• Make common cause with place

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    by Barbara Schaetti

    This is in part a story of procrastination! I borrowed a bowl last December, early in the borrowing season, and yet here it is September 3rd, with the auction almost upon us, and I am only now posting photos and the story of read more...

  • A Six Bowls Fellowship

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    by Liz Florkowski

    In March, a small group of four gathered to eat, drink, and be merry. The Bowl, from Coupeville’s Bayleaf, held an aromatic seafood curry. The meal filled our bellies and the fellowship filled our souls. read more...

  • The Bowl That Came to Visit

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    by Dinah Stinson

    I have been inquiring of this borrowed, gifting bowl for several days now. We are gazing partners. I am in relationship with it, and it stirs many things in me, like AWE – Awe of a community which continually dreams up new opportunities read more...

  • Step-by-step instructions for setting up your garden

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    by Pam Mitchell

    A step-by-step manual for setting up your own home food growing system. It’s not too late to start, even if it’s already summer!

    Gardening-Workshop-2014 (pdf)

  • Borrow A Bowl For A Bash

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    by Tom Trimbath 

    Borrow a bowl! Why yes, I’d be happy to because I had something to celebrate. I was going to keep my house. Well, really I was going to be in a trial period that may result in a mortgage modification that may have read more...



Wedding Bowl Beauty

by Shirley Jantz

Ceremony ~ how it beautifully marks the passages and seasons of our lives. In this way, my husband Walt and I chose to include in our wedding two Essential Bowls. One, a large sunflower yellow mixing bowl, passed down from his Grandmother, that was the center of attention for any real and jovial family gathering. And, one from my Grandmother, pottery of painted terra cotta from Mexico ~ also once a vessel for delectable dishes of southwestern influence when extended family gathered. In this way, we brought our heritage and fond memories to our Day…. The large yellow bowl was filled with clear water, and into it, each person present placed a stone, imbued with a blessing. As well, the pottery held fine-grained cornmeal, which outlined our Circle into sacred space, thus invoking the four directions, parents, Grandparents, and families past and present.

Grandmother Blackford Bowl

Grandmother Blackford Bowl

Grandmother Jantz Bowl

Grandmother Jantz Bowl

Here, in this moment, was the ‘curve of time’, to quote author M. Wylie Blanchet. A timeless sort of time, where Cedars and Grandmothers, friends and relatives eternally joined for our Fall Equinox Marriage. That was eleven years ago, almost to the day. We now include International Peace Day into our rituals, and believe the planet, as part of our vows, is still benefiting from those original blessings. These bowls that embraced our Love, and the Love that came before us, remain in our collective conscious as significant parts of our selves.With this same intention, may the Six Bowls celebrate and commemorate all the lives they touch… like a stone rippling in water… reaching out far past one can ever know. With Grace, Shirley Jantz

Why I Grow A Garden

by Joy Dennis

The Dennis family

The Dennis family

Every year I plant a garden. It is my hope that it will feed us and save money. Each year the garden looks different.   We have moved a lot over the past four years,  and every Spring we have been in a new place. Each place I carve out a space to plant. It means we will be there for a season, see our labors through and watch our food grow.

 P1220883fIt is a good faith action on my part.  It means I am settling my heart and energy into the soil, allowing myself to be at home for even just a little while.  I have been blessed to be met by raised beds a few times, and my work has been easy. Other times I have had to carve away the grass, rocks and weeds to make my own space. This is hard work, but so worth it to see my herbs and veggies grow.
 P1220920fMy heart is in the food I make for my family, even more so when it is with plants I have put into the soil and tended for the season. I will continue to plant a garden and with it myself, my dreams, and my heartP1220908f

Chinook Begging Bowl

by Diane Shiner,  former Director of  The Whidbey Institute
A monastic tradition of many religions is to go begging in the morning with an empty bowl. Whatever will be placed in the bowl, whether it is a little or a lot will be enough for the day’s nourishment. Even the Japanese word for begging is oroki…meaning “just enough”.

Although we no longer have the discipline of begging as an honorable sign of interdependence, we can practice being of the same mind as a beggar: spiritually hungry, receptive, and grateful.

A young man can to a wise monk to learn what was necessary to become holy. He had many questions about the right way to do things. The monk simply asked him to sit and pour tea into a cup until told to stop. Reluctantly, he poured until tea spilled on the floor. When he asked why the monk why he didn’t stop him, the monk replied: “Because you are a full cup. Until you experience your emptiness, there is no room for the Holy”.

Many people come to the Whidbey Institute to be “filled up” and yet, ironically, going away empty is another way to think of renewal. May this bowl remain empty (no peanuts, no paperclips) as a reminder of need and trust in the One who provides for us even beyond our awareness. Beg daily to be filled with the Chinook Wind, the Spirit that will warm, nourish, enliven, and direct your personal work and path back out the road from the Institute…with gratitude.


