A Contest of Her Own

This is very cool:

SheBrew Homebrew Competition
This competition is AHA sanctioned and open to any amateur female homebrewer age 21 or older. It is open to all non-commercial, home brewed beers produced by persons of female identity. 

Deadline: February 17th (Shipping) or 18th (Dropoff).  Register here.
Women have steadily become more welcome in the brewing world, but as a hobby, it’s hard to

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2017/01/a-contest-of-her-own.html


American Palates: 82% IPA

This past weekend I had the chance to zip down to snowy Bend, and I seized it. Following a brewers dinner, I managed a stroll down a frosted Deschutes River, followed by a check-in on a couple local breweries. At Worthy, I discovered the beer list you see to the right (click to enlarge). If you scan through it, you’ll notice a curious thing: nine of the twelve beers pouring were some version

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2017/01/american-palates-82-ipa.html

Garden Earth

The facts are pretty clear: the planet Earth is heating up, we are facing extinctions not seen in Epochs, and human population continues to explode, consuming resources beyond Nature’s capacity to replenish. What are you going to do about it?

Our future seems grim and it’s tempting to ignore the facts and hope it will all go away.  Maybe science has a solution, or maybe there are some alternative facts.  Maybe there is some sort of parallel universe and we can jump ship into a utopian dream where we all just get along – all humans, all species, all creatures great and small, microbes and man working for the common good.

Well this planet is not dead yet.  But if humans want to continue at the top of the food chain we need to begin to manage the planet in cooperation with other life.

Indeed Earth is teaming with life despite our arrogance and assumptions of human preeminence and tender regard for the species we have destroyed.  Life does not care about our interpretation and classifications and will go on whether we or any other eukaryotes survive. It is sad and tragic that one species, homo sapiens, has so altered the world where we evolved, but life will go on no matter our best or worst efforts.

“The Hermit’s Garden” by Kate Frey and Ben Frey

But if we intend to inhabit the planet ourselves it is about time we considered it as Garden Earth.

California Coastal Range, rolling hills and Oaks overlooking Novato.

Have you heard the NASA scientist talking about how to settle another planet ?  Of much more pressing concern is keeping this planet habitable, which we can – if we treat it like a garden.

We are well into a post-wild world and need to consider Earth as one ecosystem that needs wise maintenance.  Gardeners can make a difference.  We are the Action Committee on Climate Change and understand that life does not always do our bidding, that we need to be sensitive to our micro climates and adjust gardens constantly.

On the morning after the presidential election, after a night of incredulity when I was stunned by the thoughts of incompetence and ignorance taking front and center in the political world, the sun actually came up and a new day dawned.  I vowed to work harder in the garden world, not just finding beauty with my camera, but exploring ways to work for sustainability.

Photographing California Oaks after election day November 9, 2016

Just recently, here at Gardening Gone Wild, Fran wrote: Gardening for The Future: Why Responsible Beauty Matters.  We can not garden for some human definition of beauty.  Plants are not art, indeed we need to redefine beauty itself if we expect humans to garden for the earth.  There is beauty in healthy ecosystems, and beauty in the mind knowing we can work in harmony with other living species, not dominating them.

For many years I have seen my work as a garden photographer to be changing the aesthetic of what we expect in a garden photo, with the intention of deepening our appreciation of true garden beauty.

This is what I can do, what I will do.  I expect The Summer-Dry Project to be funded this year – enlarging its photo database to integrate with the WUCOLS database of water conserving plants appropriate for summer-dry climates.

I have planted a 100′ garden hedgerow of native plants with the intent of showing a beautiful mix of insect friendly plants.  Many have begun to advocate for insects, the beneficial insects, or our ‘garden allies’, as entymologist Frederique Lavoipierre has described.  So let’s see a real native plant hedgerow.  It will take 3-4 years for mine to get large enough, but stay tuned – it is truly a garden gone wild.

Perennial border with pollinator plants – Frey Garden of bee-friendly flowers.

I am starting a project investigating the capacity of soils to sequester carbon.  Healthy, undisturbed soil, full of microbes and fungi can sequester as much carbon as a forest, but we have unintentially destroyed the soil by tilling it.

I learned this attending a workshop of grassland management given by rancher Richard King from California Native Grasslands Association.

Richard King, California Native Grasslands pasture walk.

While we dump carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels we have simultaneously destroyed the earth’s capacity to absorb it. We must reverse this.  Gardeners understand and are already doing something about it by simply growing plants.

Can you do more ?  Some may become active in politics, working to ensure government acts responsibly for the planet, some may volunteer for conservation organizations, some may plant more habitat gardens, some may simply get outdoors more often to appreciate and celebrate plants as we find them.  It is estimated 95 % of pre-human ecosystems are change beyond return but what we do have can be as healthy any garden.

Let’s do our very best to preserve this Garden Earth.

Kona dog in a sunray on morning walk – Get Outdoors !

Almost every day I walk the open space near my home with my dog Kona, beginning my day in appreciation of the planet with inspiration to you to get outdoors yourself. It’s a beautiful planet. Follow us along on Instagram: Walks with Kona Dog.


from Gardening Gone Wild http://gardeninggonewild.com/?p=31050

Politics and Beer in the Age of Trump

I started this blog during an interesting moment in American history. George W. Bush had just finished the fifth year of his presidency. The Iraq war had settled into a slow-rolling quagmire, and Bush had just lost a high-profile battle to privatize Social Security. His poll numbers dipped below 40% and kept falling through the remainder of his presidency. Conservatives weren’t happy because

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2017/01/politics-and-beer-in-age-of-trump.html

Vignette #11: Dan Carey (New Glarus)

Brewer vignettes feature quotes from brewers I picked up in my travels around the world.

A bit of background on the quotes that follow. I interviewed Dan in 2013 and was curious about why the early lagers they brewed when I lived there–the early focus of the brewery–fell into the background. In The Beer Bible, I highlight Staghorn as one of the best examples made in the US, and I wondered why

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2017/01/vignette-11-dan-carey-new-glarus.html

Bitter Old-School IPAs

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to harvest one more experience from the weekend’s OBA judging. It was in the category “classic UK and American styles,” a catch-all for styles that are so niche in the US there’s no reason to devote to them an entire category: milds and bitters, browns (UK and US), US wheat and amber, English summer ales, cream ales, steam beer, etc.

One of the beers was an

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2017/01/bitter-old-school-ipas.html