Growing Green

The ups and downs of a Green Mama and her family trying to go green.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, to you, and you and you and you and you! October 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katie Anderson @ 6:04 pm

To all of my wonderfully supportive Growing Green readers,

The time has come to say goodbye to Growing Green and all of her glory.  I trust you all will continue getting greener and greener and looking out for the environment in whatever ways you can. 

I have enjoyed my time here with you and encourage you to check out my new blog, “yellowdaisychickchat” at

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight!

Take care of yourselves and each other,



The Man Who Ate New Orleans August 27, 2010

Everyone check out my cousin Michael Dunaway’s documentary, The Man Who Ate New Orleans.  The film is about a pastor who came to New Orleans after Katrina to help rebuild, and ended up staying.  He is on a mission to eat at all 603 restaurants in NOLA.  All proceeds from the film go to rebuilding efforts.  They have gottens some media attention from ABC and Fox, and are trying to keep the momentum going.  If you are looking for a great story, look no further.  Read in Michaels’ own words:

Perfect Katrina interview – Emmy winner Natalia Livingston and more for The Man Who Ate New Orleans documentary! 

With the five year anniversary week of Katrina upon us, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a piece of actually NEW news, an uplifting New Orleans story with some star power as well??? 

Emmy winner Natalia Livington (Producer), Michael Dunaway(Producer/Director), and Ray Cannata (doc subject) are all available for interviews about The Man Who Ate New Orleans, a doc about a NewJersey pastor who moved his family to New Orleans AFTER Katrina to help rebuild, fell in love with the city, and decided to become the FIRST person in history to eat at ALL 603 restaurants in town (he’s at 591 currently).  We’ve got a great team assembled, including an EMMY winner, an OSCAR nominee (Morgan Spurlock), and two James Beard award winners.  Our big “Last Supper” event will be hosted by the great John Besh and will be attended by many of the greatest chefs in NOLA.  All the proceeds from the film go to continue REBUILDING the city.  Last week we were the TOP STORY on for about six hours: 

The sizzle reel is at  Password is “crawfish” 

Our times are booking quickly so give me a call ASAP; we’d love to work you into the schedule! 


Michael Dunaway              

478/320-7547         478/320-7547

“The Man Who Ate New Orleans” Bullet Point Summary

● Perfect tie in to 5 year anniversary of Katrina (late Aug/early Sep)– uplifting human interest story of a private citizen making a difference and making history at the same time.

● Documentary is about a New Jersey pastor who moved to New Orleans AFTER Katrina to help rebuild the city.

● He is about to finish his quest to become the first person in history to eat at every one of the 603 restaurants in New Orleans!● In the five years since Katrina, he has rebuilt over 500 homes in New Orleans.

● Themes are the two most beautiful aspects of New Orleans –celebration and community — played out through food, music (Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, etc), and rebuilding.

● Great partners; co-branded as a Paste Magazine Film, Exec Producer is James Beard-winning chef (top culinary award in the USA), and

Producer is Emmy Award winning actress; Advisory Board includes MorganSpurlock (Supersize Me), Scott Teems (That Evening Sun), Travis Fine(The Space Between), and Karin Hayes (The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt).

●  All proceeds from film will benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

If you know someone that might like this story, please share!

Take care of yourselves and each other,



Changes all around me… August 17, 2010

I’m noticing changes.  Changes in the grocery store, changes in my behavior, changes in my conversations with others- all good signs that things are greening up around here.  This week, I went to the same grocery store as always.  But this time, the name brand chicken that takes up most of the cooler space now has new packaging that says, “vegetarian fed,” and “cage-free.”  So maybe what we buy at the grocery store CAN make a difference in what the company chooses to sell.  Maybe that chicken will eventually be the only chicken they sell, because it is all that people will buy.  My grocery-store-management friend says that that’s true…he says they don’t care what it is, they just want people to buy it.  If it’s organic that people will buy, then that is what they will sell.  If it’s Ho Ho’s and Twinkies that we buy, then that is what they will sell. 

