Writing the Almanac is such a pleasure for me because I get to share all the resources and information about how we can all make healthy decisions for ourselves, our families and which ultimately benefits the planet at large. Thank you for being a loyal reader for the past 6 1/2 years or welcome if you are a new subscriber!
First for my big news: LOLA Lots of Love Always is officially released! Finally, after teasing you with updates for the past year, it’s now available on my website.
LOLA is a valuable reference book aimed at young women and yet, it’s also a good read for everyone, on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. We are all bombarded with so much confusing information about everything! The great news is that this is an exciting time for all of us because there are great options when it comes to choosing health alternatives to conventional-chemical filed products that are bad for us, and the planet. By helping each other embrace options that meet our needs and promote sustainable lifestyles, we are ensuring the ability of future generations to do the same.
This past spring, I spent some memorable times at incredible places from the stunning Flock Show at Lotusland, to the Ojai Raptor Center where I observed the important work they are doing to rehabilitate raptors so necessary to nature’s balance, and to a local Flea Market for some eco-friendly shopping. Earth Day April 22nd is always a special day in my home, as it’s celebrated every day! This year, I also posted a list of organizations that are worth supporting for the amazing work they do to better the planet.
Mark your calendars that June 21st is Father’s Day! (in the USA) It’s also the first day of summer!
Great news! California is giving solar panels to those in need.
Did you know… that the CalEarth EarthBag buildings in Nepal, withstood the earthquake? If would like to learn how to build a super adobe home, the CalEarth Institute is offering classes over the summer.
Chatting with Sacred Lifestyle magazine about what inspires me was wonderful, as was talking with Green Divas Meg on her radio show, sharing my eco tips with Architectural Digest and then LOLA got lots of love from C Magazine’s May issue. Read and listen on my press page.
It’s so upsetting to hear how much waste the garment industry creates, and so much of it ends up in landfills around the world. Designers such as Lisa Bittan of YA Living is making a difference by collecting the ‘waste fabric,’ and turning it into a line of home products.
In case you missed these news briefs: Patagonia has launched a mobile clothing repair unit. Yes, you can bring your torn and holey garments for mending, and the new Boston Public Market is taking an inspiring stand by only selling seasonal and locally grown produce.
Wonderful news from France where large supermarkets are being forced to give away unsold food to charity.
Good news out of California which is banning the ecosystem contaminating microbeads as of 2020. Not soon enough for me… as everyone has agreed how damaging they are to the waterways. Hoping for a worldwide ban!
Have fun celebrating July 4th in the USA, which handily falls on a Saturday this year!
Wishing you a wonderful summer and see you back in September!
All the best
The EcoCapsule lets you live off the grid anywhere in the world!
The Ecocapsule is an egg-shaped, wind- and solar-powered microdwelling from Bratislava, Slovakia–based Nice Architects, that is billed as a portable tiny home, cottage, pop-up hotel, or emergency shelter that doubles as a charging station for electric vehicles, and rainwater collection and filtration.
The Ecocapsule’s original design has evolved since 2008, the designers write in a project description, when they first came up with the concept of a tiny, self-contained unit as a “frontier dwelling” for scientists, photographers, rangers, or extreme tourists who wanted to set up camp in the great outdoors.
It measures 4.5 meters (14.6 feet) in length, 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in width, and 2.5 meters in height (8.2 feet), and there seems to be enough space to compactly fit all the home necessities. The total usable floor space is eight square meters (86 square feet), enough space, say the designers, to comfortably fit two adults. The home with a tiny footprint includes a folding bed, two large operable windows, a working/dining area, shower and flushable toilet, storage space, and a built-in kitchenette with running water.
Having taken seven years to complete the wondrous Ecocapsule, the Nice Architects unveiled a prototype at the recent Pioneers Festival in Vienna and have plans to release the tiny home for sale the first half of 2016.
The first of two powerful videos shows a family who were not eating organic foods due to cost. They found out something extraordinary after switching as part of a study to eating only organic food for just 2 weeks.
Watch this with your family... you may be shocked!
The second one is The Story of Bottled Water by Annie Leonard, from The Story of Stuff project, tells the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows virtually free from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces.
Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) was a visual artist and sculptor, co-founder of the Watts Towers Art Center, and creator of the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum located in Joshua Tree, California. It was at this location that I took the images featured in this post. Located on 7.5 acres of open land, it was astonishing to see over one hundred works of his assemblage art on display! Purifoy, who created his work from found objects, was interested by the impact harsh desert conditions would have on his pieces, and the role nature plays in the history of an art piece, arguing that “changes are an integral part of life itself.”
