Summer has faded into fall. In the permaculture garden at Minnetrista, our tomatillos gave us buckets of fruit! But we ran into a problem: what to do with the produce that can’t be eaten right away? Luckily for us, the answer was easy–salsa! Recently, the Permaculture Initiative hosted their first canning event and participants made six quarts of tomatillo salsa.
It’s pumpkin time! Pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin…everything! It is the time of the year when people start thinking about ways to keep pumpkin around longer because they love it so much. “How can I preserve it?” “Can I make pumpkin pie filling and store it in a jar?”
Everything that is old is new again, or so it seems. During the past few years, ideas for using Ball jars for everything but canning have been everywhere – on Pinterest, in magazines, in craft supply stores, etc. And, of course, is it even possible to have a wedding reception without Ball jars anymore?
The Living Lightly Fair, will be held at Minnetrista on September 19 from 9–4 p.m. It is an annual celebration of resources for sustainable lifestyles. This year’s fair features ten engaging speakers, interactive kids’ activities, live music, a marketplace of green vendors, youth dance performances, food demos, the opportunity to test drive a hybrid car, and an expired medication drop-off.
I’m going to veer off of the featured historical artifact path and talk about the upcoming Open Space: Art About the Land juried art exhibition opening September 19 at Minnetrista. Early in 2001, Muncie artist Brian Gordy asked, “Would you be interested in collaborating with Red-tail Land Conservancy on a juried art show?” Of course, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” And, thus, a lovely partnership began.
Who doesn’t love strawberries? My impromptu survey of the horticulture staff at Minnetrista indicates that strawberries may be the most popular fruit. Luckily for everyone, fall is the time to spread the wealth! Here is how you can turn one strawberry plant into dozens to share with your friends.
There is something about a pressure canner that baffles people. Some may recall horror stories from grandmothers and/or mothers that detail canner explosions, jars not sealing, or more. Others may have noticed recent news articles with growing concerns of botulism outbreaks in canned goods. Botulism is a type of food poisoning caused by a bacterium growing on improperly sterilized canned meats and other preserved foods. Stories like these that we have heard or read about have led people to misunderstand some aspects of pressure canning.
Last month, I shared stories of growing up on Minnetrista Boulevard from Janice, Helen, and their cousin Doris Mauck. This month, we’ll check out the memories of sisters Lucy, Margaret, and Rosemary. Their parents were Frank C. and Elizabeth “Bessie” Brady Ball.
With a great map in hand, you can dream about exploring a different city, state, country, or continent. You can even go back in time and, in some cases, way, way back in time. One of more than 80 maps in the collection donated by Edmund F. Ball is titled America Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio. The black and white wood-engraved map from a 1588 – yes, that is the correct date – atlas shows a much different America than the one we know. The map locates the village of “Quivera” in what is now California and inland “kingdoms” with names like “Anian” and “Tolm” to the north and east. In the center of the continent are “Tiuguas rio,” “Marata,” and “Terlichiechi.” Makes you wonder what happened to all of these places. Do they still exist? What is the English name?
Of the herbaceous perennials at Minnetrista, Joe-Pye weed is one of the skyscrapers, reaching 7–8 feet tall. Although it’s slow to get going—it’s one of the last plants to start growing in spring—its height soon surpasses most plants around it.