Junior Forest Wardens Annual Tree Sale Saturday June 14, 2014 – CDs Trees

ThJFW Tree Sale 2014e Annual Junior Forest Wardens Tree Sale is a sign for many that summer is just about here.  The event traditionally happens Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, and over the past 18 years many proud papas have received Tree Sale stuff for their dedicated day.  It makes a perfect gift because it will progress the garden, get dad out to dig, and last and last and last.  The kids grow and go, but a good tree will stand in its spot for a hundred years.

CDs Trees and JFW established an excellent partnership in 2013.  For its first 17 or so years, the JFW Tree Sale was held at the Forest Ecology Centre on Brookfield Road.  Exciting new projects there in 2013 led JFW to CDs Trees.

Owned by Chris and Debbie Swyers, CDs Trees is a magical place filled with sights and sounds and scents of joy.  Junior Forest Wardens are not the only ones who think so – in 2014 CDs Trees received an Honourable Mention for Canadian Nursery Landscape Association’s Garden Centre of the Year Award.

Like all Junior Forest Wardens events, the Tree Sale is a family affair.  Moms, Dads and kids from 5-18  make up the Junior Forest Warden groups.  The groups are self-organized, and adventures vary from group to group and meeting to meeting.  Tree Sale Day is an annual highlight, when Wardens have an amazing time helping customers, pushing and pulling carts and wagons, and getting up close with nature.

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the Nourish film: Cameron Diaz, Jamie Oliver, Michael Pollan, us & food

Nourish

Nourish

Newfoundland is an island in the North Atlantic at the 47th parallel.  Since glaciers scraped much of the island’s fertile soil off onto the Grand Banks a long time ago, the growing was never that easy, but we managed.

These days most of what we eat is not from here.   Why is that?  And how do the pretty pinky-orange pears and other foods come to be here?

Nourish is a conversation about food and sustainability.  The Nourish film looks at our relationship to food, and how it connects to biodiversity, climate change, public health, and social justice.  It won lots of awards at film festivals.

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Oliver, Michael Pollan and many others whose knowledge is great but celebrity is more limited are featured.  Come see it!

Tuesday March 18, 2014,  7 – 9 pm (doors open 6:40)
District School, Strawberry Marsh Road, St. John’s (across from Arts and Culture Centre). Suggested minimum donation: $5

Brought to us by Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Educators NLEE

47thparalleThe green line shows the island of Newfoundland lining up at the 47th parallel.

clean. not toxic.

 

lemons - good for more than lemonade

lemons – good for more than lemonade

What’s in your cleaning cupboard?  If products you use carry a warning label it’s for a good reason:  it’s harmful.   

It really is scary how we accept using harmful chemicals on every surface and for every purpose.   True story:  I refused to let my kids help with the cleaning because I didn’t want them near the cleaners.

That got me thinking, and I found lots of information about cleaning products, health, and the planet at Women’s Voices for the Earth and The David Suzuki Foundation.   

Also found lots of recipes, and learned that with a few ingredients, a Jones Soda bottle and a (well-rinsed) sprayer, the kids can clean all they like.  

Many cleaning staples are available at supermarkets.  Other basics, and eco-friendly product lines like Nellie’s All Natural, are available on the ground in St. John’s at The Natural Health Shop on Stavanger Drive.   

Cleaning Basics – 

Baking soda: Just plain sodium bicarbonate, it works wonders for scrubbing and deodorizing!

Vinegar: Plain white vinegar. A natural disinfectant. It’s cheap and you can buy it in large quantities.

Washing soda: Sodium carbonate, a.k.a baking soda’s cousin. Often used as a water softener for laundering or a stain remover.

Borax: Sodium borate. Good for laundering and cleaning.

Castile soap: Soap made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide.

Lemon peel:  Juice the lemon for wicked lemonade.

All Purpose Cleaner:  Lemon peels + vinegar + time.   Cover lemon peels with vinegar and let stay for at least two weeks.  Stir every now and then.  The longer you leave it the stronger the formula will be. Once ready, strain and decant. A few drops of essential oils cut the vinegar scent (e.g. peppermint oil, lemongrass oil). Typical sprayers fit on Jones Soda bottles.

Eartheasy.com carries a very comprehensive list recipes for just about every cleaning situation – and a list of ‘over the counter’ products.

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#BellLetsTalk – sustainability and mental health

out the door unfettered

out the door unfettered

today’s #BellLetsTalk mental health conversation is so great.  it opens up possibilities for all of us. 

the Sustainabilty Office at Simon Fraser University cites a 2011 study from the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation that shows the relationship between mental health and sustainabilty.  the report supports the link between ‘flourishing mental health’ and social, cultural, economic and environmental goals.  

that’s an overwhelming lot to take in.  so to take one point from the report:  The New Economics Foundation (2005) has suggested that increased material consumption is not bringing more wellbeing to developed countries, but instead is making us less mentally healthy. 

thegreenrock.ca take-away point:  less stuff is better.  i love it!  it was one of the personal motivators for thegreenrock.ca because, for instance, the little tiny frustrations that come from not being able to find something mount to gargantuan proportions when you’re trying to get out the door and you can’t find the thing you need.  much better to get out the door unfettered, unfrustrated

thank you #BellLetsTalk

The Yard Sale – Conclusion

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The sun shone and they came!   The yarn was cut at 9:30, and over the next few hours so many people dropped by, browsed, tried to barter and bought.  The kids helped – a lot, learned a lot, and had a great time.

About $130 came in, and most if it is in a jar to meet the “I need $7 for a field trip… I need 55 cents for milk…. I need $2 for the school fundraiser…”  That will save a lot of stress in the mornings.  Some has gone to the Humane Soceity, courtesy of the 14-year-old and the proceeds from her sales.

The deals were good, but not quite enough for those who like to ‘yard sale’ as a vocation.  I had a knife sharpener, $20 retail, priced at 50 cents.  The customer wanted it for 25 cents.  Neither of us would budge.  Funny really.  But we both had our stands and we stuck to them.  Hat’s off sir.  Thank you for making me smile.  

Meeting people is half the fun.  A woman wanted a CD to work out to, and in an effort to inspire her I sang a few bars from ‘too many fish in the sea’, ‘The Committments’ CD.  She dropped it fast!  Sad that my singing totally undermined the music, I gave it to her.   She accepted, and promised to give it a try.  I hope it worked.

Most importantly, good stuff has gone on to a new home, and there is more room in ours.  The kids learned to let go a bit (and so did I).  And the little snowman magnets featured in the last post were purchased by someone who really liked them:  joy, sustainable.

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World Food Day Movie & Meal – Gower Street

Like to eat great, local food?  Like a good movie?  Live in St. John’s metro, or willing to travel?  This is for you!

When: Friday, October 19th
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Where: Gower St. United Church
Tickets: $15 or Pay What You Can

The Meal: a three-course meal made mostly of local ingredients showcasing fish, vegetables, & fruit of Newfoundland & Labrador.

The Movie: END OF THE LINE, an eye-opening documentary looking at the impact of overfishing on oceanswww.endoftheline.com

4th Annual World Food Day Movie & Meal

To reserve seats contact Rick Kelly atrichardkelly@foodsecuritynews.com or call (709) 237-4026.Vegan/vegetarian options available.