Be a Mad Scientist! Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Everyday Cleaning...

by guest boat-dwelling mama blogger Cindy Wallach of spinsheet.com ...and yes, Cindy actually lives on a boat...isn't that cool ;)


A friend who was born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay told me a story recently. When he was a boy 40-some years ago on Harness Creek there was so much seaweed they had to constantly pull it off of their oars as they paddled along. And there were so many crabs that he and his little friends were constantly jumping around to avoid them as they waded into the creek. The one word he used to describe the Bay back then was "alive". I can count on one hand the number of living crabs my son has seen the past 5 years (though the dead ones rack up on fingers and toes) and we live aboard full time. Talk about a wake up call.

If you've got green running through your veins, greening up your everyday life is easier than you think. So get to it.



Instead of using... Use these Eco-Friendly Alternatives
  • Bleach... Borax

  • Detergent & Soap... Elbow grease

  • Scouring Powders... Baking soda. Or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse

  • General Cleaner... Baking soda and vinegar. Or lemon juice combined with borax paste

  • Floor Cleaner... One cup vinegar + 2 gallons of water

  • Window Cleaner... One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee

  • Aluminum Cleaner... 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water

  • Brass Cleaner... Worcestershire sauce. Or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar, and water

  • Copper Cleaner... Lemon juice and water. Or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour

  • Chrome Cleaner/Polish... Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish

  • Stainless Steel Cleaner... Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots

  • Fiberglass Stain Remover... Baking soda and salt in a wet paste

  • Mildew Remover... Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt OR diluted tea tree oil

  • Drain Opener... Dissemble or use plumber’s snake. Or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar

  • Wood Polish... Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)

  • Rug/Upholstery Cleaner... Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum

  • After Cleaning Cocktail... One part rum mixed with 2 parts fruit juice. Add ice as needed...

    :)

Yummy Drumsticks...Perfect for Summer Supers ;)

recipe provided by guest mama blogger Cara Bergman, licensed Acupuncturist specializing in fertility...

My daughter Lily turned 5 this weekend and this is the chicken she wanted for her party. It was surprisingly delicious!
  • 7 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp. local honey
  • 4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. wheat-free naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of a mixture of equal proportions of coconut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil
  • 4 tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 30-40 local free-range chicken drumsticks
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Place chicken in one or more gallon sized Zip-lock bags. Pour mixture over chicken and let it marinate for 1 - 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in several 9X13 glass pans. Bake 40 - 45 minutes until chicken is cooked.

Enjoy!

Punch Buggy Red...now Punch Baggy

As I was riding home from work a few months back on the back of our Vepsa I came to a sad realization. Growing up, my brothers, sister and I always played Punch Buggy...you know the game the first person to see a VW Bug screams at the top of their lungs "Punch Buggy _______ (and then the color of the VW)," and at the end of the drive that is how many times you get to punch (gently of course) your sibling. What a great game!

Today I realized that my kids won't be playing Punch Buggy, instead they will be playing Punch Baggy, because there are so many plastic bags littered around that they'll be easier to spot than VW Bugs. I counted on our drive home which is 13 miles and I saw 9 plastic bags. Americans use 100 BILLION

Tomorrow on your drive, no matter where you are going try it yourself. Count the number of plastic bags you see on the roadside, in the bushes, stuck in fences, they're everywhere. disposable plastic bags every year yet recycle less than 1%. Plastics which don't biodegrade.


gDiapers - Making a Difference for Your Baby and the Planet

At The Green Mamas we are always on the lookout for new, environmentally beneficial products that people can use in their everyday lives that could take the place of a similar product that harm the environment. We had a chance to chat with Michelle Schnoor, Marketing Director at gDiapers, about thier innovative, flushable diaper. Stats like 50 Million Diapers A Day and 500 Years peaked my attention.


The Green Mamas: Tell me about gDiapers


Michelle Schnoor: The product was originally invented in Australia by a mom who had two kids and thought of a solution to the drought problem in Australia, so cloth diapers weren't necessarily the best solution due to water usage. She created the flushable diaper and the name of that company is the Eenie Weenies. Kim and Jason, the co-founders of gDiapers, lived in Australia and came across the Eenie Weenies for their Children. They used them, loved them, and thought 'why don't other people have this?', because it's such an easy solution to our landfill problem.

