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Elizabeth Carls
Minneapolis, MN
Making peace with middle-age.
Interests: I'm living an artful life in Minneapolis, MN; doing my best to appreciate the beautiful useful things, and make peace with middle-age. I have been known to swoon over a well chosen word, and fall deeply in love with eloquence. I have an insatiable appetite for a well told story, I read like a maniac, and hear poetry when I eavesdrop. I'm an urban gardener creating a pollinator-friendly forest garden in the middle of the city. I believe in an edible landscape, in having dirt in my hair, and that the surest way to sustainability is to align yourself with nature. I have a special interest in no-dig gardening techniques, compost, perennial food crops, seed saving, and beekeeping. I walk several miles everyday with one or both of my large dogs. Together we explore the urban woodland of the Minnehaha Creek watershed and any number of Minnesota's state parks. They are very happy dogs. I suffer the wanderlust gladly. I travel as much as I can, which is never nearly enough. I crave big powerful gusts of newness capable of sweeping me off my feet. I practice yoga and I practice peace. I believe in kindness and try hard never to be an asshole. I'm a life-long learner by nature. I have a degree in English Literature. I hold an Advanced Certificate in Book Arts. I have completed over 300 hours of Yoga Teacher Training. And I am currently enrolled in the Urban Farming and Permaculture Certification Program at the Permaculture Research Institute - Cold Climate.
Recent Activity
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Winter arrived today. And she intends to stay for a while. The garden was ready; the garlic had been planted, the leaves were all collected, and the young trees were heavily mulched. The house was ready too; radiators in good working order, the whole house cleaned and tidied, and my... Continue reading
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Yesterday I spent the day attending a mushroom foraging course with the Lavistown House. When I registered for the course a few months back I saw it as a two-fold opportunity. On the one hand, it would be an opportunity to spend the day in the forest here in Ireland.... Continue reading
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I arrived back in Kilkenny this past Monday after a long weekend walking in and around Graiguenamanagh. I will stay here until next Monday, when I will return to Dublin to fly out on Tuesday. This week in Kilkenny has been intentionally quiet. My idea for the week was to... Continue reading
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I've just spent a long weekend in Graiguenamanagh, a tiny village on the Barrow river in County Kilkenny. I stayed at The Waterside, a lovely little B & B right on the river. It was three days of peace, and quiet, and walking the river. When I arrived by bus... Continue reading
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I arrived in Kilkenny yesterday around noon. There is something about this beautiful, medieval city that mysteriously feels like "home" to me. I can't quite identify what exactly, but I feel at ease here. After checking into my hotel I walked along the River Nore to Lavishtown, about 4k outside... Continue reading
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I've been in Dublin for the last two nights, a city I enjoy very much. I came in on Sunday so that I could take a train on Monday out to Cloughjordan, a little village in the north of County Tipperary. I went there to visit the Cloughjordan Eco-Village, and... Continue reading
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Yesterday I spent the day at the Kilruddery Estate and Gardens. Kilruddery was established in 1618 by the Earl of Meath and the formal gardens are the oldest in Ireland, remaining largely unchanged since the 17th century. The walled kitchen gardens and orchards were added in the late 1800's. The... Continue reading
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The first two days of my trip to Ireland were consumed mostly with travel. Getting here is an arduous journey. It involved two trains, a bus, two airplanes, and a backpack that despite my best efforts at packing light is a daunting beast. In reality the two flights were flawless--the... Continue reading
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Two weeks from today I will be flying into Dublin. It will be my third visit to Ireland in four years. In many ways this will be a very different trip for me, and some things will stay the same. This time I will be traveling without the group; traveling... Continue reading
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This weekend I had an opportunity to learn yet another aspect of beekeeping. I was very generously invited to attend my first honey harvest with Yuuki and Joe of Four Seasons Apiaries. Because I relish any opportunity to spend time with bees, I excepted the invitation without hesitation. Although the... Continue reading
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Fungi—and their spore bearing fruits, mushrooms—are the hidden gems in the garden. They are fabulous indicators of a rich healthy soil, they are often stunningly beautiful, and they are an integral part of a complete garden eco-system. Last year, after removing all of the turf from my urban yard in... Continue reading
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This past week I spent three days alone on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world (by area, not volume). It was three days of writing, hiking, and generally being reclusive. And it was fabulous! This is a trip I try to make... Continue reading
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I was at a neighborhood Solstice party this past weekend and folks were asking what the hell I've been up to in the yard. Their curiosity inspired me to write about the process. Briefly, here's the big idea... Two years ago I planted a small portion of my side yard--a... Continue reading
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I'm adding a second phase of fruit trees and shrubs, as well as many herbaceous perennials to my very young forest garden this season and I've been tapping into community resources to source most of my plants. There is real value to be found in a community of fellow growers... Continue reading
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Apis Mellifera, the European Honeybee; Honeybees are not native to the United States, most Honeybees in the US are Apis Mellifera, a species originally from Western Europe. They are a non-aggressive social insect that lives and thrives in a complex community with one Queen, tens-of-thousands of female Worker Bees, and... Continue reading
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There were times during the Unrelenting Winter when I doubted the whole idea of spring. I feared spring would never return, but it has returned and it's the dawn of a new season in the garden. Each morning I don my red rubber boots and wander the garden looking for... Continue reading
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Friends, last night we very suddenly and unexpectedly said our final goodbye to Layla. She died peacefully in my arms at the Emergency Vet Clinic. I'll spare you the details. To say she will be missed is a vast understatement. To say I am a crumpled heap of sadness is... Continue reading
I've just scheduled four workshops for spring and summer at Ripple River Gallery. A little bookmaking, a little gardening, and a ton of creativity. Registration information and additional details are available on the Events page. But here's what we've got in store. Simple Sewn and Folded Books - Get introduced... Continue reading
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The Dark Days of winter have settled in. It's that time of the year when things seem hard. The holidays are over, and for me, yet another birthday lurks just around the corner. Tick-tock. I feel old, and cold, and cooped up. This particular winter has gone from hard to... Continue reading
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I've just schedule two garden workshops for this summer at Ripple River Gallery. First up is Spread the Love: Pollinator Friendly Seed Bombs - In this workshop we will create our own seed bombs with a blend of pollinator-friendly seeds. Seed bombing is a guerrilla gardening tactic where the bombs... Continue reading
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Another New Year is upon us. One year ago today, on January 1st, 2013 I wrote here on this blog about Change, about the hard changes, and the gentle changes. I wrote about 2012 as the year of Change, and about embracing the idea that we never know what happens... Continue reading
One of my favorite things about this week between Christmas and The New Year is the plethora of "Best Of..." lists, and my favorite "Best Of..." lists are "Best Books of..." lists. Last year I picked a favorite for myself, a single best read of 2012. This year it wouldn't... Continue reading
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The Solstice has passed. The darkest day of the year is behind us. From here, it's clear sailing towards longer days and a brand new year. Happy Christmas! Continue reading
This post originally appeared on Right Out Loud, it has been re-posted here because the recipe is good. What do you do when your organic grocery delivery service surprises you with a stalk of local, organic celery? If you're me, you make a Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping. I... Continue reading
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A simple recipe really, but the basil and the honey add an unexpected twist. Together they are the little something different that will prompt your guests to ask, "What did you do to the fruit?" The mostly tart fruits make this salad bright and refreshing. I recommend that you cut... Continue reading