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r o f e l Ka ? t s a f k a e r B

Sustainable Clothing

Shopping Guide:

Organic and Fair Trade Fashion

Organic Life Magazine - November/December 2012

Grass-fed, Paleo and Weston A. Price:

Finding Food


Breaking the Cycle Mind Over Muscle:

Farmer’s Paradigm Shift to Success Coaching

Holiday Traditions

Food and Homemade Gifts

Magazine Our magazine was created with both new and experienced organic consumers in mind. We strive to provide you with current information about the organic industry, products and lifestyle. We will include videos and traditional articles and links straight to our contributors and advertisers. We write from experience living and organic life. We encourage you to contact us with article suggestions and comments. This magazine is for YOU!

Š Organic Life Magazine 2012 3550 Gore Road Highgate VT 05459 Privacy Policy Design and Layout by Lise-Mari Coetzee

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Table Of Contents Note From The Editor 05 From Calligraphy to Kale 06

Debby Reelitz’s Journey to Fun Organic Shirts

Hannah’s Personal Favorite 11 Recipe Websites


Kale: The Revelation

To Spray or Not To Spray? 17 12 Advent Calendar Ideas 19 to Make This Christmas

Organic Mechanic 20

Am I Worthy?

Don’t Eat That! Eat This! 22 Grassfed, Paleo and Weston Price 23 by Shannon Hayes

Homeopathy Works 27

by Activating Self-Healing

29 The Kombucha Cult

How I Got Hooked On Making My Own

34 Traditional Holiday Candy The Organic Version

35 Why We Grow Organic Does’ Leap Farm

38 Your Local, Organic Food Resource 44 Recycled Sweater Fun

100+ Ways to reuse your old sweaters

47 Recycled Sweater Mittens 48 Red Wine Stains Easy Way to Remove

50 Sustainable Clothing Shopping Guide 51 Sustainable Heating Technologies Explained 59 Vintage & Tradition

Knitting Help 28

Beginners to Advanced


Table Of Contents

60 How to Find Winter Farmers’ Markets

Note from the Editor


love traditions. There are many from my youth that I’ve carried into my adult life and introduced to my husband and children. There are quite a few that we’ve started together. Thanksgiving and Christmas are steeped in tradition for us. I start looking forward to the next holiday season almost as soon as it’s over each year. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m planning out our local meal with all of the vegetables from our own farm and an organic, pasture-raised turkey from a farmer we know. We have a small, cozy gathering with friends and a few family members and farm interns who are still here working hard to keep fresh grown food going out to our loyal customers. We always find a way to give thanks publicly. We’ve baked our slips of paper with notes of gratitude into dinner rolls and read them before devouring the entire buttery delight. We’ve made a paper tree and handed out colorful leaves for all of our guests to write out things for which they’re grateful. We’ve made books with special folds as keepsakes. This year I think we’ll make a video to more accurately capture everyone’s feelings of gratitude. Christmas is more complicated with many more places to go and people to see and different traditions at each stop. We enjoy sledding, creating a time capsule, home-made gifts, the same casseroles each year, a mini birthday cake for a favorite aunt whose birthday falls on Christmas, cookies


Note From The Editor

and carrots for Santa and the reindeer, stockings in Mom and Dad’s bed, breakfast before seeing the tree, slowly enjoying the exchange of gifts one present at a time, calling relatives who live far away. Our Christmas Time Capsule was started 20 years ago, and this year it’s my eight-year-old daughter’s turn to contribute for the first time. Last year we started two new traditions: helping a local family in need and photo Advent calendars for the grandparents. I wish you and your family the very best this holiday season however you celebrate. Maybe you’ll be inspired to start a new family tradition or bring a favorite back from your past. Whatever you do, stay healthy, give lots of love and enjoy the people in your life. Happy Holidays!


From Calligraphy to Kale: Debby Reelitz’s Journey to

Fun Organic Shirts



’ve been attending the Northeast Organic Farmers’ Association (NOFA) Summer Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts every August since 2003. This year was no exception. This year however, I attended with a different lens. I went less as a farmer and more as a magazine editor and publisher. The NOFA summer conference was the perfect place to scout out relevant businesses to highlight for Organic Life readerspeople like you who are striving to live their lives organically.

As I walked through the tents of exhibitors, a display caught my attention: Fun Organic Shirts. Whimsical phrases embroidered beautifully read: “Powered by Kale”, “Whoever Smiles Wins”, and “Eat Fresh”. Soft fabric with a a simple, flattering shape and neckline: these are the kind of t-shirts I would wear! I was delighted to find the artist herself running the booth and enthusiastically requested an interview. Here’s Debby Reelitz’s story.



Just Right Beginning: The Seed is Planted Debby Reelitz is a calligrapher, a clothing designer, a kale for health advocate, a dedicated mom and wife, and an entrepreneur. A military brat, Debby moved around a lot when she was very young. Her family settled in Southeastern Connecticut however, where she lived for most of her growing up years. She was introduced to just the right experiences through 4-H and her schooling to lead her where she is today. Debby learned the basics of cooking and sewing through her involvement with 4-H. She was first introduced to calligraphy when she was in the fifth grade. Debby dabbled in calligraphy from that point on. She lettered her high school football certificates for cash. She continued to practice, but didn’t dive in deeply until after getting her degree in Government with a concentration in Peace Studies from University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Learning From the Best: A Pivotal Year After graduating from college, Debby pursued her passion for calligraphy, seeking out some of the best artists in the country to learn from. Her first in-depth course was a 12-week program taught by internationally-known calligrapher, Gerry Jackson Kerdok. Kerdok’s work has been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, Italy, Russia and in museums throughout the United States. This class opened Debby’s eyes to calligraphy as art. She also discovered that there are calligraphy guilds all over the country that offer workshops. She made a bold move to Chicago to continue her studies. Debby enrolled in legend, Reggie Ezell’s, highly acclaimed year-long calligraphy course. Mr. Ezell has been a teacher for four decades. This was a pivotal year for Debby who had been working for peace and disarmament organizations while honing her craft. An artist at heart, passionate about the written word, she took the plunge and opened her first calligraphy studio in 1998.

From Calligraphy to Shirts: Inspired by Life You may be wondering, how did Debby get to shirts from calligraphy? Well, it’s calligraphy that inspired her. When asked how she thought up her first t-shirt design, Debby said, “I love the challenge of giving life and energy to the words through its presentation. And when the phrase “Whoever Smiles Wins” came into my family’s life, I felt that was not a piece to hang on the wall, rather, it truly needed a shirt so the message could be shared far and wide.” From there her new business venture grew. She designed a shirt for her local CSA’s fundraiser with “Eat Fresh” on the front and the farm name on the back. The design was a success, because it is easily personalized and adaptable to other CSAs and farms. Leave the back blank for foodies everywhere! Then just a couple of years ago, Debby had a personal life-changing food experience. She had lived with low-level anxiety and fatigue for years. She had



always attributed this state to the stresses of being self-employed. Then she made the switch to a kale smoothie for breakfast every day. It wasn’t long before the anxiety disappeared and her energy skyrocketed! Hence, Debby’s inspiration for her third shirt design “Powered by Kale”.

Something wonderful about Debby's t-shirt designs is that they each have a personal story attached to them that Debby shares freely. When asked why she includes her personal stories, Debby is quick to respond. "I feel as though the stories add more interest and meaning. And in this technological day and age, connections with real stories and real people are so valuable." And wearing Fun Organic Shirts helps people continue to connect and spread the good feelings associated with the phrases Debby has chosen. Here is the full story of how each phrase developed.

Whoever Smiles Wins

Eat Fresh

Powered By Kale

Photo’s by Indigo Images



Breaking Paradigms: Debby's Vision Aims to Tackle Two Major Paradigms - Conventional Cotton Production and Throw-Away Clothing According to the Organic Consumers Association, in the United States, 1/3 pound of agricultural chemicals are typically used in the production of a single cotton T-shirt. The combined use of pesticides on cotton make it the most chemical intensive crop on the planet. This is a big deal to Debby who wants to help to break that cycle. She chose organic cotton and hemp, which is both easy to grow and make into fiber, as the base for most of her shirts. The hemp is durable and environmentally friendly, and combined with organic cotton is incredibly comfortable. Debby's Fun Organic Shirts are also part of the cause to break the paradigm of throw-away clothing. To produce 1 lb. of clothes -that is 1 pair of pants - requires on average 10,000 pounds of water, 0.5 pounds of fertilizers, 0.4 ounces of pesticides, and results in emissions of 6 pounds of greenhouse gases (GAIA Movement Trust - www.gaia-movement. org). Debby's shirts are made to last. They have been on the market for three years now, and she's received great feedback about wear.

Fun Organic Shirts come with another benefit: they're conversation starters. Debby made the decision to keep going with her shirts in part because of their now tested durability and also because of the stories of her customers' experiences wearing them. She gets feedback from Fun Organic Shirt wearers about the impact of the fun sayings and the interesting conversations her shirts start.

What's Next for Fun Organic Shirts? This year Debby hired a professional photographer and website designer. She set up her dedicated website with a shopping cart. She spent much more time doing shows, getting her shirts out there and on people's bodies. Now that her son is a bit older, she decided that now is the time. It's been a challenge, but so is most any risk and stretch in life. She sometimes struggles to find the time required to market her shirts and finances are tight this year. But Debby is optimistic. Debby just released a Whoever Smiles Wins bumper sticker. And she's dreaming up a phrase for garlic, another super food that has been a "miracle food" for her family. Debby feels that meaningful sayings and organic fibers really matter. She sees happy people buying into her vision. She feels that there's joy in being organic, whether it's organic food going into your body or organic fibers going on your body.

Debby now lives in North Granby, Connecticut with her husband, step children and son. She and her husband have been working hard to set up the infrastructure on their homestead with their sights set on growing their family's food year-round. How great to be able to make her daily kale smoothies from her own kale all year?! She and her husband are boot-strapping it, adding one small piece at a time: expanded gardens, laundry on the line, solar powered hot water, pickling, and bee keeping.

About The Author: Hannah Noel is an organic farmer living in Vermont with her husband of twelve years and their two children, Madeleine, 8, and Calvin, 5. She has a passion for clean organic living and for helping others learn how to live that way wherever they are on their journey and whatever they do. You can visit Hannah's blog at Photo by Orah Moore,

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Hannah’s Personal Favorite

Recipe Websites Simply Recipes Simply Recipes is a blog or a personal website, created and maintained by Elise Bauer. Unlike most of the large recipe sites that you might find on the Internet with tens of thousands of recipes, Simply Recipes is her personal website, with only a few hundred recipes, all tested by Elise, her family or her friends. They invite you to try the recipes, and if you would like, leave constructive feedback in the comments. Do you have a recipe binder or box of recipe index cards? Think of this site as Elise’s family sharing the recipes in their recipe binder with you. As they cook the recipes multiple times, they often think of improvements and update the recipes. So keep in mind that what you see here is a work in progress.

