(Photo by Umberto Salvagnin)

Exploring Nature’s rarest phase

With streams freezing up, we’re temporarily losing something very special – something incredibly rare in the universe: an environment with liquids! The wonderful-but-often-colorized images from Hubble, and the striking stuff viewed through a…

(Photo by Basheer Tome)

Local Ingredient Chili Challenge in New Paltz this Saturday

The courtyard at the Water Street Market on Main Street in New Paltz will host the eighth annual Local Ingredient Chili Challenge fundraiser this Saturday, January 23 from 12 noon to 3 p.m….

(Carol Zaloom | Almanac Weekly)

Kids’ Almanac (Jan. 21-28)

“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.” – Pete Seeger  Track an animal, share Stone…

(Surian Soosay)

The adoration of the Unknown

We’re still learning how to gain knowledge. It’s hit-and-miss. In some scientific areas our hard data is almost complete. We can rattle off every element’s properties (well, almost every element; oddly enough, we’re…

Lee's friends Bill and Lisa, also shiitake growers, are still harvesting good crops, cold weather notwithstanding. They brought one of their logs indoors, where it stands in the sink of their laundry room. Great idea! (photo by Wendell Smith)

Even indoors, shiitakes just keep on keepin’ on

The 15 oak logs sitting in the shade of my giant Norway spruce tree more than earned their keep last year. Seven of them got inoculated with plugs of shiitake mushroom spawn in…


Celebrate the saving of a Hudson Valley bean

Local chefs craft special dinners to feature Hank’s X-tra Special Baking Bean The farm-to-table model of supporting our local farmers and restaurateurs is pretty firmly entrenched in our regional consciousness at this point….


Kids’ Almanac (Jan. 14-21)

Party Bangladeshi-style, pet a Dalmatian, play with paints or shoot a flintlock on snowshoes   “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Reverend…

Lee tests seed viability by counting out 10 to 20 seeds from each packet, and spreading the seeds between two moist rounds of filter paper on a plate. Enclosing the plate in a plastic bag to hold in moisture and putting the bagged plate somewhere warm – preferably around 75 degrees – provides nearly perfect conditions for germination.  (Lee Reich | Almanac Weekly)

How to know when to toss your old seeds

“Ring out the old, ring in the new” – but not all the “old,” when it comes to seeds for this year’s garden. I’m flipping through my plastic shoeboxes (I think that’s what…


The middle of the Sun, the Earth and the universe

What would you find at the exact center of our world? the Sun? the Universe? Anyone with a below-ground basement or who visits a cavern knows that just a few feet down, the…


Lovin’ spoonful: Joshua Vogel’s new book presents utensil-carving as metaphor

Josh Vogel makes beautiful wooden spoons, and in The Artful Wooden Spoon: How to Make Exquisite Keepsakes for the Kitchen he explains how he does it. But the book tells more than the…

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