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Duck Bacon Pasta Alla Carbonara

This article posted first on Family Circle.

Enjoy reading all about our adventures with our rooster and how we got started exploring the wild world of  sustainable living.

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Meet Tom – Our Thanksgiving Turkey

Reducing waste is something humankind is starting to think more about – but in a “them” not “me” sort of way.
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I recently watched “Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage” and was mortified to learn that in the U.S. alone we produce 250 million tons of garbage a year – that is enough to cover the state of Texas twice!

You may have even heard about this “landmass” of plastic floating out in the Pacific and for a brief moment you think, viagra sales see “Yuck! We have to do something about this!”. But then life happens and you find yourself lugging packed trash bins to the end of the driveway every week as your donation to the garbage collection Gods and don’t think much about it.

Habits like weekly trash take-out are hard to break. This was most likely one of the first chores you had as a kid.

“You can’t watch cartoons until you take out the trash”, viagra canada cheap was a common phrase around our house. Given the direct association with something much more enjoyable, like watching cartoons, this chore was done as quickly as possible and didn’t involve much thought or time. Just stuff the sack full and very cheap viagra pull it to the end of the driveway. Done! Time for “Bugs Bunny”!

But the hard truth is all this “habit” is staring to stack up. Sure there are holes to dumb it into and it will just disappears, right? Out of sight, out of mind, right? If we don’t see it, it is not really there. It is like an advanced version of peek-a-boo for all of humanity.

So what can you do?

First thing I suggest is take a month off from the weekly “take out the trash” ritual. Go ahead; I grant you permission to just let it pile up in your garage, cans and bins. Just think, a whole month of not worrying about this chore.

Now, at the end of the month take a look. Still think you are not part of the problem?

Don’t forget to multiply by 12 (for the months in the year) and then by 77.9 (life expectancy of an average Middle class American) and then subtract zero.

Yep- subtract zero because garbage in a landfill takes roughly 100-150 years to breakdown one quarter of the way (depending on composition and landfill environment). Okay you math majors and engineers, it is probably is not “zero” but I am not mathematically motivated to try to calculate this. It is close enough to demonstrate the fact that we are producing more garbage in a lifetime that will be reduced in one.

So now what?

Now start a household challenge. Take one trash can (32 gallon) and that is all you can fill over a course of the month. Recycled items don’t count against this quota, so get a recycling bin for this. Sound impossible to just use the one can for garbage? It is easier than you think.

When we moved to Camp 4 we had no idea how much we were throwing away. After putting our trash can out one Monday for collection, we learned when it was not magically collected that it was not a free service on our island. We researched and found out that it would cost us $30 a month for curbside pick up or we could just run it down the road to the landfill for $4 a can/bag.

So with me being the perpetual cheap skate, I insisted that we would save this money and just take the garbage the 3.2 miles (round trip) to the dump. After all, we would breakeven if we only had 6 bags of garbage a month and cheap kamagra on internet there was no way a family of two was going to produce that much garbage, right?

Wrong! First month we hauled 10 bags to the dump and that was with the recycle bins also overflowing. I was shocked! We had to reduce this.

So then we started super-sorting our recyclables. We posted a chart of all the things that could be recycled and put it near the kitchen garbage can. Anything that could be recycled was sorted. It took a while to learn what was “in” and “out”. I spent a few moments daily quizzing my husband, “Is this recycling or garbage?”

We are lucky to live in area where the are markets for many different recyclable materials so that easier to recycle materials. Believe it or not, most items can be recycled but many waste management companies won’t bother if they can find a market for the materials. They are a business after all that need to make money and if they can’t sell the post-consumer waste, they won’t bother with the sorting and processing and it will be garbage too.

After a month of this new ritualistic Q&A behavior over the trash can, we were still in the 5-bag-a-month-club.

So then we started looking closer to what was going in the trash. Scarily a lot of the waste was food and paper and the rest was made up cat litter (from our three cats), un-recyclable plastics (plastic Ziploc bags, grocery bags, plastic films from food containers) and other things we didn’t think had a home beyond the landfill. And of course the items that my husband called “lazy trash” which would be me not following the rules and 50mg codeine buy codeine online viagra just being lazy and throwing it away.

After a few months of research, awareness building, and husband induced “spouse-pressure”, we got to some simple house rules to reduce our waste (listed in order of easiest to more challenging).
1) Call it what it is: Put a sign on your garbage can that says “landfill” – makes you think twice about what goes in that can.

