16 Magical Gardening Books And Novels To Gift Every Type Of Gardener In Your Life


For a long time, I didn’t garden at all. I owned a solitary plant, a Christmas cactus a friend had given me, which I carried around for years, watching it bloom (or not bloom), get scratched up by my brother’s cat, dry out, and then blossom again. It’s graced the surface of five different coffee tables over the years, and it still sits next to me as I write.

I’m grateful for that first plant gift, and now, as years have gone by, and friends have introduced me to the wonders of cultivating a windowsill of succulents, or cooking purple carrots or broccoli that I’ve actually grown myself, I have a new reverence for the independent, staying power of greenery.

I think it’s fascinating how compost can make new, rich soil out of trash, and how a spider plant will yield more spider plants just by virtue of me keeping an eye on it and watering it occasionally. I treasured the tiny, plump cherry tomatoes and mini bell peppers that popped up out of the potted plant garden I created on my tiny back porch in Philadelphia. (Here are more urban gardening ideas.)

The riddle to all of this love of gardening, I think, is that there is something magical about watching things grow—watching food grow, even more so—and of having a literal hand in creating and encouraging that growth.

To that end, it’s no surprise to me that volumes upon volumes have been written on the wonder of gardening, of flowers, of greenery, of moss, even. To understand gardening is to slow down and understand nature, which is connected to how we understand life.

Read the rest on RodalesOrganicLife.com.


This Company Is Turning Air Pollution Into Works Of Art


Imagine if instead of your car emitting fumes out of its exhaust pipe, it was emitting ink that could be bottled, sold, and put to good use. That’s exactly how Anirudh Sharma, then an MIT graduate student, saw things when, upon returning to India for a conference, he realized that the pollution in the air was so heavy that it was leaving black flecks on his white shirt.

Read more at RodalesOrganicLife.com.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act Is Immoral

Through the Affordable Care Act, I was able to stay on my parents’ healthcare until I was 26, and then buy healthcare for myself and pay it every month as I worked full-time building my business and career as an adjunct professor of English and a freelance magazine writer. My brother was able to buy his insurance through the ACA to work full time at a job that does not offer health insurance, while still writing and creating comics and recording and selling music, building his own career and business rather than being forced to work for an employer to get healthcare. Millions of others were able to afford payments for care through the ACA even though they suffer from cancer or another terrible disease, because of the provision not to deny healthcare based on a pre-existing condition. Repealing the ACA harshly punishes people who put everything into their own small businesses and dreams, and sentences others to bankruptcy and death. The ACA is imperfect and should be revised and improved in many ways, but that does not mean repealing it. In my opinion, repealing the ACA with no replacement is not only irresponsible but also completely immoral.


Esquire article on the repeal here: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a52234/senate-obamacare-vote/