I had an extended conversation recently with this friend who is in management at a major grocery store chain.  I am always interested in his perspective, because of his grocery background.  The conversation started out about high fructose corn syrup and ended up, shall we say, a rather loud, spirited discussion/debate.  This conversation started at a party, after I had a enjoyed a large, strong, blue, delicious adult beverage, and was in front of a group of other partygoers.  Needless to say, it was not the calm, reasoned, well-thought-out discussion I would have preferred to have, and I worried later that I’m turning into “that girl” who annoys everyone at parties with her green crap.  However, I love a good (respectful) debate and I decided that it was great that the party had a substantive discussion.  Maybe someone learned something, or at least went home and googled “high fructose corn syrup.”  It’s not like I was talking politics or religion.  No matter your politics or religion, we should all care about the environment.

Lastly, I realized this past weekend that we are now vacation recyclers!  Recycling is such a habit for us now, such a part of everyday life that we can’t not do it.  We were in the mountains, and there at the dump, where we have to take our trash, is also a recycling center, so they make it easy.  Don’t you just love the mountains?  I’ve also been bringing recyclable trash home with me from events that don’t have a recycling container.  It’s easy.  I think that easy is the key, and also making green habits a part of your day-to-day, like a reflex, that you don’t even consciously think about.  You just do.

Random but from the Heart Shout-Out:

Kudos to Five Guys for having the best fast food burger!  Zagat’s 2010 survey polled over 7000 Americans, and let’s face it, there’s little that Americans know better than fast food burgers.  I was not among the 7000, but if I were, I would definitely have voted for Five Guys!  The little cheeseburger, with ketchup, mustard, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, with a side of fries shared amongst the family…the messiest, drippiest, most-embarrassing-to-eat-in-front-of-anyone-outside-your-immediate-family, tastiest burger around!  Way to go, guys, all 5 of ya!  For more on the story:

Hope you all are seeing  positive changes where you live.  Let me know what is going on in your part of the world.

Take care of yourselves and each other,


“Don’t you know they change
Oh, things change
As long as this world is turning
Things are gonna change
Gonna keep on changing
Gonna change”  –Things Change, Tim McGraw

*Check out my cousin Michael Dunaway’s film, The Man Who Ate New Orleans


Summer bloggin’, had me a blast, summer bloggin’, happened so fast… July 28, 2010

Greetings!  Did you think I forgot about my grog?  I didn’t forget, and I’ve been living green, but I’ve more or less taken a summer vacation from the blog.  It turns out that summer with 2 kids home is not an opportune time to reflect and write about one’s green life!   If there are still any readers out there, then come on, let’s jump back in where we left off, shall we?

My Veg Garden Awards, June-July:

Best Producing Plant:  Cherry tomatoes, by a landslide!  Honestly best tasting tomatoes ever. 

Bounty of cherry tomatoes

Most Disappointing Plant:  Tie between squash and peppers.  Neither did well.  Something liked them both too much and my organic pesticide did not help them one bit.  RIP, squash and peppers. 

Biggest Surprise:  Cukes!  They are going nuts and we should have a big crop in the near future.  Remember when I was using them for a decoy for the pests?  The underdogs of the garden!  We’ve had one so far, huge and perfect and delicious, with big seeds.  We ate it sliced with nothing on it.  We are quite proud of our first cuke.  We’re pretty sure  it will go to Harvard and be a brain surgeon someday. 

Our first cuke's younger sister...she's going to Yale to study rocket science.

 Most Resented By the Other Plants:  Mint!  Wow, it takes over just like they say it will.  It is growing all throughout the container.  It is going nuts.  The kids love chewing on it.  It has been a nice addition to our iced tea this summer.

Loveliest Plant:  Tie between eggplant and basil.  The eggplant is such a pretty color and although tiny in size, it had big flavor!  The basil has also done very well and I really have loved using it.  I can’t get pretty basil in Newnan in the grocery store and now I’m spoiled rotten. 

Purty little baby japanese eggplant...

Favorite Dish Made With Veg Garden:  Tie between salad with cherry tomatoes, and bruschetta with produce stand tomatoes (shout-out to Veggie Patch!) and our basil.  Nothing is better than a real, homegrown tomato with homegrown basil in the summertime.  When you slice a real tomato, you smell it right away, and then it has all these little pockets (?) with seeds, all over the inside of the tomato, not just a few.  I’m obsessed.  I center entire meals around summertime tomatoes, like it’s a steak or something!

Best Thing About the Veg Garden:  It’s been a family project, one that we all care about.  The kids love to check it, to pick the herbs and veggies, I love looking at the progress and talking to the kids about it, and Scott keeps up with the weeding.  We’re already planning our fall/winter garden and are still going to start a compost pile to use for it.  What can I say, it’s just fun!

