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Putting the Garden to Bed

Putting the Garden to Bed

Conversations with gardeners.

By Katherine Pioli

There are still signs in my garden that tell of the once prolific abundance of food that grew there this summer. The long stalk of my black beauty zucchini, a four-foot long green boa constrictor with leafy appendages some reaching two feet across, displays dozens of stump scars where I severed the pulpy fruits from the plant's hearty rope of vine. I still harvest from it, a small anemic club here and there, but it's glory days are over. Like the tomatoes, the peppers, the green beans, the potatoes, everything is slowing down and pulling back towards the earth.

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SLC’s “Other” Community Garden

SLC’s “Other” Community Garden

A lawless creation of beauty, Timmi Cruz’s parking strip transformation is forced to defend itself.

By Katherine Pioli

The black cherry tomatoes are climbing the trellis of branches, growing an archway over the white wooden gate. The corn stalks are turning the color of the red rock slabs nearby that fit together with jigsaw puzzle perfection forming a snaking bench down the line of the street. The Swiss chard, half harvested, adds color and shape between the raised rock patios and solidly balanced stone coffee table tops. Lovingly crafted, Timmi Cruz's urban garden and community gathering space on the parking strip around his home two block from the CATALYST office was just coming into perfection in June when a complaint was lodged with the city about activities on the parking strip.

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A New Kind of Survival School

A New Kind of Survival School

Luke McLaughlin’s gentle approach may reach a wider audience.

By Katherine Pioli

A true survivalist needs only five things to live. She needs a cutting tool for splitting firewood or gutting fish; combustion to start a fire; cover, a simple plastic bag or emergency blanket, to keep warm and dry; a container for water, to remain hydrated; and cordage—rope can be an amazing tool. The survivalist C's, a list created by Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School, is deceptively simple, for, without the special knowledge and training required to effectively use these tools for survival in the wilderness, their presence is nearly worthless.

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Shall We Dance? Why You Should Vote 'YES' for the ZAP Tax

Shall We Dance? Why You Should Vote 'YES' for the ZAP Tax

Keep the arts strong in Salt Lake County.

By Amy Brunvand

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, November 4! It's particularly important because mid-term elections—the kind without any presidential candidates and all the attendant hoopla—tend to favor more radically partisan candidates. Essentially, the fanatics all turn out to vote, and the moderate voters all stay home. Some great candidates this year are running for local, state and federal offices. They really need you to vote for them. Also on this year's ballot: Vote to renew ZAP funding.

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Reversing Global Warming: The Carbon Underground

Reversing Global Warming: The Carbon Underground

The Carbon Underground

Since leading NASA scientist James Hansen warned in 2008 that we need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm) in order to preserve life on Earth, little has been done to get us there. It's getting late. If we're going to preserve a livable Earth, we, the global grassroots, must do more than mitigate global warming. We must reverse it. How? Hint number one: not by politely asking out-of-control corporations and politicians to please stop destroying the planet.

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Winter in the Henhouse

Winter in the Henhouse

How to keep your ladies healthy and happy when the temperatures drop.

By Katherine Pioli

Colorful, joyful, plucky little hens. The human-chicken relationship is an ancient coexistence, thought to have begun nearly 10,000 years ago. Across cultures and through the eons, chickens have been symbols of virility, mothering and fertility (as well as the national symbol of France). Roman armies used them as tellers of fortune: A hungry chicken assured victory.

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Smart Farming

Smart Farming

A new age of “local first” food and wine for Utah.

With the exception of the Wasatch Front, where we get an average annual 16 inches of rainfall, Utah is a true desert with an annual average rainfall of 10 inches. This puts the state in a continual zero-sum tug-of-war with the powers of nature, more specifically the power of osmosis. The 1902 Reclamation Act guaranteed Utah farmers cheap, subsidized water, no matter what the cost to the American taxpayer. Those costs are high and going up. Alfalfa, the state's traditional crop of choice, is a stark example. An acre of alfalfa needs somewhere between slightly less than three acre-feet of water per crop (with an average three crops per year) to over six acre-feet, depending on what irrigation system is used. The cost of this water to the American taxpayer is greater than the return to Utah farmers.

