The Revolver wind turbine by  Frog Design set up is a snap and produces up to 35 W so you can charge up your portable electronic devices while camping or in other remote locations.

 

Read more.

Via:  Rahul Gupta at Ecofriend.com

Flash Mob? Crop Mob!

July 24, 2011

Farming is traditionally a physical and labor intensive endeavor. In the past, community efforts were often necessary for planting, harvesting, processing, including barn-raising and house-raising. Modern day farming has become mechanized enabling  farmers to “do it alone”. A lonely career. Through resurgence of smaller farming initiatives a wonderful community spirit has emerged. People are participating in CSA’s and organic and local farmers are recognized in their communities and are well-received at local farmer’s markets.

Enter the Crop Mob movement. A group of 19 farmers, apprentices and friends in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) began to work together to harvest sweet potatoes at the Piedmont Biofarm. They have made it a tradition and out of that tradition has grown to over 50 groups throughout the US. Find your local group on the map.

From the Crop Mob website:

“Many crop mobbers are apprentices or interns on these sustainable farms. The need for community participation matches a desire for community among young people interested in getting into farming. The crop mob was conceived as a way of building the community necessary to practice this kind of agriculture and to put the power to muster this group in the hands of our future food producers.

Any crop mobber can call a crop mob to do the kind of work it takes a community to do. We work together, share a meal, play, talk, and make music. No money is exchanged. This is the stuff that communities are made of.”

For more information, please send an email to info@cropmob.org. And check them out on facebook.

 

VIA: Kay Carroll, Market Master, Litchfield Farmer’s Market


I have just learned the easiest way to freeze blueberries. In the past I washed the berries, drained them, laid them out on cookie sheets in the freezer to freeze individually, then put the frozen berries into freezer bags. LONG PROCESS.

Recently, T and I picked berries at Evergreen Berry Farm in Watertown, CT. We picked on the bushes that were NOT sprayed- as there are areas of the field that never seem to need protection from insects and some that do. Interesting permaculture conundrum there….

As we were leaving T noticed a sign with freezing instructions as follows (so easy):

Put your fresh-picked berries into freezer bags and put in freezer. When you want to use the berries remove from freezer and rinse.  

Transition Town Movement

July 21, 2011



 OR

There are communities all over the world who are coming together with optimistic and infectious energy to create vital and lasting change for the good of all under the umbrella of The Transition movement. Transition Towns is about communities around the world responding to peak oil and climate change with creativity, imagination and humour, and setting about rebuilding their local economies and communities. It is positive, solutions focused, viral and fun. You can find out if there is a town in action near you from the US-based website or the global website. Or, you can start your own group!

These slides are from the film: Transition 1o1. Check it out.

 

So here is a great option for indoor drying with 50 feet of drying space! The top folds down for a flat area for a sweater, etc. It is called the Robbins Lumber HG-305. Available from GAIAM.com as well as other companies if you care to search.

Now that we have solar panels I am even more aware of the electricity drain from using the dryer. I don’t put many of my clothes in the dryer as it is, but, my wooden drying rack is getting warped and it is not very feasible to have an outdoor clothes line, although I am looking at this, too, $41 at Target:

 

According to LaundryList.org about 5.8 percent of residential electricity use goes towards the clothes dryer, according to DOE EIA statistics from 2001. If all Americans would use the clothesline or wooden drying racks, the savings would be enough to close several power plants. From their site:

 

Clothes Dryer
Do Not Use a Clothes Dryer…………………… 23.6 million (21.2%)
Use a Clothes Dryer……………………………… 87.5 million (78.8%)

Electric…………………………………………….. 67.2
Natural Gas………………………………………. 19.4
Propane/LPG……………………………………. 0.9

These figures do not take into account the millions of Americans who do their wash at commercial Laundromats and multi-family housing locations. The number of American households with a washing machine at home but no dryer is 4.3 million (or 3.9%). We assume that this is roughly the number of hard core air dryers, who use clothes lines and drying racks exclusively.

 

 

 

 

 

The Seaweed Man

April 20, 2011

Living at the edge of the continent. This is how Larch Hanson, a seaweed harvester for forty years, describes himself. He has some powerful advice about including seaweed regularly in our diet. Here is his latest article as well as a link to William Spear’s article about protective diet in Huffington Post.:

Considering the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, it is important that you understand this article:Iodine in Seaweed Protects the Thyroid from Radiation

Once upon a time, about a gazillion years ago, the animals in the sea with spinal cords decided to base their regulatory hormones upon stable Iodine 127. A bazillion years later, some of those animals decided to leave the sea and live on the land where Iodine 127 was not abundant. Land plants don’t contain much iodine at all. So they developed thyroid glands and blood compounds that would conserve scarce Iodine 127. All went well, until some near-sighted nuclear scientists started splitting uranium atoms and creating radioactive Iodine 131 which concentrates through the food chain (from grass to cows to milk to humans, for instance) and can end up in the thyroid, burning it out, leaving people unable to self-regulate their lives. You see, Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of 8 days. That means that within a period of two months, it emits most of its radiation. And if that iodine 131 happens to be situated in the thyroid while it is emitting its radiation, it will do great damage to the thyroid gland. 25% of the women in this country, for instance, now have clinical symptoms of thyroid imbalance. Why is this happening?

