Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two New Blogs I Like

I have been rewarded for posting this week, with the discovery to two wonderful blogs. The first is by a sister in Birmingham, Alabama with a passion for green living. It is Life The Green Way. She does a great job of covering eco-friendly products and gift ideas and she will knock your socks of with more amazing uses of vinegar! The other is from Scotland and is called Allotment 2 Kitchen. Grab yourself a cup of tea and a pen for taking notes, because you will enjoy the colorful photos of great vegetarian delights (recipes included), gardens and nature. I personally want to try to brussel sprouts pie and the lavender brownies!

Monday, December 27, 2010

We Will Miss You Vanilla Child

Okay, I'm not sure if Teena Marie was a green celebrity or not, but she was an awesome, low key, soulful and warm lady. If you know me, you know that I couldn't possibly miss this opportunity to say goodbye to the Lady T, her music got me through many trying times. She will be missed. (I bet she was eco-conscious though, how could one pen a song as amazing as Portugese Love and not love this green earth?)

Number One Awesome Personal Green High Impact Achievement of 2010

(Photo compliments of Climate Lab)
One of my goals for 2010 was to start a new career. Actually, since becoming a survivor a couple of years ago and facing that milestone birthday a few years back, I have been longing for meaningful,  conscious work. Well, really, I have been longing for meaningful, conscious work since my Buckeye days. As a senior, I worked at the Office of Black Student Programs and had the responsibility for the development and implementation of educational and attractive programing for students and the community. Inspired by Black Enterprise Magazine, I decided to put on a seminar about entrepreneurship, titled "Being Black and In the Green". Sounds familiar right? Back then, the green referenced mula baby! I brought in partners from The Ohio Department of Development to instruct folks on how to start a business. It was a successful program, in that two participants actually started businesses! Fast forward to 2009. I began thinking about ways to meld my passion for entrepreneurship, sustainability and an extensive banking background into a new career....and voila!... in 2010 funding came through at a nationally recognized entrepreneurial focused economic development organization to continue to expand its inclusion efforts. That would be, efforts in insuring that women and minorities have the vision and access to capital to grow large, high impact, high potential businesses. A big focus is on businesses with the potential to hire lots of folks in the urban areas of our region. So, as a senior advisor in our inclusion group, I have been entrenched in an exciting world of innovation, new ideas, VERY bright people, successful serial entrepreneurs, collaboration, venture capital and guess what? Lot's of sustainability focused business ideas - from folks of all hues. (I couldn't have written a better script for a dream job) A good sign that I was at an advanced and progressive organization, was that on the first day, I saw lots of recycling bins, ceramic mugs for coffee and the double sided option for printing documents. Always a good start, right? In fact, one of our target investment areas is alternative energy. So I have been busy, learning a new industry, reading through and hearing pitches for new business ideas, while helping our folk navigate the best path to developing and financing their businesses and their dreams. My experience with sustainable networks, green living and green business resources has already been helpful. I look forward to sharing these resources and new sustainable financing sources with you in 2011. Maybe 2011, will be your year to find the green job of your dreams! God Bless.

Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act, Pinch Yourself

Michele Obama is the star of this video (check out her chic flower pin), which highlights the signing of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Allows more funding for healthier lunches, better nutritional information for parents on lunch foods, better quality ingredients, more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. local food options and will encourage school gardens. Is this really happening? It's happening - the Greening of America! Good ole common sense is ruling the day again. Perhaps now, with healthier food, our kids can move up to 24th place in academic performance among our 30 industrialized nation peers. Ya yuh!

White House Forum on Environmental Justice

Learn while you listen to key White House environmental officials respond to your questions about environmental justice. You can multitask and share while you listen. Also search for other interesting White House videos.

A Great Green Year in 2010!

