Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food, Inc. - Last night on POV

First let me premise this with -- I Love PBS.  They are awesome.

Food, Inc. is a movie I have been wanting to watch for quite a while now.  I was very excited to learn that PBS was airing it as part of their Earth Day programming this week.  It was good information, and well put together.  It confirmed for me the reasons that I am raising my family as I am, and why I make the food choices I make. 

My husband actually sat down and watched the whole thing with me, which is rare for ANY movie.  All I said was that this was a good explanation of why I am the way I am about our family's food.  Robert is not the type you can preach to.  He is very intelligent, as is quite capable of figuring things out once the information is presented to him.  This morning, he told me he was glad we watched the movie, and that it gave him a lot to think about.  If this movie can make my McDonald's every day husband stop and think, it can change the world!

If you didn't get a chance to see it, you can watch it online at
http://www.pbs.org/pov/foodinc/photo_gallery_watch.php
until April 29, 2010.

Watch it!
Share it!
Talk about it!

And if you already watched it... what did you think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The ground is thawing!

I just made a quick trek out to the raised beds.  The soil is about 1/2 thawed already, and the compost pile is thawing too!  Most of the snow in the yard is melted, and the sun feels warm again.  But the best news of the day?...  The Sandhill Cranes arrived this morning!  I heard them at 6:30 this morning, it woke me up out of a dead sleep!  What a way to announce the return of spring in Alaska!!!

Earth Day 2010

I watched the movie "Dirt!" last night.  What a great film, full of information, but lighthearted enough to be entertaining as well.  EVERYONE needs to watch this movie.

















And for those of you who don't already know... PBS's show "Point of View" is airing "Food, Inc." tonight.  Please watch it, and let everyone else know to watch it also.  We have to be informed if we want to make a difference.  Monsanto has several web pages dedicated to "debunking" this film, so you know the film makers must have hit a nerve!


















As usual, there is not a lot going on in Alaska to celebrate Earth Day, at least not as far as the local newspapers are concerned.  It frustrates me, because they will report on S. Palin like they are a tabloid, almost to the point of obsession, but the tend to ignore all things earth day.  Just like last year, we will celebrate in our own way, in our own home.

What are you doing for Earth Day this year?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Learning Outside of School

My sons first year of public school is coming to a close next month.  I have to admit I was nervous about having someone else take responsibility for what he was learning and experiencing, and very honestly considered homeschooling.  But in reflection, this has been a great experience for both of us.
I have always tried to make every day a learning experience in our house.  We have rules and structure, but we learn, explore, and have fun as well!  Starting the day the kid comes home from the hospital, we are having conversations and discussions.  We talk about what we are doing and why we are doing it.  I really feel that this has made a difference in how my children observe and learn.  My son loves to identify foods by the 3 most important food groups... 1. Healthy enough to eat every day  2. Healthy enough to eat once in a while  3. Only good to eat once in a VERY great while.  He watched me make compost for the first time, and proceeded to explain to ME why we were doing it and how it worked!

I have made it a point to ask him every day after school to tell me what he learned that day.  This gives me a chance to learn what is being discussed in the classroom, clarify any questions or misunderstandings, and most importantly... Offer a different perspective.  When we leave all the lessons to the government to organize, we don't always like the end result.  I don't have all the answers, but I am teaching my son to think and discuss, and to seek out alternative options and knowledge, so that at least he has the tools to find those answers for himself.

Children's minds are like sponges, especially in the pre-school years.  If we give them these tools early in life, we give them the building blocks for a successful future.  With all the bad stuff out there, which they are going to have to face eventually, I want to give my kids a real chance.  Knowledge is that chance.

Today's Garden Notes

I got the tomatoes and eggplants transplanted yesterday.  Everything is looking great... more pictures soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A few pictures to satisfy that spring planting addiction...

First, some of the herbs...





I didn't add a picture of the Rosemary as it is still very small and unimpressive.


Next up, my seedling set-up...

Just something simple in an unused corner of a hallway.  The lights are very easy to adjust, so I can keep them directly over the seedlings, and hopefully not have tall skinny plants when it is time to move them outside.

Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Cucumber

Zucchini, Tomato, Eggplant, and Cabbage


The Sunflowers are doing very well, I just didn't manage to get a picture of them this time.  I'll post them later.

I have to say i am amazed at how well the Zucchini is doing this time.  Hopefully I don't run out of room for them before planting day!  I have noticed that most of my containers outside are already thawed, although the raised beds are still frozen.  The snow is melted enough that I can get to the compost pile, so I am starting to save my kitchen waste again.  We did get about 4 inches of snow in yesterday's storm, but it all melted by the evening.  Once the sun comes back out, the snow should disappear fairly quickly.  We should be starting to do some little bonfires soon.  That is one sure sign that summer is on its way back!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kombucha update

I got the Kombucha bottled, and it went very well.  Each bottle got 1.5 cups of Kombucha and .5 cups of organic, no sugar added, blueberry pomegranate juice for a little flavor.  Now if I can just get it to fizz without exploding!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Today's Garden Notes

Planted:

Kale
Lettuce
Blue Shrimp Flower
Lobelia
Marigold
Pansy


The seedlings are all doing great!  Everything is healthy and happy... growing, but not growing so fast I can't keep up with them.  The sunflowers are now in the kitchen window with the herb pots, because they are just getting so tall so quickly!  The zucchini is doing amazingly well... I actually had to remove flower buds off of every seedling today!  It has gotten above 50F every day for the last 2 weeks or so, and the snow is melting very quickly!  I think spring may be a bit early this year.  Here's to a longer growing season!!!