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Editor's Notebook: The Cat Who Ate Roses

Editor's Notebook: The Cat Who Ate Roses

Farewell to Spalding the Cat.

By Greta Belanger deJong

If you ever visited CATALYST during the 12 years we had our office downtown on Broadway, you've met Spalding. He and his brother, Wilson, were our official greeters. Their names were on the masthead. They even received mail, addressed to Spalding Wilson, sports editor. I had found them both, in my neighbor Margaret's backyard in the spring of 1995, when they were wild babies the size of tennis balls, hence their names. Wilson met an unfortunate end many years ago. Spalding became known as the Catalyst cat. And after we left that office, he became John deJong's cat, always sleeping on his bed, always eager for the "ear noogies" that John delivered so well.

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Community Events

July 11 - November 30, 2014

Utah Museum of Fine Arts





August 08 - November 20, 2014

Utah Museum of Fine Arts





August 08 - October 31, 2014

Elemental Inspirations





August 14 - October 30, 2014

Elemental Inspirations





August 20 - October 29, 2014

Elemental Inspirations





September 02 - November 25, 2014

Sandy Senior Center





September 17 - November 05, 2014

University of Utah - Continuing Education / Annex





September 22 - October 27, 2014

U of U - Continuing Education / ANNEX Rm TBA





October 02 - November 20, 2014

U of U - Continuing Education / ANNEX Rm TBA





October 03 - November 21, 2014

Finch Lane Gallery





Catalyst Blogs

  • Oct 17, 2014
    The Aquarium Age: Oct. 15-21
    Written by

    Doesn't it seem as if this Mercury Retrograde has a peculiar time signature? On one hand, it's definitely a retro-mess of communication snafus—a file I was working with disappeared from my screen in the blink of an eye and couldn't be found anywhere. Yet on the other hand, some aspects of life are moving so swiftly they've become a blur—one minute it's 9 o'clock in the morning and the next, it's 11:30 AM, and a plan for action was conceived, agreed upon, and enacted before lunch.

    Posted in Aquarium Age
  • Oct 10, 2014
    The Aquarium Age: Oct. 8-14
    Written by

    A volatile lunar eclipse today sets the tone for this week—and many weeks to come—so don't be surprised if even more startling plot twists upend previously stable situations. Conversations, formal or casual, are likely to be a main source of disturbance, as pragmatic aims override emotional bonds. Hardly anyone is apt to feel the need to filter ambitions through a polite or politically correct screen, and as revelations of every type disrupt assumptions, good manners go out the window. Relationships are rearranging, and given that just about every facet of daily life here on Planet Earth is relational, this week and the coming weeks challenge the ability to stay calm and centered.

    Posted in Aquarium Age
  • Oct 10, 2014
    The Aquarium Age: Oct. 8-14
    Written by

    A volatile lunar eclipse today sets the tone for this week—and many weeks to come—so don't be surprised if even more startling plot twists upend previously stable situations. Conversations, formal or casual, are likely to be a main source of disturbance, as pragmatic aims override emotional bonds. Hardly anyone is apt to feel the need to filter ambitions through a polite or politically correct screen, and as revelations of every type disrupt assumptions, good manners go out the window. Relationships are rearranging, and given that just about every facet of daily life here on Planet Earth is relational, this week and the coming weeks challenge the ability to stay calm and centered.

    Posted in Aquarium Age
  • Oct 10, 2014
    The Aquarium Age: Oct. 8-14
    Written by

    A volatile lunar eclipse today sets the tone for this week—and many weeks to come—so don't be surprised if even more startling plot twists upend previously stable situations. Conversations, formal or casual, are likely to be a main source of disturbance, as pragmatic aims override emotional bonds. Hardly anyone is apt to feel the need to filter ambitions through a polite or politically correct screen, and as revelations of every type disrupt assumptions, good manners go out the window. Relationships are rearranging, and given that just about every facet of daily life here on Planet Earth is relational, this week and the coming weeks challenge the ability to stay calm and centered.

    Posted in Aquarium Age

Regulars and Shorts