Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is it possible to eat well on a tight budget?

With all the concern over GMO crops and chemicals contaminating the food supply, organic food is becoming increasingly in demand by consumers. However, the common perception is that safe, healthy food is too expensive. Depending on where you live, that may or may not be true. For those of us on a tight budget, organic food can seem out of reach.

Fortunately, there are ways to eat healthy and still stay on budget. Most large grocery chains have organic foods available, and their purchasing power can keep costs only slightly above the non-organic items. There are also stores that specialize in healthy foods.

Founded in 1975 in Asheville, North Carolina, Earth Fare is the authentic organic and natural healthy grocery store with 39 locations across the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Whole Foods calls itself  "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" and has 279 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Organic food can be expensive, but Albertsons’ house brand, Wild Harvest, typically costs 15% less than name-brand organic products. 

If you don't have access to these, then check out Environmental Working Group's "Good Food on a Tight Budget". This guide—the only one of its kind—lists the most nutritious, most economical and least polluted fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy items. You can even print out a copy of the guide to take with you when you shop. Brilliant!

Have a healthy, happy holiday season!

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I'm Only One Person. How Can I Make a Difference?

Oftentimes, the thought is that one person cannot make a change in this world. That thought would be incorrect. Throughout history there have been examples of how one person has affected tremendous change. Sometimes for good, and sometimes for bad.

Two individuals have illustrated perfectly the premise that any single person can affect change on a grand scale. Through dedication, and perseverance, great things can be accomplished.

The Man Who Planted Trees is the fictional story of Elz√©ard Bouffier, who turns a barren wasteland in the Alps, into a natural paradise, by single-handedly planting hundreds of thousands of trees. Although fictional, the natural principles involved are relevant.

Forest Man is the true story of Jadav Payeng, who turned his barren island into a lush oasis by planting a forest larger than Central Park.

Both videos are well worth watching, and sharing. It might just inspire someone to make a difference, all by themselves.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Food Crisis Solution: Go Back to the Beginning?

Much has been said, over the years, about the global food crisis and world hunger. At the same time, food waste in many countries is at an all time high. Perhaps part of the problem is that food production has become too big; too global. Perhaps the answer is to go back to the beginning with local/regional food production and distribution.

A return to seasonal selections of food based on local/regional geography. Less transportation costs, shorter distance from field to table, less waste. A resurgence of small family farms able to offer healthy, produce, meat, fruit, nuts, eggs, cheese, etc. in a sustainable way. Personal relationships between farmers, grocers, butchers, bakers, restaurants,
and consumers.

“Slow Food reminds us of the importance of knowing where our food comes from. When we understand the connection between the food on our table and the field where it grows, our everyday meals can anchor us to nature and the place where we live.”
~ Alice Waters, chef, author, Vice President of Slow Food International

In metropolitan areas, abandoned buildings and vacant lots are being converted to vertical farms and urban gardens, eliminating food deserts, and providing employment opportunities for inner city inhabitants. Will Allen's Growing Power is testimony to the ways a community can benefit from urban farms. Urban farms can be found in New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, and Sydney, as well as many other cities around the world.

"Our connection to, and knowledge of, the food we eat, the land upon which we grow it and the people who plow, plant and pick it is more important to our future than all the money in the world. "                      ~Nancy Kotting-Two Men, Two Farms and a Legacy We Can All Learn From

Small, local farms can also successfully eliminate the issue of food waste in communities by using waste food from restaurants, grocery stores, and schools as compost. California Safe Soil has developed Harvest-to-Harvest, or H2H, a liquid fertilizer made from food waste. Comprised completely of organic matter, H2H vastly reduces the amount of chemical fertilizers needed by a crop. Just as important, the liquid can be applied to crops with farmers’ existing irrigation equipment, reducing the necessity for extra labor or equipment costs. The company sources food waste from a number of Sacramento-area grocery store chains to create its product. 

Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, which has an extensive sustainability policy, uses their grains in almost every area of its business. After brewing, some of the waste go to local farms where it’s fed to the livestock and poultry that end up being served back at the brewpub. Some of it goes to the baker who makes the bread and pretzels on their menu. Another portion is composted for use at their urban farm and another urban farm in the city. The grains, which are rich in the nitrates and sulfates on which fungi thrive, are also used by local mushroom cultivators to grow mushrooms that end up as toppings on pizzas or salads. 

It's time for agriculture to become, local and sustainable, if we are to have a secure, healthy food supply in the future.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

GMO - Can David Beat Goliath in the 21st Century?

What is the DARK Act?

