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Showing posts from February, 2013

My Wheatgrass Sprouts, or Jack and the Wheat Stalk

My wheatgrass has sprouted!!! Yippee!!! Wheatgrass sprouts rather quickly, and is supposed to be quite easy to care for... you know... just like any other grass.  You also don't have to worry about how far apart the seeds are planted.  Again, just like any other grass. Imagine if all gardening was this simple? Indeed, I'm beginning to think that I should transplant it into the shallow clay pot that I bought already!  Why, you ask?  Well, I've discovered that wheatgrass blades are pretty tenacious.  Just like the grass that grows in sidewalk cracks, wheatgrass sprouts will happily burst through netting that they shouldn't. I'm kinda worried that once the roots grow large enough, they'll be poking through the egg carton they're being held within. And then they'll shoot through the window sill, Clear down through the basement, and into the foundation of the house.  Then, the grass will continue to grow to such heights that the entir

A Dairy Petition That Should Offend Us

I've been alerted to something that may concern you - and most certainly concerns me. A February 23rd post published by Activist Post brought to my attention a petition to amend labeling requirements for dairy products that's been filed by the FDA by the International Dairy Foods Association, as well as the National Milk Producers Federation. This time it's not about GMOs. Rather, the dairy industry is asking to be allowed to place non-nutritive sweeteners in our milk (as well as 17 other dairy products) without mentioning them on the label.  This all basically has to do with a section of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 that allows sugar to be added to milk without adding it to the label.  We don't recognize milk, even flavored milk, as having any added sweeteners, anyway, right? Wait... we do?   Huh.   The petitioners don't seem to think so... " Further, the petitioners assert that consumers do not recognize milk—inc

Winter Sowing - Take 2!!!

And we're back at the beginning... Last year at around this time, I decided to try winter sowing .  The concept of starting seeds outside in the snow was just crazy to me! So naturally, I tried it. Last year's canterbury bells There was a problem, however.  Last winter was a mild winter for this region, and snow was just about non-existent.  As a result, nothing really took off and grew the way I was hoping it would. The theory behind winter sowing is simple.   You're basically treating seeds the way they'd be treated in nature.  The seeds go through a process of freezing and thawing, which causes them to slough off their shells in a steady and slow manner. This is all done in a controlled manner, of course.  The seeds and soil are placed in a plastic container (milk jug) which actually stays at a warmer temperature when the sun shines on it. This process conditions the seed for growth, then provides a properly warm environment at the tail end of the

Happy Anniversary to US!!!

Guess what? Today is the 1st anniversary of Even Green Boots Leave Trails!!! ::cue fireworks, noise-makers, and confetti:: This is every bit as much your anniversary, as it is mine.  After all, without you the Green Boots wouldn't exist! ::cue cheers and champagne:: To those of you that have been here since the beginning, thank you so much for your support.  You're the backbone of this blog, pure and simple. And thanks to those of you that are new to the Green Boots, as well as those that may be visiting for the first time!  Your presence keeps me going. Even Green Boots Leave Trails has helped me learn a great deal that I may not have, otherwise.  Hopefully, it has done the same for you.  The discovery of what works and what doesn't, as well as what's fact and what's not, is something that I love to focus on... full force. New knowledge is one of the most fulfilling aspects of life, and if I can use that knowledge to make the environment a littl

My First Home Energy Report: The Confusion, the Shame

I got my first Home Energy Report from the power company. I've been working hard to reduce energy in all possible ways, so I was overwhelmingly excited to see how my home compares with others.  This energy report was something that I never had in my old desert home.  I thought about the many ways I've worked to reduce energy consumption.   My dishwasher runs only when it's completely full, and I don't use the dry cycle. I caulked up as many air leaks as I could find. I used plastic on the windows. I shower every other day. I wrapped the water heater in a blanket. My clothing is washed in cold water, and only full loads are done. My thermostat is set to as high during the summer or as low during the winter as I can handle. I could go on, but we'll leave it at that.  You get the idea.  I really, really try.  I did not, therefore, expect to respond the way I did when the energy report arrived in my mailbox. I was not a happy camper. With

A Blizzard Without Snowfall? Huh?!