2) Recycling Center: Set up an at-home recycling center with sorting instructions. You can easily find out what is accepted at you local waste management facility by getting on their website or calling them. You want an eye opening family trip, see if they offer tours!
3) Get a second life: things that you may think of as single-use can be multiple-use. For example, we wash out and reuse all plastic tubs (cottage cheese, yogurt), glass jars and plastic bags (like zip-loc). Even one more usage can help reduce.
4) Lose the paper towels and napkins: This is so easy to do – just use cloth! We have cloth napkins for eating with- not just for fine dining any more! Every family member has their own that they use all week and a personal napkin ring to avoid confusion. Also, keep a collection of rags and wash cloths for general clean up. I promise this doesn’t add that much laundry!

5) Create a grocery shopping kit: Keep reusable grocery bags, produce bags (cloth or re-use the plastic ones), and an assortment of reusable containers for other bulk foods. Keep this in the car that you take shopping (or one in each car).
6) Buy smart: Pay attention to your purchases and cheap cialis sale online no prescription evaluate if you could buy in bulk or buy a product that uses recyclable materials for packaging. Remember “garbage in = garbage out”; if you don’t bring it in your house, you won’t have to throw it out.
7) Don’t feed the garbage can: food scraps can have a second life too.. Here are some potential ways to dispose of food items:
- meat and dairy or food with oils and sauces- your four-legged carnivores; will happily help but always in moderation. Also make sure that it is not toxic.This is good food and feeding Fido or Felix (or if you have a pig or two) a portion of table scraps IN MODERATION is something you can do. Just make sure to help them manage their diets (or I will have hundreds of angry veterinarians posting notes to me).

- vegetable, fruit, grain based food- compost or worm bins (or if you have them, chickens can process the vegetable and grains)
8) Find it a home: you have heard “that one man’s trash is another’s treasure”, it is true! Donate to local second hand stores, have a rummage sale, post it on Craig’s List. Here are some resources for your use:
9) Up-cycle: this is a fancy word for turning something into something else with another use. I have turned old ripped clothes into cleaning rags or braided rugs. Paper bags can be decorated as easy gift bags. Just Google “item + second use” and you will get lots of ideas of what that items next life could look like.

We are now to a point were we take only 1 bag to the dump. And this is mostly cat litter as I have yet to find a litter the cats will use and that controls odors. But the search continues.

It may seem like a lot of work and perhaps it does take longer than just throwing it into the abyss of the landfill, but start with # 1 and then move to #2 and then through the list and see the impact. I bet you won’t even notice until you take that one small bag to the curb and realize you don’t need to make multiple trips to get it done.

Reducing waste is something humankind is starting to think more about – but in a “them” not “me” sort of way.

I recently watched “Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage” and was mortified to learn that in the U.S. alone we produce 250 million tons of garbage a year – that is enough to cover the state of Texas twice!

You may have even heard about this “landmass” of plastic floating out in the Pacific and for a brief moment you think, viagra canada store “Yuck! We have to do something about this!”. But then life happens and you find yourself lugging packed trash bins to the end of the driveway every week as your donation to the garbage collection Gods and don’t think much about it.

Continue reading

Grilled Oysters on the Half-Shell

Grilled oysters are one of the favorite appetizers at Camp 4.  Many guests who have sworn off these tasty bivalves have had their minds and pallets opened thanks to this recipe.

I originally had a version of these at Red Fish Grill in New Orleans.  While this recipe is not the version I had there, viagra sickness I was inspired by their simple preparation and the addition of the smoke flavor that was imparted by nothing more than butter and the natural flare up that happens on the open flame of the grill.

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Potato & Rosemary Pizza

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Summer is finally here and the fresh vegetables are filling up the tables at local farmers markets.  This is the time of year that foodies live for – suddenly our culinary and artist pallets have so much to work with.

This is also the only time of year I don’t like being in the kitchen.  Who wants to add more heat to the day (or the house)?  It is a dilemma for sure, cialis buy check but not without a solution.  If you pour over any cuisine from countries where the heat of the day renders you a sloppy, cialis sales treatment sweaty mess, look you will find wonderful recipes that help battle back the heat without adding to it.  Gazpacho is one of my favorites.

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Camp 4 Summer Gazpacho

 
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If you have read any agricultural magazines or even bought a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream lately, viagra canada click you know that Honeybees are in trouble. This means we could be in trouble too as Honey bees are critical to our food supply. We need bees to pollinate many of our fruits, best cialis rx veggies and nuts. Without bees, we will miss out on many of our favorite (and needed) foods.

There is this mysterious disease that causes all the honeybees in the hive to just disappear – Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). There are no real conclusions to what causes CCD but there are some choices we can all make that can help the “Plight of the Honeybee”.

