January 2015 Almanac
I launched Priscillawoolworth.com 6 years ago today! I had no idea that my work would have such a positive influence on my own life. Though my business has evolved and grown over the years, it’s always had the same message: if I can learn to live a more sustainable lifestyle by saving energy, wasting less, paying closer attention to what I eat and reducing my exposure to toxins by the products I use at home, I hope that others will be inspired to try and do it for themselves as well. Honestly, I have never felt better!
My brand has given me a voice and my store is the vehicle through which I provide sustainable living choices that are good for you and the planet. Use your buying power to change the world!
If you want to go green in 2015, have a look at the latest products I’ve added to my store from my favorite natural and unbleached cheesecloth, to a PVC free yoga mat, white envelopes made from 100% recycled paper, all natural soap made from desert calcium Bentonite clay, bee’s wax reusable food storage wraps and BPA free food thermos’s (I gave my daughter one of those for Christmas!) See my Pinterest board.
I’m looking forward to the New Year and the completion of LOLA, my first book and one that is very close to my heart. LOLA is a book for young women about how to live a sustainable lifestyle and make healthy choices.
To get the latest news about LOLA visit lotsoflovealways.com.
I love the Little Free Little Library I installed near my house 2 years ago! Little Libraries are very popular and there are thousands around the world. The concept of lending books has even spread to tool Lending Libraries for farmers.
I had an especially proud moment recently: I returned one of my trashcans back to the city because I didn’t need it anymore. Yes! My household’s trash has decreased so much through recycling and reusing, as well as reducing food waste, that we barely even need one trashcan anymore. I’m passionate about reducing waste because landfills everywhere are overcapacity. We are making too much trash! On the other hand, we need to learn some tips from Sweden, which doesn’t have enough trash and has to import it from other countries. Read about it here.
While we are on the subject of waste, did you know that there are 5 species that eat pollution? They are the coolest plants around. Read more here.
If you love vegetables, fruit, flowers, seeds, pods, leaves, cactus, trees, shells, and all sorts of natural treasures, follow me on Instagram.
I wish this wonderful event happened at schools everywhere: January 6th, the Green School Movement in India is planning a record-breaking tree planting! 450 schools are participating and each one plans on planting 2,000 trees, for a total of 900, 000 trees. Wow! Schools are creating a green consciousness among school children by involving them in sapling production and planting and teaching them environmental conservation that is deeply imprinted in each child’s mind rather than curriculum based.
For more information or to get involved with the Green School Movement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Use your buying power by choosing organic, pesticide free foods when shopping for yourself or your loved ones. Herbicides used when growing food are the leading cause of autism in children, which is expected to affect half of all kids by 2025. Be empowered by being informed.
In 2015, I want to do more to help the bees by planting native wildflowers because bees have pollen preferences, and we’ve wiped out many of their favorite flowers. I’ll be planting lots of seeds in my garden come spring.
I love how this small garden in England became a food forest. It took Graham and Nancy Bell 25 years to develop their mature permaculture food forest and you can find out how they did it and what they grow.
A constant inspiration is my friend Dr. Jane Goodall, who gave an interview where she shared her 5 reasons to have hope for the planet. “We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.”
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!
Peace, Love and Happiness
The JellyFish Barge
Growing food in a sustainable way has become a very important issue around the world. Aiming to create a low-cost alternative using recycled materials, Italian designers, Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto of Studiomobile created a floating modular greenhouse that sits upon 96 repurposed plastic drums. Called Jellyfish Barge, it’s a brilliant floating greenhouse that sustains itself with sun and harvested rainwater. The fans and pumps that are necessary to the functioning of the solar stills are powered by the sun, enabling the system to collect, process and circulate up to 39.6 gallons of clean, purified water daily, be it sea water or rainwater, suitable for cultivating crops.
The idea behind it is to empower families and communities that live in coastal areas or near a body of water, to grow their own food without the need for land.
CSA by Lexicon of Sustainability
What if you could buy fresh fruit and vegetables each week, grown by a local farmer? You may have heard of CSAs, but do you know how they really work? Watch this video and find out.
Buying a CSA membership means entering into partnership with a local farm. The member buys a subscription at the beginning of the season. This cash infusion allows the farmer to pay for seed, water, equipment and labor early season when farm expenses are high and farm income is low. In return the farm provides its members with a box of fresh picked seasonal produce each week. CSAs build community by reconnecting its members to the seasons and fostering relationships between members and the people who grow their food
The Lexicon of Sustainability's Know Your Food is a short film series that introduces consumers to key terms and principles that can help them make more informed decisions about the food they eat. Visit lexiconofsustainability.com to learn more.
