Monday, August 29, 2011

Making Memories

You might wonder where I've been of late.  True, August had its share of last minute vacations and the chill'uns are back in school but that doesn't completely account for my absence.  Oh no.  This does.

Tomatoes.  And apples.  And summer squash.  Everything ready at once.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  It is not that I'm not grateful the garden has been so busy.  It is just that I find myself in a constant race against the over-ripe clock to freeze the tomatoes, can pasta sauce, turn apples into cinnamon apple chips and dehydrated squash.  All the while, I'm also trying to savor the tomatoes in salsa and fresh over pasta.  Enjoy the apples in apple bars and apple cake.  And squeeze the squash into breads and stir fry.

Remember June and July people?  When I proudly showed off a couple of squash and some herbs?  Remember when I picked my first tomato and relished in every last little nibble?

Me either.  It's all a distant, hazy memory.  But I'm off to ensure that I remember this August alllll winter long.  Happy preserving.

I am linking this post to Homestead Barn Hop, Harvest Monday and Tuesday Garden Party.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Good Enough Environmentalist

I thoroughly enjoyed Abbie's How Green Are You Quiz last week - gleefully checking off the answers and pleased to find myself a nice shade of Emerald Green.  I gave myself a pat on the back.  Not bad for someone who's been on the eco journey for some time.  Long enough to have sampled almost everything "eco" and thrown a good share back as not me, too difficult or too kooky.

I still got it!  I may drive too much in my minivan, I may not line dry my clothes any more, and I may have resorted to occasional yogurt tubes in lunch boxes despite the plastic but hey, I'm still green, ya'll!

Landing on "Emerald Green" was a hollow victory, though.  And not just because Abbie meant her quiz to be tongue in cheek.  No, it was hollow because I realized that I have finally reached the place in my environmental journey where I ask the much pondered question:

Do individual actions really matter?

For the past four and half years, I've walked and biked all over the place.  I've frozen my buns off.  I've grown my own vegetables and eaten 90% local for a couple of years. I gave up almost any sort of disposables, eschewed new for second hand, and have been eaten alive by guilt over things like: forgetting my canvas bags, buying garden starts in non-recyclable plastic pots and springing for new sweat pants for the boys for school.

And you know what?

I'm more afraid to write about climate change today than I was in 2007.  Then, most Americans accepted climate change for what it was - scientific fact.  Today, it is a political hot potato, most Americans do not believe it is true.

Despite the disbelief, more people are "living green."  Heck, most Americans prefer organic to conventional food but I'm not convinced that individual action will get us where we need to go.  Resorting to cloth wipes and canvas totes hasn't put a dent in global warming yet.  So how do we get there?

This week is a two week of protest against the Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline.  Something that climate scientists call a "game over" for climate change if Obama allows it to go through.  Environmentalists are calling on people to come to Washington DC, protest the pipeline project and risk jail for civil disobedience.  Another member of the Green Moms Carnival is going.  I'm awed.  I'm wowed.  I'm jealous.  And I am afraid.

That the media will not cover it.

That it won't make a difference.

And mostly, afraid to make any sort of commitment like that.  Instead, I'll stay home and make some yogurt from organic milk bottled by a local company in a returnable glass bottle.  I'll can my homegrown tomatoes and then hit the thrift store for back to school clothes.

Will it be good enough?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You a Winner?

According to the Random Number Generator, if you are It's Not Easy to Be Green and left this comment:

OpenID noteasytobegreen said...

I have never canned anything but want to try canning my own vine ripened tomato sauces for the winter months. I have friends who keep me well stocked with strawberry jam, apple chutney, and other preserves.
Or if you are Robin from Simple.Green.Organic.Happy and left this comment:

Anonymous robin said...

I'm a fan on FB :)
You are winners of a Discovery Home Canning Set!  Yippee!
Please email me at greenbeandreamsATgmailDOTcom with your address so that we can arrange shipment to you and you can start canning!!!
Even if you did not win, do not forget to get your can in gear on National Can It Forward day, this Saturday August 13th.  Learn to preserve the harvest in unsteady economic times at the Can It Forward page on the Ball Brand "Fresh Preserving" site.  Thank you for participating and to Ball Brand for sponsoring the giveaway!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Country Road

Last month I traveled a country road and saw a few things I really really wanted.  A photograph was the next best thing.

As a California native and lover of old and embroidered, I really coveted this vintage California tapestry. Alas, it was $400 so I took a photo instead.  I love the grizzly bear up at the top and the sombrero at the bottom!

What a fun old pick up truck.  As energy inefficient as they come but ride in this and you really feel like a country girl.

Okay, maybe I'd like this to say something other than Grandma's but you just know her chicken's are well loved.

Happiest Wednesday.


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