Little Green Things You Can Do- from The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

(thanks to my friend Jennifer P. for giving me this book!)

1.  Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

2.  Turn off the tap while you scrub your hands.

3.  Take shorter showers.

4.  Set your thermostat a degree higher for air and a degree lower for heating.

5.  Store food in glass or porcelain containers instead of plastic.

6.  Use water filters on your tap instead of buying bottled water.

7.   Turn off the tap while your brush your teeth.

8.  Avoid plastic shower curtain liners.

9.  Recycle your junk mail.

10.  Change light bulbs to compact fluorescent when they burn out.

11.  Use commercial car washes- they use less water and recycle their rinse water.

12.  Leave the clippings on the lawn.

13.  Grab only the napkins that you will need at a restaurant.

14.  Buy rechargeable batteries.

15.  Recycle cell phones.

If we all do even one little thing, they will add up to big things.  For more info on the list above, read The Green Book.

Let me know what green things you’ve been up to this summer, what you’ve been growing in your gardens, what you’ve been reading, what little green things inspire you?

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Songs of our summer:

“You and me together, can do anything, baby, you and me together, yeah, yeah…”  -Dave Matthews Band, You and Me

“Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself…if I don’t go on and quit you, I’m gonna lose my mind.”  -Eric Clapton, Before You Accuse Me

“Boy the way you blowin’ up my phone won’t make me leave no fast-uh, put my coat on fast-uh, leave my girls no fast-uh, I shoulda left my phone at home ’cause this is a disas-tuh, callin’ like a collect-uh, sorry I cannot an-suh!”  -Lady Gaga/Beyonce, Telephone

(Disclaimer:  While it pains me to put the last one in with the first 2, it is what it is and I make no apologies.)

(Note:  The first 2 are hilarious together!  Just realized it!)


Veg Garden Update May 22, 2010

Happy End of the School Year!  The kids are ready and excited, the mothers are frantically scheduling camps and playdates as we speak!  Take a break from summer panicking, I mean planning, and check out the goings on in the veg garden!

Apparently, this is a roma tomato plant...who knew?!


The alien pest continues to eat my pepper leaves. It seems partial to the peppers, so we may not ever see any.


Cherry tomatoes


Infant eggplant...pretty, huh?


Weird shaped infant squash. Can't wait to see how it turns out.


So progress is being made.  I still don’t have a fence to protect it all, and I need to get on it.  The basil is doing great.  It is really beautiful and tastes so lovely.  The parsley is slow growing.  The cilantro has pretty little flowers on it, but the leaves are very delicate and not like what I think of when I think of cilantro.  The mint is going nuts, as I heard it would.   

I can’t believe it’s working so far.  I feel so…pioneer woman.  I’ve wondered before what kind of pioneer woman I would’ve been.  I would hope I would be that awesome-tough-as-nails-fearless-making-lemonade-from-lemons type but realistically, I’m pretty sure I’d be the dying-early-from-fear-of-Indians-and-too-much-hard-work  type.  Now that I’ve grown something, I’m thinking that I might’ve made it longer than I thought.  Can you imagine if we had to grow ALL of our food that we eat?  Scary thought.  For now, we’re just waiting with anticipation for that yellow-orange cherry tomato to ripen up so we can cut into 4 pieces and all taste it!  Glad that’s not dinner!

Channel your inner-pioneer and go grow something!  What type would YOU be?

Take care of yourselves and each other,


“I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”  -Annie Oakley

“There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no settlers. Only Indians lived there.”  -Laura Ingalls Wilder

“I’m just tryin’ to keep everything in balance, Woodrow.  You do more work than you got to, so it’s my obligation to do less.”  -Gus McRae, Lonesome Dove  (I’m aware that this quote is not about pioneer women, but if I had been a pioneer woman, I would definitely have been best friends with Gus McRae!)


Garden Update: Breaking News! April 29, 2010

Katie, Katie, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

You guys, I have breaking news!  After only 10 days, we already have major progress in our garden.  That is very unexpected, since I thought I would have to wait until closer to summer.  I was obsessively checking the plants, as I do each morning and evening (I’m really obsessed.)  I was looking over the cherry tomato plant in the hodgepodge garden, and holy crapballs (as Bethanny from The Real Housewives of New York would say), we had a baby tomato!  Although Bethanny wouldn’t say “crap”balls, she would actually say something more colorful, but since my parents and grandmother read this blog, I will stick with crapballs, which they probably won’t care for either.  And omg, I just realized that I have revealed in a public forum that I watch The Real Housewives.  Oy vey, well, I guess now you know I’m not that classy broad that you once thought I was. 

