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Tag Archives: local

The Lorax, Walmart & Making your own detergent

Do you believe in signs, coincidence or the law of attraction if so keep reading if not you might find the following thoughts mildly amusing, either way its worth a try.

I get dizzy when I just hear the name Wal Mart and imagine isles packed floor to ceiling with color coded options. Facing the department store equipped with a list, shopping went swiftly. The ingredients to making your own laundry detergent are easy to find on a bottom shelf, sitting all right next to each other. Wal Mart apparently knows their DIY customer base. Spending a mere fraction of the cost than for regular detergent felt like an accomplishment in itself. The largest aspect, however, is knowing exactly what goes into such a frequently used household item. I was gloating a bit when I finally used the first scoop. I even added fresh lavender from an in town farm to the mix.

Shaving the soap into the bowl took the longest. Nothing better than exerting a little sweat when it comes to ‘assembling’ your seemingly own product. I call it the IKEA effect. Its no newly discovered fact that people have a stronger sense of appreciation when it comes to doing things themselves at least in part. Business owners are capitalizing on the notion more and more, not just for their customers experience but as a cost incentives to their operations as well.

As much as I loathe enormous corporations a la Wal Mart I can’t deny a sense of appreciation for the access to DIY products they provide. The consumer does hold the power even if persuasion to buying is tugging on them like a small child needing to be held. While I was leaving the store I spotted a poster of the Lorax movie near the exit/entry way. Schlepping my reusable bag including a big box of Borax, it became instantly clear why Dr. Seuss had chosen this particular character name and title.

The road to low impact living really starts here – at least for me. Its a renewed commitment to the cause of giving a damn. The resources are all right there at the very fingertips getting ready to send these lines out into the internet. All you gotta do is start by taking a look.

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Thanks to DIYnatural for the inspiration!

~ Live well while using less

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A Beginning

The weather’s been good to us this week, yet again.  The land must’ve loved the warming sun enabling plenty of photosynthesis. Thankfully, the year’s mild Georgia Winter helped provide a more consistent vegetable supply to local stores as well as growers at farmers markets.

This past Monday on a misty foggy evening I paid the local new grocery store a visit, this time however, for different business than usual. Boxcar Grocer was throwing a big opening celebration & everyone from Food Artisans to Politicians seemed to be present. What a perfect way to start the internship & getting the word out about Real Time Farms. People were receptive, enthusiastic and grateful. I can’t help but notice the enthusiasm the local food movement is enjoying vibrating through the various fabrics of society. We all know as a collective there is a task at hand.

Finally on Friday afternoon I got the chance to interview South African native, local dietician & fellow food warrior Jess Avasthi. Both of us baby in tow, soaking up some sun on a bench in urban agriculture heaven called Truly Living Well Farm.

Jess whom I met one week prior at the annual Fruit Tree Sale put on by ALFI (Atlanta Local Food Initiative) found out about RTF via comfood, a listserve linking individuals together interested in community food security. She has a strong passion for good, delicious food that’s accessible. Other factors that compelled her to the internship include getting people to realize how to source the right foods and simply that everyone deserves good food.

[The reason food transparency is so important,] she continues, is next to food being a basic need, a form of medicine, & because we have to eat everyday it’s only fair that we know where it comes from, who makes a profit off of it.  “We’d like to think it to be fair, just and balanced” she says, a pause ensues “It’s a consumer’s right” she continues, both of us knowing that’s the goal of the sum of our herein efforts.

When quizzed about what her favorite food documentary is, food inc. may seem like a rather obvious choice but the movie’s relevance resonates in so many different ‘food documentaries’ today. Jess finds the bold, brave statement portrayed of the current food system a double edged sword. On one side we enjoy the fresh options that are created. On the other hand the documentary illuminates the strain that’s being put on the rest of the planet via big AG.

The East Atlanta Farmers Market, Sun in my Belly and the former Dynamic Dish are amongst her Atlanta favorite spots. As a new mom, however, you tend to focus more on immediate at home choices. I am curious to know how her food philosophy is reflected in her baby’s diet. She emphasizes next to making her own baby food from local organic produce that exposing him to the land is an experience she wants to pass on as it was part of her own upbringing. It’s no small feat to dream up a childhood with strong ties to the land in an urban setting. Places like Truly Living Well Farm make these dreams real & that’s only the beginning of what we can do.

As we are embarking on the journey as food warriors we agree on current urban agriculture needing more policy in place, positively impacting every grower. Jess illuminates the potential Atlanta/ Georgia has to become agricultural leader in the South East & a local food movement summed up in three words:  Blossoming – Essential – Accessible.