They bought global rights and thought Portland, Oregon would be the best location to launch the company due to how aware we are up here, we're a very green metropolitan area. They moved here three years ago and we launched almost two years ago. We now have national distribution through natural retailers like Wild Oats and Whole Foods as well as in co-ops and boutiques, and our online business is very strong.


The Green Mamas: I've done a little research about your company, but it's nice to hear a more personal story.


MS: Yes. One thing that isn't on our website is that our children are on site. Kim and Jason believe a balance between work and family is very important. We have daycare on site and our first title around the office is Mom, Daddy, Momma...whatever our children call us, and our second is our work. It's nice to know that your children are with you all day...not necessarily at the desk side, but just down stairs. It's a huge thing, not only for our company, but in trend setting for other companies. We're a start-up and we can do this, but there is hope that other larger companies will follow suit. There's nothing worse than having to drop your kids off with someone while you're at work...having our kids here helps ease the stress of trying to be a full-time mom and a full-time employee. That's what gDiapers is all about...we're a cool company and a cool product.


The Green Mamas: That's really nice...I think I actually heard your baby in the background.


MS: Yea, he's actually right here...we were actually in the middle of nursing.


The Green Mamas: How long have you worked there?


MS: I've been here for almost a year and a half...I came from Wild Oats. I met Jason at a green exhibit and fell in love with the company. I had a two year old at the time and knew that I wanted to use gDiapers. I started out in customer service, because that was the only opportunity at the time and now I'm doing marketing. I feel very blessed to be here. It's always great when you work for a company that you truly believe in and not very many people have that opportunity.


The Green Mamas: Can you tell me a little about the product?


MS: We have a very innovative product. Not only is gDiapers good for the environment, it's also good for babies. The reason we have a positive impact on the environment is that people can dispose of their diapers in the toilet rather than the landfill. 50 Million diapers go into the landfill every day and they will sit there for 500 years. Presently, diapers are the third largest contributor to landfills and the average child uses 5000 diapers before being toilet trained.

Even if you chose to throw away the disposable and not flush it, we don't use any oil based materials in our diapers, so it will degrade in the landfill. A positive impact for our babies is that they are not sitting in plastic all day...all disposable diapers are made out of plastic, even the leading chlorine free diapers are made of plastic. By being in gDiapers, your babies are in a breathable pant which eliminates the chance of having diaper rash and the heat that's involved in sitting in plastic.

We are also working on an adult line. I believe it is 2015 that there will be more adults in diapers than babies. So there will be a substantial market then. I don't know if you've ever had the chance to put a plastic bag over your pants and hold it really close for about three minutes. It gets really hot and gross in there...so that's kind of what our babies are sitting in when they are sitting in a disposable diaper.

Basically, gDiapers are a great option for consumers and parents who want to make a difference for their babies and the planet. We like to call ourselves the Toyota Prius of cloth disposable diapers. We're truly a hybrid system. We really hope that parents give us a try...even if they can't use gDiapers full-time, every flushable they use is one less diaper going into the landfill. We encourage parents to do what they can...if the system is too much work or whatnot, even if they can use us on a part time it's one easy way they can have a positive impact on the environment and their babies!

The system itself consists of colorful, washable gPants, there's a nylon snap in liner and the flushable. I forgot to mention that you can also compost the flushable as long as they are only urine based. We don't recommend that you compost feces.


The Green Mamas: I actually watched the videos you have on your site and thought they were really helpful. I was chatting with a woman on the TreeHugger forum who said she clogged her toilet. I think she might not have read the directions that you have to take the flushable out.


MS: Right, that's been a little tricky for us. There are directions, but we live in a very fast paced society. I honestly didn't read the directions the first time as I was a busy working mom. Then I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I have to do all this work...flush it and rinse it', but now we just do it and it's easy.

The composting component is great. It's not as much impact on your toilet, your garden greatly benefits, the nitrogen in urine is awesome for your soil, and that's what we do here at The Village. We flush the poopie ones and try and compost as many of the urine ones as we can and it's been a great system here for us. We want the flushing and the composting to be the first choice of disposal, but if you chose to throw them away it is still better for the environment.


The Green Mamas: This is really a cool product. I probably already know the best thing about working at gDiapers, but is there anything else you really like about the environment there at gDiapers?


MS: We are a very small, intimate workplace which has its pros and cons, but overall we all share similar values, especially about the environment. It's great being part of a revolutionary and innovative product. We have an opportunity of being part of this product that can change our world. That's the great thing for me, to be able to work for a company I feel passionate about. Having my two children on site is obviously the biggest part, because being a mom is my first priority and they are only little for such a short amount of time. But being able to promote such a great product...not very many people feel such passion about their job

Dog Doo...What to do With the Doo?

