good to know gifts that give

somewhere in between those joyous, gauzy memories of perfect Christmas mornings, and the check-out wrought with anxious people there is a place of peace.  i am looking for it.

like the Grinch learned in Whoville, those things we exchange as tokens of love and friendship are not the main point.  but they are nice, and giving feels good.

i love local, and i love giving things that people will like, use, and hopefully will be a bit symbolic of our relationship.  and hopefully won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.

hits of Christmas past include stuff like wreaths, Clean Don’t Kill non-toxic cleaner, truffles, custom calendars, and boiled wool mitts. (here have been flops too.  unnecessary to detail.)

there is a lot out there.  every day the tiniest little poke around or walk downtown reveals something new.  for the next little while will share Good To Know gifts that give (#g2kgtg), and places to get ’em.






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the bARTer of exchange

Have a Preserve Party!

Have a Preserve Party!

There is a freedom in realizing how remarkably easy it can be to facilitate learning and sharing. The barter economy has largely become a thing of the past, yet, there are community-building ways to bring it back!  Barter is a big one for sustainability.

This past fall a thegreenrocker organized a ‘free school.’ Basically what it sounds like, a free school is an opportunity to learn something without paying any money.  Subjects are whatever is of interest:  home brew, preserves, the perfect espresso, or even book-making (like the little books they sell at Fixed).  Somebody with a skill may be more than willing to share it, and in turn learn something new from somebody else.  The free school can be as few as two.

Another couple of greenrockers had a cooking day one Sunday afternoon.  They chose good, freezaable recipes and found a Sobeys location that offered the use of their space and equipment.  The main ingredients were bought in the store.  Groceries went up the elevator, meals came down.  The were labelled, frozen, and enjoyed over the next few months.

You can also try a Soup Swap.  If five friends each make a big pot of a different soup and everyone brings take-home containers, well you get five different kinds of soup to enjoy throughout the week, or even freeze for later!   You can write down the recipe for everybody as well, so your friends can try making the soup again. You could swap any kind of food: dips, sauces, jams, cookies, casseroles etc.!

Swaps and exchanges are big boosts to cupboards, closets and friends.  Way to sustain!

secret of the garden

since we moved in almost 12 years ago our back yard has been home to a great sprawling ‘bush’.  at first the bush was a feature as the garden was scant, but it dropped from a feature to an annoyance as its surroundings improved.  it had a distinctive odour.  I hacked it into submission.

upon returning from the family vacation of a lifetime my visiting cousin said… black currants’.   o my.  I am thrilled! black currant jelly in just six steps.


i am forgiving myself for missing the secret, and look forward to sharing the harvest.  I also like the odour.

The Organic Farm ~ gentle sustainable good

Mike and Melba Rabinowitz started The Organic Farm back when ‘green’ was a colour and ‘organic’ had little to do with marketing.  it’s a good feeling, and a great first vid of the new year.

in the summer of 2011 Green Team visited The Organic Farm on Churchills Road in Portugal Cove – St. Phillip’s.  Melba R. shared the story with Anna, (Mike R. made a cameo!) .

you might think that mid-winter is scarce on fresh but eureka! – Louis R. is growing the mirco-greens.  they are an excellent source of vitamins in the winter (salads, soups, sandwiches or snacks).  get some, and give yourself, your family, your community and your planet a nutritious hug.  samples, consignments or questions email or leave a message for Louis  at 895-2884 (house) or 689-7693 (farm).