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Food, a CondĂŠ Nast Digital site, is the most award-winning food site on the web, incorporating more than 30,000 professionally tested and created recipes from the premier brands in food journalism, renowned cookbook authors, and celebrity chefs, as well as 150,000 member-submitted recipes. Each day, original content from Epicurious editors and leading food authorities around the world is published. Epicurious offers a wealth of articles and videos focused on cooking, entertaining, wine, cocktails, dining out, health, and shopping. Read More

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Organic Authority OrganicAuthority is your trusted ally and the web‘s leading resource for all things… delicious and organic! Come chill in our kitchen as we test drive tried-and-true mouthwatering recipes and chat about the organic lifestyle. From the most mojo-rific of foods, juicy of spirits to your eco chic entertaining table, energetic health and the most scrumptiously delicious beauty, we’ve made it our job and passion to cover organics from the inside out, the outside in and all the way around. At OrganicAuthority you‘ll discover how to grow your first apartment herb garden, how to host a summer BBQ your friends will rave about for seasons to come, which natural deodorants actually work, and so much more. We believe that delicious food is synonymous with healthy vibrant fare; grungy, dull, boring, bland, granola “hippie food” is a stereotype of the past and not OrganicAuthority. Through supporting sustainable agriculture, we enrich our own lives, each other’s lives and the life of our planet. OrganicAuthority has all the tips and expert advice you need for delicious living good.

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Organic It’s Worth It - Organic Trade Association A website by the Organic Trade Association full of recipes, nutritional information, organic articles, how-to information for growing, buying and making!

Mariquita Farm Vegetable recipes A - Z from a CSA farm called Mariquita Farm. This is a GREAT resource for CSA shareholders everywhere, but also for anyone looking for some delicious vegetable recipes any time of year.

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The Revelation


My journey with kale looks something like this: hree decades of not having a clue what it is. I probably even thought the curly beautiful greens on the plate at a restaurant were parsley.

Eleven years ago, I joined a CSA. I saw kale. I brought kale home. Kale was neglected. Kale was thrown in the compost heap, rotten. I eventually stopped taking kale home from the farm. Two and a half years ago, I took a workshop from nutritionist, Joan Palmer of Real Food Matters. She made us teas with bee balm, mint, lemon balm, even stinging nettle. She cooked for us. She gave us kale. Lots of kale. Kale and quinoa. Kale smoothies. Kale sauté. Kale was delicious. But I had spent all my life being the loyal poster child for the boxed cereal industry. I had convinced myself that at least I was eating healthy versions of cereal. Thanks to guidance from the Feingold Association, we had disposed of the cereals with artificial colors, preservatives and flavors. Whole grain goodness. I had breakfast covered. After Joan’s workshop, I dabbled. I made kale smoothies for breakfast. Kale, frozen blueberries & strawberries, blended together. Simple. Sometimes with rice milk. Always with water so my blender wouldn’t croak. These kale smoothies became a daily habit. My family cringed. “Ewww…it’s brown”they’d say. I didn’t care. I craved the smoothies. My taste buds, no, my body fell in love with kale smoothies. My body fell in love with how they made me feel and my taste buds quickly followed.

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I was 3-4 months in to my kale smoothie habit. I remember saying to my husband, “I’m calmer than I used to be.” I never considered myself a stressed person but suddenly I was calmer. Outwardly, nothing had changed. I was still self-employed, still a stepmom to 3 and a mother, still volunteering for several organizations, still overloaded with commitments, but that low-level anxiety I always attributed to the challenges of self-employment wasn’t there. Ask my husband. B.K. (before kale) I was pretty predictable. Every 3 or 4 weeks I’d have a tailspin evening—how can I possibly get everything done? Panic would set in and my wise husband would listen patiently and talk with me as I figured out the new prioritized to do list. With the kale smoothies, those evenings have mostly disappeared. Mostly, I say because life and challenges still happen. Call it the zen of kale. What a blessing. The other major benefit to daily kale? My energy

was up. Way up. I no longer needed that nap on the weekend. A big deal with 4 young kids in the house. I was effective after dinner. I had energy to accomplish what I wanted to do. My brain worked at night, imagine that! Plus, progress on projects added to the calm. A double blessing. Now, there does eventually become a point where I can’t figure out where the benefits of kale end and the benefits of going gluten-free begin. I do know that discovering kale was a critical step towards eliminating gluten in my diet. I NEVER would have guessed on my own that I am sensitive to wheat. I had no obvious signs. However, I was finally free of a wheat-based breakfast and felt better—that was undeniable. Thankfully, kale helped me realize I had nutrient dense options. Kale helped me realize that wheat slowed me down. I now had a point of comparison. I could make a choice. Feeling anxious or feeling energized. Two and a half years later, I still choose kale.

About The Author: Debby Reelitz is the creator of Fun Organic Shirts. (www.funorganicshirts. com) Instead of flowers, her hubby brings her kale from the garden.

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To Spray or Not To Spray? By Mike Saraylian Owner of Harvest To Home Organic Vegetable and Herb Garden Delivery Service


hen we think “organic”, we think of things that are fresh, clean, and pure. Conversely, when we think of “pesticides” we tend to think of death, odor, and toxicity. It may come as a surprise, then, that much of the organic produce that we grow and eat can have a residue of pesticide. Organic pesticides are nothing new; in fact, they are found naturally in plants such as chrysanthemums, and the Asian neem tree. Spinosad, for example, comes from the soil bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa which can fatally scramble the nervous systems of insects. Used in correct amounts, these substances can effectively protect plants from pests, but you still wouldn’t want to drink them! The FDA maintains a list of natural substances that are cleared for organic gardening. While some are slightly toxic to humans and animals, they fall

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To Spray Or Not To Spray

within the guidelines set by the government. Other natural substances, such as nicotine and arsenic, do not qualify. tfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5068682 Jeff Gillman is a professor of nursery management at the University of Minnesota, who has written about organic practices for lay readers. In a recent article for NPR Gillman noted that most people assume that because something is organic that there have been no pesticides used on it. “That isn’t so,” says Gillman. “It’s true that organic production often uses fewer dangerous chemicals, but certain pesticides are allowed.” Are naturally occurring pesticides less toxic than synthetic ones? Gillman says the answer depends a lot on the dosage. ““I could use a tiny amount of a potent synthetic that has proved safe over the last 50 years, or a much larger amount of an organic pesticide.” He won’t say which is better, leaving the

final choice up to the individual gardener. He does allow that, “I want people to know there are definitely trade-offs.” For the backyard farmer, the choices may become easier to make. When you are growing a small amount of produce, it’s sometimes easier to just pick off the invasive pests, avoiding sprays altogether. Others, who may have children or pets playing near the garden, choose to avoid anything with even a taint of suspicion. Whether you spray or not, washing your vegetables is always indicated. Some pesticides can be airborne, so you may have traces of your neighbor’s activity on your lettuce. Washing and rubbing your vegetables for 30 seconds takes off quite a bit of the residue, although you can’t avoid any traces the plant may have absorbed while growing. About The Author: From making salads with lettuce grown on a rooftop to running his own organic vegetable and herb service, Mike Saraylian is the man behind Harvest To Home. Mike’s business comprises garden boxes and raised beds planted with seasonal organic produce and planted to the customer’s specifications. His self-sustaining boxes and beds require no watering, weeding, or fertilizing. A southern California native, Mike Saraylian was born and raised in Laguna Beach, where he spent most of his time on the beach. After attending UC Santa Barbara, he came home and worked in the RV industry, eventually becoming a manager. He moved on to Blick Industries in Laguna Canyon and worked in sales and marketing, where his job involved traveling around the U.S. and Europe. In Italy, he was amazed by the brilliant flavors of a simple salad made with perfect tomatoes and freshly picked lettuce, dressed only with oil and vinegar. Mike had loved to cook since he was a child, and after his Italian epiphany he found himself thinking about everything he was eating, developing an interest in health

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To Spray Or Not To Spray

An informed gardener can make better decisions for his/her garden by investigating studies and research done over a period of time. Unfortunately there really haven’t been many studies done on organic pesticides because the assumption was that if it was organic it must be safe. That isn’t necessarily true, especially when it may take several more applications of an organic pesticide to do the same job of one or two applications of a synthetic pesticide. Ultimately the decision to spray is an individual one. Some will choose to use the tools at hand, others won’t. Either way, your lettuce leaves will likely be dotted with little tiny holes, but one gardener’s will have more than the other. Regardless of the choices you make with your pesticides, the pests are here to stay – and they are hungry!

and diet. Every Friday at Blick there was a company barbecue on the rooftop. Mike always made the salads from the 70 boxes of garden produce grown right there on the roof by a retired doctor, Myron Wacholder, who was the father of one of the employees. The doctor became his gardening mentor. Mike came up with the idea for his organic produce business, inspired by those boxes on the rooftop. Although he knew about sales and marketing, he had no clue how to start a business. Mike was influenced by his boss, John Blick, who said that if you really want to, you can do anything. Mike had some money saved, obtained a little more from his family, then taught himself every facet of business from designing a website to accounting and operations. In the beginning, he found himself building planters and shoveling dirt. He ate what he grew and lost 15 pounds in the process, but he became addicted to freshly picked vegetables and herbs and hopes you will too. He is filled with passion and energy for what he does and has grown his business like his vegetables: with care. Harvest To Home is now servicing clients in the greater southern California basin as well as Arizona. Franchises are available.

12 Advent Calendar Ideas

to Make This Christmas


un and crafty ideas to replace the traditional lift-the-flap and eat-the-chocolate advent calendar. Mini presents, stockings, photographs. Look at these ideas for inspiration and craft your Advent calendar now. With photos, these make wonderful gifts for family members who live far away. Start

celebrating the holiday early with your own unique count-down to Christmas. Children love the excitement of the countdown! Click here for all of the fun ideas. http://inspirationforhome.blogspot. com/2011/11/12-advent-calendar-ideas-for-craftthis.html

About The Author: I'm Myra. I have always been interested in home and interiors, it has with time become a passion, and my blog is the result. I draw inspiration from colors and texture and making the most of what we already have. I love upcycling and do it yourself ideas and am always looking to share more eco-friendly ways to keep your home stylish! Like Inspiration for Home Designing on Facebook!

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Am I Worthy?


’ve been studying self-development and success for over ten years now. I’ve been a blue collar worker for most of my life. I grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Vermont, studied as an automotive technician and worked in the field for 10 years, including 3 years on an IndyCar racing team, then back to the home farm to raise beef and run my own auto repair business. I had success in all jobs and ventures that I was involved in, but I was always producing physical products or results, working with my hands doing physical work.

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Organic Mechanic

As a child growing up on a farm in a heavy farming community, physical was part of the culture. We were programmed to believe that this was the only way to provide REAL value to people. Trading hours for dollars was what was right, honest and true. So, throughout my life up until now I have gravitated toward jobs and businesses in that realm. It’s a comfort zone for me. Even though it is hard physically and mentally, it’s what I know and it comes easily to me.

I have come to the point where I want to break the cycle. One of my main road blocks has been that I don’t feel as though my experiences and what I have to say would matter to most people or that they would find my story boring or not relevant to their lives. I have been studying and training and practicing every day for over a year now and have been assured that my doubts are not true. At the end of this year, I will no longer be trading physical labor for dollars as my main source of income. I will be coaching and consulting people in the areas of success and health and how it relates to what we eat. This is a huge leap for me. It’s scary. It’s an unknown. On the other hand I feel confident that things will fall into place as long as I keep moving forward and, the biggest key of all, taking action. I am now convinced that people want to hear my story and that I am worthy of delivering the message.

