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Foodie Friday: Wood Fire Pit Grilling

IMG_20130615_155816One of the most primal preparations for food is open fire or ‘pit’ cooking. The complex flavors of smoke will permeate and season just about anything you cook over a wood fire. This last weekend I thought I would celebrate the summer and my backyard by having some friends and family over for a fire pit grilling party. The event was a huge success, with everyone getting their fill of delicious fire roasted meats and vegetables. Although we had a wonderful time and everyone was very happy, there was a tremendous amount of planning and calculation that went into our fire pit party. This week I want to share some of the tricks and details that really make cooking over a wood fire enjoyable and safe. Cheers!

Pit placement & safety equipment

Regardless of the size of your pit you will want to make sure you don’t start any wildfires. Place your pit a good distance from any wood structures, trees, brush or any flammable materials. Make sure you clear the ground at least four feet around the perimeter of your pit and keep a shovel, bucket, plenty of water and fire extinguisher close. It’s also advisable to check the local laws and regulations for burning in your area, some places have seasonal designations for open fires.

Building materials

If you are out in nature and there are an abundance of large rock from which you can build your pit that is great. I, however, found that yIMG_20130613_101053ou can get a perfectly round four foot diameter pit built easily using retaining wall bricks.

When it comes to a grill I have decided to use nine gauge non-galvanized expanded steel grating. This material is very common and can be purchased easily, although you might want to request they cut it to your specifications which may take a few days extra. It is very important that you get non-galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is processed with lots of chemicals and can make you sick. In addition I also used two pieces of non-galvanized angle steel (optional) to separate my 2’x4′ sections of grill for quick and easy access to the fire.
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Foodie Friday: Organic gardening with Seattle Tilth

Celebrating the simple joy of warm, sweet, fresh-smelling air, eating together in the evening air, and BBQ. That’s what summer is to me!

After getting up at the crack of dawn and spending all day working in my yard, I relish the feeling of satisfaction that I get at the end of a long summer day. My favorite summertime memories include standing with a cool beverage in my hand, with the tiki torches flickering and the smell of the grill teasing my nostrils as it sears and roasts my dinner to perfection.

But what fun is grilling without a beautiful, chemical-free yard in which to enjoy it in? Our yards are our personal, little corners of the earth and, I don’t know about you, but I like mine to be green in more ways than color.

Browsing through the Brown Paper Tickets website, I came across some great events that will help you find the best ways to maintain your yard in the greenest way possible during the yard work season. Seattle Tilth has a bunch of really cool classes that range from sustainable land care courses to gardening and more. They’re exactly the thing we need to get informed about better summer living through sustainable, organic yard care.

Organic Gardening 101
Edibles in your Landscape
Harvest the Rain From Landscapes to Cisterns

You can view all of the great events that Seattle Tilth has to offer on their Producer Page!

In the spirit of the season I also included this BBQ rib recipe. Enjoy!
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