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 www.yellowdaisychickchat.wordpress.com

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight!

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Katie

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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 abcnews.com for about six hours: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/conversation-eating-orleans-11411906 

The sizzle reel is at http://vimeo.com/13919319.  Password is “crawfish” 

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

Thanks,

Michael Dunaway              

478/320-7547         478/320-7547

www.themanwhoateneworleans.com

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/conversation-eating-orleans-11411906

“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,

Katie

 

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:  http://www.tonic.com/article/five-guys-burgers-is-rated-the-best-burger-in-america-zagat/

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,

Katie

“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 Orleanshttp://abcnews.go.com/WN/conversation-ray-cannata-eats-restaurant-orleans/story?id=11410066

 

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,

Katie

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,

Katie

“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 http://foodiemama.com/Breakfast-Recipes/Cinnamon-Biscuits-and-Citrus-Mint-Iced-Tea.html.

Take care of yourself and each other,

Katie

“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 (http://philipsarena.com/Content/view.aspx?CID=d8382799-c4e6-4242-94d4-7250bca72e7b.)  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,

Katie

*See my recipe for Easy Lime Chicken Fajitas at http://foodiemama.com/Dinner-Recipes/Easy-Lime-Chicken-Fajitas.html