Friday, January 28, 2011

Creative Children's Clothing - 2

 Another life for an old wool sweater - children's pants + vest. Try buying pure wool pants for your child and you find the price tag at around $45-50.  Wool is not only warm but it is water resistant - a good option for snow play, or active outdoor time in cold weather. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Greenhouse in a Swimming Pool - Winter Harvest

 Salad greens, chives and braising greens thrive in this winter growing space, a greenhouse converted from an old swimming pool. Outside temperatures dipped down as low as 3F (-17C); yet this space remains productive without any additional heat. It is heated by the sun during the day, and stays relatively warm (around 32F (0C)) on coldest of nights. Plants are happy and harvest is in full swing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eggs, Greens, Milk - Winter Harvest

Every day, just at dusk, we milk one of our two dairy goats that is still able to produce milk in this cold weather. She does not give much, just about 1/2 gallon (2 liters) per day - enough for us.

Dried Things - Winter Harvest

What else winter brings to a table? Dried foods of all kinds, full of concentrated flavor and nourishment, just as they must be to fill the need for good food when it is cold and dark outside. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creative Children's Clothing - Repurposing Old Sweaters

Ever thought about how many items of clothing each young child has, between all the gifts and purchases from inspired loving parents? Lots and lots. Multiply that by number of children nationwide, and an image of a very, very large mountain of clothing may emerge in your mind's eye. All of that stuff needs shipping (think carbon footprint), storage (think pesticide applications), packaging (all new materials) and handling (at minimum wage).
Solutions? Buy used, make your own, pass it on. Pictured above is a second-hand woman's lamb's wool sweater, size Small on a 2.5 year old child. Wind protection - check. Water-resistant - check. Butt covered from cold air - check. Space to grow - check. Natural material - check. Can be put over and under other things - check. It even has a hood!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eating In Season - Green Living in January

What is January all about if we want to live in tune with nature? What lessons would you learn in this season when earth is resting and life is nearly invisible? Staying warm, staying connected with our tribe/ our family, staying well fed, acknowledging dark and light  - no matter what era it is, these elements define our lives in the cold and dark months of winter time. And how do we create green living in January?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Herbal Teas - Winter Harvest

Hot tea, anybody? Not the dry mix that sat in some warehouse and was shipped around the world, packaged and stored, and handled. (Photo left to right: homegrown mint, lemon balm, horsetail, stinging nettle)

Herbs are easy to grow even in smallest of places, and with minimal gardening experience. Planting a batch of herbs makes a good first step in learning to grown your own food. It does not take too many plants to produce enough fresh leaves for herbal teas - even a balcony-sized garden can be quite productive; and those of us with more sizable gardens can produce enough to make fresh aromatic teas that last until the next season. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Disconnecting - Whole Life Redesign (Part Two)

A boy of seven years age came by to visit. We made a fire in my Russian stove and sat there watching it burn. "Burning trees is polluting to the environment", he said. "But I think it is still better than the other, regular, way to heat your house". Why young children are burdened with this information at an age when they don't have the power to do anything, to make decisions or implement changes in their lives, I don't know. Perhaps it makes parents feel good to have these politically correct conversations with their children.

Is there a better way to introduce sustainability/ ecology/ environmentalism into your life; such as through real practice?