Well  friends, it has been a while. What can I say? First, I would like to apologize to my awesome readers, for taking such a long hiatus. The last quarter was one of wonderful and great changes in my life, which caused me to have to put some things on pause for a minute. It has been a while since we chatted, so given the time of the year, I thought we could share our top seven  great green highlights for the year. Check out my top seven below:
  1. An Awesome New Career (with a Eco-Friendly Twist) - access to capital for women and minorities
  2. Next Gen interest in the environment - my teen son decides to pursue environmental law as a career interest
  3. Sustainability is Here to Stay - takes a giant leap into the mainstream consciousness of America
  4. My Very Green IRA portfolio generates new green wealth
  5. Expansion of awareness and selection of  fair trade and/or organic groceries and fashions
  6. Green energy and technology bring access to modern conveniences to rural African areas
  7. Local Food, Urban Farming, Edible Landscapes and Farmers Markets are all the rage (let's keep it that way)
So that's what has been up with me. I will elaborate on some of these over the course of the next week. What are some of your great green highlights of 2010?

Friday, December 17, 2010

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chinese Consumers Greener than Americans?

Check out this great news about Chinese consumers and those of other high growth developing countries plans to buy more green products in the year ahead. Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Household Cleaning Products May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Household Cleaning Products May Increase Breast Cancer Risk Today is the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I figure I better get my two cents in. This great article, complete with recommendations for alternatives, does a great job in presenting the connection between breast cancer and household cleaning products. A study revealed that women that are heavy users of household cleaning products can have twice the rates of breast cancer than their peers that were not heavy users. Remember that many black women suffer from a more aggressive and fatal form of breast cancer than other women and are often younger when attacked by this ugly disease. So please pass the word on. A good idea, would be to make up some pretty bottles of the alternative cleaners and give them as holiday gifts to friends and family.

Beat Bad Air Days

Beat Bad Air Days Don't break out those candles just yet!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Give The Gift That Gives Back: Fair Trade Gift Baskets

The InterReligious Task Force on Central America is taking orders for fair trade gift baskets which will be deliverd during the upcoming holiday season. These baskets are an innocuous way to introduce high quality fair trade goods to your family, friends, teachers, associates and clients.The gifts support small farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Click here for an order form. If you are in CTown (Cleveland) on October 9th, stop by John Carroll University to meet fair trade vendors, farmers, supporters and advocates in person at the Ohio Fair Trade Expo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Women Use Social Media to Practice Conscious Living

Tune in to "Sisterhood: The Blog Radio" on Monday, September 13th, 9pm EST to listen to a panel of amazing women discuss how they use social media to practice conscious living. Topics discussed will include, healthy living yoga, reiki, massage, holistic practices, physical fitness, spirituality, life coaching, vegetarianism, veganism and green living. Click here for additional details.

Fair Trade Fashions

Check me out with my fair trade gear - earrings, a skirt from Uganda and a comfy top from Nepal. There is a store in Cleveland called Revive, which sells nothing but fair trade goods. Merchandise includes clothing, cosmetics (including Alaffia), accessories, home goods and coffees/chocolates. I love shopping there! The selection reminds me of items I would normally find in Anthropologie, but I don't have to read labels. I have the satisfaction of knowing that a fair wage was received by the employees and women are being lifted out of poverty and gaining economic independence. I feel good about wearing these fashions, drinking this coffee and eating this chocolate.  By the way, I read that a large coffee company is looking at incorporating fair wage principles into its business model. This is why I try to shop with my conscious, because eventually big business catches wind and the practices go mainstream - improving the lives of individuals around the world. Back to the fashions.....

Made in Bali, supports gender equity and prohibits exploitation of women and children.
Top from Nepal and tiered knit skirt from Uganda.
Made in Nepal, where workers receive living wage, vacation and work in a clean, healthy environment.
Created by artisans in Gulu, Uganda. Made with style, comfort and versatility as design principles.

Federal Agencies Greening It Up: Impacts To Your Bottom Line

The White House is doing more than planting organic gardens in its efforts to green America. Agencies are incorporating solar technology, green computing, waste reduction and other sustainable business efforts in their operating models in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and reduce impacts to our planet. Soooo, how does this impact you? Beyond better returns on your mandatory investment of tax dollars and preservation of our earth's essential for living resources, if you bid on government contracts or want to bid on government contracts, you may need to "green" your business. Many agencies are now required to incorporate green products into their purchases or evaluate the sustainability efforts bidding contractors. So going green or not, could impact your bottom line.  My father was recently invited to the White House to discuss his role in the development of a community garden in the middle of a Cleveland metropolitian housing complex aka "the projects". We believe it was this particular type of project got caught the attention of his contact and earned him this invitation. So green, not greed - is good. Click here to get a leg up on how you can leverage your triple bottom line efforts and improve your chances of winning a government contract.

