Pressure is what makes an espresso an espresso. I don’t mean the kind of pressure that caused you to start smoking in high school: I mean a combination of the pressurized water coming out of the espresso machine, as well as the resistance caused by the perfectly packed cake of coffee grounds the water has to push through in order to brew.
Today, we’ll explore a contributing factor to this perfect storm of pressurized extraction: the tamper.
Why We Tamp
Tamping is the method a barista will use to take a loosely dosed amount of coffee grounds and turn them into a tightly compressed, evenly dispersed puck within the portafilter, where the water and coffee will come in contact when it’s brewing.
Why is it necessary? For one thing, the espresso needs to be compacted far enough to create a little space between the top of the coffee and the screen through which the water comes out of the espresso machine. Once the coffee grounds get wet they’ll naturally swell a bit, which can cause a sludgy mess without a proper gap.
The other main reason for tamping is that water is lazy. It doesn’t want to have to do the hard work of pushing through that coffee to extract all the deliciousness inside. The only thing lazier than water is water under pressure, and if it’s forced through a loose pile of grounds, it will inevitably find all sorts of cracks, crevices, and channels to zip through, avoiding all the good stuff we want it to absorb from the coffee. But if those grounds are tightly pressed into a level cake, the water has no choice but to squeeze through it evenly, picking up all kinds of flavor along the way.
A black man from Detroit is suing three white women for making up lies about him to police in order to keep him away from a community park.
Marc Peeples said the women falsely accused him of crimes from July 2017 to May 2018 as he built a garden in Hunt Park and worked to improve the surrounding neighborhood.
Peeples alleges that the women — Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Jennifer Morris — had their own plans for the park and wanted to see him “incarcerated or seriously injured by law enforcement.”
The women told Detroit Police administrators in March 2018 that Peeples had stolen from houses near the park and threatened to burn down their homes and kill them, according to the lawsuit filed Feb. 25 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Two months later, as Peeples was in Hunt Park teaching a group of homeschooled students about gardening, one of the women called 911 and falsely reported that Peeples was a convicted pedophile and wasn’t legally allowed near kids, the complaint said. Police arrested Peeples in the park.
The allegations led to Peeples being charged with three counts of stalking. As a condition of his bond, he was barred from park. The women removed or covered some of the improvements Peeples had put in place, according to the lawsuit.
A Wayne County Circuit Court judge eventually tossed the case. The judge said the three women harassed Peeples, according to a report in the Detroit Metro Times.
NBC News reported that Peeples and his attorney, Robert Burton-Harris, describe what happened as a case of “gardening while black.”
Nash, Callahan and Morris have unlisted phone numbers and could not be reached by the Free Press late Tuesday.
Nash told the New York Times in October that she called police because Peeples was damaging property.
“I am not a racist. I was all for the garden and even helped with supplies at first, but he threatened me several times, in person to my face, that I needed to leave my neighborhood or I would be put out one way or another,” she told the Times. “I called the police because he was destroying property in the neighborhood and painting graffiti. No one had the right to paint park trees.”
In the lawsuit, Peeples is seeking $300,000 in damages, plus costs and attorney fees.
A status conference has been scheduled for May 28.
Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2019/03/05/man-files-lawsuit-gardening-while-black-case/3072534002/
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A Detroit man is suing three women he says called police on him because of his race while he was tending to an urban garden on the city’s east side.
Marc Peeples has filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court against the three women, all east-side residents, saying he became a victim of unjust police calls, stops and racial profiling because he is African-American and the women are white.
The case is being closely watched by legal experts and others who believe it could serve as a litmus test for other African-Americans who feel they’ve been wrongly confronted by police because of their race.
Peeples says he was working in a community garden when he became the target of a barrage of complaints from the women, identified in the lawsuit as Deborah Nash, Martha Callahan and Jennifer Moore.
Nash responded to a request for comment from The Detroit News in a text message Wednesday: “My statement will be released at a later date.” The other women couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
In an October interview, Nash told the New York Times she called police after Peeples threatened her.
“I am not a racist. I was all for the garden and even helped with supplies at first, but he threatened me several times, in person to my face, that I needed to leave my neighborhood or I would be put out one way or another,” Nash said. “I called the police because he was destroying property in the neighborhood and painting graffiti. No one had the right to paint park trees.”
Peeples told The Detroit News in October that he had been harassed by the women and they had called police on him numerous times while he was in his old neighborhood on Fayette and Winchester starting in the summer of 2017.
