CLIMATE BILL… Hurray for the House in passing the landmark climate change legislation. It’s a victory for Obama, Pelosi and the Dems in general … But as a Green I think it didn’t go far enough fast enough to really slow the inexorable global warming that threatens our species and its habitats (particularly along the ocean shores) … And even some moderate Dems in swing districts (like our own John Salazar) voted no. The cost of the new legislation is worrisome – it’s a bad time to be upping power rates for those on fixed incomes. And the provision to let the Feds ramrod powerlines through rural areas without going through the local zoning processes is a real worry for counties like ours … So, as with most legislation, lots to like, lots to hate. Never a clean victory. I respect Salazar’s position and appreciate his doing his best to balance competing interests in a very difficult district … Now we’ll see what happens in the Senate.
RAINBOW … I hope you’re considering a visit to the Rainbow Gathering of Healing Light in northern New Mexico during the first week of July. It’s the closest thing Americans have to understanding what it might be like to live in a tribal society … I’ve met two of my four wives at gatherings. And two of my three children have rainbows in their names … For some of us, the Sixties were a great opening in this culture, and the Rainbow Family continues much of the energy and vision of those days … Of course, some of us are no longer young hippies, so I’ve taken to calling myself a “paleohippie.” But there’s no age limit upper or lower at a gathering. And it’s free … Hope I see you there to welcome you home.
RHINESTONE COWGIRL … Norwood has a new business downtown. You missed the all-day champagne and strawberry open house kickoff yesterday, but you’re still in time to catch up with proprietor Fotini Marlowe and visit her spa, salon and boutique … Check it out.
COOKING (MOSTLY) LOCAL … Had this great meal at Cloud Acre the other day. Leftover chicken scraps from last year’s Indian Ridge CSA [community supported agriculture] cache, a big bag of frozen boletes I’d collected on Lizard Head in 2008, potatoes from my garden, some organic tomato juice from Season’s Harvest in Ridgway, fresh Indian Ridge scallions and cooking greens, all simmered together in a lovely minestrone … And for salad, a little less local, but locally available. Indian Ridge greens, canned bamboo (imported), organic tomatoes (Norwood Market), avocado (Norwood Market), organic cucumber (Norwood Market), organic olive oil (California), organic balsamic vinegar (imported), organic red wine vinegar (California), Celtic sea salt (imported), organic Italian seasoning (California), organic black pepper (California), and organic tamari (California).
WHITETOP … Norwood has had a major outbreak of Cardaria draba, an invasive perennial also known as hoary cress or pepperweed. The county weed folks have been doing their best to offer programs to contain it. But conditions were right for a huge infestation this year … That’s the bad news. But the good news came from Indian Ridge Farms, where I learned that chickens love to eat the flowers. And that bees love the blossoms as well … I think it’s an apt lesson. Things that we perceive as “bad” also have “good” qualities we sometimes overlook.
BEST FOOD FINDS … I hardly ever travel Interstate 84 north out of Salt Lake City (although many Telluriders do). But I had the opportunity several months ago and was surprised to find two five-star restaurants (OK, maybe four-star, but elegance in unexpected places – such as rural Oregon – is worth at least half-a-notch up). These are eateries I would recommend highly to anyone looking for more than a mere pit stop … In Pendleton it was Raphael’s. Luxurious service. Delicious entrees. Palatial ambiance (I had to try their Oregon specialty drink, a huckleberry margarita – quite lovely). Chefs Rob and Raphael Hoffman