I'm constantly amazed by the sheer volume of things that I don't know. These are things that aren't exactly rocket science.  You don't need a degree to obtain this information. These are simply things that you learn while you go through life.  I mean, I have the basics down: Snowballs are cold. Bodies are kind of bouncy. Force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration. This is all simple. But sometimes the environment that you live in is very different from what you've always known.  When that happens, the result is a mixture of confusion, excitement, humility, and wonder. Holy crap!   There doesn't need to be snow falling from the sky to have a blizzard!!! Yeah, that one made my head spin. We had a blizzard last night... without snowfall. Those of you that live in snowy regions are shaking your heads and softly chuckling at me, I'm sure, but my dear friends in the deserts and tropics are totally sympathetic.  We

If Driving is Freedom, Freedom is a Prison.

Transportation. That's the big issue on my mind today, mainly due to watching the documentary, Sprawling From Grace .  In a nutshell, this documentary focuses on our society's love of oil. Our love of unencumbered transportation.  Our lives are focused around transportation.  Our cars define who we are.  Where we live.  How we play. It's a love that needs to be modified.  We love our cars.  When we buy one, we focus on finding one that defines us.  Is it sexy enough?  Too sexy?  Is the color right?  Is it fast?  Will it be able to jeep Moab ? Ok... that last one only appeals to me and a select few others, but you get the point. Sprawling From Grace made me think.  While I knew that we, as a society, are too in love with our cars, I never really thought about it.  Again, like most people. But then I moved to a small city in Southern Minnesota.  I moved within walking distance of fast food, a grocery store, a garden nursery, a pharmacy, and even the city's dow

Slaying the Jabberwock... With Seeds

"O frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!" No... unfortunately, I did not slay the jabberwock with my vorpal blade.  But! I did finally conquer the extreme unrest that comes with staring at snow all day long, wanting to do some gardening, and being unable to accomplish that desire. My daughter and I went to Farmer Seed and Nursery, which is within walking distance of our home.  I loaded myself with seeds, and told my daughter to go ahead and pick a few flower seeds for her own garden. We came back with a load of seed packets, as well as a shallow pot.  I then grabbed a few organic seeds I had managed to grab up at the grocery store while they were on sale.  I began arranging everything into what I felt was perfection, then gazed down at our loot. I was a happy girl. You're probably wondering what in the heck I have egg cartons scattered around for.  My husband has been wondering the same thing for the past few months, no doubt worried that he had married a hoar

Remove Bloodstains Without Bleach!

Some of you remember when I smashed my head into a rock wall a while back.   Well, I just realized that there was one thing I didn't cover when I talked about it:  Bloodstain removal. Seriously.  Granted, it's not every day that you need to worry about this particular problem, but when it hits you don't have a lot of time to think about how to fix the problem.  Bloodstains set fast. The washcloth I used to clean my head before applying frozen peas was one example of a bloodstained problem. Eew. So how did I make all of that nastiness go away without using bleach? It was easy.  I just followed the advice my mom gave me the last time I had a bloodstained mess. Yeah... I'm a bit accident prone.  My pain threshold, however, is fabulous! 1.   Keep it wet.  If it's not already wet, run some water over it.  This is more important than any other advice.  If blood dries, it starts to set. 2.   Grab some hydrogen peroxide.  Forever after, you will consi

Ice Scraping Chisel Thingie to the Rescue!!!

