SHARING! We learned it in Kindergarten

October 25, 2013

Sandbox sharingWhat if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet?

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SHARING may turn out to be one of the simple solutions to our “too Much Stuff” problem.  From the making of stuff using non-renewables to the dumping of old stuff in growing landfills of trash, the SHARING of our stuff may just save us from ourselves.  Just as the Story of Stuff  called us together to create a more sustainable and just world, we can learn more from THE STORY OF SOLUTIONS video by Annie Lennox.

MY TRAVEL SHARING STORY:

I am going to vacation in Hawaii in a few weeks, and let me brag that I have priced this trip to be the most affordable I can find as well as SHARING resources when I arrive.

My room located in the beauty and abundance of lower Puna is being rented from a great guy named Michael who is letting me SHARE the cottage at the back of his garden.  For just $25/night I get a private room with SHARED full kitchen, game room, hot tub, acre of landscaping with ponds. Flowers and tropical plants abound.  I also have the SHARED use of his juicer and what could be better on the island of Hawaii?  Just think if I was stuck in some cheap smelly hotel for twice as much money?  Not much fun… SHARING is fun!  My friend Janice in San Francisco SHARES her extra room with single female travelers from many lands.  She loves offering this service and has made some great friends in the process.

Air B&B says – Worried about strangers? 350,000 hosts. 8 million guests. 192 countries. All verified by them and by YOU.  Trust is what makes it work.

Trust is definitely the key issue here- in order to SHARE we need to trust others.  I think we have forgotten that.   Certainly, I am not ready to SHARE my grandma’s best china, but I am seriously considering listing my small electric car for SHARING with others in town here.

We have talked about CAR SHARE  for almost 10 years now, and are no closer to creating it due to liability issues.  Perhaps an internet based company can help take the liability and scheduling burden from us…like this…

I am getting a private car rental on Hawaii from a great gal that I found on the car-share site called Relay Rides. Relay Rides is a peer-to-peer carsharing service. It allows private car-owners to rent out their vehicles via an online interface. Car owners can set their own prices, and the company takes pride in screening both owners and renters, plus providing insurance & the trust we all require.  I like it!  I hope to have a wonderful experience and report back on my great Trip of 2013!

Let’s SHARE and have more time and money for what really counts – Lowertown MP_thumb

a world of more fairness and better use of our precious Planet.

In Organic We Trust

July 8, 2013

In Organic We Trust  creates a conversation about where we want our food system to go…is all that “Organic Food” in the big box stores offering good nutrition and taking us in the direction we want to go?

IOWT_Flyer_SM

What about local CSA or Farmer Market Food compared to Safeway?  Is it worth the time to build community grown food systems?  Let’s take a look.

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Starting a discussion about organic food and our food system can be a powerful way to get your friends and family more involved with the growing food movement. These “Facts ‘n’ Stats” are great conversation-starters that will get people thinking (and talking!) about the important issues:

