If you’re a member of “Dude, Where’s my Kombucha” then you already know. Kombucha, the ancient Chinese remedy known by the Qing Dynasty as “the tea of immortality and the elixir of life,” has been yanked from store shelves around the country. As we speak, Kombucha is being poked and prodded by the government to see if the fermented drink’s alcohol content is just a bit higher than advertised. If so, new labeling and taxation (and a valid ID at purchase?) might soon be in order, and it looks like it could be some time before the stuff’s back on the shelves. So, does this mean panic-time for you jittery devotees desperate for a fix? Maybe, or you could just brew up the booch (hooch?) yourselves. (more…)
Why fly a kite? Because it’s “an excellent way… to gain a feel for aerodynamic forces,” says NASA. Because we don’t look up enough. Because you can spend an afternoon adrift with the breeze for next to nothing. Whatever your reasons, kite-flying is one of the summer’s simple pleasures. And Brooklyn’s full of wide-open spaces where you can take part. Here’s how to put sticks to string and get your Ben Franklin up in the air. (more…)
Earth Day’s turning 40 next week, and Brooklyn’s throwing a bash. The day for environmental awareness started with some grass-roots teach-ins and counterculture demonstrations in 1970. Now it’s a full-blown earth-stravaganza with film-screenings, recycling demos, eco-fests and the word ‘sustainability’ floating through the warming air. And since April 22 is a Thursday this year, the celebration’s spread out over the whole week. From a tree giveaway to a greening-your-home workshop, here’s what’s in store around the borough. (more…)
A yield from Flatbush Farm Share. Photo via Sustainable Flatbush.
Ah, CSA season once again: overflowing boxes of mystery farm-freshness, that connected-to-the-earth feeling and giant zucchinis up the wazoo. Last year we gave you the lowdown on Community Supported Agriculture in Brooklyn and why every locavore, quasi-locavore and their mother seemed to be hopping on the farm wagon. Now it’s registration time again, and there are four new CSAs on top of last year’s already impressive list. A few are already sold-out for the season, but plenty are left to help you fill those crispers. (more…)
Your seeds have sprung to life, you’ve composted, you’ve got your soil and you know where to grow (probably in a whole bunch of containers in one supremely cramped space). Congratulations, you’re well on your way to inviting a friend to dinner just to say, “Dude, I grew this.” Here’s how to prep your planting space, transplant your seeds, acclimate your veggies, teach them to share and just put it all together. (more…)
Seasonal info: check. Seeds: check. Now on to the dirty stuff—you can’t grow anything without it. There’s a whole lot of earth beneath Brooklyn’s concrete, and it’s all just waiting to be dug up. At least that’s what the “this land is your land, this land is my land” side of me wants to tell you: get out there, scout out an abandoned lot (not a park!) and dig some up. Or, you could try one of several easier ways to get your free dirt. And then, of course, you’re going to compost. (more…)
So, you still plan to grow your own food. Now that we’ve convinced you it’s possible and provided the quick & dirty intro on schedules, temps, etc., it’s time to talk about seeds. Working from seed, as opposed to an existing plant, takes the process into your hands earlier, which will help you save down the road. Select your seeds carefully, and after first harvest, you can collect new seeds from what you’ve grown. In a few years, you cut industry out of the process altogether. And the controlled conditions of a cozy apartment are ideal for sprouting these tiny incipient fruits and veggies. Here’s a starter course on the seeds you want, the ones you don’t and what to do with them. (more…)
We know, we know… you probably don’t think you have the space or the know-how to grow a measly sprout, let alone the ingredients for a salad. And you might be right. But growing food in tight, urban quarters is not only possible, it’s easier than you might expect. Gardening experts estimate that every square foot of growing space yields almost a pound of food over the course of the growing season. That’s a sizable crop squeezed from even the most meager Park Slope patch of dirt. And if a Crown Heights fire escape is your whole domain, that’s at least a crudité. Here’s how to begin. (more…)
Come for the lecture on Mexican Modernism, leave with free tickets to the Museum of Modern Art. Put on your listening shoes for the Brooklyn Public Library’s art appreciation lecture tomorrow, Jan. 23, at Grand Army Plaza; stay until the end, fill out a survey and you’ll receive a free five-person pass to the MoMA ($100 value, and good for the Tim Burton exhibition). Seems like a bribe, we know, but the lecture itself does sound pretty cool.
Tomorrow’s free 4 p.m. talk will be with MoMA’s Diana Bush on art created during and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1917. Bush will cover the works of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and others. And next Saturday, Jan. 30, also at 4, Bush’ll be back (as will the free ticket opportunity) for the multimedia work of Gabriel Orozco. If the talks whet your appetite for a trek to the museum, the pass will soften the blow of the subway fare. Info here.
Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s no snowboarding in Brooklyn—unless that person is a park ranger handing out a $350 summons. Outlaw boarders have been known to hit Fort Greene Park after a fresh snowfall, but the tickets they face (it’s illegal) wind up costing a whole lot more than just leaving town altogether. With bus-and-lift-ticket deals that keep day-trip prices under $100, and less during the week, the only real barrier between you and slopes close to NYC might be the snow itself. (more…)