October 2014 Almanac
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The trees are just magnificent and I never get tired of their awesome display of oranges, reds and gold colors. I don’t see enough of them in Los Angeles, so I’ll be enjoying them vicariously through all the photos posted on social media!
Nine years ago, when I was developing the concept for my business, it was important to me that it would contribute to being a resource for positive change not only for people’s lives but for the environment as well. I also spent time learning about what my family generations ago had started in a small storefront in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: the Woolworth Five-and-Dime store chain. Frank Winfield Woolworth provided a selection of useful every day products and made them available and affordable to everyone. Woolworth’s was a trend-setter and created the modern retail model, which stores follow worldwide today. Inspired in part by what FW did, I launched my own version of a "Green Woolworth’s", by providing useful and affordable every day products that are good for you and good for the planet. Please stop by and visit my E-commerce store Priscillawoolworth.com where I offer a curated selection of my favorite practical products. The food section has all the organics that I use in my own kitchen! I’ve made it easier to make positive changes in your lifestyle by offering healthy alternatives.
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October 4th is World Animal Day and the international day of action celebrated annually which happens to be the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species.
In support of our animal friends, the 3 PW tips this month, which I post at the end of the almanac, are dedicated to several of the best wildlife foundations. Another one is the World Wildlife Fund or WWF, which focuses their efforts at multiple levels, starting with wildlife, habitats and local communities and expanding up through governments and global networks. The WWF views the planet as a single, complex web of relationships between species, the environment, and human institutions such as government and global markets. Visit wwf.org
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If you care about deforestation, you’ll be interested to learn what are the 5 products responsible for the huge loss of trees around the world. With climate change affecting many parts of the world, trees are more vital than ever. Preserving and rehabilitating forests will help keep the air we breathe clean now and for future generations.
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I added more products that I love to my store from a super duper Vitamix blender to make all combinations of vegetable juices to large and small root storage bins for safely storing either the potatoes, turnips, onions and carrots you grew (or bought at your local farm) and in the event you are in the mood to detox your kitchen (read the next paragraph!), a set of nesting stainless steel cookware for easy storage. Visit my Pinterest board.
I just got rid of every last one of my Teflon pans and I am really happy about it! After researching and writing about the hazardous chemicals in Teflon for my book LOLA, I realized that I still had a few lurking in the back of my kitchen cabinet. Popular Teflon non-stick pans are full of awful chemicals like PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene, a polymer found in the coating and together with PFOA, have been linked to serious health issues such as elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation, early menopause, reduced immune function, and cancer. When it comes to the health and well-being of my household, I’m interested in preventive measures and if I can do something that could therefore prevent my family, my friends or myself from getting sick, I’ll do it.
Subscribe to my LOLA blog and receive a once-a-week newsletter of wonderful tips and info about living sustainably and how to make healthy choices. Keep up to date about when LOLA the book will be available for sale. (Scroll down to the bottom of lotsoflovealways.com to subscribe).
A particularly favorite day of mine is October 20th, National Reuse day! The purpose of National Reuse Day is to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of reuse and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a cleaner environment and a greener economy. I do try and reuse and repurpose everything that would have gone to the waste bin in the past. Reducing the amount of waste my household produces daily is second nature to me now. Visit reusealliance.org
Wishing you and your little ones a fantastically fun and safe Halloween!
Have a great month of October!
All the best
I'm very interested in learning about sustainably designed homes, buildings, businesses, public parks and gardens where the public and the planet benefit. This month, I’ve chosen to profile something I long to do: raise chickens. So it’s not surprising that one of my favorite sustainable living stories that I read about in Gardenista is for those of us who are thinking about getting chickens but can’t quite make the commitment.
You can now rent chickens and a coop for a few months and test out the arrangement and see if you can handle it long term. "There’s a lot to be said for cutting out the middlemen that stand between you and that fried egg you’re about to put in your mouth. And there is a lot to be said for backyard chickens: they eat bugs, and they lay as many as 250 fresh eggs a year per chicken."