Organic FoodBiochar_Answer

  • The U.S. organic industry grew by nearly 8% in 2010, to reach $28.6 billion in sales (Organic Trade Association, 2011 Organic Industry Survey)
  • 78% of U.S. families purchase at least some organic foods (Organic Trade Association, 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study)
  • Less than 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic (USDA Economic Research Service)
Food & Health
  • Annual health care costs associated with obesity total about $147 billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • 2 out of 3 U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • 1 out of 3 U.S. children are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Farm bill spending does not reflect public health priorities: over $33 billion is spent on commodity crops, while only $4.3 billion goes to fruits, nuts and vegetables (FoodTech Connect, A Clean Bill of Health)
  • 78% of poll respondents said making nutritious and healthy foods more affordable and more accessible should be a top priority in the next farm bill (David & Lucile Packard Foundation)
Local Food & Healthy Food Access
  • The number of farmers markets in the U.S. increased 17% between 2010 and 2011 alone, up to 7,175 (USDA, National Directory of Farmers Markets)
  • Marketing of local foods grossed $4.8 billion in 2008 (USDA Economic Research Service)
  • In 2010, 14.5% of households were “food insecure” at least some time during that year, meaning occupants do not always have enough food to meet basic needs (USDA Economic Research Service)
  • Over 46 million Americans currently receive SNAP benefits (formerly known as “food stamps”) (USDA Food and Nutrition Service)
  • Less than 20% of farmers markets have EBT terminals (USDA Agricultural Marketing Service)
  • SNAP transactions at farmers markets accounted for a mere 0.008% of total SNAP transactions nationwide in 2009 (Community Food Security Coalition)
  • 77% of Americans want more information about the food they buy (IBM)
Factory Farms & Food Industry Consolidation
  • The total number of animals on factory farms grew by 5 million, or more than 20%, between 2002 and 2007 (Food & Water Watch)
  • Slaughterhouses can process up to 400 cattle per hour (Fast Food Nation)
  • There are 5 times as many hogs as people in Iowa, the #1 pork producing state in the U.S. (Iowa Pork Producers Association)
  • More than 80% of U.S. beef cattle are slaughtered by just 4 companies (Mary Hendrickson & William Heffernan, Concentration of Agricultural Markets, 2007)
  • The top 5 food retailers capture half of all grocery sales, double the share they held in 1997 (Grist.org)

~~~~~oil_dependenceb8b30cTaking it all in – what do you want to do to help our Food Systems evolve?  it is up to us!  The pocket book speaks loudly, so does fingers in the soil.  Enjoy and give thanks for our daily food.

THE GLOBAL SUN OVEN COOKS WHEN YOU CAN’T

May 7, 2013

sun oven
THE GLOBAL SUN OVEN COOKS WHEN YOU CAN’T

food bowl

Can’t find time to watch that pot on the stove?  Want to save money on fuel or electricity?  Solar cooking season is here and it is time to take advantage of that free sunshine hitting the porch or pavement.  Get yourself a solar oven…or you can make one.

My favorite oven is a Global Sun Oven®, the best one for pots of food, canning, making tea water, broiling a chicken, and most crock pot type foods.

When the Global Sun Oven is focused in the sun, the interior
of the oven is heated by the sun’s energy.

Panels of polished metal flare out above the oven and direct
the suns rays into the oven chamber where the heat is trapped,
much like the heat captured when windows of a car are closed.

The black surfaces on the inside of the oven capture and
transform the sun’s energy into a radiant energy wave length
that cannot escape the oven chamber.

Direct and reflected sunlight enters the oven chamber through
the glass door. It then turns to heat energy when it is absorbed
by the black inner-shell and the levelator device.* The Global Sun Oven® will quickly reach temperatures of  360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit!!!

The light energy absorbed by both the dark surface, and thick steel walls of the The Global Sun Oven Roasting Pot or other dark pots you use -  and the oven’s dark interior is converted into longer wavelengths of radiant heat energy.

Most of this longer-wavelength radiant energy cannot pass back
out through the glass, ensuring more efficient cooking.

Bake, boil, or steam
the natural way, plus… create all your favorite
slow-cook recipes just like using a conventional crock pot while you’re
busy or away at work!  Anything you can cook in a conventional gas
or electric oven can be cooked in a Sun Oven.

Food tastes better!
Solar oven cooking will trap and retain all the natural flavors of food,
plus all those wonderful juices which get baked out using conventional
dry heat style ovens.

Superior Cooking!!!
The slow, even rise in temperature in a Sun Oven gives the complex
carbohydrates time to break down into simple sugars allowing those incredible, subtle natural flavor to emerge!!!
Sun baked foods stay moist; the natural internal juices do not bake
out, resulting in a superior, moist taste with much less shrinkage.
[See detailed cooking and operational info below].

The Global Sun Oven is so versatile, so brilliantly designed, so
easy to use, you’ll wonder why you didn’t purchase one years ago!