In February 2015, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) reintroduced HR 1599, a bill intended to strip states of their right to pass GMO labeling laws. The bill is officially called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” Others call it the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act because it would stop GMO labeling laws.  

On July 23, 2015 in a 275 to 150 vote, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the DARK Act, in spite of the fact that 90% of Americans surveyed are in favor of GMO labeling. 

GMO crops took up about 1.7 million hectares soon after they were introduced in 1996. Acreage has grown at an average clip of 10 million hectares a year, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, and are now up to 175 million hectares, with no signs of abating. And Monsanto is either leading most of these markets, or is in close competition for them.In 2013, Monsanto racked up sales of $14.9 billion. Of that, $10.3 billion came from seeds and genomic traits.

It is becoming clear that big business will soon have control over the food supply. Will we let that happen? There have been some successes in the grassroots movement to stop Monsanto from taking over the world's food production. It will take the voices of millions of people demanding an end to agribusiness' stranglehold on seed production. Millions more voices to end the systematic destruction of small farms around the globe.

Some brave souls have fought the good fight, and have won, in a small way. The 10-minute short documentary, Seeding Fear, tells the story of a farmer named Michael White, who with his father Wayne, took on the corporation in court. Percy Schmeiser: David vs Monsanto runs a little over an hour but is a much more comprehensive look at what independent farmers are going through in their fight against GMO supremacy in the fields. They are both disturbing and frightening.

GMO Awareness has a list of state, national, and international anti-GMO groups. The Non-GMO Project has good information and suggestions on how to get involved. Contact your Congressmen and tell them to vote "NO" to HR 1599. The future of food is in our hands.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."~ Edmund Burke

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No, Doctor, It's Not All in My Head!

Does going to the grocery store fill you with dread? Do you stress about someone showing up at your home? Do you avoid public places whenever possible? You don't? Good for you! Unfortunately, I have to answer "yes" to all those questions. I have multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and it sucks.

What is MCS? In broad terms it means an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants including solvents, VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), perfumes, gasoline, diesel, smoke, "chemicals" in general.  MCS is considered idiopathic, which means that the mechanism that causes it is not understood. 

Most people, especially doctors, don't believe that MCS is real. At this time, many in the medical community do not accept multiple chemical sensitivity as a genuine medical disorder. Credible sources, such as the CDC and the American Medical Association, do not recognize this as a medical diagnosis, nor is there any official medical definition because symptoms and chemical exposures are often unique and vary widely between individuals. The video Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: How Chemical Exposures May Be Affecting Your Health is a great "primer" for understanding MCS and it's impact on the people who suffer from it.

A study led by the University of Washington discovered that 25 commonly used scented products emit an average of 17 chemicals each. Of the 133 different chemicals detected, nearly a quarter are classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law. Only one emitted compound was listed on a product label, and only two were publicly disclosed anywhere. The article was published, in 2011, in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.

The study analyzed air fresheners including sprays, solids and oils; laundry products including detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets; personal care products such as soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorant and shampoos; and cleaning products including disinfectants, all-purpose sprays and dish detergent. All were widely used brands, with more than half being the top-selling product in its category. All products emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic or hazardous. Eleven products emitted at least one probable carcinogen according to the EPA. These included acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde and methylene chloride.

Dr. Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering, and the Chair of Sustainable Cities, from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, is a world expert on environmental pollutants, air quality, and health effects. She investigated and compared volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 37 different products, such as air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry supplies, and personal care products, including those with certifications and claims of 'green' and 'organic'. Both fragranced and fragrance-free products were tested.

The study, published this year in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health found 156 different VOCs emitted from the 37 products, with an average of 15 VOCs per product. Of these 156 VOCs, 42 are classified as toxic or hazardous under US federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these chemicals. Findings revealed that emissions of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants from 'green'-fragranced products were not significantly different from regular-fragranced products. In total, over 550 volatile ingredients were emitted from these products, but fewer than three percent were disclosed on any product label or material safety data sheet (MSDS).

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrances are considered the leading cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis. As a health problem, this sensitivity alone affects more than 2 million people, and studies suggest that sensitivity is on the rise. Experts theorize that one reason fragrance allergies appear to be increasing is that fragrances themselves have become such a prominent part of our world. According to the AAD, some 5,000 different fragrances -- and countless other fragrance combinations -- are used in products today.

