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May 17, 2010

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all well. I've been long absent, the direct result of a 15-credit hour semester, a job, and beginning volunteer work helping refugees learn English. I did manage to snatch a couple of days to drive up to Oklahoma (in the snow, if you can believe it!) to visit the Mvskokee Food Sovereignty Initiative's annual Food Sovereignty Symposium. It was truly inspiring, to see people gathering together to share their knowledge with a genuine desire to protect and better our world. Below is an article about one of the presenters at this year's symposium. I hope you enjoy it! Be sure to check out the links for MFSI and DWH.

The Mvskokee Food Sovereignty Initiative has instituted an annual Food Sovereignty Symposium. At this year’s event, Sally Auger and Diane Wilson presented Dream of Wild Health, a visionary program in Hugo, MN. On a ten-acre farm, youths and families are nurtured in body, mind, and spirit. Through three youth programs, kids and teens learn about responsibility, respect, how to choose a healthy diet, and how to connect with and foster nature. Then, this group reaches out to the community, providing locally grown organic produce at the farmer’s markets. It is a beautiful notion that has come to fruition through dedication and cooperation.

This is a prime example of people in a community rising to meet the community’s needs. DWH is a program of Peta Wakan Tipi, which was founded by Sally Auger and John Eichhorn, who identified a genuine need for transitional housing for Native American people in recovery. These people requested “a way to connect with the earth and the foods of [their] ancestors, rebuilding an essential relationship for Native people.” So, Sally and John consulted with community elders and DWH was born in 1998.

There are various elements to DWH, every one of them inspirational. Their seed-saving program is at the heart of this organization. About two years after DWH’s inception, they received a letter from Cora Baker. Cora, a long-time gardener, was a Potawatomi elder and Keeper of the Seeds. She wrote, “I had prayed and prayed that someone would take this gardening up again. I am very pleased to learn about your project. I feel that the Great Creator has answered my humble prayers. …I wish that someday the children will come to realize the importance of the garden.” Cora included a great variety of corn, beans, and squash, the so-called Three Sisters trio. These are planted together and form an almost perfect symbiotic relationship – the beans use the corn for support and fix nitrogen in the soil for the corn, which is a “heavy feeder,” and the low-growing squash shades the soil to help prevent weeds, conserve moisture, and mediate the soil temperature. Cora also included several varieties of sunflowers, which attract beneficial insects to the garden, as well as indigenous tobacco and plant medicines. More and more seeds arrived in the mail – word was getting out and people wanted to help. There was even a family who donated Cherokee corn seeds that were on the original Trail of Tears. Today, DWH holds more than 300 varieties of saved seeds, what they call “a priceless legacy from [their] ancestors.” And, indeed, it is priceless. We are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate, a crucial part of a healthy, functioning ecosystem. These people, working to preserve their heritage, may prove to be more important than we can realize now.

Read more...

photo credit to Sam Fee and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center www.crowcanyon.org
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Posted: May 17, 2010 7:40pm
Jan 3, 2010

Hello, all care2-ers!  I hope your new year is wonderful so far.    This is my New Year's Eve post.  It's a couple of days late, but I wanted to share with all of you.  If you know anyone who would be interested in this, please forward!

Auld Lang Syne is on my mind today, not only because it's what is traditionally sung at midnight, but because of what it means.  Auld Lang Syne is sung at this time because it symbolizes endings and new beginnings.  The noise and bustle of the holidays is over and we are entering a hopeful new year.  As you look back over the previous year and prepare to ring in the new, think about how you can make your year, your community, and your world better.

You can start by composting live Christmas trees and wreaths instead of sending them to the landfill.  Many cities offer this service, so check with your waste collector or contact City Hall to find out more.  There's even a National Christmas Tree Association that has more information.

 

The most important thing for you to know going into the new year is that you are empowered - your actions matter, what you do makes a difference!  So do something.  Barry Lopez said, "One of the great dreams of man must be to find some place between the extremes of nature and civilization where it is possible to live without regret."  Howard Zinn said, "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change.  Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."  Carry this idea into the new year with you!

1.     Live as locally as possible and live smaller.  Get to know what is available from your community and utilize those resources.

2.     Start recycling and composting if you don't already - break that cradle to grave, 'disposable' mentality and look for ways to reuse things.

3.     Grow something edible, even if it's in a pot.  If you have room, plant a tree (properly!), preferably one with edible fruits or one that provides food and/or habitat for local wildlife.  It should be native or adapted to your area.

4.     Eat one vegetarian meal a day, vegan if possible.  This is a healthier option for you and food animals are a tremendous tax on our resources and environment.  Think you can't?  Sure you can!  Care2 has some great recipes.

5.     Consider those less fortunate than you, for there always are those who are less fortunate.  Play a game to donate rice and click every day at The Hunger Site and Care2.

6.     Seek out like-minded people.  Care2 (link just above) and The Compact link are good places to start.

7.     Learn. One of the best gifts you can give yourself that also benefits those around you is knowledge.  Don't be one of the 'sheeple.'  Take the time to learn more than you know right now and be more than you are right now.  The world is so much bigger and there is so much more going on than we can see when we operate in our limited piece of it.  Take a step outside of your little world and look around.  This is the first step toward thinking in the way that is going to become absolutely necessary in the near future.

