Sunday, June 30, 2013
Maya's Ideas Shop: Two new articles on The Kind Life and the TOMS Sho...: Check out my two new articles on actress Alicia Silverstone's blog The Kind Life, and the TOMS Shoes blog! :) I'm so honored to be f...
Check out Maya's newest articles!
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Ahh, summer. Does it evoke youthful memories and feelings? It reminds us of good times whether they be vacations or stay-cations, Koolaid or iced tea, summer camp or summer street games, camping or cookouts, shorts or sundresses and summer school or summer reading lists. Yes, I said summer reading lists. As an avid reader most of my life, I genuinely enjoyed summer reading lists, though may not have enjoyed all of the books on the list. So like many others, I've maintained the tradition of summer reading by creating my own summer reading list. Some summers reading lists are more aspirational depending on what's going on that summer and others leave me with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of summer. Summer reading lists can include whatever suits your reading fancy, but should include some books that you normally would feel guilty about reading because you should be reading something related to professional, human or self development. Categories to include could be fiction, science fiction, humor, travel, interesting biographies, coffee table books, hobbies and the like. A great resource for finding books from authors of all hues is the bookstore site, Hueman Books. All books are discounted by 20%! Keep that dollar re-circulating people. And don't forget the People's University..the library! Introducing my summer reading list of 2013:
- Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi
- Cooked, Michael Pollan
- Flight Behavior, A Novel (P.S.), Barbara Kingsolver
- Little Green, An Easy Rawlins Mystery, Walter Mosley
- Kindred, Octavia Butler
- The Edible Balcony, Alex Mitchell
- Eco-yards, Laureen Rama
- The Urban Birder, David Lindo and Stephen Moss
What's on your summer reading list?
Monday, June 10, 2013
Agencies unite to reduce food waste
Did you know that Americans throw away up to 40% of perfectly good food, while millions go hungry in this country and other? The USDA and the EPA are teaming up to understand exactly how much food is being wasted and how do divert this waste from going into the landfills to the bellies of hungry people. This is good news! What are your ideas for reducing food waste?
To often when we think of women growing vegetables, we may think of women gardening at home, working farmers markets, community gardens or women chefs, but did you know that there is another demographic of women growing vegetables? They are women farmers! I've been recently re-introduced to women farmers through the magazine MaryJanesFarmers and now via Grist, that gritty and informative environmental website. I loved this slideshow which highlights Farmer Fatales growing huge yields of produce which help us to enjoy our wonderful fruits, vegetables and fungi. I even discovered a Cleveland farmer fatale (loving that name) who is part of a mushroom operation. I must find her to enjoy some her meaty and tasty tumor blasters. Featured below are two of my favorite slides from the Grist article, photos of the members of the National Women in Agriculture Association and Monique Grider, co-farmer at Kai's Kultured Mushrooms. Be sure to check out all the slides as they are pretty cool.
|Members of National Women in Agriculture Association, rockin' that pink!|
|Monique Grider of Kai's Kultured Mushrooms. Cleeeev-land!|
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Today was one of those days when I wasn't hungry for breakfast, but felt compelled to put something in my stomach for fear of tearing up the refrigerator this evening! LOL! Filling smoothies are perfect for these kinds of mornings. Since I've been on a edible flower kick recently, I was determined to get some in my smoothie. This recipe was influenced by a delicious honey lavender ice cream treat created by Mitchell's Ice Cream, a local favorite in Cleveland. So here is an informal recipe:
Add to a blender the following:
1/2 large very ripe mango (broken into chunks)
1 small banana
Large handful of ice cubes (about six)
Dash of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried lavender or 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lavender flowers
1 cup of almond milk (give or take some according to how thick you like your smoothies)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Tablespoon of cacao nibs or 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips
Agave or honey to taste (if you have a crazy sweet tooth, because mangoes and bananas are pretty sweet)
Crank it up in the blender on high speed!
Makes one very large serving or two medium size servings
|Mango Banana Lavender Smoothie in Chill Mode|
Saturday, June 8, 2013
So now that gardening season is upon us, let's think about eating some of those delicious flowers that you are thinking about planting. While you are at it, think about using these glorious lovelies on your skin to cleanse, scent, tone and moisturize and in your house to clean and beautify. The beauty of using herbs and edible flowers for these purposes is that you can plant a grand bounty in a front yard, a community garden plot, that secret guerrilla garden spot that you cultivated, on your building's rooftop or just enough in your grandma's garden patch, on your balcony or in a sunny windowsill. Since I've become familiar with permaculture principals (mindful, practical planting), I've become more interested in planting edibles and to my delight, have discovered that some of the beautiful flowers in my perennial garden are actually edible! (Not all flowers are edible, some are poisonous, so do your research) See how God works it out?
|Thyme and Savory, below, Lavendar, Chamomile, Oregano, Pansies|
books about edible gardens, crops in pots, edible flower cookbooks and the like. I happened upon the magazine "MaryJanesFarm" last summer and found some nice recipes and picked up a special "Nature Knows Best" issue yesterday. It is filled with ideas and recipes for using flowers, herbs and oils to create medicines, delicious breads and ice cream, soaps, cleaners, dream pillows and good stuff for mama and baby.I think I will even send a copy to my son, who has started a backyard garden with his roommates. I recommend that you make the $5.99 investment and pick up an issue, even if you are an urbanista like me or a manly man. You can pick up your supplies for your edible garden and toxic free personal care and home products from the herb and organic seed section of your garden center/nursery, an organic farm (for edible perennials like roses, daylilies and bee balm) or a wonderful, green, amazing award winning website specializing in bulk materials for your inventory like Mountain Rose Herbs. This year, I'm planting some of the following edible flowers and herbs:
- Lavender (delicious added to tea, cookies and smoothies)
- Chamomile (cancer fighter)
- Borage (will complement my Morrocan themed patio)
- Fennel (more of it)
- Organic Roses
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I would like to thank Marc Littlejohn of the Google Group, Fair Climate Network, for always sending such great information around environmental justice and sustainable communities. I've not had the pleasure of meeting Marc, but hope to one day. Today I received a glorious email which contained nearly dozens of exciting green job opportunities from the likes of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, National Wildlife Federation and many more. It appears that in the spirit of the type of green diversity that I've posted on recently, these organizations reached out to the NAACP to post career opportunities within their organizations. Bravo! This is the kind of outreach that I hope to see more environmental organizations pursue in an effort to be more representative of this country's diverse population. I don't have a link to Marc's share, because it is an email, but if you want receive these job listings that are part of the NAACP Black Green Pipeline Digest, send an email to BlackGreenPipeline@naacpnet.org.