"Sensitivity is a general term under which you can have a true allergic reaction, but you can also have irritant reactions, meaning the problem with fragrance could be that it's an irritant. With others, it could be an allergic reaction. It's just not well known what actually is occurring when these reactions develop," says dermatologist Marjorie Slankard, MD, clinical professor of medicine at Columbia Eastside, a division of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

If you are reading this with skepticism, because you don't have a problem with fragrances, or other chemicals, consider this: I didn't always have a problem with them, either. Most people with MCS weren't born with it.  For me, it all started when a co-worker came to work wearing White Diamonds perfume. A brain-piercing migraine, inability to breathe, and overwhelming nausea were my immediate response to that initial exposure. That was 15 years ago and, since then, the list of offending products has grown to include paints/varnishes, laundry products, cleaning products, air fresheners, personal care products, and most perfumes and colognes. I seldom leave home, and when I do it is always with the dreadful expectation that I will run into someone who is wearing a product that will cause an adverse reaction.

We need to demand full disclosure of ingredients on all products sold and we need to demand products that are made with proven-safe ingredients. I prefer to use homemade products similar to those used prior to the chemical boom that began in the 1970's. Wellness Mama is one of my go-to sites for all kinds of recipes and useful information. Here are some more of my favorite sites:
Rodale's Organic Life
Real Simple
Chemical Sensitivity Foundation

Aside from the obvious detrimental environmental consequences, chemical exposures can only have a detrimental human consequence, as well. More people are developing sensitivities each year, so I believe that this issue will become more widely accepted, and hopefully, more fully studied. Be kind to yourself and your fellow man by limiting use of fragranced products whenever possible. MCS could happen to you, or someone you love.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's Time for a Revolution

Baobab Tree.jpg
In his 1961 inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy stated:
"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."
It's fifty-four years later and we now have the power to abolish ALL forms of life. Period. Unless we change now.

Photographer/biologist, turned movie-maker, Rob Stewart made his documentary debut in 2007 with Sharkwater. In it, Stewart shows us how sharks have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. His remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world’s sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.

Stewart's latest effort is RevolutionIt premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has already gone on to win ten awards, including the Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film covers a variety of topics including ocean acidification, climate change, deforestation, and pollution. Alarming statistics are presented to illustrate the gravity of our current environmental situation, and how humans have negatively impacted our planetary health. Stewart maintains:

"We don't have a carbon problem, we have a human problem."
With 75% of the world's forests gone to deforestation, world fisheries due to collapse by 2048, and the daily extinction of plant and animal species, one has to ask: What major calamity has to occur before we humans decide to make the changes necessary to reverse, and heal, the damage we have created? And will it be too late to do anything about it?

"No civilization has ever survived the ongoing destruction of their natural support systems. Nor will ours."-Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute)
Rob Stewart's Revolution reminds us that we need to begin by evolving our mindsets and concepts, and harnessing the power of individuals to cooperate with each other to affect change.

Watch the movie. Share it. Save the planet and save ourselves.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Case for a Circular Economy

A section of a landfill located in Barclay, Ontario.
GARBAGE. It stinks! As global population increases, so does the amount of garbage produced. The EPA defines the main activities of an integrated solid waste management program. Waste prevention—often called source reduction—means reducing waste by not producing it.
Recycling makes use of materials that otherwise would become waste by turning them into valuable resources. Another form of recycling is composting—the controlled aerobic biological decomposition of organic matter, such as food scraps and plant matter, into humus, a soil-like material. Combustion is the controlled burning of waste in a designated facility to reduce its volume and, in some cases, to generate electricity.
Properly designed, constructed, and managed landfills provide a safe alternative to uncontrolled dumping.

It is estimated that the average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year, of which approximately 21 tons is food waste. The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. To me, the obvious alternative to attempting to safely dispose of tons of garbage is to make less of it. That brings us back to waste prevention.

Cradle-to-cradle design is a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free. The model in its broadest sense is not limited to industrial design and manufacturing; it can be applied to many aspects of human civilization such as urban environments, buildings, economics and social systems.

In 2002, Michael Braungart and William McDonough published a book called Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, a manifesto for cradle to cradle design that gives specific details of how to achieve the model. The model has been implemented by a number of companies, organizations and governments around the world, predominantly in the European Union, China and the United States. All design and engineering students should be required to read this book! Watch William McDonough’s TED talk here.

Image from www.circle-economy.com
Circular economy is all about closing resource loops, mimicking natural ecosystems in the way society and businesses are organized. The social and ecological impact of our actions should also be taken into account, and the use of renewable energy to make the transition towards a circular economy happen is paramount. To the left, you will see six principles for a successful circular economy.

The business case for a circular economy is compelling. Analysis by McKinsey & Company estimates shifting towards circularity could add $1 trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100,000 new jobs within the next five years. Inspired by her record-breaking solo sail around the world, Dame Ellen MacArthur founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, working in education, business innovation and analysis to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

The Circular Economy 100 is a global platform bringing together leading companies, emerging innovators and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy over a 1000-day (3 year) period. At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klosters, Project MainStream was established as a multi-industry, CEO-led global initiative to accelerate a series of business-driven innovations and help scale the circular economy.

