North Carolina

JULY 2017, ISSUE #194

JULY 2017, ISSUE #194

Romance, alcoholic beverages, peachy pears, potatoes, ponies, frogs and much more.

 

TWENTY-THREE YEARS

This month, we celebrated twenty-three years of wedded adventure, but that’s not the whole story. We met, fell in love, and got married in Loveland, Colorado, have slept under the same roof for twenty-five years, and […]

JUNE 2017, ISSUE #193

JUNE 2017, ISSUE #193

Another best month ever at home in rural North Carolina, celebrating two birthdays, and enjoying friends, food, wildlife, and work that feels like play.

 

TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL

Bob’s first college roommate, Ned spent a night at Trouts Farm. Spot photo-bombed this year’s sunglasses pic.

 

CAMILLE’S 63RD

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MAY 2017, ISSUE #192

MAY 2017, ISSUE #192

In which we play and work at home, then take our show on the road for this year’s family visit.

 

15th ANNUAL SPRING SHAKORI HILLS GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL

A great blend of tradition and novelty. Our preparation ritual involves test tubes, frozen tequila, and Kahlua a.k.a. “Shakori Shooters.” Then off […]

APRIL 2017, ISSUE #191

APRIL 2017, ISSUE #191

April is one of our favorite months up here in the temperate zone with its cool nights, warm days, sweet-scented air, and the exuberance of untarnished life.

 

REFLECTIONS

April 3 – the skies pour puddles for the sun to kiss at the end of the day, life teeming just […]

MARCH 2017, ISSUE #190

MARCH 2017, ISSUE #190

A triple-header month with snow storm and potluck thrown in for good measure. Camille went to the zoo, we made new friends and shared them with our Sparkroot homies, and we participated in Trail Crawl, the funnest event of the year.

 

DAY TRIPPING

Camille and Judy took a day […]

FEBRUARY 2017, ISSUE #189

FEBRUARY 2017, ISSUE #189

An uncharacteristically mild February with no drama and only one field trip. This month, it’s all about the green earth and its sentinels.

 

THE EARTH AWAKENS

Pussy Willows and Trout Lilies promise an early Spring. In years past, we have not seen Trout Lilies bloom until […]

JANUARY 2017, ISSUE #188

JANUARY 2017, ISSUE #188

The irony of winter is its warmth. Rather than isolating us, the cold draws us closer, giving us an excuse to relax and while away hours in each other’s company. It’s also a great time for playing in the kitchen, and when the weather breaks, perfect for a long walk with a friend.

 

EIGHTH […]

DECEMBER 2016, ISSUE #187

DECEMBER 2016, ISSUE #187

In the last month of 2016 we honored the dead, celebrated the living, watched kids frolic in the leaves, savored several sunsets, and relaxed into a mellow Christmas with our friends.

 

SUNRISE ON A NEW MONTH

And just like that, we’re into another month. The sun sneaks across Fred and […]

NOVEMBER 2016, ISSUE #186

NOVEMBER 2016, ISSUE #186

Another month digging the grassroots movement, doing our best to ignore the ringmasters promising top-down change.

 

BEFORE THE FROST

First principle of self-reliance: grow food! Noticing we were due for the first heavy frost of the season, Bob pulled in peppers, turmeric, ginger, and potatoes from our garden. Camille […]

OCTOBER 2016, ISSUE #185

OCTOBER 2016, ISSUE #185

We spent much of October outside basking in the amber light of fall. We did things around the yard. Bob harvested ginger and turmeric and put our Troutsfarm sign back up. Camille went for walks in a post-hurricane rain mushroom wonderland and discovered a crazy plant that feeds on mushrooms! This is the time of […]

SEPTEMBER 2016, ISSUE #184

SEPTEMBER 2016, ISSUE #184

A most memorable month! Emily married Tyler, we met Bob’s grandson, Nolan, we stayed with Rob and Sharyl, and then with Shirley, and we connected with Camille’s brother, Michael, and load of other Colorado friends. Back home, we celebrated Bob’s birthday, harvested our first paw paw, made Kentucky Fried Tofu, went to a concert, and […]

AUGUST 2016, ISSUE #183

AUGUST 2016, ISSUE #183

The dog days of summer brought lots of comfortable sameness and a few surprises most notably, the speedy return of Bob’s smile, and an introduction to our grandson, Nolan.