So back to my tomato.  It’s there, a cute, precious, itty bitty, green tomato, about the size of a pea.  It has given me such hope that I will actually get something out of this garden!  Everything is looking good and hopeful, except the cucumbers, which are being eaten by an evil force of nature not yet identified.  I have bought an organic spray that has peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and other lovely smelling things that I wonder might attract rather than repel pests.  I am still learning how to spray, not too little, not too much.  Last time it was too much and some of the leaves were a bit spotty and limp but they seem to be recovering.  The cucumbers are in the ground and seem to be taking one for the team, as the pests must be lazy and don’t much want to climb into the containers.  I may transplant the ones that are doing the best and sacrifice the others and use them as decoys.  Also, we have placed shallow containers of beer to rid our garden of slugs.  So far, it is working and my son counted 26 drunk dead slugs.  That’s right, Slugs, YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME????   You may enter my garden, but you will Never.  Leave.  And yeah, that’s right, so sue me, slugs WERE harmed in the writing of this blog.  Too bad for me, guess PETA won’t be asking me to pose for a nude ad campaign anytime soon!  And we really could’ve used the money.

Check out the latest pictures: 

Day 1, April 18

Day 10, April 28

Baby cherry tomato, in the center, sorry it's so blurry!

R.I.P.Slugs: After the Rave in the tupperware dish...slug and mosquitoes now see what life in the fast lane leads to... now we're experimenting to see if they prefer Corona or 3 year old Coors Light...Scott questioning my judgement on using Corona for slug bait is well-deserved!

Until next time!  Check out my recipe for Cinnamon Biscuits and Citrus Mint Iced Tea at

Take care of yourself and each other,


“You like potato, I like potahto, you like tomato, I like tomahto, potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, let’s call the whole thing off!”   the Harry Connick, Jr. version, When Harry Met Sally

Alex:  My husband is texting me about whether he should wear dark or light colored boots.

Bethanny:  Tell him he’s in the midst of a deep homosexual panic.

The Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo, check your local listings, you know you want to watch it like the train wreck it is


Senoia’s Art Goes Green/Gettin’ My Veg On April 19, 2010

Filed under: Environment,Food & Drink,Green,Health,organic — Katie Anderson @ 1:10 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m seeing green everywhere I go these days.  I had the pleasure of going to see Bon Jovi at Phillips Arena last week.  While waiting for the absurdly-well-aging-more-than-an-80’s-hair-band to take the stage, I saw that Phillips Arena is the “World’s First LEED certified NHL/NBA arena!”  That means that Phillips Arena has met green building operating standards as specified by the US Green Building Council (  Gotta love that!  Way to go, ATL.  LEED the way! 

Senoia’s Green Art Show:

There’s no better way to spend a gorgeous spring Saturday than going to an outdoor street festival.  Unless the outdoor street festival is GREEN!  I was so excited when I saw in our paper that a neighboring town, Senoia, was having a Green Art show along their Main Street.  This was the first green event that I have known of  in our county.  I am so encouraged, because my town does not have a very green vibe.  Maybe this is a sign that things are greening up around here?

It was a fun day.  There were artists all along the downtown area, displaying their works of art made from recycled and natural materials.  There was a children’s clothing booth by Bonnie Blue; the owner sews the clothing herself and uses scraps of material to make lovely baby blankets and burp cloths, and vintage pillowcases to make beautiful dresses.  So smart!  I saw candle holders made from wine bottles and purses made from fabric scraps.  There was furniture made from reclaimed pine from 1800’s houses; the sales benefit a ministry that helps rehabilitate young men.  I love a project that helps the environment AND a service organization!  I also met Rhonda Moye, a potter who sells her pottery in downtown Senoia.  She worked for many years in the corporate world, and was downsized.  She decided that she would make her pottery hobby into a full-time effort, and a year later, she’s in business.  There are so many people these days who are making lemonade from lemons…they inspire me! 

Several area schools had booths with students’ art, made from what would otherwise be trash.  One highlight from East Coweta High School’s Art Club was a dress made from purple and black tape:  it was adorable!  It could be on a runway!  White Oak Elementary’s Environmental Club took Georgia red clay, made paint from it and painted pictures with it.  Love these young, creative minds!  And many thanks to their hard working, environmentally-friendly teachers!

