Kelp, Shrooms, and Good TV

If I lived in Maine instead of Michigan I’d probably be raving about kelp as the food of the future:

The virtues of macro-algae are many, in Seaver’s eyes: They require no fertilizer, no pesticides, no fresh water, no arable land. Their nutritional profile is admirable, he says, providing healthy doses of iodine as well as potassium, calcium and other micro-nutrients, protein, soluble fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

And seaweed’s benefits aren’t just for humans. It’s quick growth means quick carbon dioxide uptake, which can reduce ocean acidification. Seaweed can filter excess nitrogen and phosphorous from the water, too. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded project in Washington State’s Puget Sound is aiming to prove that farmed seaweed can create a “protective halo” around stressed sea habitats.

It’s not just a sustainable crop: Seaver says it’s restorative.

radical mycologyBut I do live in Michigan, so I’d like to draw your attention to Radical Mycology, which is one of my new favorite things. It’s an honest-to-gosh tome with nearly 650 pages of tiny print on all things mycological, and it really seems to me to be of the same ilk as The Whole Earth Catalog, a publication that helped birth and define an era.

Anyway, the author just announced a big book tour, so he’s probably coming to a town near you! (But not near me, alas–as previously discussed, the mushroom gods hate me.) I would check it out.

And what’s up for your Saturday? The Mr. has events associated with Kalamazoo College graduation this weekend, so I will be going to the Farmers Market solo this morning. It’s good to do that, once in a while, because he rushes, or I’m too slow, or something.

Later, I’ll be tabling for Vegan Kalamazoo at Kalamazoo PRIDE. I have really been looking forward to this! I love tabling–okay, not the setup and takedown, just the stuff in the middle–and I love PRIDE.

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I recommend Occupied, or the brilliant Sense8 (by the brilliant Wachowskis and the brilliant J. Michael Straczynski) if you haven’t seen it.

73 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I enjoy seaweed salad, except for the need to floss vigorously afterward.

  2. 2
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Baud: thank you, dear Baud, for starting the day off with a LOL.

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    Bobcats are making a slow comeback here in Beautiful Southern Illinois.

  4. 4
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    No morels in our Michigan lawn this spring. I miss those delicious omelets.

  5. 5
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Bobcats are making a slow comeback here in Beautiful Southern Illinois.

    In our old landlocked near-Detroit suburb we have a weird combination of unexpected wildlife. In one week a white tailed deer strolling down our street, a coyote caught on video, and I spotted a big hen turkey grazing at the curb of a major road 0.4 miles from a freeway. It’s nice having critters around but I hope their movements into unaccustomed areas doesn’t mean they’re under some kind of stress.

  6. 6
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @jeffreyw: Just to be clear – because I never know in this place – are you talking about literal bobcats or some sports team I never heard of?

  7. 7
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: everyone’s saying it was a bad year for morels. but the ones I bought – the first I ever tasted – were wonderful.

  8. 8
    ThresherK says:

    I guess it’s SpongeBob’s world and we’re just living in it.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for “coral bits”.

  9. 9
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Hillary Rettig:
    Ours pop up under our big old spruce trees most years. We’ve been here since 2001 and this is the first spring I’ve been skunked. Morels put the grocery store white button mushrooms to shame.

  10. 10
    Alain the site fixer says:

    I love kelp. I use it to make my dashi from scratch to make my best miso soups. I use the freeze dried dashi often to save time but it’s not the same. But a good bowl of miso does require at least a few bits of kelp in it for texture. Biting into one is a sublime experience – it’s firm and soft and is so yummy!

    Given family commitments today I will likely not update the site files today but will do it tomorrow morning, in case anyone cares. Should be transparent but as I’m wrapping in a WordPress update, some plugins may have issues as they did a month ago. If so please be patient or at least don’t send out the angry mob to Chez Alain!

  11. 11
    debbie says:


    Also the squeakiness when you chew.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:


    Whoa! I thought you were kidding, and this was going to be a picture of a prowling tabby.

