Beans, Books and Blogging

I’m cheering for Auburn in the BCS Bowl. Auburn is in Alabama – a state I’ve never visited. I don’t even like football much but I do read a mind-stretching blog by Professor Jose Llanes, of the Education Department there and hence, I now find some affinity with this Southern school. - Go Tigers!

I committed to blogging as a method to ensure that I’d write regularly. It worked. Of course there were a couple of weeks where too many days elapsed between posts or where I just got stumped on the next best thing to share. At any given time I have 18 – 20 draft posts going so, each week, I open it up and see what inspires.  If I’m not certain what to write about, taking a walk will usually work it out in my head.

Originally I’d envisioned that I’d show you what arrived in my CSA delivery each week and tell you what I did with it and perhaps relate to a larger life lesson. That didn’t exactly happen. I start out that way but find that I’m struck by an article or an event or an obscure piece of research that seems worthy of a greater audience. Some of you have been kind enough to include me in blog awards. I’ve received the Creative Blogger, the Versatile Blogger, and the Rock Star Blogger. I’m absolutely flattered and thankful to Nancy Hatch, Todd Pack, and Estrella Azul but selfishly I never pass them along only because there is so much material that I enjoy in the blogosphere.

I received beans in the mail! Honest to goodness homegrown pinto beans from Linda on a Colorado farm and a well written and fun book titled Be Your Own Life Coach from Diane Scholten.  I got to meet Susanintherain while on vacation and had a thrilling moment when at a local coffee shop, a friendly stranger turned around and asked, “are you Agrigirl?” Although my intention was to write about building community through things like Community Supported Agriculture, what I didn’t envision is the community that I would become part of since starting this journey. I read and comment and you honor me in the same way and it’s abundant. The diversity of the readership is thrilling. So beyond my personal desire to write more, this sense of community building is both fascinating and wonderful.

Over the past year I’ve had a couple of opportunities to promote my blog publicly and while that has certainly added readers, one law of blogging appears to be that we have to give to get. Reading and commenting produces more readers and more comments. The time that it takes is something that we must all reconcile and I’m open to suggestions.

As I look to this New Year and think about what direction I’ll take, I’d love to hear from you.  The absolute most popular post of 2010 was Agrigirl’s Blog of Practical Houseplants which was originally intended as a spoof on T.S. Eliot. Visitors to this post exceed all others exponentially. Eggplant and the Five Freedoms is a distant second primarily for having been selected as civics curriculum in a school district and an endorsement received by Kid’s Voting. I’m grateful for both.

I just received an email from a spinner in West Virginia requesting that I write about nutrition issues affecting the elderly. I’m flattered and intrigued and will do some research. Several folks have asked me to talk more about the 10 Recipes idea and I’d like to do that. There are also many of you who love the idea of Community Building experiments like Food Stamp Fail and maybe a Crock Pot Camp. My challenge to the school lunch program has faltered as my son changed schools but that is a popular topic thanks to Mrs. Q. And as I learn of other community building concepts that are making a difference, I’ll do my best to bring them to you.

Let me hear from you. What directions would you like to see Agrigirl take over the next year?

Black-eyed Peas with Dill
Adapted from
Serves four to six
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 fresh dill sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped dill leaves
  • 2 large scallions, white and pale green parts cut into 1-inch pieces and dark green parts chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen black-eyed peas
  • lemon wedges as garnish

Bring water, dill sprigs, white and pale green parts of scallions, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, covered. Reduce heat to moderately low, then add peas and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, uncovered, then transfer mixture with any liquid to a serving dish and stir in chopped dill, scallion greens, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Happy New Year!

Leave a comment


  1. I love the good luck black eyed peas recipes for the new year.

    I for one love your blog and the fact that I have no idea what wonderful information and thoughts I’ll find when I stop by. Who am I to suggest what you do next, as what I’ve found has exceeded my expectations.

  2. Seems like a great recipe, will have to try it soon!

    Awww, you’re so sweet to mention me, and don’t even worry about not passing them on, I myself am very bad at acknowledging them after receiving and let them simmer far more than I should. But they’re for fun, and for showing my appreciation of your wonderful blog, so what you do with the award is your decision and yours alone 🙂
    Just don’t consider yourself selfish for not passing them on, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

    As for what direction Agrigirl should take, I know I love everything that’s already here, and will absolutely love anything you might post, because they’re coming from the heart! That’s what makes the difference in a great blog: passion. And you’re full of passion honey!
    Thank you for loving us and sharing all your knowledge with us 🙂

    Huge hugs!
    Happy New Year 🙂

  3. I love that you’re a ‘bit of everything’ blogger. I love reading your thoughts on political issues, on society, on women, and on food. In other words… keep doing what you’re doing, in my opinion! Happy New Year!

