publisher Lynn Jenkins Lynn@IndianaLivingGreen.com (317) 769-3456
Hoosier-made products promise sustainable skin care — p26
EDITOR Betsy Sheldon Editor@IndianaLivingGreen.com C O N T RIBU T O RS M. Kathryn Dailey Megan Fernandez Wendell Fowler Judy Kenninger Jesse Kharbanda Anne Laker Helen O’Guinn
C O N T E N T S
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp Maria Smietana Jerry Williams S A LES Sales@IndianaLivingGreen.com (317) 769-3456 graphic design Wilson Design (317) 624-9900 Web Design Margaret Hsu Stout email@example.com p r i nt i n g The Papers Milford, Indiana s u b s c r i p t i on s $18, six issues Indiana Living Green 1730 S. 950 E. Zionsville, IN 46077
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Building / Design • Small Is Beautiful: A conversation with Not So Big author Sarah Susanka . . . . . 18
Community • Hoosier-made products promise sustainable skin care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
F a m i l y / Ho m e • Freezing summer’s bumper crops for winter pleasure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 • Warm up to energy savings with a new-model refrigerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Ga r d e n • Welcoming wildlife into the yard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Travel • Kayaking: a cleaner, greener way to explore Indiana’s blueways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
f e at u r e s • • • • • • • • • •
Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Business Service Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Eat Right Now with Wendell Fowler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Footprints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Green, Greener, Greenest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Green Greetings from the Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Green Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Hoosier Environment with Jesse Kharbanda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Last Row . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 News Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
ON THE COVER: Amy and John Kirchner followed Sarah Susanka’s “not so big” philosophy when remodeling their Butler-Tarkington home in Indianapolis. © Photo Julie King
J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 0
Indiana Living Green offers ways for you to make a difference.
G ree n
1. If you’ve not tried preserving you own food, freeze some fresh beans, corn, or berries, and enjoy your fresh bounty in the winter. 2. Learn more about Sarah Susanka’s great, not-so-big ideas for a better—not bigger —lifestyle through her website, www.notsobighouse.com, or pick up one of her nine books. 3. Welcome birds, butterflies, insects, and pollinators to your yard and garden with the understanding that this is where nature’s creatures find nourishment and in return share their beauty and their value.
G ree n er
1. Set a weekly schedule for freezing produce, either fresh-picked from your garden or direct from the farmer’s market. Keep a good inventory of what you’ve preserved. 2. Understand that our home is our biggest investment, and also weighs heavily on our carbon footprint. Consider how to incorporate Susanka’s ideas into your life and home. 3. Get over the notion that plants have to be flawless. Ditch the chemicals. Visit the Indiana Organic Gardener’s Association, for support. www.gardeningnaturally.org
G ree n est
1. Try out other means of preserving food, such as canning or drying. Enjoy the satisfaction of your hard work in the fall and winter months as you savor the summer taste of sun-dried tomatoes or bread-andbutter pickles. 2. If you are planning your “dream home,” consider working with an architect who understands that bigger is not necessarily better, that a smaller home can deliver functionality, livability, and immense satisfaction, all with a smaller footprint and cost. 3. Check out Doug Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, to learn how to bring the elements of wildlife gardening, native plants, chemical-free growing, and natural landscaping together. www.bringingnaturehome.net
LY N N
J ENK I NS
Comments from our readers
Reflections on troubled waters
As my dogs and I took our daily walk one hot evening, we cooled ourselves with a trek up the creek that runs through the woods. The clear water was refreshing against my ankles as I watched for scurrying crawdads so loved by the countless raccoons that also call this home. We startled a mallard that took off in a quacking ascent—the dogs giving hopeless chase for just a few yards. Their sudden pursuit kicked up a muddy path in the creek. As I watched the murky ripples find their way to shore, it was impossible not to think about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What if that muck radiating from my dogs’ antics were engulfing “my” shore with toxic poisons? What if the cloudy residue robbed its prisoners of life? What if the mammals and birds were no longer able to survive without the crawdads, minnows, and other food sources found in this small habitat? What if that loss meant that I could no longer enjoy my daily meanderings or, worse, forced me to move from this wild place I’ve called my home for so many years—my home, and home for countless birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and unnamed “critters,” as well as a few human neighbors? The pain is overwhelming for the folks along America’s southern coastal wetlands, and the catastrophe is no less devastating than if a bomb had been dropped there. The damage spreads greater than the distance from Bloomington to Carmel—imagine that area becoming a total wasteland!
We want desperately to blame the oil company, and/or the federal government. And they should indeed be held accountable. But they alone? What of us? Shouldn’t we assume some blame? Have we made efforts to lessen our own demands for fossil fuels? Does our lifestyle reflect any attempt to balance our “needs” and our “wants”? Are we driving less, making our homes energy-efficient, consuming less, and eating local? Do we support clean energy even at the risk of higher costs? We pay for our cheap fossil fuel— coal and oil—one way or another, whether it’s destruction of wetlands and wildlife habitat and subsequent loss of the coastal livelihoods, or mountaintop removal, water and air pollution, and subsequent health costs from burning coal. Our Earth can no longer support the lifestyle that we’ve grown to expect. The BP oil spill should anger us into changing the way we live on this planet. We must change in order to survive. Working together, we can find the strength, the power, and the public will to do so. The next generation deserves no less from us. n
• Fax: (317) 251-8545 Indiana Living Green 1730 S. 950 E., Zionsville, IN 46077
I was reading your latest Indiana Living Green issue (May/June 2010), and the article “River Towns Make Great Summer Getaways” was not totally true. About New Harmony Labyrinth, it is not on the Ohio River, it is on the Wabash River. I know because I was born and raised there. I thought I would let you know because it could be misleading to some readers. If they go there to see the Ohio, they will need to drive about 15 to 20 miles south on Highway 69 to Mount Vernon, Indiana. There is a river town park there to see the Ohio River. Response: Thanks for clarifying that New Harmony is on the Wabash River. Our intent was to offer travelers a sampling of things to do when they explore the Ohio River and New Harmony would be an important stop in that adventure—even if it is a few miles away.