  13. 13
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Alain the site fixer: hey, it’s your Saturday too, dude!

  14. 14
    gogol's wife says:

    Just to make myself even less popular than Reggie M.:

    Hamilton is a great work of art.

    Just had to say that.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today I am mostly going to stay cool and try not to do too much. Been a long hard week and I hurt like hell. That damn barn tried to kill me again. And we haven’t even got to the scary sh!t yet. That comes next week.

  17. 17
    gogol's wife says:


    This sounds like the beginning of a Stephen King novel.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    Yes, New York Times op-ed page, Alexander Hamilton wasn’t a cute Puerto Rican rapper.

    And General Kutuzov wasn’t a kindly old man either. Tell it to Tolstoy.

  19. 19
    jeffreyw says:

    @gogol’s wife: The American Hunting Cat is known to climb to a high vantage point to scout for its prey.

  20. 20
    gogol's wife says:

    @gogol’s wife: Should have made that Puerto Rican American.

  21. 21
    Shell says:

    Got some baby bella shrooms in the fridge. Guess I know what Im having for lunch!

  22. 22
    gogol's wife says:


    Do your cats see the bobcats? How do they react?

    I know coyotes will kill cats, but would a bobcat kill a fellow feline? I guess so, since a housecat will kill another housecat if given the chance.

  23. 23
    StringOnAStick says:

    Bobcats have made a comeback here on the west side of Denver too; we live in Golden and have had them passing through our backyard frequently starting 2-3 years ago. Never saw them before or heard about them from friends until then, though mountain lions popped up occasionally. Locally it seemed to coincide with flooding in fall of 2013 that closed a trail system in a foothills watershed so they had a peaceful winter and spring to move in and get comfy.

    I wonder if in general the smaller predators like bobcats and coyotes are more successful in the near urban environment than larger ones like mountain lions? Mountain lions need large food like deer, bobcats can get by on smaller prey.

  24. 24
    StringOnAStick says:

    @gogol’s wife: our late and much loved indoor kitty would go insane over outdoor cats in her yard, but the two times she saw a bobcat she stayed very still and carefully, slowly walked away from the glass door once it had passed by.

  25. 25
    jeffreyw says:

    @gogol’s wife: So far as we know they haven’t spotted them. Mrs J ran across one while walking the dogs a few years ago, the dogs growled but she quickly called them away and backed out of the area herself. I’ve only seen them second hand, when they’ve tripped the trail cameras.
    I have no idea whether a bobcat would consider a domestic cat as prey but I wouldn’t rule it out.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gogol’s wife: The barn is 155 yrs old of post and beam construction with half the sill plates rotted out and a # of posts too with plenty of termite damage. Fixing all that involves jacking up the structure with temporary cribbing as needed. A lot of weight, 6-8 tons I estimate, at any one time. Next week we tackle the corner in which all the structural members have been replaced by a 100 yr old elm tree. Can’t tell how things are going to react to it’s removal with any kind of certainty, all we can do is try to think of all that might go wrong and hope we don’t miss anything.

  27. 27
    jeffreyw says:

    Heh. Mrs J just saw a red fox trot through the yard, right in front of Ginger Boy. The kitteh sat still and the fox didn’t break stride. I think he is more interested in squirrels.

  28. 28
    MomSense says:


    Sounds like the house I used to live in. The only reason I stayed there so long was the soil. 200+ years of cows make for amazing soil.

    @HR I buy and eat a lot of local seaweed and mushrooms!

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: I have plenty of second hand experience with them, hearing their cries (which sound like something straight from the deepest pits of hell) from time to time, to finding the carcass of one in the entrance of a cave (my son had to crawl thru the half rotted gore to get it out) but I have never seen one.


  30. 30
    The Other Chuck says:


    I have no idea whether a bobcat would consider a domestic cat as prey but I wouldn’t rule it out.

    Prey no, competition yes. The bobcat probably won’t press the issue in the housecat’s territory, but it depends on how stupid the housecat is.

