How California’s drought hurts us all

Since we became a nation of urban dwellers, we’ve inevitably lost touch with the weather and how it sustains us. We in the cities and burbs have come to see bad weather as a threat to our roof shingles and perhaps to our decorative shrubs. But there’s a whole sphere of existence out there that depends mightily upon the proper sunshine, rainfall and temperatures for its livelihood, and ours.

Preserving summer fruits: A sweet deal that’s easier than you thought

Summer and fall are the seasons of abundance. Fruits and vegetables abound in backyard gardens, farmer’s markets and stores. Sometimes, like when your own garden is peaking, and the farmer’s markets are replete with everything from avocados to zucchini, that abundance can be overwhelming. Then it’s time to preserve, freeze and can, so you can seize Mother Nature’s gifts while they are at their best. Here are a few ideas, assembled from many sources and countless hours in the kitchen, that will help you capture that summer spigot of fruit (we’ll deal with veggies next time) by properly canning, freezing or drying your favorite produce.