A craftsman's ramblings on making art, food, love and adventure

Category: Garden

Green House

A much anticipated box arrived at Wagmore last week. Like Jack dreaming of his Beanstalk we peruse this cardboard vessel no bigger than a shoebox filled with our seeds of summer promise. While many gardens have come and gone in Carolyn and my lives, it still seems remarkable that in these tiny packages weighing only ounces lives the potential of hundreds of pounds of sustenance destined for our kitchen cutting boards.

The snow still lays in blotchy patches in the yard. The geese are the first to find nutrition in the old grass between. The dogs too have found foul bits of rotty…decomposing earth to wear as spring cologne…pew!

Today we started our first indoor seeds…the calendar does not lie! The snow will go…the soil will warm and sometime in May these little pots filled with infant flowers and food will head to the gardens to perpetuate this ancient ritual of the grower. An act of faith and hope we delight in!

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A Remarkable Sunday

While our brothers and sisters in New England took the brunt of Nemo’s fury…we in central New York had a proper 8″-10″ snow storm…just enough to leave our landscape looking lovely and inviting. We awoke this Sunday morning to a warming sun and for a couple aging hippies who live in a home both heated and energized by these rays this is special gift.

Our friend and gifted artist Tara Hogan (the creator of the Roaring Dog brand) had asked me to take some photographs of our home Wagmore to share with a stylist friend of hers. Apparently Tara thinks our handmade house might prove interesting to folks outside of our immediate world. There is not much in this house that we did not create ourselves often with reclaimed materials saved from the landfills of America.

Here is a small sampling of today’s camera exercises. If anything strikes a cord of curiosity…feel free to ask.

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Oh Mom…Kale Again???

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So far the two most significant reoccurring subjects in my fledgling blog-life are dogs and kale. I mean…who doesn’t love the occasional dog post…but Kale…give me a break!

So…here’s the deal…we planted a couple of beds full of kale sometime in early summer. FYI…we checked our records and this super-Kale variety is Winterbor from Johnny’s Seeds. It is now almost the end of January and we are still picking perfectly lovely leaves from these plants!

Last week I picked a bag to bring to my Mom as evidence that… despite the multi-day deep freeze we are enjoying in upstate NY…fresh leafy greens can be something more than a fading memory of a summer long past. So Mom sends me an email a day later telling me about these Kale Chips she had made as her homage to the sun gods (I made that homage part up but I think my Mom will allow me the poetic…or blogetic license).

I have heard mention of these little devils in the past however… despite having controlling interest in several metric tons of Kale…I have never made them…until TONIGHT! Three words for you…EASY AS HELL! Just clean the Kale, cut out the largest part of the stem, toss with some decent olive oil, spread evenly in a single layer on a cookie sheet, season with salt and pepper and put it in a 290′ oven for about 1/2 hour. This action shot above is the whole scene unfolding in real time on one of our styling ‘Chef Boards’ in our Roaring Dog Studios test kitchen (which doubles as the kitchen in our house).

‘Really…that’s all there is to it. Crispy, tasty and I guess better for you than a half bag of Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips!

Sneak Peak…part 2

We have been busy over at Roaring Dog Studios…I mean not regular busy…I mean really busy. Today maybe a little less busy since we started the day at about 10 below and our wonderful 1896circa foundry building stays a little more closely connected to the outside temperature than sometimes we might wish…like now! Overall like I said…really busy.

Check out this beyond cool cutting board for the cook with style and chops…the removable grain-matched tray actually has rare-earth magnets embedded into the joint to keep the tray aligned with the board to smoothly and oh-so cooly slide your chopping stuff into ahead of a trip to the saute pan or soup pot.

You know you want one…you need one. Should be on our shopping site in the next few days. There are only 6 in existence as of today so keep close.

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Seed Dreams

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January in Cato NY….Dreams of our summer garden…can you smell the fresh cut basil???

The mailman is delivering seed catalogs…a little winter-porn for the soil starved gardener! This weekend Carolyn and I will succumb to this lustful tease…the wonder of seed to table never ceasing to touch something primal inside of us.

Welcome to Wagmore

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This is our home…home of Chris, Carolyn, Walnut and the Roaring Dog Fiona. 5 years of toil and inspiration went into building Wagmore and frankly, we are pretty uppity about the whole thing. Set on 11 acres in Cato, NY this pad is a complete mish-mosh of found objects, reclaimed materials, quirky details and lots of ‘green’ technology. Are you as sick of ‘green-speak’ as we are? We just try to deal with our environment as a Karmic relationship…try not to take more than you give. As the work of Roaring Dog evolves and emerges into the public eye, we hope that you will see our connection to our earth and her environment shine through.