 

TURN AROUND

Bob and John headed out for Boone in the work truck and had to turn around when they […]

JULY 2016, ISSUE #182

JULY 2016, ISSUE #182

In which we celebrate our anniversary, survive a big scare, and make pickles.

 

TWENTY-TWO REMARKABLE YEARS

July 31, we celebrated twenty-two years of marriage and happily signed up for another twenty-two.

 

OUR LITTLE HOME

It isn’t much, a thirty-year old manufactured home re-roofed and […]

JUNE 2016, ISSUE #181

JUNE 2016, ISSUE #181

Two birthdays and a funeral brought out the best in everyone this month. We also acquired a greenhouse and some beautiful canna lily plants, participated in a couple of Abundance NC’s events, and enjoyed the first of many fingerling potatoes from the garden.

 

FOOD AND BEAUTY

Bob and John […]

MAY 2016, ISSUE #180

MAY 2016, ISSUE #180

Shakori, annual vacation and family reunion, home cooking, yard work, a day at the beach, a turtle, a whopper of a party, and a few snakes.

 

DINING IN

We started the month on a Sunday with the typical Sunday night dinner of scalloped potatoes, Kentucky Fried Tofu and asparagus […]

APRIL 2016, ISSUE #179

APRIL 2016, ISSUE #179

A month that started out beautifully and ended badly, April began with the best neighborhood party of the year, Haruka’s birthday and a visit from Margie and ended in tragedy.

 

SWEET SIXTEEN TRAIL CRAWL

The best, most funnest event of the year, Trail Crawl involves eating, drinking, walking and […]

MARCH 2016, ISSUE #178

MARCH 2016, ISSUE #178

A fruitful month in many ways. We helped birth a conference, Amy came to visit with her new pup, young Nolan continues to flourish and we’re pushing the garden beds and bedding plants into frame for a new season.

 

AMUSE BOUCHE

The ladies of Abundance NC hosted Amuse Bouche, […]

FEBRUARY 2016, ISSUE #177

FEBRUARY 2016, ISSUE #177

With winter nearly over Bob and Jason dig into Spring projects, Haruka tests out a new bridge, Malcolm and Dashel plant tulip poplars at The Plant, Alisa and Chris throw a tea party, Camille makes cheese from cashews and Amie paints her Boston terriers’ nails yellow and red.

 

TEA PARTY

JANUARY 2016, ISSUE #176

JANUARY 2016, ISSUE #176

A big month of short, cold days featuring our Hoppin’ John party, some heavy lifting at The Plant, a memorable trip to a local museum and getting snowed in with our neighbors.

 

SEASON’S GREETINGS

Just had to share these two milestone photos from our Christmas cards. Catherine and Babe […]

DECEMBER 2015, ISSUE #175

DECEMBER 2015, ISSUE #175

In which we celebrate the grand finale to another good year, graced with uncommonly warm weather, local food, generous friends and beautiful family.

 

LOCAL FOOD

Edible Earthscapes CSA, brimming with grown-next door goodness, and sourdough bread baked using locally-milled Lindley Mills flour.

 

LOCAL FOOD FRIDAY

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NOVEMBER 2015, ISSUE #174

NOVEMBER 2015, ISSUE #174

Winter is taking it’s own sweet time, which is just fine with us. In addition to lovely weather, we are grateful for farm-fresh produce, our health, compelling projects, generous neighbors and the birth of our first grand baby.

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON’S WORK

Camille works the veggie drawers once or twice […]

OCTOBER 2015, ISSUE #173

OCTOBER 2015, ISSUE #173

Chestnuts, paper flowers, one epic birthday party, an unforgettable wedding, the best day ever at the State Fair, friends, food, flowers and a Halloween present for Blanche – October was a month to write home about!