At Camp 4, we thoughts it would be great to just jump in and get a hive. Seemed easy enough after reading “Beekeeping for Dummies” cover to cover. What we have learned is that it is harder to keep these little beauties alive.  Honey on the grocery store shelf never looked so much like liquid gold before!

Everything started off fabulous as “newbee” beekeepers (first of many bee related jokes I am afraid).  First you get a hive and paint/stain the outside about 2 weeks before your bees arrive. No problem! We even built a little stand to set it on.

Next came the bees.. this is where things got a little more exciting. The bees show up in a buzzing box complete with about 30,000 bees and one queen.

Getting them into the hive can be tricky. First you spray them down with sugar water. Then you pull back the top of the package and pour the bees into the hive. This works really well if you have managed to coat each bees with the correct amount of sugar water. What they fail to tell you is that the ones that are not sprayed down fly up into your face when you pour them into the hive.

They also don’t tell you that everybee package opens differently. There was no easy prying back of the lid for me. Nope! I hacked my way in with a crowbar only afterwards to realise I could have just lifted the feed can off the top to let them out. Good news is that everyone (including the queen who unceramoniously flipped into the hive) made it in and I was the only one worse for wear.

So our hive was rockin’ along. Drawing out comb, laying eggs, brood (baby bees) were hatching.. smooth as silk. Then things got sticky (once again, pardon the bee humor).

I went one weekend without refilling their sugar water thinking they would go out and forage on the flowers, and next thing I knew, I was walking up to a hive with 1/2 of the bees dead. Ironically, it was Memorial Day.

I was so distraut. I immediately suspected CCD or local pesticide use- Damn you cruel world! But alas, this was my fault. Operator error and no one to blame but myself! I should have left the sugar water on until they stopped taking it. So what happened was the hive’s population started to double (as new babies were being born daily) and the unseasonably cool weather kept them indoors.

You can tell you have starved your bees when you find them “butts up” in the comb (meaning their little butts are up in the air because they died trying to lick the last of the honey/pollen/sugar water out of the bottom of the comb.) How sad, right? My husband has seen similar situations when I am trying to get the last of the ice cream out of the bottom of a pint (except I am not dead, just usually cranky).

After two panicked phone calls to local beekeepers for advice, I got a hold of one who told me what had happen and my next course of action. I needed to shake powdered sugar all over the hive. That way the bees that were still alive could lick it off themselves and get the energy they needed to start cleaning up my mess.

So imagine me standing over my hive in my bee suit and veil sifting powdered sugar onto a hive of 1/2 dead bees and trying not to burst into tears. (Sorry no pictures of this.. in my panick, I failed to document the carnage on film).  This is not what they share with you in “Beekeeping for Dummies” by the way.

Well, it has been six weeks later and while my queen is still alive and I have about 2000 bees left, the hive is struggling along. There are not enough worker bees to keep the brood warm and fed, so I lost about 3 frames full of brood (more tears). There are definately not enough bees to gather nectar so no honey this year for me (even more tears). But they are trying to recover and I am pretty sure I heard “I will Survive” playing from inside the hive the other day.

So I’ll keep you posted as things develop (or don’t) in our first hive. Despite everything, this will not be our last hive. There is nothing more rewarding than discovering one of your own honeybees out in the yard gathering pollen. Makes you proud to be a “bee mom” or “new-bee mom”.

So what you can do?
If you don’t want to jump straight into keeping bees, here are some easier approaches:

Light Green Choice – Plant some bee-friendly plants in your garden/containers and don’t use pesticides! While there is nothing conclusive that says that pesticides cause CCD, it certainly doesn’t help that pesticides are everywhere in the environment. Eliminate use in your gardens and lawns. Is it really going to be the end of the world if you have few dandelions in your lawn?

Green Choice – Eliminate pesticides AND support local honey producers by purchasing their honey. Hobby hives are helping provide some diversity to the bee population. You can also buy other products that support honey bee research and only use ingredients that help honey bees.

Super Green Choice – Eliminate pesticides, buy “bee-friendly” products AND start your own hive. Don’t be discouraged from our mistakes. We are learning and you can always check back here to share what you have learned too.
 

If you have read any agricultural magazines or even bought a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream lately, cialis usa tadalafil you know that Honeybees are in trouble. This means we could be in trouble too as Honey bees are critical to our food supply. We need bees to pollinate many of our fruits, veggies and nuts. Without bees, we will miss out on many of our favorite (and needed) foods.

There is this mysterious disease that causes all the honeybees in the hive to just disappear – Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). There are no real conclusions to what causes CCD but there are some choices we can all make that can help the “Plight of the Honeybee”.