More Banking News: Environmental Risks Getting More Scrutiny in Finance

Though there is a loooong way to go, banks are starting to give greater weight to environmental risks in evaluating credit requests. There has always been a level of scrutiny given to certain environmental risks in real estate lending projects, primarily around the area of potential pollutants specific to the site: asbestos, toxic chemicals and other ground contaminants. In today's environment, with more groups advocating for improved corporate social responsibility, increased sensitivity of consumers to environmentally-correct choices and investors showing greater concerns for the risks inherent in specific environmental practices, banks are slowing realizing that these are issues that need to be considered in weighing the profitability of specific types of financing. Wells Fargo is the most recent U.S. bank to reduce it's exposures to companies engaging in the environmentally damaging practice of mountain top removal of coal. Read here to see if your bank is among the other large financial institutions that have taken this stance.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Banks You Can Really Love: Radical Isn't It?

Usually the words radical and banking aren't used in the same sentence, so as a banker, I was intrigued when I saw this article titled "Are you ready for a radically sustainable bank?" on LinkedIn today. As you can imagine, banking is a pretty conservative profession, so radical is not a concept that would be eagerly greeted in many bank meetings. Things are slowly changing. As bankers start to realize that more customers are concerned about the environment, the local economy and human rights, some banks have begun leading using social consciousness as a driver of profits. These banks focus not only on the bottom line, but the triple bottom line - people, planets and profits. They try to be transparent in their operations, reward clients for shopping consciously and give preferential pricing to businesses that apply eco-conscious supply chain management techniques. Doing good, will beget great results - I can't wait for the IPO!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

6 tips for taking control in media interviews

6 tips for taking control in media interviews In an effort to be prepared for any interview requests related to the farmer's market press release I wrote, I thought it would be wise to get some media training tips and share them with you. BP Oil probably should have read these, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Green Jobs, Renewable Energy Jobs, Cleantech Jobs, Environmental Jobs

Green Jobs, Renewable Energy Jobs, Cleantech Jobs, Environmental Jobs Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Healing gardens, healing Communities

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Green Your Church Renovations/Repairs/Upgrades with Federal Funds

Green churches to receive federal funds savannahnow.com Since I didn't make it to church today, I am tithing my time in finding green renovation resources for a local church. Creation care has yet to hit the radar of many black churches. I'm not sure of why that is, when so many African Americans are impacted by a polluted environment, toxic personal care products, poor overly processed, salty, fatty diets and consequently, suffer from poor health. Blacks can really benefit from green job opportunities, but are often clueless and can definitely experience reductions in utility costs if we would take advantage of energy saving devices and weatherization programs available for low income families. The church could be very influential in leading the effort on greening and cleaning our communities and our planet (Gen 2:15). I could go on, but I won't. I will share some of the resources that I found in my research for churches interested in moving in this direction as they renovate older historic buildings or build new sanctuaries.

1) Nccecojustice.org - two great green church building resource documents online
2) Interfaithpowerandlight.org - More resources - referenced in the article above
3) American Baptist Church Extension Corp - 800-222-3872 x2480 (haven't vetted this number yet)
4) EnergyStar.gov - look for congregation services
5) Speak with local sustainability groups and representatives from your state's energy department
6) Ask your local electricity supplier if energy audits can be conducted for free for churches

God bless you and your search for Eden!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Ways to Make Green Relevant to the Mainstream | Business | GreenBiz.com

10 Ways to Make Green Relevant to the Mainstream Business GreenBiz.com

Sunny Delight Goes Zero Waste | Business | GreenBiz.com

Sunny Delight Goes Zero Waste Business GreenBiz.com I'm not a big Sunny D fan, but those of you that are, good news. More companies are seeing the green in going green.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fresh Food Oasis Comes to Cincinnati Urban Food Desert in Avondale

Finally! Here is my press release for the Summerville Farmer's Market in Cincinnati. I will send to several local news sources. Hopefully we can get some free publicity. The formatting is a little funky on Blogger tonight, so please forgive the sheared margin. Business is picking up, but we are still looking for vendors, volunteers and customers. As we execute the marketing plan I developed, we hope to see Summerville's financial health thrive and grow along with that of the community!