  31. 31
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gogol’s wife: A friend of a friend (documentary filmmaker, IIRC) said several weeks ago that for what she paid for her Hamilton ticket, it had better change her life.

    After seeing it, she said, “I have just seen a masterwork.”

    It is just so good in so many different facets. Love dance? The choreography is amazing. Love poetry? English majors will be writing reams of papers on assonance, consonance, rhyme, rhythm, references both obvious and subtle. Love showstopper Broadway tunes? Let me count the numbers. Love the orchestration side of the business? Dig into the sheet music, and you’ll find things like a song where a dying character sings in C Major while the family around him sings in C Minor.

    I dare anyone to listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” and not come away with an appreciation for LMM’s gifts.

  32. 32
    Randy P says:

    And what’s up for your Saturday?

    Rotting shed I intend to pull down this weekend. But first I have to go through the rotting cartons of books and papers I didn’t realize I’d stored there and see if there’s anything I want to save.

    Two go in (me and the shed). Only one will emerge.

    My big project for the summer, which I suspect is going to be a multi-year project, will be a much larger garden structure, basically a 12 x 20 or so summer house/workshop/shed. I want to install solar power for it. I’m reasonably competent at carpentry, but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with making a foundation (from looking at books and talking to others I think it’s going to be sitting over gravel and a frame made of 6 x 6’s), framing windows, or putting on a roof.

    And I’m reasonably competent at household electrician stuff, but I’m probably well out of my depth with the solar power as well. I vaguely know that I need panels, a storage battery and some sort of AC conversion.

    So all in all it will be an interesting project.

    Also I’m pretty sure I have to go through the whole building permit cycle, and I know zip about that as well.

  33. 33
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Should have made that Puerto Rican American.


  34. 34
    Shell says:

    rotting cartons of books and papers I didn’t realize I’d stored there and see if there’s anything I want to save.

    Just make sure theres nothing with your SSN on it. I was about to toss out some old college transcripts that had been moldering in the back of a closet till I realized.. yikes. To the shredder!

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gogol’s wife: Ifn’s you’re interested, my buddy has a facebook page for their farm, Farwig Farm, and their are some pics of the barn there and some of the progress we’ve made. Farwig is the name of the original homesteaders and they decided to keep that name to honor those old stubborn Germans who in times of great stress and danger persevered and built something that still remains.

  36. 36
    khead says:

    I had an undergraduate advisor at Va Tech 25 years ago who wanted to use microalgae for, well, pretty much everything. Food, fuel, remediation, etc. Malcolm Potts. My first experience with fermentation and I was hooked.

  37. 37
    gogol's wife says:


    Whew, I’m glad I left my home state of Misery about 45 years ago. Life there sounds tough! Good ‘cue, though.

  38. 38
    gogol's wife says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    You have the sheet music to the death of /spoiler/?

    I got the piano/vocal score and am studying it in awe, but it doesn’t include that.

    I think Lacamoire deserves a lot of credit for the sophistication of the music.

  39. 39
    bystander says:

    @gogol’s wife: A new block of tickets went on sale for AmEx Platinum cardholders. Orchestra seat for only $849.

    Looking forward to seeing their number during the Tonys tomorrow night.

  40. 40
    gogol's wife says:


    I’m resigned to the idea that I’ll probably never see it, unless the local high school does it some day.

  41. 41
    germy says:

    Should I be worried about high levels of heavy metals and mercury in seaweed and kelp?

  42. 42
    germy says:

    @gogol’s wife: I was sort of hoping Hamilton would be filmed and shown on PBS with the original cast. Maybe show it in movie theaters, the way they do with opera.

    For those of us who can’t make it to Broadway

  43. 43
    Speedbumped says:

    Community, to say I’ve posted sparsely here would be generous, but I’ve been reading and lurking for more than a decade. Today my dad is in the ICU, having progressed in short order from a routine prostatectomy with a wonderful prognosis, to sepsis, to a stroke. His doctor says he may never read, or drive again, may have severe heart damage, and could require several more procedures. Which would also mean an abrupt and unplanned retirement. It’s shocking how quickly it’s happened. It will take time before we know the long-term outlook. I’m grateful for any positive thoughts you may send his way. I may not de-lurk again to thank you later, so thank you in advance.