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This issue of Indiana Living Green welcomes Betsy Sheldon as editor. Former editor Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp left some big shoes to fill, and so I felt immense satisfaction when Betsy accepted the position. Betsy has contributed articles to the magazine, and has freelanced for many state, national, and international publications. She has served as editor in chief for three travel publications and a book publishing company. She has authored or co-authored six books on topics from job-hunting to Jewish travel. Her most recent book is Green Cleaning for Dummies (co-authored with Liz Goldsmith). I first met Betsy in April 2007—just as the first issue of Indiana Living Green hit the stands—when she organized a green fair hosted by Congregation Beth El Zedeck in conjunction with Al Gore’s talk there. After that, we frequently crossed paths: at Greendrinks Indy, on community task forces, at related lectures and discussions. She began writing for us. As we continued to collaborate, we became better acquainted and I learned many interesting things about her: She was once kissed by the “old man” of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea in Cuba; she sang “Woodstock” in a karaoke bar in India; she’s related to Barack Obama. Betsy also shared that she’s not always been a champion of the environment. “Atonement is the drive for my commitment today,” she admits. “The problems of climate change were overwhelming, bigger than I could fathom. I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t.” Something clicked, however, in 2006. “Sounds geeky, but I saw An Inconvenient Truth, and it pushed me past ‘Something has to be done’ to ‘I have to do something.’” From that point on, the woman who made her living as a travel writer and editor has been on a journey of a different sort. “I’m learning a lot along the way: mainly that there’s a lot to learn, and we must constantly pursue answers to creating a more sustainable planet.” It’s that sentiment that I know will make Betsy an asset to the ILG team. Not only is she an impassioned environmental advocate and an experienced publishing professional, she is driven by a trait critical to all good editors: the recognition that knowledge and truth must be constantly and diligently pursued and the status quo challenged in order to keep moving in a positive direction. Welcome, Betsy! n
BY J e s s e K har banda
Drawing Lessons From an Epic Environmental Tragedy Images of vast oil slicks, lifeless marine mammals, fish, and birds, and devastated fishermen fill our minds as we envision the extraordinary pain unleashed on the world of the Gulf Coast. For the people of Indiana, hundreds of miles away from making a direct impact, what must we do to mend a world so harmed? Hoosiers, possessing a vast highway network and endeared to the Indy 500, must join a national effort to end our addiction to oil. While use of oil has done much good for commerce and family life, it has also caused great harm to our air, water, and land, as well as our national security and economy: In our daily lives, we— “The broader lesson who bear responsibility for our oil addiction—must pledge to find biodegradable substitutes to our plastic from the Gulf oil containers and commit to walking, biking, and carpooling whenever safely possible. And as citizens, disaster is that we Hoosiers must champion the cause of finding a Hoosiers can never sustainable, dedicated source of funding for public transit and passenger rail, two oil-saving strategies be complacent grossly underfunded in our state. The broader lesson from the Gulf oil disaster is that about the risks of Hoosiers can never be complacent about the risks of our actions to the environment and our government’s our actions to the commitment to protect nature. While BP bears the environment and ultimate responsibility, so must our government: Had the U.S. Department of Interior required BP to install our government’s a device that is required in offshore drilling sites in Norway and Brazil—a half-million dollar acoustical commitment to regulator—our nation would have likely avoided tens protect nature.” of billions in damage and innumerable suffering to the already devastated Gulf Coast. Providing that needed vigilance to our environment demands your help: Send a hand-written letter to your legislator, expressing your specific concerns about Indiana’s environment. Pen a letter to the editor of your local newspaper voicing your opinion on the importance of specific green legislation. Get engaged early in the 2010 elections: Support political candidates who truly “get” environmental issues, and are willing to make brave decisions to protect our environment. We can never erase the damage to the Gulf Coast, no matter how many billions of dollars we spend. But we can honor the countless creatures and vast natural resources that have been harmed through our determination to change our lives so that we avoid such tragedies in the future. And we must, as citizens, rise to this occasion and advocate for clean energy policy that decisively shifts us away from our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels. n Jesse Kharbanda is the executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council. You can learn more about renewable standards at www.hecweb.org
By Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
C omi n g t o
Dinner? It’s time to rethink exclusionary practices when it comes to welcoming wildlife into the yard
Our interest in attracting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to the landscape remains high. We spend millions of dollars on seed, feeders, and other bird-care accessories. We quote Doug Tallamy and his book, Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens when shopping at garden centers. We plant nectar-rich flowers and hope the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies will come calling. We plant shrubs or trees that produce berries to feed birds and small mammals. Woody plants also serve as multifamily housing for the birds to raise their young. An occasional brush pile provides nesting places for small mammals. Get over the notion that plants have to be flawless. When we invite wildlife to the landscape, we have to be prepared that they might actually eat some of the plants. Sometimes a plant will produce food for wildlife, and sometimes the plant is the food. The black swallowtail butterfly likes the nectar of butterfly weed, phlox, and clover. However, the swallowtail’s caterpillar prefers munching on parsley, dill, and the tops of carrot and celery before transforming into the butterfly we all appreciate.
By planting in clusters rather than onesies through the landscape, we make our welcome more obvious to the wildlife. Clusters of plants are easier for wildlife to find. Living plants fill the food category, but plants living and dead provide shelter. Shrubs, trees, and other foliage serve as bird-resting places or as hideouts from predators. Get rid of pesticides. Most pesticides are non-selective, which means they kill good and bad bugs. No bugs mean fewer pollinated plants, which means no birds because there are no insects to eat. Use native plants. Wildlife and native plants have a centuries-old relationship of fulfilling each other’s needs. Wildlife is hardwired to use native plants for food and shelter Provide a year-round source of fresh water, such as a birdbath or large, shallow saucers. n
In the home garden, the swallowtail caterpillar is traditionally as popular as an unruly child at a dinner party. But the mature butterfly is always a sought-after guest. Author Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp encourages gardeners to widen their circle of wildlife friends.
H ere are more t ips from t he
National Wildlife Federation: 1. Provide Food. Like you, birds and other creatures need to eat. Native plants provide nourishment in the form of foliage, nectar, pollen, berries, seeds, and nuts. Feeders can supplement natural food sources. Simple start: Plant a shrub that flowers for pollinators and produces berries for birds and other animals.
