GOATS ARE THE NEW CHICKENS - Willamette Week for 2010 predictions...(left photo from article, right Nellie and Sebastian's first snow walk)Thanks to Michelle at Pistil's for referring the reporter to me, who I then referred a bunch of goatie people for him to call. No idea it was about the 2010 prediction for goats to overtake Portland.Speakin' of goaties... Neil drew our logo and started a

Versatile Sourdough

by Lynn at Viggies VeggiesWhen I got started making sourdough this summer, I was expecting lots of sourdough bread like the kind you'd buy in a store. I was surprised to find just how versatile sourdough really is. It's not just the type of bread I had in my mind, but a method of growing your own yeast and being dependent on one less store bought perishable.A starter is begun with just 1 cup

Easy Candied Nuts

by KateLiving a Frugal Life Originally uploaded by elana's pantryI'm a pretty do-it-yourself kind of woman when it comes to food. If something tempts me at a farmer's market, grocery store, or on a restaurant menu, or if I sample something delicious that a friend has made, I'll usually take a stab at making it myself at home. There's a lot to be said for intrepid experimentation in the kitchen.

Some Re- Words for the Season

by Sadge, at Firesign FarmEven in the earliest days of civilization, people realized that something happened this time of year. There was a change, a literal hesitation and then a swinging back in the natural world. As religions developed, each put their own stamp on this time, their own observation and celebration of the solstice - perhaps with a different name and focus, but recognition

Small Farmer's Journal + Freedom TV

The most recent Small Farmer's Journal issue just landed, 'Fall 2009' with a warm caramel brown bull gazing softly at you... Articles to tuck in a cozy chair with: 'wild chill dill,' Cindy's Curds and Whey, Maintaining Biodiversity, Food Safety From The Ground Up, Apprenticeships and Cultivating The Market Garden With A Single Horse.Freedom TV with Renee Kimball, just invited us to be on their

Last-Minute Gift Ideas For the Holidays: No- and Low-Cost Gifts

by Melinda Briana Epler, One Green GenerationI posted this a couple of days ago on my own blog, but thought that you all might find this list useful, too. Please share any ideas you have in the comments!It's nearing Christmas, and I haven't bought a single gift for the holidays. Am I worried? Maybe a little bit, but I'm not stressed about it. I have thought about it a lot, and I already know what

USDA Hoop Houses at the White House

"Part of the goal of this initiative is 'to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation-friendly way,' as stated in the USDA press release. It is unprecedented for the USDA to promote programs that help farmers produce year round, sustainable, local and regional food, marking a new era of leadership." See video here, which also announces their Know Your Farmer, Know

Holidays Your Way

posted by Chiot's Run"Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer.... Who'd have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?" ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & HobbesThere are a lot of influences in our lives that try to tell us how to live, what to buy,

Construct your own Seed Mats

By Thomas from A Growing TraditionHomemade Seed Mats (Radishes)Have you ever come across an idea that sounded a bit silly or even crazy at first, but then the more you thought about it, the more you realized how absolutely brilliant it is? In this case, it took me about 5 seconds to see the light of day. And I have to thank none other than Gran from Annie's Kitchen Garden for enlightening me.This


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by EilleenConsumption RebellionHello everyone!What wonderful posts we've been having on this blog! To the other writers here, a big thank you from me.Readers of my personal blog will know that I'm a bit of a bah-humbugger when it comes to Christmas. The commercialism and over-consumerism of this time of the year has, to date, elicited at least one bah-humbug post from me every year since I

BOOKS! plus Urban Growth Bounty and Holiday Hours

The books are here!!! Neil finished making the first bookshelf Monday night with more of our salvaged materials, in time for the books landing by UPS Tuesday. It was very fun to unpack and sort them... We will make a BOOK link above so you can see the titles we've got in stock on gardening, cooking, permaculture, farming, compost & vermiculture, natural building and great narratives to curl up

Tasty candied popcorn

by Throwback at Trapper CreekI posted on my regular blog about my memories of eating Cracker Jack popcorn as child. Not really liking the taste of the commercial version as an adult, I started tweaking recipes for caramel corn until I finally came up with a tastier version. Commonly molasses is used, along with high fructose corn syrup. I was looking for a different flavor and definitely a way to

Simple Gift Ideas

Posted by BelFrom Spiral GardenHopefully by now you have everything sorted for next week, and you're reading this for ideas for Christmas 2010...Without wanting to give too much away (in case my gift recipients read this before the 25th), here are a few idea of some simple gifts I’m giving this festive season…Angels by Chrissy ButlerCalendarsCookiesGarden Tools and SeedsHand CreamVouchers – for

Fun, Free, Frugal and Social

By Notes From The Frugal TrenchesI'm currently in a season of unemployment which means apart from job hunting I have a lot more time on my hands. The only problem with having more time, is that human desire to fill it, which I'm certainly trying to remain on top of. Practically, this is a very good season in my life to spend time with friends who live farther afield and friends it can be

Vegetables for the Picky Eater

by BadhumanI'm a picky eater and I married a picky eater which makes meal planning a bit harder. Try to add in fresh veggies and it seems impossible! But, much to our parents shock there are two vegetable recipes that my husband and I both love.One is braised kale and the other is roasted brussels sprouts (when roasted they are more addictive then potato chips or popcorn!) Braised Brasilian Kale

Keeping Keen and Green

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

Someone asked me the other day how I keep motivated about being green, or in other words, how and why do I keep striving towards a sustainable lifestyle.  I couldn't really answer them without going into why I started living like this in the first place and what the benefits of the lifestyle was.  I sounded like a walking advertisement for Mother Earth or

Sew Your Own Christmas Wrapping

From Amy at ProgressivePioneer.comHere's a repost from my blog, but perfect for the season, I think! You could start making a few of these this year, adding some each year and eventually phasing out disposable, expensive paper wrapping altogether! It's an easy, satisfying project; have fun!I'd been meaning to make reusable cloth bags to put Christmas presents in, but it took a girlfriend

Crafting Christmas decorations

by FrancescaFuoriBorgoI bought our first artificial Christmas tree five years ago. It wasn’t an impromptu purchase: I’d already decided on it 11 months before, when, as had happened every year, our Christmas tree once again died before I could transplant it. I’d always bought trees with a root ball, planning to transplant them after the holidays, but I only succeeded once, and even that lone

Surviving Everyday Mishaps

by Lynn of Viggies VeggiesThe road to self-sufficiency is littered with failures. I know that not because I'm looking back from the vantage point of my vast experience. But because I'm at the beginning of the road where everything is new and easy to get wrong.Like this morning when the sun came out and I went to clear the thick layer of snow and rain (now ice) that had accumulated on the cold

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Pita & Pomegranate

My lunches were either boring or repeats most of this week, so I didn't take any pictures until today: green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and olive oil-vinegar dressing, hummus, pita chips, and a wedge of pomegranate.

The shmoo and I like sharing a pomegranate when they're in season. We lay out plastic on the table and load up on kitchen towels, then tear into the beautiful fruit and eat the jewel-like seeds one by one. Pomegranates are super-healthy and oh, so pretty, but I'm especially drawn to them for their spiritual symbolism. Persephone ate a pomegranate seed in the Underworld and was condemned to stay four months in the Underworld every year. During these months her mother Demeter mourns for her and causes cold winter to cover the land. Pomegranates figure also in some Christian and Jewish traditions.

Why, I even have one tattooed on my shoulder!

The Art of Dish Arranging

by Sadge, at Firesign FarmI was introduced to the art of dish arranging at an extremely young age. My mom started me washing the dinner dishes when I needed to stand on a kitchen chair backed up to the sink. I'd wash, she'd rinse, and I'd watch as she'd put each item into the dish drainer to drip-dry. As I stepped down to a mere stool, I took over the rinsing and stacking while my younger sister

The Secrets of Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

by KateLiving the Frugal LifeI was taken unaware by the Christmas spirit this past weekend when we got a 6" snowfall, a bit early for this part of the world. We threw on our lined jeans and layered up to go cut our tree at a nearby tree farm while the snow fell. To carry on with that holiday theme once we were back inside, I decided to bake a few chocolate crinkle cookies. After posting the

Making Sustainable Purchases

by Melinda Briana Epler, One Green GenerationI strive to be sustainable, because I don't think it's worth it to my self, my family, my culture, nor my world to be anything less. Sometimes the moment strikes and overpowers my senses and I want to forget my values, but at those moments I think of the past, the present, and the future.As beings on this planet we have a role, and that role is not to

Keeping Track of Utility Expenses

by Chiot's RunHere at Chiot's Run we strive to keep our utility bills in check through various methods. We collect rain water to help reduce water usage. We keep our house cool in the winter and warm in the summer to reduce gas/electric usage for heating and cooling. We keep electronics plugged in to power strips that get turned off. We have some appliances in the house that aren't efficient

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Celebrating Homemade Holidays

by Chiot's RunWith my family we celebrate a "homemade" Christmas. All gifts must be homemade with ingredients/supplies costing less than $20 per family. Used items can be used or purchased as gifts as well. It's so much fun to figure out what to make for each person. Last year I made cloth shopping bags for all of the women in my family. I used scrap fabric and free old curtains for the main

Growing a Winter Garden

Posted by Thomas, from A Growing Tradition Blog.A Harvest of winter carrots.Eat local, organic, in-season foods - that's a mantra that may be difficult to follow year round, especially if you live in an area located within climate zones 1 through 7. Where I live, in zone 6 northern Massachusetts, our winters often prove long and frigid. Those wishing to buy organic locally grown produce in

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Mid-December Update

PRODUCTS: The warehouse and all our outdoor covered spaces are stocked with over 75 pallets containing over 325 different items, including potting soil, compost, mulch, perlite, pumice, worm castings, organic fertilizer, soil amendments, feed, salt, bird seed, straw, hay and more. We will have a full catalog online in pdf form, please call or email for pricing in the meantime.We are working with

Carnival Squash

After dinner last night I sliced a carnival squash into wedges and steam-baked it in the oven (fill the bottom of the baking dish with water, cover with foil, and bake until the squash tender, about 30 minutes). I let it cool slightly, then put it away in the refrigerator. In the morning it only took a few moments to make a pretty squash arrangement in my To Go Ware container.

I like plain squash and find it pleasantly sweet, but you could bake it with margarine and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt if you like.

In the middle of my squash is a smaller container of Lemon Rice and Peas, left over from earlier this week. I also packed a salad with Russian dressing, a pear, and two Fruit & Nut Bars. The bars make a perfect snack late in the afternoon.

My first week of work is over! I actually enjoy being back in an office environment, but I miss being able to shop and do errands during the day while everyone else is at work. I'm actually going to have to shop with the crowds this weekend -- shmoo and I will be getting ready for Christmas!

Pickled pumpkin

by Throwback at Trapper CreekI don't normally grow pumpkins, saving my space for more productive winter squash is more up my gardening alley - but if I do happen to plant pumpkins, I don't pass up a chance to make pumpkin pickles. An oddity for sure, but a fond childhood memory from my gardening mentors. After Halloween, the few pumpkins they did grow became pickles for their holiday meals. I

Preparing for the Wet

Posted by BelFrom Spiral Garden We always seem to have a lull in the garden in Spring, which is our dry season (and often hotter than our Summer). But now it has begun to rain, so we're finishing off preparations for planting our warm season crops.Firstly I prune, weed and cull the last of the winter plants. Some go directly into the beds to be mulched over, a lot go to the chickens and ducks,

I Know My Momma Loves Me...

...how do I know? Because her curry tells me so!

My mom has been watching the shmoo for me in the afternoons when he gets home from school. Last night when I went to pick him up Mom insisted I take home a big bowl of yummy cauliflower, potato, and chickpea curry she had just made. It was nice not having to fix dinner! I made sure to save enough to pack for lunch today.

On the side are grapes and mandarin slices and celery with peanut butter.

I didn't pack as much today. I've been so worried about going hungry I've been packing more than I can eat; one night I was too full to eat dinner when I got home! Today I scaled back and packed just enough.

Realistic Expectations

By Notes From The Frugal Trenches I blogged today on my personal blog about friends making poor financial choices and basically purchasing big ticket items (cars, house) without adequate finances. This made me really think about what are realistic expectations for life? I've blogged before on this site that life for me is a journey, I began downshifting, getting rid of debt and living a frugal

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Lemon Rice and Peas

Today I made Lemon Rice and Peas from May All Be Fed. Last night I had leftover cooked brown rice, so it only took a few minutes to toss it together with Indian spices, frozen peas, cashews, low-sodium tamari and fresh lemon juice. I also threw in some garbanzo beans I had in the fridge.

This morning I packed the cold rice and peas in my To Go Ware alongside an avocado wrapped in yellow Hello Kitty. I opened the avocado at lunchtime and mashed it with some balsamic vinegar for green salad.

On the side are an orange, a low-sodium V8 juice, and yet more Fruit & Nut Bars (in case I needed a snack later in the day).

Since I have access to a microwave, I transferred the rice and peas to a regular bowl and microwaved them at lunchtime. They were so good I didn't want to stop eating, but it was too much to finish!

Now that I'm away from home all day, I feel even more the importance of a healthy lunch packed with care and love. It's a little reminder of home, a little moment of caring for yourself in the middle of the day, and a chance to smile a bit to yourself at a cute lunch box or a Hello Kitty avocado. :-)

December 8th - InFARMation (and Beer!): Put your time where your "mouth" is!

Organic beers are $2.50 all night thanks to Roots, and the Water Tower Bucket Boys will be bringing some great live music to round out the evening.Celebrating harvest and your thoughts. Also highlighting, "small non-profits in the area who are working on food and farm issues of one sort or another. Around a dozen different groups will be set up at InFARMation with information and materials, and

Cabbage Rolls

Today was my first 9 hour day, so I had to pack enough to get me through!

I packed the last of my Thanksgiving Cabbage Rolls in a wide-mouthed insulated container that kept them nicely warm until lunchtime.

A simple salad with dressing is up above, with an apple, grapes in a smiling mushroom, and more Fruit & Nut Bars.

It worked! I ate lots of fruits and veggies and still stayed nice and full until quitting time!

I'm going to bed now.

Saving Vegetable Seeds

written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

Wouldn't it be really cool if you didn't have to buy vegetable seeds ever again?  Well, you can, with a little bit of knowledge and practice.  Seed saving for the crop next season is fun and very cheap, and the beauty of it is that you can begin to adapt plant varieties to become conditioned to your climate.

I have tried seed saving with mixed success