About The Author: Eric Noel is a Thinking Into Results facilitator, unlocking the mental power already in people so they can perform their absolute best and get the results they really want. During three seasons in the IndyCar Series as a professional pit crew mechanic, Eric was driven to acute awareness of using one's full potential, physically and mentally. There's just hundredths of a second between the winner and second place, and Eric learned to focus, motivate, execute goals, and GET results! If you can think it, you can do it! As a Thinking Into Results facilitator, Eric will show you how to commit to the twists and turns of life at full throttle on your journey to getting the results you are driving for. After IndyCar success, Eric came from behind in the race to transition the family farm in Vermont. Steering it from a conventional crop and dairy farm to a high performing operation, he gained recognition for his certified organic diversified, grass-fed beef and vegetable farm. Tuning into the infinite wisdom, drawing on proven techniques from around the world and stacking them together, he transformed the soil and himself in record time. The farm now serves hundreds of families the highest quality, most nutrient dense fresh food available. It takes a team focused on a goal to win. Put Eric in your pit crew and supercharge your awareness so you can reach your true potential. Let Eric help you tune-up and learn the power of your fertile mind. Email or call 802-868-5083.

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Organic Mechanic

Don’t Eat That! Traditional Bread Stuffing

The major ingredient in this great tasting recipe to avoid is the BREAD crumbs. Most flour in the breads available today are super processed and not left with much nutritional value. To make up for the nutrient deficiencies, manufacturers add back in vitamins and minerals. Why not just skip the fat-producing processed flour and try something different this year?

Eat This Instead Quinoa Stuffing

Quinoa is a healthy grain that is high in protein. One cup of quinoa has about 8 grams of protein! This is a healthy, flour-free alternative for your family to enjoy this holiday season! Ingredients


• 2 bay leaves

Boil 4 cups water; season with bay leaves. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until quinoa absorbs water. Remove from heat; remove bay leaves and let cool. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Sauté onion and squash until slightly browned. Add garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Combine vegetables and quinoa. Drizzle on remaining 1 tbsp oil. Stir in raisins, cranberries, parsley, thyme, sage, and walnuts (optional). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

• 2 cups quinoa, rinsed • 4 cups of water • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 cloves of garlic, minced • 1 cup raisins • 1 cup dried cranberries • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped • 1 teaspoon dried thyme • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

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Don’t Eat That! Eat This!

And if you just can’t stand to give up your bread stuffing, substitute Food For Life’s (http://www. sprouted grain flourless breads for the bread crumbs. Mix your own organic poultry seasoning. And don’t put any shortening in there use butter instead!

Grassfed, Paleo and Weston Price


Saoirse Hayes Hooper relishes one of her favorite primal foods, chicken hearts on a stick.

’ve received a fair amount of personal communication from people asking me for my take on Paleo eating. I’ve stayed relatively quiet about the issue in my online postings because my family has had to endure some grueling health crises in the past year, and it has taken me some time to wrap my head around everything. Below is my story, and take on the Paleo diet, to-date. I entered the food writing world back in 2001 as an agrarian environmentalist – hardly a platform for securing a tv deal, much less an opportunity to have my name plastered on Made-in-China designer cookware. Nevertheless, my work to connect good food with good farming has been warmly received by a steadfast core of farmers and foodies. My food writing has centered around ecological principles – rather than writing according to popular food and diet trends, I’ve kept to the subject of grassfed and pastured meat, and

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Saoirse Hayes Hooper relishes one of her favorite primal foods, chicken hearts on a stick. I’ve made my ingredient selections based on what I felt was environmentally sustainable. …..Which is why so many of you who’ve come out to hear me speak over the years have witnessed my nervous doggie dance whenever someone asks me for nutritional information. I’m not a dietician, and I always prefer to defer to any nutritional experts in the room, rather than claim expertise in that area.

But the truth I am confronting in my career is that, when I share recipes from my kitchen, while I may not be giving dietary advice, I am most certainly putting forward my dietary opinions. I have always adhered to the basic nutritional tenets advanced by the Weston Price Foundation. I feel they are sensible, by and large ecological, and extremely tasty. In our family we kept bread and sweet consumption to a minimum, soaked our grains and legumes prior to eating them, steadfastly avoided processed foods, kept our dairy raw, religiously took our fish oil and butter oil, and enjoyed our grassfed meats and organic fruits and veggies. With the rare specialoccasion exception, these dietary guidelines have long been reflected in my recipes, and were the underlining principles as I began writing my most recent cookbook, Long Way on a Little (due out in Sept 2012). Seeking to offer guidance for families who wanted to reduce food waste and stretch their meat dollars further, I set about developing recipes for Long Way on a Little that extended grassfed meats with more grains and legumes, such as bean or whole grain dishes cooked in nourishing broth, accented by bits of meat, or rice pasta casseroles in rich creamy sauces fortified with egg yolks. It was, beyond a doubt, delicious. Then I got sick. A debilitating (and embarrassing) fungal infection began in my foot and spread throughout my body, leaving me bed-ridden for nearly two weeks, and unable to digest little more than meat and vegetables. I assumed it was owing to the stress of releasing Radical Homemakers, a rather controversial book that attracted more publicity than I was comfortable with. But then I began to notice my already lean husband growing thinner and thinner every day. Unsure whether it was stress, cancer, a food allergy or some other horrible condition, we only could figure out we were dealing with a malabsorption issue. Finely, one month before his 53rd birthday, we learned he had developed type I (a.k.a. “juvenile”) diabetes. (Those of you who know Bob can attest that it fits right into his ageless character that he should develop a juvenile illness after the age of 50.) In the same month, my eight-yearold daughter who has never tasted soda and could count the number of lollipops she’s had in a lifetime on one hand, came home in tears from her dental

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check-up with a mouth full of cavities. I still feel the Weston Price dietary principles are sound, but when it came to our family’s health, something was dreadfully wrong. Every chair in my home was suddenly piled with a stack of books as I poured over any information I could find to try to identify what might be causing all these health complications. I was especially frightened for my husband, the robust man who was suddenly burdened with 7 blood tests and four insulin injections per day, along with a glucagon gun that I was supposed to use in emergency situations when his blood sugar dropped so low that he became unconscious. We were paying for insulin out-of-pocket, and a one month’s supply was $850. We needed to figure out how to stretch that insulin as far as possible, how to preserve what functionality remained in his pancreas, how to prevent the blood sugar swings that could put him into a diabetic coma. According to a book recommended by the endocrinologist, he should be living on a steady diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and if he ever touched a piece of meat, his pancreas would rot and his feet would fall off (admittedly, that was my interpretation of the work). According to another book by a diabetes expert, he should be living on meat and meat alone, with an occasional spinach salad for a special treat. If he ever touched a piece of fruit, his pancreas would rot and his feet would fall off (Ed. Note., again). According to the nutritional counselor we met with at the hospital who advised us based on the American Diabetes Association guidelines, he should be loading up on breads, cereals, all the ice cream he wanted (he was, after all, thin and in need of weight gain!), “and even a little of that good, wholesome grain-fed beef now and then” (yes. I paid $95 out of pocket for that session. ).GRRR. If our family switched to diet plan A, I was going to be eaten alive by fungus. If we switched to diet plan B, Bob would probably divorce me and the kids would likely enroll themselves in foster care. And clearly, under diet plan C, we’d make the pharmaceutical industry and multinational food corporations very wealthy while we endured chronic illness for the rest of our lives.

And that’s when I learned about the Paleo Diet. A number of new readers who were using The Grassfed Gourmet and The Farmer and the Grill told me they’d been referred to my books by various Paleo Diet websites. They explained that Paleo folks were keen on them because many of the recipes suited their dietary needs. Essentially, the Paleo diet is very consistent with the teachings of WAPF, and in fact, many of its adherents are ardent grassfed meat supporters and members of the Weston Price Foundation. The primary difference between Paleo and Weston Price is that when going Paleo, grains and legumes are removed from daily consumption. Some Paleo writers argue that dairy is also a no-no, but there are many others who agree with Weston Price that raw dairy is a perfectly nourishing food. The Paleo Diet allows for a wide array of fruits, vegetables and natural sweeteners, but they must be taken in strict moderation in order to reduce a body’s demand for insulin. We tried it, and discovered that, as grassfed folks and WAPFers, the shift was natural and easy. We were already most of the way there. It allows for enough variety that Bob and the girls have decided not to abandon me in my kitchen, and we’ve discovered that by adher-

ing to it, we can make a one month supply of insulin last several months while keeping Bob’s blood sugar levels normal and steady. The glucagon gun is gathering dust on a shelf. And, for the record, so far my daughter’s cavities have not advanced. I still feel I am not enough of a nutritional expert to say that Paleo eating is the only way to go. I’ve met too many people in my lifetime with widely disparate diets through which they claim to enjoy perfect health. I am loathe to draw universal conclusions. – Heck, I’ve even met healthy vegetarians…. whatdya know?? However, what I’ve learned is that by adopting these basic principles and folding them in with the advice from Weston Price Foundation, such as the importance of fat soluble vitamins, bones and the organ meats, my family seems to be on the mend. What does this mean for that new book I was telling you about? Well, I had to go back and re-write it with the basic question: How does one have a sustainable meat-based diet that is free of grains and legumes? I hate to give away the ending before the book is released, but I can tell you this: it is possible. And our life is more delicious now than it ever was.

About The Author: Shannon Hayes works with her family on Sap Bush Hollow Farm raising grassfed meat in Upstate New York. She is the author of The Grassfed Gourmet, The Farmer and the Grill, and Radical Homemakers. Her newest book, Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lovers’ Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously, is due out in September 2012. To be notified of the book’s release, or to receive her Grassfed Cooking articles, sign up for the Grassfed Cooking Newsletter, a free service for grassfed farmers and meat lovers. Copies of her books can be purchased through GrassfedCooking.comat both retail and wholesale prices.

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Homeopathy Works

by Activating Self-Healing


arents who write to me often ask a question of the following form: “Will homeopathy help -X- if my homeopath is treating my child for -Y-?” (Usually, -Y- is autism.)

This question is rooted in a confusion most of us have between allopathic and homeopathic medicine. A conventional doctor (and even many holistic doctors) will give you one medicine for -X-, another for -Y-, etc. However, the way homeopathy works is really fundamentally different. Reading Impossible Cure, especially Chapter 4, will help you to understand this better. Your homeopath is not picking a remedy just for a specific ailment that your child has (-Y-). He or she is a picking a remedy that matches your child. The idea is that if it is homeopathic — i.e. matches your child’s overall state well — it will enable them to heal as best they can. If that means healing from -X-, it will. If it means casting off vaccination damage, it means that. If it means sleeping better to gain strength, it will do that. If it means the brain or the gut repairing itself, it will do that. In other words, homeopathy helps a body heal itself. The body has its own deepest (and often unknowable) wisdom about how it can best heal itself and in what order. Rules of thumb, like “Hering’s Law” give

us some guidelines about what this usually looks like — from the most serious internal symptoms (including mental/emotional symptoms) outward toward less significant symptoms that are less lifethreatening to the organism. In other words, homeopathy doesn’t attack a specific ailment or chemical or body part, like conventional drugs or even supplements try to do. There are, of course, certain remedies that tend to affect certain symptoms or ailments more than others, and they can be useful for them. But the best, deepest forms of healing are the kinds that are accomplished by a remedy that simply matches the individual state of the patient, no matter what their disease may be. The remedy then triggers a process of healing in the patient that can be truly and deeply curative. It isn’t a patch, it’s a transformation.