Resources: National Wildlife Federation (Backyard Wildlife Habitat) www.nwf.org Indiana Organic Gardenerâ€™s Association www.gardeningnaturally.org Doug Tallamyâ€™s Bringing Nature Home www.bringingnaturehome.net Audubon Society (Healthy Yard) www.audubon.org/bird/at_home/Healthy_ Yard.html Natural Resources Conservation Service (Backyard Conservation) www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/backyard/
Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, former editor of Indiana Living Green, has been gardening naturally for about 25 years. For more tips on gardening, please visit www.hoosiergardener.com
2. Offer Water. Wildlife needs clean water for drinking, bathing, and reproduction. Ponds, streams, and wetlands are among the natural sources. Bird baths, rain gardens, and puddling areas are among the human-made sources. Simple start: Put out a shallow dish filled with water. Even small features will be used by wildlife. 3. Create Cover. For protection from predators and inclement weather, wildlife visitors need places to take shelter. Some examples are trees, dense shrubs, rock walls, wildflower meadows, snags, and brush piles. Simple start: Plant an evergreen. 4. Provide Places to Raise Young. Animals need sheltered spaces to bear and rear their offspring. Many locations that offer cover can double as these havens. Other options include nesting boxes and frog ponds. Simple start: Grow a host plant for caterpillars. 5. Go Green. How you maintain your garden can affect the health of the soil, air, water, and vegetation that both wildlife and humans depend on. Composting, mulching, and reducing the amount of turf grass in your yard are among the sustainable ways to conserve and protect natural resources. Simple start: Eliminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
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BOOK REVIEWS Summer Reading Roundup Kids may wait until back-to-school time to return to reading, but for adults, the summer months are the time to catch up on the printed word—whether in archaic book form or on a Kindle. The magic powers of the summer sun seem to relax the body and stimulate the mind. So get comfortable—whether on lounge chair, hammock, or beach towel—and open up one of the following sustainable reads recommended by some of Indy’s greenest denizens:
Solar, by Ian McEwan
2010, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday Okay, so it’s not a ringing endorsement, but Bowden Quinn, conservation program director for the Sierra Club’s Hoosier chapter, suggests that fans of fiction might want to check out Ian McEwan’s newest novel. The author of bestsellers including Atonement and Amsterdam, turns out what’s been described as his “funniest novel yet.” Says Quinn, “I didn’t think it was all that funny.” But, he concedes, the story of a self-serving Nobel prize winner who exploits concerns about global warming to his financial benefit also “deals seriously with the problems of climate change.” Quinn says that while the book may not be his cup of tea, others might find this realityturned-fiction a pleasant way to pass a summer day.
A Conservationist Manifesto
by Scott Russell Sanders 2009, Indiana University Press (Bloomington) Anything authored by Indiana resident Sanders is a guaranteed good read, says Doris Jane Conway, educator and trainer for the Living Lean and Green workshops sponsored by Citizens Action Coalition’s Education Foundation. Indeed, Sanders’ 2009 title is a collection of essays showcasing his talents as story teller and casts concepts as amorphous as “values” into visions that can be seen, touched, and tasted. “And his rich descriptions,” says Conway, “are always undergirded with extensive scientific research.” His 40-point manifesto delves into the war between consumerism and environmental health and serves as the skeleton that holds the book together, but his magic with words is the book’s heart and soul. (For a detailed review, read page 29 of the May-June 2009 issue of Indiana Living Green or online at IndianaLivingGreen.com)
Go Green, Save Green
by Nancy Sleeth 2009, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. For those seeking an Earth-faith-finance fusion, Patti Cortellini, Living Lean and Green workshop facilitator and environmental activist at Christ the King Catholic Church, recommends the tome by the wife of Dr. Matthew Sleeth, author of Serve God, Save the Planet. “Her book is a simple guide that you can pick up and put down easily and not feel obligated to read cover to cover,” says Cortellini. “She actually puts a dollar figure to how much one would save by www.IndianaLivingGreen.com
taking certain actions.” The ideal read for those who’ve postponed greening their life because of the belief that it’s too expensive or time-consuming. The author ties the importance of going green to the value of living a more spiritual life.
Bloomingfoods Eat Local, America!
Shades of Green
by Julie A. Vincent and Robert E. Dittmer 2009, iUniverse (Bloomington) Though himself a longtime Earth advocate, John Gibson, executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, insists that Shades of Green is the ideal read for “both emerging and experienced green practitioners.” And those proponents of buying local will be happy to know that you can read local, as well. The authors, Julie A. Vincent and Robert E. Dittmer, are professors at the Indiana University School of Journalism. Their 2009 title encourages readers to begin at their own level of green—whether sweet-pickle dense or the most delicate shade of celery—and deepen their commitment at a pace that works for them. In addition to an overview of today’s environmental challenges, the book provides a step-bystep, room-by-room attack strategy on going greener, with specific action items organized by degree of difficulty. So start out small or dive into the deep end.
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The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems
edited by Dana L. Jackson and Laura L. Jackson, forward by Nina Leopold Bradley, 2002, Island Press It’s no surprise that an organic grower, farmers’ market vendor, and CSA operator would find a book about farms and their role in the ecosystem quite compelling. But Todd Jameson proposes that the collection of insights about sustainable agriculture will resonate with all who shiver at the dominance of the existing agribusiness model. “Sounds pretty depressing,” says Jameson. But don’t be put off—he promises that it’s filled with success stories and “leaves you believing there is an opportunity to correct some of our man-made errors.”
B y M . K at h r y n D a i l e y
Frozen Assets ‘Putting up’ bumper crops preserves summer flavors for winter pleasure As we begin to move closer to our food sources—shopping at farmers markets, subscribing to consumer supported agriculture, growing our own—Hoosiers are discovering just how generous native Indiana soil can be: In the summer months, we’re a virtual cornucopia of tomatoes that actually taste like something; beans by the bushel, berries that command consumption as soon as they’re picked. It’s no wonder that the natural next step—or the next natural step—is preserving these treasures to enjoy through the winter. Or as Grandma would say, putting food by. “Blueberries top the list. They’re plentiful and they freeze easily—all you have to do is wash and dry them, put them in freezer bags, and mark the contents and date on the bags.” — Susan Haller
The benefits? In addition to having good food year-round, home food preservation means you know what you’re eating; you know your vegetables aren’t traveling 1,500 miles-plus to your table; you know your food was prepared safely and without added chemicals. And in today’s less-thanrobust economy, you’re likely saving money.
Susan Haller, executive director of Indiana Foodways Alliance in Anderson, says she’s seen an upswing in home food preservation. “I’ve been judging 4-H food preservation for 30 years, and I’m seeing a real increase in the number of food preservation projects,” she says. “In fact, it’s become such a huge category, I can’t judge it by myself anymore. It’s heartening.”
Where to start?
Although humans have been preserving food—drying, fermenting, keeping in oil and wine, and, later, canning—for millennia, freezing was one of the first and most successful ways of making food last. Fruits and vegetables have relatively generous storage times, anywhere from eight to 12 months. And for novices, freezing remains the easiest food preservation method. “Freezing is the best way to preserve food because it changes food the least,” says Christina Ferroli, Ph.D., R.D., extension educator for Purdue Extension – Marion County. “Freeze only the highest quality products, and preserve berries, stone fruits, beets, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, corn, and leafy green vegetables the same day you pick them. Pick tomatoes, apples, and peaches when they’re ripe but still firm, and let them ripen a bit more for a few days before you preserve them.” Haller recommends building confidence with something fairly simple. Her suggestion? “Blueberries top the list,” she says. “They’re plentiful and they
Food Asparagus Beans, lima
Cut or leave whole. Alternate tips and stems when packing. 3 minutes
More tips for freezing
Shell and sort.
• Cut produce into uniform pieces or sort by size.
Beans, snap, green, wax
Cut in 1- or 2-inch pieces, or slice lengthwise.
