Saturday, July 20 2013
Sarah the Vegan came over late this morning and carpooled with us on today's south-facing adventures. Our first stop was at Bodacious Bagels in Stone Ridge, the only place that I know of in the area that will make you a falafel pita sandwich. The lady always asks if you want the red cabbage in there and you'd be a food to say no. They had a lot of business this morning, which meant that the line moved glacially slowly. They might be Isrælis, but they're definitely not New Yorkers. This also bears mentioning: for some reason their coffee is unexpectedly good. But don't ask for soy milk or non-dairy cream cheese. They don't do that hippie vegan shit unless it's in the nature of the food (their falafel pita sandwich).
Out next stop was the Hudson Valley Seed Library, where some sort of event about extending the growing season was happening. We thought the event was happening at the Seed Library headquarters itself (which is the compound that also includes our friends KMOCA Michæl and Carrie), but it turned out we were wrong. The only one at the compound was Carrie, but she was delighted to see us. Unbeknownst to me, Gretchen had funded her and Michæl's recent vacation in Montreal. They'd wanted a vacation but couldn't budget one, and Gretchen, good socialist that she is, couldn't bear to see two awesome hardworking people go without a vacation. In appreciation, they'd brought us back Canadian gifts, which included a Yakima IPA for me and some sort of sparkling wine for Gretchen. Also, Sarah the Vegan had never been to the compound before, so Carrie showed her around her house.
The actual Seed Library event was at a nearby farm called Hollengold, a place just far enough away from the Seed Library motherfarm that varieties can be cultivated without fear of cross-pollination. Hollengold is a lot more æsthetically developed than the Ukranian camp where the Hudson Valley Seed Library is based. Everything at Hollengold is tidy, the buildings are perfect and architecturally-coherent, and some of the gardens appear to have been laid out using God-sized compasses. When we arrived, Ken & Doug (the seed library guys) were showing how to bend half-inch steel conduit into the ribs necessary to support translucent fabric. The result is a simple hoop house capable of extending the growing season for an additional month.
On the porch of the main house (a beautiful rustic structure surrounded by flowers and tasteful artifacts such as plastic rain barrels made to look as if they'd been cooped together from slats of oak), various things were for sale: seed packets, seedlings, and an odd collection of books, including a gorgeous Peterson Field Guide to the Moths of Northeastern North America. An extroverted and possibly-famous author/gardenest named Margaret Roach was also there signing books, and she and Sarah (who is a cookbook editor) seemed to have a lot to talk about. Somehow Gretchen managed to spend $40 on things like a teeshirt, harvested leeks, Thai basil seedlings, and a bean seed packet. We didn't buy the field guide to moths even though it is not something I can just steal from my mother. The complimentary beverage was herb-and-mellon-infused water, which seemed like the perfect antidote to the relentless summer sun, though there was too much cucumber content for Gretchen.
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