Keep up the green work, Senoia!  May the rest of the county follow in your green footstep. 

Organic Veggies Officially in Dirt!

I have officially planted my organic veggie garden!  After much planning and hemming and hawing, I settled on 2 containers full of goodness.  I used an idea from my gardening book, Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, which was to make a theme container garden.  So one of our containers is our “Pizza Garden.”  It has tomatoes, banana peppers, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, basil, and parsley.  The other container was going to be a “Salad Garden”, but I felt too restrained so it’s just a “Hodgepodge Garden”:  cherry tomatoes, japanese eggplants, squash, cilantro, mint, and lavender.  Please send me green thumb vibes!  I really hope it will produce.  It is always an experiment with me, but I’ve invested some cash into this so I better get something!  See pictures below.

Hodgepodge Garden (clockwise): Tomato, Japanese eggplant, squash, mint, cilantro, lavender in center. Photo courtesy of Will Anderson.

Pizza Garden: tomato, banana pepper, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, thyme, basil, parsley. Photo courtesy of Will Anderson.


 What have you planted?  What tips do you have for me?  What am I going to do with that lavender?  Please send any advice my way. 

Take care of yourselves and each other,


*See my recipe for Easy Lime Chicken Fajitas at


Compostable corn cups: credible or crap? April 12, 2010

I’ve been noticing these cups everywhere I go these days.  Plastic cups with a green stripe, that claim they are made from corn and are compostable.  They look and feel as sturdy as plastic, and taste nothing like corn, so I got to wondering:  what are these things and will they really compost? 

I got online and found that they are made by a company called Eco-Products out of Colorado.  So many great green things come out of Colorado, it seems.  They make the cups from the sugars from the corn, and blah blah blah, I don’t really get all of that scientific terminology, and you are welcome to sort it out for yourself at but they really do make them from multiple renewable resources such as corn, beets, sugar cane, and rice and wheat. 

The website says that the cups will compost in 60-90 days in a commercial composting facility (  It says it will take longer in a home compost.  So just how long will those cups be sitting in your yard?  Perhaps too long to even try and see, but let me know what you find out.  I also found some advice that says that the landfill is enclosed and nothing can be composted, so if we throw away those cups in the trash, they will not compost. 

I have seen information that these cups are being used at festivals, and then take the cups to a commercial composting facility.  I guess that restaurants that use the cups are doing the same thing.  We hope.  It seems that composting, and recycling, at these big events where food is served, is where the biggest differences could be made.  So I guess we should be sure to throw away our cups at the restaurant to be sure it gets to where it needs to go- back into the earth!

Can We Turn Back the Clock?

Do you ever wonder, if you are middle-aged or older, if it’s just too late to make a big difference with this healthy eating stuff?  If you’ve been eating preservative/trans fat/additive-laden foods for 39 years, could it possibly be too late for your body to recover?  If we can’t recover, then why even worry about that Twinkie we are craving?  Should we just forget it and eat whatever we want?  Fortunately, there are plenty of studies that say a resounding, “Hell No!”  Which gives me such relief.   

A study from the Medical University of South Carolina showed that middle-aged men who adopted healthy habits (eating 5 fruits and/or veggies a day, exercising 2 1/2 hrs/wk, keeping a healthy weight, and not smoking), just four years later were 40% less likely to die and 35% less likely to suffer heart problems than those who didn’t adopt healthy habits.  They believe the results would transfer to women as well ( 

So that is convincing, for sure.  But what really convinces me is that I feel better.  My body feels lighter, I have more energy, and I look better.  Your health is your wealth, no matter what age!  As a parent, your healthy habits will in turn transfer to your children.  As a mom, they will transfer to your husband, because more than likely you are the meal planner, shopper and chef extraordinaire for the whole fam.

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Check out my new article on!


I go out blogging, after midnight, out in the moonlight, just like I used to do… April 1, 2010

There probably should be a WordPress policy that you can’t blog after midnight.  Perhaps I should listen to the old folks who say, ‘nothing good happens after midnight.”  They’re probably right.  Although I picture them saying it very southern, more like, ‘nuthin’ gud happins after midnite.’  But I feel like blogging, and the last blog, while being very informative and its heart was in the right place, was SO BORING!!!  I know.  But I was on lots of meds, of the sinus/asthma variety.  I still am.  Tonight I also have had lots of chocolate, so maybe this one will go okay. 