 

IT’S CHESTNUT TIME AGAIN

It was an especially good year for chestnuts and […]

SEPTEMBER 2015, ISSUE #172

SEPTEMBER 2015, ISSUE #172

A whirlwind month of perfect weather in which we pulled off a long-planned conference, celebrated Bob’s birthday, entertained the neighbors, saw some pigs, grew some roses and ate edamame.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB!

It’s hard to believe Bob turned 57 this month. Handsome devil just keeps getting better looking every year. […]

AUGUST 2015, ISSUE #171

AUGUST 2015, ISSUE #171

The suffocating dog days of this Southern Summer involved setting up a new office, some very gritty work, a bit of horse play, gaping at pollinators, an evening with The Sun, giant okra and Bob’s new look.

 

LEGITIMACY

We have an office at The Plant! It is day-lit with […]

JULY 2015, ISSUE #170

JULY 2015, ISSUE #170

Potatoes, garlic and peaches, some birthdays, new neighbors, horses, our 21st anniversary and of course, more flowers.

 

POKERS AND CONES

There was another flush of red hot pokers and some unexpected coneflower (echinacea) over by our fish pond where Bob threw a seed head last year.

 

POTATOES FOR […]

JUNE 2015, ISSUE #169

JUNE 2015, ISSUE #169

Visiting family, celebrating Camille’s birthday, partying with our old neighbors, catching the rose virus, harvesting garden abundance and playing around at work all in one great month!

 

GOODBYES AND HELLOS IN JERSEY

Joe, Camille and Jim said goodbye to Nana and Grandpa and spend the evening at Shawn and Frank’s […]

MAY 2015, ISSUE #168

MAY 2015, ISSUE #168

Flowers, food, frogs, family, friends and fun – sounds like a fabulous month to us!

 

MAY FLOWERS

From peonies to chives, May is the best month for eye-candy. See more at: May Flowers

 

OUR LITTLE FROG

Hangs out by our water feature, eating […]

APRIL 2015, ISSUE #167

APRIL 2015, ISSUE #167

April was alternately wet and dreary, bright and cheery. We savored our last few days with Amy and welcomed Kat, Miki and Justin to Trouts Farm. Edible Earthscapes held their end-of-season CSA work party and potluck and Tami and Lyle threw another memorable party at Shakori. Blooms are blooming, mushrooms are popping and all signs […]

MARCH 2015, ISSUE #166

MARCH 2015, ISSUE #166

March was here and gone, a flash of hard work and play. Before we knew it, the landscape had morphed from gray to green. Amy was in town with plans to build her own camper shell, lots of progress was made in the garden and we had fun at a tea party, at The Plant […]

FEBRUARY 2015, ISSUE #165

FEBRUARY 2015, ISSUE #165

Chasing away the winter blues with a farming conference, community get-togethers, honest work, bird watching and culinary experimentation.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION CONFERENCE FOR FARMERS

Chasing away the February blues with an energizing gathering of farmers, policy-makers and social activists at Central Carolina Community Conference. Carol gave a presentation […]

JANUARY 2015, ISSUE #164

JANUARY 2015, ISSUE #164

Despite frigid January temperatures, we still managed to eat well, party hearty and complete a few outdoor projects. This is perfect weather for writing, and both Bob and Camille have been working on their first books.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Spot made some new friends at our annual […]

DECEMBER 2014, ISSUE #163

DECEMBER 2014, ISSUE #163

The last month of 2014 was kind of dreary, but mostly cheery with a little celebrating, a bit of puzzling, a Christmas dinner and the birth of a new compost pile.

 

IN THE KITCHEN

They don’t call her Cookie for nothing, Camille whipped up a dinner salad of turnips […]

NOVEMBER 2014, ISSUE #162

NOVEMBER 2014, ISSUE #162

At home in rural North Carolina with winter breathing down our necks, we emptied our cameras, selected twenty-seven photos and cobbled together the following snapshot of our month.

 

LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT

Veggies keep marching in the door and we continue filling up our bellies. Bob harvested the last of […]

OCTOBER 2014, ISSUE #161

OCTOBER 2014, ISSUE #161

A deceptively normal month featuring emergency vehicles, a big giant claw, foraged mushrooms, monster bugs and another edition of Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, all at home under the sunny blue skies of the longest fall in history.

