Summer Vegetable Fun

It’s been a little while since we’ve checked in with our friend Renee Wilkinson, author of Modern Homestead and creator of HipChickDigs.com, a wonderful blog filled with inspiring homesteading ideas. After Jack and Carolyn’s post earlier this week on their incredible garden, I’ve had gardens and veggies on my mind, so I headed over to Renee’s blog to see what she’s been up to. Renee’s post from last week, Good Haul, is just beautiful. I just love her vivid photographs of delicious-looking vegetables. And I must admit, it’s hard not to be a little envious when she says, “I am almost getting buried in the harvest this summer!” How fun is that?! I would love to have more homegrown vegetables than I know what to do with…

Renee’s blog post from yesterday, Cool Summer Eggs, got my stomach grumbling as she shared ways in which she’s been using the abundance of chicken and duck eggs from her backyard homestead. With three chickens and four ducks, you can imagine you’d need to get a little creative to find ways to use all those delicious eggs. Renee shares some yummy recipes for deviled eggs and egg salad. I think I know what I’ll be making this weekend!

And now, I’ve got some exciting news to share. I admit I am a complete gardening newbie, so don’t laugh…but we have our first red tomato on our tomato plant! We have ten little tomatoes on the plant,(our first try at growing tomatoes), and just two days ago one finally started to turn red!

Fulcrum gardening blog

Red tomato!

Look at that beauty! Well…she’s not perfect, but once fully ripe, I’m sure she’ll taste divine.

Modern Homestead red tomato

I imagine we’ll be able to bite into it in just a few short days. With a 70-90 day gestation period for tomatoes, it is a long, slow process waiting for the plant to start growing fruit, but boy is it exciting when you finally have something to enjoy from it!

Do you have anything exciting going on in your garden? We’d love to hear about it if so!

Homesteading Summer

Modern Homestead

This blogger’s adventures in modern homesteading took a turn for the surreal last night when a hailstorm struck. Worried about our egg-layers, we gathered up Mr. Darcy Chickenator and her sister-hen, Megan Fox, and brought the biddies safely inside to sit on a towel and watch The X-Files with us while the storm raged outside.

Though my seasoned farmer family members might scoff and say that chickens are hardy enough to weather a summer storm, I say that chickens who watch David Duchovny lay finer eggs. And, dare I say, that bloggers who watch David Duchovny write better posts?

I also have some news to share on the Modern Homestead book front:

For fans on Goodreads, I was tickled to see that the Modern Homestead cover had earned a place in the prestigious “In the Palms of Hands” group, alongside Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. It’s nice to be trendy.

On July 30, Renee Wilkinson will be speaking on her book Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create at In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR. The event starts at 4 p.m. Perhaps some of our readers recognize In Other Words as the location of Portlandia’s “feminist book store” sketch:

Also, if you haven’t been reading Renee’s blog, Hip Chick Digs, she’s been posting some great recipes recently, and her posts on her duck Milt’s…erm…insatiable appetite have been hilarious.

Fulcrum’s News Round-up

TGIF. The view outside my window is filled with blue sky, bright white fluffy clouds, and miles of green. Perfect weather to… well, do nothing. Before I get busy doing that, let’s review another wonderful week of great Fulcrum books, events, and authors.

‘Twas a short week at the office, although a busy one after getting back from a week in NYC for BEA. See video and audio highlights from the 2011 show here, although, none of these include Dani’s and my highlights: Tyra Banks??!! Benjamin Batt??!! Ok, Benjamin wasn’t at the show, but we saw him walking down the street near Times Square, all cool and nonchalant and sending Dani’s heart racing. Tyra was at the show to publicize her new fantasy novel, Modelland. Here’s a picture of Dani admiring the book back at our booth:

Our own celebrities Richard Hetzler and Renee Wilkinson, authors of the books The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook and Modern Homestead respectively, were also at BEA this year. They both brought in great crowds for their signings. Richard’s fans raved about the menu at The Mitsitam Cafe at the NMAI in Washington, DC (which is, by the way, amazing):

While Renee’s fans solicited her advice on planting, growing, and chicken-raising conundrums (I believe the fan pictured below is reenacting one of her chicken conundrums) and her years of experience on her Portland plot in HipChickDigs.com:

In addition to our exciting BEA news, Dani also wrote a great blog post yesterday about our memorial edition of Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women by Wilma Mankiller. If you have not read it yet, please do. The book is not only a favorite of ours, but of many Native women, activists, libraries, and schools. And it’s a great, inspiring read for this weekend. Happy June and Happy Friday!