Summer is here!

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and I get to enjoy my lovely backyard... However, before I sit out in the grass and laze around while the kids run around, there are a few steaming items I need to first address. If you've got a dog, you know what I'm talking about...

Dog doo. Doggy poop. Doggy doo doo. Whatever you call it, it's there, day after day (didn't I clean this up yesterday?!?!) and it'll be there tomorrow...

So, what's a green dog mama to do?
Pick up the poo in a PLASTIC bag and toss it in the trash!?!? Oh, no, people. That does NOT sound like a good-green idea. We know how long plastic will take to 'decompose' (that's if it ever will). So why hide away Nature's potential (aka: compost for the earth) in a plastic bag in a landfill? That isn't very smart. Or green.

Doggy Doo Online...
Instead, you can invest in a doggy-doo composting system:
Doggie Dooley 3000 Septic-Tank-Style Pet-Waste Disposal System "The Doggie Dooley is like a miniature septic tank for your dog's waste. Simple start-up. Just dig a hole, drop in the Doggie Dooley, add water and the Digester Powder, and your system is ready to go. System breaks down dog waste using the enzyme and bacteria action in the Waste Terminator Digester Powder. "

Doggy Doo It Yourself!
However, if you are a frugal-green mama like myself, there are ways to do-it-yourself:

"The solution, says Mike, is to compost dog waste in yard, using a old plastic garbage can

. The folks at City Farmer developed the method, which is one of the most popular tips on the cityfarmer.org web site. The technique provides 'a chance where people can have it slowly decompose in a yard and be environmentally safe."

Here's a step-by-step description:

  1. Take an old garbage can and drill a dozen or so holes in the side.
  2. Cut out the bottom (A keyhole saw works great for this.)
  3. Dig a hole in the ground, deep enough for the garbage can.
  4. Toss some rocks or gravel in the hole for drainage and position the garbage can so it's a little higher than the soil level.
  5. Place the lid on top (you might want to paint it with something like Dog Waste Composter.)
  6. When you scoop some poop, put it in the hole and sprinkle in some septic starter (available at hardware stores) and add some water.

According to the www.cityfarmer.org web site, "Within 48 hours, the septic tank starter, (which is non-caustic and promotes natural bacterial growth) will have begun its work and you can add more dog doo. You can then begin to add it daily. This waste biodegrades and flows into the subsoil."

Mike adds that you should not put the composted dog waste in your garden, making sure you set up your DIY doggie-composter away from your garden.

While burying a garbage can to compost dog waste might seem like overkill if you live near the woods or close to a patch of blackberry bushes, but when you think about it, why not contain the waste in a more environmentally-friendly manner?"

Doggy...Go For A Walk!
"Don't use plastic shopping bags for your pooch's poo-poo! These bags are 100% biodegradable. Made to decompose in 40 days."

So there you have it green mamas! You'll not only remove the crap (no pun intended) from your yard, but you will also be giving back to the earth!

Have a Happy Summer!

:)


Quick Summer Favorites: Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, gold of the Incas, is a wonderfully light tasty grain that again is increasing in popularity among those of us who want to eat a whole healthy diet.

High in protein - complete protein, meaning it has all 9 essential amino acids, including amino acid lysine - quinoa is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

A wonderful addition to every cook's pantry, there are endless uses for quinoa. Cooked warm with sauteed veggies, tossed cool with beans in summer salad, and even ground into quinoa flour.

Quinoa Salad
recipe from NDNcookingandhomemaking yahoo group


What you need...
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, minced

How to make it...
  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil and add corn. Reduce heat and let corn simmer until tender. Drain corn, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  3. Bring cooking liquid to a boil and add quinoa and cumin. Cover, reducing heat, and let simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes).
  4. Remove pan from heat and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  5. Fluff quinoa with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
  6. In a bowl, combine cooled quinoa, corn, black beans, tomato and onion.
  7. Pour dressing over and toss gently to mix.
  8. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve.
Makes 4 servings.

The Perfect Compaion for Cloth Diapers - The Bathroom Sprayer

I love using cloth diapers for babies. They're eco-friendly, soft, and oh so cute! However, when baby starts to eat solids, those sweet breastfed 'seedy popcorn' poos leave way for real life stinkies! (and that's sugar coating it.)

