June 2013 Almanac
Boston's Feed Resource Recovery
More than 2,000 California homes could be powered by unsold food from Ralph's and Food 4 Less markets! This awesome story was recently featured in the LA Times, and 84% of readers voted (including myself) that generating power was the best use for spoiled food unfit to be donated. As our landfills are literally overfilled while the methane gas produced by all the rotting food contributes to Global Warming, it's such a relief to find out that there is a system in place to turn all that food waste into a powerful force for change. The anaerobic digester system was developed by a start-up in Boston called Feed Resource Recovery that "offsets more than 20% of the distribution center's energy demands-all without producing pungent odors." The neighbors must be thrilled about that!
What Plants Talk About
What Plants Talk About, written and directed by Erna Buffie, is a fascinating close-up look into the world of plants above and beneath the ground. I was delighted to learn how busy and complex plants are. Plants have managed to adapt and evolve, but also cooperate in order to survive. We are all connected and I've always felt that since I was a little girl and explored the woods and fields on my family's property in Maine in the summers. This film has such amazing footage and is great viewing for the whole family.
California based artist whose activism inspires her art, Dianna Cohen creates her work using recycled plastic bags and found plastics to raise awareness of ocean waste. She co-founded The Plastic Pollution Coalition, which is working to help end our cycle of plastics use. One of her pieces was recently used as the cover for The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts magazine, and she gave a TED talk about the over abundance of plastic pollution in the ocean. This summer, Dianna will be participating for the second time in the Drifter Project/Kefalonia Phase II, in Greece, excavating plastic from a massive sea cave and she will be using pieces in her artwork. Look for her work in an upcoming Gyre exhibit at the Anchorage Museum, Alaska in 2014.
"While a glass bottle can be a glass bottle again or can be used again, a plastic bottle can never be a plastic bottle again." -Dianna Cohen
Previously profiled artists in the news:
Artist Bryan Nash Gill, who I wrote about in December 2012, has unexpectedly passed away. My deepest condolences to his family.
Jamie Wyeth is featured in an exhibit :The Wyeths: A Family Legacy at the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY, till September 2nd, 2013.
Ed Begley Jr.
Environmentalist and actor Ed Begley jr. is a leader in the environmental movement and has been actively involved for decades promoting sustainable and healthy living. Ed has walked the walk for longer than anyone I know. Join me in following him on his latest web series OnBegleyStreet.com, and the challenges he faces in constructing his new dream Platinum-LEED (the ultimate eco-green-energy efficient) home. Ed also has a lovely line of natural soaps and household cleaning products available at begleysbest.com. I caught up with him recently at WorldFest, in Los Angeles, where he was on stage inspiring the audience to make changes to a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle, and his authenticity won everyone over. He really does get around on his bicycle whenever he can which keeps him in great shape! Thank goodness for Ed Begley jr. and his dedication to environmental causes, and raising awareness of issues that are critical. Scroll down and watch him in action.
Thank you Ed. You are the best!
Eco Garden - June 2013
MOON GARDENING BY PRISCILLA WOOLWORTH
Please check out my blog about Gardening according to the phases of the Moon, where I explain it in more detail.
June MOON PHASE SCHEDULE:
May 25th to June 7th: Waning
Garden Chores for June
The month of June is a great time to prune any dead wood in shrubs and trees.
Plants with yellowing leaves can be treated with Iron Chelate.
Feed roses, citrus trees, and the rest of the garden with fish emulsion or worm juice (natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers). Make sure you dilute these organic fertilizers well, as too much of a good thing can be too strong for your plants.
Harvest onions, garlic and herbs for drying.
Plant flowers that attract pollinators:
* Butterflies love flat daisy-like flowers, pentas, zinnias, single marigolds, cosmos, yellow lantana, and osteospermums.
* Hummingbirds love plants with tubular flowers like nicotiana, penstemon, and fuschia.
In your flower plant: alyssum, calendula, cosmos, cockscomb, cornflower, geranium, globe amaranth, impatiens, larkspur, morning glory, marigold, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, salvia, sunflower, and zinnia.
In your vegetable garden, plant tomato, pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber, lettuce, leeks, corn, okra, pumpkin, basil, melon, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, and cilantro, onion, bean, and peanuts.
This is the best time to plant avocado, cherimoyas, mango and citrus, such as the gorgeous and delicious Meyer Lemon.
Wash aphids off tender new growth by filling a spray bottle with water and add 1 tsp environmentally safe dish-wash soap and spray the aphids right off the plant.
Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for June and which days are best for specific chores:
June 1st: Prune, water, compost and fertilize
From June 1st till June 7th, the Moon is Waning, and the energy of the earth is drawn down but the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil and this energy goes into the roots making it a good time of the month to sow crops that produce their yield below ground and control plant growth by pruning, weeding, and controlling garden pests, as well as dividing perennials. This is the best time for garden maintenance because the growth cycle of plants decreases. Fruit trees do best planted at this time of the month because the position of the moon encourages development of root growth and tree bark, essential to their success. This is also the best time to cut wood, because it resists parasites and cures better. Farmers pick their apples, cabbages, potatoes and onions at the Waning Moon, when water content is lowest and so the harvest stores better and keeps longer. Best time to dry herbs, flowers and fruit and the herbs are at their most potent. Also, add potassium fertilizer to plants that need it because it will be better absorbed at this time. Mow your lawn to slow growth. First time composting, start your composting during this period because the Waning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
June 9th and 10th: plant above ground annuals
May 10th till the 23rd: the Moon is in the Waxing phase, when the lunar gravitational pull brings the water up, which makes it a good time of the month to encourage plant growth and proliferation. Plant seeds, transplant, re-pot, trim and prune for growth. Also, fruits and vegetables that are tender and should be eaten immediately are at their best when gathered at the Waxing Moon, because the water content is higher, salads are crunchier, and juicier.
The 4 days before and also 4 days after the Full Moon is the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.
The Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month. Best time to pick tomatoes. Harvest grapes to be used in winemaking as close to the full moon as possible because the grapes will retain more juice and bouquet. Gather any herbs to be used for their essential oils at the Full Moon because oil content is more concentrated at this time.
Moon is in the Waning phase again:
June 23rd and 24th: plant for root growth
Get ready for July 2013 Gardening according to the phases of the Moon. Subscribe to my Almanac and get your monthly update from me.
This unique 54 gallon Rain Barrel has a planter on the top where you can easily plant a lovely trailing geranium. Place this attractive Rain Barrel under a gutter and collect the rainwater which you can then use in your garden on drier days.
Eco Books - June 2013
Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to be 100 by Maoshing Ni is full of all-natural ideas for living a longer, healthier and happier life. Dr. Mao is a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine who with his wisdom and common sense tips, reminds us of all the ways we can lead healthier lives from taking a walk after dinner to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease and how adding a little honey to your tea can promote internal healing. Learn as well about how to prevent illness during each season, with sound advice such as what foods to eat or which to avoid. This is one of those great books that we should all have a copy of and give it as a gift to our loved ones.
The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch is the ultimate guide to the practical essentials of beekeeping. This wonderfully illustrated book covers every aspect of beekeeping from its place in history to how to manage hives, and ideas for uses of honey and beeswax. This book would make a fabulous gift for any backyard enthusiast or for anyone who is interested in learning everything they have ever wanted to know about beekeeping.
Favorite Children's Book: Spring Story (Brambly Hedge) by Jill Barklem is an adorable book that I read many times to my daughters when they were little. We all loved the stories of the mice that live in a hedgerow (a hedge of wild shrubs and trees near a country road) in the English countryside. The illustrations delightfully illustrate the fantastical wildlife habitat and the glorious homes they live in. Any child would love this book and any adult would enjoy reading it to them. It's divine!
Product of the Month - June 2013
Thieves Oil Household Cleaner is a natural all-purpose concentrated cleaner for all your cleaning needs and available through my store in Amazon. Add a few drops to water in a Glass Spray Bottle for a delightfully smelling non-toxic bacteria killing household cleaner.
Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberry Coulis
-inspired by the one I ate at Le Pain Quotidian-
I am obsessed with this Chia Seed Pudding, so much so that I have made it several times over the past few weeks! Not only is it utterly delicious but also it's also really easy to make. Chia seed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and full of minerals, vitamins and fiber and for those who are lactose intolerant, coconut milk is a healthy alternative.
Serves 4 or 2
1 cup of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of chia seed
1 teaspoon shredded coconut
1 teaspoon agave
1 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries
- Pour the coconut milk in a glass bowl and add the chia seed. Stir till all chia seed is mixed in.
- Pour the mix into either two drinking glasses, or 4 smaller glasses, leaving room at the top for the raspberry coulis.
- Put the glasses in the fridge and within 15 minutes the pudding should be set.
- If the raspberries are frozen; let them defrost for ½ hour or more at room temperature. Add them to a small food processor, and puree them, adding 1 teaspoon of agave to sweeten it up or you can use raw sugar instead.
- Remove the chia seed puddings from the fridge when ready to serve and pour the raspberry coulis on the top, sprinkled with some coconut flakes.
Join me is supporting this experiential film about living a life of self-reliance. Filmed on a farm in southern Oregon, Boone follows three young farmers who operate a small dairy. Only a few days left to show your support!