Here is one of my favorite Solar ovens…and you can buy one from me!  Call 800-726-8032 or go to EBay and get a great price, well below the $399 retail.

Simply set it in direct sunlight, point it the proper direction, place your meal inside the oven chamber, and The Global Sun Oven will provide a superior tasting repast – for FREE!!!

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – finally!

May 7, 2013

Have you read it, are you too far ahead in the Good Food movement to get anything new from “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”? cookedbook

I know it is long and at times giving us the same information we already know- but a breakthrough in book giving for those of us who have not already written this book, or one almost like it.

Anniegreenjeans is happy to see that we are in good company with Mr. Pollan offering insights using ancient cooking origins, from gathering to growing and – yes – the  Elemental relationships of fire, water, air, and earth to our food – be still my Pagan heart!

“Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”  speaks for itself, maybe in too much depth for everyone…so my suggestion is read the parts you like!  If you don’t want to read about roasting a pig, skip the first 100 pages, there is plenty else to entertain and delight, especially the much inspired fermentation bits.  As usual- Mr. Pollan offers simple insights with great detail and humor, crafting new words and making a sweeping new movement for learning how to cook, and then asking us to actually spend time doing it…together!

What else could this “Fast, Fresh and Frugal” cooking teacher ask for?

A handbook for my next year of classes, written up and bound.

Oh, well- one big critique – yet another author has neglected to offer a way out of this food justice predicament we are in.  A $9 roast pig sandwich is not going to work out for most families.  So- yes, I am still in the business of promoting beans for the Proletariat.

Transition 2.0 – not just a movie

November 7, 2012

Friends – This letter came to me today – and coincidentally we are showing the movie Transition 2.0 in a few days at the Grange.

 

And I quote Transition US : ” The last 8 days have been … a rollercoaster. Between the trauma of Sandy, the public recognition of Climate Change, and the exhilaration/exhaustion of the political process, it would be tempting to feel we have all earned a nap!  But even as the balloons were dropping on the victory speeches, new evacuation orders were being issued on the East Coast. Another storm is coming.

There can no longer be any doubt that our cities and towns must become resilient–quickly.

Whether you are elated, disappointed, or just exhausted, today is the day we must sweep up the confetti and get down to work.
While the elections left us with a President who acknowledges Climate Change, the ship he is steering moves slowly. And although media attention is newly focused on resilience, it will only take Lindsay Lohan breaking her parole or a collie getting trapped in a well for that all to change.

We cannot wait. We must heroically come to our own rescue TODAY.

As President Obama said in his acceptance speech,

“America has never been about what can be done for us, but what can be done by us.”

We must utilize our growing, nationwide network of Transition Initiatives to ensure that as things get more precarious, our towns will have sufficient water, food, renewable energy, and community interconnectivity to not only survive, but FLOURISH.

Together, we must reach new neighbors, increase local resources, reclaim more skills, and build new economies.”

Now, I couldn’t have said it better myself!  Now is the time to join your local Grange, Transition or other Localization group.  Let’s get our Grassroots movement into action, just as Obama offered 4 years ago.  Occupy your community.  Might as well or someone else will do it for you.

Buy into wind power!

August 15, 2012

Buy into wind power!

I have been driving through Midwest farm country for a few weeks and admiring the old fashioned windmills still up in some farmyards.

Obama is urging us to do support wind power, and so I am!  …and excited!  Today I created a chance to offset my grid use AND make much needed income for my senior years...you can join me easily…check it out.  We can help each othermake this energy transition and our many hours of community service can be offset too – by income from REC’s.


I have joined with Clean Nation Stream Energy and my friend Linda Hall to own and share REC’s for wind power! See more here…

So – What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

Through Clean Nation by Stream Energy, you may offset the environmental impact of your household energy usage through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) were created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help the development of renewable energy generation sources. Each REC represents the generation of one megawatt (or 1,000 kilowatts) of clean electricity produced from a renewable energy source. The “environment attributes” include the reduction or avoidance of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation. As the owner of a REC, you can claim to have purchased clean renewable energy and helped reduce your carbon footprint. Doesn’t that sound great?

When you purchase a REC through Clean Nation, you are taking part in a subscription-based program where you receive one clean energy REC each month. You’ll receive a unique identifying number for each certificate which designates you have purchased a one-megawatt clean energy commodity.

