Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 22: Avocados

You probably already know whether or not you like avocados, so my recommendation isn’t likely to change anything. However, I like avocados a lot, and this series is about things that I like (and recommend), so it seems fitting to say so. I usually eat avocados plain with a little salt. Avocados are also great on sandwiches, and they are the main ingredient in guacamole, which is also delicious. Apparently, avocados are considered a superfood, which I suppose just means that they are really good for your health. If you decided at some point that you don’t like avocados, I implore you to try them again; you may discover that they aren’t so bad after all. As far as I’m concerned, they taste good, they are good for you, and the only thing that keeps me from eating them more regularly and in large quantities is that they can be a bit expensive. Either way, feel free to share with me any recipes involving avocados that you might have; I’d be happy to give them a gander and possibly even try them out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 21: Know Your Mushrooms

Mushrooms freaks, fungiphiles, and myco-fanatics alike are all probably well aware of this fantastic documentary film by Ron Mann entitled, Know Your Mushrooms, but for uninitiated folks and novices like myself, this is a great introduction. This film will acquaint you with a peculiar crowd of mushroom lovers and fungus aficionados, where you will marvel in their uniqueness and their vast knowledge concerning the fascinating world of mycology. Mann bases his film around his visit to the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado, where mushroom fans have gathered annually for many years now to celebrate and revel in the fungal world. Mann converses with several mushroom experts and enthusiasts, but spends most of his time with self-proclaimed guru, Larry Evans. Alongside Evans, Mann explores numerous mycological topics, including mushroom hunting, mushroom cooking, poisonous mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, mushroom folklore, mushroom health benefits, and the ecological and environmental benefits of fungi (mycoremediation!). This is a very well-produced and well-directed film, maintaining the interest and attention of the viewer as it transitions from one aspect of mushroom culture to another while simultaneously providing education and entertainment. If your viewing experience is anything like mine, by the time this film is over, you will be wishing that you were as knowledgeable about ‘shrooms as the folks in this film. In my case, I have vowed to redouble my efforts and commit myself to the study of mycology so that one day I can join fellow fungus freaks in a celebration of this magnitude. Perhaps you will join us.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 20: First Aid Kit

This week I decided that I absolutely must recommend a band that I was recently introduced to me by way of one of Laura Veirs' mass emails. If you are familiar with the music of Laura Veirs and find it enjoyable then it is highly likely that you will also enjoy First Aid Kit, a folk duo composed of sisters from Sweden. I find their music very infectious and agreeable. Additionally, there music videos are very well done. Need I say more? I'll just go ahead and let the following videos speak for themselves.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 19: National Public Gardens Day

In case you were not already aware, this Friday is National Public Gardens Day. It's a day to celebrate our nation's public gardens. Public gardens provide communities with numerous beneftis, including educational opportunites, green spaces, examples of environmental stewardship, plant awareness and protection, and a place to get ideas and be inspired about gardening, horticulture, and botany. Participating gardens will be open free of charge and have various activities planned throughout the day. To find out where the nearest participating garden is, go here. For those in the Boise, Idaho area, I would encourage you to spend the day at Idaho Botanical Garden. It's springtime, the weather is nice, and there are tons of plants in bloom.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Weekly Recommendation, Week 18: Small Green Roofs

I have been interested in green roofs for quite some time. In fact, upon first learning about green roofs I became so obsessed that I decided to move halfway across the country to pursue a graduate degree that involved green roof research as my thesis project. And yet even after that ordeal, I remain quite interested in them. While I am not currently working in the green roof industry, I still enjoy reading/hearing about green roofs, as well as seeing them whenever I am lucky enough to have that chance.With that said, if you are at all interested in learning more about green roofs, or perhaps constructing a green roof of your own,  I would highly recommend checking out the book, Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living by Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little, and Edmund C. Snodgrass. It's incredibly informative and very well-written and organized. The first part of the book offers a brief overview of green roofs, including the purposes for installing them and the myriad benefits they offer. Also included are green roof construction basics and a very informative planting primer which covers plant selection, planting methods, maintenance considerations, and designing for wildlife. The remaining part of the book is filled with the profiles of 42 small green roof projects broken up into 5 sections. Each profile includes information on the design and planning stage, the installation process, and the successes of the project, along with a personal note by one of the authors. Pictures of each of the projects are also included. These profiles are meant to inspire and encourage people to consider a green roof of their own and to offer ideas about how to go about it. Whether you are interested in putting a green roof on a rabbit hutch, a garden shed, or the roof of your house, this book is a great introduction to the fascinating world of green roof technology.