So, what do you do with solid food poo when you're using cloth diapers? Well, there are a few methods. You can do what Grandma used to do and dunk it in the toilet until everything comes off. Or a more modern way is to scrape off mister number two into the toilet and let our high-efficiency washers do the rest.

However - and I speak from experience - neither way keeps you from getting your hands in the, eh, mix... Occasionally it can be a pretty messy experience.

One way, however, that has been increasing in popularity among the cloth diaper community is to clean off the waste using a toilet sprayer - a hand held sprayer attached to your toilet much like the one in the shower, only smaller. When using a bathroom sprayer, you can easily and thoroughly remove solid waste from the diaper, leaving it practically clean. Just pop it in the washing machine on laundry day. Done!

At Bathroomsprayers.com, they have a wide variety of toilet sprayers, some that can also be used for additional family cleanliness purposes.

If you use - or are going to use - cloth diapers, this is one tool that needs to be on your must-have list. Makes cloth diapering - a pleasant experience already - even better ;)

Follow us on Twitter!

Tweet, Tweet :)

The Green Mamas have joined in on the fun, twittering away with some very powerfully informative, fun lovin' green mamas and papas from all over the web.

Do you tweet?
We'd love to follow you too!

Join us at http://twitter.com/TheGreenMamas.

Yet another great way to share green tips, ideas, and news...

How tweet ;)

Should Trash Collection Be Free?

A friend of mine owns and runs her own business. She is a very eco-conscious person, eats whole organic foods, and is raising four greenies of her own. However, when I asked her if her business regularly recycles - assuming the answer would be an astounding yes - I was shocked when she said no.

"Businesses have to pay to recycle."

"Then why don't you pay to recycle?" I asked perplexed, wondering if I had missed the punchline to her joke.

"Because it's expensive," she answered point blank. "Besides, trash collection is free."

"What?"

Of course, this conversation took place a few years ago and since then my dear Earth loving friend pays for recycling to be picked up. Only problem is, they still don't make it easy for her...sometimes they don't even recycle what they promised, putting the stuff in the dump anyway!

That brief conversation got me thinking though: why on Earth would a going green government charge businesses to do so themselves, yet allow them to continue to trash our environment for free? And if the gov't is actually interested in helping change the course of destroying our earth for a greener future, when are we going to see this change?

If you think about the mass amount of trash that businesses create - paper, plastic, cardboard, office equipment - and multiply that by how many businesses there are...I think our green movement is lacking tremendously when we seem to be focusing more on what the individual can do at home. There should be a bigger focus on the huge trash producers. And maybe the first step at bringing them into this green game is by charging for the very thing that they get for free: trash collection.

Shouldn't recycling be a free service? Isn't someone out there - companies that create new materials out of recycled stuff - benefiting from our green actions?

On the flip side, dumping countless items into a landfill is costing us more and more: more land, more resources, our health and the health of the planet...

So the question is, when are we going to see the shift? Is this shift something that will never happen? Am I dreaming here thinking that recycling be the free service?

Is this just something that happens here on the east coast where I live? Is trash collection whre you live the charged service, and recycling free?

Should recycling be free?

What do you think?

My "Victory" Garden...Simple Beginnings of an Urban Homestead

I've always loved the taste of fresh tomatoes tossed with fresh basil and it's always been easy to purchase a tomato plant or two, plop them into a pot, and reap the rewards of regular watering with mouth watering flavor. Yum, yum, yum!

That's about all I did during the years I worked outside of the home. After having kids, I wanted to garden earnestly so that my children would benefit from seeing and learning the love of gardening. It was something that I wanted to do so that my children's children would inherit a love, desire, and understanding of gardening and working with Mother Earth.

A few years ago, my three year old son and I started with a little patch of dirt. The following year we moved our garden plans to a more sunny local in the backyard (darn Maple tree leaves!) This year we have continued in the same area, adding another bed.

It's been three years now of gardening and I have to say that - although things grow and thrive, sometimes - I have no idea what I'm doing. I've planted in the shade and nothing grew. I planted 12 tomato plants practically right on top of eachother and they thrived. I borrowed wood pallets to make an open air composting area in my backyard and I think I'm doing it right... The kids and I have fun making and creating a garden together, and, honestly, this haphazard style of gardening has worked for us up until now.

What's different now?