Five companies you can rent from are Coop and Caboodle in Birmingham, AL; Rent-a-Chicken in Traverse City, MI; Rent-a-Chook in Sydney, Australia; Land’s Sake in Weston, MA and Rent a Coop in Maryland. Hoping to see one or more pop up in California, the sooner the better!
Fed UP is a film that blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry aided by the U.S. government to mislead and confuse the American public. Narrated by Katie Couric, Fed Up exposes the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, the film follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of exercise and eat right is not ringing true for millions of people struggling with diabetes, childhood obesity and other serious conditions.
Including captivating interviews with the country's leading experts, this vital information could change the way we eat forever. Included with your purchase is a one-year subscription to Eating Well Magazine.
Gabriel Orozco is a Mexican artist with an international reputation, who created a large-scale sculptural piece entirely made from 1,200 pieces of detritus he found on two sites. The first site, was a playing field near his New York home and the second, is a protected coastal biosphere in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Titled ‘sandstars,’ the piece was part of the larger show Asterisms, shown last year at the Guggenheim Museum, in New York City. The artist grouped the found objects, mostly man-made- such as glass bottles, plastic buoys, tennis balls and incandescent light bulbs -in a taxonomic arrangement on the gallery floor.
Orozco does not call himself an environmentalist, nonetheless his piece raised awareness of the ever-present tension between nature and culture, where a protected wildlife reserve, a whale mating ground, and whale cemetery is also an industrial wasteland, a repository for flows of commercial waste from across the Pacific Ocean.
Previously profiled artists in the news:
Theo Jansen will be presenting his Strandbeests at Art Basel Miami Dec 4th - 7th, 2014. Read more here.
Clare Graham has a show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles till January 4th, 2015. Read more here.
Kate MccGwire has created a site-specific work for the Coastal Currents Art festival in Hastings, UK. Visit coastalcurrents.org.uk.
Wolfgang Laib explores the beautiful world of pollen in the series Art 21 for PBS. Read more here.
Maya Lin’s art and environmental activism is featured in Berkeley exhibit until February 4th, 2015. Read more here.
Dutch wunderkind Boyan Slat turned 20 this year. He was featured here in Sustainable Design/Nov. 2013. According to Businessweek, he recently closed on $2 million in crowdfunding to build cleanup contraptions designed to intercept and remove plastic refuse from the ocean. The world’s oceans contain millions of tons of garbage, much of it plastic debris that collects in gyres that span hundreds of miles.
Slat, an aeronautical engineer and founder of Ocean Cleanup, has been contemplating how best to attack this problem since he was 16. The solution he came up with is to deploy several V-shaped floating barriers that will be moored to the seabed and strategically placed in the path of major ocean currents. The 30-mile-long arms of the V’s, he says, will catch buoyant garbage and trash floating 3 meters below the surface while allowing sea life to pass underneath.
In June, Slat, together with a team of 70 scientists and engineers, released a successful feasibility study, and they expect the first pilot to be deployed within a year, and they plan to have a fully operational offshore cleanup array in three years.
To read more about the study, watch the film and support his work at theoceancleanup.com.
Eco Garden - October 2014
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.
OCTOBER MOON PHASE SCHEDULE:
October 1st-7th: Waxing Moon
Garden Chores to be done during the month of October are:
October is a great time to plant: bare root fruit trees, perennials, roses, cane berries, artichokes, asparagus, spring bulbs, chives, parsley, arugula, cilantro and swiss chard, lavender, rosemary, and santolina
When you plan your vegetable garden, sow the seeds at intervals, every week throughout the season, so you always have something growing at different times. This is called 'succession planting'.
Harvest tomatoes and peppers
Plant shrubs for fall color such as barberry, cotonteaser, mahonia, nandina or pyracantha
Save water by letting go of the small lawn on the curb by your house because this is a perfect time to plant water-wise plants such as carex or blue fescue, creeping germanderm, sedums, aloes mixed with lobelia, nemesia and sweet smelling alyssum.
