Monday, March 30, 2009

published in Mother Earth News!

This isn't a blog where I crow about getting published or other writing stuff (I'll probably put something like that together later, when I have more clips; tried doing a free thing with wordpress but I don't like their layout, and I don't want to pay for a real website yet) but I had a little something published in Mother Earth News, and just noticed today (thank you google alerts!) that they put it on their website, and since it is relevant to the blog I will put a link to it here. Mother Earth News is one of my dream publications, and even though this is just a little "reader tip" thing, and probably doesn't count as a real published clip, and even though they edited my sentences slightly so that they're not how I wrote them and they sound (I think) a little more awkward now, it is still sort of thrilling to see my name and Mother Earth News together in such close proximety.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

White House Kitchen Garden

According to the New York Times, the Obamas are planting a kitchen garden on the south lawn of the White House, the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's during WWII.
While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.

“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”


Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

I'm insanely jealous of the garden plan (pasted below): 1,000 square feet, 55 varieties of vegetables, plus herbs, berries, and two bee hives. Sigh.

Props to Eat the View for helping make this happen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

equinox flowers

I got a few miraculous days off work this week, and I made plans, but thanks to the weather and Alamo's car rental policies those plans fell through, so I'm stuck at home on a grey, cold, icy spring equinox weekend.

But it ain't all bad. My geranium flowered again today, for the first time since November. Check it out:

The flower stalk juts out fourteen inches from the nearest joint, and the entire stem that the flower stalk is on is twenty six inches, making it by far the tallest of the entire pot. It's so tall that it's pressed up against the ceiling; it would probably grow taller if I let it, but if it hangs any lower it is in danger of being cat-accessible. This is the geranium in the south-facing window; the west-facing geranium is still merrily chugging along, but it hasn't put out any fresh flower stalks yet.

And look how pink it is!

So if my theory is correct, and that geraniums in lower light conditions produce white flowers, it would make sense that now that the days are getting longer and the sunlight is getting stronger, that the plant would not only flower again, but that it would come out hot pink. And right on the equinox!

Monday, March 2, 2009

toughen up your butt

This just in at Alternet:

America's Love Affair with Really Soft Toilet Paper Is Causing an Environmental Catastrophe

Americans have been long chastised for our environmental footprints (and for good reason). But the latest report from environmental groups including Greenpeace should give us major reason to pause. The Guardian could not have said it any better:

The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public's insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

The numbers are shocking: More than 98 percent of the toilet paper we use in the US is from virgin forests, the Guardian reports. Across the world, people are struggling to save our forests from deforestation, and instead of helping out, we're wiping are butts with our best defense against climate change.

Me, I've mostly been using recycled TP for as long as I've been buying my own TP, and I've come to prefer it over the squishy, fluffy stuff. And, hint hint, Green Forest toilet paper is on sale at co-ops across the US for $1.59 for a 4 pack.