Sustainable Living

Melody Carrera, 13, left, and Franchesca Reyes, 13, weigh tomatoes in the school garden on Thursday Aug. 20, 2015 at North Middle School.
Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel

AURORA | With a basket full of freshly-picked celebrity tomatoes in the crook of her arm, North Middle School eighth-grader Angela Serwaa-Marfo noted one of gardening’s greatest and grimiest perks. “I like to touch the dirt,” she said as she harvested food from the school’s garden Thursday morning, Aug. 20. Students and staff first planted […]

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In this Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo, Sam Van Aken points out plum varieties on a tree at a nursery at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. Van Aken has stocked the campus nursery where he does his grafting with hard-to-find antique and heirloom varieties, some from an old research orchard. He has collected more than 40 varieties of plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and almonds he can graft on to his trees. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

“When somebody happens upon it and they see it blossom in these different colors and they see it growing all these different fruit … there’s this rethinking, there’s this sort of moment that sort of interrupts the everyday,” said Van Aken, who teaches art at the university.

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FILE - This Aug. 22, 2014 file photo shows a research plot of green chile peppers at New Mexico State University's agricultural science center in Los Lunas, N.M. Chile growers in New Mexico say they need a guest worker program to survive and reverse the decline of the famed crop. New Mexico Chile Commission chairman Rick Ledbetter says growers want new temporary immigrant labor because U.S.-born workers are opting not to work in the fields. That's creating a shortage of green chile pickers. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

“I think we need a new Bracero program. I honestly do,” Ogaz said, referring to the temporary guest worker program that allowed millions of Mexican immigrants to toil on U.S. farms from 1942 to 1964. “We just don’t have a lot of young people getting into the business and it’s hard to find workers.”

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This July 20, 2015 photo shows the farro and cheddar fritters in Concord, N.H. Farro is great in soups, salads and as a substitute for short-grained rice in risotto-like dishes. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Semi-pearled farro — the variety you are most likely to find at most mainstream grocers — does not need to be soaked and can be cooked using the same two boiling methods, but with cooking time reduced to 20 to 25 minutes, Speck says. In all cases, let the fully cooked grain stand in the covered pot for 10 minutes before serving to absorb any remaining moisture.

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