Soak in salt water for 30 minutes to drive off insects. Cut stalks lengthwise, leaving one-inch florets for even blanching.
Steam for 5 minutes
• Use freezer containers no larger than a half gallon.
Leave small carrots whole. Slice or dice larger carrots.
Freeze cleaned cobs or cut corn from the cob after blanching.
• Freezer containers should be airtight, and vapor- and odor-proof. Press as much air as possible out of freezer bags before freezing.
Shell only what you’ll blanch and freeze immediately.
1 1/2 minutes
Trim, cut out stems and seeds.
Cut in 1/2-inch slices.
Place slices in solution of 2 T salt to 1 gal water for 15-20 minutes. Drain, blanch, and cool in cold water.
Steam blueberries for one minute to tenderize skin and make for better flavor. Or simply wash and freeze.
Cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Cool promptly after blanching. 1 minute
Wash, drain, chop, and freeze. Herbs will be limp when thawed, so use in cooked dishes.
What not to freeze: Foods with very high water content, such as lettuce, cucumbers, and watermelon; celery; potatoes; raw vegetables (must be blanched first).
Chart information from Purdue University Consumer & Family Sciences Extension.
freeze easily—all you have to do is wash and dry them, put them in freezer bags, and mark the contents and date on the bags.”
For better veggies—blanch! Blanching or scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam before freezing them is important. “Food gradually loses flavor, color, texture, and nutrients, even if it’s frozen, but blanching stops the action of natural enzymes that causes produce to spoil and lose nutrients,” says Ferroli. Blanching also cleans
food’s surfaces and brightens its color. To blanch: Use at least one gallon of water per pound of vegetables. Bring the water to a vigorous boil; place vegetables in a wire basket and lower them into the water, making sure the water covers them. Put a lid on the pot and set your timer (see sample times in the chart on this page). Keep the heat on high while blanching. You can re-use your water—just be sure to bring it back to a full, rolling boil before adding more vegetables. n
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• Most fruits have better flavor and texture if frozen in a sugar bath: After blanching, drain, cool, sprinkle with sugar, then freeze.
• Pack food into cold containers to speed freezing and help retain food’s natural color, flavor, and texture. • Make sure your freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a good freezer thermo meter in your freezer and check it often. • Mark contents and dates on each freezer container.
Resources: • Ball Blue Book® of Preserving covers subjects from canning to freezing and dehydrating, with extensive recipes. Available online (www.freshpreserving.com) and at local libraries. • Purdue Cooperative Extension Service offers a long list of introductory articles on preserving a variety of foods: www.cfs.purdue.edu/extension/food_health/ food_safety.html • The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers comprehensive basic information and a free online introductory course: www.uga.edu/nchfp/
M. Kathryn Dailey is a local freelance writer who finds it nothing short of miraculous that she can bury tiny seeds in the ground and pull out delicious stuff to feed her family.
eat right now
BY W e nde l l Fow l e r
Growing a Garden, Feeding the Soul As we reel through endless intoxicating days of summer, opening the screen door onto a verdant garden on any morning evokes big-time wonder, mystery, and promise; like the rush a mother gets when her child is born, or the matchless, humbling feeling brought on by contemplative time alone in nature; a sacred curtsy to what’s beyond the daily concerns of secular life. There’s nothing more therapeutic than the pre-dawn perfume expressed from fragrant basil leaves sodden with morning dew, inhaling deep whiffs of the ethereal aroma. Or a hazy, sweltering dog-day afternoon buzzing with bees and fickle butterflies as the solar clothes-dryer softly sways The health with sheets, towels, and socks. One scent or solitary sound benefits of being stimulates unexpected, momentary memories worth storing away like Ball jars of saffron-hued summer sunbeams outdoors, deeply lining the shelves in the larder of the soul. Summer gardening, when laziness finds propriety, and rhythmically reduces the heaviness of life; enhances our mutual environment, develops character, connects a community, and inhaling and supplies its population with heavenly nutrition. We wear exhaling fresh air compost under our fingernails as symbiotic banner of our oneness with earth; a bond with lady bugs, ants, moles, while performing deer, rabbits, uninvited weeds, and assiduous aphids. Taking advantage of these gardening moments gives physical work, occasion to focus on what’s truly meaningful to our mind / cannot be body in the gigantic scheme of all things; akin to standing on the moon, gazing back toward Earth and asking if the diminished. daily tribulations we fret over are truly germane to why we are currently residing on this earthly plane. The health benefits of being outdoors, deeply and rhythmically inhaling and exhaling fresh air while performing physical work, cannot be diminished. Sages throughout the ages have gathered moral and spiritual lessons from the garden’s natural world. Gardening teaches splendor, love, natural history, enduring values, and an admiration for the seasons and rhythms of our own lives. We plant and grow our own food when we are not hungry because we are hungry for something we cannot name. Gardening teaches us about ourselves, about our interdependence with the world of nature, about the relationship between work and creativity, about our quieter and deeper states of being, and about how we might begin to discern those spiritual facts that elude us in other aspects of our lives. On the other hand, seeking that divine connection through contrived, genetically altered produce transported from Japan is similar to slaking one’s thirst with an herbicide smoothie. n Chef Wendell Fowler (www.chefwendell.com) has been a vegan vegetarian for 20 years, prompted by his near-death from terminal viral heart disease. He lost 100 pounds and overcame alcohol, cigarettes, and fast food. Death can be rather motivating.
nEWSBRIEFS B ui l d in g LEED for Neighborhood Development launches The launch of the LEED for Neighborhood Development adds a seventh category to the internationally recognized LEED umbrella of green rating systems. The new program distinguishes itself as the first LEED system to measure projects in acreage rather than square feet. And Carmel’s Gramercy development is Indiana’s first community on the registered pilot project list.