 

Well, it's almost that time, friends.  Reward yourself for a year of living green and toast link the new year with a glass link or two of organic or biodynamic bubbly link (bonus points if it's locally made).  Here's hoping for a year without regret, between the extremes, and full of small actions.  Cheers!  Should auld acquaintance be forgot...

read full article...

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Posted: Jan 3, 2010 7:07pm
Nov 2, 2009

Continuing this mini blog series about everyday actions regular people can take to help create sustainable environments, here are five more tips!

1. Are you still using that old leaf blower?  Raking is much better for the planet, not to mention your health!  The same is true for a push mower instead of a gas-powered or electric mowers (electricity comes mostly from coal-powered plants, and there is no such thing as 'clean' coal).

Read more...

photo credit to greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Sustainable_Living_Magazine
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Posted: Nov 2, 2009 8:49pm
Sep 8, 2009

Here are five more easy actions to live more sustainably!

1. Stop phone book delivery.  YellowPagesGoesGreen.org is a movement against unsolicited phone book delivery.  Sign up to remove your home or office from receiving telephone directories (beware phony sites; you should see a photo of a mountain at the top of the correct page) .  If you need a book, simply call to request one.  This will prevent unnecessary waste and save you the trouble of recycling unwanted phone books.

Read more...

photo credit to adlogiconline.com

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Posted: Sep 8, 2009 5:11pm
Aug 29, 2009

Everyone’s talking green.  It’s on the news, in magazines, in newspapers, and on countless websites.  There’s a lot to know and a lot to be considered, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, have a green thumb, or let your hair grow and start giving everyone the peace sign.  It’s very easy to make your everyday life greener and here are five ways you can start right away.

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photo credit to keetsa.com.

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Posted: Aug 29, 2009 3:35pm
Aug 22, 2009

It has been reported that Aramark Higher Education is instituting a program at college campuses this school year that will divert more than 2 million disposable food containers from landfills.  In the same spirit, here are a few suggestions on how to green your kid - or yourself - on the way back to the classroom.

 

- One of the simplest ways to ‘go green’ is to take a sack lunch.  According to buygreen.com, the average school-age child eating a disposable lunch generates 67 lbs. of waste per school year, which equals 18,760 lbs. of lunch waste for only one average-size elementary school!

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photo credit to www.nubiusorganics.com via www.greenroost.com
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Posted: Aug 22, 2009 6:09pm
Aug 12, 2009

Last week I got to see an eye-opening program on PBS about the disappearance of bees worldwide. It was a very informative  show about a situation that everyone who’s gotten used to eating more than just a few kinds of grain should know about.

 

At the time of the production of this program, Silence of the Bees, a condition called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) had emptied beehives in 35 states and from Europe to South America. Bees were disappearing and no one knew why.

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photo credit to
Cornell University Insect Conservation Biology
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Posted: Aug 12, 2009 3:51pm
Aug 2, 2009

 

Check out the timeline of tasks from the August/September issue of Mother Earth News.  Look up the date of your first killing frost (FKF), if you don’t already know it, and you’re ready to go!

 

12 – 14 weeks before FKF:

 

Direct-sow last plantings of fast-maturing, warm-season vegetables such as snap beans, cucumbers, and summer squash.  Also sow parsnips and rutabagas, and begin planting cilantro, lettuce, and radishes.  Start cabbage family seedlings indoors, and set out the seedlings as promptly as possible.  In climates with long autumns, plant celery, bulb fennel, and parsley.

 

Read more here...

 

Photo credit to www.motherearthnews.com.

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Posted: Aug 2, 2009 8:35pm
Jul 14, 2009

Cell phones are ubiquitous accessories these days, almost appendages for some of us. Have you ever considered the impact your constant connectedness could have? For instance does your provider do any of the following:

 

- Donate regularly to Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, Doctors Without Borders, and Natural Resources Defense Council?

- Oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last pristine wildernesses?

- Work to stop new coal-fired power plants?

- Donate to plant trees for each ton of paper used?

- Support legislation to drastically cut CO2 emissions?  read more...

 

photo credit to www.credomobile.com

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Posted: Jul 14, 2009 9:03am
Jul 6, 2009

About a month ago I’ve purchased a rain barrel from clean air gardening, and here is the installation video - installing a rain barrel is really easy!

This 55 gallon rain barrel has been in use for about a month now, and has worked really well so far.. as long as there is rain : ). Unfortunately this is an exceptionally hot summer here in TX, and we didn’t have any rain in the last 10 days, so the barrel has been sitting empty, and I am back to using the spigot to water my garden.

If you are thinking of installing a rain barrel, there are a few things to consider: read more
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Posted: Jul 6, 2009 9:33pm

 

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\\nBeats4Change is proud to present the plans for a caring community in Mgbidi, Imo State, Nigeria. \\n We have purchased a plot of land as foundation for our activities there.So far you can help by donating a click on dshini.net: \\n Beats4Change is...
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\\n \\n \\n Hi - Beats4Change is introducing the \\\"listen-to-donate\\\" each month a new tune will be uploaded, where Beats4Change donate 0,01$ to that months charity for each play ( you can even play it several times if you like, it still coun...
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\\n \\r\\nHi - Beats4Change is introducing the \\\"listen-to-donate\\\" each month a new tune will be uploaded, where Beats4Change donate 0,01$ to that months charity for each play ( you can even play it several times if you like, it still counts ), next th...