Midwestern Gardens and Missouri Wine: Augusta, America’s First AVA

Many people, despite the fact that they are told to expect the unexpected, are still surprised to find that the first officially recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States was awarded to Augusta, MO. 35 miles from Saint Louis along the verdant bluffs of the Missouri River Valley, this growing region is home to approximately 15 wineries. The tone is peacefully Midwestern — cozy communities and farmland dressed in nature along ride-em-slowly roads.

A Château in Provence

I wrote the book before I’d been there, which may seem a backwards way to craft a novel. But by the time the book had been outlined, characters created, fictional wines made this place had begun to feel like home. My novel isn’t about this place exactly, but it is about the feeling of this…

Wine for a Summer Cookout

Many years ago I hosted a cookout party for family and friends to celebrate my sister’s achievement of earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I made, truly, the best pulled pork this side of the Mississippi and I thought to myself (as I often do): Rhône reds.  Turns out, I had a houseful…

A Sense of Provence: Domaine Dalmeran

On a recent trip to Provence I met with Ana Lopez from Domaine Dalmeran for a tasting of their red, white and rosé wines. The domaine is located in Les Baux-de-Provence AOP, a region that makes organic and in many cases, biodynamic, practices a thumbprint for the appellation. I’ve written widely about the AOP so…

Persimmons, Cab Franc & Other Harvest Delights

Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, asked us to honor the season with this theme: The Feast Nearby – Grateful for Local Vintners and Seasonal Foods. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W. T. Purkis I’ve been working on an ongoing project…

On the third day of wine…

#12daysofwinefacts   We can’t just drink, drink, drink before the grapes can grow, grow, grow!  Different grapes thrive in different areas because the earth’s conditions are favorable for certain little baby grapes. Winegrowers know this. Grapes can be grown in a variety of places and the slightest of changes will alter the wine that you eventually enjoy….

It Feels Nice Out There

I’ve got a new article at Elephant Journal. Particularly meaningful for my Illinois friends, who are finally feeling some sun. Enjoy…. The way I see it, there’s two viewpoints regarding the act of digging worms from a plot of Earth: you love it, or it gives you the wiggles. Let’s examine the affectionate point of…

G: Gardening, Growing, Green.

A growing garden is close to my heart (nestled right in there, actually). We’re normally plotting and planting our organic herb and vegetable garden in early spring. With our upcoming move, we’re doing bits-and-pieces rather than a full-on harvesting plan. We’ve got some windowsill herbs, some perennials that are already showing some life, and an…

Wendell Berry on Speaking of Faith

We picked our first zucchini and summer squash last week.  I checked them – still on the vine -on Friday and could tell that had a little bit to go.  The weekend promised sun and a lot of heat and I told my husband that they’d be ready for harvest by Sunday, ready for dinner before we’d…

First Radish Harvest

We pulled a few of the first radishes from the ground earlier this week.   The leaves grew to palm-sized proportion in days.  I was satisfied to see the hot-pink bulb peeking from the soil. These happen to be the most fun to grow early-on because the gardener gets a treat so quickly. I’m taken by…