The fruit of a partnership among the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has developed and administers the LEED programs, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building, and benefits communities by reducing urban sprawl, increasing transportation choice, decreasing automobile dependence, encouraging healthy living, and protecting threatened species. Projects certifying under LEED for Neighborhood Development must achieve points in three categories: smart location and linkage; neighborhood pattern and design; and green infrastructure and buildings. www.usgbc.org
Downtown Indy hotel receives Green Eco-Leaf Rating Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown has earned a 3 Green Eco-Leaf Rating—described
as “very good”—by completing a 70-point comprehensive eco-audit survey administered by iStayGreen.org, the online social network of environmentally friendly travel. The hotel now counts itself as one of five lodging properties in Indianapolis to receive the rating. The other properties include: Comfort Suites Fishers, Holiday Inn Express Beech Grove, Microtel Inn and Suites Indianapolis Airport, and University Place Hotel. www. istaygreen.org
Purdue to compete in solar building competition A team from Purdue University is one of 20 selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon 2011. The group will begin building a solar house on campus—once complete, the structure will be dismantled and shipped to Washington, D.C. for the international competition in fall 2011. William Hutzel, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology and a team adviser, reports that the houses must produce at least as much energy as they use. He adds that, for the first time, teams will be penalized if a house is appraised at more than $250,000. The DOE provides each team with $100,000, but Purdue expects that the cost will approach $500,000, so funding is underway.
t r a n s p o r t a t ion I.U. Bloomington introduces online rideshare Indiana University students, faculty, and staff at the Bloomington campus can now share transportation or find rides through Zimride, a web-based interface that integrates social networking sites and a proprietary routematching software program. Access to the easy-to-use private network is free and is anticipated to reduce campus traffic and provide cost-savings for the community. “We are excited to offer a program that will allow our community to easily find and share rides,” says Ilya Rekhter, chief transportation officer for the Indiana University Student As-
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sociation. “Zimride’s solution is appealing to our students, faculty, and staff, which will enable us to reduce congestion and make campus commuting more efficient for everyone.” Zimride has created rideshare communities for more than 40 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Zimriders can view others’ profiles for common networks, interests, and friends before deciding to share a ride. www.zimride.com
e n v i r onm e n t Girl Scout pledge: plant trees, go paperless Through a partnership with Comcast and the Arbor Day Foundation, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana has pledged to plant trees on behalf of every Indiana Comcast customer who adopts paperless billing through August 10, 2010. Donating one dollar for every customer switching to its “EcoBill” paperless billing option, Comcast expects to raise $50,000 over three months for the Arbor Day Foundation. The money will pay for trees that the Girl Scouts will plant during 2011.
Indy gets $10 million from DOE Recovery Act Indianapolis has been selected as one of 25 state, community, and organizational entities that will receive up to $452 million in Department of Energy Recovery Act funds for energy efficiency building retrofits. The Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative will provide the city with $10 million to develop programs for neighborhood retrofits. Indianapolis plans include creating neighborhood-scale energy efficiency pilot projects in two urban neighborhoods. In addition to the Recovery Act investment, the 25 projects are eligible for an estimated $2.8 billion from other sources over the next three years. For the funds, the groups must deliver verified energy savings and incorporate sustainable business models to ensure that buildings will continue to be retrofitted after the recovery act funds are spent. The Retrofit Ramp-Up projects are part of the overall $80 billion Recovery Act investment in clean energy and energy efficiency.
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time for a
Change Warm up to energy savings with new-model refrigerators
If you haven’t replaced your refrigerator since Bill Clinton was in the White House, it may be time to change more than the light bulb. The Department of Energy’s Energy Star website recommends replacing any fridge over 10 years of age. According to Bryce Ruble, a sales representative at Clark Appliance of Indianapolis, your initial cash outlay may be recovered in just a few years. “If your refrigerator is from the 1980s, the new ones will save $100 a year,” he says. “If you’re still using one from the ’70s, your savings could add up to $200 a year.” And for those who want to run a greener household, starting with the refrigerator just makes sense. “Most stats say refrigerators are the biggest energy consumer in a household,” says Glenn Livers, a marketing program manager at Indianapolis Power & Light Company. The common 14-percent estimate of annual energy usage adds up as refrigerators are about the only appliance that runs 24 hours a day, seven days week, 365 days a year. To help you compute the possible dollar savings from a newer model, the Energy Star website, www.energystar. gov, has a calculator that helps determine your appliance’s annual cost. If you’re an IPL customer, your electric rate is .07 cents per kilowatt hour, so according to the calculator, replacing a1992 side-by-side refrigerator with a new Energy
Star-rated model could save $390 over five years. Duke Energy rates are a bit higher—on my bill about .09 cents per kilowatt hour—so the savings would be even more. Now that you’re convinced it’s time, how can you find the most energyefficient model? Look for the Star. Most experts recommend you start by looking for the Energy Star symbol, which shouldn’t be hard to find. “Most appliance manufacturers have dramatically cut the amount of energy that refrigerators use, so it’s easy to find models that qualify for the Energy Star symbol,” Ruble says. “Once you have it narrowed down to a few models, then you’ll want to compare the yellow sticker that tells how many kilowatt hours they use annually.” Side-by-side or top-mounted? According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, side-byside refrigerator/freezers use more energy than similarly sized models with the freezer on top, even if they both carry the Energy Star rating. The government
Cool Measures Whether your fridge is old or new, following these guidelines from energystar.gov and the California’s Consumer Energy Center can reduce the amount of energy it expends. Everyone knows to keep the door shut as much as possible. But here are some more ideas. • Set the appropriate temperature. Keep your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature at 0 to 5 degrees. • Place your fridge in a cool place. Position your refrigerator away from a heat source such as an oven, a dishwasher, or direct sunlight. • Allow air circulation. Leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and brush or vacuum the coils four times a year to improve efficiency by as much as 30 percent. • Make sure the door seals are airtight. Put a dollar bill in the door as you close it; if there’s no resistance when you pull on it, it’s time to replace the gasket. • Keep the fridge full. If food isn’t filling it up, put water-filled containers inside. The mass of cold items lets the refrigerator recover more quickly after the door has been opened. But overfilling will interfere with the circulation of cold air inside. • Check power-saver switch. Many refrigerators have devices to prevent moisture from condensing on the outer surface. Some units have an energy-saver or power-saver switch. Unless you have noticeable condensation, keep this switch on.
holds the two categories to different standards, allowing side-by-sides to use 10 to 30 percent more energy. Skip the bells and whistles. The ACEEE says automatic icemakers and through-the-door dispensers increase energy use by 14 to 20 percent, and they also raise the purchase price by $75 to $250. If your family is constantly opening the door for cold water or ice, however, the savings from keeping the door closed may cancel out the operating savings, Ruble says. Size matters. Livers recommends buying the minimum amount of cubic feet that your family needs. “A bigger refrigerator is always going to use more energy than a similar smaller model,” she says. However, buying a smaller model for your kitchen and then having a second refrigerator in your garage or basement isn’t the solution. “Having just one refrigerator is much better than running two,” Livers says. For IPL customers, there’s an additional incentive to replace or retire an old model. In effect since June 2010, the
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power company will pick up and dispose of your old refrigerator, and if it still works, you’ll get a rebate of $30. “We can make sure that it’s disposed of in a responsible way,” Livers says. “Plus, 90 to 95 percent of the components are recyclable.” n
Resources: • American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: www.aceee.org • Consumer Energy Center: www.consumerenergycenter.org • Energy Star: www.energystar.gov • Indianapolis Power & Light Company: wwwiplpower.com • Duke Energy: www.duke-energy.com Judy Kenninger, a writer and editor for more than 15 years, was thrilled to get a compost maker for Mother’s Day this year. She lives in Brownsburg, Indiana.