Keep a bucket in your shower (if there is room enough) and catch the cold water before it turns warm. Use that water in your garden or water a thirsty tree in your neighborhood.
October is also a great time to do pruning: Prune perennials that have flowered such as bananas, cannas, gingers and heliconias, and cut their stems to the ground. Prune Santa Barbara daisies, scabiosas and verbenas and all your geraniums by half and also the oleander bushes
Deadhead spent flowers
Feed roses with a balanced organic fertilizer
Clean up your garden and start a fall compost pile
Divide perennials and fall blooming bulbs after bloom
Watch out for slugs and snails around your new plantings.
Turn your compost pile and keep it damp
Plant bulbs, spring wildflowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflower, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, larkspur, lobelia, lupine, nicotiana, nigella, pansy, petunia, poppy, salvia, scabiosa, snapdragon, stock, sweet pea, verbena, carnation, delphinium, hollyhock, lavender, penstemon, rudbeckia, statice, and yarrow
In your vegetable garden plant: broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, garlic, spinach, lettuce, peas, chard, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for October and which days are best for specific chores:
October 1st-7th, 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.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
October 5th-6th: Plant above ground annuals
October 9th-22nd, 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:
October 9th-10th: Plant for root growth, divide perennials
October 24th-November 5th: the Moon is in the Waxing phase again!
Get ready for November 2014 Gardening according to the phases of the Moon.
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Garden product of the month:
Root Storage Bin
Root veggies like carrots and beets will stay fresh all winter and even grow sweeter in this storage bin. Just fill with layers of damp sand or sawdust, alternating with layers of carrots or beets, and put in a cool, dark place. Potatoes, turnips and squash can go right in the bin without sand.
Eco Books - October 2014
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses by Eliot Coleman
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate By Naomi Klein
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
I Like Animals by Dahlov Ipcar
Every child love animals. At some point, all of us have wished for our own zoo filled with beasts and birds; a pet shop with cats, dogs, and fish in every shape and color; a cabin in the woods to spy on brown bears and wild wolves; and a ranch with mustangs to race across the plains! Here is a book for every animal lover. :-)
Emile Henry Ceramic Clay Pot
I just got rid of the last Teflon pans in my kitchen and will only be using stainless steel pots, cast iron skillets and cooking pots like this Emile Henry ceramic clay all-in-one kind. Attractive and durable, can be used in the oven as well as on top of the cooker and cleans up easily.
This delicious soup is easy to make and packed with health benefits from the coconut oil used to cook the shallots and ginger, to the carrots and sweet potatoes. Carrots are a powerhouse of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that converts into Vitamin A while it’s being processed by the body and repairs damaged skin tissue. Sweet potatoes are another great source of beta-carotene, Vitamins A and C. I like to ‘swish’ a small spoonful of plain yogurt on the soup before serving.
All ingredients are organic
1/4 cup of shallots; 4 small or 1 large one, peeled and chopped
1 medium ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs Coconut oil
1 Lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
4 cups of water
2 tsp. mineral salt
- In a medium sized pot, add the 2 Tbs of coconut oil, the shallots and ginger and sauté slowly for 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, the sweet potato, 4 cups of water and 2 tsp salt.
- Simmer covered, until vegetables are tender. 10-15 minutes.
- Puree, using a hand blender or in a blender, until smooth.
- Season with a pinch of mineral salt
Serve warm or cold
The Nature Conservancy works with local communities, businesses, and individuals to protect over 100 million acres of land around the world. In doing so, The Nature Conservancy preserves entire wildlife communities and the rich species diversity that inhabits those lands. It's a holistic approach, one that is vital to the health of our planet.
Vistit them at nature.org
JGI was founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, and is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. atheir work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision. One of the core values that informs everything about the JGI: teaching by example to respect, nourish and protect all living things; people, animals and the environment are all interconnected.
Oceana seeks to preserve the very core of our planet's health by protecting its oceans. Without healthy oceans, we can scarcely hope for healthy landscapes. Our oceans sustain life on dry land through their role in maintaining the atmosphere we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.