A Porch Garden

by Lynne and George Jensen

P1210936fP1210940fWe grow a small garden on our deck and front porch to supplement trips to the Farmers’ Markets and local garden stands.  There are 4 tomato plants, 2 zucchini plants, pots of basil, dill, oregano and mint, as well as several containers of greens (lettuces, kale, sorrel, and green onions).  We also have several pots and hanging baskets of flowers.

P1210905-1000pxThere have been a few challenges for our deck garden this year:
1.  Keeping the tomatoes, basil and zukes warm and dry in the early spring.  I rigged up a temporary shelter using “items found around the shop” — visqueen, alpaca fencing poles placed in pots of stones, wooden lathe and clothespins.
2.  Keeping the alpacas (we have 2) from reaching over and sampling the veggies and flowers.  We’ve tried a variety of strategies and finally resorted to a temporary fence, again using the alpaca fencing posts and deer fencing, as well as patio furniture barriers.
3.  Earwigs:  the only non-toxic thing that helps keep them from chewing up the plants is diatomaceous earth, but it is ineffective when wet, so has to be reapplied after each watering.But for the most part we’ve received much joy in walking out on the deck or front porch to pick a salad, zucchini or a ripe red tomato.  Yum.

Please enjoy this recipe for Zucchini Casserole from my Aunt Sally, the best cook on my Mom’s side of the family.  It is her most famous dish. It is our favorite way to use up all those zucchinis in the garden.


The Language of Tomatoes

IMG_1961by Jodi & Steve Cable

September tells the story of the waning summer season in the language of tomatoes. This year there is a bowl of bright sweet yellow balls on the counter, with a few larger oval red and green ones laying to the side. The largest ones are still in the garden, still green, but the green is a lighter shade every day. Hope. The sigh of relief from the brown matted grass can be heard above the sound of rain showers — a September like this is a gentle let down. Purple plums and golden sugar balls.


The wood shed is full, couldn’t eat another stick of Pine, Fir or Alder. It burps, holds its swollen middle and daydreams about those tiny saplings spreading out under the rare spring light. The kiln will release their spirits in the winter, when the wood is burnt, in the middle of the night, while the flames lick up so high.

See Jodi and Steve’s recipe here: Garlic Sliders

P1220155f IMG_1955

End of Summer Herbs

P1210844by Val Easton

By about the third week of August, the sun slants at a different angle, the light changes, and the morning mists linger longer. I love my garden most as the weather cools, plants mellow, and begin their slide into winter. The garden settles into ripeness, no longer aspiring as in springtime. The tomatoes peak, the squash are voluptuous, the pumpkins are starting to color; it’s time for the quieter pleasures of the autumn garden.

Herbs are simple, humble plants that produce all season long. They’re also nutritional powerhouses. I make this versatile Alice Waters’ Salsa Verde recipe most summer weeks, and use the sauce on vegetables, toss it with pasta, dress a potato salad with it, or swirl it into soup. You can use a mix of any green herbs you have in the garden; the taste is fresh and lively.

Val EastonSalsa Verde

Combine in a small bowl:

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped herbs, including parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, lemon verbena
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped very fine or pounded into a puree
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil

Mix briskly until the sauce holds together. If you like a smoother sauce, you can use a food processor.

Read more on Val’s blog at http://www.valeaston.com.


An offering

Blueberries © Penny Kaela Bauer

© Penny Kaela Bauer

“The art that matters to us – which
moves the heart, or revives the soul,
or delights the senses, or offers courage
for living, however we choose to describe
the experience – that work is received by
us as a gift received.”

Lewis Hyde


Even An Owl

by Ann Cutcher, Medical Director for Enso House

The Tahoma (One Drop) Monastery garden is cared for by people from all over the world:

Even An Owl

Even an owl sometime tends the gardens
at Tahoma (One Drop) Monastery in Freeland

Doyu Mark Albin: Los Angeles & Japan
Dosho Simon Leon: United Kingdom
Ekei Andreas Zettl: Germany
Doho: Spain
Soryu Sylvia Dambrauskas: Seattle
Myokyo Judy Skenazy: Seattle
Gentai Robert Kovacevic: Croatia
Gensho Alan Florence: Canada
Daiko Peter Skovgaard: Denmark
Jisho Varant Arslanian: Japan
Sara Monial: Oregon
Kevin Johnson: Wyoming
Daigi Gregory Sellers: New Mexico
Blaine Venturine: Seattle
Dairin Larry Larrick: Seattle
MyoO Renate Kraemer: Germany

“Who would like some cabbage?”

The latest caretaker was MyoO who has now returned to Germany after being the nurse at Enso house for ten years. 

The neighborhood, the Sangha, is fed by this garden. This includes the hospice home next door, the monastery community, the monks and those attending retreats for caregivers…anyone who walks in the door.

Located on Whidbey Island in Washington State, the Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery cultivates the practice of mindfulness in life and work. www.onedropzen.org


Good Cheer Garden Work Party

Good Cheer garden

The Good Cheer Garden work party is every Wednesday, 9 am – 4 pm. Come for as long or short as you’d like, and help us grow fresh vegetables for the Food Bank.

Picnic lunch at noon with soup and bread, plus salad greens from the garden!