Jennifer Preston

Jennifer Preston | Crafting community — start with art

Feb 29, 2024

For health, wellness and fun, it’s time to push the boundaries of community engagement beyond annual holiday tree lightings and parades. It’s time to blend public art and craft community. What is public art? When people think of “public art,” they may imagine an abstract sculpture located near a civic center. Or perhaps a figure,

Jennifer Preston | A place to play

Jan 17, 2024

The purpose of play “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw Forward-thinking municipalities know good things happen when citizens have a place to gather and grow. A thriving, local community provides both space and events for people of all ages and abilities to

Jennifer Preston: Presence, not presents

Dec 06, 2023

I don’t need to tell you that holidays whip us into a frenzied state. For a time of year dedicated to bonhomie brimming with sparkling frivolity and wishes for peace, this season can be downright overwhelming. The seasonal focus on gifting also has a tremendous impact on the environment. Christmas alone accounts for a 25-30%

Jennifer Preston: Foraging for the fungus among us

Nov 15, 2023

Editor’s note: This is the second in Jennifer Preston’s two-part series about mushrooms. Read the first here. The Pacific Northwest is known for its wide variety of wild mushrooms. They sprout up throughout the year from the coast to the Olympics Peninsula’s temperate rainforest, in local parks, perhaps even in your backyard. We are lucky

Jennifer Preston: All mushrooms are magic

Nov 08, 2023

They help turn wheat into bread and fruit into wine. They ferment cacao beans, making it possible for us to enjoy one of the world’s favorite treats — chocolate. They give us penicillin, forever altering the way we fight infection. These mostly invisible, seemingly magical organisms quietly go about their work sustaining forests and enriching

Jennifer Preston: You say tomato, I say tomorrow

Oct 04, 2023

In my last article, From Wanton Waste to Good Taste, we discussed how 40% of our harvest is thrown in the garbage. When edible, healthy food is tossed in the trash, it becomes food waste. Now let’s focus on tips for reducing food waste by properly planning, purchasing, storing and cooking it. By doing this,

Jennifer Preston: From wanton waste to good taste

Sep 06, 2023

When I was young, my family struggled through some tough times and we were on government assistance. I remember standing in line at my mother’s side for yellow bricks of cheese at a government warehouse. I recall accompanying her up and down the grocery store aisles as she painstakingly selected food and household supplies. She

Jennifer Preston: Here’s how to clean like the Swedes

Aug 02, 2023

Reusable and recyclable Swedish dishtowels last for months and are made from cotton and cellulose (wood pulp). Swedish inventor Curt Lindquist created them in 1949. Now, they’re manufactured all over the world in beautiful patterns and whimsical designs. Most kitchen cleaning tools are made of plastics, like polyester or polyurethane. They are non-biodegradable, contribute to

Jennifer Chushcoff: Hidden deserts in our midst

Jul 05, 2023

If you spend more time maintaining your lawn than enjoying it, it’s time to consider your alternatives. Removing a lawn, or at least a portion, is good for the planet and for you. Looking out the window, those lush lawns seem pretty harmless. That’s only because a glance doesn’t reveal the truth. A lawn is