Necessity has come into play. With food prices and gas prices going through the roof - again - I am fed up with having to worry if I can have fresh organic food for my family come dinner time. So, what's a green mama to do?

I'm challenging myself with the ultimate goal: to become as self-sustained as possible. I want to grow as much food for my family as possible. I want to eat fresh organic food everyday, and freeze and can what I can so that our little harvest will go the distance.

Only problem is, we own 0.17 acres that a house and a pool set upon. So that leaves me some room in the backyard, a side yard, and possibly some of the front yard. I live in Podunk East Coast with no HOA to worry about. If my neighbor can park his car on his lawn for the past 14 years, I can have a veggie farm in mine!

And that makes me so giddy and excited! I asked my darling husband if he'd mind NOT having a lawn to mow. He said he'd be all for it.

So that got me thinking...

My inspiration to start farming my little land came from the Dervas Family of Pasadena, CA. They converted their entire front, side, and backyards into a "Little Homestead in the City", complete with all the food they need for the year, a means to create an income, and their own chickens, goats, ducks, and more! This summer while in California I'm going to take a field trip to their homestead and check it out for myself...a Green Mama's destination for sure!

While I'm patiently and excitedly awaiting my trip, I will be frequenting their Freedom Gardens website, "an online social community of gardening enthusiasts who are fed up with foreign oil, frequent food miles and high food prices. Gardeners of all types of gardens are welcomed". Awesome. I'm sure they won't mind a haphazard gardener then ;)

This year I will be adding another bed to the veggie garden, but that's all. I'd love to do more and would if I had the green...(oh, will the gas prices stop rising!)... That said, I better start making a list of all the supplies and materials I'll need to save for for next year's growing season. Maybe I'll find some frugal ways over the summer to start extending my garden sooner... I do love that Craigslist!

Here's to dreaming and planning...wish me luck! ;)

Organic Gardening 101: All The Basics to Help You Get Started

From composting to beneficials to conserving natural resources, organic gardening goes beyond bypassing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. It encompasses a wide range of methods and techniques that work harmoniously within the natural cycles of our Earth.

Yet, with all the tilling, digging, planting, and watering, to a new comer, gardening organically can seem somewhat of a daunting task. Armed with a handful of gardening basics tossed in with a few beneficial local resources, creating your very own backyard harvest is easier than you may think. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of having your very own organic garden. Besides, the best part of gardening organically is that you “control exactly what goes in the ground, what goes on the plants and what vegetables [you] get out of it,” says Suzy Provine.

From the Ground Up
And it all starts with compost. All of those curbed bags of grass clippings, raked leaves, and thrown out kitchen scraps is what gardeners refer to as “black gold” – the most basic and essential component to every organic garden. Rather than bagged in plastic and added to the landfill, this wonderful mixture, tossed into a compost bin and briefly attended to ensuring the right amount of air, moisture, and heat, turns into the very thing your garden needs to grow and thrive. Where conventional gardeners would add synthetic fertilizers to boost their soil, the organic matter in compost delivers a slow time-release of nutrients to your plants to help sustain your garden.

There’s a Method to Happiness :)
Planning your garden, figuring out what to grow and where, is another essential aspect of gardening and one your gardening adventure cannot begin without. When planning your garden, find a spot in your yard that gets at least six hours of full sun during the day. No amount of beautiful compost, watering, or love and attention can replace the need for good ol’sunshine.

What to Plant?
Most beginner gardeners want to know what to plant. And the answer is easy: list all the veggies and fruits that your family eats on a regular basis, making sure that your choices will grow in our climate zone. This will not only ensure that the plants survive and thrive, but your family too will attend to the garden and enjoy the harvest.

Diggin In
Gardening is not only an act of growing your gown food and herbs, it’s also great exercise, a chance to get up close and personal with Mother Earth, a calm and relaxing respite from busy lives. And if you have the time and energy to devote to it, fabulous. Time to get dirty!

Water, Water, Water
Your plants will need regular watering and, during our hotter months of July and August, even the most frequent waterings from the hose sometimes isn’t enough to keep your garden from thirst. Rain barrels will help you conveniently collect and conserve water from your roof and transport airborne and deposited nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) to your garden plants. Made from recycled food barrels, these kits include netting to prevent mosquitoes and a valve for easy watering.

What’s more, when you connect this water to your drip irrigation system, you’ll not only be conserving water and reusing it in your garden, you’ll also reduce your water bills. Quickly installed, drip irrigation will get water to the roots of your plants, making it environmentally efficient with no water loss to wind and evaporation.

