November 2014 Almanac
One of the purposes of my monthly Almanac Blog Newsletter is to share information about local, national or international resources with the hope that we can learn from each other about all the different ways we can better the planet. People everywhere are doing extraordinary and inspiring things. One of those people I met last month, the first time I have met an Indian yogi and mystic who happens to love nature and trees, as I do. We had a wonderful one on one chat and I came away feeling inspired about the possibilities we have at making a positive difference that future generations will benefit from. I’m thrilled to introduce him as the Gamechanger this month.
Don’t forget! November 2nd, is Daylight Savings Time, and if you live in the USA, turn your clocks back one hour this Sunday morning.
From the Scottish Highlands, Caroline Gladstone shares her recipe for Quince and Membrillo in the latest installment of OUT & ABOUT, and Karin Labby writes about what she is cooking during the change of season. I always love reading what Karin and Caroline are up to. They have so many great ideas!
November 11th is Veterans Day, and many veterans are entering the agricultural world, and learning to be sustainable and organic farmers. I think this is wonderful news. Working with the earth and growing food nourishes the soul. A great resource is the Farmer Veteran Coalition, which mobilizes veterans to feed America. They cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and help them develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. They believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems for all. We believe that food production offers purpose, opportunity, as well as physical and psychological benefits.
November 15th is America Recycle Day Don’t forget to recycle that day and every day and reduce the waste going out to our overfilled landfills.
Esteemed National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has been working on documenting species that are at the brink of extinction. Here is a clip from the movie project that will be released next year and which I can’t wait to see.
I recently went to an Oppenheim Lectures Seriesmoderated by Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize Winning Restaurant Critic for the Los Angeles Times. The topic was: WHEN ORGANIC MAY NOT BE ENOUGH: Are farm to table, foraging and eating local really sustainable or merely elitist? It was a fascinating discussion, about everything from farmer’s markets to water scarcity and organic farming. One of the important issues that was unanimously agreed upon: that everyone should have access to a sustainable food supply.
And just in time for the holidays is the EWG’s latest resource: Food Scores, rates more than 80,000 foods in a simple searchable online format to empower people to shop smarter and eat healthier. Get the app for your phone and/or give it as gift to someone special during the upcoming holidays.
I’d love to hear what you think of Priscillawoolworth.com! Please email me at email@example.com. I welcome your feedback and will respond to your messages myself.
Wishing you a peaceful and delicious Thanksgiving. Thank you for all your support and kind messages.
As much of the Western United States and other parts of the world are suffering from a drought, an innovative way to grow food in arid Arizona could catch on. Modern Farmer did a story about a family who turned their swimming pool into a farm. Called Garden Pool, they filled their pool with tomato plants, grape vines and wheat. They even have a chicken coop and a fishpond, and the food that comes out of the pool, from tilapia to tomatoes, feeds their family of five. The ecosystem they created is almost entirely self-sustaining, and thrives in Arizona’s harsh climate, a system that could transfer to other, hot, dry climates.
Conservation International Films
Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organization whose mission is to protect nature, and its biodiversity, for the benefit of humanity, needs more of us to step up. They’ve a made a beautiful series called Nature is Speaking with Harrison Ford speaking for the ocean, Edward Norton for the Soil, Julia Roberts for Mother Nature, and Kevin Spacey for the Rainforest. Go here to watch the whole series. I watched them and they are fantastic and great to watch with the whole family.
p.s. Every time you tweet #Natureisspeaking, HP gives CI $1
German artist Cornelia Konrads creates mind-bending site-specific installations in public spaces, sculpture parks and private gardens around the world. As written in Thisiscolossal, her work is frequently punctuated by the illusion if weightlessness, where stacked objects like logs, fences, and doorways appear to be suspended in mid-air, reinforcing their temporary nature as if the installation is beginning to dissolve before your very eyes. The materials she uses such as rocks, branches or snowballs are found on or near the site where she builds her other-worldliness installations.
Previously profiled artists in the news:
Richard Long has a show at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum in Torridge, North Devon, UK till January 10, 2015.
Patrick Dougherty is working on a stick sculpture at his alma mater with the help of volunteers.
Maya Lin wins the Gish Prize.
Jamie Wyeth has a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, St.Petersburg, Florida till January 18th.
Motoi Yamamoto had a piece at the recent Nuit Blanche in Paris, France.
Giuseppe Penone received the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Medal for sculpture.