About The Author: Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a Silicon Valley computer scientist when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In April 2003 she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, one of the best-selling introductory books on homeopathy worldwide ( Amy speaks and writes internationally about homeopathy, hosts a monthly radio show on Autism One Radio (, and was an executive board member of the National Center for Homeopathy from 2004-2011. Her second book, on meditation and developing one's innate ability to evolve and transform the world, was published in September 2011 -- Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within (

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Knitting Help

- Beginners to Advanced


ave you always wanted to learn how to knit? Did you learn how to knit and just need a refresher because it’s been so long since you picked up your needles? Here is the perfect resource for you whether you’re just learning, you need a refresher or you want to learn some more advanced techniques.

About The Authors: Amy Hi folks. My name is Amy and I'm the voice and hands behind the videos on this site. I created the videos and content of this site out of a simple desire to share what I love...and with the knowledge that there is no better way to learn knitting, than to see it done!

This video shows how to cast on using the the long tail method. Go to the Knitting Help website to access all the videos you need to learn how to knit from where you are! You can also join in on the discussion on the Knitting Help Forum.

with raising our newborn daughter Erin. When I have a spare moment, I might be found knitting. Or ordering compostable forks to green up a large potluck. Or joining with others in song (Sacred Harp singing is a particular love). I hesitate to put up a link to my personal website, just because it's so neglected at present (a computer geek I'm not)...but here it is nonetheless, for those of you who might wish to learn a thing or two more about me:

I don't know if my videos are as professional as this exceedingly lovely website that Sheldon has created May you find inspiration here, and live your joy! to house them, but people tell me every day that they ~Amy are practical and extremely useful to the knitter. Hooray! It's music to a teacher's ears. Sheldon One caveat about my videos: they're very specific. I'm nothing if not thorough. But don't take that to mean I'm uptight about how things Should be done. I absolutely delight in employing spontaneous solutions to knitterly problems when I encounter them, and often do so when I can't recall the "correct" way. Is there even such a thing as the correct way? It's all about the joy of creating, so please!: never let anyone tell you your doing it "wrong."

I am the technological geek behind and am responsible for all design, web programming and servers that run the web site. The current version of (v3.0) was developed in PHP using ModxCMS for the general web site and vBulletin for the forum. Some of the recent additions to were built using Ruby on Rails, which we love. If geeky talk is your thing, be sure to check out my geekblog, or follow me on Twitter. I am Mac. I am forever learning, and spend most of my nights reading technical books, blogs and listening to podcasts about web design, programming and business. When I am not on the computer I am usually asleep. But if I am not sleeping, I can usually be found hanging out with Amy and our newborn These days I'm occupied daughter Erin.

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The Kombucha Cult, Or How I Got Hooked On

Making My Own By Kristen Hinman


t the end of an indulgent weekend in the New York exurbs last summer, our friends marched my husband and me into a health food store for an elixir they promised would counteract the previous 48 hours of feasting. “One bottle is plenty,” warned my friend. “Share it, and maybe even save some of it for tomorrow.” Naturally (if you know us), Tim and I proceeded to guzzle the 16-ounce bottle of fizzy deliciousness within the first half-hour of our drive back to the District. Twenty-four hours and a few trips apiece to the loo later, we had learned Rule No. 1 when it comes to kombucha: Build up your tolerance.

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The “booch,” as many quaffers call it, is a curiosity. A little freaky, a lot addictive. Here’s how it works: A mother culture, a.k.a. a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, is placed in a vat of sweet tea and left to ferment for a week or more. During fermentation, the mother culture devours the sugar, producing lactic and acetic acids as well as a baby SCOBY. When the tea tastes pleasantly tart, both SCOBYs are removed and the beverage is bottled and stored at room temperature for several days to carbonate. Devotees claim the booch increases energy, improves skin and hair, greases the digestive tract and boosts immunities.

Kombucha with SCOBYs floating in the jar. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

According to the folklore, the Chinese were drinking kombucha more than two millennia ago. Centuries later, Europeans took to the bottle. In the early 1990s, a kombucha craze hit the United States, particularly among the HIV-positive population. These

days it’s the fix of Hollywood starlets. The field once was dominated by two brands, GT’s and Synergy, from California-based Millennium Products, but in the past two years competitors have entered a growing retail market that industry sources guessti-


mate at anywhere from $50 million to $500 million. My first pull on that bottle back in July apparently was a lucky break. Just three weeks earlier, kombucha deliveries had stopped after the TTB, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, alerted grocers that kombucha makers could be flouting U.S. law. Because the drink is unpasteurized, fermentation continues after bottling; if a bottle sits on a shelf too long, the alcohol content can rise above the taxable rate of 0.5 percent. Online, I saw that some apopletic kombucha lovers suddenly cut off from their hooch were blaming Alcoholics Anonymous for tipping off the TTB. Others were bad-mouthing Lindsay Lohan, whom TMZ had photographed holding a bottle of kombucha around the time when her court-mandated alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet had gone off. Pretty amusing. For us, though, life would continue. As much we enjoyed the drink, at $4 a bottle kombucha didn’t exactly smack of habit-forming. Then Tim reminded me that on said trip to see our New York friends, he had watched our host’s husband set a batch of homemade kombucha to brew. Bingo. I got on Craigslist and found a woman in Northwest Washington selling a pair of SCOBYs and starter liquid for $5. “This is totally normal, right?” I thought, buzzing her intercom one Sunday and wondering if I was about to make the papers in a way that didn’t pay. Inside, the home-brewer’s husband and toddler came to say hello as she presented the SCOBYs and explained the brewing process, telling me how kombucha had cleared up their respective digestion problems. I exhaled. After the tutorial, she insisted that I taste her translucent brew, whereupon my lips puckered, my throat closed and I learned Rule No. 2: Although a fine, acidic kombucha is clearly open to interpretation, the drink should not taste like cleaning solution. Once at home, I became convinced that this highly

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A SCOBY, the "mother" yeast needed to brew kombucha. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post) acidic starter set wouldn’t work. As soon as I got into online forums in search of more brewing tips, however, I realized I had to deal with other issues. For one thing, there were reports of bottles that had over-carbonated and exploded when left untended. Ah! Why had I acquired this thing right before leaving on vacation? My hardwood floors! Should I just stow the starter in the fridge and brew when I got back? Wait. No, somebody says the cold kills the culture. And what’s with these handling instructions? Do I need to grab my SCOBYs with wooden tongs? What do you mean I can’t taste the kombucha with a metal spoon? Death was a recurring theme. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and made the drink the way my Craigslist hook-up had instructed. Ten days later, we came home from our trip, I stuck a stainless-steel teaspoon into the jar for a taste or two, used my bare hands to remove the SCOBYs and bottled the drink. The next morning, I was happy to wake up alive. ‘Cause, hey, neurotic beats dead any day. What’s more, our kombucha was delicious. “When I first started, I used to wear plastic gloves, because people had said, ‘You can’t have anything touch it. The dirt in your fingernails will get in there,’” Diane Rosenblatt, a longtime home-brewer in Passaic, N.J., who shipped SCOBYs across the country until 9/11, told me later. “Then I read that some farout hippie type said never use plastic; the kombucha wants to interact with you, wants to be on your skin. So I stopped the gloves because that was one

more thing to buy and store. I’d also always taken off my rings, but then I thought, ‘Oh, right, [the SCOBY] wants to know me.’ So now I just pick it up. I rinse my hands off with warm water; I don’t even use soap. It’s alive, and it adapts itself to your conditions, to the overall feeling in your house, your attitude. “I have noticed,” Rosenblatt added, “that people who are very detail-oriented sometimes have a hard time making it.” You see? Rule No. 3: Relax. From the get-go, Tim and I have been hooked on the science-experiment aspect of kombucha. While I am fascinated by the slimy feel of the SCOBYs, he won’t let his fingers get near them. Some days we watch them float. Other days, they sink. Sometimes the mother and baby coexist at different ends of the container, tethered only by the thinnest strands of culture. Flavor-wise, it’s been hard to go wrong. I’ve used plain-old Lipton black tea, organic whites and greens, and chais. I even got cocky and tried Earl Grey, which the Internet said was a sure failure. I also infused it with dried cranberries throughout the brewing process, another supposed no-no. As in cooking, I taste, taste, taste and bottle the brews to my liking. In the meantime, some commercial kombucha has come back onto the market as makers reformulated the drinks to comply with federal alcohol laws. So I’ve been taste-testing. Among the nationally distributed brands, Vibranz and Kombucha Wonder Drink, each available in a variety of fruity flavors, are respectable if your taste for kombucha skews sweet; GT’s packs a punch that is more tart. A number of brewers told me their formulations might change as they continue tweaking them. Several, including Millennium Products and the upstart Maine Kombucha Co., are seeking winery or brewery licenses in order to keep the drinks unpasteurized and worry less about alcohol content.

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Still, unless we’re traveling, Tim and I prefer to let the housemade version work its magic on the ol’ gastrointestinal tract. And it does, right? Well, celebrity physician Andrew Weil, the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society have pointed out that definitive human clinical trials have not been conducted to show whether the drink imparts health benefits. Moreover, they question the integrity of the beverage, given the fact that two Iowa women home-brewing from the same culture had problems in 1995. (One died; the other survived a heart attack.) Randy Worobo, a microbiologist at Cornell University who studies the good bacteria produced by fermentation and works with kombucha, has a different take. “The science hasn’t yet been established where you can make an absolute claim,” he said. “But, scientifically, you can explain the potential benefits for gastrointestinal health. You can see a link.” The good bacteria in kombucha don’t themselves populate in the gut, but they do release small proteins that can foster the growth of digestion-aiding bacteria in the gut, he explained. Worobo also reassured me once and for all that as long as I don’t get mold on my culture, I won’t kill it - or my husband. “You’ve seen mold on bread, right?” Worobo asked. “It looks the same on top of kombucha. See that, and throw it out.” To wit, Rule No. 4. A month or so ago, we were headed back to New York, so I packed a jar of one of my best batches and two beautiful SCOBYs for our friends. Two weeks later they were thrilled at their results: much more potent than what they were used to. And so it was that I learned the ultimate tenet in the curious universe of kombucha: Pass it on.