BEA Wrap-Up

After a week spent at Book Expo America in NYC, this blogger has her feet back on mile-high soil.

BEA 2011 was great fun—we enjoyed meeting everyone who stopped by the Fulcrum booth, from dear friends to attendees who came by to discover Fulcrum’s books for the first time. Katie and I were able to do a little bit of our own expo touring and gawking; we met Tyra Banks, I saw Judy Moody, and on our way back to our hotel we saw a certain former Sterling Cooper art director on the street (Katie is still recovering from the sighting, since I punched her in the shoulder and shouted “BRYAN BATT!” into her ear, and then proceeded to hop up and down, flapping my arms like a startled chicken).

Tyra Banks at BEA

Can you guess which one is the supermodel and which one is the starstruck marketing associate?

Katie cochaired a panel called “Back to Basics: Why Home Economics Books Are the New Retro Chic” with the Fabulous Beekman Boys, the publisher from Interweave, and  two librarians, one from the New York City Public Library and the other from the Portland Public Library. The panel seemed to be well-received by the librarians who attended, and we were proud to have Modern Homestead represented among such a great group of DIY panelists and homesteaders.

Our authors Richard Hetzler and Renee Wilkinson made a big splash as well. We were delighted by the many attendees who stopped by The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook signing to tell Richard how much they had enjoyed a meal at the Mitsitam Cafe. Many attendees in line for the Modern Homestead signing swapped planting stories with Renee and talked about their urban plots like proud parents.

Renee Wilkinson meets a fan and shares homesteading stories.

We had a great time and enjoyed meeting new friends, such as our booth buddy, Biblioasis, and the bloggers who shared their wisdom at Blogworld. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

Weekend Reads

Happy Friday and happy Memorial Day weekend! Fulcrum is closing early today so that everyone can take off for weekend trips, BBQs, and Rockies baseball games. As for me, I am heading up to Snowmass for the weekend to go skiing. Yes, that’s right. Skiing. Because of the incredibly wet and snowy Spring that Colorado’s had, Aspen Mountain actually has a larger snow base now than back in January (71 inches compared to 38 inches!), and they’ve decided to open up for some Memorial weekend skiing fun. It may be more like waterskiing than actual skiing, but it should be fun regardless!

But aside from skiing and hiking this weekend, I will surely be relaxing as well. I’ve decided to bring two of Fulcrum’s titles with me, to get pumped for summer:

The third edition of Gerry Roach’s Colorado’s Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs (Fulcrum Publishing, 978-1-55591-746-3, $22.95). I’ve hiked a handful of fourteeners over the years, but my husband and I are feeling especially motivated to this year after our recent move to Denver from the Aspen/Snowmass area. We feel like we will need to compensate for the lack of daily hiking we were used to doing (when we lived in the mountains) with some fun weekend trips to hike some big mountains. Plus it will be a great way to explore new parts of Colorado and mountain ranges we are not as familiar with. We have our eye on Uncompahgre Peak, over in the San Juan mountain range near the mining town of Ouray. Uncompahgre is the sixth highest peak in Colorado, and has a very dramatic shape to it—almost cathedral-like. It is a striking peak and not known to be a very difficult hike as far as fourteeners go. This hike, and all of the 58 fourteeners in Colorado, can of course be found in Colorado’s Fourteeners.

For those looking for wonderful Colorado hikes with less hype, check out Gerry Roach’s Colorado’s Thirteeners: From 13,800 to 13,999 feet (Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-55591-419-6, $19.95). These are all fantastic hikes, and thirteeners often have fewer people on the trails, which can be a nice bonus when you are out in the wilderness. For more information on Gerry Roach and his classic hiking guidebooks, check out an interview he did with Outside Magazine online recently.

This weekend, I am also going to be flipping through Renee Wilkinson’s Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-55591-748-7, $26.95). This highly anticipated first book from the hip Portland local and founder of hipchickdigs.com, apopular blog dedicated to urban homesteading, is going to hopefully help me start planting my first herbs and veggies ever. We are thrilled to finally have a small (more like tiny) backyard with sun and a little room to grow some goodies. Being the excited novices that we are, my husband and I are looking to Modern Homestead to guide us towards getting the soil ready, picking the right veggies for our space, and making some wonderful, fresh food (and possibly canning) with our crops this summer.

