Las Toronjas – Grapefruit Harvest

Costa Rica, Central America  ©Brian Mohr/ EmberPhoto - All rights reserved

Maiana harvests ripe red grapefruits (toronjas, in Spanish) from a tree we planted eight years ago on the land of our good friend, Lidier Barrientes, and family, on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.

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There’s nothing like the taste and satisfaction of home-grown food from the garden…

Camera Info: Canon 7D, 24mm, ISO 400, 1/125, f4.5;

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Photo of the Month – July: Garlic Harvest 2011

Emily makes room for some aggressive winter squash plants while nearly 200 heads of recently harvested and home-grown garlic dry below the porch. We’ll set aside thirty of the largest heads to seed next year’s stock, and enjoy the rest throughout the coming year by incorporating it into nearly everything we cook, by roasting, by mixing into pestos, salsas, pickles, gazpacho, salad dressings and sauces…and by sharing with friends and neighbors. Yum. Yum.

See images from past year’s garlic…LINK.

Camera Info: Canon 5D, 50mm, ISO 400, 1/80, f5

Garlic, Green Beans & Garden Greens

Yum… We harvested this year’s crop of garlic this week, which amounted to approx. 150 heads of organically grown (& synthetic fertilizer free) garlic – nearly double what we produced last year. (The photo above depicts some of this garlic drying before it gets braided in bundles for easy storage inside our kitchen) We’ll use approx. 20% of this crop as seed for next year’s crop, and enjoy the rest throughout the coming year. As the summer season crests, our garden is simply exploding. Daily, we’ve been sharing and enjoying great salads of mixed greens, arugula, mustards, baby kale and beat greens – topped with everything from the last of our sugar-snap peas to fresh herbs(cilantro!) to our own sweet raspberries, and dressed with our latest concoction of homemade herbal vinaigrette. We’ve been harvesting younger green beans for nearly a week now, and we even picked our first giant purple cherokee tomatoes this past weekend. It’s been a wonderfully warm summer with just enough rain to cool us down now and then. Thank you Mother Nature!

– Brian and Emily

Food is Happening – Northern Woodlands Feature

Having planted much of our veggie garden before setting off to Norway in late April, we’ve been able to enjoy (i.e. eat!) an increasing abundance of food since our return to Vermont two weeks back. Huge salads of mixed greens, crunchy spinach, and some tears of chard tossed with sliced radishes, shredded beets and cabbage (still from last season, staying cool in the fridge!), shredded carrots (purchased), some sprouted grains, a neighbor’s goat cheese and more…have been the rule.  Occasionally, we grill up a little meat from our neighbor’s pigs, chickens and cows, too, to throw on top of the salad. Or perhaps we’ll sprinkle on some slivered almonds, sliced apples… And when we’re feeling really crazy, we’ll lay on a fried or poached egg or two – Chilean style! Yum.

There’s no doubt that the garden is the foundation of our diet during the warmer months, and increasingly, year round. Our love for fresh, healthy food is also responsible for an evolving focus in our photography and documentary work around Vermont’s emerging local food economy, edible landscaping and modern homesteading. On this note, be sure to check out our friend Ben Hewitt’s incredible new book, The Town that Food Saved.

This month, Northern Woodlands ran a feature story on the subject of “forest gardening”.  The story opens with our photo we captured of Ben Falk, of Whole Systems Design (a friend and neighbor here in Moretown), tending to his fruit trees by cutting and mulching with deep-rooting comfrey growing beneath them. Northern Woodlands magazine is a publication of the non-profit Center for Northern Woodlands Education, Inc. based in Corinth, VT. It’s distributed primarily in the northeastern U.S., and it offers a forward thinking perpsective on how we use, develop and live within our forest-dominated environment.  Take a peek at the clip below: