jump to navigation

When Your Sister Gives You Lemons . . . April 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Nature.
comments closed

We moved to Florida for a number of reasons ~ including a desire to live closer to my sister and her family.

They’ve lived on a lake in Orlando for 20+ years and have a veritable citrus grove in their backyard ~ lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, tangelos.

And a few pineapple plants thrown in for good measure.

Now that we see them on a more regular basis, we get to share nature’s bounty with them.  This winter, we received dozens of grapefruit.  This spring, dozens and dozens and dozens of lemons.

While I still have a few “bad habits” I need to conquer, one of my healthful habits is drinking lots of water ~ both with meals and between meals.

Lately, that water has been laced with fresh, Florida lemon juice ~ a tangy and tasty treat full of Vitamin C.

When your sister gives you lemons, make lemonade ~ hold the sugar, please.

Happy Earth Day 2010!

No Impact Man: A Dose of Clarity April 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
comments closed

In No Impact Man: The Documentary, we addressed one New York City family’s efforts to  reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to lessen their carbon footprint on the planet.

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeIn No Impact Man: Pedal Power, we addressed the not-so-earth-friendly neighbors’ complaints about where the family parked the tricycle used to transport their 18-month old daughter around the city.

In this post, we’ll address how the somewhat-skeptical wife summed up the experience at the end of the twelve month experiment.

Had she felt deprived?  Nope.

Had she felt unhappy about giving up her self-proclaimed addictions to reality TV, take out food, and shopping?  Nope.

Had she felt resentful toward others who were able to eat out, and shop, and rely on disposable items in their daily lives?  Again, nope.

Instead, the experiment had caused “the fog of daily living” to lift ~ as if she had received a “dose of clarity.”

As the year moved forward, and she grew accustomed to the changes, she felt more joy than she had in years.

Asked why, she couldn’t explain the gradual transformation from guilt and uneasiness to joy and happiness.

She just knew that she felt better about . . . well, everything.

My theory:  In making the shift from “conformist consumers” to “low impact city residents,” they had to make a corresponding shift from looking outside themselves (for others to emulate), to looking within for answers about what they needed right here, right now.

As they moved farther and farther away from the external reference point that so many of us use as we make choices in our daily lives (what do “they” think I should do, buy, say, eat, watch?) to an internal reference point (what do I need to be happy?), the  constant chatter and confusion settled down and clarity appeared ~ perhaps for the first time.

As the fog lifted, they realized that owning and buying things would never make them happy.

Instead, once they stopped looking for happiness in external things, and voluntarily relinquished their consumer-oriented lifestyle, joy and happiness immediately flooded their being.

What a great message to share as Earth Day 2010 approaches:

Joy is never in things . . . it is in us!

Join a C.S.A. April 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Nature, Sustainable Living.
comments closed

If you want fresher, better-for-you, tastier vegetables, look into joining a local C.S.A. ~ Community Supported Agriculture. 

At present, we are members of a C.S.A. in Bradenton ~ Geraldson Community Farm

The farm, operated by Florida West Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council (a 501(c)(3) non-profit), explains the CSA concept as follows:

Geraldson Community Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  This structure is an innovative way to connect local consumers with local farmers. 

At the beginning of each season “members” invest financially in the farm (much like a shareholder of a company).  This investment helps pay for seeds, equipment, labor, compost, etc.

During the season, members reap the benefits of their investment.  Every week members can come to the farm or a delivery site to receive a portion of that week’s harvest.  The CSA structure creates a mutually supportive relationship where members know their farmers and the growing methods and the farm has security within the community.  Members essentially partner with the farm, sharing in both the bountiful harvest and the risk of crop failure.

What you really need to know:  every week, members pick up locally grown, delicious, organic fruits and vegetables to enjoy ~ just-picked produce which hasn’t traveled 3,000 miles across the country, or half-way around the world, before ending up in your grocery store.

And it is G-O-O-D!!!!

Before moving to Florida, we were members of Provident Organic Farm in Bivalve, Maryland.  That CSA operates in a similar fashion: 

Each year, before the growing season starts, the farm sells memberships to local community members.  During the growing season, members pick up weekly shares of FRESH just-picked produce from the farm.

The biggest difference between the operation of the two farms is the growing season itself: 

* In Florida, members pick up shares from November to May. 
* In Maryland, share pick ups run from May to November.

Mother Nature . . . gotta love her!

Related Posts & Resources:  Tiny Green Thumbs Workshop Local Harvest (put in your zip code to search for nearby farms) * CSA Resources * Alternative Farming Systems Information Center