Urban Farm Road Trip: Albuquerque

Urban Farm Road Trip: Albuquerque
by Tania Casselle for Urban Farm magazine

This Southwestern city draws on its agricultural roots and pioneer spirit to create a sustainable oasis in the desert.

As the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque has its fair share of strip malls and high tech industries, but it also enjoys a long history of families farming to sustain themselves. New visitors to the high desert often expect a barren landscape studded with cacti, and are pleasantly surprised by Albuquerque’s lush green band of bosque cottonwood forest snaking along the banks of the Rio Grande river. But while there are definite challenges in the more-than-a-mile-high city’s arid climate, today’s urban farmers in the Duke City continue the tradition of self-sufficiency.

My feature for Urban Farm magazine (Jan/Feb 2012) describes a thriving culture of backyard growing, beekeeping, backyard chickens, and community gardening, and the many organizations, festivals, and events for locals to tap into for support with their urban farming efforts.

A Boost for Botanicals (For Restaurant Management)

The Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco

A Boost for Botanicals
by Tania Casselle

A swallow of sassafras, a nibble of nettles, or a thirst for thistles?  No, these aren’t requests on your doctor’s prescription, but some of the things you could be having in restaurants these days.  Botanicals are hot on menus.

Chamomile crème brûlée and herbed ricotta dumplings with nettles have graced the menu daily at Poppy in Seattle. Chef Jerry Traunfeld, who’s also the author of books including The Herbal Kitchen, says he uses botanicals like these because they’re delicious. Health benefits are simply a plus.

→  Full Clip at Rmgt Restaurant Management April 2012.

What’s New in Taos (for New Mexico Magazine)

What’s New in Taos: Traditions with a Twist
by Tania Casselle for New Mexico Magazine

A small town with a big mountain—and a personality to match—Taos always offers something out of the ordinary. Let’s see what’s cookin’.

Read What’s New in Taos in full, online at New Mexico Magazine, March 2012.

Strictly Old School

Old School Skills for Today
by Tania Casselle

If you’ve never canned produce, made your own buttermilk or soap, or gathered eggs from your backyard chickens, the Old School in Albuquerque could be the place to learn how.  The Old School offers classes in the kind of “frugal, traditional, and sustainable living skills” that our great-grandparents might have known, but that we, in our reliance on the supermarket checkout, have lost.

“Gardening is very spiritual,” says Chuck Alex, Old School’s gardening and composting teacher. “Having your hands in the dirt, nurturing the plant and then eating it, incorporating that into your body. Our society has lost touch with some of the hands-on practical DIY techniques, and people are really enjoying getting back in touch with those things.”

→  Full Clip of Old School Skills feature in the April 2012 issue of Local Flavor magazine.

Score the City’s Coolest Fun for Free (for Albuquerque The Magazine)

Score the City’s Coolest Fun for Free

They say the best things in life are free. And, when they’re talking about Albuquerque, they’re certainly right. From magic workshops to museum days, from films to food, and even free books and bowling for kids, the city is full of bargains. Tania Casselle of Albuquerque on the Cheap gives the scoop on free (and nearly free) ways to have fun this summer.

My 2,000 word feature was for the Money issue of Albuquerque The Magazine, July 2012.


Albuquerque Road Trip

Albuquerque Family Road Trip
by Tania Casselle

After enduring the first part of a cold winter and with spring still around the corner, make a break for it and hit the road to the Duke City. The family that plays together, stays together, and Albuquerque has plenty to entertain everyone, from a rousing basketball game, to high-flying balloon adventures, or a quiet moonlight hike spotting wildlife in the bosque.

Check out our picks for February family fun, and because Albuquerque is reliably milder than Rio Grande regions farther north, you might just decide to stay on till the thaw. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Read the full Albuquerque Family Road Trip article to find out how to fight cabin fever with a weekend away. Assignment for Local Flavor magazine, February 2012.

The Like Button: How Businesses use Facebook

The Like Button
Call them Fans or call them Followers, but one thing’s for sure: Facebook folk hit the Like Button for these favorite locals….

Status Update: “I can’t get Donnie off Facebook. First thing he does when he walks in.”

Want your opinion heard on radio? Comment on the Jackie, Tony, & Donnie Facebook page. The Peak 100.3’s popular morning show hosts not only sound out subjects of interest for future shows via Facebook, they quote selected Facebook responses to the topic of the day. “We’re monitoring Facebook, all three of us while we’re on air,” says Tony.

Cover story by Tania Casselle for Albuquerque The Magazine, April 2011, on how businesses use Facebook, including Albuquerque Isotopes, Creative Albuquerque,  National Hispanic Cultural Center, ABQ BioPark,  Flying Star Cafe, Hinkle Family Fun Center, and Albuquerque Film Office.

Physicians to Farmers: Talon de Gato

Talon de Gato Farmers for Local Flavor magazine
by Tania Casselle

“I spent 20 years working in a room without windows,” says retired anesthesiologist Adam Mackie. He’s certainly making up for it now. Working the Talon de Gato farm with former public health physician Steve Jenison, he gets as much open air as he can handle.

Talking to the duo in Apodaca, a tiny community on the Embudo river near Dixon, New Mexico, it becomes clear that their path from physicians to farmers was a gradual one.

Read the PDF article on the Talon de Gato farmers and founders of the Dixon Seed Exchange. May 2011.

Still Hungry?

Professional Gardeners in the Kitchen

Who better to share their recipes than the people who help us grow the ingredients? These gardening experts and enthusiastic home cooks nurture their produce from seed to table. They stepped out of their greenhouses and into their kitchens to reveal a few of their favorite food tricks, and twists on traditional recipes.

Read the full Still Hungry? article with four recipes: Cincinnati Chili, Vegetarian Blue Corn Posole, Cream of Green Pea Soup with Lettuce, and a Pumpkin Pie which turns the accidental purchase of the wrong milk into the secret ingredient that makes this pie a hit.



Tasty Traditions

Tasty Traditions
Book review and author profile by Tania Casselle

Potica bread, latkes, and beef stewed in Coke. Perhaps not the first dishes that spring to mind when you think about New Mexican food, but author Sharon Niederman knows better. She shares the story behind her new book New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos.

The people she meets would probably not describe themselves as foodies. They’re just regular folk who eat well, whether in neighborhood diners, at a ranch cookout, or by following time-honored recipes handed down in the family.

Read the full Tasty Traditions feature for Local Flavor magazine, February 2011.