Join me in learning about the Square Foot Gardening Method

Gardening Renaissance of Columbia SC is doing a FREE "Gardening 101 with alternative to traditional methods " on Saturday February 26th from 9a until Noon @ USC West Quad-Building C. Join me at this event and begin learning about one of the most space and labor conscience methods in farming!


Foodie Friday: Organic Quinoa Dish

One of my favorite (and more resent) discoveries is quinoa. A high protein and fiber grain, it makes wonderful vegetarian dishes but is also wonderful in the following recipe my husband & I created. Plus, if you have a grocery store with a bulk bin you save on cost and wasted packaging.


Organic Quinoa ( ratio of 1 cup to 2cups water; more or less depending on family size)
Spicy Chicken Sausage (we use two to three links sliced into rounds)
garlic, minced
onion, diced
zucchini, diced

Cook quinoa in separate pot. Put a little oil with the garlic and onion and saute until tender and fragrant. Add zucchini, cook until tender but not mushy. Set aside. In same pan, heat sausage rounds. Drain quinoa and in a large bowl combine with veggie and sausage. Season to taste with salt & pepper and enjoy!

This is a great seasonally dish...just switch the veggie (think asparagus, sweet potato, the sky is the limits!)

Let me know what you think & share your favorites too!


In Honor of Black History Month: Robert D. Bullard

Dr. Bullard is the Edmund Asa Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology & Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He had authored 15 books that cover the topics of sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. He has been graced with the title of "Father of Environmental Justice" and was in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know. Newsweek named his as one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. (Source: www.ejrc.cau.edu/staff.html)

Bullard was one of the planners of the 1st National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 91' and later helped the Clinton administration write the watershed order that requires all Federal agencies to consider environmental justice in their programs. (Source: www.grist.org/article/dicum/)

Thank you, Dr. Bullard for your contributions toward environmental justice.


Breastfeeding is Good for the Planet

Most everyone knows that breast is best for babies because of building their immune systems, bonding, cost savings, PLUS it's great to help mom loose those pregnancy pounds. But here's something less people probably think about.

Breastfeeding is eco-friendly. Formula, both the use and the production, make a huge negative impact on the environment. You have to consider all the resources (animals, paper, inks, metals, crops, fuel, water, fertilizers, etc.) required to produce the formula. On top of that you have to remember that feeding a baby formula costs upward of 2000 per year. Not to mention the impact of fossil fuels from transporting the formula starting at the manufacturer all the way thru to the landfill. With breastfeeding, mom is right there and there are no additional resources wasted as a result plus its free.

And then there is the bigger humanitarian issue: a few years back Nestle aggressively marketed its formula's to 3rd world countries attempting to convince nursing mothers to switch to formula and as a result there are an estimated 15 deaths per year from mixing formula with contaminated water. I cant help but see the wrong on so many levels! Not only the fact that breast milk is best but also that it disgust me that a company would try to profit off of the poor when they should be able to use their money for basic needs...one that does not include formula.

Also, what's with the "goodie bags" at the hospital? I have no problem with the freebies, don't get me wrong, but when a mother says she is going to breastfeed her child WHY IN THE WORLD would you give them a cheap diaper bag full of formula? It seems quite oximoronical too that all of the literature states that breast milk is best while pushing their formulas.

Now, I want to end this by saying that I have nothing against those who choose formula or that have a need to use formula for whatever reason. Only, I want to encourage you to consider at least trying to breastfeed. Contact your local La Leche League for assistance and support. Take a class; even if your not a first time mom they can help give you tips and most importantly, support and encouragement. I have a 5 month old (my second child)that is breastfed and I credit my success to a course from All the Best of Columbia, SC that I took while pregnant.

Let go of the myths that it gives you sagging breasts or hurts...plus, and I speak from experience on this, pumping IS an option. I pumped for 13 months with my first born because she had trouble latching. It was that important to me. If you do find a need for formula, please consider the brand you choose to purchase. There are many wonderful organic brands out there that are healthier for baby and that are trying to make a lesser impact on the environment (Natures One, Earth's Best, Vermont Organics) and if these are not available near you Similac and Parent's Choice both have an organic option.

In the end, please encourage education on breastfeeding. Attempt to breastfeed. Don't forget the environmental impacts formula has. And if you still choose formula, think about the planet (and your baby) and go organic!


Kiwi Magazine - The BEST family magazine out there!

If you have children, are pregnant or thinking about having kids then you should subscribe to Kiwi today! From recommendations about the best organic food brands to eco-craft ideas for your kids they are today's go-to for eco living in 2011.

This month they have some great healthy slow cooker recipes that are not your grandma's beef stew. Kids will love the Mango-Chicken Chili and no one can go wrong with Vegetable patch Lasagna. Plus this month is the Green Baby Shower issue so if you know anyone who is pregnant or if you want to give ideas for your own eco-baby shower this issue is a must have.

Take a step toward eco-living with your whole family and give these recipes and this magazine a try today!

Have you read it? What do you think?


Have a Green Valentine's Day

On this day of love please take a minute (or two or three) to think about how you can love the planet while showing your love to your significant other.

- send an e-card or at least a recycled fiber card
- hand deliver cards, flowers, etc. to save the gas from the florist, etc.
- purchase organic and/or locally grown flowers
- purchase fair trade and/or organic chocolates
- don't just get "stuff"; donate in someone's name
- stay home and cook a nice, local and organic dinner
- make eco-crafts with the kids (think outside the box here!)

These are just a few ideas to green your holiday. What did you do?


Baking Soda

I have to tell you all how much I LOVE baking soda! It is the ultimate green cleaning tool.

Hate cleaning your oven or stained pots/pans? Take baking soda and water, make a paste, spread it on, let it sit and dry then wipe it off with a wet rag. No more stains! Not only does it get your oven super clean but it keeps you from wasting electricity by running the cleaning cycle on your oven.

It's great in the laundry! Need whiter whites? Add a little baking soda to your wash...much more eco-friendly than bleach.

Got a ring around your tub? Again, make a paste with baking soda and water, spread it on, let it dry, and wipe off...you're left with a sparkling clean tub!

It's just abrasive enough for stuck on stains but doesn't scratch glass, steel or other items.

Got a smelly pet stain? Sprinkle baking soda on, let it sit and pull the smell/moisture up and out and vacuum away! No smelly stain and no harsh carpet cleaners.

Do you have other ways you use baking soda? What are your tips and tricks?