Kids + Dirt = Fun!
With mom and dad having so much fun in the garden, the kiddos are sure to want to get in on the action. And why not? Children will get to learn a great deal about the decomposition process while turning the compost pile, the life cycle while watching seeds grow into plants, how nature works keeping an eye on the bees while they pollinate. And what kid doesn’t love to dig around in the dirt and find earth worms, busily wiggling their way through the garden. Children easily see that the garden is alive and needs food, water, and tender loving care just as they do.

“The boys love digging,” says Suzy, mother of four dirt lovers. “They are really good at loosening up the soil and mixing in the compost. They also like planting seeds, though some of the tiniest seeds are really tough for them too handle and we end up with very dense patches of things like lettuce and carrots.”

Coupled with the love for getting dirty and being outdoors, getting your children involved is simple. Depending on your child’s age, temperament, and abilities, you’ll be able to see where you can enjoy their help and when it’ll be a good time for a distraction. By setting aside a space of their own, let the kids create a fun children’s garden, where they can grow their own giant sunflowers, easy-to-plant veggies, a bean teepee, and snow peas to snack on.

Bug Off!
Oh, there is one final lesson in organic gardening. The bugs: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh, yes, there are good bugs. Called beneficials, these bugs - like Lady Bugs, the Praying Mantis, and Bees - help your garden stay healthy and strong, naturally, organically. With jobs ranging from pollination to feasting on those pesky bad bugs that would otherwise eat your crop, beneficials help you keep your gardens free and clear of problems without the use of harmful pesticides.

Ask an Expert!
A great online resource to know about is the Home & Garden Information Center that will answer all your pest and plant problems and questions. Call their hotline, Monday-Friday, 8am -1pm, at 1-800-342-2507, or go to their website at www.hgic.umd.edu. From online, you can send a question, including an uploaded photo of an insect in questioning.

Keep it Simple, Keep it Fun
If this is your first time gardening, remember: a healthy, well tended to garden will provide you with a better bounty than a large stressful, ignored one. All gardening skills are acquired through trial and error, so keep note of what works, what didn’t, and always try again next Spring!

Moreover, when gardening organically, focus more on what you can do rather than trying to do it all perfectly.

It’s your garden.

Have fun with it and enjoy!


as seen in Nesting Magazine by Lia Mack

My Fertility Bootcamp...A Natural Approach to Restoring Fertility

by guest blogger mama Cara Bergman

Fertility Secrets Revealed FREE call
**Tuesday, June 9th 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EST**

What is going on?
The fertility world is currently very high-tech. There are hormones to inject, procedures to undergo, and it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Is there another way?
Is it possible to use Grandmother Wisdom to create the same (or better) results? It seems as if our parents' generation were trying NOT to get pregnant. Our generation has seen the highest rates of infertility of all times. What is going on?

A Natural Approach
Cara Bergman, owner of
Stillwater Fertility Acupuncture Clinic in Maryland has a natural approach to restoring fertility. She focuses on Grandmother Wisdom of eating well, sleeping well, and kicking the toxins out of your life. She offers a 30 day immersion program for people who want to jump start their fertility using nothing more than food, sleep, and healthy lifestyle practices.

Hear the Good News for Yourself!
Sound too simple? Cara has seen enormous success at her fertility clinic and she is willing to share her knowledge for the first time in a free one-hour call. If you are working through fertility issues or planning to be pregnant in the next few months, this is the call for you. To be join in on this free call, simply visit www.MyFertilityBootcamp.com.

The call will be held next
Tuesday, June 9th, 8:00 - 9:00 pm EST.


A note from Green Mama Lia
Please pass along this information about the free call to any and all family and friends that you know are having fertility issues. I know I myself will be on the call as I have my own hormonal issues, still... Although I'm not actively trying to get pregnant, I'm sure I can benefit from the free info Cara will be sharing. HTH! :)

Kids in the Garden: How to Grow a Bean Teepee

A bean teepee creates a magical hiding spot for your children, a place to discover nature up close, allowing them to enjoy the summer months out of the sun and - maybe even for a time - out of your way while tend to your garden or attempt to read a book and relax.

Easy as 1, 2, 3...
  1. Simply push seven to nine 6-foot bamboo poles 3 inches deep into the ground, forming a semi-circle while allowing room for an entrance.

