I like to eat invasive plants. Sounds scary, right? Invasive species are plants or animals that have been introduced from other regions, accidentally or on purpose, and have negative impacts on local ecosystems. Whether or not you realize it, you have probably seen many invasive plants—they’re in gardens, vacant lots and even between cracks in the sidewalk.
Entries in Dispatch (25)
Sometimes, I’m just astonished. I look at the credit card bill and think—how did we spend that much? The evidence is on the page—a latte, a run to the office supply store, a visit to the hardware store. It’s not exactly an extravagant lifestyle, yet cumulatively these small purchases seem to gang up and kick us in the financial groin.
Until my summer working at the Headhouse Farmers Market, I didn’t know what a real peach tasted like. The peaches from my childhood were firm, fuzzy globes—average, unmemorable pieces of fruit bought from the local box supermarket. Working at the Three Springs Fruit Farm stand changed that.
Every week, on Friday night, something close to a miracle happens at our house.
My 12- and 15- year old stepdaughters turn off their cell phones, unplug from Facebook and step away from the TV. My four-year-old daughter even stops whining to play a game on my computer.
The reason? Our humble tradition of a family night—an evening with no distractions or technology. It’s a tradition we’ve followed for four years now, after I realized our hectic weekday evening schedule was becoming a blurred Groundhog Day-like jumble of dinner, homework, TV, computer, texting, Facebook, drives to and from activities, and mercifully, bed.
The inspiration for the great gelato caper naturally began during a trip to Italy with my twin brother, sister-in-law and niece. Among the highlights of our trip was a particularly rugged hike, during which my niece, who was nine years old at the time, discovered the restorative powers of a good gelato. Since then, I’ve always made an effort to visit one of Philadelphia’s fine gelaterias whenever my niece visits from her home in North Carolina. Each time, she samples one or two flavors before deciding. Wistfully, she then says, “One day I’m going to ask to sample every flavor. Can you imagine?”