 

EL JARDIN

Where fauna and flora abound. This prehistoric looking bug, measuring […]

SEPTEMBER 2014, ISSUE #160

SEPTEMBER 2014, ISSUE #160

In which Bob turns 56, we host another potluck, revisit Camelina, discover the perfect place to walk during spider season, replace some flooring, grow the biggest squash ever and make some soup.

 

2014 – 1964

Bob celebrated his fifty-sixth birthday this month. Here’s a picture of our beloved Bob […]

AUGUST 2014, ISSUE #159

AUGUST 2014, ISSUE #159

Another fun month featuring mushrooms, house guests, a biodiesel conference, one happy piece of yard art and an uplifting memorial.

 

FUNGUS AMONG US

August was a surprisingly big mushroom month. See what we saw at Mushrooms and More

 

THAT FAITHFUL FRIGIDAIRE

She’s always […]

JULY 2014, ISSUE #158

JULY 2014, ISSUE #158

A verdant and tranquil month with a few small surprises and a celebration to jazz things up.

 

TWENTY YEARS

We were surprised to find ourselves at the twenty year mark. It would seem that we have passed The Test of Time. We celebrated the milestone with dinner out.

 

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JUNE, 2014 ISSUE #157

JUNE, 2014 ISSUE #157

Probably the best month ever or at least the biggest in terms of pictures and pages. Camille celebrated her 60th birthday, we went to Switzerland for Bob’s High School Reunion and then we toured Italy all the way down to Sicily.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO COOKIE

June 4 – You don’t […]

MAY, 2014 ISSUE #156

MAY, 2014 ISSUE #156

May, full of flowers, friends and family with perfect weather and a big trip up north (1565 driving miles) for our first glimpse of family in two years.

 

LAST LAUGH

Camille’s final moments with Stephanie in which they realized that if there were to be a book jacket photo of […]

APRIL, 2014 ISSUE # 155

APRIL, 2014 ISSUE # 155

Spring has sprung in our neighborhood, bringing with it home grown deliciousness, our annual neighborhood Trail Crawl and another energizing edition of the Spring Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival. To our delight Emily, Amy and Molly joined us at the festival, Trail Crawl was nourishing and unforgettable, we never ran out of asparagus all month […]

MARCH, 2014 ISSUE #154

MARCH, 2014 ISSUE #154

We made our way happily though March, spending a lot of time outside, starting up the garden, exorcising winter with a bonfire and in general inching our way towards warmer weather in fits and starts with temperature swings from just above freezing to shorts and flip flop weather.

 

WINTER GO AWAY

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FEBRUARY, 2014 ISSUE #153

FEBRUARY, 2014 ISSUE #153

A typical February in “El Norte” complete with cold, snow and much longing for Spring but with enough bright spots to push our happiness meters above the halfway mark.

 

PURGE

Camille began the month with the empowering activity of cleaning out the community refrigerator. Here’s the before and […]

JANUARY, 2014 ISSUE #152

JANUARY, 2014 ISSUE #152

Another great month with a good balance of work and play, warm weather and cold.

 

STARTING THE YEAR RIGHT

Good friends and good food is the best way to start a new year. Check out more pictures from our annual Hoppin John Party

 

LEETLE PITTSBORO

DECEMBER, 2013 ISSUE #151

DECEMBER, 2013 ISSUE #151

In which we successfully locate Bob’s other childhood home in Accra, fly to Morocco, take the train to Marrakech (just like in the song!) and make our way home to North Carolina in time to celebrate the holidays.

 

ACCRA REVISITED

As planned, all four of us left Casa Kumasi for […]

MAY, 2012 ISSUE #132

MAY, 2012 ISSUE #132

CATAWBA COUNTY LANDFILL

We spent a couple of days as guests in the home of Jeremy and Brian as Bob troubleshot their biodiesel lab equipment. More photos at: Catawba

BIODIESEL FROM FOOD WASTE

Our friend Jeremy has been up in New York at Columbia […]