This Sunday, September 28 is the yearly Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice. It is basically a really well organized block party. This year should be no exception. I am looking forward to it. Aside from the music and the people watching and the mass consumption of alcohol & yummy food, there will also be several options to educate and participate in eco-friendly activities.
26 September 2008
25 September 2008
I think our horsetail is dying. Although it is a weed and it is still breeding, it is definitely getting dry and brown. As you can see from the pic it still has many pretty green stalks, but there are just so many brown, dead ones too. We purchased the horsetail at the very begining of summer and immediately split it up into 2 equal size containers. It was sort of an experiment to see how quickly it could grow. It doesn't come cheap here in LA, but we love the look so much. It started multiplying almost immediately. At that time it had full sun and we watered it very little. Donny said he read that the horsetail should be watered weekly. In just a few short months our rooftop garden has grown considerably. We now have over 25 containers up there. To make it more pleasing to the eye, I recently moved the horsetail to a different spot. This area probably has more wind and a bit less sun. We've also watered it a lot more. Since the move the horsetail has not responded postively. Most of what I've read online is contradictory. Some say it needs a lot of water and sun, others say it is fine in the shade. I am going to cut back the brown stalks and see how it responds.
18 September 2008
The Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Los Angeles (aka CRA/LA) helps to revitalize older communities and attracts building homes for all income levels. This particular property near Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles has been overgrown with weeds. Normally the city would hire workers to remove them with weed wackers that project smoke and toxic emmissions into our air. Instead they hired billy goats. The local goats, from Chino, graised our land for about 2 weeks. It was a pretty amazing sight. The goats are cheaper, release no emissions and their poop is a fertilizer for the land. If the land needs more help the goats will be asked back, but in the meantime they have a lot of work to do.
12 September 2008
I probably should have done this post awhile ago, but it is a difficult question to answer. Plus I also think the answer is different for everyone. We were talking about this subject a few nights ago - what do we consider local?
To the Eat Local Challenge - they consider local within 150 miles, but they also allow you a short list of things you can't get local, i.e. coffee or spices.
To the couple of the 100 mile diet - they consider 100 miles of where ever you are to be local.
And my personal favorite, Sunset Magazine has been working hard at a one block feast. All the growing, raising, and making happens in the magazine's backyard.
I found this chocolate in the Whole Foods. It had a Local sign on it. The company that makes and distributes this chocolate, called Chuao, is in San Diego. They sell exclusively to WFM. Based on their packaging alone - they appear to be a small company. The cacao beans, however, are obviously not local. They come from Venezuela. This is an interesting dillemma. For some localvores, the fact that the ingredients are not local to this area means they won't eat it. However, if you dig deeper you will find that this company not only purchases their ingredients from "locals" in Venezuela, but also contributes to their communities. And considering that the rest of the company is based in SoCal, this is still a pretty local product.
I personally think eating locally means partaking from vendors and local products in your neighborhood and local area. I am aware of the different levels of local, but I like to support them all - wine from northern California to green peppers from my own roof to my local paper store.
I know some of you subscribe to the Living Locally postings or read the blog via email, which is awesome. Please pop on to the site and check out the poll I have going. I would love to know what you already do or are willing to do to live more locally. Or leave a comment here and let me know other things that you think qualify as living locally. If it is something so outrageous that you couldn't dare try yourself, maybe it is something Donny and I would be willing to start doing. We're definitely up for the challenge!
09 September 2008
I live about 1/2 mile from the Pacific Ocean. Donny and I enjoy biking beside it, boogie boarding in it and now we make salt from it. Thats right, I had a successful go at making my own salt. And it is so easy. Here is how to make your own salt.
06 September 2008
04 September 2008
I am mostly okay with paying more money for farmer's market food because it often tastes better and lasts longer, not to mention the local aspect, but everywhere we go granola is often very high priced. We eat a lot of granola around our house; I often eat it as a snack and Donny has gotten into eating organic yogurt with granola and fresh berries. I found a couple granola different recipes and sort of made my own. Turns out granola is so easy to make and tastes delicious. And the great thing about granola is that even if you don't have 1 or 2 of the ingredients it can still be just as yummy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In one large bowl combine: 4 cups of rolled oats, 3/4 cup wheat germ, 3/4 cup oat or wheat bran, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts and/or almonds), 1/2 cup flax seed. Mix well.
Over medium heat in a saucepan combine: 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbl. maple syrup, 1/4 cup + 2 tbl. honey, 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Stir well. Heat until boiling.
Add hot liquid mixture to dry mixture. Stir extremely well. Spread out over two 9x13 baking sheets. Bake in oven. After about 10 min. stir mixture on each sheet. Check again after another 5-10 min. If lightly brown, take out of oven to cool. Granola will start to harden and will cook more even after you take out of the oven. Once cool, add about 1-2 cups of dried cranberries and/or blueberries. Enjoy!
Makes more than 64 oz. (fit perfectly in two 32 oz. mason jars + 1 bowl to eat right away)
02 September 2008
I feel very lucky there is a stationary shop called Urbanic that is right here in Venice and fits all of my needs. I recently spoke with Audrey, the co-owner, about her paper boutique. I expressed my concerns as a consumer. I want to know what the card is made of, where it was made and any inks/processes used to make it. Not only does Audrey understand, she told me it is something that the store has been focusing on. Over the past 2 years Urbanic has really transformed into this mecca of "guilt-less" goods. Each product is first considered for its style and how it fits the clientele needs. It should be noted that Urbanic won't turn down a potential vendor if they use toxic inks, for example. On the other hand, Audrey told me they will definitely consider a company more if they have strong eco-values. I'm told that just about every paper product in her shop is at the very least made with 30% post-consumer waste recycled paper.
Look out for future posts on some of the local California paper designers that Urbanic carries.