To Market, to Market We Bike!

Last month, I was so psyched at the thought of returning to summer in New Mexico. Blue skies, plenty of sun, mountains to climb, trails to ride, tomatoes to grow! If only. If only, I thought then, we had a farmers market nearby. The closest venues required a drive north to Albuquerque or south to…Continue readingTo Market, to Market We Bike!

An Ode to a Grandmother

When we first arrived in Phnom Penh, in early March, all of the young waiters at the Veiyo Tonle restaurant had shaved their heads. With great sadness, manager Neth informed us their beloved Grandma had died that week and she was cremated that day. Many on staff had come through the New Cambodian Children’s Life…Continue readingAn Ode to a Grandmother

Dry-Season Harvest

Much of Southeast Asia remains brittle and parched through these last weeks of the dry season when the heat builds to oppressive measures. Fields lie empty until the rains begin and new, green life can grow. But in Siem Reap, around the Tonle Sap, the seasons run counter to that schedule. The dry season is…Continue readingDry-Season Harvest

Green Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I give you something green: Shan mustard. We found these little bags at a roving hilltribe market near Kengtung, in Shan State. It’s a simple recipe, really — raw mustard leaves pounded with water, mixed with onion, chile, salt and sesame powder. So simple, I shall try to make…Continue readingGreen Day

Cambodia’s Great Loss

Cambodia is losing its fish and rice. We’ll be investigating this further in the coming weeks; it’s a story that spells a sad future. The country’s great, nourishing rivers and lands are vanishing for many reasons — land grabbing, land sales, over-fishing, upstream dams, diminished waters, new hotels, villas in the countryside. Meter by meter,…Continue readingCambodia’s Great Loss

Thai Curry for the Weather

I’m a little behind in mentioning this, but we were still in Myanmar when this posted. Remember the Prem Organic Cooking Academy and Farm? I’m impressed with the efforts of this place near Chiang Mai, where kids from all over Asia get down-and-dirty hands-on lessons in traditional Thai kitchen techniques. The academy operates under the…Continue readingThai Curry for the Weather

Farmer in the Mist

Near Kengtung, Shan State, Myanmar, December 2008 The Shan State valleys are shrouded in mist on winter mornings. We spotted this farmer while riding a motorbike to an early-morning roving hilltribe market near Kengtung this week. The first signs of second-season rice appear in vibrant green patches across the landscape. Shan State markets teem with…Continue readingFarmer in the Mist

Clearing Bombs in Lao Fields

Just a quick note to let you know I have a profile of Jim Harris, the Wisconsinite who clears bombs from Lao farm fields, in this month’s Milwaukee Magazine. Sorry to say the article is not online.Continue readingClearing Bombs in Lao Fields

Day of Thanks, Day of Mourning

Grilling Thai chicken at The Prem Organic Cooking Academy On this day of Thanksgiving, we wake to bulbils singing in the trees and news of dozens dead in Mumbai. Thousands remain stranded in Bangkok, as we await word of friends and colleagues scheduled to arrive from North America, South America and the Middle East. Life…Continue readingDay of Thanks, Day of Mourning

‘Tis the Season

OK, so I’ve been holding out on you. Not really holding out, but in the craziness and business of the past few weeks, I’ve neglected to mention the season. It’s chile time! The harvest is in, the air scented with roasted peppers. It hit me with a smoky punch the other day when I entered…Continue reading‘Tis the Season