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Mar 2, 2011

The Out N' About Treesort in Takilma, Oregon is a resort where visitors stay in cabins perched in trees like giant tree houses. It looks like something straight out of Neverland with cute cabin names such as Pleasantree, Elementree and Serendipitree. Cabins range from minimalistic (no bathrooms!) to very elaborate (kitchens and showers built feet off the ground) and cost from $120-$280 per night. Some Cabins are so high up that you have to take a series of stairs and swinging bridges to get to them, but don't worry they have a pulley system for luggage. There are no tv's in the cabins (though wifi is available) but who needs them when the resort has its own fresh water pool, over a mile of zip lines and, if your really in to thrills, the giant Tarzan swing. Not to mention biking & hiking, horse back riding, rafting, massage therapy, craft and nature workshops and more. It's really amazing that this resort has chosen to work with these beautiful trees instead of cutting them down. Don't worry if Oregon is too far away, there are more tree house rentals across the country. Click here to find one closer to you.

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Posted: Mar 2, 2011 12:02pm
Feb 9, 2011

There is a reason that cafeteria food has a bad reputation. Maybe it has something to do with the low grade meat that even fast food restaurants reject (meat usually destined for dog food) or the thousands of miles between the food source and schools. There are things that we can do to help make lunch healthy and sustainable for every school in our community.

Grow Your Lunch:

Many schools have tight budgets that wont allow them to purchase produce from local organic farms, but there are other ways to supply your schools with fresh food. Talk to school organizations like FFA, 4H, or an agriculture or earth science teacher to see if they would be interested in starting a student grown organic vegetable garden. The students would be able to learn the importance of organic farming and enjoy the fresh fruits of their labor, while the schools would save money on food costs. Click here find out more.

rBGH Free Milk
:
Even though congress has voted to allow all schools in the National School Lunch Program to purchase milk free of harmful growth hormones (due to their link to some cancers) many are not aware of their options. Click here to take action. If you want to make your district's milk safe call your School Food Service Director to see if he/she is already supplying schools with rBGH free milk. If not, you may need to contact your Wellness Committee about changing their policy to buying only rBGH free milk, it will help if you get more people involved to show how important safe milk is to everyone in the community (like parents, teachers, and older students). The Wellness Committee will need to go before the School Board for final approval. You should encourage as many people as possible to be there to voice their support.

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Posted: Feb 9, 2011 8:39pm
Feb 8, 2011

Say No To GMO

GMO (aka GEO, GM, or GE) seeds are seeds that have been genetically modified. In other words, tampered with until they no longer behave the way they once did, such as the ability to withstand large amounts of toxic herbicides and pesticides. Most of these seeds have been engineered so that they only bare sterile seeds forcing farmers to buy new seeds every year. Genetically modified foods have been proven to have a negative impact on our bodies and on the environment around us. Recent research shows that GMO corn has caused high mortality rates in caterpillars of the already declining monarch butterfly. Luckily there are still places out there that sell non-GMO seeds, such as Seeds of Change. Non-GMO seeds and plants are relatively inexpensive once you consider the fact that they will produce fertile seeds again and again and they will not harm the environment or you.


Compost Uncomplicated

If you haven't already made the switch from chemical fertilizers to compost, now is the time. Soon it will be time to plant new seeds and you'll want to have your plant food ready. To make your own compost bin simply drill lots of air holes into a large, dark colored bucket or garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Add a layer of loose soil (any old dirt will do), a layer of dry leaves, left over fruit and veggie peels, used coffee grounds, and earthworms. Add water, make sure the lid is on tight, and roll it around or use a pitch fork to mix. It will take a few weeks to a month before it is ready to use depending on how full the bin is.


Reusing Rainwater

Did you know that 40% of water used during the summer is used outdoors? That is where having a rainwater harvesting system comes in handy. It sounds complicated but in reality it can be as simple as a bucket under a drain spout. The best systems are sealed air tight so that mosquitoes can't use the standing water as a breeding ground. You can make a simple system by attaching a spigot near the bottom of a large garbage can or barrel (facing down), then cutting a hole in the lid and fixing it onto a gutter (preferably the one that receives the most rain). Use duct tape to seal the openings around the gutter. It is important that you don't let the bin over fill. If you want something a little sophisticated there are diverters and pre-made systems available that do the work for you. One of my favorites is the Garden Watersaver Diverter.

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Posted: Feb 8, 2011 7:48pm
Feb 5, 2011

Last week I was doing a little comparison shopping in the gardening section of a home improvement store when I happened upon the seed rack. There was a whole row dedicated to organic seeds, but looking closer, I noticed that not one pack was non-GMO. In fact, I've been to every chain store in my area and several family businesses and still no non GMO seeds. This discovery was disappointing to say the least. For those of you who are new to green gardening, GMO, GEO, GM, or GE seeds are seeds that have been genetically modified. In other words, plants that have been tampered with until they no longer behave the way they once did, such as the ability to withstand of large amounts of toxic herbicides and pesticides. Most of these seeds have been engineered so that they only bare sterile seeds forcing farmers to buy new seeds every year. Genetically modified foods have been proven to have a negative impact on our bodies and on the environment around us. Recent research shows that GMO corn has caused high mortality rates in caterpillars of the already declining monarch butterfly. Luckily there are still places out there that sell non-GMO seeds, such as Seeds of Change. Non-GMO seeds and plants are relatively inexpensive once you consider the fact that they will produce fertile seeds again and again and they will not harm the environment or you (unless of course you are allergic).

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Posted: Feb 5, 2011 10:31pm

 

 
 
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Robin Hardy
, 2, 1 child
Irvine, KY, USA
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