Thursday, April 14, 2011

My pledge to clean green!

I found a blog I just love through a newsletter I get from Dr. Mercola - . I've read through a lot of the posts and enjoy them, but the one that pertains to my search right now is The Morning of a Typical ADD Child. I don't like the assigning a label part, but I think it's just the way she wrote it. I've been reading a LOT about diet and child behavior lately... a LOT. Most of the article colorings we see in US food is not allowed in other parts of the world....what does that tell you??? It's not just diet where we are taking in all these crazy toxins, but at least it is one area I can do my best to control. The other segment of our lives I have some control over is the chemicals I've brought into our home. Thankfully I've never been a clean freak:) When I say that my kids could eat off my floor...I mean that they are bound to find a spare Cheerio to eat:)

Trying to stay with whole foods is really really hard up here. We don't have any Whole Foods stores anywhere around here. The selection of organics is getting a little better and I'm thrilled to see Wal-Mart carry so many. It's just not anywhere as much as any other place I've lived. Farmer's Markets will start soon, but the season is short up here. There is a co-op and the idea is just wonderful. The food seems crazy expensive for what you get though. I've never gotten my whole order so you can't really plan things. I hope it works for them, I was so excited to see them start something up here, but maybe there just aren't enough farms or it's just the area. When we move we are going to make sure there is a Whole Foods near us. Locally owned stores are just way too expensive when you are feeding a family of 6. I just can't pay $17 for an organic chicken when we would need 2 at a time around here for one meal. I know, I should just buck up and take care of things myself. I just can't. I love my chickens and I think if I sent them away to be processed I'd never be able to eat chicken again. Weak...I know. Apologies to those who believe in only shopping locally owned stores...I just don't like feeling like I have to pay more then I should. Especially up here where we pay like 10% sales tax as it is. Sick!

I see a lot of green products that you can buy, but really, vinegar, baking soda, and every day soap (make your own) is cheap and effective. I'm glad to see the green market so big, but it's important that we don't put price tags on the importance of our health and our planet.

My goals for the week: get rid of any food left in my house with article colorings and flavors, find a recipe that really works with the whole family for granola, (I haven't had the best luck with this), and start my Spring Cleaning with only green products I can make from edible sources. That's enough for the week:)

I found Best of Mother Earth

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I found a new family hobby...they just don't know it yet:)

It's hard to find something that we could all enjoy AND would get us out of the house a bit. I heard about Geocaching about a year or so ago and thought "hey, that could be fun". My husband's favorite thing to do is to go hiking and I thought this would be a way to get the kids involved. We can't do that most of the year up here, but I just learned that a lot of the 'caches' are in easy to reach places. I just pictured us hiking up hills and climbing trees to find a little secret box someplace. I was wrong. So this is something we can do year round. My husband bought me the Garmin nuvi 1300 for my birthday and we are signed up all ready to start. I can't wait. There is actually one about a mile away, so we'll go find it this week when the rain stops. This will fit in nicely with our other new hobby of making movies. Maybe we'll do a documentary on it:) 

I can't complain about the rain. My broccoli plants are doing well. It seems that I lost most of the lettuce to hunger birds...the flying kind. I lost a few broccoli plants to the non-flying variety..namely Francine whom I've been boarding for the winter. I got the fence up a bit too late. I love having the "Aunts", as we call them now, out when we are outside. I just can't leave them out alone. I'm also not leaving them out all at once. If there is still someone in the run they won't go far. Eastie will, but she's a loner. I let her out all the time since the other girls are mean to her. I know she's neurotic, but she's also my baby. So the others have to sit and watch her as she chases bugs.It pays to be the favorite:)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm starting my escarole seeds:)

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is to my husband. I never ate escarole until we moved up here. When I've had greens (and I've had my share), they have been the southern type. I was stationed in GA for a while and grew to love all things southern. That was a long long time ago...not to show my age. I still feel this huge need to have black-eyed-peas made up like hopin jon and greens every New Years Day. I feel that if I don't I would miss out on all the luck that is meant to come my way. So, greens to me and greens to my husband are very different. To him, it means escarole with potatoes. I like to add white beans instead though and he seemed to adapt to that OK. I add beans to anything I can. We eat only poultry (NOT my chickens!!!) and eggs for animal based protein so I am very aware of adding bean protein to substitute.

These people up here eat greens as a main dish, yet it seems that no one grows escarole. I couldn't find seeds anywhere....and I really did look. You have to love the internet. I just don't remember life without it. Oh yea, I do remember having to use the library once when I was in that soap making phase. Still, it makes life more fun to be able to learn so much about so much. It turns out that what I only knew as "escarole" is really endive. I thought of endive as the thin lettuce stuff you decorate salad with. This is "Endive, Broadleaf Batavian" aka Cichorium endivia. I found some seeds on Amazon from Buy Wholesale Cheap, LLC. I have to admit I love the company name since it implies I saved money. I'm going to give the seeds a try in my seed starter this week.

I made greens just two nights ago and really it's just my husband and I that eat them. With 4 kids around here you would think the odds would be that someone else would eat them...nope. We are leftover people and I like to have enough to send some for his lunch and for me for lunch the next day. So lets say 4 good servings...we aren't 100 pound light weights around here:) I use 2 heads and the price is going crazy on food. I know gas is getting stupid again, but still, they are VERY quick to raise prices as soon as the breeze turns. I paid over $7 just for the 2 heads. Romain lettuce (which is doing well under my light thank you) was about $3 a head. How could a person afford to eat well every day?

I'm growing and freezing broccoli for a year, but I sure wish I could do that with our greens. I saw that you could blanch greens just like spinach and freeze them. I'll try that if I get a big enough crop. I need to get my vertical lettuce hydroponic lettuce grower going. I saw a DVD I could buy with all the plans on it. I have to do that for next year if we are still up here. For now I will be happy to grow my organic Broadleaf Batavian Endive and make my greens.