Summer 2018 Almanac

Welcome to the Summer Issue!

Dear friends, I hope that you are inspired, as well as entertained by each issue of the Almanac. I also hope that you will support my ad-free labor of love by getting a paid subscription. By helping each other embrace options that meet our needs and promote sustainable lifestyles, we are ensuring the ability of future generations to do the same. Thank you so much!

There is a lot of important-to-your-health information to read in this issue, starting with the three PW Tips: Toothpaste, Sunscreen and Salt. I’m an informed consumer, and every time I need to buy something, like toothpaste for example, I know what to look for. Making healthy decisions when shopping has become second nature to me, and I wish the same for you.

Since I moved to the Hudson Valley last year, I’m experiencing the wonders of spring after a long (long) winter, filling me with gratitude every time I go for a walk in nature. I’ve discovered the benefits of Stinging Nettles, which used to be the bane of my existence growing up in France, where nettles grew in all the areas I wanted to play. I love them now and have shared why nettles are so healthy for us and how to make delicious nettle soup and nettle tea.

The Innovative Design post is truly inspiring and I’m hoping that it will be included in zero energy designs in the future, all over the world. It’s absolutely brilliant, as is the Gamechanger in this issue. I have been a fan of his for many years, and knew he that he cared deeply for the environment and the ocean in particular, but I had no idea the extent of what he does to raise awareness and inspire positive change.

I recently took a Forest Stewardship course, which I loved. It was completely fascinating and I learned a lot about how to be a better steward of the woods by my home and wherever I go for hikes. I loved learning about all the edible plants I could forage on my land, which gave me this incredible feeling of freedom. I could live a little off the land, as long as I foraged responsibly. Did you know that dandelions are really healthy for us to eat? I shared a recipe on how to make dandelion tea, and another for tomatoes, since they are coming into season.


Please read the blog post about spices, and why you should only buy them if they are organic. When I found out about how conventional spices are treated before we buy them, I was horrified. I also wrote about why you should also only buy organic milk and eggs. I know that organics are often too expensive for many, but the more we can support the businesses that provide us with safe, pesticide and toxin free foods, my wish is that they will become the norm and more affordable for everyone.

The artist in this issue is absolutely astonishing. I can’t believe her work and her process, and then the two new additions to the Cabinet of Green Curiosities are fascinating. You wonder how on earth these could be made. I’m also amazed at the resiliency of animals like the caribou, and what they are up against in their yearly migration in June. The land they live on is in jeopardy and we need to help protect it.

As soon as I finished writing the garden calendar for June, I printed it up and posted it on my fridge, so I know exactly what are the best days for certain chores and I can plan accordingly. Getting ready for my new vegetable garden!

So many of us have been obsessed/concerned for years with plastic pollution and it seems like we are finally reaching the point culturally where one-time use plastic is becoming socially unacceptable. On a different note, it seems like the joys of sitting back to read a book are becoming popular again, though for some of us, it never went out of style.

Before I sign off, don’t miss the film I shared in Eco Cinema. It’s short, powerful and informative, and if you are interested in a deeper knowledge of how forests function, listen to the TED talks by a famous ecologist.

Wishing you the most wonderful summer and see you back in for the Fall Issue!

All the best,


  • Eco Garden, Summer 2018 Almanac

    August Eco Garden

    Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth

  • Eco Garden, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

    Plants interact with each other, and behave a lot like us: some get along, some don’t. The following list is of plants that get along with each other or offer some benefit to another such as enhancing fertility or handicapping pests or diseases.

  • Animal News, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Caribou News

    Did you know that in June, after migrating hundreds of miles north from their winter grounds, some 130,000 caribou in the Porcupine herd finally reach Alaska’s coastal plain on the Beaufort Sea?

  • Eco Tip, Summer 2018 Almanac

    PW Tips

    PW Tips 2018 Summer

  • Nature News, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Eat Stinging Nettles

    Stinging Nettles contain vitamins C and K, B vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron, to name a few. It also has amino acids and antioxidants, which may help fight free radicals.

