One of the most fun experiences I’ve had this winter was a Monday evening spent making sourdough bread at Ground Floor Farm.

Here’s how much fun it was: I don’t like to muck around with sticky dough and I had a great time.

I marvel at this ‘farm’ building on SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the city of Stuart, FL. It wasn’t always such an urban dreamscape. I try to picture the street-savvy religious mission it used to be. Red-hot and righteous, the Salvation Army occupied this space off Colorado Avenue not that long ago.

Across the country, the Salvation Army plunges headlong into the emerging commercial culture of city life. Across town, so does the Ground Floor Farm.

I can tell a lot about a place by its chickens.

I heard about the farm but it wasn’t really on my radar until a chef at a local sandwich shop sang its praises. I realize now what all the fuss was about. Nothing else has measured up since.

I judge a farm or market to be a keeper if it adds something new and healthy to my diet. Food is medicine, after all.  And I just love the sense of discovery, don’t you?


Take a walk with me around the farm. Not a single thing or inch of space goes to waste.

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In the kitchen, Jackie and her staff bake bread, make cheese, and ferment almost anything from veggies to beverages to vinegars and more.

There are honeybees, flowers, and a cafe. Tours, educational programs, and a year-round farmer’s market.
Oh, and Joy.
There’s Lots and Lots of Joy.

Jackie (my bread guru), Micah, and Mike are dedicated to growing and producing food using sustainable methods. Ground Floor Farm is part urban farm, part kitchen/workshop, part market, part art/events venue, part community space…. and totally magical.

If you ate today, thank a farmer.

So, about that bread.

I’m not sure the evening convinced me to switch permanently from my bread machine.

The process of creating this loaf takes time, love, and plenty of muscle. But it has undoubtedly added to my quality of life. This hand-crafted loaf – the crisp crust, the internal crumb, the yeasty aroma, the complex flavor — is a work of art. And its life-affirming force promotes friendship and conversation. That alone is worth the price of the workshop. (Do I sound like an ad? Enthusiasm in the face of such joy is unavoidable.)

I’m aching for some sourdough bread right this minute.
That’s the beauty of this disarmingly lovely loaf ~ I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Plus, with the discards from the starter, I can make cheeky chews like these.


Ground Floor Farm’s next endeavor? To build a pizza oven.
I have no choice but to return.

Toni 3/10/17

Warbler and President-for-Now identification issues. A 420 CHARACTER 9 liner with thanks to Hotspot Birding for the downloadable cheat sheet. I need one for the P-f-n.

Trying to understand the President-for-now

is as difficult as identifying warblers

for which I attend to their head pattern:

Intra-ocular stripe? Supercilious?

& @ the other end: the undertail coverts, tail pattern, spots or wingbars?

I have the downloadable version of the Quick Finder section from The Warbler Guide!

I need such for the P-f-n.

Is there a pattern? Is he covert or just spotty?

What’s IN his head? Trying.


Identifying Warbler Guide Cheat Sheets

From the Princeton Unviersity Press

The minute people got their hands on The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, they started asking if we might provide downloadable versions of the Quick Finder section. Thank you for all the great suggestions! We are very pleased to offer these image files for people to download, laminate, and keep in their backpack. They are incredibly useful in the field because they present a quick snapshot of every North American species of warbler for side-by-side comparison.

Warbler 45 degree view

Study and learn what different warblers look like at a 45 degrees view. This sheet is especially helpful for warbler that tend to spend a fair amount of time within the mid story of trees.


Warblers by Age and Sex

One of the biggest frustrations and mis-id’s can come from female, and juveniles. This resource will help you be able to id when a bird is either female or a juvenile.


Eastern Warblers Fall Guide

Warblers headed south for the winter take on a different appearance than when they are headed to their northern breeding grounds. This guide focuses on those differences for warblers found in the eastern United States.


Eastern Warblers Spring Guide

Warblers headed north to their breeding grounds are often brightly colored and easy to id. This guide focuses on those differences for warblers found in the eastern United States.


Warbler Face Finder

If you happen to get a good look at the face of a warbler you should be able to id it. This guide will help distinguish the facial markings for all warblers.


Warbler Side Finder

More often than not you get a glimpse of the sides of a warbler. While not always a positive ID, this guide can help narrow the choices.


Warbler Undertail Finder

The most common view of a warbler is in fact its undertail. This guide will help narrow your id choices for those high canopy species.


Warbler Underview Finder

If you get lucky and a branch is not in the way then the underview finder will help id birds seen from below.


Western Warbler Quick Finder

This guide is necessary for anyone in the western flyway during migration to easy id western warbler species.