  2. Join the poles together at the top with some twine or old rope, about 6 inches down from the top.

  3. Plant two beans – pole beans, runner beans, lima beans – at the base of each bamboo pole to ensure at least one plant will make it to the top.
Children can be put to task with a handful of beans and simple instructions, creating their very own hideaway. Once the beans have reached their full height, place a blanket inside to sit upon. Perfect for either the front or backyard, a Bean Teepee is a great escape, complete with its very own crunchy snacks!

Get Rich!....A Secret To Absolute Wealth

Oh, yeah, baby...I'm rich!

I'm the richest person I know...And I'm richer than I've ever been in my entire life! I have everything I've ever wanted and more...

Why? How?

I'll let you in on a little secret...

I have close to nothing and almost everything, all at the same time...

"They may not have a lot of material things, but that doesn't mean they are not successful," says A Cherokee Feast of Days, a daily meditation book by Joyce Sequichie Hifler. "The Elders say that what everyone really wants is to be happy and have a peaceful mind. Material things by themselves do not bring happiness and peace of mind."

Therefore, when you define true success in the peace, love, and happiness that you feel and share, there are no boundaries to how rich you will become!

I personally don't have a lot, but I always tend to give away almost everything I have. And - somehow, some way - all that I need seems to comes along. I think it's the Universe's way of saying, "Thank you for your generosity" with a smiling handshake.

Charles Eastman once wrote, "When I was younger, I knew the love of sharing. Since I have become civilized I have lost such wisdom." Today, we are so consumed with consuming - building our own little castles of stuff, collecting every thing that we can buy - that most of us have lost a bit of what it is to be human. We are all struggling with something (or someone) and if we just helped eachother out a little more, all the woes we feel would be greatly alleviated.

Giving is also a way we can live harmoniously on and with Mother Earth. She shares with us everything we need to live and survive. It's all about being like fruit, and living life like a Three Sisters Garden - the corn, bean, and squash - sharing with eachother nutrients, shade, and support thus creating a strong and healthy harvest.

I feel that by sharing everything you have - whether it's left over compost or simply just the love and compassion in your heart - you will not only be taken care of - somehow, some way - but you'll also feel richer beyond your wildest dreams.

The moment you stop being consumed with your own needs and start reaching out to others and sharing all that you have - all that is you - and helping in any way you can, you'll instantly feel it. That richness will fill your life, your soul, your spirit.

You will be blessed.

:)

Breastmilk is GREEN milk!

"Breastmilk is one of the few foodstuffs produced and delivered to the consumer without any pollution, unnecessary packaging or waste, whereas the production, shipping, and preparation of formula and bottles requires large amounts of water, fuel, glass, plastic and rubber -- and produces significant amounts of garbage." - www.breastfeeding.com

Breastfeed! Best for Baby, Mommy, & Mother Earth!

Good Mending Monday To Ya!

Good Monday morning, everyone :)

Mondays are great, aren't they? Back in the day (a little trivia here), Mondays were called "Blue Monday". Ever wonder why? Well, the soap they used to wash clothes had a bluish tint so that, when the women rinsed out the wash and then dumped their wash water into the streets, the streets turned blue!

And that's how the common phrase blue Monday was born. Pretty cool trivia, huh?

Well, nowadays we washin' women aren't tossing out our loads into the streets and our beloved eco-friendly laundry detergents aren't hued in blues...so I had an idea.

A green idea...

Instead of Mondays being blue, how about make them green! One of my favorite green ways of thinking/living is Reusing. Only trouble is, most of people don't take any time to fix things so that we can continue to use them. Instead we just toss it - so busy with work and life - even if it only just needed a tiny bit of mending (yes...I said it...mending) Our stuff would be basically brand new and last another life time if we took better continuous care of it, right?

So that's why my little green idea for the day - for Monday - is to make it "Mending" Monday. You can choose any Monday in the month that works for you. I've proclaimed the first Monday of every month as "If you have something that has a tear, hole, or needs stitching, bring it here" Day. That way my family knows that we aren't tossing anything that can be usable again with a few flicks of the wrist (and maybe a few pokes to my fingers, but it's for a good cause, right?!).

If you're not into sewing (I know, it's so old fashioned... ;) find someone who is - like a stay at home mom who just might be looking for a way to make a little extra green on the side.

It used to be this way, folks. Why not bring this type of thing back into the mix? It works, it's green, and it's basically free.

So there you have it. Here's to hoping everyone has a wonderful Mending Monday today!

Peace!

:)