B y BAy nn ILGe Staff Lak e r
Small Beautiful is
More than 500 More Not So Big A Conversation with people turned out architect and Not So Big Solutions for Your to hear architect Home (2010). All author Sarah Susanka and author Sarah of them advocate Susanka speak her simple, poweras part of the Indianapolis ful idea: that a smaller-scaled, Museum of Art’s Planet Indy well-crafted home adds up series on May 20. Susanka to greater domestic pleasure, is the bestselling author a more sustainable lifestyle of nine books—from her —and a new definition of first, The Not So Big House what’s desirable in a home. (1998), to her most recent, —Continued on page 20 Photos provided courtesy of Not So Big Remodeling by Sarah Susanka and Mark Vassallo; published by The Taunton J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 0 Press, 2009. Photographer Ken Gutmaker
small is beautiful
Learn more about Sarah Susanka, her books, and the Not So Big House concept at www.notsobighouse.com and www.susanka.com.
Indianapolis residents John and Amy Kirchner used the Not So Big House as a guide when remodeling their home. (Amy is seated; John is standing, next to daughter Mary Nell.) They found kindred spirits in contractor Joe Breach (seated) of Metro Renovations, and architect and neighbor Bruce Anderson (far right), and with their help they “completely transformed the way we live in the house,” says Amy. Changes involved moving the position of the entryway and making some small additions, including a front porch. Find the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood residence featured in Sarah Susanka’s book, Not So Big Remodeling, published by Taunton Press. © Photo courtesy Julie King
— Continued from page 21
It’s an idea Indiana could use. According to home-cost.com, the average square footage of a new home built in Indiana in 2009 was 2,250 (slightly above the national average of 2,065). And the average for a single-family home in Fishers, Indiana, for example, is 3,329 square feet, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Is it possible to live smaller with a higher quality of life? Is there a greener future for housing? Susanka spoke with Indiana Living Green about these questions and more.
What is the relationship between good design and sustainability? In my books, they go hand in hand. I believe that anything that is welldesigned will stand the test of time and will sustain the inhabitant. The wise use of both energy and monetary resources is a core element of good design. What are the carbon footprint factors in relation to a home? One of the statistics I quote most often is that over 20 percent of our carbon emissions come from our existing housing stock. We each have a role to play to reduce the carbon footprint of the residential sector.
What are the greenest ways to remodel? Get an energy auditor. That person has the skills to see where your home’s biggest energy losses are. It’s different for every house, and it has to do with the heating and cooling system. In my own home, although the unit was efficient, the ducts were leaking—it’s not an uncommon problem. The auditor can tell if you should replace your entire unit or if more minor changes can improve your home’s efficiency dramatically. Also, change your furnace filters frequently. Many do not realize how much efficiency they can gain with this simple act. How does house size affect quality of life? I talk to people and work with people at all ends of the spectrum—people who want 600 square-foot homes and those who want 6,000 square feet. I’ve tried to offer the tools they really need to evaluate the decision. I help people “right-size” their homes. However, there can be a problem when there is a family in a very big house. Children can end up living an isolated existence due a lack of interaction with adults, with detrimental effects on family cohesiveness. How do you create desire for small instead of big? I try to avoid judging people for what they think they need. I will listen if they ask for 7,000 square feet, but I will try to help them recognize that they may not really need a big house. When people are focused on high square footages, there is usually some keeping up with the Joneses going on. I tell these clients, “How about having the coolest house, not the biggest?” In any case, it’s about listening. What can we learn from how our ancestors lived? I find it fascinating to watch how our patterns are returning to how they used to be. With the advent of the automobile, we were able to locate our houses in a different place than where we worked. But it used to be unusual to work far away from one’s house. A hundred years ago, the place of work was right outside the house: in the field or in a room above the street-level office or store. That was
When people are focused on high square footages, there is usually some keeping up with the Joneses going on. I tell these clients, ‘How about having the coolest house, not the biggest?’
Photo provided courtesy of Not So Big Remodeling by Sarah Susanka and Mark Vassallo; published by The Taunton Press, 2009. Photographer Ken Gutmaker
the norm. We’re seeing a move back to that. The Internet allows us to telecommute, and we’re able to live a more integrated life. This is a healthy pattern of living from history that we can emulate. Have you had conversations with mayors and city planners? I am just beginning to. In the current economy, there is a lot more interest in how to create more suburban developments that have this quality of density, that have village centers. There’s interest in creating neighborhoods that have more of a center than a typical suburban development does—a Not So Big Community, a concept that draws from New Urbanism, but it also includes the organic farm movement and food grown locally, integrating farmers into the community. Do you know of exciting projects involving modular homes? The prefab industry is learning how to
make a better house than the typical modular home currently on the market. A lot of the existing modular world is aimed at the lower dollar-per-squarefeet cost and lower quality. But a small house doesn’t have to be a cheap house. You don’t buy a Porsche because it’s big. The point is that it’s beautifully made. I’m trying to reintroduce that notion. I believe that if we could look into the future, we would find that many houses are going to be made through a manufacturing process. The art of the home will be greatly enhanced and tailored onsite, but basic form will be delivered. You enhance a home and make it more personal by hiring local craftspeople. Have you explored intentional communities? We’re beginning to research that potential here in Raleigh [North Carolina, where Susanka lives and works]. There is a new level of interest in the idea that when you engage in a more intentional
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form of community, there is something that can flourish as you share your infrastructure. Then it’s natural that people begin to feel a sense of place. Having grown up in Europe, I experienced that as the norm: Community is not a place, but a vitality of people.
What projects are you working on now? My latest book [published March 2010] is More Not So Big Solutions For Your Home, about doing more with less space. I’m working on the Not So Big Community. We’re developing a line of houses for the builder market, for the people who build suburbia. Some of them are gung-ho about building smaller houses, but you can’t just shrink it and make it livable. We need to take their simple-tobuild houses and make them a whole lot more interesting to live in. I just read some interesting data in The Huffington Post [5/9/2010] that included a fascinating observation that the face of suburbia is shifting. Downtowns are becoming the place of choice for those with more resources. So what becomes of suburbia? If we look back to the Victorian era, there was great wealth and large homes, but after that economic boom time, those mansions were divided up into more livable spaces: duplexes and apartments. Co-housing is another interesting trend. This is when people decide they want to live in the same general vicinity and share a common facility with regular meals together...an interesting option for empty nesters. There are small living units and shared living spaces for dining and cooking. I can envision a co-housing community buying up the vacant facilities left behind by suburbia. n Anne Laker, assistant director of public programs at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and former board chair of the Hoosier Environmental Council, lives with her husband, Joe, in a 1,600square-foot house in Herron-Morton Place in Indianapolis.