Let me tell you where I am right now with the organic stuff.  First of all, we’re just coming out of winter and there’s not a lot of local, fresh produce to choose from, and that’s frustrating.  Second, it’s so expensive.  Especially the meat.  I was really freaked out after watching Food, Inc. and still am.  But I had dinner guests not long ago and spent over $20 just on chicken breasts.  That’s a lot of money, especially right now on one income.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of organics and I support it from the bottom of my heart.  But I’m finding it difficult to support it from the bottom of my wallet.  And it makes me wonder how low-income people are supposed to get on board?  There are plenty of people, especially in this economic environment, who are just happy to have anything to eat.

I am coming back to the middle in my grocery shopping.  I can only buy what I can afford.  I try to buy organic with things I eat raw.  I’ve quit organic milk, because I read that Integrity Report that says my store brand organic milk is barely better than factory farm milk.  I try to focus on all-natural products and try to avoid processed foods.  With meat, I buy organic after payday and regular meat when the budget is tighter.  I go back and forth with organic storebrand eggs (are they like the milk, barely better than regular eggs?) and free-range/vegetarian fed eggs. 

Have you watched the Jamie Oliver show where he shows people in a West Virginian town how to eat healthier?  I haven’t watched it yet, but it sounds and looks like a cool premise.  The people featured on the show are supposedly willing to learn better eating habits and want their children to be healthier.  The town he chose was dubiously honored by the CDC as the ‘most obese” town in America.  How freaking depressing is that?  I plan to tune in.  

It makes me think about American cheese.  Have you ever thought about the fact that our national cheese is processed?  American cheese.  The cheese that is named after our country.  Is actually cheese-ish.  Says it’s processed cheese right on the package.  I checked in my fridge, it actually says it, and yes, we eat it regularly on our grilled cheeses (cheesi?).  Sigh.  The French have Brie, the Italians have gorgonzola, the Swiss have, well, swiss.  Maybe that’s our problem, the fromage americain.  Nope, doesn’t sound any better in french.   

It really all comes down to choice.  We are all busy, with jobs or job hunting, kids, working out, church, kids’ activities, homework, doctor appointments, school projects that the kids tell us about the night before they are due, family obligations, volunteering, laundry, laundry, and more laundry, etc. ad nauseum.  We just want to get home at the end of our busy days, to our homes where we can put on our sweat pants and decompress with our loved ones.  And sometimes we just want to run through Chick-Fil-A, come home, eat in 10 minutes and have the sweats on within 15 minutes of closing the garage door.  But if we choose that too often, that Path Of Least Resistance, the Easy Way Out, all we will fit into is those sweats.  All our children will fit in is those sweats. 

Sometimes you will choose that Path, but sometimes you can choose to run in the store and in only a few minutes, pick up bread, turkey, cheese, baby carrots, baked chips.  Make a quick sandwich when you get home, AND you’ll have food for lunchboxes the next day.  And it’s more economical. 

You can choose to only have healthy snacks in your house (except the PMS weeks- I recommend doing whatever is necessary for sanity maintenance!)  Fruit, string cheese, popcorn, peanut butter crackers, granola bars:  something of nutritional value instead of empty calories.  On a day-to-day basis, you and your kids will have no choice but to eat healthy.  Then you can still treat your kids to Coldstone Creamery for a fun outing now and then.  Have you tried the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection?  Oh man, it’s happiness in a cup.

Well, that’s typical.  Start out talking about healthy eating and downward spiral into talking about  Peanut Butter Cup Perfection.  I think my point is, life is about choices, and we can choose to stop putting that crappy food in our mouths and our children’s mouths.  If life gets too busy on occasion, by all means pick up the Chick-Fil-A.  If it starts to be every other night, you need to make time to prepare healthy meals for your family.  You know what we did one day when we were flying to see our grandparents?  We packed Uncrustables, Pirate’s Booty (questionable nutritional value, I admit), apples, trail mix and waters in our backpack to eat for lunch while we waited at the airport.  It was fast food but mostly healthy (and economical) fast food.  So much better than the food at the airport.  It is doable.  It takes some planning.  It does take some effort.  But not that much.  It doesn’t have to a gourmet 5 course meal.  Just aim for healthy, tasty and budget friendly, all natural whole foods, and organic when the budget allows.