If you are in Los Angeles or planning on being here between June 7th and September 27th, 2015, stop by his show at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art where his work will be temporarily relocated to the museum for the show Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada
Previously profiled artists in the news:
Gabriel Orozco, El Anatsui, Cornelia Konrads and Edward Burtynsky are 4 of the 15 artists whose work is on show at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire in France’s Centre-Val de Loire Region as part of the Chaumont-sur-Loire Centre of Arts and Nature’s 2015 program. - till November 1st, 2015.
Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield organic yogurt, shifted his attention a few years ago to building awareness about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, by creating Just Label It, a national campaign to label GE foods. Gary has encouraged over 2 million consumers to petition the FDA for mandatory labeling, and joined forces with 600 partner organizations to demand the U.S. government label foods made with genetically modified ingredients.
The fight for labeling transparency has never been more important. GE foods are loaded with chemicals and herbicides. The No.1 cause of cancer is exposure to chemicals in our environment and foods.
The President’s cancer panel announced that 41 percent of Americans alive today, will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.
Find out how you can take action by going to Just Label It.
Did you know that there is a connection between the Moon and the tides, and planting and gardening? Planting according to the phases of the Moon is the oldest form of gardening known to man. When planting your garden, the Moon’s position has an impact on how well your seeds will germinate, grow and develop based on how much moisture is in the soil.
Understanding this and timing your gardening chores according to the phases of the Moon is the basis of Moon gardening. Calendars are available here for June, July and August, including what to buy in season at your local farmer’s market and suggested vegetables to plant.
LOLA Lots of Love Always by Priscilla Woolworth
LOLA, Lots Of Love Always is a book for young women about how to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and make healthy choices. Filled with colorful graphics and a wealth of tips, recipes, remedies, and inspiring anecdotes, LOLA deals with what young women really need to know to lead happy, productive, and fulfilling lives.
Topics include all-natural beauty, wholesome foods, personal-safety, being financially self-sufficient, ways to volunteer and make a difference, and so much more. LOLA is a resource that parents and daughters can trust. Even though LOLA was written with young women in mind, it’s a great read for everyone.
EGG & NEST by Rosamond Purcell, Linnea S. Hall and Rene’ Corado
Alongside Purcell’s photographs, Linnea Hall and René Corado offer an engaging history of egg collecting, the provenance of the specimens in the photographs, and the biology, conservation, and ecology of the birds that produced them. They highlight the scientific value that eggs and nest hold for understanding and conserving birds in the wild, as well as the aesthetic charge they carry for us.
Children's Book of the Moment:
If You Plant A Seed by Kadir Nelson
Kadir Nelson, acclaimed author of Baby Bear and winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, presents a resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity.
With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.
Besides being an easy cake to make, it’s delicious! This is a wonderful cake for Summer time and one that can be made a ahead and brought to a picnic or just enjoy it at home. This cake is also gluten free if you choose to use gluten free cornmeal, like I did for this recipe.
- All ingredients used are organic -
1/2 cup of Milk
1 lemon, grated zest and then juiced
1 1/2 cups of raw almonds, chopped
1 cup of natural cane sugar
1 cup of fine yellow cornmeal (gluten free option)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
1 Teaspoon pure almond extract
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350
- Combine milk and lemon juice in a bowl. Let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Pulse almonds, cane sugar and zest in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Stir in cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk oil, eggs, and almond extract into milk mixture, and stir into cornmeal.
- Line a 9” spring form pan with parchment paper and pour the batter into it.
- Bake for 55 minutes. Rotate the pan at the 30-minute mark.
- Let cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar
From the Malibu Farm Cookbook by Helene Henderson
According to master chef Helene, this recipe is a great side dish, and especially nutritious because of the delicious green vegetables added to the couscous. This is super fast to make if you use frozen peas and purchased pesto. Serve with a piece of grilled chicken and a salad.
- all ingredients used are organic -
makes 6 servings
1 cup of Israeli couscous, cooked in either chicken or vegetable stock until just done
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen peas, tossed into the cooking couscous just before draining
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 cup of pesto (homemade or purchased)
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, grated
1 cup of chopped parsley
You can also add thinly sliced, flash cooked asparagus, green beans, sugar snap peas, or some combination of these.
- Cook couscous, and add peas. Add to a large bowl.
- add olive oil and a pinch of salt and mix it in.
- Add the pesto, lemon juice and garlic. Stir in the chopped parsley.
- If you wish, add the thinly sliced extra vegetables mentioned above.