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© Illustration courtesy Jerry Williams
Kayaking is a cleaner, greener way to explore Indiana’s blueways For David Crabb and his daughters Lillian and Katherine, kayaking has been a family affair for more than 10 years. Crabb says, “Kayaking is very clean, it’s very green; it’s muscle-powered sports.” He notes that today’s kayaks are derived from boats used by the Inuit people of Greenland centuries ago, and that they haven’t changed all that much. “My very favorite kayaking spot in the whole state is about 100 yards from my pillow. But any river in Indiana is fairly scenic.” — Matt Streib
True. The kayak has been around for at least 4,000 years and was originally a fishing boat made of driftwood or whalebones, covered with animal skins, and waterproofed with animal fat. Driftwood and skins have been replaced by plastic, making today’s crafts lightweight and durable. Kayaks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they are most commonly one-person boats.
Minimal Gear, Maximum Mobility Like canoeing, kayaking requires minimal gear: the kayak itself, a paddle, a life vest, and (per Coast Guard regulations) a whistle. You’ll also need a place to store your boat and, if you don’t live on a waterway, some way to get it to and from the water. “If someone has seen people out kayaking, it would be a good investment of their time and money to rent one for a day,” says Matt Streib, owner of Fluid Fun, the state’s largest kayak dealer, located on the St. Joseph River in Bristol. Rusted Moon Outfitters in Indianapolis rents kayaks and offers classes for beginners. Ron Lewis explains that the
company provides all the gear and takes beginners out for a couple of hours. “Physically, people don’t anticipate how many different muscles they are going to use. We start small and don’t let anyone get tired out. We want you to have basic knowledge of kayaks and gear. We work on things that seem intuitive but turn out not to be.” When David Crabb lit upon the idea of kayaking as the next family sport, he made sure his daughters (then 5 and 11) learned how to tip over and get out. He describes how his wife, Ellen, blanched as she watched the girls go under, but they both learned how to pop back up. Today, the Crabbs have three kayaks, which they use most often on Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana. But they and other kayaking enthusiasts point out that Indiana is rife with waters suitable for kayaking.
Indiana’s Prime Kayaking Waters “My very favorite kayaking spot in the whole state is about 100 yards from my pillow,” says Streib. “But any river in Indiana is fairly scenic. By getting into a kayak, you can see some of the most beautiful parts of this state.” Lewis concurs. He has paddled the White River from downtown Indianapolis all the way to the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. Eric Stallsmith, creator of Indianaoutfitters.com and an inveterate paddling enthusiast, says that the prime waters are Whitewater River near Brookville; Sugar Creek near Crawfordsville; Blue River near Milltown; and Wildcat Creek in Lafayette. He also points to the Lake Michigan water trail that was inaugurated in the summer of 2009. Although the trail runs from Chicago to Michigan City, an especially accessible segment runs along the 15mile stretch that hugs the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Indianapolis area offers many popular spots to kayak as well. Lewis recommends Fall Creek from below —Continued on page 24
How To Choose a
Kayak Purveyors of kayaks advise against choosing based on price. You might spend as little as $200 for a boat, but if it’s uncomfortable and cumbersome, it will end up on Craig’s List in no time. Matt Streib of Fluid Fun advises the following: 1. Portability comes first. “If the boat is hard to load and unload, popcorn and a movie are going to look a lot better.” 2. Decide how you want to use the boat. For exercise? Fishing? Racing? Or simply frog-chasing? 3. Find the right size “One kayak might work for Shaquille O’Neal; another would suit a 98-pound woman.” 4. Test the kayak on the water before buying. “If you can’t make it go straight to save your life, that’s not the one you want.”
— Continued from page 23
Geist Reservoir at 79th Street down the Fall Creek Greenway near Cathedral High School. The Coscia family puts in at Eagle Creek at Lions Park in Zionsville and paddles to the reservoir. They see wildlife, including beavers, muskrats, and ducks. Cathy Coscia says, “It’s easily reasonable for a novice kayaker. Once you are on the reservoir, you can get out at the boat ramp within the park.” The West Fork of the White River, which runs through Noblesville and Indianapolis, is another popular blueway. The 16-mile White River Canoe Route, which passes through both parks and residential areas, has good spots to put in as far north as Hazel Dell Landing Park, Carmel, and all the way south by 30th Street in Indianapolis. Kayaking is, indeed, all about muscle power. The only gas you’ll use is the gas it takes to get your craft to the water, and in a state laced with easily accessible waterways, that won’t be far. Eric Stall-
smith points out that most Hoosiers are less than an hour’s drive from immersing themselves in the wonders of kayaking: paddling through a forest primeval, watching wildlife stir, enjoying one of the greenest adventures Indiana offers. n Local author Helen O’Guinn grew up in Crawfordsville and has paddled down Sugar Creek many times.
r e nta l s & o u tf i tt e r s : • Aquascapes: Blue River — 812.639.9651 www.aquascapepaddler.com • Clements Canoes Outdoor Center: Sugar Creek — 866.372.7285 www.clementscanoes.com • Fluid Fun: St. Joseph River, Bristol 574.848.4279 or 877.513.2145 www.fluidfun.com • Rusted Moon Outfitters, Indianapolis 317.253.4453 www.rustedmoonoutfitters.com
i nfo r m at i on : • • • •
Indiana Outfitters www.indianaoutfitters.com River Books, Maps & Programs www.riverlorian.com Indiana’s public, navigable waterways www.in.gov/nrc/2393.htm Paddle Indiana by Alan McPherson, 2000, J.L. Waters & Co.
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EyeMax’s expansion also makes room for new products, and Hubbard is most excited about offering Dr. Alkaitis skincare, nationally recognized as a top all-natural line. A favorite of supermodel Gisele Bündchen, it’s made only from organically grown or wild-crafted plants, unpolluted sea life, pure water, certified organic grape alcohol, and vegetable glycerins.
The new rule for choosing a sustainable beauty product? If you can’t pronounce its ingredients, don’t put it on your body. After all, it’s not so easy to feel fabulous when you’re wondering about multi-syllable petroleum-based contents and potentially harmful chemicals. (Read Indiana Living Green, July/August 2009, “Cosmetics Conundrum,” for a list of what to avoid.) Following the rule is easier than you might expect: Ditch the drugstore in favor of locally made lines. The beauty of buying from an area artisan is that you can talk to the source about the ingredients, all the better for finding natural products that are good for your skin as well as the Earth. Here are four sources worthy of your pretty pennies.
