Tag archive for "Earth Day"

Grow An Herb Garden In Your Kitchen

at home, healthy body, kosher recipes

Grow An Herb Garden In Your Kitchen

No Comments 21 April 2010

Those of you who read my other blog Sketch42 know that all year long I have been on a quest to eat local and organic food. (And this was before Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution!) You also know that IT AINT EASY! By mid-Feburary my family was quite sick of butternut squash, cabbage and apples…. Thankfully, Spring is here and I will soon be planting my garden in New Jersey. But this year, I will also be planting another garden. A little herb garden on my window sill.

Michael Pollan author of In Defense of Food, Food Rules and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (just some light reading about the current abysmal state of the industrial food system) lists growing your own food as the GREENEST thing you can possibly do.(Keeping Shabbat is also on his list!!!)  It’s also the healthiest food you will ever eat.

Here are the instructions for setting up your own herb garden:

1. You need one large pot, or a few smaller pots.

2. Put gravel or rocks over drainage hole.

3. Fill pot with soil mix – to 1” from top of pot

4. Use an organic fertilizer and mix in with soil

5. Scatter herb seeds on surface

6. Cover with soil according to directions on packet (some herbs seeds should not be covered)

7. Water well, but with a light touch

8. Keep watered

9. Seeds germinate in 7 – 21 days, depending on species (see seed packet for more information)

10. Grow in a sunny spot. They need between 4-6 hours of sunlight a day.

Herbs That Grow Best Indoors:
Parsley
Mint
Chives
Rosemary
Cilantro
Oregano
Sage

Tips For Successful Herbs:

– Light requirements: 6 hours in a sunny window for most herbs, 4 is OK for rosemary, mint, and parsley.
– You could also use a grow light. It should be approximately 16 inches above the plants and needs to be on for 12 to 14 hours to provide the equivalent of 6 hours sunlight. It looks like a fluorescent light tube.
– Drainage: All herbs require especially good drainage. The containers must have drainage holes on the bottom, and Leda recommend adding additional perlite or sand to a commercial potting soil mix (1 part perlite or sand to 3 parts mix).
– Watering: Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make when growing herbs indoors. The surface of the soil must be allowed to dry to a depth of 1-inch before watering, and then it should be a good, deep watering (until water flows through the drainage holes).
– Feeding: Herbs should be fed once a month with a half-strength organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion.

OR… You can buy ready made kits that make it super easy to grow your own herbs.
These kits also make great gifts!
1.Herb Garden Gift Basket  $39.95 (I love this as a Mother’s Day gift!!)

2. Garden in a bag - $9.00 These are so cute.
3. Self watering pots… Keeps plants watered for 7-10 days!
4. Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit – This kit has every spice you could want!

5. Indoor Garden Kit: Thyme Herb Kit $9.99

I really encourage you to plant a garden where ever you can!

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Love Your Little Ones- Be BPA-Free

kids

Love Your Little Ones- Be BPA-Free

1 Comment 20 April 2010


As if we need more Jewish guilt

Who would ever think that  popular brand baby bottles, pacifiers, and toys could possibly be dangerous to our kids health?

This week, Earth Day prompts us all to be aware of the chemicals in the environment and in our homes.

Pregnancy and early childhood are critical times in babies’ lives because they are growing and developing so rapidly. During this time they are vulnerable to elements in their environment, and we as  parents should protect them as much as possible from exposure to potentially harmful substances.

PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) is a hard plastic that requires harsh chemical softeners, such as phthalates, to make it appropriate for use in soft plastic baby toys such as squirty toys.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is used in hard, clear plastics sometimes used in baby toys to prevent breakage.

In 2003 it was shown that products  manufactured with PVC  and BPA were shown to disrupt reproductive functions and cause other developmental problems.

Make sure your baby products are also Nitrosamine free: Nitrosamines are found in latex products such as some infant teethers. They have been shown to cause cancer in many animals.   Make sure  all your teethers and soothers are nitrosamine free.

Check out the items below. Do your research, and be informed.

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Delicious Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

kosher recipes

Delicious Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

No Comments 17 April 2010

Earth Day got me thinking about my every day cooking and my impact upon our earth. Each day I prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for a growing family- and within a day or two I am almost always throwing out leftovers, fruits that I bought too much of, vegetables that I decided not to make…. How is all this waste impacting the environment? Here a few facts just to give you an idea of the food being wasted in America:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), just over a quarter of the country’s food — about 25.9 million tons — gets thrown in the garbage can every year. It then costs the government 1 Billion dollars to dispose of all of this waste.

So tomorrow morning instead of throwing out my challah from Saturday Shabbat lunch, I will be making baked challah french toast!

Ingredients:

1 loaf cinnamon raisin challah bread (Plain challah bread works great with this recipe as well)

3 eggs

2 cups whole milk (Sometimes I do one cup skim and one cup whole)

3 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Slice Challah bread in 2 inch thick slices  and place in pyrex that has been sprayed with pam.

Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl and pour over bread.  Let the bread soak up the mixture. Flip slices of bread and let it continue to soak up the mixture- this should only take a few minutes.

Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the bread.

Bake 20-25 minutes

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