  44. 44
    gogol's wife says:


    That would be nice. But I doubt it will happen any time soon.

  45. 45
    germy says:

    @gogol’s wife: But why not? It would be great to film and show in movie theaters across the country. Lots of kids who love hip hop and want to appreciate history would benefit. All the kids with parents who can’t afford 900 bucks for orchestra seats. Why is that not being considered?

  46. 46
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Alain the site fixer: thank you, Alain!

    @Hillary Rettig: If you ever want to make it back out for the Telluride Mushroom Festival, let me know! That might be the perfect BJ Western Slope meet-up excuse. My friend Art Goodtimes is usually the MC, and it’s always a hoot! As well as an excuse to bask in beautiful Telluride!

  47. 47
    ThresherK says:

    @germy: PBS did that with a live recording of Memphis and it really turned my opinion of the show around.

    That’s largely my own fault, as the Tonycast when it was nominated had one song from Memphis and the one chosen seemed to be the most generic and bland item in the whole score*. When it came on TV in full I thought, “I’ll give it twenty minutes from the start”, and two hours later I was still rapt in attention; it was wonderful, full of personality, and character-driven songs.

    *Is that a thing with Tonycasts?

  48. 48
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    You have the sheet music to the death of /spoiler/?

    Not yet, I’m afraid, though I’m hoping the piano-conductor score will eventually become generally available. I wanted to say that I got that detail from the Hamiltome, but I can’t find it there. It could have come from LMM’s twitter feed or any of the dozens of interviews with LMM and Lacamoire that I’ve combed through looking for exactly that sort of thing.

  49. 49
    bystander says:

    @germy: There will be a movie but not until the two road companies have milked the Midwest and West Coast for all they’re worth.

    But for anyone who wants a film version, I have three cautionary words: A Chorus Line.

  50. 50
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @jeffreyw: that’s one big kitteh!

  51. 51
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Miss Bianca: You know Art Goodtimes! Cooool! I hope to be back in 2017.

    This community never ceases to amaze me.

  52. 52
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Randy P: I got tired just reading all that! Good luck and take lots of breaks.

  53. 53
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @germy: Excellent question. I know some of it has arsenic but not sure about other contaminants and how easy it all is to remove.

  54. 54
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @khead: thanks for that! fascinating stuff. not surprising that spirulina goes back hundreds of years or more – it’s so healthy. (although kind of yuck to me)

    I hope Dr. Potts is happy to see his ideas take hold. I was a microbiology major at Cornell in the 1970s, btw – some of my professors would ferment anything that would stand still.

    if you haven’t seen it, the New Yorker ran a long piece on the burgeoning kelp industry that is fascinating – a few months back.

  55. 55
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Art has many, many friends…and to know, know, know him is to love, love, love him…he’s the only Green Party member I’ve ever met who’s actually managed to get elected to office! : )

    Yeah, Mushroom Festival 2017 – I think we need to start promoting this! It would be like Balloon Juice Burning Man, but way more manageable!

  56. 56
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @germy: There was talk at one time of doing the live broadcast to theaters thing, but I think it ran afoul of staging problems.

    If they do any such filming, it will have to be very soon; Odom and Miranda are both leaving in a month or so.

  57. 57
    Shell says:

    This post made me hungry for mushrooms. Made Nigella Lawson’s, Pasta with Mushrooms, Lemon and Thyme.

  58. 58
    joel hanes says:

    All the elms in North Iowa died in the sixties.
    Around 1970, a friend and I went looking for morels under the standing dead elms in a pasture, and came away literally with grocery bags full. Big ones. Fried in butter with or without battering, they were wunderbar. I’ve never found more than one or two small ones since.

  59. 59
    germy says:


    There will be a movie but not until the two road companies have milked the Midwest and West Coast for all they’re worth.