  • Nature News, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Forest Stewardship

    I recently took an informative 6 week long workshop called the Fundamentals of Forest Stewardship because I wanted to learn how to have a reciprocal and productive relationship with the forest by my home, and have a deeper understanding of the forest garden within, as well as learn the tools to preserve natural habitats for animals and insects alike.

  • Summer 2018 Almanac, The Cabinet Of Green Curiosities

    Bag Moth Cocoon

    Once the case is built, only adult males ever leave the case, never to return, when they take flight to find a mate.

  • Eco Tip, Summer 2018 Almanac

    The Story of Microfibers

    Synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits — called microfibers…

  • Summer 2018 Almanac, The Cabinet Of Green Curiosities

    Carrier Shells

    How does the carrier shell hunt, hold and glue other shells and bits of coral to themselves?

  • Book, Summer 2018 Almanac

    How the Trees Got Their Voices by Susan Andra Lion and Sue Lion

    While camping with a group of girls, Susan Andra Lion was given this tale about trees, nature and also the relationship of living things within a forest ecosystem.

  • Book, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Farming the Woods: An integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel

    Farming the Woods invites a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products

  • Book, Summer 2018 Almanac

    A Natural History of the Hedgerow: and ditches, dykes and dry stone walls by John Wright

    This beautifully produced book is a practical and comprehensive record of hedges, dry stone walls, ditches and other agricultural boundaries found throughout the United Kingdom.

  • Eco Tip, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Find a Sit Spot

    Maintaining a sit spot is one of the most profound activities you can undertake. It hones your observational skills, helping you learn about the woods, and how the forest or trees change.

  • Summer 2018 Almanac, Sustainable Design

    The Gates of Light

    Inspired by the iridescent sparkling of butterfly wings, the GATES OF LIGHT in the Netherlands, are structures on a causeway, which are illuminated by the headlamps of passing cars, reflecting light through small prisms.

  • Gamechanger, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson is a singer-songwriter, environmental activist in the ecology and sustainability movement (with an ocean-centric focus), founder of the Allatonce foundation and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador.

  • Recipe, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Stinging Nettle Soup

    Cooked nettles are not only delicious, but also full of health benefits and… they lose their sting when cooked.

  • Eco Garden, Eco Tip, Summer 2018 Almanac


    These “considered weed” plants, have a number of powerful health benefits. In fact, humans have been using dandelions in food for much of recorded history.

  • Eco Garden, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Edible Plants Found on a Walk in a Forest Garden

    We have a legacy of overharvesting plants in the wild. We need to be careful and forage ethically and sustainably, to ensure that these plants will continue to be found in the future.

  • Eco News, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Demand Real Organic Food from Real Organic Farmers

    We need the largest retailers of organic food in the country to stand with organic farmers and consumers for the integrity of organic food and agriculture – or risk losing our shopping dollars.

  • Recipe, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Tomatoes à la provencale

    Fast and easy to make, this delicious dish is a classic from the South of France, and is best served along with savory dishes like an omelet, or a rice and grain salad.

  • Eco News, Summer 2018 Almanac

    The End is Near for Plastic Bags and Straws

    Times are changing. Just as it became socially unacceptable to smoke indoors, the use of plastic bags and plastic straws will slowly be phased out over time once the government moves to restrict them.

  • Eco Tip, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Organic Spices

    Organic spices don’t contain any fillers, synthetic anti-caking agents, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives that may be found in conventional spices. They’re also not irradiated and are free of genetically modified ingredients.

  • Recipe, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Stinging Nettle Tea

    Nettles are often ingested in tea form, which has been observed to have potent effects on the body.

  • Artist, Summer 2018 Almanac

    Diana Scherer

    Diana Scherer is a visual artist living and working in Amsterdam. Her work encompasses photography, material research, plant root-weaving and sculpture.