I am so loving the Permaculture Certification Course I am taking with Andrew Faust. Wearing my Permaculture goggles I am seeing my home, my land, my community, my world very differently and with so much excitement and expectation.

Check out this amazing youtube with Geoff Lawton on working with nature in the desert with wonderful results. So simple. Let’s encourage more of this!

Carried Away With Caraway

February 25, 2010

I’m in love with the flavor of caraway seeds. It’s why I love(d) rye bread (avoiding rye due to gluten sensitivity for now). I also love caraway in sauerkraut. Recently I made a soup recipe from  The Angelica Home Kitchen, a wonderful organic, vegan cookbook by Leslie McEachern, the owner of Angelica Kitchen Restaurant in NYC.

I adapted Leslie’s recipe for Creamy Carrot-Sweet Potato soup- by using onions, carrots and leaving out the sweet potatoes. Her recipe calls for 1 T each of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds and coriander seeds ground to a fine powder. What a concept, I’ve never really used spices in soup seasoning. Just grinding the caraway seeds  (in the coffee grinder) releases a glorious uplifting scent and the soup smells heavenly. Now I am sprinkling the leftover powder on everything. It’s fabulous!

Caraway is said to have been used in Europe longer than any other condiment. Holland is known as the principle source of commercial caraway although it is also grown in Europe, the United States and Russia today. Each seed is actually one half of the fruit from the plant known botanically as Carum carvi, a member of the parsley family. The seed is common to German, Russian, Indian, Indonesian and Scandinavian cooking. Although caraway has an affinity for cabbage, you can use it in savory or sweet dishes.

Yummy!

I am the traveler who sometimes cleans out my small, used containers and refills them to use for trips so I have a mini version of what I use at home. But lately I have just packed the large containers and that does take up precious cargo space. If you travel as much as Josh, this is a useful find! It’s effortless, expensive, but makes packing so easy. It is also a great way to try out new brands.  And some great brands have put together useful travel kits at 3Floz.com. Check out Pangea, Hauschka and other organic brands.

Basic Needs of Humans-Water

February 19, 2010

We all need air, water, sleep, food and exercise and shelter. Actually, we all need good quality air, clean water, deep regenerative sleep, nourishing food and regular movement in our bodies and a place to relax and renew. All 6 areas are interrelated and important. Some people focus only on their food or exercise and forget the other factors. Good health requires attention to all.

So, do you know the quality of your water? Optimally the clean water acts should be enforced by our government. They aren’t. We need to demand that they are enforced. I believe it is our right to be able to drink clean water anywhere we turn on a tap. It is not possible right now. There are one in eight people on our planet who do not even have access to safe, clean drinking water, period.

What can we do?

Be informed about local, national and global issues surrounding our water quality.

For you and your family: filter your water with a good quality carbon block filter.

For your community: Call and write your local officials telling them your concerns. Be up to date on your local water quality issues. Visit the EPA.gov site for local and national issues.

For our global community: Be informed about world water issues. WHO site is one good resource. Help build wells through donations to productive organizations like CharityWater.

Watching the beautifully groomed half-pipe and slopes and trails in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics brings to mind the huge output of energy-consuming machinery needed to make that snow, let alone rake it into place. GreenerTrends.com comments: Trail grooming, ski lift operations and snowmaking are extremely energy-intensive and are harmful to natural resources and to wildlife. Try to choose ski resorts that are committed to reducing their effects on the environment – before you go, find out if they adhere to the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environment Charter. Consider cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing instead of downhill skiing, as these sports do not require graded slopes and ski lifts, and so have lower environmental impact.

Sniffers

February 16, 2010

When I had just met Leslie Goldman, The Enchanted Gardener, he pressed a handful of leaves into my hand and said, “Here, Joanie, keep these “sniffers” in your pocket, take them out for a scentual reminder of my garden”. I loved that gesture and since then often send people home from my house with sprigs of lavender, thyme, sage from my garden, too.

Micah, who else, found these “sniffers”- where you can take more than the memory of your garden with you. Love this! Scenters from studio-kj.com. SCENTER is a depository of scents. Concentrated personal fragrances can be stored inside compact cartridges, their scent being released through a nozzle upon pressing the bellows thus evoking the memories embedded in them.

Via: Micah

Global EFT Tapping Event

February 15, 2010

There is an interesting and free event online that may be of interest to you featuring EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique.. (Of course there is also an opportunity to buy, which you are not obligated to do, but thought I’d warn you.) My friend, Tuck, the Rebel Belle sent me the info. She writes:

Folks, there’s lots of “stuff” out there to choose from when “doing” change and transformation. I always say, “if you can’t navigate change and transformation with li’l a fun and freedom, squeezin’ a li’l juice along the way, you might as well stay stuck!”

