Just caught wind of it, but $12 tonight gets you a belated Bastille Day! Sounds like a unique date night!
Archive for July, 2009
Just caught wind of it, but $12 tonight gets you a belated Bastille Day! Sounds like a unique date night!
Posted in Animal Advocacy, Book Reviews, Farmer's Markets, Food and Nutrition, Organic Gardening, Uncategorized, tagged eating local, organic cooking, Organic Gardening, sustainable farming on July 30, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Everyone has reasons for avoiding certain foods, even if only to keep from eating those we dislike. Health issues, taste preferences, gastric reactions, allergies, and the all-important food appeal are primary reasons for choosing to eat, or not to eat, a particular food.
While much of the U.S. population uses convenience as a primary food choice criteria, some choose non-genetically modified foods, others opt for organic, and finally still others prefer to eat only those foods produced locally.
So, what is the point in choosing to eat only locally produced foods? These answers and more are in the lessons of the warm and inviting book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. This story brings you into the fold of a rural farm family, spending a year producing much of their own food, and procuring the rest locally.
Choosing to eat only locally grown foods is a commitment far exceeding that of not eating vegetables or avoiding dairy products or meat. Often, commitments to avoid foods are religious in nature. Author Barbara Kingsolver brings us to understand how her own family’s choice to eat local foods is much the same as a religious choice; it involves a belief system.
Kingsolver and her family steadfastly believe that since the cost of foods imported from the likes of South America and Africa, goes largely to the petroleum industry for transportation costs, thus eating globally produced foods contributes to the demise of the small, family farmer. Their choice was to become closer to their food producers, buying only within their county or state, and producing as much of their own food as they could.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
The family’s adventure takes us through the calendar of food harvests, watching them eat and preserve as much of each crop as possible, until its season ends and another crop takes it place on the harvesting table. Kingsolver and her family were immeasurably innovative in finding ways to create foods that are not produced locally. For instance, they learned to make their own cheese and found many alternatives to old eating habits and favorite foods that were not available much of the year.
A wonderfully inspiring book, Kingsolver, along with her family, craft an educational, yet charming snapshot of a year as a Virginia farm family. Whether you are a would-be gardener or have an interest in reducing your dependence on oil, this book will provide much food for thought, along with many recipes that became the staples of the family’s seasonal eating commitment.
I live in a recycled 1950′s house that has hard water. Which means that I inherited anemic yellow and sea foam green tiles in the bathrooms and a bad case of mineral deposits. Not wanting to use toxic cleaners, we just lived with them.
Until we found Ecover products that worked!
For the toilet cleaning, we’ve switched to using Ecover Toilet Cleaner. I’m not crazy about the “pine” like scent, but it works well, and I like that the thicker formula clings to the sides of the bowls a bit and the angled bottle helps squirt under the rim easily.
For the mineral deposits around the sink and shower stall we use the spray on Ecover Limescale Remover. It comes out foamy and odorless. If you have a rough, thick patch on the vertical surface of the shower, you can spray and then put paper towel on it to help hold the formula in the place where you want it to work and then come back later. It needs careful rinsing or else you will have a white chalky residue though.
Both come packaged in polyethylene and polypropylene that are 100% recyclable. Both are also plant based, biodegradable, no animal testing, and minimal impact on aquatic life.
WHERE TO BUY
Posted in Fun Stuff for Kids, tagged 2009, festival, ibex, ibexpuppetry.com, international, july, kid, Orlando, orlando shakespeare theater, orlandorep.com, puppet, puppetry, show, the rep on July 23, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Got a postcard inviting me to check out international puppetry! Here’s the performances that are left this weekend…
Orlando International Puppet Festival
July 2009! No need to travel! Performances and workshops by International Puppet Artists in Orlando! Presented by IBEX Puppetry in conjunction with The REP’s 3rd Annual Target Family Theatre Festival.
Noferatu (“Dracula”) by Bob Theatre
Co-presented by Pinocchio’s Marionette Theatre
Sat., July 25th: 11 AM and 7 PM
Orlando Shakespeare Theater ($12)
“The Box? A Show of Feelings” by Coad Canada Puppets
Sunday, July 26th: 11 AM and 1 PM
Orlando Shakespeare Theater ($6)
“Emilio and the Enchanted Cow” by Marionetas de la Equina
Sunday, July 26th: 4 PM (En Espanol) and 7 PM
Orlando Shakespeare Theater ($12)
To purchase tickets call THE REP at 407-896-7365 EXT 1 or visit www.orlandorep.com
Please visit www.ibexpuppetry.com for more information.
