Monday, August 1, 2011

Organic and Green Budget in Review

Image Courtesy 123RF
The last year has been truly transforming. I am proud as I scroll through the history of this blog, from my first entry to this very last one.

the numbers:
On average, I had about 500 dollars per month to spend on groceries, gasoline, and the home.

In the fall of 2011 I was able to keep my grocery bill down to between 65 and 85 dollars a week.

Outside of food, I was able to purchase gasoline, glass food storage, seeds and planters for my garden within my budget, but I went over budget about 150 - 200 dollars each time when we had events such as my children's parties, overnight guests and out of town trips or special outings.
Things got a little hairy after the new year, as grocery prices seemed to soar. I was spending on average 80 to 105 dollars a week on groceries. When it came to clothing, I hadn't discovered the world of consignment shopping yet, but was able to keep the costs down by buying clothing and shoes a couple of sizes larger for the children.
Thank you JP, who inspired me to start a blog. Thank you LM for encouraging me to keep it up, and for your everyday cheers of all kinds. To D.M-S, my friend and new partner on the herbalism path, thanks for keeping me inspired with the excitement and joy with which you approach life with our leafy companions. Thank you ST for encouraging my spiritual uplifting.  To Divina, thank you for your motherly love, support and positivity. I am so blessed with such beautiful sisters.

Thank you DT and RT for reading my posts and articles and sending encouraging words.

To my mom's group friends, thanks for your support, ideas, green gifts and books, and all in all your kindness and good naturedness. I am so glad we met!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Floury Fun

Used these flours this week for pancakes. I experimented with 1 part Sprouted Flour and 1 part Corn Flour in my recipe. A couple of spoonfuls of greek yogurt helped make them fluffy.

These two flours will go on my sustainability radar as these are two types of flour that you can make yourself.

Sprouting wheat is a fairly simple process and you could even try growing your own corn!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Little Ones, Big Lessons

Photo By Eve. In this Photo: Eve and Little Diva in utero, Spring 2007 :)

Found this informative, straightforward yet beautiful website on wonderful ways to teach our little ones. I am reminded that I don't have to put my 4 year old and 2 year old in enrichment programs right now. I just have to do what I'm already doing, which is....enriching them :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Being treated for Lyme. On Doxycyclene 100mg. Yuk Yuk Yuk. Been strange. feeling better on the meds, but some of the stuff I've read is scary! My daughter just finished her amoxicillin treatment after we found a bullseye rash on her leg. We got the yard sprayed with organic tick repellant and we are using lavender essential oil in everything from laundry, to floor washing, to applying it with olive oil to our skin before we go out. (ticks hate it!) I planted some lavender out front and have a plan to plant them along the borders of the forest parts of our property.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Herbal Waters at Home

Taking a page out of The Herbal Kitchen, a book by Kami McBride with a forward by Rosemary Gladstar, I created a wonderful herbal water today. This book was given to me by a dear friend and is just what the doctor ordered. Lemon and orange slices, paired with peppermint leaves from my garden and accented with cinnamon sticks was today's best thirst quencher!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cooking with Rosemary

Rosemary Gladstar

image courtesy Sage Mountain

On Saturday I was introduced to some of Rosemary's closest friends by the amazing woman herself; nettle, poppy, and lemon balm to name a few, and learned aAdd Imagemongst other things, how to differentiate wild raspberry plants from wild blackberry plants.

We learned the gifts of many plants in the pouring rain on an unseasonably cold afternoon. The only way I can explain how I was not as cold as I should have been is that I was filled with passion for what I was hearing. Moreover, Ms. Gladstar spoke in such a way as to deeply resonate with how I relate to the world and it's natural gifts.

And then....we cooked with Rosemary! This was truly a treat for me. I helped make nori rolls filled with dandelions that had been marinated in an italian seasoning and sauteed in olive oil, garlic and onion. The nettle soup and nettle pesto were my favorites!

She took a minute at the end of our meal to answer my question about helping my son with seasonal allergies, and in her gentle manner gave me guidance with preparing a nettle tea, as well as resources for introducing healing herbs to my children. After the session, I felt elated and stepped lighter as I walked down the driveway of Sage Mountain. "I am on the right path" is what kept popping in my head.

Sheer delight washed over me while taking a turn through the wild areas of my property with my best friend and a glass of wine the next evening after my daughter's birthday party and discovering wild raspberry plants popping up all over the place! "I have something! I have something!" I blurted out in giddy excitement. Huge undisturbed dandelion leaves for salads and wine, violets, elderberry, and possibly even Juneberry live amongst other undiscovered edible and medicinal plants in my back yard. Treasure! When we first moved to this little house, I immediately felt the magic of the garden and lanscape. I felt the urge to learn about the cultivated herbs that were there already; sage, echinacea, oregano, chive...and my curiosity led me to Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health book..... and one year later I have cooked with the spirited and sparkling lady.

Little did I know that the child who loved to stare at the huge tree growing in the middle of a junkyard behind her South Bronx apartment building, longing to be nestled in it's branches, surrounded by a canopy of green, would as an adult find a home whose greatest gift would be the splendor of it's greens. Tame as well as wild laid out before me I have found a green path to take me to the heights of important knowledge to pass down to my children.

I can see the ingredients are here for a lifetime of beautiful nourishment of all kinds.