Some of you may have seen the story about the “Oklahoma Grandmother Arrested in Keystone XL Protest” or the “79-Year-Old Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Her Neck to Heavy Machinery in Keystone XL Pipeline Protest.” Here’s a pic of her doing her thing:

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It didn’t take me long to realize that this bad-ass woman has been here on Progress on the Prairie before when I took some pictures of people at the rally against the horrible, awful Personhood Amendment.  Her name is Nancy Zorn; here she is in that signature pink and purple outfit:

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She makes me proud to be an Okie.

Spring

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“It’s the economy, stupid. ” Bill Clinton’s campaign coined the phrase back in 1992 and successfully defeated Bush 1 by focusing on economic issues. And judging by the 2012 presidential debates, American political players are still narrowed in on the economy. One blames China for a lagging economy, the other agrees; one blames the poor, nobody blames the mega-rich money hoarders.

All the attention paid to “economic recovery” this and “recession” that fails to consider a few things. Humans, more and more, are creating our own economies based not on how much money we can stockpile in the bank or how many 2-story houses and SUVs we can buy, but on how our earning and buying align with our morals. Humans don’t do things just to make money, like so many businessfolk and politicians seem to believe and would have us believe. There is a renewed interest amongst us human beings in bartering, reusing, DIY, repurposing, and recycling products that doesn’t give 2 shits who is or isn’t POTUS.

My friends and fellow humans truly interested in progress are going back to small-scale, in-house production for a variety of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with earning a buck. We are growing our own food when possible, turning our yard space into garden space, and brewing our own beer because it makes us happy. And then we share with our friends because that also makes us happy. We are repurposing grandma’s old dress into new baby clothes and pillows and stuffed toys because handmade is better than store bought. Always. Objects with a creation story last beyond the material expiration date and have value beyond a number.

What’s more is that humans care about the Earth. Because of our increased awareness of unresolved environmental problems, we are cutting our purchases of disposable crap. We are choosing, instead, to buy lasting or buy used, and we are returning to systems of trading and bartering. We are also buying local, so that we don’t use as much gas \ spend as much money on gas. We are looking up videos on how to fix stuff on our own or with our children, and we are helping other friends in our community with services they might need FOR FREE.

This black market economy has not been an accident. While we humans – my generation especially – were accused of being apathetic, uninformed and lazy, we were actually re-wiring an old economy to work better for us. And we’re not just employed\ unemployed workers or confident\ unconfident consumers because democracy is not a business. After all, this is ours. Call me idealistic but my vote isn’t about the economy, and I don’t even like the word ‘stupid.’

Apple Dandelion Fritters!

April 10, 2011

Don’t kill your dandelions, fry them! If you have sprayed chemicals all over your dandelions because you were brainwashed into thinking they are bad, bad weeds then you will have to miss out on these delicious Springtime delicacies. Ha! However, if your yard is wild and pollutant-free and ugly like mine, then you are in luck!

apple dandelion fritters

Ingredients:

diced apples, 1 handful

dandelions, 1 handful freshly foraged

egg, 1

flour, 1 cup

milk, 1/2 cup

applesauce, 1/2 cup

cinnamon, 1 dash

oil for frying

syrup or honey for dipping

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Step 1: Send kid to pick the flower parts off the dandelions while you cut up apples and measure out ingredients. Pull the yellow petals out of the rest of the green part of the flower for this recipe. The green can be kinda bitter, which I think is great for more savory recipes, but not so much for this sweeter one.

Step 2: Mix everything together. Batter should be thicker than pancake batter, but not as thick as biscuit dough. Ya hear me? Then drop it by the spoonful into hot oil. I use a medium-low heat.

Step 3: Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until beautiful and golden.

Step 4: Sprinkle with powdered sugar, dip in syrup or drizzle with honey.

Step 5: Now EAT!

Num num,

Spring

Seriously, I don’t want to over-react or be all alarmist. I’m not about to say anything that other people haven’t already said. But I’m scared shitless about the problems of nuclear enery and the problems at several of Japan’s nuclear facilities right now.  By the way, I prefer to go to the IAEA website for reliable news updates concerning events in Japan. They seem to turn up the scientific reporting, and turn down the alarm/ fear/ capitalist/ US-centric rhetoric.

And you see, back when I found out during the 2010 presidential campaign that Obama was cool with the nukes, it was the one thing that left a suspicion of him in my mind that never faded. And so it accordingly stressed me out when I heard him defending nuclear energy yesterday, but it stressed me out even more to hear about Obama and his administration’s pushing ahead to build NEW nuclear plants.

I couldn’t agree more with Robert Scheer in his piece, No Nukes Is Good Nukes. I feel relieved that really smart people are as disturbed by this energy source as I am.  The thing is, I don’t just think that the waste produced by creating nuclear power is bad for people, I think it’s kinda the worst thing that has ever existed on the bad-for-the-planet scale. And it damages everything: land, water, animals, seeds, mature plants, rocks. Everything. In a FOREVER damaged kind of way. Go read Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. Or listen to and watch Winona LaDuke talk.

Even in the middle of nowhere on the fertile plains of Oklahoma, I’m scared.

Spring

Talented. Do-gooders.

