A-Pea-colypse Now

The other day, I taught several small children in my neighborhood some choice new words that they had apparently never heard before, at least not from the mouth of a sweaty, hairy neighbor, brandishing a 2×4 as a club and pummeling the ground. I may have had a little temper tantrum after unintentionally delivering massive blunt force trauma to a good part of my garden multiple times.

Continue reading

Hidden Feast – Neglected Edibles in Your Garden

Humans are concentrate feeders – that’s the noun, not the verb.  Most of us don’t concentrate nearly enough on what we consume (verb).  We are concentrate (noun) feeders in that we have evolved to eat concentrated forms of food- berries and fruits instead of the leaves and twigs from the same plants, for example.

What edibles might I be neglecting in my summertime garden? I see at least five in this picture that are new to me this year…

Continue reading

The wood is cheap, but the screws are expensive

In a previous post, I discussed why I opted to build raised beds for my new garden at our new house.  The explanation included cataclysmic floods (sans ark), and subsequent soil that was not capable of supporting much of anything.  While browsing on Craigslist (you might have heard of this site, according to my dad, it is the place to go if you are a pervert, want to get abducted, or desire a partner with similar or at least compatible fetishes), I found some wood that seemed like it might fit my purposes.

Continue reading

Of Franken-Soil and Cinder Blocks: My Journey Towards Reasonably-Priced Raised Beds

Our new home in Rathdrum is located directly on the path of the Missoula Floods.  During the last ice age a lobe of ice flowed down the Purcell Trench (a long valley that stretches from here to Canada), damming the Clark Fork River.  As the lake formed in Montana and the dam broke many times, the lake water flowed across the Rathdrum Prairie in a 500-foot deep river, flowing up to 100 mph and at up to 600 million cubic feet per second.  These floods and other cataclysmic events created hundreds of feet of rock sediment ranging from small pebbles to granite slabs the size of skyscrapers.  My house sits upon this rubble at the foot of Rathdrum Mountain.  This does not make for good gardening.

Continue reading

Faux-viche: Poached Bluegill Salad

Most of us feel driven to take care of things – children, pets, plants, tapeworms…uh oh.  Tapeworms are one of the possible nasties that could populate your intestinal wall if you choose to eat raw fish of the freshwater variety.  Ceviche is a delicious “raw” fish salad, in which the protein is denatured and “cooked” by the acids in a citrus juice marinade, rather than by heat.  Ceviche should be made from saltwater fish of good quality.  If you make it from freshwater fish, you might need to come up with a name for your new pet tapeworm.

Continue reading

Apologia

apologia /ˌapəˈlōj(ē)ə/ //Apple-low-gee-uh// (Noun)
A statement and defense of a person’s beliefs, actions, and philosophies.

My name is Jake Smulkowski. I teach in the public school system to make a living (selfishly) and to make myself feel like I am making the world a better place (selfishly). I am striving to better understand my connection with the natural world through a variety of activities such as gardening, fishing, hunting, and cooking. This blog is a semiformal avenue for me to vocalize (and potentially share) some of the ways that I purposefully connect with the natural world while living in one that is ostensibly artificial. Continue reading