Tuesday, April 22, 2008

a three parter for today

There has been a slow transition in our house since our daughter was born three years ago. Slowly but surely more organic, all natural, local, home grown foods have moved into our cupboards and shelves and soon to the deep freezer (we are in the works on purchasing some local, organic, grass fed beef and pork). Reading books like THE 100 MILE DIET and ANIMAL VEGETABLE MIRACLE catapulted things even further. Now books like the THE GARDENER'S A to Z GUIDE TO GROWING ORGANIC FOOD and ROOTS SHOOTS BUCKETS AND BOOTS are on my nightstand as we plot and plan for our own and first home garden.
A few weeks ago we got out our seed trays and the huge array of seeds we ordered and started planting.

We have seen germination in everything except the peppers which we are still waiting on. Tim also took LittleA to a nursery to get some bare root fruits for earth day. He purchased two grape varieties, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. He also just informed me that he bought two small pieces of horseradish root....if you live nearby be prepared for homemade goodness - I hear this spreads like crazy! I am so excited about the prospect of growing and maintaining our own food supply. Hoping to avoid spraying - but also knowing that if we have to go down that path that we know the source and quantity of the sprays.

I also came across the 100 Foot Diet Challenge and am excited to add our "victory garden" to the ranks of those "growing food closer to home".
The Challenge:
The challenge is simple. Beginning as soon as you can, prepare a meal at least once a week with only homegrown vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, dairy products or meat, using as few store bought ingredients as possible.
Don't think you have the space? Check out the home of the challenge Little Homestead in the City. This family is in the heart of Urban LA in the shadows of a major highway. They have converted almost the entire outdoor space to gardens - making the majority of their own food and of course saving on lawn maintenance! You can start on your front stoop or porch - no need for mega garden space.

from the site:
In our society, growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can - and will - overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world - we change ourselves. ~ Jules Dervaes ~
I can't wait to post our home grown meals this summer. And hopefully through the winter with proper canning and freezing.


Now with all this tasty food around I am going through my kitchen and finding ways to simplify and mainly reduce the amount of plastics in the kitchen. I am sure that you have seen the research that is coming up all over the place about the dangers of chemicals leaching from plastics into your food and beverages.

I have mostly eliminated food storage bags from the house. I fill our reusable lunch bags with goodies wrapped in a Wrap-N-Mat. I love these things! They are made of food safe materials and fabric. They are washable (typically I just shake out the crumbs and maybe give a quick rub
with a wet rag) and the best part is that once they are opened they double as a place mat. The liner keeps juicy sandwiches from leaking all over everything else in your bag.

Currently my husband and I carry beverages to work with our trusty old school Stanley Thermos. But I am considering purchasing a Klean Kanteen for each of us to stay hydrated past the morning cup of coffee or tea. These are made of stainless steel. They also have sippy ones for kiddos. You can even use the discount code on reusablebags.com (20% off - CODE:

and for left overs I am hoping to phase out all glad ware and Tupperware type items and move on to glass storage in the kitchen - maybe something like these. That and of course some recycled jars and such.

What alternative storage are you using in your kitchen and food prep?

Looking for some inspiration to cut back on all the STUFF in your life? I know I am and here are two sources of inspiration....

When Meg of SewLiberated asked that readers check out an online video as a birthday present to her - I was intrigued to say the least. If you have read this far and are interested in giving me (or yourself for that matter) an Earth Day present - then I urge you to take the time to watch this online video.

The Story of STUFF It is a cleverly done presentation about the economic chain of products in this country.
From the website:
The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
Hard to watch it and not think about it the next time you are in the store. I think I might just watch it once a month as a reminder. Made me a little misty eyed at the mess we have gotten ourselves into...thankfully there are links to simple steps you can take to make change. You can even keep up with the Story of Stuff blog.

Also incredibly inspiring is Mamas on the Compact. This is a blog community of women who have taken the compact challenge to not buy new for a set period of time. I found out about this through Amy who blogs at Gift of Green (where she posts about giving her family the "best gift of all the gift of green"). She has taken the challenge for 2 months. I have been tossing the idea around myself and I am eager to see how she does...might just be the push I need!

So if you read this far...what are you doing to green up your life?


Audrey said...

dayna!!!!!!! i am so glad to read this post. it is all things i have been thinking about too. for instance, using glassware instead of plastic packaging. i'd love to hear what other alternatives there are.

can i borrow the 100 ft diet sometime? unfortunately, i am an awful gardener despite being an earth-lover, but i really love the idea. it's ridiculous how many resources are wasted by transporting food miles and miles from its point of origin.

Jess said...

love this post and all the ideas! i'd love to phase out plastic storage containers from our house as well - pyrex is a great solution, especially the smaller sized container. i also really like the idea of cutting back on the amount of things we purchase, and that clutter up our homes... i've been reading the blog Zen Habits, and have become really inspired by that.

looking forward to swapping canning and freezing tips as the summer growing season gets going!

Dayna said...

Glad you guys enjoyed the post!

Audrey - The 100 ft diet is just a web based challenge...There is a book on the 100 mile diet though...I would lend it if I had it - but I borrowed it from the library. It is worth looking for - really great book!

Jess -I will have to check out zen habits.

Cant wait to swap canning and freezing stories - great thinking!