Bryan Paffen’s line of soaps, lotions, and candles serves as a reward for finding his underthe-radar shop in Fishers (he recently moved to 116th Street and I-69, near Target). The North Carolina transplant with a chemistry background has received a lot of love from the ecofriendly community since he introduced Herbal Art, entirely hypoallergenic and handcrafted by him: “Like Granny Clampett in a cauldron,” he says. It also passed muster with the discriminating Indiana Artisans jury to earn the program’s seal of approval. Honey and shea butter are the main— and almost only—ingredients in Herbal Art products. Paffen makes soap in 40-plus fragrances, scented with essential oils, plant extracts, spices, and even the pulp of wine grapes—all from Indiana, and all organic if available. Paffen makes loaves of soap and slices off bars in the store, which cuts down on packaging.
From his summer collection, he recommends eucalyptus and spearmint, “a great morning soap,” he says. Other products include hand cream, exfoliating shower gel, shampoo, soy candles, and unscented products popular with men and those with sensitive skin.
No parabens, no dyes, no fragrances, no petroleum-derived mineral oil—the Eye-Max Custom-Blend Foundation by Kiralee Hubbard is not only whipped up specially for each customer, it’s made for green goddesses, too. Hubbard, a local makeup artist, worked for Estee Lauder and MAC before launching her own business, EyeMax by Kiralee Professional Makeup Studio. Her line has remained a bit of a secret because it’s sold exclusively through the studio, which is open by appointment only. In July, Hubbard is expanding EyeMax into a retail shop in Broad Ripple. The foundation stands out as a supremely natural product. It’s available in a variety of finishes—dewy, matte, sheer, full-coverage, or anywhere in between— and Hubbard keeps each customer’s recipe on file for easy re-ordering.
Many top boutiques in Indianapolis not only sell this fragrance line, but also love it so much that they use the room spray to scent the store. Open the door to Frankey’s, Uber, or Pillow Talk, and you will most likely catch a whiff of Ambre Blends. The line of essential-oil fragrances by Ambre Ashley, a former massage therapist, has grown more than 500 percent in the last year—with only three scents on offer and without a dime spent on marketing. It’s now sold in 100 stores around the country, including more than 30 Indy-area boutiques, spas, and salons. Each of the scents—sensual Ambre, fresh Invoke, and calming Solace—is available as a body spritzer, pure olive-oil soap, body cream, and pocket-sized, refillable roll-on perfume. The spritzer is versatile: “We have customers who spray it on their hair, their linens, their dog beds—even their dogs,” Ashley says.
Aromatherapist and certified rawfood chef Audrey Barron relied on sleeping pills until she developed her own unusual remedy: a pillow spray called Be Rested. Made with organic lavender, organic rose, purified water, and vodka (a preservative), it’s
Where to Bu y Herbal Art 11650 N. Lantern Rd., Ste. 205, Fishers, 317.418.8227, www.herbalartonline.com Cost: soap, $5; hand cream, $11; exfoliating shower gel, $15
EyeMax Cosmetics 6503 Carrollton Ave., 9941 Allisonville Rd., Fishers, 317.348-5966, www.eyemaxmakeup.com Cost: EyeMax customized foundation, $37
Ambre Blends www.ambreblends.com for stores Cost: roll-on essence oil, $44; spritzer, $28; body cream, $56; olive-oil soap, $14
Be Bliss www.beofbliss.com; selected products at Be Boutique, 5367 N. College Ave., 317.257.3826 Cost: body scrub, $16; aroma sprays, $9–$12; heating aroma oils, $12
now the most popular item in her line of aromatherapy products. Another personal favorite is her salt scrub that exfoliates and moisturizes. “When my husband liked it, I knew it would have wide appeal. He’s pretty picky about what’s on his skin,” she says. “It’s a pampering part of your shower. Rub it on at the end, and it leaves a very thin layer of oil as you’re drying off. You don’t have to use lotion.” To make five varieties of Body Glow, Barron uses Dead Sea salt, organic dried herbs and flowers, organic bamboo silk, and natural base oils like coconut, avocado, and almond. Barron creates scents based on “not just what smells good together, but what facilitates certain kinds of healing.” Her products are available at Be Boutique. She also delivers locally, which has an advantage: a $1 credit for returning bottles to be recycled. n Working for local publications for the last 14 years, Megan Fernandez has covered topics ranging from women’s pro football to architecture to new shops. Currently she is an editor at Indianapolis Monthly.
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the last row
BY m a r ia s m i etana
All farmers love to brag about their vegetable successes, and I’m no exception. But failures make much better tales. So I’m finally ready to admit that in my first couple of seasons as a produce farmer, I had no luck growing root crops. Pre-school kids grow carrots in paper cups and city-dwelling amateurs tend them on their high-rise balconies. But I, a long-time gardener with a botany degree, could not grow so much as a humble radish, and beet seeds wouldn’t even flatter me with a sprout. Worse yet, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing wrong. I knew I wasn’t a total agricultural failure, having had great luck with crops whose edible parts were all solidly above the soil line I knew that root crops preferred loose and well-drained soil, something I thought I had in abundance on the east side of my farm in a big patch that was very sandy. That must be good, I thought. Unlike the heavy clay that many of my farmer friends were constantly bemoaning, my beds had very little clay. When I dug a few inches down, the sandy mixture crumbled easily away from the spade, and when it rained, the water drained away quickly rather than standing for days and days in depressing puddles. This patch seemed so perfect for root crops, in fact, that I didn’t try growing them anywhere else. But other than a few scrawny radishes, root crop success continued to elude me. What I didn’t know in those days was that sand is not soil, no matter how much it acts like it. What I did know from my previous life as an avid urban perennial gardener was that no front yard in the world can’t be made better by a good dose of compost, and my annual ritual of dumping wheelbarrow loads of the stuff
© Illustration courtesy Jerry Williams
Rootless No More
on my flower beds never failed to yield a springtime floral show that was the envy of the neighborhood. I can’t say I ever gave much thought to why the compost worked; I just knew that it did. Having no carrots to tend, I therefore took up spreading compost everywhere on our little farm, and when I ran out of that, I spread the wood chips that we made from our storm-felled trees. That sandy patch, too, got a steady diet of compost and chips. Finally one recent season, I was brave enough to try growing carrots once again and, being a creature of habit, I put them in the same place as I had before. By then, I’d done enough reading to understand that my patch of what I thought was sandy soil had really started out more like soil-less sand, and only years of diligent composting had turned that patch into
something that could rightly be called soil. Still, I planted the seeds with some trepidation. I nearly exploded with delight when the first carrot sprouts made their debut, and when they actually made carrots at the soil-side end, I couldn’t contain my pride. Radishes and beets soon followed, their soil-side ends not to be outdone. I confess that I have no idea where this will end, but when the seed catalog tempted me with parsnips this year, I couldn’t resist. When I planted them, I just pretended they were carrots without the orange color, and I piled on lots of compost for good luck. n Maria Smietana is a refugee from the corporate world who now writes and grows organic produce on her mini-farm in Boone County.