This megawatt of clean energy you purchased takes the place of a similar amount of fossil-fuel derived energy on the electricity grid. In this way, you are doing your part to replace carbon-based energy with a clean alternative, grow clean energy production, create new jobs here at home in the United States, and develop greater American energy independence.

RECs are bought not only by individuals, but also by a large variety of corporations, government agencies and utilities to help meet renewable energy requirements. This includes Intel, Microsoft, Whole Foods, Starbucks, The City of Dallas and the United States Air Force to name but a few. That’s pretty good company to be in.

As a member of Clean Nation, you too can do your part to help replace fossil fuel-based generation with clean renewable generation, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, preserve the environment for future generations, and create a better financial future for you and your family.

You will still receive an energy bill from your current supplier, but now you are offsetting your non-green energy usage with a clean product that is 100% renewable and 100% domestic.

About Green-e Energy

Green-e Energy is the nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and RECs. The Green-e Energy logo is your assurance that all RECs are certified, verified and are subject to stringent auditing requirements. In 2010, Green-e Energy certified retail sales of over 24 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity and RECs.

For your protection and peace of mind, every Clean Nation REC is Green-e Energy certified and verified.

Become a Renewable Energy Partner

 

See why with the 4 minute Video at – http://anniegreenjeans.cleannation.biz/earn.asp

With Clean Nation by Stream Energy, we’re not just helping promote a cleaner tomorrow for future generations; we’re also providing environmentally responsible individuals with financial incentives for carrying the banner of renewable energy.

As a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Subscriber you will receive one REC each month to help reduce your carbon footprint and support the development of renewable energy in our nation. Participants in the free Renewable Energy Partner (REP) program can enroll other REC Subscribers, as well as other REPs. Now, your efforts are increased geometrically and you can participate in the REP Compensation Plan.

REPs earn both immediate income in the form of Clean Start Bonuses and monthly residual income in the form of Renewable Energy Income (REI). For all the compensation details see the REP Compensation Plan.

  • Earn a $50 Clean Start Bonus when you personally enroll your first five (5) REC Subscriptions within thirty (30) days of your start date. Your personal REC Subscription will not count toward your Clean Start Bonus.
  • Earn Renewable Energy Income (REI) by enrolling and maintaining REC Subscriptions, as well as from the REC Subscriptions enrolled by the REPs through five (5) levels. You must maintain five (5) REC Subscriptions to receive REI.

When a mega-watt of renewable energy is generated from a sustainable source like wind, a REC is also created. The physical electricity is then fed into the electricity grid where it mixes with electricity from other generation sources, and the electricity is no longer considered “clean”. The REC is what then conveys the attributes and benefits of renewable electricity, not the physical electricity itself.

What is a REC?

Through Clean Nation by Stream Energy, you may reduce the environmental impact of your household electricity usage through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) were created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help the development of renewable energy generation sources. Each REC represents the generation of 1,000 kilowatts (or one megawatt) of clean electricity generated from a renewable energy source and its associated “environmental attributes”. The “environmental attributes” include the avoidance of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation. As the owner of a REC, you can claim to have purchased clean renewable energy and helped offset your carbon footprint.

When you purchase RECs through Stream Energy’s Clean Nation, you are taking part in a subscription-based program where you receive one clean energy REC each month for only $19.95. You’ll receive a certificate which designates you have purchased a one-megawatt clean energy commodity.

When a megawatt of renewable energy is generated from a sustainable source like wind, a REC is also created. The physical electricity is then fed into the electricity grid where it mixes with electricity from other generation sources and the electricity is no longer considered “clean”. The REC is what then conveys the attributes and benefits of renewable electricity, not the physical electricity itself.

RECs are bought not only by individuals, but also by a large variety of corporations, government agencies and utilities to help meet renewable energy requirements. This includes Intel, Microsoft, Whole Foods, Starbucks, The City of Dallas and the United States Air Force to name but a few. That’s pretty good company to be in.