I’m raising my hand for “doing” change with a li’l fun and freedom, and…. I’m guessing you might be too.

With that in mind I have exciting news to share with you. A tool and technique that not only delivers tremendous change and transformation …..but allows you to “TAP” into the natural energy and healing power of your own body to produce fabulous results in your life.

It’s MERIDIAN TAPPING – a simple, effective and empowering way to take your physical and emotional well-being into your own hand s. Tapping is based on methods that have been in practice in Eastern medicine for over 5,000 years. Like acupuncture and acupressure, it uses your body’s energy meridian points. You have to experience it for yourself. And…you can!

Check out the video on the page below to learn about this amazing technique:

http://www.tryitoneverything.com/cmd.php?Clk=3525538

Tuck is a doer, mover, changer and I pay attention when she makes suggestions.

If you have never heard of EFT , check out the website. “In essence, EFT is an emotional version of acupuncture wherein we stimulate certain meridian points by tapping on them with our fingertips. This addresses a new cause for emotional issues (unbalanced energy meridians). Properly done, this frequently reduces the therapeutic process from months or years down to hours or minutes. And, since emotional stress can contribute to pain, disease and physical ailments, we often find that EFT provides astonishing physical relief.”

This might sound hokey to you, but  the interesting part is that EFT is being practiced by many health professionals. I was introduced to it by my therapist during a session where I was very upset and couldn’t think clearly. EFT helped me calm down and prioritize. It is easy to learn and do yourself, too.

Anyone who has comments about this work? Love to have you contribute to this conversation.

Jamie Oliver TED Prize Winner

February 10, 2010

Jamie Oliver’s TED speech is very exciting. I am watching it on CNN streaming live. Oliver is a chef, restauranteur and food activist. I’m sure you can watch it soon on ted.com.

His message is simple.A huge proportion of people don’t know how to look after and nourish their own families. A huge percentage of our population is obese.  The culture of food has changed. Home is where food culture was passed on. And it isn’t being passed on anymore. We have become a fast food nation. He is passionate about school arming us with tools to be able to succeed in life-  school is where 31 million kids eat 180 days/year. So school food is very important. He offers himself as an ambassador to the school chefs- there are no food knowledgeable people in the business. “Because there is a tight budget, an accountant will be cheap so…the food is highly processed, french fries are considered a vegetable.” And everything is heading our kids towards obesity. He shows a clip of kids in school not even knowing what vegetables are. Very sad watching kids mistaking tomatoes for potatoes. In 2 one hour sessions with Jamie they learned to name the vegetables.

Here is his “reboot” to make real change that will change things for our children in 10 years time. He’d like supermarkets  to have a shopping helper and teach how to cook healthy meals. It needs to be done across the board and put food education out there. We need to get weaned off the ‘non-food” ingredients in our fast food. In schools we owe it for the kids to have proper fresh food. Big goals. Profoundly important. Kids should know how to cook 10 recipes so they can survive. He goes on. He is speaking my language. My kids took veggies to school in their lunches and some of their friends didn’t know what they were eating.

He cares and believes that if change can be made in our country it will happen all over the world. Watch for his speech on TED at Ted.com

And here is a youtube of him speaking about food and health.

Since we bought our new couch we’ve been on high alert to keep the cats off. We bought them new little cushy beds, I am liberal with the catnip. We are also spraying them if they even look at the new couch. Of course, I don’t know what they do when we aren’t here. But I know that they will not be satisfied for long. I don’t like the petco variety of cat perches. They are ugly eyesores that the cats don’t even really like and they take up too much space. So these are some attractive and minimalist possibilities from SquareCatHabitat.com (modern furniture for cats and their owners).

I like this wall scratcher, too:

The products are made with Plyboo, 100% bamboo plywood, LEED certified or Low-pressure laminate (LPL) with Arreis® Sustainable Design Fiberboard with no formaldehyde adhesive.

The cats run my house. I think as soon as I walk out the door they jump all over the furniture and run over all the countertops. Why? Because they can. Then when I come home they tease me by jumping on the table and just look at me like I’m crazy shouting at them to get off. Now we have a new couch we have a spray bottle of water and they are getting drenched and hopefully getting the idea that the new couch is for people, not for cats. Who knows what they do when we leave the house. Maybe I’ll set up a webcam.

This is a great table designed by Koichi Futatsumata of Case-Real and featured on Freshome.com, suggested by Micah:. Wonder if the cats would stay off the top.