I made an awesome new discovery!!! To be honest, I wasn't going to post about it.  Most people probably already know about this magnificent piece of awesomeness.  It's a smile inducing, extra magnificent, ice chiseling, super fantastic scraper tool thingie! I'm getting the impression that you're not impressed. Ok, sure.  It looks like a shovel.  Big deal, right?  Well, let me make it a little more exciting, then!  Here's a side view! Your silence is deafening... I suppose this means I need to explain why this is the best discovery ever. Fair enough. I'm sure you remember the gorgeous sheet of ice that covered my sidewalk a while back, trapping fallen leaves in all their glory, showing the ripple structure created as the water froze.  It was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, what wasn't quite as beautiful was the fact that it didn't melt.  Not only that, but when I went to grab sand to throw on top of the area - since not many p

The Pros and Cons of Coconut Palm Sugar: Part 3

For the past few blog posts, I've been evaluating coconut palm sugar.    We've looked at the rather small amount of research that has gone into its nutritive value , as well as coconut palm sugar's remarkably low glycemic index value.  Today, we're going a step farther. Do you remember how I had discovered that coconut sugar was the center of a huge controversy? That controversy has to do with sustainability.   Specifically, we're talking about the process involved in attaining this sugar, and how it may or may not effect the future of the coconut tree as a species. Coconut palm sugar is created by tapping the sap (also referred to as 'toddy') of the coconut tree.   This is done by tapping into the flower bud.  Sap drips from the fleshy stem (for lack of a better descriptor) from which a series of blossoms can grow.   ( image source ) It is then collected and heated just enough to begin the evaporation process - aroun

The Pros and Cons of Coconut Palm Sugar: Part 2

I never thought I'd have enough to say about a single sweetener that I'd have to break it into parts, but here we are on part 2! Wow! Yesterday I discussed the nutritive value of coconut palm sugar .  What first seemed a very simple quest to find information and lay out the full load in front of you turned into a fruitless search for a single study cited by  just about every company that sells the stuff.  I'm still trying to locate it. Wish me luck! Today I want to talk about the glycemic index value of coconut palm sugar. Note: I'm specifically referring to  100% coconut palm sugar in this post .  The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how quickly the sugars within a food convert into glucose within human body.  Glycemic index is measured on a scale of 0 to 100.   A low GI is anything below 55.  A high GI value is anything above 70.  Low is good.  High is bad. Right about now, I imagine you're thinking: Great, Rebecca... now what the heck

The Pros and Cons of Coconut Palm Sugar, Part 1

My quest for the perfect sweetener continues. On my last trip to the store I made a discovery.  Just above eye level sat a medium sized bag tucked in between the agave nectar and the stevia blends. My heart skipped a beat.  My body temperature slightly raised and a feeling of everything-is-good-in-the-world overcame me.  It was a certified organic, unprocessed, highly nutritive, non-sugar sweetener. Look!  It's in front of my fish tank to give it more of a tropical feel! Pay no attention to the  fact that a goldfish doesn't belong in that vision... Coconut Palm Sugar. Naturally, I scooped it up.  This was something I had to try.  The price tag was a bit higher than I'd like, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I had a mission, after all, and I wasn't going to take that lightly.  Ignoring such a treasure would cause me to lose sleep. I'd get deep circles under my eyes due to the high stress levels created by ignorance, and I'd curl up i

The Klutz's Head Wound, or Frozen Peas, I Love You!!!

I have a new found love of peas. Remember those old movies and TV shows where a child is injured, so the child's mother brings out a giant steak for him (it's always a boy) to place over the wounded area so that he doesn't have a bump the size of a pregnant woman's belly on his head? While I wouldn't recommend a steak, doing that same thing with a bag of frozen peas is a great idea.  A really great idea. A few nights ago, I made a rather poor judgement call.   I was feeling lazy, so I decided to take both dogs out at the same time.  This wouldn't have been a problem, except that I elected to take them up the treacherous trail that leads to the fenced in area of the back yard. Again, this wouldn't have been a problem, but after the last freeze that covered everything with ice , I didn't reapply sand to the trail .  Then, a few inches of snow covered the yard, so the ice was covered. Naturally, I forgot about it.  Well, not entirely... I knew