Lisa crafted, constructed and installed this sign for the market


Media Contact: Lisa A. Bussey


Gloria Ware


Public Contact: Lisa A. Bussey



Cincinnati has one less "food desert", thanks to the efforts of West End resident and Avondale businesswoman
, Lisa Bussey. Seeking to fill the produce gap in the diets of area residents, Ms. Bussey has opened the Summerville Farmers Market at 3166 Reading Road in the heart of the Avondale neighborhood.Summerville will be the area's first outdoor market and will offer a selection of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Much of the produce is grown on the premises and is often picked to order fresh from the onsite garden. This unique feature thrills patrons of the market, as it offers superior taste and creates a connection to the food, something which has become lost in the past years as more of our food is imported from around the world and developed with a priority for enduring extended shipping times over tasting good.The market is a labor of love for Ms. Bussey, who cleared the once vacant urban lot, managed the garden and built much of the existing infrastructure and with her own hands. Having a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, she realizes the potential for the market to revitalize the physical and economic health of the community. She envisions the market as a catalyst and gathering place to not only improve the health of the community, but she plans to work with local residents interested in becoming vendors to expand product offerings to include honey, baked goods and various crafts. As the market grows and financially supports a permanent market structure, her goal is to provide green job training and employment opportunities in the area of construction, facilities maintenance and landscaping for the area's unemployed citizens.Openings are currently available for vendors seeking to market their goods. The Summerville Farmers Market hours are Saturdays 11am-3pm and Sundays Noon-4pm and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards are accepted. Please contact Ms. Bussey for more information.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Politics As Usual As Congress Passes on Climate Change Legislation

Senators decided to pass on moving forward with enacting climate change legislation last week. Money talked, and "principles" walked right out to the door. So, poor people will pay as usual for poor policy. Like the victims of hurricane Katrina, they will be stranded in hot, toxic, dry cities and towns as a result of decades of harmful environmental policies and decisions that benefited powerful and wealthy forces. After the financial crisis of 2008, there are a lot more poor people and middle class folks on the edge, so don't think this won't affect you or yours. Not even the disastrous BP gulf oil spill was enough to compel our congressional leaders to move forward on the legislation. Guess that was a far fetched notion, when some politicians were publicly apologizing to BP. WTH? So what else is new? Rome burns while Nero (us) fiddles. We need to stop letting our politicians off the hook on these issues and let them know how we feel, because I seriously don't think they are reading our blogs. The events of last week indicate that some blogs are not only being read, but generate action at high levels. Wow. How can we elicit such a rapid fire response for our outrages? Not sure. Maybe we are perceived as being too weak and passive. Why is that? Did we think that by electing a black president all of our troubles and responsibilities would magically disappear?We need to think about that. Anyway, if you want to express your ire at the lack of action on climate change, you can write your rep through the links provided in the "Write Your Rep" section on this site. That's what I'm going to do.

Did You Know Funding is Available for Gardeners and Community Gardens?

Did You Know Funding is Available for Gardeners and Community Gardens? Get some green to green up and clean up the health of your community.

Green Hip Hop

The Message Remixed More Black artists sing songs about being black and into green.

Rap Artists on The Oil Spill

Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek’s Black Gold Official Video Discovered this video via the Eco-Jam Of The Week feature of a recently discovered website, http://www.speakeasynet.com/. Discovered this site via a post on the new environmental justice blog, Nappy Green.

Friday, July 23, 2010

O2H Snap...I Can't Breathe!

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727692.000-o2h-no-is-our-oxygen-running-out.html Okay, so if our descendants don't die from heatstroke, or some insane climate driven natural disaster, suffocation might be another option. Don't be fooled by these commercials touting the benefits of old economy fossil fuels, let's get on with investing in cleaner, greener energy for a cleaner, greener future.

This Week In The Garden: Edibles and Beautifuls

Enjoy the latest blooms and fruits in my partially edible landscape. Edible - Broccoli, Figs and Daylilies. Coneflowers are an herb aka Echinacea.