Kombucha Recipe Summary: Kombucha should be tart and tangy, neither too sweet nor too sour. Of course, taste is subjective. Kristen Hinman finds that seven to 10 days of brewing works well in the warmer months, while 2 to 3 weeks generally is required in cooler weather. Taste it, and bottle it when the brew reaches your desired tartness. Kombucha can't be made without a starter SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and some kombucha that has already fermented. For safety reasons, food scientists recommend against trying to start your own SCOBY. Instead, procure one from a friend or via online forums such as Craigslist; SCOBYs also can be purchased from online vendors such as and Whoever provides the SCOBY should also provide a cup or more of fermented kombucha; alternatively, bottled kombucha can be purchased at Whole Foods and many organic markets. In between brewing batches of kombucha, store the SCOBY in a cup of fermented kombucha in a glass bottle. It will keep for years. White sugar is a requisite; neither agave nor honey will work. You can change the drink's flavor profile by experimenting with different teas, though. After plain old black tea, a basic white-pomegranate from Trader Joe's is Hinman's second choice. Never use reactive vessels for brewing kombucha or for storing the SCOBY; glass is best. And, should any mold ever form on the SCOBY or in the kombucha, discard both and start over.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post) Ingredients: • 1 gallon bottled or filtered water • 8 regular-size black-tea bags • 3 cups sugar

Makes 1 gallon

• 1 cup kombucha • 1 kombucha SCOBY (see headnote)

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Directions: Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot. Turn off the heat, add the tea bags and sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let steep for 45 minutes. Remove the tea bags and cool the sweetened tea to room temperature, about 45 minutes to one hour. Thoroughly clean a 1-gallon, wide-mouth glass vessel with hot, soapy water. (You may use 2 half-gallon jars if you’d like, but you’ll need 2 mother SCOBYs if you do so.) Pour the sweetened tea into the jar. Add the kombucha. Use wooden tongs or your clean hands to add the SCOBY, which may float or sink. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter fastened in place with a rubber band. Let the kombucha sit undisturbed on a countertop or atop the refrigerator for at least 7 days in warm weather, 2 to 3 weeks in cool weather; then begin to taste. The kombucha is ready when it tastes pleasantly tart, neither sweet nor sour. (Always re-cover

with the cheesecloth or coffee filter if the kombucha is not ready; you don’t want foreign particles, which can harm the SCOBY, entering the drink.) One way to tell whether the kombucha is on track: A smaller, second SCOBY will form, usually attached by a thin strand or affixed to the mother SCOBY. Remove both SCOBYs, using clean hands or wooden tongs, and reserve them for a future batch in a glass jar containing at least 1 cup of the newly brewed kombucha. Pour the remaining kombucha into 2 half-gallon clean, wide-mouth Ball jars. Cap them and leave them in a cupboard or a shaded spot on the countertop for 2 to 3 days, checking the seal on the jar. When the seal is taut, the kombucha is sufficiently carbonated; it’s ready to refrigerate and drink. Recipe Source: Adapted by Kristen Hinman from various recipes.

About The Author: Kristen Hinman has won two James Beard Awards for food writing. She's currently a politics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. You can read more of her work at

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Traditional Holiday Candy:

The Organic Version


t our house, we don’t eat anything with synthetic food dye. My children know to avoid anything that is brightly colored when we’re at parties and out to eat. They know that the colors come from synthetic chemicals that aren’t really meant to be consumed. I’ve read articles about studies that link synthetic dye to hyperactivity and cancer. I know intuitively that I don’t want my family to eat a petroleum based “food product”. So for the occasional holiday treat, it can be tricky to find something dye-free. We have some really terrific health food stores close by that usually carry these alternatives close to the holidays. To make the search a bit easier for you if you decide to offer up some traditional holiday candy, I found the Natural Candy Store online. A family-owned and operated business Natural food is a family tradition for Dawn, Irene and Molly, and they take pride in the quality of the products they sell. They are two sisters and their mom working hard to provide: • The largest selection of natural and organic candy available anywhere • Only the best-tasting natural and organic candy • Detailed ingredient information for every product • Outstanding customer service

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They carry both natural and certified organic candy that is dye-free. For Christmas you can find full-size candy canes, mini candy canes, and licorice laces in both strawberry and black. Also check out the Peppermint Swirl Candy with real peppermint oil, not artificial flavoring. Happy Holidays! Click HERE to go to the Natural Candy Store.

Why We Grow Organic:

Does’ Leap Farm Kristan Doolan, Doe’s Leap Farm, Bakersfield, VT


hy do I choose to farm organically? Well, for many of the reasons people would expect. Of course, I want healthy food for myself and my family, free of chemical contaminants and genetically modified feed. I also believe the production of our food should give back to the land, not just take from it. I don’t want polluted soil, water, and air to be a part of our farm, so being organic means not only that we carefully manage our land, but that the land that supports our farm through off farm inputs is managed without degradation as well. For me eating and producing organic food is as much about an environmental ethic as it is about the personal health of my family. The more interesting question to ask might be,” Why do we choose to be certified organic?” I must say this is a question that crosses my mind when the thick application lands in my mailbox. (By the way, thank you very much NOFA for starting to fill in the database to have these forms arrive partially filled out with unchanging information.) But we do choose to go through the certification process, which requires a good deal of extra recordkeeping and paperwork. I’m sure certification helps a little with marketing our goat cheese. Just as when I purchase food, our customers are assured that a certified organic product is from a farm managed to a certain standard. In reality though, we do our own deliveries and sell most of our cheese through Farmer’s Markets and CSAs. We interact with most of our customers and they can ask us the questions they want to about our farm. Although it helps, marketing is not why we choose to be certified.

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I have to say, I like being certified organic because it makes me a better farmer. Ideally, I would do the very best that I could for our farm all of the time – but in reality, I am human. I get overworked and overwhelmed and there are times that the organic standards give me the extra push I need. There are many examples of this, but one that stands out is a case of pneumonia in a doeling a few years ago. Of course it always seems that you have so much to do when an animal becomes sick. She was quite ill and it seemed to come on suddenly. It was winter, and the young stock were housed in a large greenhouse with what we thought was adequate ventilation. We quickly determined that her illness had progressed too far and we opted to treat with antibiotics. Under organic standards, this meant that we had to then sell the doe from the herd. This is a blow to any organic livestock produc-

The organic animal health standards really force me to be on the ball, ready to act and change what is needed as soon as a problem occurs. The stakes are too high to do otherwise. I have occasionally heard livestock farmers use animal welfare as a reason why they don’t choose to become organic, citing the inevitability of withholding treatment from an animal in need to maintain certification. This upsets me, because not only is withholding treatment forbidden by the organic standards, I really don’t think it happens. As farmers, we all have to make critical animal health decisions, and as farmers, both conventional and organic, we sometimes make mistakes. I feel that being certified organic really pushes one to analyze those mistakes and make the changes necessary for a healthier, and more humanely raised herd. I do not argue when people say to me that there are times when a goat needs a deworming or antibiotics. On our farm I have found this to be true. But as I have traveled this slow road to “be a better farmer,” I have found fewer of these cases. I am grateful we have chosen to be organic because I feel we have made greater strides along that road than we would have otherwise. er. There is just so much invested in raising a yearling that, at least in the world of goats, can never be reclaimed by the sale of a healthy animal. They are always worth so much more to us. Because we had just lost an animal from our herd, we became acutely aware of the health of the rest of youngstock, and noticed some others were starting a cough. Faced with the prospect of losing more animals, suddenly everything else was put on hold. Despite all the other pressing jobs on our dairy, remedying the youngstock situation became priority number one, including new housing in a better ventilated location and extra vitamin, mineral, and immune system supplementation. After this additional care, no other animals needed to be treated with a prohibited substance. Had we not been certified organic, I think I may have let myself get caught up in our busy-ness and treated our sick doe as an isolated incident. Without addressing the root cause of the problem, we would have had more sick animals that needed treatment.

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Kristan Doolan and George van Vlaanderen have been milking goats and making cheese at Does’ Leap Farm in Bakersfield, VT since 1999. Their goats eat primarily what they can graze and browse for all but the witner months, resulting in milk and cheeses that reflect the changing seasons. Kristan and George also raise organic beef, pork, and chicken.

31st annual Winter ConferenCe

High Mowing Organic Seeds

NOFA Vermont's

Generations of


February 16 &17, 2013 • University of Vermont, Burlington

Mimi Arnstein, Wellspring Farm

65+ workshops, TED-inspired talks, roundtables, & networking for commercial growers, gardeners, homesteaders, and organic consumers. Great food, seed swap, collective art project, dancing, & celebration! Learn more, register, & meet our exhibitors and sponsors at

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Your Local, Organic Food Resource Local Harvest is a searchable national database with an online store. Not everything is organic. Find the farms and stores in your area and read the descriptions to find out who is organic.

ural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles. This is a great place to find your holiday turkey, lamb and ham!

Organic Consumers Association offers a comprehensive database of organic foods in the United States and Canada along with listings of other “green” businesses.

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network provides consumers with a page full of local food directories. Organic Store Locator is another searchable national database. You can click on each state to get a menu of towns and cities included. Click on the town and organic stores and markets appear. Look closely as there may be some “natural” listings too. Natural and organic do not mean the same thing.

Alaska: does not have a state certification program or a state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Alaska” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in AK.

Farmer’s Pal is a searchable database for the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the UK. Select your region and look for farms, markets, stores, lifestyle resources, organizations, and more.

Arizona: does not have a state certification program or a state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Arizona” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in AZ.

Eat Well Guide, Sustainable Food Directory that is searchable by zip code, key word, or city and state. Results appear in categories such as Farms, Stores, Creameries, Farmers’ Markets, etc. Not everything listed is organic. Look at the individual listings to get details.

Arkansas: does not have a state certification program nor does it have a state organic association. A list of certified organic producers can be found on the USDA website. Enter “Arkansas” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers. There are also downloadable local guides here from over 30 cities in the United States and Canada. Eat Wild is your online source for safe, healthy, nat-

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Food California Certified Organic Farmers Directory provides searchable access to its database of over 2,000 members offering organic products and services:

Colorado Certified Organic Operations: This list, compiled by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is a directory of the operations within the state that have received an organic certification. DocName=STELPRDC5068047 Connecticut Organic Farm Guide includes farms, farmers’ markets and community farms: Delaware does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Delaware” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in DE. Florida Organic Growers is working on a database to help consumers find Organic Food with maps, a forum and other great resources. Stay tuned! However, in the meantime, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Florida” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in Florida. Georgia Organics - Search by location, category or product. aspx Indiana Local Food Guide You have to sift through the listings to find which offerings are organic. You might be better off searching one of the national databases. Iowa- The Iowa State Department of Agriculture provides an organic producer directory on their website. This is a searchable directory and can also be accessed as a PDF. ity=&County=&CFID=168690&CFTOKEN= 38297964&jsessionid=16306341ff04a57f2 4e15161721171685297 For those looking to buy fresh, local foods in Farmers’ Markets cfm?fuseaction=main.formFarmersMarketDirectory

Hawaii Organic Farmers Association: Their database is searchable from the home page by Island, Category, and product, business name, or keyword.

and Farmers’ Stands-

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Idaho Preferred Organic Products offers a list of organic producers and the products they offer: 936059&A=SearchResult&SearchID=2942259&Obj ectID=4936059&ObjectType=1 IllinoisMidwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides

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a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Food cfm?fuseaction=main.dspFarmStandDirector