Posted in Organic Gardening, tagged florida, foot, fruit, garden, gardeners.com, gardening, grow, growing, guide, herb, kitchen, plan, planner, planting, salsa, SFG, square, vegetable on July 22, 2009 | 1 Comment »
Mid-July is seed starting time if you are planning a fall garden. But what if you are new and not sure what to plant?
READY MADE PLANS
You can select from 6 pre-planned designs — the All American, Cook’s Choice, High Yield, Plant It and Forget It, Salsa & Tomato Sauce and Salad Bar.
MAKE YOUR OWN
You can also click and drag an assortment of plants from the menu bar down into the grid area to make your own design:
It will tell you how many of each plant will go into each square foot.
There’s also Step-by-Step care tips, a Vegetable Encyclopedia, and Supplies and Accessories that you can buy at the website.
I do wish it allowed you to specify how big your bed is rather than limiting it to a 3 ft x 6 ft bed in the planner. That would be a nice improvement down the road. Expanding the 30 item plant list to include more herbs, fruits and vegetables would also be good.
The planner is easy enough for kids to use and you can print out the designs. It’s definitely my favorite of all the online planners I’ve seen so far and good for beginning gardeners.
Another interesting sounding workshop for Saturday! This one is in the afternoon.
Exotic plants are those not native to Florida. Invasive plants spread quickly. Exotic invasive plants are a threat to our natural ecosystem because they can grow rapidly with no natural predators and they can take over native plants by growing over them and strangling them out.
Come for this free workshop and learn more about exotic invasive plants and the Econ River as we remove water hyacinth and wedelia from the Econ Farm property. Be prepared for Florida wilderness and to get wet.
WHEN AND WHERE
Saturday, July 25, 2009
16206 Hamilton Dr.
Please let us know if you plan to attend!
To register, email email@example.com or call 321-228-4310.
Posted in Alternative Education, tagged central florida urban homesteaders, FLorida School of Holistic Living, food, FSHL, garden, grow, growing, landscape, local food alliance, Natasha McIntosh, permaculture, workshop on July 20, 2009 | 1 Comment »
There’s a lot of interesting things happening downtown this weekend. I’m probably attending this class before I peek at the Summer Sale at Avalon.
Introduction to Permaculture Workshop
Florida School of Holistic Living Education Annex
1109 E Concord St
Saturday, July 25, 2009 from 10 AM to 12 PM
Hosted by Central Florida Urban Homesteaders
The word “permaculture” was coined and popularized in the mid 70′s by David Holmgren, a young Australian ecologist, and his associate / professor, Bill Mollison. It is a contraction of “permanent agriculture” or “permanent culture.” Permaculture is about designing ecological human habitats and food production systems. It is a land use and community building movement which strives for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive communities. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way we place them in the landscape. This synergy is further enhanced by mimicking patterns found in nature.
A central theme in permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food. Emphasis is placed on multi-use plants, cultural practices such as sheet mulching and trellising, and the integration of animals to recycle nutrients and graze weeds. However, permaculture entails much more than just food production. Energy-efficient buildings, waste water treatment, recycling, and land stewardship in general are other important components of permaculture.
More recently, permaculture has expanded its purview to include economic and social structures that support the evolution and development of more permanent communities, such as co-housing projects and eco-villages. As such, permaculture design concepts are applicable to urban as well as rural settings, and are appropriate for single households as well as whole farms and villages. “Integrated farming” and “ecological engineering” are terms sometimes used to describe permaculture, with “cultivated ecology” perhaps coming the closest.
ABOUT NATASHA MCINTOSH
Natasha McIntosh received her certfication in Permaculture Design from the renowned Permaculture instructor, Scott Pittman two years ago. She traveled in Central and South America for 1 1/2 years working on various organic farms, permaculture farms and urban agriculture projects as well as several ecovillages. She returned in February ’09 and has been actively involved with the Local Food Alliance and various garden projects.
