Jul 282011

Community Garden at the Curry Preserve

Saturday seventeen local vegetable gardens will be open to the public for visiting and discussing veggies with local gardeners. There are ten gardens in the morning session (9am to 12pm) and eight gardens in the afternoon session (1:30pm to 4:30pm). Molly and Dave Harmony’s fabulous garden and orchard will be open for both sessions.

Tickets are dirt cheap as befits a gardening event—$5 per individual or $10 for the entire family. All proceeds benefit the Beach School through the Beach School Foundation. T-shirts memorializing this event are available for $15 and if you buy a T-shirt it is your ticket to visit each of these gardens.

Home gardening has had a resurgence around the country and Lummi Island is in the vanguard of this movement. These aren’t the only vegetable gardens on our island. Only a few of them. But they offer a good cross section of what is going on.

Gardens on the tour for the first time are Betty Bocock’s on Constitution. This is a 25 year old family garden that I’m personally looking forward to seeing.

Ingrid and John McGary’s garden on Sunnyhill Lane is on the tour. I have seen their garden and it’s worth a visit. Plus the view from Sunnyhill is the proverbial “million dollar view.”

Joann and Tom Philpot’s garden will be on display. They describe it as a simple garden with raised beds.

And, Henry Austin has kindly put out the welcome mat at Migley Point. If you missed him last year, here’s another chance to see a very nice garden and Migley Point too.

There’s a new crew this year at Nettles Farm. Don’t forget that one.

Each garden on the tour is worth a stop. There’s big ones and little ones. You’ll get ideas and inspiration and of you aren’t into home gardening yet you’ll see that it’s not that hard.

This map might be hard to read but it will give you the idea. Pick up at map at the store or Saturday market and head out on the tour.

Jul 272011

I am breaking my blog fast because of a new discussion that will fascinate most Lummi Islanders.

Steve L. floated a trial balloon to see if there is any interest in changing the name of Lummi Island to something else. The ensuing discussion (you may or may not be on the mailing list) illustrates that changing the name of things is like opening Pandora’s Box.

When Pandora opened her box (which was actually a jar) she loosed the evils of the world.

I suppose one can make a strong case for changing our name. Yet, there are numerous reasons not to go through a name changing exercise. It is possible that evil will be turned loose but there are more mundane considerations. First of all, it’s counterproductive because there will never be consensus on a new name. Secondly, there are many more important things to spend our time and energy doing. Thirdly, even though Lummi Island might be confused with the Lummi Rez that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I suppose it’s bad from a marketing standpoint. That is if you are trying to develop and market property. Or, if you don’t want people to think you are an Indian.

But if you are just trying to hunker down and and stay out of sight the idea that people think the island is part of the Rez might be a very good thing. I actually think what really confuses people is that they have to drive through the Lummi Nation to get to Lummi Island. Ergo, it must be part of the Nation. Realistically, how many people who matter are that confused?

That said, here are my recommendations for a new name.

NotLummi Island—this would make it pretty easy and inexpensive to change address labels, income tax forms, etc. Could just handwrite or type “not” in front of Lummi.

Yummi Island—on the same theme. Everyone would need only a small bottle of white out to make the change.

Maui—real estate values would shoot up as the stupid people who are confused about Lummi Island being a part of the Rez would no longer be confused. Now they’d think we were in Hawaii.

Granger Island—Cliff F. argues in favor of a name change asking, “Does anyone really believe the Name Lummi accurately reflects the Island, its Residents and the Islands essence ?” No. But I think Granger Island might come closer to describing who we are (or who at least most of us are).

Wetzel Island—recognizing the kid who put us in the NY Times twice!

Mordor—we would be visited by legions of Lord of the Rings fans. Good for business. Many would wish to live here.

Out Of Service Island—for those who want to discourage visitors.

Sun Island—because you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Rodney Island—after the fellow who asked why we can’t all just get along.

Transition Island—my personal favorite.

I would enjoy hearing your recommendations for the our new name.

Jul 182011

Electric golf carts on Lummi Island would make a lot of sense. All the speed limits are 25mph and the golf cart is a vehicle that can be engineered to go that fast. In communities like Sun City, Arizona golf carts are ubiquitous.

Here’s the state law on golf   carts:


Apparently we need some action from the County to make golf carts officially legal.

Anyone willing to make a few phone calls?

Jul 082011

My favorite vegetable is the beet. You get the most for your money. For starters a beet seed packet is loaded with seeds. No staring down into the depths of the packet looking for it. When you order beet seed you get your money’s worth.

The best thing is you eat the whole plant—tops and bottoms. I think the tops are better than its cousin the chard. Beets are great boiled until tender or sliced and roasted. They also make great juice. Our favorite way to eat them is pickled.

I planted about 120 sq. ft. of beets. I planted them closer together than recommended because…because I am greedy for the beet. When they were about 2-3 inches high I carefully hand thinned them and used the little leaves for salad. Today was the second thinning as some of the beets are two inches in diameter. I picked many of those plus anything that was too close to a neighbor. Got six quarts of beets and three grocery bags of greens.

Canning beets is pretty simple once you get a canning routine down. I had trouble finding my recipe so made one up and will give it a taste before using it again. But there’s vinegar, sweetener, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger power.

You have to cook the beets, peel them, cook up some spiced vinegar, heat water in your canning pot, wash your jars, warm up some lids, slice the beets, etc. etc. It actually goes pretty fast.

But the beet tops are tedious. Blanch them, unfold them on towels, dry them off and pack them in Ziplock bags.

It takes awhile but you end up with what will be fast food in the winter.

Why take pills? Eat lots of beets and beet greens:

“Red Beet is unique for its high levels of anti-carcinogens and its very high carotenoid content. Red beets are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and it is an excellent source of folic acid. It is loaded with antioxidant that helps the body against heart disease, certain cancer especially colon cancer and even birth defects. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their red color; this pigment is absorbed into the blood corpuscles and can increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400 per cent. Don’t throw away the green leafy tops as they can be cooked like spinach and are also rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, chlorophyll, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.

Health Benefits of Red Beets:

  • Beet root is a traditional treatment used for leukemia. Beet root contain an amino acid betaine which has an anti cancer properties. Red beet therapy, consisting of consumption of approximately two pounds of raw, mashed beets daily, has been favorably reported for cases of leukemia and tumors (includes cancer). Research also shows that beet juice can help inhibit the development of colon and stomach cancer.
  • It is believed that red beets when used eaten regularly may help against certain oxidative stress-related disorders.
  • The fiber in red beets help reduced serum cholesterol by 30 to 40%.
  • Beets can help in normalizing blood pressure.
  • Beets helps to keep the elasticity of arteries, when consumed regularly it can help prevent varicose veins.
  • The iron content of red beets, though not high but is of the finest quality that makes it a powerful cleanser and builder of blood. This is the reason why beets is very effective in treating many ailments caused by toxic environment and surrounding.
  • Beet root is recommended for pregnant women because it contain folic acid that can help lower the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in newborn infants.
  • Beet juice helps stimulate the function of liver cells and protect the liver and bile ducts.
  • Beet juice is highly alkaline which makes it effective in the treatment of acidosis.
  • Drinking beets regularly can help relieve constipation.
  • Beet juice and carrot juice when combined is excellent in the healing gout, kidney and gall bladder problem.
  • Red beets can also help in the following problems; Headaches, toothaches, dysentery, lumbago, skin problems, menstrual problems, etc.”