Kansas -Currently, Kansas does not have a state certification program nor does it have a state organic association. However, the USDA does provide a list of certified organic producers. Enter “Kansas” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in the state. Although the state lacks a certification program and an organic association, there are other small organizations such as the Kansas City CSA Coalition, which provides a list and map of CSAs in and around the Kansas City are. Kentucky does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Kentucky” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in KY. Louisiana Although there is no state certification program or state organic association, the USDA does provide a list of organic providers. Enter “Louisiana” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in Louisiana. Maine Food Guide lists certified organic food sources, CSAs, farmers’ markets, and local food sources. Remember that local doesn’t mean organic and may or may not be sustainable. Ask questions of your farmers about pesticide and herbicide use, soil building practices, water quality measures, and seed sources (GMO or not?). Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association- Click on “Markets” or “CSAs” to find Maryland organic food. Massachusetts Organic Food Guide: Michigan-

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Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s “Minnesota”- This site contains a directory that allows consumers, farmers, and businesses to search for organic products or services. In addition, there is information on local news and event A PDF file of the directory is also available food/organicgrowing/organicdirectory.ashx Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. html Mississippi: does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Mississippi” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in MS. Missouri -Missouri does not have a state certification program nor does it have a state organic association. However, the USDA does provide a list of certified organic producers. Enter “Missouri” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in the state. The Missouri Department of Agriculture does provide a resource for Missouri farmers that

would like to transition from conventional to organic Available_to_Missouri_Farmers_Seeking_Organic_Certification Montana- Montana Organic Association Directory provides a list of it’s members, who offer a wide variety of organic products and services: Nebraska-Nebraska Department of Agriculture- The Nebraska Department of Agriculture offers a PDF file of a complete directory as well as and online directory of organic producers and handlers. organic_directory/organic.html Additionally, more information can be found on the home page including links to sites such as, “ Nebraska Our Best to You”. This site provides maps and guides for Farmers’ markets, produce recipes, and more educational materials. Nevada Certified Producers and Handlers: Department of Agriculture list of all in-state organic certified producers and handlers by certificate with information on the products and services offered. New Hampshire Organic Food Map: http:// New Jersey Organic Food Database: There seems to be a gap in their guides with 2012 missing. It does look like they’re working on their 2013 guide however so it’s worth keeping on the resource list. Chances are most of the farms listed in 2011 will still be in operation. Just look out for new food sources in the 2013 guide.

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program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “New Mexico” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in NM. New York Organic Food Guide is a comprehensive downloadable guide with an indices in the back to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. press-proof_web-rez_062612?mode=window&vie wMode=doublePage North Carolina - Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (for North and South Carolina) - Enter your zip code in the “Local Food Finder” field at the bottom of the home page. North Dakota- North Dakota Organic Farming Advisory Board- This site provides a link to a searchable directory for consumers, retailers, and producers alike. In addition, it provides other resources including a link to the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association. This will aid in finding potential CSAs, organic farms, and organic products available in your area. html North Dakota Organic Farmers Association- This organization’s site information including a map of farmer’s markets as well as newsletters.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

New Mexico: does not have a state certification


Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association: Good Earth Guide - Scroll to the middle of the page and look at “Additional Searches”. Click on drop down menu and select “Certified”. This will give you a list of all of the Certified Organic Farms in Ohio. Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture provides resources and information for current and future organic farmers. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture also includes a PDF directory of Oklahoma’s organic producers and processors. For consumers looking for fresh and locally sourced food, OK Grown provides a list of Oklahoma Farmers’ Markets. Tilth Certified Organic Operators is a database searchable by individual farms, locations, and specific products or services: Pennsylvania Certified Organic Farm Finder is database of hundreds of Pennsylvania Certified Organic members in nine states with the heaviest concentration in PA. It is searchable by city, county, state, products, and farm or business: Rhode Island Farm Fresh Guide - Click here to go directly to the organic farm listings. h t t p : / / w w w. f a r m f r e s h . o r g / f o o d / s e a r c h . php?zip=02909&q=organic South Carolina - Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (for North and South Carolina) - Enter your zip code in the “Local Food Finder” field at the bottom of the home page.

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it will navigate you to a list of businesses and farms that provide organic products such as food, plants, and feed. Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Tennessee does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Tennessee” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in TN. Texas does have a state organic association (Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association). The site is lacking, but it does have a list of organic businesses that happen to be members of TOFGA. A comprehensive list and directory of organic producers is available from the USDA website. Enter “Texas” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers. Utah Department of Agriculture Organic Program posts a comprehensive list of current licensees. It is searchable by license group and title. Click on the “Type” number to access the specific directory listing the type of organic grower, producer, or service provider that you desire:

Vermont Guide and Resource List: http://nofavt. org/find-organic-food/find-useful-links

South Dakota-South Dakota Flavor- Provides a directory of various companies and farms associated with food. If you search “organic” in the directory,

Virginia Association for Biological Farming The directories will help you find farmers markets, farms and other sources of local food.

Food Washington Tilth Organic Directory The directory offers a searchable database of growers, producers, and respources: West Virginia does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “West Virginia” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in WV. Wisconsin Organic Consumer Guide lists resources but also explains what it means to be organic and why it’s important. ad_47.pdf Midwest Organic and Sustainable Edu-

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cation Service- This extensive site provides a directory identifying resource groups, certification agencies, organic product suppliers, cooperatives, processors, consultants, publications and events for Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Wyoming: does not have a state certification program or an state organic association. However, the USDA provides a thorough list of certified organic producers. Enter “Wyoming” in the state search box to access the list of organic providers in WY. Canada - Canadian Organic Growers Directory: United Kingdom Organic Portal Directory: the menu on the left offers a directory of organic growers and producers by county.

Recycled Sweater Fun 100+ Ways to reuse your old sweaters


The (probably-somewhat-boring) Backstory: y Friends, I have been posessed.

Over the last week, I have been bitten by that nagging-can’t-stopmyself-until-it’s-finished-doesn’t matter-how-many-other-thingsare-going-undone madly organizing, cleaning out every nook and cranny bug. Some of you may think this is a good thing - but truly, it’s overtaken my life. The things that have pressing importance NOW, have been woefully waylaid. Stupid OCD. However, I will continue to indulge this urge for a few more days since I find it invigorating - besides, removing this invisble weight from my shoulders should help me to do the things that actually HAVE to get

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done. Bills need paid, I need food..blah, blah... the universe doesn’t really care that my drawers were out of order; it cares more if I am making a living. Tangent aside -- yesterday I tackled my closet. Amidst the pile of giveaways were some gorgeous old sweaters that I just couldn’t bear to part with. I found myself online, looking for inspiration to hit wanting that ‘perfect’ way to honor them. I found a treasure trove of ideas and thought I’d take the time to share a few with you - won’t you share some ideas too in the handy lil comments section? See the sweater I am wearing? It will now be recycled. Enough of my babbling -- on with the results of my recycled sweater projects hunt:

Books that are now on my wishlist: • Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects

• Felted Wool Sweater Blanket

• Sweater Surgery: How to Make New Things with Old Sweaters

• Vickie Howell’s Recycled-Sweater Picnic Blanket - Video

• Second-Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater

• Wool Area Rugs Made from Recycled Sweaters

• The Sweater Chop Shop: Sewing One-of-akind Creations from Recycled Sweaters • Sweater Renewal: Felting Knits into New Sweaters and Accessories • Felted Wool Fashions: Making New Styles from Old Knits • Refashioned Bags: Upcycle Anything into High-Style Handbags Turning Sweaters into Functional Home Decor: • Recycle Sweaters: Make a Throw or Pillow ( I LOVE the throw)

• Recycle a Sweater into a Chair Cover • How to Make an Embellished Blanket with Recycled Sweaters • Beverage Sleeves & Coasters • 15 Minute Sweater Pillow • Lights, vases + more! • Chair Covers • Recycled Sweater Ornaments • Winter Sweater Wreath Fashionable Ways to Re-Use those sweaters: • Recycled Sweater Coin Purse

• Make a sweater pillow

• Winter Garden Shibori Scarf

• How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows

• Ridiculously Easy Felted Sweater Mittens

• Recycled Sweater Basket

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• Recycled Sweater Wreath


• 30 minutes to a recycled sweater bag • Recycled Sweater Overnight Bag

• Recycled Sweater Box Bag

• Recycled Sweater Book Eating Bookworm

• Neckwarmer

• Cashmere Bunny Tutorial

• How to Make Snuggly Slippers from Old Sweaters

• Cutie Pies

• Quick, Easy & Super Cool Bracelets • Awesome Scarves created from your old sweaters! • Cute & Warm Winter Caps! • Remake Old Sweaters into Springy Cardigans! • Turn a second hand wool sweater into a cute little jumper! • Katie Kendrick recycled a sweater into a gorgeous hat! • How-To: Recycled Sweater Wool Jewelry • Thrift Store Recycled Sweater Tutorial • Recycled Sweater Vest Bag • Turn them into Long Johns! • Upcycled Sweater Boots • Another Hat project For our Furbabies: • How to Make a Cat Bed from an Old Sweater • How to Make a Recycled Dog Sweater • How to Make Sweater Dog Toys • How to Make a Pet Bed from Recycled Sweaters Cute Ideas Overload:

• Felted Sweater Kitties • Plush Doll or Valentine Because One Never Has Enough Supplies: • Recycled Yarn Eye-Candy & Inspiration Abundance • Made From Recycled Sweaters Group on Flickr • Homemade Originals Recycled Sweater Crafts • More on Flickr • recycled sweater things to admire • Inspiration Galore here • Re-Sweater Blog I will dutifully keep you posted as I decide the fate of my old sweaters. There is something kind of magical about recycling these, keeping the memories contained in their forms alive - watching them metamorphosis. i dunno. It’s a good way to look at life i think too - to take what we once were, and somehow make it all anew. Beautiful. Just Beautiful. Chrysti - who is longing to hear all your ideas, see your links & pics of recycled sweater ideas... won’t you leave a comment ? Thanks! P.S. - I keep updating this as I come across cool projects - know of one? Share! and I will add it asap.

About The Author: Christy Hydeck, aka Chrysti, is the co-author of ‘Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs.’ She has also had many articles published in various magazines, books and websites, taught mixed media classes, is both an artist and photographer, dabbled in cooking, and even sings in the shower! Chrysti, along with a few other talented souls, was listed as one of the world's best iPhoneographers by Wired. it magazine online and has amassed one of the largest non-celebrity followings on Instagram. She loves to connect with people and inspire creativity no matter what she's into at the moment. She firmly believes that each of us has a creative offering longing to be set free in the world.

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Recycled Sweater Mittens Video and Pattern

Video Placeholder Internet Connection Required

Recycled Sweater Mitten Instructions Shrink wool sweater (needs to be at least 60% wool) in washing machine using hot/cold cycle then dry on high heat.

• Sew along thumb from notch to notch • Pin piece 3 to sewn pieces 1 and 2.

Wool Mittens • With right sides of fabric together, cut out 2 of each pattern piece from wool. • With right sides together match thumbs from piece 1 and 2. • Sew along thumb from notch to notch. • Flip sewn piece right side out • With right sides together, pin piece 3 to sewn pieces 1 and 2.

