Fall 2018 Almanac

Hello friends!
I hope that you had a wonderful summer and that you have an interesting Fall to look forward to. This past summer, I got to celebrate my French grandmother’s 100th birthday in Nice and also spent a few days in Maine with loved ones, enjoying life on the coast. The air is just magic there.

Welcome to the Fall issue and a big thank you to all new subscribers!!

Let’s begin with mosquitoes. If you’re concerned about them where you live, I strongly recommend putting up a bat house or two. Read about the best places to put up bat houses here as well as the benefits of bats.
Another wonderful house to install in your garden is a Mason Bee House. Mason bees are non-aggressive and are excellent pollinators. You can learn more about them here.

I really enjoy spending time outdoors, wandering through the woods and observing nature on my walks, where I have found many natural treasures. Those treasures are illustrated on the cover of this issue, and if you are curious what some of them are, I made a list here.

The artist featured in this issue is well known and his work is all outdoors, and vast. The two works I feature I found to be particularly beautiful and wondrous. I like to feel WOW when I see art and his work definitely has a WOW factor.

Also truly amazing and wonderful is the eco cinema film series. It’s fascinating and educational, beautiful and inspiring. Take a moment to visit the world that the director Costas shows us.

The featured Gamechanger has created something remarkable and enduring, and I would love for you to learn about her. I’m also excited to share the blog I posted in Innovative Design. It’s a real eye opener, about a pressing issue that we all need to be aware of but one that affects each of us.

I will be following the September Garden Calendar,as best I can, and also, and most definitely, be making the Butternut Squash soup recipe using squash from my garden. So exciting! I love growing my own food!

Have you read about Parkipelago? Do you know the difference between organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines? Are you already helping more trees to be planted by using Ecosia? Do you know why you should wipe the tops of cans before opening them, or the best way to store celery? Don’t miss the one about why you should not drink water from plastic water bottles kept in the car; even more of a reason to bring your own reusable bottle. I also shared another health story about cars, and A/C. A must read.

Trees in the forest in Maine are being cut to save songbirds and crows are being trained to help clean up a scourge in the parks, the same scourge that is contributing to pollution in the oceans. Another way to protect the ocean and the wildlife that call home, is by using this instead of environmentally harmful balloons.

It fills me with hope when I read a story about a natural and sustainable solution to an awful problem: plastic bags and food wrapping. I also get comfort when reading a soul- nourishing book like Braiding Sweetgrass, one of the 3 books I recommended in this issue.

And lastly, I added three new stories- about a wallet, a pencil case and a lamp to The Cabinet of Green Curiosities, a page dedicated to beautiful and fascinating unusual natural treasures and then others that become something else extraordinary via human intervention. Oh, and I almost forgot: Hickory Nut Milk. I made it last week from nuts I foraged from trees by the house. There was the most delicious smell in the house when boiling the nuts!

If you would like to get regular updates, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

I’ll leave you with a quote I love, from Braiding Sweetgrass: “ Breath it in, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth, and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten.”

Wishing you a fantastic fall!

I’ll be back with the winter issue!

All the best,


  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Chili Pepper Flakes

    If your goal is to make one cup of crushed red pepper flakes, you will need 71 Serrano peppers.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Berry Jam

    This is the easiest jam recipe to make! All you need are fresh blackberries or raspberries and sugar.

  • Blog, Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Alek Wek’s Okra Stew

    The model and Goodwill Ambassador has been cooking this plant-based stew since her childhood in South Sudan.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Tree News

    Tree Glue

    Biodegradable plastic made from ‘tree glue’ could be on shelves within five years.

  • Eco Cinema, Fall 2018 Almanac


    Woodlanders,is a beautifully done film series by Costa Boutsikaris, a filmmaker from the Hudson Valley/NY, that documents the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world.

  • Blog, Fall 2018 Almanac, Nature News

    Fall 2018 Almanac Cover Image

    Explanation of all the beauty in the Almanac cover this month!