Sadhguru is an Indian yogi, mystic, philanthropist and author of over 100 titles in 8 different languages. He founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation that offers yoga programs around the world.
Recently, I spent some time with him, and we talked about the importance of planting trees in areas of the world that are affected by drought, and prolonged heat waves. He told me about Project Green Hands, a grassroots ecological initiative he founded, which aims to take corrective measures to increase the green cover, restore soil health and manage natural resources appropriately. Out of Project Green Hands’ vision grew The Green Movement, which initiates plant nurseries in schools and through awareness programs conducted at various schools and educational institutions, these educational nurseries produce 108 varieties of saplings, and have facilitated the planting of over 17 million saplings in Southern India (with a 70% survival rate), and is heading towards a target of 114 million trees.
In an interview for the National Geographic Green magazine, Sadhguru explained the impetus which led him to establish Project Green Hands: "In the year 1998, certain experts made a prediction, by 2025, 60% of Tamil Nadu will be a desert. I decided to drive across Tamil Nadu and see for myself if this is true. I realized they were completely wrong because it wouldn’t go to 2025, it would happen much faster according to me.
“We are living in a time when we have to think of protecting the things which have always nurtured us. The planet always took care of us, but for the first time in the history of humanity, we have to protect the planet”
Eco Garden - November 2014
MOON GARDENING BY PRISCILLA WOOLWORTH
Please check out my blog about Gardening According to the Phases of the Moon, and learn why and how the Moon's position affects your garden.
November MOON Phase Schedule:
November 1st- 5th: Waxing Moon
November 6th: Full Moon
November 7th-21st: Waning Moon
November 22nd: New Moon
November 23rd-December 5th: Waxing Moon
Garden Chores to be done during the month of November are:
Great time to plant bulbs, pull weeds, apply organic fertilizer, and irrigate when it's not raining
Adjust the sprinkler system to run less often, and turn them off during regular rains, or install a water-saving drip system
November is also a great time to plant a blue-eyed grass with little purple flowers called sisyrinchium idahoense bellum, a California native with a long blooming period
Plant strawberries in the first half of November, 1 foot apart in rich, in loose soil that gets full sun
Plant fruit trees such as Apricot (Gold Kist), Pear (Seckle), Figs (Violette de Bordeaux), Nectarine ( Double Delight), Peaches (Red Baron), and Plums (Santa Rosa)
Plant natives such as gilia tricolor and California poppy
Cut asparagus to the ground
Sow wildflowers in a well-prepared bed
Clean out gutters, downspouts, and swales
Buy rain barrels to collect rainwater for plants
Clean up fallen leaves around fruit trees
Pick persimmons as soon as they are fully colored, before the birds get to them. Allow fruit to ripen indoors
Watch out for slugs and snails around your new plantings. This is the time when they are everywhere.
Turn your compost pile and keep it damp
Plant in your flower garden winter and spring bulbs, spring wildflowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflower, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, foxglove, larkspur, nigella, poppy, snapdragon, sweet peas, dusty miller, lobelia, lupine, petunia, scabiosa, stock, verbena, agapanthus, carnation, delphinium, hollyhock, lavender, penstemon, rudbeckia, salvia, statice, and yarrow
In your vegetable garden plant spinach, lettuce, peas, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, onions, Swiss chard, radish, chives, parsley, cilantro, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, and shallots
Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for October and which days are best for specific chores:
November 1st-5th, the Moon is in the Waxing phase, when the lunar gravitational pull brings the water up, which makes it a good time of the month to encourage plant growth and proliferation. Plant seeds, transplant, re-pot, trim and prune for growth. Also, fruits and vegetables that are tender and should be eaten immediately are at their best when gathered at the Waxing Moon, because the water content is higher, salads are crunchier, and juicier.
The 4 days before and also 4 days after the Full Moon is the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.
The Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month. Best time to pick tomatoes. Harvest grapes to be used in winemaking as close to the full moon as possible because the grapes will retain more juice and bouquet. Gather any herbs to be used for their essential oils at the Full Moon because oil content is more concentrated at this time.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
November 2nd: Plant above ground annuals
November 5th: Plant above ground annuals
November 6thth: Full Moon
November 7th-21st, the Moon is Waning, and the energy of the earth is drawn down but the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil and this energy goes into the roots making it a good time of the month to sow crops that produce their yield below ground and control plant growth by pruning, weeding, and controlling garden pests, as well as dividing perennials. This is the best time for garden maintenance because the growth cycle of plants decreases. Fruit trees do best planted at this time of the month because the position of the moon encourages development of root growth and tree bark, essential to their success. This is also the best time to cut wood, because it resists parasites and cures better. Farmers pick their apples, cabbages, potatoes and onions at the Waning Moon, when water content is lowest and so the harvest stores better and keeps longer. Best time to dry herbs, flowers and fruit and the herbs are at their most potent. Also, add potassium fertilizer to plants that need it because it will be better absorbed at this time. Mow your lawn to slow growth. First time composting, start your composting during this period because the Waning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
November 6th and 7th: Plant for root growth, divide perennials
November 7th and 8thth: Harvest and cultivate, weed and control pests
November 10th and 11th: Plant for root growth, divide perennials
November 12th-16: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests
November 17th-19th: Water, compost and fertilize
November 20th-21st: Prune, water, compost and fertilize
November 22nd: New Moon
November 23rd-December 5th: the Moon is in the Waxing phase again!
November 28th-30th: Plant above ground annuals for hardiness
Get ready for December 2014 Gardening according to the phases of the Moon.
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Garden product of the month:
Root Storage Bin
Root veggies like carrots and beets will stay fresh all winter and even grow sweeter in this storage bin. Just fill with layers of damp sand or sawdust, alternating with layers of carrots or beets, and put in a cool, dark place. Potatoes, turnips and squash can go right in the bin without sand.
Eco Books - November 2014
The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide To Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, And Saving The Earth (Without Losing Your Mind) by Sara Gilbert
Actress, producer, mother, and imperfect environmentalist, Sara Gilbert understands how helping the environment can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, we now know that small changes here and there in our everyday lives can make a big impact on the environment. We just need to know where to begin. That’s where Gilbert comes in, with this tongue-in-cheek reference guide packed full of helpful information, available at your fingertips. Whether you’ve got money to burn or have to crash on a friend’s couch, here are all of the eco-essentials to get the planet back on track, and you won’t have to hug a single tree—unless tree-hugging is your thing.
I love when she writes: Cut to the chase hippie: what’s the least I need to know? Ha! Or “I need some facts to bore my friends with” — Love this book
Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi
The hotly anticipated follow-up to London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling and award-winning cookbook Plenty, featuring more than 150 vegetarian dishes organized by cooking method. Yummmm!
The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Twenty years ago Chelsea Green published the first trade edition of The Man Who Planted Trees, a timeless eco-fable about what one person can do to restore the earth. The hero of the story, Elzéard Bouffier, spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence in the south of France. The result was a total transformation of the landscape-from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water.
Since our first publication, the book has sold over a quarter of a million copies and inspired countless numbers of people around the world to take action and plant trees. On National Arbor Day, April 29, 2005, Chelsea Green released a special twentieth anniversary edition with a new foreword by Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the African Green Belt Movement.
Warm citrus barley drink with turmeric by Amy Chaplin
This recipe is from Amy Chaplin’s cookbook At Home In The Whole Food Kitchen. The following are her exact directions on how to make this delicious sore throat soothing drink:
"This drink is the perfect during times of seasonal transition and great for when you’re feeling under the weather. For my version, I thought it would be nice to use Hato Mugi, an heirloom barley — also known as Jobs Tears and Chinese barley — that is larger and rounder in size and shape than pearled barley. In traditional Japanese medicine Hato Mugi is used to heal the lungs, cleanse blood of accumulated fat and help clear up skin conditions. It, like the pearl barley used in my mother’s recipe is not a whole grain as part of the hull has been removed. Being the whole grain enthusiast I am, I did try making this drink with whole barley, which you will find (confusingly) labeled as hulled barley. The drink turned out fine, but didn’t have the slight creamy consistency that you get from the pearled barley.
You can store this strained barley mixture in a jar in the fridge and warm up a portion at a time, adding to it the citrus juices and honey. You can also top it off with boiling water if the mix becomes too potent."
1/4 cup barley
8 cups filtered water
2 inch piece fresh turmeric or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dry turmeric
4 slices fresh ginger
Juice of half a grape fruit
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of half a lime
Raw honey to taste
- Rinse barley and place in a medium to large pot with water.
- Add turmeric and ginger and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 to 6 hours, or longer.
- Remove from heat and strain into a large jar. Add citrus juices and honey to taste.
Many people are having a hard time feeding their families. You can help them by making a donation to Feeding America, a network of large food banks that supply groceries to needy people through food pantries, soup kitchens, schools and churches. To find a food bank near you.