What Simon Cowell would say about this blog:  “So indulgent, like a cruise ship blogger, very corny, like a blog you would see in any random bar.”

What Randy Jackson would say about this blog:  “I just didn’t get it, I wasn’t feelin’ it.  It wasn’t a good blawg, dawg.”

What Kara would say:  “I really see you more as a R&B/hip hop blogger.”

What Ellen would say:  “I just want to see you do something different, like NOT BLOGGING AT ALL, or with an acousic guitar.”

Someday, Ellen, I just might…

Take care of yourselves and each other,



Organic Vegetable Container Gardening March 21, 2010

Filed under: Environment,Food & Drink,Green,Health,organic — Katie Anderson @ 12:07 pm

Good morning to you,

Happy 2nd Day of Spring!  As I am very ready for the warmer weather Spring brings, I am already suffering from the allergies that Spring also brings.  So I ask in advance for your forgiveness for writing a blog under the influence of prescription sinus medication.  There is a bit of fog in the brain, needless to say. 

Onward and upward…I am starting to plan my organic vegetable container garden for the spring, so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned.  Perhaps you, too, would like to plant some veggies but don’t have a great spot in the yard?  My best sunny spot in my yard is in the side yard, where  I already have beds with plants in it.  My back yard is just too shady and I’ve decided my best bet is to try containers placed in the beds in the side yard.  I actually saw a neighbor who put tomato plants in attractive containers in her side yard beds, and it really looked nice.  Her plants were just dripping with tomatoes and it made a lovely and interesting addition to her flower bed.

I am using Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening for my main resource.  This book seems to have everything I need, and it uses everyday language and not too science-y.  It’s great for a beginner like me.  From their descriptions of types of containers, I’ve decided to go with wood, and ask my Green hubby 🙂  if he will make me some…thanks in advance, honey!  Wood containers protect roots from rapid temperature swings.  The book suggests using a rot-resistant wood such as cedar or locust, or use pine treated with a nontoxic preservative (but do not use creosote, which is toxic to plants.)  I also may use ones I already have that are made of polyurethane foam; the book says they also provide good insulation for roots against hot and cold temperatures.

Make sure the containers have holes in the bottom for drainage.  The book suggests using a houseplant soil mixture, instead of plain garden soil.  I will use a commercial potting mix, but there is a recipe for making your own if you are interested.  Water the soil before planting plants.  Do not put soil all the way to the top of the container, so that you leave space for watering.

For containers, you obviously need to choose plants that go up rather than out.  There are many dwarf varieties that will do well.  Tomatoes, cucumber, trellis snow peas, shell peas, pole beans, pepper, squash, lettuce, scallions, and herbs are all good choices.  Choose medium and small-fruited plants for tomatoes and peppers.  The smaller the fruit, the more the plant will produce. 

Warm weather crops can be set out just after the last frost.  Someone told me that farmers used to wait until after Good Friday to plant, so that’s what I will go by.  Most of the plants mentioned above are warm weather, except the shell peas which are hot weather and need to be planted 3 weeks after the last frost, and lettuces, which are cool weather crops and need to be planted in early fall. 

As far as watering goes, don’t let soil dry out completely.  Use a layer of mulch to retain moisture.  They also need to be fertilized every 2 weeks.  I will look to buy an organic fertilizer to use.  To maintain the container garden, remove tattered leaves and deadhead flowers.  Prune back plants that stop blooming, and get rid of any plants that don’t grow well.

For next time:  Organic Pest Control in Your Container Garden

Readers’ Input:  Are you already tending a vegetable garden?  Are you planning one?  Please leave me a comment with any tips or advice you may have.

Recipes:  I would like to start featuring recipes from readers.  I know a lot of you like to cook and eat like I do, and I would love to try your recipes.  Do you have a healthy, budget friendly, family friendly recipe?  Or maybe you have a recipe for a delicious, decadent splurge with all natural ingredients?  If so, send it my way and I’ll share it in a future post.

Thanks for reading.  Take it easy and enjoy the beginning of Spring!


Homemade Lemon Liqueur (Limoncello):  from Cooking Light, March 2010

Combine 1/2 c. lemon rind strips with 4 c. vodka, cover, and let stand for 2 weeks.  Strain and combine with simple syrup made from 3 c. water and 1 1/2 c. sugar.  Traditionally served cold as a digestif.  Also yummy with champagne.