Let’s hope that these initiatives succeed in transforming our world from a waste-generating linear economic model, to a healthy, sustainable, circular economy. Get educated, do the research, and find ways to become a part of the process.

Until next time…become the change you imagine.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mycelium Magic: How Mushrooms Can Save the Planet

Mushrooms can be found all around the world and have been used for centuries as a source of food, medicine, and in ritual and religious practices. The real magic, however, happens underground.
Mushrooms are the fruit of microscopic cells called mycelium. These cells recycle carbon, nitrogen and other elements as they break down plant and animal debris to create rich new soil. Mycelium's digestive power can be used in what Paul Stamets refers to as mycorestoration.

Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over 40 years and is founder of Fungi Perfecti, dedicated to promoting the cultivation of high quality gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. He has written six books and has received numerous awards. Stamets' book, Mycelium Running is my go-to guide on mycology, and his TED talk 6 ways mushrooms can save the world is definitely worth watching.

In Mycelium Running, Stamets explains the different facets of mycorestoration. Mycoremediation uses mycelium's digestive power to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants. Mycofiltration uses the same digestive power to catch and reduce pathogens from agricultural watersheds. Mycopesticides control insect populations. Mycoforestry and mycogardening enhance the health of forests and gardens. The potential benefit in adopting any of these forms of bio-remediation is obvious. 

Pollution of waterways is rampant. Devastation caused by strip mining, deforestation, oil spills, and factory farming dot the face of the earth like a pox. Nature has provided us with a way to alleviate, and possibly reverse, the damage. Mycelium could be the answer.  But it can also be used as an aid in developing healthier ecosystems, like forests, which are under stress from air pollution and logging.

Organic gardeners can see a benefit by using mycelium to increase the abundance of their crops, and to provide natural pest control. Many mushroom growers help farmers to dispose of manure from livestock. They also buy lower grade hay, which provides additional income for farmers whose land might otherwise have been idle.

As a food source mushrooms are rich in protein, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They are very low in simple carbohydrates and fat. Mushrooms are good sources of essential minerals - especially selenium, copper, and potassium - elements important for immune function and the production of antioxidants to reduce free radicals. They also contain medicinal compounds, natural antibiotics, enzymes, and enzyme inhibitors that fortify health.

Mushrooms, such as reishi, shiitake, and maitake, have been used for Traditional Chinese Medicine
for thousands of years. There are over 200 species of mushrooms in China that are used to practice healing. One amazing property of mushrooms is a compound called polysaccharides. This enables mushrooms to boost the immune system and fight the growth of tumors. Mushrooms are also high in amino acids, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, vitamins B, C, and K, and pantothenic acid.

Fun fact: a specific honey fungus measuring 2.4 miles (3.8 km) across in the Blue Mountains in Oregon is thought to be the largest living organism on Earth. A clonal colony of the honey mushroom (Armillaria solidipes) covers 2,384 acres (nearly four square miles) of soil and is estimated to be 2,400 years old but could be as ancient as 8,650 years.

I hope we will see greater use of mycorestoration in the future, as I believe it is a viable means of cleaning up the mess we have made. Greater research into the medicinal value of mushrooms needs to continue, as well. 

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Can Economic Principles Save the Planet?

If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank as the seventh largest, with an annual value of goods and services of $2.5 trillion according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report. The analysis, Reviving the Ocean Economy: The Case for Action brings into focus the economic value our oceans represent for this planet, as the future of humanity depends on their healthy living conditions. While figures in the report are a vast underestimation, the economic assets at risk accurately portray the losses we will incur should we continue on the current destructive trajectory.

The report, produced in association with The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), combines scientific evidence of environmental degradation with an economic case for urgent conservation action. Using an innovative economic analysis, the ocean’s value is quantified based on assessments of goods and services ranging from fisheries to coastal storm protection, resulting in an overall asset value and an annual dividend output (comparable to a GDP).

The Natural Capital Project is a partnership combining research innovation at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota with the global reach of conservation science and policy at The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. The project group works with leaders around the world to test and demonstrate how accounting for nature's benefits can support more sustainable investment and policy decisions. 

The project has developed practical, science-based approaches and software tools that quantify, map, and value services provided by nature. Accounting for ecosystem services reveals the diverse benefits provided by nature, clarifies trade-offs between alternative development scenarios, and helps people make more informed decisions about how to use lands and waters.

Since their founding in 2006, they have applied their approaches and tools in more than 20 major projects worldwide—guiding investments in water security in Latin America, in coastal protection in the Gulf of Mexico, in food security and economic diversification in Belize, and in community development in Canada and Hawai`i.

In another effort, researchers at Arizona State University are working to calculate the dollar value of nature in an effort to promote sustainability. In a study published recently in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) and Yale University have developed an interdisciplinary equation to estimate the current monetary value of natural resources such as fish stocks, groundwater or forests in the U.S. In assigning monetary value, to natural capital, this approach will have widespread implications for policymakers and various stakeholders, and will advocate for the creation of asset markets for natural capital.

“It is often said that nature is capital, but this has largely been a metaphor thus far; former measurement methods have lacked necessary inputs from experts from various disciplines, resulting in vast gaps of information,” said Joshua Abbott, associate professor at ASU’s School of Sustainability coauthored the study with Eli Fenichel, assistant professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

One example would be the reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. During their research, Abbott and Fenichel found that the value of preserving live reef fish was more than $3 a pound in 2004, a price that jumped to almost $9 in 2007 after policymakers implemented management reforms that gave fisherman an incentive to conserve fish stocks. Fishermen were assigned individual tradeable quotas or shares of the fish stock, which created a market for the fish as a capital asset.

The Gulf’s reef fish contributed more than $256 million to U.S. national wealth in 2004—and three times that after management reforms. “We know from experience in the corporate world that changes in management practices can enhance the overall value of a company’s assets; it is no different with natural capital—our management of it can either enhance or detract from its value,” said Abbott.

It's safe to say that what goes unmeasured often doesn't get valued. Treating fish in the water as a capital asset encouraged fishermen to preserve the natural resource, which enhanced sustainable fishing practices that led to higher returns. Imagine if this same principle was applied to all of our natural resources?  Let's hope that this principle becomes more widespread and has a positive impact on increasing sustainability practices around the world.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I'm often told by people that they can't eat organic because it's too expensive. In the short term, this is indeed true to some extent. My answer to them is "How much are you spending on over-the-counter remedies, doctor's bills, and prescription drugs? How many health issues can be traced back to an unhealthy diet?" Also, bear in mind that USDA organic certification is a costly process. Many small farms are using sustainable practices, and growing organic, but can't afford the certification.

The law of supply and demand is generally defined as: the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price. Historically, the more demand there is for a product, the more production of the product occurs, leading to lower prices for that product. My thought is that maybe we aren't demanding that more healthy food be available. That being said, people who want affordable organic food, do have options. Grow your own. Support a local farmer who uses sustainable/organic practices in the production of food. Local Harvest can help you locate one in your area.

Let's talk about the first option. Many people believe you have to live on a farm to grow your own food. This simply isn't true. Gardens are springing up in abandoned urban lots, on rooftops, in suburban backyards, and even apartment balconies. There's even a website called Shared Earth. This website, which Sustainable America acquired last year, is designed to connect people who want to garden or farm with people who have land or tools to share.  

Most popular vegetables can be grown in containers, making this an attractive option for people with a shortage of space, physical limitations, or short-sighted homeowner's associations and city governments. Mother Earth News has a nice article on container gardening. Rodale's Organic Life also has a good article on the subject.

One of the most important aspects of gardening is healthy soil. Most food produced by large agricultural conglomerates is nutritionally deficient due to use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. In addition to poisoning the food, these chemicals have rendered the soil dead. According to research conducted by Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples! Also, the reason food doesn't taste as good as it used to is also related to the deterioration of mineral content. The minerals actually form the compounds that give the fruit or vegetable its flavor.

Consider using organic/non-GMO heirloom seeds. Seed Savers Exchange, Johnny's Seeds, and Annie's Heirloom Seeds, all have these types of seeds available. These companies have signed the Safe Seed Pledge — a written commitment to sell only non-GM seed — or made public declarations that they will not knowingly sell GM seeds. Don't forget to check which growing zone you are in so you grow the appropriate plants for your area.

When choosing pots, you need to consider size, style, material, and weight, as well as what will be planted in them. Here's a guide to choosing the right size based on what you are growing.

OrganicGuide is a place where you can search for organic - and related - businesses and resources in your local area as well as helpful articles. Another good resource for how-to articles is Mother Earth News and Grow It Organically. There's even Organic Gardening for Dummies.  There's plenty of information and support out there to help you get started, and be successful. 

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Returning to the Path

It's been quite some time since I posted.  Somehow life intruded on my best intentions to post often.  Look for renewed posting in June!

Until next time...become the change you imagine.