At Camp 4, we thoughts it would be great to just jump in and get a hive. Seemed easy enough after reading “Beekeeping for Dummies” cover to cover. What we have learned is that it is harder to keep these little beauties alive.  Honey on the grocery store shelf never looked so much like liquid gold before!

Everything started off fabulous as “newbee” beekeepers (first of many bee related jokes I am afraid).  First you get a hive and paint/stain the outside about 2 weeks before your bees arrive. No problem! We even built a little stand to set it on.

Next came the bees.. this is where things got a little more exciting. The bees show up in a buzzing box complete with about 30,000 bees and one queen.

Getting them into the hive can be tricky. First you spray them down with sugar water. Then you pull back the top of the package and pour the bees into the hive. This works really well if you have managed to coat each bees with the correct amount of sugar water. What they fail to tell you is that the ones that are not sprayed down fly up into your face when you pour them into the hive.

They also don’t tell you that every bee package opens differently. There was no easy prying back of the lid for me. Nope! I hacked my way in with a crowbar only afterwards to realise I could have just lifted the feed can off the top to let them out. Good news is that everyone (including the queen who unceremoniously flipped into the hive) made it in and I was the only one worse for wear.

So our hive was rockin’ along. Drawing out comb, laying eggs, brood (baby bees) were hatching.. smooth as silk. Then things got sticky (once again, pardon the bee humor).

I went one weekend without refilling their sugar water thinking they would go out and forage on the flowers, and next thing I knew, I was walking up to a hive with 1/2 of the bees dead. Ironically, it was Memorial Day.

I was so distraught. I immediately suspected CCD or local pesticide use- Damn you cruel world! But alas, this was my fault. Operator error and no one to blame but myself! I should have left the sugar water on until they stopped taking it. So what happened was the hive’s population started to double (as new babies were being born daily) and the unseasonably cool weather kept them indoors.

You can tell you have starved your bees when you find them “butts up” in the comb (meaning their little butts are up in the air because they died trying to lick the last of the honey/pollen/sugar water out of the bottom of the comb.) How sad, right? My husband has seen similar situations when I am trying to get the last of the ice cream out of the bottom of a pint (except I am not dead, just usually cranky).

After two panicked phone calls to local beekeepers for advice, I got a hold of one who told me what had happen and my next course of action. I needed to shake powdered sugar all over the hive. That way the bees that were still alive could lick it off themselves and get the energy they needed to start cleaning up my mess.

So imagine me standing over my hive in my bee suit and veil sifting powdered sugar onto a hive of 1/2 dead bees and trying not to burst into tears. (Sorry no pictures of this.. in my panic, I failed to document the carnage on film).  This is not what they share with you in “Beekeeping for Dummies” by the way.

Well, it has been six weeks later and while my queen is still alive and I have about 2000 bees left, the hive is struggling along. There are not enough worker bees to keep the brood warm and fed, so I lost about 3 frames full of brood (more tears). There are definitely not enough bees to gather nectar so no honey this year for me (even more tears). But they are trying to recover and I am pretty sure I heard “I will Survive” playing from inside the hive the other day.

So I’ll keep you posted as things develop (or don’t) in our first hive. Despite everything, this will not be our last hive. There is nothing more rewarding than discovering one of your own honeybees out in the yard gathering pollen. Makes you proud to be a “bee mom” or “new-bee mom”.

So what you can do?
If you don’t want to jump straight into keeping bees, here are some easier approaches:

Light Green Choice – Plant some bee-friendly plants in your garden/containers and don’t use pesticides! While there is nothing conclusive that says that pesticides cause CCD, it certainly doesn’t help that pesticides are everywhere in the environment. Eliminate use in your gardens and lawns. Is it really going to be the end of the world if you have few dandelions in your lawn?

Green Choice – Eliminate pesticides AND support local honey producers by purchasing their honey. Hobby hives are helping provide some diversity to the bee population. You can also buy other products that support honey bee research and only use ingredients that help honey bees.

Super Green Choice – Eliminate pesticides, buy “bee-friendly” products AND start your own hive. Don’t be discouraged from our mistakes. We are learning and you can always check back here to share what you have learned too.
 

If you have read any agricultural magazines or even bought a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream lately, viagra generic drugstore you know that Honeybees are in trouble. This means we could be in trouble too as Honey bees are critical to our food supply. We need bees to pollinate many of our fruits, generic cialis here veggies and nuts. Without bees, we will miss out on many of our favorite (and needed) foods.

There is this mysterious disease that causes all the honeybees in the hive to just disappear – Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). There are no real conclusions to what causes CCD but there are some choices we can all make that can help the “Plight of the Honeybee”.

Continue reading