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Sharon Kitchens

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse. In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more. Sharon can be contacted at or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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The Root with Sharon Kitchens
Posted: June 18, 2014

Tandem coffee, homemade granola & other things I’m loving (plus a summer reading list)

Tandem Coffee photo by Ryan Shimala.

Tandem Coffee photo by Ryan Shimala.

Tandem Coffee – Rainy mornings do not exactly motivate me, but a cup  of coffee from Tandem definitely does. Thankfully, I don’t always have to drive into town to get my caffeine fix (when I do my time is split between Tandem and Bard, I just love both places so much). I am all about the Rulindo Station from Rwanda right now.

Homemade Granola – Diana Santospago, the former owner of the Inn at Isle au Haut has the best recipe for homemade granola. Here it is.

Mason Jars – My glass of choice. Also perfect for flowers.

Homemade breakfast with friends. Practically nothing beats it!

breakfast with friends

Hunter Boots – Because some folks who keep chickens may not know of or enforce biosecurity measures, I am always prepared with a pair I clean between visits and never wear around my gals. I also keep a pair in the barn for everything from chasing after chickens (tall grass and snakes – even garden ones = no thank you) and general running around. Both are good for jumping in puddles.

Building my own dining room table. This summer I will head to Vermont for to build a table out of Vermont’s iconic Sugar Maple, which will have been responsibly managed and locally harvested. Oh, and… what’s a bunch of tables without sharing a feast together! As tradition now has it, the table makers along with the community all sit down to their (our) tables to share a meal made completely of locally grown and prepared ingredients.
Want to know more about the Naked Table Project and Workshops, then check out the event website  and my article in The Huffington Post.

Charles Shackleton sitting on a Naked Table (same one I am going to build). Photo by Jeremy Zietz.

Charles Shackleton sitting on a Naked Table (same one I am going to build). Photo by Jeremy Zietz.

These Books:

Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead by Jenna Woginrich.  She co-authored one of my favorite backyard chicken rearing books – Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens from Hatching to Laying. The book about her farm is a lot like her blog, sassy and determined. I’m not sure I follow some of her thought process, but I admire her gumption.

The Life of the Bumblebee by DV Alford
Have you ever wondered how bumblebees and honeybees differ? For starters, they sure look different – one is fat and furry and other small and slim. Bumblebee queens hibernate in a hole in the ground and honeybee queens live in a hive (in a box, hollowed out tree…) with thousands of bees.
Found at Rabelais Books.

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants by Jane Goodall.
One of the most famous primatologists, Jane Goodall’s writing is a treat. With this book she acknowledges the “enormous debt we owe to plants” and celebrates them with stories and facts. Don’t read it for the science, read it for her love of the natural world. I really enjoyed reading about the imaginative world she created as a child from books like (my favorites) The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden.

A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share by Diana Yen and The Jewels of New York.
I haven’t bought into the whole Kinfolk thing. It’s just too pretty and neat. Still, I like the idea of their stories and there’s no denying the prettiness of the images. Well, Yen and her Jewels are responsible for how pretty some of those images are – they styled the food for them.  That recipe (on page 96) for Double Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches, that is so happening. So is the whole chapter “Breakfast in Bed “ featuring recipes for Cardamom Coffee, Minted Grapefruit Brulee, Turkish-Style Eggs with Yogurt, and Goat Cheese Pancakes with Blackberry Compote.

Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes by Tessa Kiros
Born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father, when she was four Kiros and her family moved to South Africa. This book is a gorgeous and intoxicating result of the stories and recipes she wrote down in her journals from family gatherings.  Her recipe for her mother’s strawberry cake looks like edible perfection. The recipe for Pasta with Sardines and Wild Fennel, that’s sure to happen a lot this winter.
I am coveting her book Food From Many Greek Kitchens.
Found at Rabelais Books.

Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English
With sixteen potluck parties built around the seasons Ashley offers recipes and ideas for decorating and crafting. Throw memorable gatherings with your loved ones, enjoy the food, connect with your community, and get caught up in the splendor of it all. Here’s a link to the Q&A I did with her for the Huffington Post.

I love everything about Smith Journal.
The interesting story topics, straightforward writing, and telling pictures.
A quarterly, Australia-based publication that covers everything from the Doomsday Vault (the one near the North Pole designed to keep millions of seed samples safe from natural and unnatural disasters to the Warre beehive design Tim Malfroy modified to create the People’s Hive (top bar meets Langstroth plus a quilt box). Find at Portland Trading Company on Middle Street in Portland

I wish someone locally would carry Fool Magazine. It’s terrific. Just a matter of time I suppose. In the meantime, I am thrilled to share that you can get it online from Kaufmann Mercantile – just click here.
A cutting edge magazine on modern gastronomy and food culture. The photographs are gorgeous and it’s super smart. The bi-annual publication does not have recipes, which is fine with me because there’s more room for feature articles and art!

I want to read Euphoria by New England Book Award winner Lily King.
Set between two World Wars, three young anthropologists are caught in a love triangle.  Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead the novel is described as an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration and sacrifice.

Summer reading.

Summer reading.

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