So exciting.....a tiny broccoli head!
The figs are getting fatter!
Look at this black beauty of a daylily.
These Peach Butterfly lilies have freckles like me!
These vanilla scented lilies are showstoppers!
Butterflies love these purple coneflowers.
Purple Coneflower for Supper.
Coneflowers and Daisies Cohabitate
White lilies make a statement at night.
Fragrant lilies greet me by the patio.

Raw Food Picnic Hit: Peach Pie

Check out the peach pie with almond crust that I made for a raw food picnic this weekend. Of course, I was late and got there just in time to share my dessert. The last few folks were packing up, but when I told them I had some peach pie, they sat back down and pulled out their eating supplies. I actually made two, one with raw honey and another with agave. They tore it up people! Major grubbin was going on with this pie! Seconds were had by all. The sponsor of the picnic, Good N Raw Cafe, wants to include my recipe in the online cookbook. I will have to get back to you on the recipe. It is actually a modification of two recipes from different uncookbooks, one of which is "Raw Food Made Easy" by Jennifer Cornbleet. I used her almond pie crust recipe, but added a splash of almond oil. The filling was from a book called "Raw Food" by Erica Palmcranz and Irmela Lilja, but a reduced the cinnamon and added some lemon juice.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Healthy Replacement for Baby Powder

If you are like me, you probably grew up powdering yourself down with baby powder on those sweltering summer days. So I went out today looking for an eco-friendly and human friendly version of this magical coolant and dehumidifier. Found this wonderful product from WiseWays Herbals in Whole Foods (yea, I ended the boycott once healthcare reform passed). Ingredients: Arrowroot, Cornstarch, Clay, Sage Leaf, Essential Oils of Tangerine, Cedarwood, Rose Geranium and Sage. No parabens, phthlates (fragrance) or other garbage.

Some Amazing Snacking

My favorite candy bar is Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds, throw in a handful of dried strawberries and raw almonds. Heaven! For a totally raw treat replace the chocolate bar with cacao nibs. Yea Mon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Bit of Light Summer Reading - Gardeners, Urban Farmers and Foodies Will Love These Picks

A Bit of Light Summer Reading This post is from Gayla, the blogger who writes "You Grow Girl". I will have to check out some of these good gardening and cookbook summer reads. Includes one based on slavery in Jamaica, "The Book of Night Women", by Marlon James.

10 Things I've Learned About Making Sustainability a Core Value | Business | GreenBiz.com

10 Things I've Learned About Making Sustainability a Core Value Business GreenBiz.com

Tricks of the Trade for Landing Green Jobs | Business | GreenBiz.com

Tricks of the Trade for Landing Green Jobs Business GreenBiz.com

Enviro Group Sues FDA for BPA Inaction | Design | GreenBiz.com

Enviro Group Sues FDA for BPA Inaction Design GreenBiz.com BPA is everywhere, in canned food, the lining of glass jar lids, plastic containers and goodness knows where is. There continue to be reports on suspected negative impacts of this synthetic estrogen to our health, but not much action to protect consumers. Some manufacturers have stopped using BPA in water bottles and baby bottles, but this has been driven by consumer demand for BPA free products. At last, the lawyers seize the opportunity.

7 Reasons Why Greening Up is Hard to Do | Business | GreenBiz.com

7 Reasons Why Greening Up is Hard to Do Business GreenBiz.com, but it can be done and it starts with you. One step at a time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Urban Farmer's Market Opens in Cincinnati's Avondale Neighborhood