September 7, 2010

No, not me and my friends here at progressontheprairie.com… these gals:

I ♥ Thao, like, times a million, and I know lots of you ♥ Glee times a million so I think it’s really cool that these amazing ladies are giving some of that love back to the world. Oxfam is a good organization. Thao is a good musician. Glee is a good show.

Goodness to you,

Spring

Meet My Garden

April 14, 2010

Well, folks, I am just bustin’ at the seams with gardening excitement and anticipation right now! The problem is that I am an utter novice when it comes to gardening, and I don’t care. Instead of reading and learning everything I should before I start my garden, I am the type to just run out, start digging in the dirt, and toss a bunch of seeds around willy-nilly! But we shall see what becomes of this method, and I’m not too proud to be prepared to learn from my mistakes. Anyway, here’s my back-yard garden (veggies and herbs) so far as of early April:

cute little onion rows

baby cherry tomato plants

oregano and rosemary that had been cooped up inside all winter. they are much happier now.

early bloomer tomato

mr. cilantro and ms. parsley are quite the modern pair of herbs. they each need their own space.

Okay, I know that last picture just looks like dirt in a square plot divided by a stick, but it’s really parsley and cilantro. One of them is sprouting in the lower right-hand corner, can you see it if you squint? I also plan to plant okra back there, but I will wait until next week to sew those seeds. Maaaaaaaan, I’ve got a boner just thinking about the bounty!!!

Since I planted all this stuff, I started to become slightly obsessed with reading about gardening. My favorite lately is reading about edible landscaping. Apparently, a long time ago and somewhere in Europe, society people decided that edible food belonged in the backyard and front-yard gardens were only for ornamental plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs. The logic was that wealthy individuals could show off their position in society through a façade that was merely ornamental instead of practical. They could show off the fact that they didn’t have to grow their own food, they could just buy it. Also, they liked to show off how much disposable income they had to pay yard servants to care for the estate’s lawn and garden, cuz gawdknows they weren’t gonna create or maintain the garden with their own ivory hands. They’d rather look at it, sit in it, “enjoy” it. Pshaw!

And so, in a rebellious act of unmatched proportions, this year I will also plant edibles in my front yard! Because not only are edible berry (blueberry, blackberry, strawberry) bushes awesome, they are beautiful! More on this project as it unfolds. (And just in case you were wondering, i will be using NO inorganic chemical sprays, *cough* pesticides, or *cough* fertilizers. *COUGH!*)

What about YOU, are you planting anything edible this year, my dears? Do tell…

Spring

Hi, all.  Some of you had expressed interest in buying from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  Here’s a link to the membership page if you’re still interested!  Tulsa members may pick up their orders at the Fellowship hall at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 1442 S. Quaker on Cherry (15th) street between Peoria and Utica.  Orders are delivered once a month.  Wondering what’s available through the Co-op?

Food
1860 items (95 new)

  • Bakery — 198 items (5 new)
  • Beverages — 172 items (2 new)
  • Candy/Fudge — 14 items
  • Canned Foods — 55 items (6 new)
  • Condiments — 23 items
  • Dairy and Eggs — 113 items (4 new)
  • Entrees — 241 items (8 new)
  • Fruits — 8 items (1 new)
  • Gift Baskets and Boxes — 47 items (1 new)
  • Grains, Flours and Pastas — 40 items
  • Herbs — 30 items (10 new)
  • Holiday Foods — 20 items
  • Jam and Jelly — 56 items
  • Meats — 486 items (33 new)
  • Mixes — 18 items
  • Natural Sweeteners — 20 items
  • Nuts — 76 items
  • Pantry — 29 items (2 new)
  • Poultry — 17 items (2 new)
  • Prepared Foods (Refrigerated/Frozen) — 12 items
  • Side Dishes — 89 items
  • Vegetables — 96 items (21 new)

Home
1168 items (110 new)

  • Apparel – Men — 21 items (7 new)
  • Apparel – Women — 68 items (37 new)
  • Art — 64 items
  • Baby — 56 items
  • Bath and Beauty — 345 items (24 new)
  • Books — 10 items
  • Children — 31 items (3 new)
  • Classes — 4 items (2 new)
  • Events — 5 items (2 new)
  • Fiber Arts — 9 items
  • Fishing Supplies — 1 items
  • Health — 32 items (1 new)
  • Holiday — 62 items
  • Home Care and Comfort — 35 items (10 new)
  • Home Decor — 8 items (1 new)
  • Jewelry — 107 items (8 new)
  • Kitchen — 18 items
  • Laundry Care — 19 items
  • Music and Media — 2 items
  • Paper Arts — 163 items (14 new)
  • Pet Care — 49 items (1 new)
  • Scented Home — 55 items
  • Stained Glass — 4 items

 More details are available about joining, selling, buying, products, and sellers on the site at www.oklahomafood.coop!  I’ve been buying peanut butter from a seller on the Co-op and have sampled cheeses, meats, hand and laundry soap, granola, vegetables, eggs, and bread from Oklahoma producers selling on the Co-op.  Also, I’ve been to Oklahoma City on delivery day (the third Thursday of every month) at the warehouse where all sellers drop off their goods and where many of those sellers volunteer to sort, re-package, re-organize, and deliver those goods around the state.  It’s an amazing process.  All kinds of people with all kinds of goods, a revitalized old factory building near downtown OKC, and somehow, order out of chaos, every month.  Cheers to the Oklahoma Food Co-op!

Locally yours,
Beamish