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Sustainable Design

    Floating Park

    In the Netherlands, where a floating park made from recycled plastic, has popped up, the recycled plastic is constructed into hexagonal pods, which mimic the landscape of Rotterdam’s Maas River before humans altered the landscape, according to the Recycled Island Foundation, the group behind the park.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Nature News


    The first island in Copenhagen’s Parkipelago set sail. Over the next year, the island will be moved around the lake, open for anyone and everyone to use. It’s one of the nine islands that will makeup the parkipelago in an attempt to create more public spaces in the city.

  • Bird News, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Cutting Trees to Save Birds

    “It’s OK to cut some trees,” said Andrew Shultz, landowner outreach forester for the Maine Forest Service. He explained that selective thinning, which can be a single tree or a half acre, helps biodiversity and enhances wildlife habitat.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Delicious and easy to make, this soup is absolutely wonderful!

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Nasturtium Pesto

    Nasturtiums edible leaves and flowers add a peppery flavor to many things, but one of the tastiest ways to eat nasturtiums is in pesto.

  • Eco Tip, Fall 2018 Almanac

    PW Tip: Celery

    How to keep celery fresh!

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Recipe

    Hickory Nut Milk

    Made with shagbark hickory nuts.

  • Eco Tip, Fall 2018 Almanac

    PW Tip 2: Water Bottles

    I wrote about this back in 2009!

  • Eco Tip, Fall 2018 Almanac

    PW Tip: Cans

    I still use this one!

  • Artist, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Christo & Jean-Claude

    Christo and Jeanne-Claude, respectively, are environmental sculptors noted for their controversial outdoor sculptures that often involved monumental displays of fabrics and plastics.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, The Cabinet Of Green Curiosities

    Lamps Made with Silkworm Cocoons

    Natural silk worm cocoons have been carefully placed atop a weightless metal frame.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, The Cabinet Of Green Curiosities

    Pencil Cases made from Pineapples

    Pinatex is a natural, sustainable textile made from the fibres of pineapple leaves, which are the waste from the pineapple harvest.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, The Cabinet Of Green Curiosities

    Wallet Made from Leaves

    This wallet was made from sustainably harvested natural Teak leaves.

  • Eco News, Fall 2018 Almanac


    Ecosia is a search engine, and when you use it to search the web, they plant trees.

  • Eco Tip, Fall 2018 Almanac

    The Differences between Organic, Sustainable and Biodynamic Wines

    The U.S. government regulates use of the term “organic,” but “sustainable” and “biodynamic” have no legal definitions.

  • Eco News, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Don’t Even Think About Turning the Air Conditioning on the Second you Get In your Car

    Does you car’s owner’s manual tell you to roll down the windows to let out all the hot air before turning on the A/C? Do you know why?

  • Eco News, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Make Your Own Non-toxic Homemade Bubbles

    Why make your own? Did you know that conventional bubble soap contains unhealthy ingredients ( dishsoap and handsoap as well), frequently contain sodium laureth sulfate, a skin irritant that is likely contaminated with known cancer causing chemicals.

  • Animal News, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Bat Houses

    Bats are a natural pest control. Did you know that some bat species eat an incredible number of mosquitoes, as many as 1,200 in an hour of feeding! Bats are also critical pollinators of seeds and fruits that we eat.

  • Bird News, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Crows Pick Up Trash in a French Park

    In France, the wily crow is getting a makeover. Puy du Fou, a historical theme park in the Loire region about four hours from Paris, has trained six crows to pick up cigarette butts and bits of trash and dump them in a box.

  • Fall 2018 Almanac, Gamechanger

    Robyn Van En

    Robyn Van En was one of the originators of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a business model that helps small, diverse organic farms cope with the expenses of organic farming methods by selling “shares” of the harvest to CSA members before the farming seasons begins.

  • Book, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Henry Humming: Henry Saves Hanna by Irene Starlone

    A hummingbird, a blue jay, and a house finch go on an unexpected journey…

  • Book, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Life Without Plastic by Jay Sinha and Chantal Plamondon

    Life Without Plastic strives to create more awareness about BPA-based products, polystyrene and other single-use plastics, and provides readers with ideas for safe, reusable and affordable alternatives.

  • Book, Fall 2018 Almanac

    Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

    As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.