As a member of Clean Nation, you too can do your part to help replace fossil fuel-based generation with clean renewable generation, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, preserve the environment for future generations, and create a better financial future for you and your family.

You will still receive an energy bill from your current supplier, but now you are offsetting your non-green energy usage with a clean product that is 100% renewable and 100% domestic.

For more information on Renewable Energy Certificates visit the EPA Green Power Partnership REC website.

Green-e Energy Certification

Green-e Energy is the nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and RECs. The Green-e Energy logo is your assurance that all RECs are certified and verified, and are subject to stringent auditing requirements. In 2010, Green-e Energy certified retail sales of over 24 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity and RECs. For your protection and peace of mind, every Clean Nation REC is Green-e Energy certified and verified.

    Clean Nation Support

    If you have any questions regarding Clean Nation or the Renewable Energy Partner program, feel free to contact us at 214-800-4500 from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday and they’ll be happy to chat with you.

    Better yet, contact me at awaters(at)Pacific.net

    I am using rooftop NET Metered solar AND wind power now!  I figure that REC wind certificate compensates for my use of natural gas until I can get off of that grid…feels good.

    Join me!

     

    BIOCHAR! Save the soil, grow soil…

    June 21, 2012

    Why Biochar?— Soil’s Best Friend— Because of biochar’s physical and chemical nature, it has a unique ability for attracting and holding moisture, nutrients, and agrochemicals even retaining difficult to hold nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous.

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    Biochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonisation of biomass. Biochar may be added to soils with the intention to improve soil functions and to reduce emissions from biomass that would otherwise naturally degrade to greenhouse gases. Biochar also has appreciable carbon sequestration value. These properties are measurable and verifiable in a characterisation scheme, or in a carbon emission offset protocol.

    This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

    Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil enhancer.

    Biochar can be an important tool to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

    Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

    (taken from Bio Char International)

    Amending Soil with biochar is modeled after a process begun thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, where islands of rich, fertile soils called terra preta (dark earth) were created by indigenous people. Anthropologists speculate that cooking fires and kitchen debris along with deliberate placing of charcoal in the ground resulted in soils with high fertility and carbon content. These soils continue to “hold” carbon today and remain so nutrient rich that they have been dug up and sold as potting soil in Brazilian markets.

    Soil’s Best Friend— Because of biochar’s physical and chemical nature, it has a unique ability for attracting and holding moisture, nutrients, and agrochemicals even retaining difficult to hold nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. Nitrogen tends to run-off regular soils, upsetting ecosystem balance in streams and riparian areas. Biochar also holds gasses; recent research has proven biochar-enriched soils reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (NO2) emissions by 50-80%. NO2 is a significant greenhouse gas, 310 times more potent than CO2.

    Biochar’s immense surface area and complex pore structure (a single gram can have a surface area of over 1000 square yards) provides a secure habitat for micro-organisms and fungi. Certain fungi form a symbiotic relationship with plant root fibers and this allows for greater nutrient uptake by plants. There is speculation that this fungi may play a part in terra preta’s ability to regenerate itself.

    Persistency in Soil— It is undisputed that biochar is more persistent than any form of organic matter commonly applied to soil. Because of biochar’s long-term persistence in soil (more than 2,500 years and counting), all the associated benefits of nutrient retention, water retention and overall soil fertility are longer lasting than with common fertilizers alone. Biochar, comparitively inert, doesn’t break down like other organic soil amendments and resists chemical and microbial degradation, especially when buried.

    Biochar reduces soil acidity decreasing liming needs but does not actually add nutrients. Biochar made from manure is the exception; it retains a significant amount of nutrients from its source. Because biochar attracts and holds soil nutrients, it reduces fertilizer requirements – something common organic matter cannot do. As a result, fertilization costs are minimized and fertilizer (organic or chemical) is retained in the soil for far longer. Chemical fertilizers are typically fossil-fuel based, thus biochar provides additional indirect climate change benefits by reducing fertilizer needs.

    Enhanced Crop Yields— When added to soil, biochar improves plant growth and enhances crop yields, increasing food production and sustainability in areas with depleted soils, limited organic resources, insufficient water and/or access to agrochemical fertilizers. Not all soils react the same to biochar and it frequently can take up to a year to see results. On poor soils with low carbon content, many studies have shown biochar can increase crop yields up to four times.