To find a CSA in your area: localharvest.org/csa/
For the past decade, Brooklyn-based photographer Rachel Sussman has been researching, working with scientists, and traveling all over the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older. Her work spans disciplines, continents, and millennia: it’s part art and part science, has an innate environmentalism, and is underscored by an existential incursion into Deep Time.
From 500,000-year-old actinobacteria in the Siberian permafrost to a lone spruce standing on a mostly barren mountain in Sweden, her images capture both the robustness and fragility of life. While these organisms' longevity dwarfs even that of human civilization, they all depend on ecosystems in fine balance -- a balance thrown into question by human encroachment and climate change.
Sussman's work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe in venues including the Museum of Natural History.
Previously profiled artists in the news:
H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales
The royal radical, H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales has been promoting environmental ideas for most of his adult life. Some of his notions where ahead of his time and now the world seems to be catching up with him. His Duchy Home Farm went organic back in 1986, and markets organic products made from produce grown by his own farm and from ingredients sourced from other suppliers using farming methods that protect the countryside. The company’s profits go to charitable causes.
Three years ago, Prince Charles of Wales narrated a documentary film: “Harmony: a new way of looking at our world.” In it, he shows his passion for the environment and his over 30 years dedication to promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Capturing scenes from around the world, the film travels from organic farms to rainforests, and even features rare footage of a 1988 interview with Al Gore. The Prince made sure that the film was not so much about him, as it was about the principles that he cherishes. Ultimately, this film is a call for not just a nation, but for the entire world to unite.
As Prince Charles says, "Our children and grandchildren will ask not what our generation said, but what it did. So let us give an answer for which we can be proud."
Watch The Harmony film at theharmonymovie.com.
Eco Garden - January 2015
MOON GARDENING BY PRISCILLA WOOLWORTH
Please check out my blog about Gardening According to the Phases of the Moon, where I explain it in more detail
January MOON Phase Schedule:
January 1st-3rd: Waxing Moon
Garden Chores to be done during the month of January are:
The month of January is a great time to prune deciduous fruit trees such as fig, peach, almond, apricot, apple and nectarine, and before leaf buds form
You should also prune your roses, grape vine, wisteria, asparagus, artichoke, and rhubarb
Resist pruning out frost damage until spring, as the injured parts provide protection for sensitive new growth
Avoid digging too much in the garden this month because wet soil compacts easily, making it more difficult for roots to grow
Buy and plant flower bulbs, camellias, blueberries, and strawberries
Buy and plant grapes such as Vitis labrusca
Plant your live Christmas tree outside
Plant bare roots fruit trees, roses, cane berries, asparagus, rhubarb and iris
Plant artichokes, and feed once a month with high-nitrogen fertilizer, a month after planting
Feed perennials, strawberries, cool season annuals
Start tomato and pepper seeds indoors. Seedlings will be ready to plant in 10 weeks
Blueberries, cherries, and apples need to be pollinated, so it's best to buy a self-pollinating variety or plant two varieties that cross-pollinate
Best strawberries for SoCal; Chandler, Seascape, Sequoia, Camarosa, Ozark Beauty and Shasta
Order seeds from catalogs
Clean up leaves to control slugs
Plant in your flower garden: candytuft, columbine, coreopsis, delphinium, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, hollyhock, lobelia, lupine, lavender, nicotiana, penstemon, petunia, poppy, salvia, statice, stock, snapdragons, sweet peas, verbena, and yarrow.
Plant in your vegetable garden: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, peas and onions.
Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for January and which days are best for specific chores:
January 1st till January 3rd: 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 fruits are juicier.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
January 1st: Happy New Year's Day!
January 4th: Full Moon
The day of the Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month and is a really good time for planting and gathering any herbs to be used for their essential oils because oil content is more concentrated at this time. The day of the Full Moon and also 2 days after, are the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and also fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.
From January 5th till January 19th, 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.
Mow your lawn to slow growth. First time Composters, start your composter during this period because the Waning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposing of plant matter.
Recommended days for these garden chores:
January 6th and 7th: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests
January 8th, 9th and 10th: Harvest and cultivate, especially medicinal plants
January 11th and 12th: Plant for root growth, especially flowers and herbs
January 14th and 15th: Prune, water, compost and fertilize
January 16th and 17th: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests
January 18th: Graft, clone, prune and fertilize
January 20th: New Moon
January 21st-February 2nd, the Moon is in the Waxing Phase again!
