Last days of August…Fall Planting- are you ready?

As the Hurricane, a.k.a. Tropical Storm, Irene winds down from the East Coast of the USA so does the summer. Although summers official end is not until the Fall Equinox on Sept. 23, 2011, at 5:05 A.M. (EDT).

I am sad to see summer wane but I must admit I do love the fall. It is a funny juxtaposition of beginnings and endings. Summer flowers fade to make room for the fall, and those flowers don’t hold a candle to their summer rivals. The colors are often muted, the shapes less exotic and overall they seem less glorious. That said, I still DO love to see them, especially mixed with ornamental grasses. I have not been a landscape designer for MANY years, however, that mix is still one of my favorites. Another wonderful thing about fall is all the other colors. The leaves of the vines, Poison Ivy,one of my least favorite plants, but I must admit that it is a beautiful fall color. The shrubs, Oakleaf Hydrangea is one my all time favorite plants especially in the fall, and naturally, the trees with their spectacular fall show up here in New England.

Back to the beginnings/the ends….The kids begin a new school year/Summer freedom is over. A crispness in the air feels great/Nature takes care of it’s own and weaker animals will pass on. It seems as if the earth is taking care of them, sparing them the harshness of winter in their weaken state. The beach crowds are pretty much gone/We can now go and take the dogs letting them run free-spirited. Hot lazy days are pretty much gone/Cool extra busy ones are here. Green often turns to brown.

I do want to share a new discovery I am excited about. This item may change the way you feel about “grow your own” – especially in small spaces! We live in a condo/townhouse and for better and worse I no longer have a large garden area at my fingertips. It’s kind of like portion control for me!  Less space, therefore I must contain myself and keep it under control! More space and I can’t seem to stop planting, moving and redesigning! Here is my discovery. It’s a company called Earthbox (name is a link to them.) You name it and apparently you can grow it in their box! A large percentage of us live in urban areas, the Earthbox can be a piece of nature wherever for you. How fab!!! Another great thing I found on their site was an article called “From Inside the BOX: Planting Fall EarthBox Crops” –a few bites and nibbles to peek your interest and get you to go and read their page!

“Our Thanksgiving tradition is based on an appreciation and gratitude for good harvests from Mother Earth — a concept that is, for many of us, more symbolic than actual these days. But adding some home-grown EarthBox produce can bring that reverence for nature and its offerings to your Thanksgiving celebration!  … you could still grow part of your Thanksgiving produce fresh in your EarthBox, if you start planting soon. You could also grow some flowers for table centerpieces and for host gifts (that’s what I want to do!)

If you’re planning to include some fresh EarthBox produce in a Thanksgiving dish, just select a recipe that includes the appropriate vegetables.

(And get this – a whole list of ideas!)

Suggested Crops

Crops that mature in approximately 90-110 days include the following. Keep in mind that you may have to harvest some of these a bit early for your Thanksgiving feast, but all should be perfectly edible by then:

(Ok that’s the “hook” – now  go check it out:  See the fall crops listing and then go to the website for the box itself. I thought it was a very good deal! See below.)

White Organic Ready to Grow Complete Kit
We have the ORGANIC solution right here! Poor soil conditions and small backyards are no match for the EarthBox®. Now it’s easy to garden anywhere–even on balconies, porches, and rooftops! Anyone can enjoy delicious homegrown veggies, fruits, and herbs grown in an EarthBox®. A sustainable product that uses less water and fertilizer, the EarthBox® will grow bigger and tastier plants faster than a conventional garden–with virtually no effort and zero guesswork! Now that’s one smart garden!”
EarthBox® Ready-to-Grow Kits that include everything you need to start your garden-even casters! Just add plants and water.- $59.95I want one! How about you!?

Now you know – happy fall planting! Hope that Irene was not awful to/for you – and that all are safe and dry now. 

See you on Wednesday.

Fun Food Friday: Local, easy and delicious Corn Salad.

As many of you know, we are not only “frequent flyers” but “Weekly Tuesday Flyers” at the Cranston RI, Whole Foods Summer Farmer Market. Whole Foods generously supports us, enabling us to set out our “wares” (in our case artwork, cards, and a small product line from The Botanical Beauties and Beasties.) Thank you so much Whole Foods for supporting the local community of farmers and craftspeople. You guys ROCK!

