Monday, December 6, 2010

be outrageously responsible this holiday


Every year that you rent a Christmas tree 
you will offset around 10% of your annual carbon footprint!!

Start a new tradition, RENT a LIVING Christmas tree this year! Google "Christmas tree hire"  or "rent a living Christmas tree" or visit Living Christmas Tree rental to find a rental provider near you!
I for one, am looking into this as a Christmas gift for those hard to buy for people in my life (ahem Dads and brothers - you guys are hard to buy for!)

Maybe you already bought your tree for the year, consider trying it out next year. It will be your gift to the planet!


You don't have to rent, you can buy a tree with roots and plant the tree on your property. The benefits for you are too many to list!! 

Buy from a local farmer who practices responsible farming - no pesticides needed in your home! You are investing in your own health, don't skimp! You'll pay for it eventually. 

Remember to properly recycle your cut tree this year - don't leave it out for the trash. It takes up space in the landfull (yes, landFULL, that's what they are) and incineration pollutes the air.
Trees can be ground up and used in mulch in your garden, on trails or in animal stalls (if you live on a farm and not in NYC). The wood chips can be used as sand or erosion barriers on beaches, in streambeds and in lakes. 

Burning your tree causes air pollution and creosote buildup (creosote is a flammable substance, the soot in your fireplace, and it's NASTY to the max.)

Please let me know if you do this, I want to post pictures!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

if you read one book this year...

...make it this book.

I've been waiting to blog about this book by Michael Pollan -- The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

Seriously. I'll buy you a copy just so you will read it.

Until I have some time to sit down and blog about my thoughts on this book, visit Pollan's website for more info

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I ate the most delicious appley-apple tonight. I picked it out from Dean & Delucas in SoHo. As I rifled through the baskets of organic apples, it struck me how our perception of "produce beauty" makes us believe we can predict how something will taste, like an apple.

I was eating on the go so I didn't want big bruised soft spots therefore, I fussed. Apples dappled with spots and imperfections, soft cratered edges and beautifully crafted blemishes. So why didn't it look appetizing?

I picked a nice looking apple with a name I didn't recognize touting a mouth-watering description.

I bit into my nameless apple. My mouth was literally shocked with the sweet tartness that radiated from the crisp, juicy flay of apple.

Which brings me to my issue with "apples". You know, the rosy, monotone "apples" soldiered up side-by-side and stacked pyramid-style at your local grocer. It's beautiful, yes. I admit nothing makes me happier than a visit to whole foods with neatly stacked produce and spotlessly clean isles. But even a Whole Foods apple just tastes like... flavorless, watery "apple".

Much like my farmers market sweet potato tastes richer and slightly nutty. It might not be as polished and uniform, but it is healthy and you can actually eat the skin because you're not ingesting pesticides.

So leave my apple rippled with yellow, rose, burgundy and pea. Show me where the vine attached to the tree and where it nestled against another, brother apple, vine-ripening to the point of a bruised side where the two hung touching, rib-to-rib.

Spare me the poisonous pesticides and tasteless fruits humorously called "apple". It tastes better and it's saving our earth, our oceans and our bodies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

no impact man

It's been 28 days since I left the urban garden. I want to ride my bike over to check on the progress -- see how the garden has grown with the abundance of sun and rain New York has been experiencing. 

Ethan and I watched an AMAZING documentary a few nights ago that I want to share. It was recommended to us by his Aunt Rachel who is an environmentalist extraordinaire. If you have a Netflix account, you can watch No Impact Man instantly. No Impact Man, or more appropriately No Impact Family, is a documentary that follows a family who live in New York City as they embark on a year with no negative environmental impact. They make no garbage, buy only local food, don't use any form of transportation that isn't self-propelled... it's inspiring. They go as far as not using toilet paper and getting rid of electricity!

I love that I could identify with some of the things that Colin and his family set about doing. I was inspired to be conscious of everything that I do and take my "green" further. Where can I make improvements in my life to help the earth a little bit more? It's so easy to become complacent and make excuses that become your new 'norm'. 

"Oh, I have to use the to-go cup because I always forget my refillable mug..." Or getting your lunch bagged everyday when buying lunch... I often reuse the bags or bring my own when I'm buying lunch; bring reusable grocery bags to fill with fresh produce; simply turning the lights off or turning off the water when brushing my teeth. It all makes a difference! 

What can you do this week to make a difference? You could start by watching this movie and being inspired!! I'm going to bring utensils to work for reusing rather that plastic-consuming!!

Check out No Impact Man's blog here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

the big day

Tomorrow is a big day.

It's my last official day of The Unusual Urban Garden as I know it today. SAD!! I'm still going to come back and harvest some things via my wonderful neighbors. The new tenants are excited about gardening, so that makes me really happy! 

Mica's peeking around the soy beans up top, then my massive mess of cherry tomat's and my wonderfully lopsided growing cucumber! My FIRST cucumber!!

the take over

The vines are taking over! The morning glories have completely consumed my planter bed... that's the first picture -- you can't even tell what that is!! Look closely,  you'll see some collard greens!

Then you have the vines pulling the tomato plant away, all my tomatoes!!

boys and girls get your raffle tickets ready


"One of the most satisfying aspects of growing plants, including cacti and other succulents, is propagation of your plants to share with others, as raffle prizes and for the sales table. "

And there you have it, what more could you really want? Propogate something today for your raffle prize!! Duh!!

I actually haven't officially tried to propogate anything, I just saw off-shoots from the aloe and the spiny thing and put in in this pot from Viv. She thought the middle guy was dead, but really he revived and planted himself sideways... roots just grew right out of his side. I have no idea why he is a he... 

The succulents that I have the most trouble with are the donkey tail. So cool, but they always shed the little bubble leaves. If you look closely, you can see the bubble leaf is bubbling up with tiny little buds. We'll see if they take. Succulents are so easy when you can leave them outside, it's the time indoors that freaks me out because my thumb isn't so green when it comes to winter plant-care. 

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