    I don’t mean a Hollywood movie version. I mean actually filming the live stage show. Shouldn’t it be captured for posterity, at the very least.

    I don’t like traveling road shows. First, where we live, the tickets are inflated because we’re not a prestigious enough venue. Also, I don’t want to see Tony Danza or David Cassidy as Hamilton or Jefferson.

  60. 60
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:


    But for anyone who wants a film version, I have three cautionary words: A Chorus Line.

    I’ll see your A Chorus Line and raise you The Phantom of the Opera.

    What LMM was saying might happen is more like the ballet and opera in the movie theater shows. I think some of those are initially broadcast live.

  61. 61
    gogol's wife says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    There are at various times clips on YouTube that look like professionally produced filmings of the actual performance. I wonder if they’ve already done that for distribution later?

    Did anyone see LMM on Jeopardy? My husband said he was on last night.

  62. 62
    germy says:

    @gogol’s wife: Missed it. I think we were watching “Food of the Gods” on the Comet channel (Ida Lupino in one of her last roles)

  63. 63
    Aleta says:

    @gogol’s wife: I’ve heard of of bobcats killing housecats if they’re hungry. (In the winter if the snow gets too deep, they’re unable to hunt the usual rodents and will move closer to houses, especially ones with chickens, etc. Or they might move to a new neighborhood if someone has been clearing trees and building where they were living.)

    This site seems interesting. It mentions that outdoor pet food attracts them, and that ones who grow up in urban areas may not have good enough hunting skills to hunt wildlife.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    What’s happened to Imagination? It’s not like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz was real.

  65. 65
    debbie says:


    PBS will have something in the fall. Probably not the full show like you’re thinking of, but I bet at some point there will be one. Too much money to be made not to.

  66. 66
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We had something a little similar, but probably smaller, and no termites. The barn is connected, and half is the kitchen. A squared log sill and some tree stump posts had rotted out on the garage side of the barn, but being clueless and careless and wrapped up in computers, we didn’t notice until the kitchen nearly lost an outside wall. The sinking half was pulling the kitchen off the house, and the joists above the kitchen were no longer resting on the plates as the roof splayed out. By chance my cousin was up in the rafters and noticed there was about 1/4″ left before the wall could come down. He cinched the walls together with chains (it was Christmas and looked sadly grim until we thought to hang garlands off the chains). Then he spent almost as much time thinking about how to do what, as he did digging and pouring new posts, and waiting for the barn to make each adjustment before going on to the next step. (Like you, if I remember right, he does almost all his own car and body repair. And furnace, plumbing, wiring, tree work. He’s his own Survivor show really.)

  67. 67
    Aleta says:

    @Speedbumped: Sorry to hear this is happening to your family. I remember with my mom how the speed of developments and all the new and changing information made it almost impossible to stay oriented. Sending good thoughts.

  68. 68
    BubbaDave says:

    So sorry to hear about that. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  69. 69
    Tom says:

    @gogol’s wife: Isn’t that like my referring to myself as a “Coloradan-American”?

    By the way, kudos for the recommendations to see the Huntington. My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a trip to LA and we made sure to go see the gardens. The weather was gorgeous and the scenery was breathtaking. We’re definitely going back.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    I love the seaweeds that I have tasted. Wish there were more of it in our cuisine.

  71. 71
    Cleos says:

    Oh, but it’s good for you!

  72. 72
    Denali says:


    Thinking of you at a difficult time and hoping for the best.

  73. 73
    J R in WV says:


    Wife was in ICU from septic shock, now healthy enough to hike the Spanish/French Pyrenees mountains. So don’t be depressed yet.

    She was 60ish and spent 59 days in hospital, on vent the first 21 days, 2 weeks later collapsed lung, surgery to implant chest tubes, vent for 2 more days. Several weeks later, surgery to repair collapsed lung, supposed to be 30 minutes, actually 3-4 hours.

    Modern medicine can be a miracle. Or not. Best wishes! Stay with him as much as you can. Hand holding and talking is good, even if they seem to be in a coma, just talk louder.

    All the best luck !!!

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