“I guess it was gardening while black,” said Peeples, who said he lost his job and employment contracts because the problems the women caused him.
Peeples said at the time he was trying to “give back” to his old neighborhood by planting an urban garden in Hunt Park. He also said he boarded and secured an abandoned property across from the park.
“They call the police on me every time they see me (at the park),” said Peeples, who said he was arrested twice after such calls. “They were trying to paint me as a criminal.”
The complaints led to charges being filed last year against Peeples; the charges were later dropped by a judge. Peeples said the complainants were “white women who use the police to get their way.”
The lawsuit alleges the women made false police reports and accused Peeples of “various crimes that they knew he did not commit” from July 2017 to May 2018.
The lawsuit accuses the women of malicious prosecution, abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and civil conspiracy. Peeples is asking for $300,000 plus court costs, interest and attorney fees.
Peeples’ experience, says his attorney Robert Burton-Harris, mirrors that of many African-Americans across the country who found themselves at the receiving end of phone calls to police by white women reporting unfounded offenses.
A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for May 28.
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/03/06/lawsuit-filed-gardening-while-black-case-detroit/1670352002/
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Master Gardener: The Spring Garden Symposium Features Several Alternative Gardening Methods – The Transylvania Times
Spring would not be spring without the popular Master Gardeners Annual Spring Garden Symposium. Sponsored by the Transylvania County Extension Master Gardeners it will be held on Saturday, March 16, at the Transylvania Public Library. This popular event is a great way to get a head start with your gardening plans and to learn about topics that you may be less familiar with. This year, the symposium will feature three speakers who will talk about alternative gardening methods.
Bart Renner, agricultural extension agent, will talk on “Straw Bale Gardening.” This is a method that many people may not be familiar with but is well suited to areas where high rainfall totals may bring diseases as the straw usually provides a weed and disease-free medium. It is good for people who don’t want to get their hands dirty and you don’t have to bend over as far to get to their vegetables.
Renner graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2004. After an internship with the Forest Service in Susanville, Calif., he joined the Peace Corps as an agroforestry and environmental education volunteer. After serving for about three and a half years he came back to Kutztown, Pa., as an organic farming intern at the Rodale Institute. In 2009, he started at NC State University and graduated from the Crop Science Department in 2012 with a master’s. He started with NCCES as the local foods agent in Transylvania County that same year and has never looked back.
The second speaker is Agricultural Extension Agent Karen Blaedow, who will talk on “Container Vegetable Gardening.” Many people are downsizing their gardens, as well as their houses, and containers are a great option for people with small gardens or just a patio or balcony. Using containers does require you to pay closer attention to watering regimes but they can be portable. This talk with focus on vegetables but the theory can be applied to flowering plants.
Bladow started her position as the Henderson County vegetable and small fruit agent in 2016. She is originally from the Augusta, Ga., area and moved to Asheville two years ago with her family. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Charleston and a master’s degree in plant science (plant pathology) from Clemson University. Her past work experience includes 12 years of research, primarily in plant-pest interactions for a variety of crops including peaches, soybeans, apples and cherries.
The final speakers are Gary and Trish Hughes of WNC Urban Farms who will talk on “Growing a Healthy Planet by Changing the Future of Food with Vertical Aeroponics.” Their talk will focus on what is aeroponics: a method of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil. They will be bringing a tower garden with lettuces, and herbs, and grow lights that allow you to grow vegetables, etc., 12 months of the year.
A few years ago not many people – including Gary and Trish – had heard of the term urban farm. But once they learned how healthy and easy it is to grow vegetables and herbs in the vertical gardening system known as a tower garden, they were hooked. Their mission is simple. They decided to share this amazing concept to empower people near and far to feed their families local, nutrient dense food that can be grown as close as outside their front door or from a local urban farm in their area. They want people to know that they are not only changing the health of generations to come, but also participating in the sustainability of our planet for those generations. The Spring Garden Symposium is on Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to about noon. It will be held in the library’s Rogow Room. Doors will open at 8:15 a.m., with the first speaker beginning at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $10 and this includes a chance to win some really nice door prizes, including gift certificates to local garden centers. Light refreshments will be served in the breaks between the speakers. This event is open to the public, and Master Gardeners, both past and present. Call (828) 884-3109 for more information.
(Master Gardeners provide volunteer leadership and service to their community in gardening activities. The volunteer activities can include answering gardening questions, conducting plant clinics, planting demonstration gardens, talking to community groups and more. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, go by the extension office or call (828) 884-3109 or visit http://www.Transylvania.ces.ncsu.edu.)
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