Archive for November, 2008

Ancient Bee Story

“Ever since Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” first warned us against the dangers of chemicals in our natural world—we seem to be entering a new, more dangerous period, where the accumulated human effects upon the environment are producing an obvious toll. In this story, another human soul speaks out, this time, about the plight of the honeybees.” – from Cooking Up A Story. 


When David Suzuki came to Australia in the last few years, and gave numerous talks, he counted one of the main influences on his life’s work as being Rachel Carson.  A silent spring would indeed be a very strange thing, no sounds to show the humming back into life of the cosmos for the growing season. 

This short video, thanks to the brilliant work of Rebecca Gerendasy from CookingUpAStory, shows entomologist Lynne Royce, talking about her passion for bees, showing that understanding these small, ancient, industrious creatures who give so much to the world, leads to better interaction with them. 

Bees are known for their quirks and intelligences, and have even been venerated as gods and goddesses in ancient times, and have scientists endlessly studying their tendency to “Bee Dance”.  Rich bounty comes from the ancient involvement of bees with humankind, in beeswax, honey, pollenations and propogations in Nature.  It seems unlikely bees will disappear from the earth, but with better understanding, a more insightful connection to them is possible, interwoven into culture as they have been for millions of years.


(copyright Monika Roleff 2008 – Bee on Chestnut Flower in Spring.)

(copyright Monika Roleff 2008.)

(copyright CookingUpAStory, 2008.)


November 22, 2008 at 5:16 am 7 comments

Artichoke Heaven

Very nearly tempted the other day to buy a Jerusalem Artichoke plant, but decided against it, thinking it would be too hard to grow.  Michele Knaus, new gardener, but experienced chef, shows how success with these exotic plants can be a reality, and also how to make delicious and versatile Artichoke Pesto.  For anyone has never tried this beautiful vegetable, it’s definitely worth investigating.  The taste is unforgettable.  Thanks to the brilliant filmwork of Rebecca Gerendasy from CookingUpAStory, this is an easy to follow cooking lesson.  For the recipe, read on:


  • 8 oz artichoke hearts – fresh or frozen, but not marinated in oil
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and choppped
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice of one lemon, or to taste
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil – as needed (about ¼ cup)


  • In a food processor, chop the artichoke hearts and garlic together using about 6 pulses.
  • Add the fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until herbs are chopped and mixed into artichokes.
  • Add walnuts and Parmesan cheese, and two tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until mixed.
  • Add additional olive oil until desired pesto consistency is reached – more for a sauce consistency, less for a thicker end result.
  • Taste for seasoning.
    Makes about 2 cups 2-4 people
  • Recipe courtesy Michele Knaus, EatLikeAChef.

    (copyright Monika Roleff 2008.)

    (copyright CookingUpAStory, 2008.)

    November 1, 2008 at 10:37 am 2 comments

    Mini Farms & Urban Backyards

    Urban farming makes sense in so many ways,

    and pays back the people who take the trouble

    with it many times over in a myriad of beneficial ways.  Two women

    from Portland, Oregon take the initiative, do the hard work and

    reap the rewards with their backyard farming enterprise.

    This is another brilliant uplifting story filmed filmed by Rebecca Gerendasy

    of CookingUpAStory, a rich resource to follow in planning your

    own sustainability commitment, however small, starting from

    your own backyard.

    (copyright Monika Roleff 2008.)

    (copyright CookingUpAStory, 2008.)


    November 1, 2008 at 10:19 am 2 comments


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    Henry David Thoreau – Philosopher

    "Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads."
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