to use. I just used a dash.
I think this version is more tasty.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Stirfry Eggplant Dinner and Movies!

Here's a photo of Russell celebrating ? his 65th birthday!
We had a great day on March 4th -first went to Rogue Brewery
for his free Birthday humongous pint-a free hat and some appetizers...then off to a few galleries
before we had a lovely dinner at Piazza Italia. Great day!
They even sang Happy Birthday to him in Italian!

Now- back to the Alphabet Recipes....above is the Eggplant Stir Fry I found in this weeks Oregonian....coupled with the Shrimp Stir Fry below made for a tasty meal for me....unfortunately Russell wasn't too happy with the Eggplant. Good thing I had made Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday! So- plus points for the Shrimp and I guess we'll pass on the Eggplant from here on out...win some and lose some!

Here are the two recipes plated below....I thought they were yummy....

Now- to the movies...the first one is of some kids juggling and others playing music at
Portland's Saturday Market.... the following is of a very seasonal theme.....
a unicyclist bagpiper wearing a kilt and looking quite festive...
Happy St Patricks Day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Luscher Farms Chicken Coop

Luscher Farm chicken coop dedication honors efforts of Riccardo Spaccarelli
By Cliff Newell The Lake Oswego Review, Jan 7, 2010

Usually it is things like ships, statues and buildings that receive dedication ceremonies.
But the chicken coop at Luscher Farm was deemed suitable for this honor by
the Friends of Luscher Farm.
After all, without the chicken coop there might no longer be a Luscher Farm.
And for the chicken coop, Lake Oswego must thank Riccardo Spaccarelli.
“We wanted to dedicate the sign as a way to thank Riccardo for all he’s done,” said Laura Masterson, director of 47th Avenue Farm. “It is also a way for people, when they come to the farm, to learn more about what the Friends of Luscher Farm group is doing.”

So recently, a friends group – Spaccarelli, his daughter Maria Morrison, Kathe Worsley, Tom Scheile, Russell Jones, and Masterson – showed up in cold, drizzling weather to dedicate the sign.
Also in full attendance were the chickens and all of the other birds who live in the coop, and they handled the frigid weather much better than the humans.
But the beautiful sign was worth the effort. On it, Spaccarelli explains the history of the chicken coop. There is also a photo of Spaccarelli, his dog Buck, and his old pal Rudie Luscher, the late former owner of the farm.
“There was no Rudie Luscher signage around here,” Spaccarelli said. “We needed to have some. Rudie sold this farm to the city and made the project possible. He started a precedent.”
The Riccardo-Rudie friendship began one day in the early 1990s when Spaccarelli was out running with his dogs near the hills of Luscher Farm.
“I was wanting to have access to the property and also do some bird training,” Spaccarelli said. “I decided to come to the farmhouse and knock on the door.

I introduced myself to Rudie and he was very kind. We developed a friendship.
“Rudie loved to chat. I used to come over and talk to him for an hour before running my dogs.”
Luscher ended up almost like part of the Spaccarelli family. He allowed Spaccarelli to build a bird run to raise pheasants, quail and other birds. Spaccarelli repaid him by picking berries for Rudie’s wife Georgette to bake pies.
“Rudie became part of my extended family,” Spaccarelli said.
As the friendship evolved, so did the dream of Luscher Farm – as a rural spot in an urban setting, as Lake Oswego’s experiment in sustainable living. The city of Lake Oswego took over the farm after Luscher’s death in 1997 and allowed Spaccarelli to keep raising his birds.
That set the tone for everything that followed. The city liked what was happening at Luscher so much that it continued to purchase agricultural property, and now has 100 acres. To preserve “this special property” the Friends of Luscher Farm,

a non-profit organization,was formed in 2004.
While Masterson farms the land, the chicken coop thrives.
“The coop is a big draw to kids,” said Worsley. “They love to come watch the birds.”
All of this makes Spaccarelli quite happy.
As he says on the sign: “Perhaps the best legacy of my friendship with Rudie Luscher is this development of the FOLF through which we can support ongoing farm projects.
“Specifically, we hope to endorse projects which are consistentwith the dreams of Rudie Luscher.”

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Epitaph for a tree

I love Luscher Farm. I have gardened at Luscher Farm for years. Over these years I have grown bushels of tomatoes and potatoes, harvested peas, beans, garlic, onions, winter and summer squash, carrots, herbs and a variety of flowers from spring through late fall. Some cool weather crops like spinach, chard and broccoli have even provided us with fresh vegetables all through the winter. As the years passed I added perennial crops such as asparagus, hops and the ubiquitous rhubarb that our family had never eaten before. Spicy Rhubarb salsa has become a family favorite.
Along with growing all these wonderful organic vegetables for my family and friends there were unexpected harvests. New friendships were
established and rooted in sharing seeds, experience, help and vacation watering. Leaning across a row of beans to chat with a garden neighbor I would learn lots of garden tricks; gardeners love to share information.
Meanwhile, during the years that I was growing food at Luscher farm, the farm was also growing. The community gardens began with 20 Adult Community Center plots and at this point there are about 125 garden plots. It is absolutely wonderful to watch all the families learn and play while growing their food. It is such a healthy and happy environment . The city has done a great job of organizing and managing the community gardens and providing a wonderful learning environment for everyone.
A huge part of Luscher Farms’ learning environment is the surrounding landscape and wildlife habitat. While we garden we are surrounded by
visible and not so visible mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Some are more discreet than others. The Coopers Hawk will sit on top of the chicken coop and could care less if you get close. The Killdeer are always present in the community gardens (literally underfoot ) and every year some nests have to be flagged so no one accidentally walks on them. Deer and coyote are around but not as obvious as those darn moles who challenge us every year. Frogs can be heard in the wetlands below the gardens.
American Kestrels nest every year in the big Douglas Fir tree in front of the barn. Last Friday Riccardo Spaccarrelli and I looked up at the tree and watched as two Kestrels flew in and out of the Douglas Fir. Wow. They are here.
Today the iconic Douglas Fir was cut down by the city. Our tree and wildlife habitat is gone. It really is very sad. Near the barn is a sign that reads:
“Backyard Wildlife Habitat: This property provides the four basic habitat elements needed for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young. It has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat site.” Oh really?

Where the American Kestrel nested for at least 15 years.

The logger just doing his job-at least we managed to
have them check all the holes for eggs before the tree
was removed.
This is all that was left. Gary Evans of the city refused to
have a snag left for valuable wildlife habitat. He didn't
want the visual reminder of what had been there for at least 150 years.
Really too bad as it would have been a wonderful sorce of learning
for all ages.- not just children.