Big (Green) Deal: TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

Originally written for the Watertown Daily Times by Amanda Taylor, who covered TILT’s (Com)Post-Halloween event at Zenda Farm Preserve over the weekend.

Christopher A. Nevala, 7, smashes leftover Halloween pumpkins with a mallet during the (Com)Post Halloween event at Zenda Farms in Clayton on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Amanda Morrison for the Watertown Daily Times.

TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

CLAYTON — Creating a manageable compost heap is not as difficult as many may believe.

“It’s quite simple and should not be intimidating to anyone,” Corinne M. Mockler said.

Ms. Mockler is the coordinator of education and outreach for the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The group organized a (Com)post Halloween on Saturday to educate children and their families on maintaining a compost heap.

“A lot of families have gardens, but we’re not sure how much kids are involved in the gardening or if they are aware of the fact that anything can be composted,” Ms. Mockler said.

People were invited to bring their leftover pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns to Zenda Farms at 38973 Zenda Road and smash them up in a wooden box with a shovel. The pumpkin pieces were combined with old leaves to create compost that will be used in the spring on TILT’s Community Garden.

“Who can resist? You get rid of grass, old jack-o’-lanterns and kids get to go around and smash stuff,” she said.

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New Design Sponge Series: Sound Garden

Angela alerted me to yet another wonderful new sub-column from Design*Sponge: “Sound Garden” by Sarah B. Essentially, florist extraordinaire Sarah B. takes her favorite album covers and translates them into beautiful floral arrangements:

Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”

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Who Needs a Drink?

Depending on which way the cookie crumbled for you last night with the election, you could either use a drink in celebration or in sorrow. This article from Green America suggests that you make it organic!

Photo from Green Earth Cafe & Bakery

Organic Beer and Wine

If you consume alcoholic beverages, try organic beer or wine. They’re better for your health and the planet, and they taste good, too.

Historian Gregg Smith writes that fermented beverages have been nourishing body and enlivening spirit since the very dawn of civilization, dating at least as far back as when the ancient Mesopotamians began storing away “liquid bread” for later use. If you already consume alcoholic drinks, consider buying organic beer or wine for your social engagements and celebrations. There’s a growing number of refreshing offerings from the vine, the grain, and the orchard that contribute to restoring the environment, empowering workers, and protecting your health. Not only are organic beer and wine better for your body, but you may find they taste better than their non-organic counterparts, too.

Why Go Organic?

Choosing organic beverages means that the grapes, barley, hops, apples, and other ingredients used to make your fermented refreshment are spared the application of toxic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. These unhealthy chemical inputs pollute our water, air, and soil. Researchers at Cornell University estimate that at least 67 million birds die each year from pesticides sprayed on US fields. The number of fish killed is conservatively estimated at six to 14 million. And, many pesticides are toxic to humans, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Not only does chemically intensive farming devastate ecosystems and harm human populations, it also contributes to the crisis in family-owned farms. The US lost an estimated 650,000 family farms in the last decade. Organic farming, on the other hand, is proving to be small-farmer friendly-most organic farms are less than 100 acres.

Chemical-free organic drinks often taste better, too. Just ask Andrew Myers, dining room manager at Washington, DC’s Restaurant Nora, America’s first certified organic restaurant. “I recommend organic wines and beers to our customers because of their excellent quality, not just because it’s the right thing to do,” says Myers.

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Inspiration Station: DIY Plant Hangers from Design Sponge

I’m currently rooting a bunch of houseplants for a friend (seriously, don’t buy a spider plant ever – you probably know someone who could root you a small army of spiders), and am realizing I should re-pot a few of my own. While I love a good vintage macrame hanger (they somehow work with my house decor), I do like modern versions as well. Then this morning I happened upon these two incredible DIY plant hanger projects from the genius minds at Design Sponge:

Leather Plant Hanger

Tiered Hanging Pots

Green(ish) Guest Post: Ditzy Druid Learns Homesteading

 

Not technically a guest post for F that S, but the Ditzy Druid went to the local Homesteading Fair a couple of weekends ago and did a recap on her blog. Here is a snippet of what she experienced:

A Great Time at the Homesteading Fair in Lowville, NY

September 9, 2012 by greycatsidhe

Yesterday I went to a Mother Earth News Homesteading Fair in Lowville, NY.  It was located at the Maple Ridge Center, kind of a hybrid farm, winter recreation retreat, and Christian education facility.    Thankfully, the event was secular in nature and thus very accessible.  The cost was only $10 for a whole day ($15 for the weekend) consisting of vendors, food, children’s activities, live demonstrations, and workshops.  The workshops and demonstrations were lead by experts such as educators in the Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension, farm vets, the New York State DEC, maple syrup orchards, the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, alternative energy experts, and the Sustainable Living Project.

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ITEM! Gettin’ Dirty Gets You Happy

Not brand-new news, but an uplifting article to get you ready for gardening season nonetheless, from Shine:

Mood-boosting Bacteria Found in Dirt

By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Tue, Jan 31, 2012 4:53 PM EST
Even if you don’t love gardening, digging in the dirt may be good for your health — and it has nothing to do with a love of nature or the wonder of watching things grow. The secret may be in the dirt itself: A bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae that acts like an antidepressant once it gets into your system.

Big (Green) Deal: Disappearing Ink!

As green(ish) as I try to be, I still keep a day planner in my purse, stay organized by writing lists and print out my crochet patterns so I can spread out on the couch while I work. Butchy bought me a Kindle Fire (which solved the the inner debate I was having – I couldn’t refuse a gift, now could I?), and that has allowed me to be more mobile with patterns and anything else I find online that I might otherwise want to print. I’ll also finally be joining the world of smart phones this month, so I’ll be experimenting with using the planner and stickies on that. But there’s really just something about the physical act of writing things down that helps me remember, which is why I was so pleased to come upon these two techie solutions to the ink and paper problem:

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