O.K., on to last Tuesday which will bring us to todays Fun Food Friday. Each week the talented Holly Dion, from Whole Foods, joins in the fun by creating a delectable food tasting! Last week was a GREAT CORN SALAD. I wanted to share it with all you who did not make it down to Cranston RI that day.  There were only good things about this recipe, but to make it even better, it was FAST, EASY, ALL LOCAL INGREDIENTS, and YUMMY. Add that up and it equals Divine.  I am sure that pretty much wherever you may live/shop, you too can make this with all “local” ingredients.

Whole Foods was again very kind and said I could post this today to share. Many thanks to them … I call this- Divine Corn Salad.

  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (Boil up the corn then de-cob it (yes, I just made that word up!) for the kernels.
  • 1 large local tomato, cut into pieces or wedges
  • 1/2 cup local red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped local green pepper
  • 4-6 large Basil leaves cut into thin strips (perhaps you grew your own?)
  • 2 Tablespoons vinaigrette or Italian dressing (Holly used a great tasting dressing from Cindy’s Kitchen, called  Barcelona Vinaigrette – from Brocton MA.)
  • Handful of local mixed greens – baby greens are especially good.
Toss together corn kernels, tomato, onion, bell pepper, basil, and vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Spoon onto a bed of baby greens for serving.
That’s it! Easy Peasy….. ♥
To find this great recipe, and more, as well as cool local discoveries check out  the local Whole Foods Market – FORAGER.FINDS, Summer issue for Rhode Island and all of New England.

See you all on Monday!

Back to fashion – today is Patagonia Day

Mock Patagonia_Wells MEBirdelli wanted to speak of her environmental opinions today, so today she is doing a set up/mock ad as a tribute to Patagonia. She loves the words that Patagonia uses on their website …

“The wild world we love is fast disappearing. At Patagonia, we think that business can inspire solutions to the environmental crisis. This means that what we make and how we make it must cause the least harm to the environment. We evaluate raw materials, invest in innovative technologies, and rigorously police our waste. Take a look at the Common Threads Initiative, bluesign Standard, the Footprint Chronicles and more. We also use a portion of our sales to support grassroots groups working to make a real difference (our “Earth Tax,” to mitigate the damage we do). See Environmental Grants. And also, check out 1% for the Planet.

1% For The Planet® Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. We’ve awarded over $40 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities. In 2002, founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, created a non-profit corporation to encourage other businesses to do the same.”

If only all the Fashion and garment world could agree!

On case you are new to our blog…or  you don’t remember who Birdelli is.

Birdelli is our resident Eco Fashion Designer and Model of Green. The Fashion Industry (The Textile Industry) is one of the worst polluters. Fabric printing and dyeing produces a variety of chemicals, dyes, acids and alkalis besides other toxic compounds like heavy metals, which are known for their hazardous properties. The bulk is released as water pollution in the form of residues in waste-streams. Bad stuff. The good news is there are companies, and a fashion trend, to stop all this and there are ways to do it. For instance one can dye fabrics with out water. Even Levis with their “Water” jeans  are getting into the big picture. So times are slowly a’changing.

Birdelli job as an Eco Conscious Creatures is to help spread the awareness. To help folks understand why buying Conscious Fashion matters. Rethink your wardrobe. Style, colors and fun are all still available but with the right companies and a little thought you can help the world and look great while doing it!

To find out more about Birdelli and the other members of the Community of Botaniumus- read more.

See you all on Friday with Fun Food Friday!

A tribute to Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen‘s fall 2011 as starring Raquel Zimmermann is kind of epic” FASHIONINDIE site
I love this image, I love the dress, I love the fact that McQueen embraced nature in so much of his beautiful fashion…This is my version of that image – created as a tribute to him, his fashion, and the MET with its closing show “ALEXANDER McQUEEN: SAVAGE BEAUTY

I saw/found …and my version with Birdelli (who happens to be wearing DKNY pants, scarf and notebook)) 

Fashion Tuesday.

Birdelli, our resident Eco Fashion Designer and Model, is styling in DKNY today.
more about Birdelli….

Birdelli wears DKNY
 Birdelli wears and loves  DKNY today!