    Research presented at a recent American Chemical Society annual meeting suggests that biochar plus chemical fertilizer yields increased growth of winter wheat and several vegetables by 25-50% compared to chemical fertilization alone. Soil Science Society of America experiments found that biochar supplemented with fertilizer outperformed fertilizer alone by 60%.

    It is important to note that not all biochar is the same. The key chemical and physical properties of biochar are greatly affected by the type of feed stock being heated and the conditions of the pyrolysis process. For example, biochar made from manure will have a higher nutrient content than biochar made from wood cuttings. However, the biochar from the wood cuttings is likely to have a greater degree of persistence over a longer period of time. The two different chars will look the same but will behave quite differently.

    [Taken from U.S. Biochar Initiative’s web site (a non-for-profit organization promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar through research, policy, technology and “doing it”).

    You can make Biochar at home – there are many videos that demonstrate the methods…some of which are linked here…

    MAKING BIOCHAR: with Peter Hirst of New England Biochar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXMUmby8PpU

     

    Making Biochar For Small Farms

    WITH JOHN ROGERS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXMUmby8PpU

     

    Does Biochar Deliver Carbon-Negative Energy?

    STANFORD ENERGY SEMINAR

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX3zhZ6ETWI

     

    BIOCHAR DONE SUSTAINABLY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FJlo4VC4to

     

    Field Test Biochar with Corn and Sunflowers – Mark Sisson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWF8PqE9tsY&feature=related

     

     

     

     

    Biochar - agrichar - Terra Preta

    Australia

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzmpWR6JUZQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Os-ujelkgw

     

    MENDOCINO COUNTY CONSIDERS BIOCHAR!

    http://mendocinotv.com/2012/06/06/biochar-production-comes-to-mendocino-county/

     

    Fermenting a New Culture – Has Begun!

    October 3, 2011

    The news from Occupy Wall Street is BIG – the country is in ferment, and yes – we are fermenting a new culture in many ways!  Slow Food is one way we can all participate even if we can’t drive to Washington, New York…SF…

    WE CAN ALL Stop shopping at Corporate stores, stop eating corporate food, it is all owned by the same guys & their brothers, the ones that brought us loss of jobs, loss of our homes, loss of our monetary independence.  It makes dollars & sense, it puts money back in the local community, it is sustainable.

    It-is-all-connected… & the destination for any continuing abuse of the body politic & your body, temple of our spirit – is sickness in community & in health.

    What I am saying is we start spending our precious dollars in our own community, buy locally grown food, go to the Farmer’s Market, make a statement with our pocketbooks – we will feel good about it & will feel better physically too!

    I spent the last few days creating and presenting a workshop on Fermentation, the live food chemistry kind.  It fits in with my political rant here as you have let me say – Fermentation of simple, garden grown, local food gives many health benefits & helps stretch inexpensive food dollars, as well as using produce from field & garden.  It keeps us out of the stores & helps us gather some “stores” of REAL FOOD.

    We all loved the experience of making sauerkraut together, finding tastes that are new yet delightful & generally getting more deeply informed around the topics of yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, vinegar, kombucha & sourdough.  You can buy all these things or you can make them at a fraction of the cost, finding many ingredients in your locally owned farm stand or market. I encourage you to find such a class in your area or make one happen, it is about LIVE Food, Bio-available nutrients, Happy enzymes & intestines…all good stuff.   I give thanks to my students who trusted me to guide them into the shallow waters of Live Fermentation…simple cottage ferments, political ferments…  may we all find our way to the middle of the river, where deeper information resides, and a lifetime of experimentation brings new thoughts to the mix!

    Certainly discovering the vast stores of knowledge at Sandor Katz’s website will be a beginning no Fermenter will regret.

    And, oh yes – it is very political to grow & eat your own food, or get raw milk from a farmer down the road, let’s take that to the streets too!

    The SUSTAINABLE LIVING ROAD SHOW

    June 18, 2011

    A day to play at a Festival!  Hooray!

    The best part of my day at Harmony Festival (and there were some great moments!) was discovering the SUSTAINABLE LIVING ROAD SHOW and the Eco-Grove…

    a variety of attractions and vendors – ranging from live art to a living mandala to a “guess your carbon footprint” calculator and a whole myriad of other things in between.  Well – yes- seeing Caroline W. Casey was an unequaled unrivaled wordsmithing  blast…but that’s a subject for another day…