Have a wonderful long weekend, and don’t forget to tune in to our blog on Tuesday, May 31, for an update from Dani and Katie on BEA 2011!

Fulcrum Author Signings This Week at BEA

Fulcrum has some fun events and book signings lined up for Book Expo America in New York this week. The talented Renee Wilkinson, author of Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create, and Richard Hetzler, author of The Mitsitam CaféCookbook, will be signing and giving away their books, as well as possibly giving away food and other goodies.

If you’re at BEA this week, take a look at the schedule for Renee and Richard below:

The Mitsitam Cafe

 Tuesday, May 24 — 4:00-5:00pm
Richard Hetzler will be signing The Mitsitam Café Cookbook at Table 6.

 Wednesday, May 25 — 10:00-11:00am
Richard Hetzler will be signing The Mitsitam Café Cookbook at Fulcrum’s booth, #4507.

Thursday, May 26 – 11:30-12:30pmRenee Wilkinson will be signing Modern Homestead at Table 11.

Thursday, May 26 — 2:00-3:00pm
Renee Wilkinson will be signing Modern Homestead at Fulcrum’s booth, #4507.

Have a wonderful week!

Nerdin’ Out at Book Expo America 2011

This week, New York City is all abuzz with the excitement of Book Expo America, the largest publishing event in North America. Each year, thousands of people from every part of the publishing and book world converge in New York City to learn about what’s new, what’s next, and what exciting things our happening in our industry. There are parties, presentations, book signings, and plenty of giveaways, making it a fun and busy week in NYC. Fulcrum’s marketing manager Katie O’Neill and sales and marketing associate Dani Perea are taking New York City by storm and manning the Fulcrum booth at BEA 2011. Here’s what Katie, a first-time attendee, had to say about going to BEA:

I’m definitely nerdin’ out over attending my first BEA this week. I initially heard of this amazing show many years ago while working in a bookstore, during which a couple of our buyers would disappear for a week to New York and return looking refreshed, even better read, and brimming with stories of celebrity authors. I thought, “I must go to this show some day. I must see what all the buzz is about.” Not just because I’ve never been to NYC, although that is a HUGE perk, but because I feel drawn to be in the place where once a year so many booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, printers, media, etc., etc. are all together to celebrate those great, timeless things: books.

I’m also really psyched to meet two of our authors face-to-face finally: Renee Wilkinson, author of Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (and to hear how she can really raise 3 chickens in her backyard when I have a hard time not getting my pup to eat my furniture), and Richard Hetzler, author of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (who, I hear, will be bringing some mouthwatering giveaway items to the show). They will each have two signings (Hetzler: 5/24 from 4-5 PM at Table 6 and 5/25 from 10-11 AM in our booth # 4507, and Wilkinson: 5/25 from 11:30-12:30 PM at Table 11 and 2-3:00 PM in our booth # 4507) and give away FREE copies of their books!

    

I’m pretty sure Dani and I (after standing in the middle of the convention center, wide-eyed with book wonder for several minutes. Imagine two Dorothys upon seeing Oz) will try to sneak away from the booth to see what free galleys we can find, what favorite authors we can catch a glimpse, and what schwag we can steal. Stay posted for what spoils we bring home next week…

Have fun Katie and Dani! Bring us back some good schwag! And for those of you lucky enough to be attending BEA this year, stop by Fulcrum’s booth, #4507, and say hello!

Fulcrum’s Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! Here’s to a warm, sunny weekend after days of cold and rain!  (Fingers crossed.) And, cheers to another great week of Fulcrum publicity!

First up: Our latest book to hit bookshelves is garnering some great publicity… Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (ISBN: 978-1-55591-748-7, $26.95) by Renee Wilkinson. Wilkinson was interviewed last weekend on the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio about her blog, HipChickDigs.com, her homesteading philosophy, and her first book.

Wilkinson (above, with a bantam chicken), will be joining us at BEA next week to sign and give away free copies of her book on Thursday, May 23, and we’re sure she is going to be a huge hit! Look for Modern Homestead in bookstores and gardening centers near you to learn some great tips on raising ducks and chickens, to gardening on a small scale and with a small budget!

And… some more great publicity to end the week… Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (ISBN: 978-1-55591-717-3, $22.95) by Larry Schweiger was named the First Place Grand Prize Winner for Non-Fiction books of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. What an honor!

Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation (above, in Alaska), speaks about the causes and effects of global warming on our wildlife, ecosystems, and human life, not just as a conservation leader, but also as a parent and outdoor lover. Last Chance is witty and engaging (e.g., “What Happens in Greenland Will Not Stay in Greenland”), while still being inspiring in the face of some daunting environmental science.

If you’re not familiar with the work the National Wildlife Federation, check them out here: http://www.nwf.org/. You can learn how to help wildlife in your own backyard and around the world by donating your time, money, or by becoming a member.

Congratulations to our inspiring authors and happy weekend!

Fulcrum’s Friday Roundup

Happy Friday, and happy Friday the 13th at that! We are rounding out the week with a re-cap of the recent happenings worth mentioning in the Fulcrum world.

Awards season is upon us, and several of Fulcrum’s titles and authors were honored with awards this week. It’s always a nice feeling when hard work pays off, so congratulations to everyone that was involved in the creation of these books!

Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary (ISBN: 978-1-55591-719-7, $22.95) by Steve Friesen, was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Colorado Book Awards, in the Biography/History category. The winners will be announced on Friday, June 24th, during the 20th Annual Colorado Book Awards ceremony during the Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Tickets can be purchased for $10 online at the Colorado Humanities website.

Endangered: Biodiversity on the Brink (ISBN: 978-1-55591-721-0, $27.95) by Mitch Tobin tied for Gold in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (ISBN: 978-1-55591-717-3, $22.95) by Larry Schweiger was named the Winner in the Science/Nature/Environment category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Tattooed Lady: A History (ISBN: 978-1-93310-226-1, $27.00) by Amelia Klem Osterud also received recognition from the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, as it was named a Finalist in the Historical Non-Fiction category.

Our newly released Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create (ISBN: 978-1-55591-748-7, $26.95) by Renee Wilkinson has already won an award! Modern Homestead took First Place in the Gardening category of the San Francisco Green Book Festival.

And last but not least…

Buffalo Unbound: A Celebration (ISBN: 978-1-55591-735-7, $16.00) by Laura Pedersen received two awards this week. Buffalo Unbound was selected as a Finalist for the International Book Awards in the Humor category and was also a Winner in the Humor/Comedy category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Cheers to everyone on this great week of awards! Head over to the Fulcrum website or your favorite bookstore to pick up any of these award-winning books.

Local Publishing House, Local Food

Here at Fulcrum, we’re toasting the release of Renee Wilkinson’s book, Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create, by looking for food locally and sustainably in our own (figurative) backyard.

After the long winter, farmers’ markets are up and running again. Farmers’ markets are very special to me because they introduced me to the great love of my life: rhubarb. I spent the first 20 years of my life in denial, thinking that I hated rhubarb and that it was a terrible punishment to inflict on an innocent strawberry pie. But when I saw the bright pink and red stalks on sale at a farmers’ market, I bought them on impulse and fell in love with the tarty pleasures of the rhubarb: rhubarb tarts, rhubarb cobbler, rhubarb salsa, rhubarb-infused vodka (ok, that last one was a total failure). Ever since, I’ve always loaded up on rhubarb when it starts to appear on farmers’ market tables in early spring and summer.

I’m looking forward to checking out what Colorado has to offer this spring:

Boulder Farmers’ Market

Denver Famers’ Market

Fort Collins Farmers’ Market

There’s still time to buy a spring/summer share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, another way to buy from and participate in the local, sustainable food movement. Many of Colorado’s CSA programs are listed through the Rocky Mountain Growers Directory. Some CSA programs have work shares as well, for those who want to support their local farm and eat delicious, locally sourced food, but who can’t afford the up-front cost.

I’ve done a work share before, at a farm in New England. I think my farmer relatives may have hurt themselves from laughing so hard at their tenderfooted, city slicker kin who paid for the privilege of working on a farm. As a matter of fact, I think they might still be laughing. But as a student, it was the perfect way to get farm-fresh produce at a lower cost than the usual share.

Whether you’re at a farmers’ market or buying from or working for a CSA, you never know which new ingredient you’ll find to inspire you, or which tasty local heirloom variety you’ll discover and fall head over heels for. If you put your dollar toward supporting and cultivating local food sources, you can help to grow, raise, and create a sustainable and thriving community food system.