  4. I agree with Hannah. Don’t change a thing.

    Your posts are always thought-provoking and sincere ~ and always worth a read!

    I cracked up at how you pick sports teams . . . me too! Any nebulous connection will do if I’m going to be watching the game.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    Happy New Year!

  5. That bean dish sounds great! Black eyed beans are so scrummy.

    Happy New Year!



  6. We can use all the “cheering” you can give. War Eagle is what we say here when we mean, hello, good-bye, that’s right, boss, let’s sock it to them, etc. You are close to Glendale, is that right?

    Hope you and your family have an excellent 2011. Alabama, you may know, is the biggest consumer of black-eyed peas in the United States.

  7. Just keep on as you have been going, I love your versatility.

  8. That’s pretty cool, being recognized at the coffee shop. I didn’t get any black-eyed peas today, but I watched the video for “I Gotta Feelin'” on YouTube with Thing 1. Do you think that counts?

  9. Kathleen Bartolomei

     /  January 1, 2011

    I say just keep on doing what you are doing! Your posts are especially cool because you don’t force it … you write from the heart about a hot topic that inspires you! In turn you educate and inspire readers like me. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year … overflowing with new ideas and lessons to share with faithful readers!

  10. Keep taking those walks, Tammy. They are bringing up the creative juices that obviously result in readership appreciation.

    You are so versatile and I appreciate how you can inform in such an attention grabbing style.

    Thank you. May you surprise yourself routinely with what you do end up sharing with us.

  11. Naomi

     /  January 2, 2011

    Love it as it is, Tammy – you’re a pro!

    It’s delightful to hear about your blogging highlights. Congrats and well deserved 🙂

  12. I love your draft system, Tammy. It makes so much sense. It was great to discover your blog this year and your reflective, pragmatic style: I love the posts – for me it would be more of the same please! Most unhelpful…

  13. I love your writing, and what you’re doing already. I would go with your gut, and make choices depending on what suits you.

  14. Sally Mom

     /  January 2, 2011

    I as well am pleased to agree that all you have done and created and produced so far are near to my heart or new and interesting. Keep following your instincts and Congratulations on continuing in excellance. I am in the air right now but will put those peas on to soak when I get home and try yet again another yummy delish meal for tomorrow.
    I am so interested in the elderly and children, nutrition being of prime importance to me for them and look forward to your thoughts.
    Thank you Tammy and a wonderful wholesome HAppy New Year to you and your familyy and all you continually touch.
    You are a PRO!

  15. Wow–that you have so many drafts in the works at once is really impressive, Tammy. I like that you go with whatever lights up for you at the moment, and the topics are all so good–and connected to what “Agrigirl” is all about. Just keep on keepin’ on. You are doing great work!

  16. Aww, thanks, Tammy! I LOVE your blog! And I’m committed to getting back to writing mine.

    Love the eclectic-ness of your blog – and I love that it stays connected to food and simple living.

    You DO rock! Happy New Year!

  17. Pseu

     /  January 3, 2011

    How sorted, to have a line up of drafts…

    (thinks…. maybe an idea to adopt?! )

  18. I am a relatively new reader of your blog but even then I am moved by your passion in writing.

    Just continue blogging whatever topics that pique your interest, Tammy.

  19. You do an EXCELLENT job here Tammy, I can’t say I can suggest anything.

    Congratulations on having so much success on your blog! I’m not a bit surprised. You do such important and refreshing work. Keep it up, we’ll all be following, excited for the next post, and learning so much from you.

  20. Winter is certainly the time for beans and books, but I’m having trouble with the blogging. I blame it on the lack of sunlight. I just want to curl up and sleep… hibernate? Wishes for you to have a very Happy New Year!

  21. Kath (Eating for Living)

     /  January 4, 2011

    Haha, I’m also doing the draft thing! But there are so many things I want to write about and too little time, so my draft section is growing and growing! 😀

    I really like your blog for getting to know inspiring ideas, viewpoints, and insight into society, community, and daily life issues and sustainable living. I also enjoy to read your recipes. So please keep up with blogging!

  22. Happy New Year, Tammy! I agree, it’s hard to keep up with blogging at times but we do the best we can – and that’s all we can hope for 🙂 I look forward to reading more posts in 2011- “Crock Pot Camp” sounds very interesting…

  23. Whenever I visit you, Tammy, I am surprised by the subject you chose. I love being surprised. Any subject you write about is well documented, always interesting and of-the-moment. I like your blog the way it is but I would understand of course if you felt like changing it in some ways. Thank you for all you shared over this past year.

  24. I love your yummy recipes!

  25. I just had to revisit this site and tell you thank you for mentioning my blog and for loving the beans. More are coming your way!


  1. Beans, Books and Blogging « Agrigirl's Blog | Blog about Blogs

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