    A rare family day for me & walking into the Eco-Grove took us right into a carnival!  Five year old Adrien was immediately completely at home & wanted to be there more than anything else all day long – including the climbing structure.  Why not?  Brilliant – the eco-carnival games – yes, getting out sustainability information – not as a lecture or a blog – or any other wordy attempt to educate, but rather – as fun!

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    Tossing out Fossil Fuels – a favorite.  You toss bean bags at pictures of ugly drilling rigs or big trucks & if you hit it- it turns to a colorful image of a solar panel or a bus (They forgot to put in a train, darn it!)  All for a donation of – whatever you want.

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    Eco-opolis, a Model Green City was a favorite! Here you invest money (tossing coins) into various structures & areas of a Dream Green city built entirely from discards & trash.

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    Very fun & punny too!  Best place of all – the LOVE Factory, definitely my next job will be working here…Hard to hit, but Adrien did it, that’s my boy – a love factory investor.

    I am sure that what these folks are doing is making a big difference in kids & adult lives, how can you not think about use of fuels or what we are doing for public health when you play these games!?

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    Or – how about getting completely covered in mud while you help build a house!  That would have appealed more if I had a change of clothes :)

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    The Earth Mandala was housed under a bamboo structure made by one of their amazing interns,  Ben.  He spent weeks leading up to the festival working on the project – and I must say that all his hard work paid off.  The bamboo structure only added to the impressiveness of the mandala – I mean, it’s an amazing thing on its own, but with this beautifully designed structure, it was incredible! 

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    Best of all – way up inside were huge flying honeybees letting us know how important their work is – can you read it?  [1/3 of the human diet requires pollination from our friends - the honeybees]

     

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    ~Carbon Footprint anyone?  I am stoked that my carbon footprint appears to be on the extreme lower edge of normal.  Well, I thought I would register even better – but, without cheating on the numbers – it is time for that solar hot water heater!  Maybe that NEV (Neighborhood Electric Car) that I keep threatening to find.

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    ~Or keeping chickens – that’s it!  Eggs galore & no more slugs, now – that would be paradise…

    Back on track (sayings about trains abound!) – I want to mention that you can visit the SUSTAINABLE LIVING ROAD SHOW at their website – even if they don’t come soon to a city near you…you won’t be sorry!

     

     

    GMO – just say NO!

    April 10, 2011

    Addicted to GMO?…the word is now out – GMO foods are bad for us medically as well as making things tough for organic farmers, destroying our bee population, our seed diversity & a host of other sins. The years of banging drums in the dark are over…it can be stated in public that GMO corn & soy are slowly killing us. Of course, the warnings have been loud & clear for awhile – the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Union of Concerned Scientists, Huffington Post, Institute for Responsible Technology, and others have been trying to get our attention.  But, the seeming need in our recession for more & cheaper food has outweighed the information & the public airwaves ignore this subject.

    Recent testing in Europe ..by feeding normal diet of these ”foods” – caused liver & kidney damage in lab rats – and as we know from years of this type of testing, the effects on humans are almost parallel!  By reviewing data from 19 animal studies, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and others reveal that 9% of the measured parameters, including blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses (histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver of females followed, with 30.8%. The report, published in Environmental Sciences Europe on March 1, 2011, confirms that “several convergent data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects.” The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.  The Institute of Responsible Technology has lots more to say…take a peek!

    So note your food source…Kids – this means Fritos, McDonald burgers & fries, sodas, and almost all sweetened corporate foods.  So – how much do we need to know in order to quit this addiction?

    We could list the newer GM foods & the ones coming on line soon, just to get more worried…GM Salmon, GM Alfalfa, and even GM Wheat!  But – let’s stay focused on the big boys…Monsanto’s own seeds into eternity…our field corn & soy…and I know we can find alternatives to chips & sodas!

    Just say NO to GMO!  It’s fun & easy – get your self some organic cornmeal, make tortillas with your kids have a fun & clean meal your garden & the local Farmer’s market can provide.  It won’t cost much today & You will save money at the hospital later.

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