Iodine is a member of the halide group of elements that includes bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. Compounds that contain these elements tend to displace iodine from the body. Modern people are exposed to bromated dough conditioners in commercially-produced bread, and bromine used in disinfectants (in hot tubs, for instance). Bleach in the laundry and at the swimming pool contains chlorine. Dentists use fluorides, and fluoride is used in toothpaste and drinking water. All of these sources of chemicals, and more, are exposing us to halides that displace iodine from our bodies. In the Southwest, the Colorado River system that irrigates the fields that produce 30% of the vegetables consumed in our country is contaminated by a lagoon of spent rocket fuel in Nevada that is leaching perchlorate into the water. Perchlorate is taken up by broad leaf veggies  like lettuce, and it gets into the body and blocks transport of iodine to the thyroid. If an air bag goes off in your car, your air is immediately contaminated with perchlorate released by the explosive air bag.

There really aren’t very good iodine supplements available to the public. If you read a material safety data sheet for potassium iodide, you will understand the negative side effects of long term use. The best long term strategy is to integrate seaweed into one’s daily diet. Then your thyroid will always have adequate levels of stable Iodine 127 and will not take in radioactive Iodine 131. Digitata kelp has the highest iodine content, followed by kelp. Alaria has moderate levels of iodine. All of these are good sources of iodine, provided you don’t roast them, releasing the iodine to the air. Learn a water-based method that will work for you. Make soup and drink the broth at the same time you eat the seaweed. Then your body will receive the iodine. If you are a raw foodist, make a smoothie that includes kelp. Nori and dulse don’t contain much iodine, compared to kelp and alaria. Any commercial seaweed that is promoted as “tender” or “convenient” or “ready to eat” probably has been subjected to a heat process (parboiling, roasting) and thus the iodine content is lowered.

Recipes for proper preparation of seaweed are available at LarchHanson.com and seaweed can be ordered direct from the harvester and his apprentices who use low temperature methods of drying at TheSeaweedMan.com.

Rest in the Light, abide in the Heart.Larch Hanson
Maine Seaweed LLC
Ph/fax: 207 546 2875

Gluten-free Tamari on-the-go

February 28, 2011

This is a good quality product. We use this brand in our home. And now you can take it on the road without the bottle spilling in your handbag! I haven’t seen this in store but you can order online-of course.

San-J manufactures Tamari soy sauce and quality Asian-inspired products. The San-Jirushi Corporation of Mie, Japan, began selling Tamari in the United States in 1978 as an importer to natural food and industrial food markets. San-Jirushi decided to build a plant to brew Tamari in North America. In addition to the production facilities, San-J’s administration, research and development and sales and marketing departments are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Available: amazon, dealnay (both with decent discount but you have to 240 packets, that’s alot of dinners out…buy with a friend or two)

 

Hat Tip: Josh

I love this concept. Electrolux plans to retrieve plastic floating in the ocean and recycle into vacuum cleaners and more. We have to remember every moment that we cannot throw things away- there is no away.

Via: Flossie! thank you!

Clean the Windows

October 14, 2010

After all the pollen, dust, leaves of autumn, my windows are dirty outside and inside. There are many reasons to keep your windows clean – dirty windows are an insidious form of clutter. The film creeps up on us slowly so we don’t notice that our view/vision of the outside world is getting cloudier. And there is a connection between our personal clarity and the clarity of our world. Tell me, who likes a dirty bathroom mirror? Spring and Fall are great times to wash windows, inside and out. City dwellers deal with more things that accumulate on windows. If you can’t clean outside, at least keep up with the inside of your windows.

Read this good post by Stephanie Bennett Vogt about the Feng Shui of clean windows. And then consider making your own window cleaner instead of spraying (and consequently breathing) toxic Windex or other window sprays.

Window Cleaner recipe:

2 tsp  white vinegar

3 cups water

1 cup alcohol (optional) helps evaporate more quickly

Put in spray bottle, shake and spray. Lasts forever.

Wipe with newspaper or paper towels (if you must) or cotton rags.

For more options:check out informative article at Livestong.com

Think about how many disposable pens there are/have been/will be used in the world and how they cannot biodegrade. And what about all that ink, some of it toxic?

Great solution: environmentally responsible ingredients, biodegradable pen, manufactured in the US in a wind-powered facility. The DBA Pen

This is a great option- are you listening Staples?

Via: Josh Spear

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