• Sew edges together leaving the bottom unsewn. - Turn lining right side out and pin sweater cuff to bottom of fleece mitten (get cuff from shrunken sweater, should be about 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches long) with right sides together and rough edges together. - Sew completely around cuff. - Trim off excess material

• Sew edges together leaving the bottom unsewn.

- Turn fleece inside out

• Trim excess wool around edges as close to seam as possible.

- Turn cuff up and over the outer mitten.

• Turn mitten right side out. Fleece Lining

- Put lining inside the mitten

- Sew on a button to the top of each mitten to secure cuff. Click here for the mitten pattern.

• Cut out 2 of each pattern piece from fleece.

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• With right sides together match thumbs from piece 1 and 2.


Red Wine Stains Easy Way to Remove


here you are with your best linen tablecloth (a family heirloom) on the dining room for an elegant holiday dinner, and someone spills red wine. As you see the wine spread out through the fiber threads, your heart sinks‌ . Fortunately, here is a tried and true, if bizarre, way to remove the stain. Once you have cleared the table (after the meal is over is fine as long as you keep the stain damp by spritzing with water) put a kettle of water on the stove and bring a stool or chair that can handle your weight, and the tablecloth to the kitchen sink. Place a big bowl, one that is at least 10� wide, or a soup pot, in the kitchen sink. Gather together the section of the linen with the wine stain and stretch it taught over the top of the bowl or pot. Once the kettle of water is boiling stand on a chair and pour the water from a height of at least three feet down onto the linen that is stretched over the bowl. Once that step is accomplished, further rinse the linen under cool water, then launder as usual. If the red wine stain is dry, soak the red wine stain in white wine (!), or sprinkle baking soda on the stain, spritz with water, and set for a few hours before scraping off the baking soda and laundering as usual.

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The Top (Green) White Sink Solution Most of us have found getting whites white one of the bigger challenges of green housekeeping. Fortunately, with using the natural mineral sodium percarbonate, your woes will be over. It is composed of salt, limestone and oxygenated water. You can get your sink and tub as white as anybody using out-offavor chlorine bleach. Ok, you might say, but where do I get that? Happily, the Ecover brand‘s Laundry Bleach is nothing but 100% percarbonate (and this plain and simple ingredient is what I recommend), and it is easily available in natural food stores. Another brand that offers a percarbonate product is Oxy-Boost Destainer & Deodorizing Oxygen Bleach.

About The Author: The best-selling author of five green living books and (literally) thousands of other articles, and a Huffington Post blogger, I’ve been called “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine. Others call me the “godmother of green.” I bring over 20 years of experience as a writer and editor about the connections between the environment, personal health and well-being. With an expert eye for hidden pollutants (honed by my own experience with chemical poisoning), I work to offer us a healthy and timeless way of life that is in harmony with the earth. I am the founder and CEO of, a site for connecting the spheres of consciousness, community and global transformation. I also edit, a site that reflects my more personal world of green and spiritual living——a site that I started with my daughter, Lily. Since the summer of 2010 I’ve co-authored a blog called Spiritual Solutions with Deepak Chopra. Currently I am editorin-chief of My first book, Clean and Green (1990-) was a bestseller, reflecting the needs of a world hungry for healthy, non-toxic alternatives to everyday products. Since then, I have written The Green Kitchen Handbook (1996), Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), and Home Enlightenment (Rodale 2005), a comprehensive guide to establishing a naturally, healthy sanctuary within your home. My latest book is True Food (National Geographic, 2010) and will be out on January 1st, 2010. I field over 100 media requests a year and am a frequent speaker at national and regional conferences; many of the events are keynotes. From 1999- 2008 I was the executive editor of the Healthy & Green Living part of Care2. com, one of the largest online sites in the green space. Prior to that I was the founding editor of two green magazines – one of which was bought by National Geographic.

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Sustainable Clothing Shopping Guide Wondering what to wear this holiday season? How do you stay green and still look fabulous? Hannah scouted out a few amazing green clothing companies for you to visit to outfit the entire family! Indigenous

Together, Scotty and Matt have helped form a scalable artisan network through the Indigenous clothing line that reflects a commitment to sustainability and socially responsible actions. This global collaboration weaves together the employees of Indigenous, the artisans from around the world, and most importantly you, our customers. The Ultimate Green Store You’ll find many green items here from shampoo to baby clothing to solar chargers to pet toys. What I loved were the organic baby and kid clothing categories - Cute with a conscience! Natural Clothing Company This online store features eco-friendly clothing - organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or soy. These fibers offer you timeless beauty and respect for your skin

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- their clothing has no harmful chemicals. Clothing here for men, women and children and other ecofriendly products. Natural Clothing Company also has a retail store in Snohomish, Washington. store/2803180/home Featured right here in Organic Life! Shop online for some Fun Organic Shirts with meaningful embroidered messages. Choose from “Whoever Smiles Wins”, “Eat Fresh” and “Powered by Kale” in mens, womens, and childrens sizes, short sleeve and longsleeve. Featured in our last issue of Organic Life Magazine, Ohganix™ is a line of organic intimate apparel for women and men. These undergarments are luxuriously soft, kind to your skin and kind to the environment. Simply beautiful and elegant, Ohganix™ offers you a fun way to invest in your health.

Sustainable Heating Technologies Explained brings additional environmental and social benefits. Correctly managed, biomass is a sustainable fuel that can deliver a significant reduction in net carbon emissions when compared with fossil fuels. The problem with burning fossil fuels Burning any carbon based fuel converts carbon to carbon dioxide. Unless it is captured and stored, this carbon dioxide is usually released to the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon that was removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago by animal and plant life. This leads to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What is the Greenhouse Effect? Carbon dioxide is one of a number of gases that transmit visible light to the Earth from the Sun, but absorb the infra-red radiation emitted by the warm surface of the Earth, preventing its loss into space. This keeps the Earth around 33ÂşC warmer than it would otherwise be, and is known as the Greenhouse Effect as it is the same effect achieved by the sheets of glass in a greenhouse.


Greenhouse gasses

Biomass energy is energy from plants and plant-derived materials—and has been in use since people began burning wood to cook food and keep warm. Biomass sources include food crops, grassy and woody plants, residues from agriculture or forestry, organic components of municipal and industrial wastes and animal waste such as cow manure and chicken litter. Fundamentally, biomass is stored solar energy that man can convert to electricity or fuel. Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel that is already widely, and often economically available throughout the UK. Its production and use also

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Gases that have the above property are known as Greenhouse Gases (GHG), and include: Carbon dioxide (CO2) Methane (CH4) Nitrous oxide (N2O) Water vapour (H2O). Global Warming The increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution, and the resulting widespread use of fossil fuels, gives rise to an increase in the greenhouse effect, and an increase in the average global temperature, known as Global Warming. This is predicted to lead to widespread, unpredictable changes to the global climate.

Why biomass is not carbon neutral It is not, however, strictly true to say that biomass is ‘carbon neutral’. No fuel or energy source is. It is a low carbon fuel, but carbon is emitted, usually as a result of energy use, as a result of planting, harvesting, processing, transport and often fertilizer and pesticide production and administration. Benefits of using biomass as a sustainable fuel

Using biomass to achieve a carbon balance The combustion (direct or indirect) of biomass as a fuel also returns CO2 to the atmosphere. However this carbon is part of the current carbon cycle: it was absorbed during the growth of the plant over the previous few months or years and, provided the land continues to support growing plant material, a sustainable balance is maintained between carbon emitted and absorbed. (a) As trees in the energy plantation grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (b) During photosynthesis the trees store carbon in their woody tissue and oxygen is released back to the atmosphere. (c) At harvest, woodfuel is transported from the plantation to the heat or power generating plant. (d) As the wood is burned at the heat or power generating plant the carbon stored in the woody tissue combines with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, this is emitted back to the atmosphere in the exhaust gases. The amount of additional biomass that grows over the course of a year in a given area is known as the annual increment. Provided the amount consumed is less than the annual increment its use can be sustainable and biomass can be considered a low carbon fuel and biomass CO2 absorption and emission is in balance. For forestry in the UK, the annual timber increment is of the order of 20 million tonnes. On top of this is the increment of all the agricultural crops and other vegetation.

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Correctly managed, biomass is a sustainable fuel that can both offer a significant reduction in net carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels and also many ancillary benefits: Biomass can be sourced locally, from within the UK, on an indefinite basis, contributing to security of supply. UK sourced biomass can offer local business opportunities and support the rural economy. The establishment of local networks of production and usage, allows financial and environmental costs of transport to be minimized. There is no region in the UK that cannot be a producer of biomass, although some have greater productivities than others. Woodlands, forestry and agriculture are generally perceived to be an environmentally and socially attractive amenity by the UK population, providing opportunities for recreation and leisure activities. Many biomass fuels generate lower levels of such atmospheric pollutants as sulphur dioxide which contributes to ‘acid rain’. Modern biomass combustion systems are highly sophisticated, offering combustion efficiency and emission levels comparable with the best fossil fuel boilers. Biomass residues, arisings, co-products and waste not used for energy or some other application may be consigned to landfill. This imposes costs for disposal, additional burden on limited landfill resources, and also contributes to global warming by the creation of landfill gas, including a high proportion of methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Some text and images reproduced from © Crown copyright.

Heat pumps As with most technologies in everyday use, the basic principles of how a heat pump works are fairly simple but – in the case of heat pumps – can require a vast amount of words to explain! The following information is therefore intended to provide basic details rather than go into too much technical detail. Our environment contains heat – even on freezing cold days. The purpose of a heat pump is to transfer heat from one place where it is plentiful (but of little use) to another location where it can be used for space or water heating. Useful heat can be found in the air outdoors, in the ground, and is present in water, rivers, lakes and the sea. Even on the coldest winter days, sufficient heat is present to warm our homes and offices – what’s more, it’s free. All we have to pay for is the technology to recover it and the cost of the energy to power that technology. At the heart of a heat pump is a refrigeration system. Paradoxically, the refrigeration cycle is an efficient provider of heat as well as cooling, and the basics of its operation are fairly straightforward. The mechanical refrigeration cycle consists of an arrangement of heat exchangers; one that absorbs heat, the other that rejects it. The absorbed heat is transported through a sealed system of pipes by a fluid (the refrigerant) which is circulated by a compressor. The refrigerant is a fluid that has a low boiling point. The ability of the refrigerant fluid to boil from a liquid to a vapour and then to condense back into a liquid is used in order to absorb and release the heat into and from the refrigerant. This is a continual process while the compressor is running and circulating the refrigerant. High pressure liquid refrigerant is fed through the evaporator heat exchanger where it evaporates into a vapour by absorption of heat from the heat source (air, water, ground, other) passing through the heat exchanger. The relatively cool return vapour is drawn back to

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the compressor. The cooled return vapour from the evaporator is passed over the compressor motor windings within the heat pump, thus cooling the windings of the motor. Much of the energy absorbed by the electric motor driving the compressor is absorbed into the refrigerant. The combined heat from the source, plus much of the waste energy from the electric motor is then compressed to a high temperature vapour and enters the condenser heat exchanger where it is cooled and condensed into a high pressure liquid ready to begin the cycle again. The heat released during the process of condensing the refrigerant to a liquid is rejected via the heat exchanger directly into air or transferred to water to heat the building. The air or water temperature at this point could be anywhere between 43oC to 60oC, depending on the design of the system. This air or water is then distributed throughout the property in order to provide space heating. It is the fact that heat pumps can only produce a maximum temperature of around 60oC that is their biggest limitation. In order to use water at 60oC to heat a property requires a huge surface area to

transfer the heat – which means massive radiators. This problem is commonly overcome by using heat pumps in conjunction with underfloor heating, but in poorly insulated properties it can still be difficult to achieve a comfortable temperature on a cold day – it is a race to generate and distribute heat around the property faster than it is lost through walls, windows, etc. Heat pumps work well in well insulated, modern properties with low heat losses, and whilst there is a common perception that you need acres of land to run extensive ground loops, this isn’t necessarily the case. Air to air heat pumps can however provide an excellent source of supplementary heating in an older property – reducing dependence on fossil fuels and heating costs by working alongside existing heating systems. If you feel that a heat pump is right for you, please contact us to discuss your needs and we will advise you on the most appropriate system to meet your needs.