COST AND RSVP
$25 tuition includes materials. Register with a friend and save $5 each ($20 tuition).
Call 407-595-3731 or firstname.lastname@example.org to save your seat as space is limited.
More weekend fun at Seven Sisters!
Christmas in July at Seven Sisters!
That’s right—-we’re pulling out the Christmas Tree and Hannukah lights and setting up for some Winter fun! Join us starting
Friday, July 24, 2009 at 5:00pm up to Friday, July 31, 2009 at 10:00pm
as we preview some of our Holiday recipes, goodies and products we’ll highlight this upcoming season.
- Drinks: candied minty mochas, tweaked out pumpkin latte’s and a gingerbread special.
- Cupcakes: spiced pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting, candy cane cupcake and gingerbread-cream cheese cupcake
- Chocolate: get ready for some sinful creations from Wild Woman Chocolate.
- Savory’s: latkas anyone?? lets see what we can drum up!
- Gifts and Products: we’ll feature local artisans and their creations so you can shop early or even put in custom orders
- Music: Christmas Night (July 25), The Forefathers will play their favorites from their instrumental Holiday Album.
We’ll follow with an awesome White Elephant Gift game so bring a “gift” of your choosing.
Seven Sisters Coffee House
911 N. Mills Ave
Unschooling, the most relaxed of all homeschool philosophies, is about providing a rich environment in which children can develop and learn naturally. Like other homeschooling parents, an unschooling mother is involved in her children’s education, but the role she plays is that of facilitator rather than dictator.
Real World Experiences Instead of Skills in Isolation
Unschooling is simply a continuation of what parents naturally do to help their little ones learn as infants and toddlers. When babies are learning to walk, parents provide them with a hand to help them steady themselves and lots of reassurance. When toddlers are learning to speak, parents encourage their children and expose them to language, reading board books daily in addition to introducing them to songs and finger plays such as “This Little Piggy.” Parents watch their children’s cues and react to their interests and abilities, teaching their children about language, art, music, and more in the context of real life.
In many families, this changes around age three or four when the child enters an academic preschool. The child’s new job is to “get ready for school” rather than to continue learning naturally at his or her own pace. As a result of the pressure to do well in today’s kindergarten, lists of educational objectives become the focus for well-meaning teachers and parents. When formal academics are introduced too soon, the natural love for learning that all children are born with is often extinguished, sometimes resulting in learning problems and behavioral issues.
In contrast, parents who believe in self-directed learning allow children of all ages to continue learning naturally and at their own pace. For example, the parent of a child who is interested in birds might buy him a new pair of binoculars and a bird-watching guide. The parent may help the child construct a birdfeeder so there will be more opportunities to observe birds in the backyard. With help, the child may do research online about birds they’ve encountered in addition to picking up additional books on the topic at the local library. These activities may serve as a springboard for creating a book or project about what they’ve learned, and the parent will once again be there to support, encourage, and yes, teach. Traditionally schooled children typically play a more passive role in the learning process while unschoolers are actively engaged throughout the day.
Unschooling families all believe that children learn best through real-life experiences, but there’s still quite a deal of variation in the unschooling community. Some apply this philosophy to all aspects of parenting while others see unschooling as a homeschooling style rather than a total lifestyle choice. Unschooled children also vary based on their own interests and learning styles. What makes them unschoolers is not whether or not they use a workbook, but whether or not that completing that workbook is mandatory. Unschooling parents often take advantage of educational resources just as other homeschool parents do, but these resources are seen as tools made available to the child to enhance their understanding (rather than requirements).
Information about unschooling is readily available online and in print. Visit Life Without School, an online publication with excellent content, for a personal look at the lives of families who have chosen this path. Learn about the man who is considered the father of unschooling, John Holt, and see a list of recommended books on the topic at Growing Without School. Another good resource is Life Learning Magazine, an international publication about self-directed learning. Also visit the website of Laurie Chancey, a doctoral candidate who was unschooled as a child. Her mother, Valerie Fitzenreiter, wrote a book on unschooling entitled The Unprocessed Child.
See the FAQ section on Unschooling.com for answers to common questions about unschooling. I especially recommend the following articles for parents of young children:
Orlando Homeschool Links: