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Posts Tagged ‘buying local’

This is totally last minute, but I wanted to give an almost-Twitter-sized announcement about World Habitat Day, an event put on by Habitat for Humanity, one of the most profoundly committed and productive organizations I know. We utilized one of HfF’s local “recycling” stores for some of the parts to build our raised beds and clothesline. The stores receive various parts and supplies from contractors that they then sell at deeply discounted prices to budget-conscious DIYers like me. All proceeds go to local HfH projects. It’s a genius idea.

HfH has lots of other genius ideas, too, like World Habitat Day. Check out the announcement, get edumacated, and get involved!

This video kinda says it all…

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We have a wonderful, shiny new episode for you! It’s summer garden planting time, and that’s just what we do. We’ve learned a lot from last year’s planting and we use that to make this year’s garden even more prolific.

But wait, there’s more! In this episode we have a lively discussion about sustainability and government with Adam Hill, newly elected county supervisor. He’s also a former English professor of mine from Cal Poly, so the conversation is an easy and a fun one to have.

And if you act now we will even throw in a segment about building a clothesline, complete with all of my struggles, mistakes, and brilliant recovery. In the end, it actually works. And five months on we’re still hanging clothes exclusively. FYI, major money savings! Check out the Project Expense Tracker and our Energy Savings Tracker to see how our savings are adding up.

But you must act now! Hurry, my mom is standing by to hear your opinions of our latest endeavor!

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Logan goes to a school that does not have a school lunch program, so a few years ago a mom of one of the students started what is called the “Lunch Bunch.”

Essentially the Lunch Bunch is a group of moms that volunteer their time to get vendors together, put out lunch menus, collect money, pick up and serve the kids hot lunches.  The program is amazing because the restaurants are generally locally owned and we as parents get a huge input on what is being served to our children.  As a result our kids get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and healthy snacks.  Every Thursday I get the honor of picking up the food and serving it to the students.  I love it for many reasons, I get to spend time at the school, I get to know the students, I get to see Logan in “his” environment and I get to try different restaurants.

This past Thursday we got to sample Evos.  Our locally owned Evos has just recently opened and I never had the chance to try it, even though I have heard nothing but raves about it.  I decided that we were going to get lunch there and then pick up the food for the school, I am so glad I did!  The chipotle turkey burger I had was magnificent, Kaia loved her air baked chicken strips and french fries and Samson raved about the Tomato Basil chicken wrap.  We got our choice of mesquite, garlic, spicy, or original Ketchup, and got a thirst quenching ginkgo ginger tea to wash it all down.

I kept hearing that it was great food, but a little expensive and so I did some quick math: for the 4 of us to eat there it would be about $21 as opposed $18 at a fast food restaurant.  For those extra $3 I get fresh red and green leaf lettuce instead of iceberg, a red juicy tomato instead of one that is tasteless and hard, french fries that actually taste like potatoes instead of oil, sugar and salt, and a sense of feeling comfortable with the fact that my child is eating at a fast food place, instead of wondering what kind of poison I just put into my offspring.

As a huge added bonus the owners are the sweetest people you could come across and spent I don’t know how long packing 115 bags with chicken strips, sun chips and a ziploc baggie of grapes!   The kids at the school loved the food and kept trying to get extras!

I will definitely be going back to EVOS and am thrilled to recommend it.

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So, you know when you go to the store for milk, you can never get just milk? After the gym last night I ran in to New Frontiers for…milk. But the apples were calling to me. They were local, See Canyon apples, and they looked DELICIOUS; they also looked different. Different than the typical apples I see in most stores. Oddly, the small, mottled, blemished organic apples appealed to me more than the large, shiny, symmetrical apples. (Yes, I think about this kind of stuff all the time. It drives Denette crazy.)

And here’s where I started getting philosophical. (Denette is rolling her eyes right now).

Until recently the mindset has been shiny = new = good. There is some logic in this. After all, bruised = old = good doesn’t sound very reasonable. (Sounds pretty gross, actually). However, the little red orbs of waxed perfection represent something completely different to me: shiny = commercial = bad. shiny, conventional apples

The main issue here is not that perfection is bad, or even that striving for perfection is bad—those are both goods in my book—but that the appearance of perfection is bad. In the case of the commercial apples, the process of making pretty things is actually deceptive: it hides the imperfections that exist and creates a false impression of fresh loveliness. I’ve bitten into the shiny commercial surface before only to be surprised by the woody dryness of an apple well past its prime freshness date. Because the apple had to drive 2,500 miles to get here, it’s bound to be old and tired after a journey like that.

And do I even need to mention the hidden chemical badness? Probably not.

I’m seeing a trend away from the shiny/new/good perspective, and I hope it will continue. Because if more people develop a different mindset about what indicates good food then demand will go up. Then maybe producers and distributors wouldn’t need to spend so much time and money prettifying, packaging, and preserving our foodstuffs. Instead, they could focus on getting us the best tasting, healthiest local products.

Speaking of healthy and local. Check out this new Co-op in SLO. Good things are happening!

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