Solar thermal Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to supplement your conventional water heating system. The technology is well developed and there is a large choice of equipment to suit many different applications. How does it work? For domestic hot water there are three main components: Solar panels or collectors are fitted to your roof. They collect heat from the sun’s radiation. There are 2 main types of collector: Flat plate systems - which are comprised of an absorber plate with a transparent cover to collect the sun’s heat, or Evacuated tube systems - which are comprised of a row of glass tubes that each contain an absorber plate feeding into a manifold which transports the heated fluid.

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A heat transfer system - transfers the collected heat to provide you with hot water; Hot water cylinder - stores the hot water that is heated during the day and supplies it for use later. The benefits Solar water heating can provide you with up to a third of your hot water needs. The average domestic system reduces C0 2 by around 325kg per year. Is it suitable for my home? Solar water heating can be used in the home but it is important to understand that, whilst during some periods of the year it may be able to provide all the hot water you need, it is unlikely to provide more than around a third of the hot water you will use during the course of a year. For a domestic system

you will need 3-4 square metres of southeast to southwest facing roof receiving direct sunlight for the main part of the day. You may also need space to locate an additional water cylinder if you don’t want to replace your existing cylinder, or don’t currently have one. Some text reproduced from © Crown copyright.

Combined heat and power What is CHP? Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of usable heat and power (usually electricity) in a single process. CHP is a highly efficient way to use both fossil and renewable fuels and can therefore make a significant contribution to the UK’s sustainable energy goals, bringing environmental, economic and social benefits. CHP systems can be employed over a wide range of sizes, applications, fuels and technologies. In its simplest form, it employs a gas turbine, an engine or a steam turbine to drive an alternator, and the resulting electricity can be used either wholly or partially on-site. The heat produced during power generation is recovered, usually in a heat recovery boiler and can be used to raise steam for a number of industrial processes or to provide hot water for space heating. Because CHP systems make extensive use of the heat produced during the electricity generation process, they can achieve overall efficiencies in excess of 70% at the point of use. In contrast, the efficiency of conventional coal-fired and gas-fired power stations, which discard this heat (via the iconic cooling towers we associate with such installations), is typically around 38% and 48% respectively at the power station. Efficiency at the point of use is lower still because of the losses that occur during transmission and distribution. In contrast, CHP is a form of a decentralised energy technology. CHP systems are typically installed onsite, supplying customers with heat and power directly at the point of use, therefore helping avoid the significant losses which occur in transmitting

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electricity from large centralised plant to customers. What are the benefits of CHP? CHP delivers a range of economic, environmental and social benefits - some of these accrue to its users, some to the operators of the electricity grid and yet others to the wider community: CHP’s high efficiency leads to a reduction in the use of primary energy. Precious fuels are used much more efficiently, so less is used. And less fuel used means significantly lower energy costs to the end user. Savings vary, but can be between 15% and 40% compared to imported electricity and on-site boilers. Less fuel burnt also means reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) and other products of combustion. Indeed CHP could provide the largest single contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Host organisations that wish to reduce their environmental footprint benefit - as well as the environment. CHP systems can be designed to continue to operate and serve essential loads during an interruption to mains power supplies, increasing security of energy supplies. CHP can also supply higher-quality power than that from the grid - this can be important for computer data centres etc. Where can CHP be used? CHP is a family of energy conversion processes, rather than a single technology, so it can be used to

provide energy to anything from a single home to a large industrial plant, or even a whole city. Unlike conventional power plants, CHP units are sited close to where their energy output is to be used. The main design criterion is that, to make the investment worthwhile, there must be a need for both the heat/cooling and electricity produced by the CHP unit. In the home, a MicroCHP unit resembling a gas-fired boiler will provide both heat for space and water heating, as does a boiler, but also electricity to power domestic lights and appliances. MicroCHP units are a very new technology only recently appearing in the UK market, but the potential for them is as large as the number of homes in the country. For commercial buildings and small industrial spaces, a factory-assembled, ‘packaged’ CHP system is appropriate. Here, an electricity generator, heat exchanger, controls and either an engine or a turbine is packaged together into a CHP unit that can be connected to the heating and electricity systems of the building. Some building types, particularly those that need a lot of energy, or operate around the clock, are particularly suitable for CHP - leisure centres, hotels, hospitals and many others. CHP systems can, with the addition of a chiller, supply cooling for air conditioning systems as well as heating - such an arrangement is often called a ‘trigeneration’ system. Homes and buildings fitted with CHP are usually also connected to the mains electricity grid, and may also retain back-up boilers, so that they are never short of an energy supply, during maintenance of the CHP plant, for example, or during periods of unusually-high energy loads. Industrial CHP plants tend to be designed and built individually to fit the industrial process they serve. These CHP plants are based on gas turbines, steam turbines or engines, together with electricity generators and control systems. The very largest CHP plants rival traditional power-only plants in size and deliver huge quantities of energy - but at a much higher efficiency Some industrial processes are particularly well-suited to CHP, those that use lots of heat and operate around the clock - the manufac-

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ture of paper, chemicals, food and drink products, as well as refineries, are among those that can benefit most from CHP. Community heating systems serve whole towns, areas of cities or, in a few cases, whole cities. Here, one or more CHP plants supply heating to a grid of insulated hot water pipes that carry heat to a range of buildings, including public and private sector flats. As well as CHP plants, boilers and other sources of heat may feed heat into the grid. Buildings that take heat from the community heating system do not need their own boilers. Meanwhile, the electricity generated is used to help run the community heating plant, and within the customer buildings, or is exported to the electricity grid. Biomass & CHP Our main interest is in the use of Biomass to power CHP schemes. The newest method for energy generation is known as gasification. This method captures 65-70% of the energy present in solid fuels by first converting it into combustible gases. These gases are then burned, just as we currently burn natural gas to create energy. When biomass is heated with no oxygen or only about one-third the oxygen needed for efficient combustion (amount of oxygen and other conditions determine if biomass gasifies or pyrolyzes), it gasifies to a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen – synthesis gas or syngas. Combustion is a function of the mixture of oxygen with the hydrocarbon fuel. Gaseous fuels mix with oxygen more easily than liquid fuels, which in turn mix more easily than solid fuels. Syngas therefore inherently burns more efficiently and cleanly than the solid biomass from which it was made. Biomass gasification can thus improve the efficiency of large-scale biomass power facilities such as those for forest industry residues and specialized facilities such as black liquor recovery boilers of the pulp and paper industry – both major sources of biomass power. Like natural gas, syngas can also be burned in gas turbines, a more efficient electrical generation technology than steam boilers to which solid biomass and fossil fuels are limited. Most electrical generation systems are relatively inefficient, losing half to two-thirds of the energy

as waste heat. If that heat can be used for an industrial process, space heating, or another purpose, efficiency can be greatly increased. Small modular bio-power systems are more easily used for such “cogeneration” than most large-scale electrical generation.

five main types of energy - steam, hot water, hot air, cooling and refrigeration and electricity. Depending on your unique needs and applications, we can fulfil one or a combination of applications for our clients. The most efficient installations utilise multiple technologies.

This technology uses Vertical Integrated Gasification Combustion (VIGC) units. These units use carefully designed internal chambers and thermal reflectivity. Ensuring balanced air/fuel throughput, complete combustion is achieved making it a very clean process.

What fuels can be used in a Biomass CHP plant?

Power output is achieved between 25kW to 1MW per single module (up to 5 modules are available) through one of three electricity generating technologies.

Industrial/Commercial Waste

Single or multi stage steam turbine


Steam piston engine

Organic Rankine cycle (ORC)

Our solutions utilise the power of biomass to create

Agricultural Residues Wood Waste Animal & Municipal Waste What waste cannot be used? Some plastics, metals and glass

About us The story of Sustainable Heating Solutions UK Ltd parallels that of the biomass industry in the UK. Based at Lee Moor Farm near Alnwick in Northumberland, the journey for our founder was from farmer to environment-minded land manager to diversified business owner. In 1987 Lee Moor diversified into the provision of business units in redundant farm buildings, at which point woodland planting was already underway. With ever increasing heating bills for the business units and residential properties on the farm, it was decided to measure the energy used and from this a decision was made to install a wood fuelled boiler. In 2000 a 1st generation 80KW boiler was installed, along with the first district heating system in a rural environment. Then in 2006 a new 150KW automatic woodchip boiler was installed. Toasty Heating Ltd was established as an ESCo to manage the boiler and district heating system and to offer consultancy services to others interested in the potential of woodfuels. In 2008 a decision was made to expand the activities of the company, and rebrand it to reflect its new mission. Sustainable Heating Solutions UK Ltd was formed in order to provide a more cohesive product and service offering to our clients – offering everything from feasibility studies to full turnkey installations of biomass boilers and associated distribution systems. We are also able to offer advice on a range of other renewables, and are happy to design systems which allow a number of renewables to be operated side by side – maximizing the potential to reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills. The UK is returning to wood as a fuel again more slowly than some other European countries and as a result has been slow to get the appropriate infrastructure in place. Our aim is to provide the very best advice to po-

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tential customers to ensure that they are able to take full advantage of the lessons we have learned from our own experience of this dynamic market – and to ensure that they are fully aware of any financial assistance that may be available to ease the costs of transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Sustainable Heating Solutions UK Ltd and our sister company Northumbrian Woodfuels will provide a bespoke service to clients in the north east and beyond. We aim to: • explain the pros and cons of the many wood stoves/ boilers/CHP systems available • design, specify and install a range of renewable heating systems, in combination with existing and/or complimentary plant where necessary • provide consultancy services to individuals, communities and companies – on subjects such as initial feasibility studies, establishing energy supply companies and smart metering • provide advice on energy crops and the management of woodland so you can grow your own heat • provide initial advice on a range of other renewable technologies – such as wind, geothermal, solar, and anaerobic digestion • provide fuel, service your equipment and provide up to a 10 year warranty on new boilers For more information please contact P & H Energy Ltd at

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How to Find Winter Farmers’ Markets USDA dynamic searchable database of farmers’ markets.

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Organic Life Magazine Issue 2  

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