On July 4, 2010, the Avondale neighborhood, in Cincinnati, Ohio declared independence from fast, processed junk food. Lisa Bussey, braving hot weather, crime and the odds, opened the Summerville Farmer's Market on 3166 Reading Road. Lisa started working on the market concept late this spring, by that time most farmers were already committed to other markets, so she opened the market with produce from her own garden (right on the lot) and supplemented with produce from wholesalers in the area. Fresh from her garden yesterday were tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, hot peppers and collards. She said the church folk (there are several in the area), were especially delighted to see her pick the greens right out of the garden! The market itself is still in development in many ways, Lisa is still physically enhancing the property (formerly a vacant lot), actively looking for vendors and just now starting to promote her fresh food oasis. While she had a decent turnout yesterday with no marketing, she recognizes the value of promoting the location (build it and they will come only goes so far). There are many perks, Reading Road is a high traffic area in the neigbhorhood, there is no competition and the lot is secured with chain link fencing. I will be working with her to get the word out. So far, that has been somewhat of a challenge given the distance (4 hours from Cleveland to Cincinnati), previous business commitments that consumed a lot of Lisa's time and the fact that she is more of an email/text versus telephone person (as I am, but that has its limits).  While this is primarily an entrepreneurial venture for Lisa (though she does have a passion for gardening), she has come to see the longer term value of the services that she is providing to the community. Viewing the venture from this green and socially responsible lens, has deepened her commitment to bringing fresh food to this food desert. One aspect of my marketing plan is to work with other urban farmers and church member  in the area to supplement Lisa's produce and baked goods  or to set up boothes at Summerville Market. This will also help to spread buzz in the community about the market and generate support. The possibilities are endless as people are starving for this kind of product and good news. She could use some moral, physical, spirtual and financial support, especially in this economy, so if you are in Cincinnati, stop by the Summerville Market  at 3166 Reading Road and give her a shout. The market will be open today from noon to 4pm.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

19 Mobile Gardens for Growing on the Go

19 Mobile Gardens for Growing on the Go How wild and crazy is this idea (at least for those of us with a passion for gardening)? I love it! Oh the possibilities....demonstration gardening in neighborhoods and on playgrounds, introduction to native plants, portable vegetable cooking demos, memorial gardens for crime victims, business ventures, ecological education and so on. How would you use a mobile garden?

6 Great Vegetable Grilling Recipes

6 Great Vegetable Grilling Recipes Just in time for Fourth of July! What does vegetarianism have to do with living a greener lifestyle? Animal based foods require excessive amounts of resources to raise and are often fed antibiotic lace, non-vegetarian diets. Often they are cruelly warehoused and treated. Their waste can find its way into local water systems and cows emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Really! A plant-based diet is increasingly being recognized as one that will reduce your risks of dying from heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I'm not there yet, but making my way, currently I eat poultry and fish, though sparingly. It's difficult to make that final move when you have a carnivorous male teen in the house!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Raw Vegan Cheese

Dr. Cow"s Tree Nut Cheese -- VeganEssentials Online Store This raw vegan cheese gets rave reviews all over the internet. Try it for a summer picnic.

Nappy Green

Checkout a new environmental justice blog based in Cleveland, Ohio, http://www.nappygreen.wordpress.com/. The author is an environmental justice and community advocate. I appreciate the manner in which the author shares information and invokes an image, but gives you the space to interpret what it means to you and your community.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BP boycott: Consumers who want to boycott BP over Gulf of Mexico oil spill find it's easier said than done - latimes.com

BP boycott: Consumers who want to boycott BP over Gulf of Mexico oil spill find it's easier said than done - latimes.com Big Poppa is everywhere. What we really need to boycott is our extreme dependence of fossil fuels and its many by-products found in everyday products that we use, from plastics to cosmetics. Let's continue to invest in clean, green options by supporting development and production of green chemistry based products with our dollars and our voices. Let's invest in ourselves, by walking/biking more and driving less, using organic products and natural, responsibly sourced materials.

This Week In The Garden

The garden is popping with color like a veritable fireworks display! It is so peaceful, yet mentally stimulating to sit outside and enjoy the sounds of birds above, the chitter of chipmunks, the new flowers for the week and the progress of my edibles. I completely get why Jesus would return to the wilderness when he needed to clear and focus his mind. This is yet another reason, we must take care of nature. If Jesus loved it, so should we. Did you know that spending time outdoors can improve your short-term memory? This week in the garden in addition to beautifully textured and patterned foilage, a wide variety of lilies are in bloom, crunchy purple kale grows, jalapeno peppers are popping, maters are being harvested, pink dahlias are hot, euphobia stands stall, native trumpet vine with its tubular flowers feed nectar to the hummingbirds, figs are forming (so pumped!), yellow tinged, airy lady's mantle are standouts, pink sweet peas smell amazing and the pink and white hydrangea are showstoppers.