January 22nd: Plant above ground annuals
January 26th and 27th: Plant above ground annuals, especially cabbages and leafy greens.
January 31st: Plant above ground annuals
Get ready for February 2015 Gardening according to the phases of the Moon!
Garden product of the month:
This handsome outdoor wooden compost bin is a wonderful addition to the garden. Add your organic plant based kitchen scraps to the bin and as they decompose, will add nutrients to the soil below.
Eco Books - January 2015
More Than Human by Tim Flach
Award-winning photographer Tim Flach has spent years inquiring into the essential bond we have with animals. Now he presents the culmination of a career-long endeavor, an extraordinary body of work in which each image is more striking and powerful than the last.
Just as did Flach’s highly acclaimed previous books, Equus and Dogs, More than Human will amaze and inspire, in a constant affirmation of the animal, whether it be rare or common, powerful or defenseless, odd or majestic. The book showcases a menagerie of creatures—pandas, tigers, bats, lions, orangutans, cobras, bullfrogs, chimpanzees, wolves, porcupines, elephants, owls, armadillos, among many others—as they have never been seen before. Shedding light on Flach’s images will be an accessible collection of texts, written and edited by author Lewis Blackwell.
On Good Land by Michael Ableman
In the heart of suburban Santa Barbara, where land is pricey and a field is worth more covered with asphalt than arugula, asparagus, and apple trees, thrives Fairview Gardens, a small organic farm managed for the past 18 years by Michael Ableman.
On Good Land, an engrossing read, chronicles the life of the 100-year-old farm -- from its history to Ableman's first glimpse of the land to the current struggle to save it from development. Blending photographs, philosophy, humor, and practical knowledge, Ableman brings the reader into the everyday world of a small farm. With him we prune peach trees, harvest peppers, journey to the farmer's market, and fight city hall. Part memoir, part photojournalistic montage, On Good Land reveals one man's love of the land and his struggle to protect it, and to spread the word about the importance of practicing sustainable agriculture and preserving our farms in an increasingly urban world.
Secret Garden by Johana Basford
Appealing to all ages, the intricately-realized world of the Secret Garden is both beautiful and inspirational.
Hang this Birdie Bell in your garden after the last frost. The local birds will use the stuffing, strings, and ribbons to feather their nests:
(Stuffing sold separately) or make your own!
Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
This recipe is easy to make and, delicious with just a salad on the side. Wrapped well, this cake will taste even better the next day! Perfect to bring a slice to work, or add it to your child’s lunch bag.
* I recommended below the cooking tools you need to make this recipe.
Serves four to six
-all ingredients used are organic-
1 medium red onion
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1/2 cup of basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose or gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*Tools you will need: measuring spoons, measuring cup, a 9 ½ inch spring form pan, parchment paper, a small bowl (to break the eggs into), a cooking pot, a small pan or cast iron skillet, small knife for chopping, a colander, and wooden spoons for stirring, whisking and spreading.
Preheat oven to 400
- Place cauliflower florets in a pot of water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry
- Cut 4 round slices off one end of the onion and set aside.
- Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place it in small pan with olive oil and chopped rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until soft. Remove from heat and add it to a large bowl.
- Add the eggs and basil, and stir well. Add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, one teaspoon salt, and fresh ground pepper. Stir well and fold in the cauliflower florets.
- Line the spring form pan with parchment paper. Fold in the cauliflower mix, spreading in evenly, and arrange the onion rings on top. Place the pan in the center of the oven and cook for 40 mins or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove it from the oven and leave for 20 minutes before serving as it needs to served warm rather than hot.
First Sign of Cold/Flu
Drink this tonic as a daily preventive or at the first sign of a cold or flu: In a bowl, add 2 cloves garlic, peel & minced + 2 small chunks of ginger, peeled & grated + juice of 1 lemon + 1 teaspoon honey. Add mix to 1 cup of hot water and let steep for 5 mins before drinking. And just in case…a simpler alternative is add juice from 1 lemon + 1/4 teaspoon honey to a cup/mug of warm water, and drink it daily.
Manuka honey is a honey made in New Zealand and Australia by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush. It’s commonly used to treat wounds infections and other conditions. I take manuka honey for a sore throat.