Archive for April, 2010

worms are going to eat my garbage!

April 23, 2010

I’m very excited. Today, I got worms. Red wigglers. The kind that eat trash – food scraps to be exact. Now I won’t have to cart my compostables to the Union Square Farmers Market (a train ride away).

I’m a little concerned about the timing, since we’re heading to Milwaukee tomorrow to attend a Growing Power workshop. But I think I set it up so they’d be cozy enough until our return.

The worm condo

The future bedding

Worms need water, too

This isn't milk

It's full of worms who've been in there for 3 days!

All ready for the wormies!

My new pets

Worm food, aka frozen coffee grounds

I put in a few other little scraps of food for them. I hope they like their new home enough to not crawl out while we’re away!

happy pale blue dot day!

April 22, 2010

An excerpt, via gizmodo:

The spacecraft was a long way from home.

I thought it would be a good idea, just after Saturn, to have them take one last glance homeward. From Saturn, the Earth would appear too small for Voyager to make out any detail. Our planet would be just a point of light, a lonely pixel hardly distinguishable from the other points of light Voyager would see: nearby planets, far off suns. But precisely because of the obscurity of our world thus revealed, such a picture might be worth having.

It had been well understood by the scientists and philosophers of classical antiquity that the Earth was a mere point in a vast, encompassing cosmos—but no one had ever seen it as such. Here was our first chance, and perhaps also our last for decades to come.

So, here they are: a mosaic of squares laid down on top of the planets in a background smattering of more distant stars. Because of the reflection of sunlight off the spacecraft, the Earth seems to be sitting in a beam of light, as if there were some special significance to this small world; but it’s just an accident of geometry and optics. There is no sign of humans in this picture: not our reworking of the Earth’s surface; not our machines; not ourselves. From this vantage point, our obsession with nationalisms is nowhere in evidence. We are too small. On the scale of worlds, humans are inconsequential: a thin film of life on an obscure and solitary lump of rock and metal.

Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve ever heard of, every human being who ever was lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings; thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines; every hunter and forager; every hero and coward; every creator and destroyer of civilizations; every king and peasant, every young couple in love; every mother and father; hopeful child; inventor and explorer; every teacher of morals; every corrupt politician; every supreme leader; every superstar; every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings; how eager they are to kill one another; how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known.

The pale blue dot.

queens gets its first food co-op

April 19, 2010

When you’re living near THE infamous food co-op in Brooklyn (you know the one) and around the corner from one of the best farmers markets in town, and new CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture outfits) are popping up all around, it’s easy to forget that some boroughs are less fortunate when it comes to having access to local farm-fresh food.

One such borough, Queens, is about to get their due. The Queens Harvest Co-op in Sunnyside is about to break through the great food for a great price barrier that (most of) Queens has been experiencing. Their plan is to open in the Fall of 2011 (I know, a long time to wait – but you know it’ll be worth it!), and if you want to learn more about their plans, check out the Queens Green Drinks event next Monday, April 26th. Details below:

Monday, April 26th
6:30 to 9pm

4602 Skillman Ave
Sunnyside, Queens

Queens Green Drinks
Hosted by Queens Harvest Food Co-op in Sunnyside!

The Queens Harvest Food Co-op is a new community driven venture into the world of fresh, high-quality food at affordable prices. They will be a member-owned and controlled market that puts community before profits. Anticipated opening in the Queens Plaza area in 2011. Please come and meet the members of the Queens Harvest Food Co-op on April 26th at Claret and/or go to for more information!

Learn more about this meetup on Facebook.

how do you ring in the spring?

April 13, 2010

Weather warming. Trees greening. Birds chirp-chirping. Flowers blooming. All signs point to Spring! Mother nature is awakening her creatures from Winter’s slumber – that includes you, too!

What do you do to signal the arrival of Spring?

It’s a reminder of vitality, of becoming active after a dormant season, so maybe you join a gym or take up jogging.

It’s a time to shake things up, a season of drastic change, so maybe you clean out your closet and donate clothing to Goodwill or sell it on eBay for some extra dough.

It’s a time to wake up the body and spirit, so maybe you do a juice cleanse or yoga immersion (the latter’s what I did!)

It’s a time to clear out the cobwebs, shake out the rugs, clean the curtains, so maybe it’s time for a new Spring cleaning routine.

If that’s the case, here are a few tips to brighten your home without harming your health:

Keep it simple
Just a few key ingredients are enough to clean your whole house: vinegar, lemon, baking soda, borax, and soap. Some great recipes available here.

Read the labels
If there’s a precaution, warning, or other such exclamatory phrase on the back of the bottle, think twice about shining up the counters or mopping the floor with it. You have to breathe the air in your home, ya know!

Use your senses
Do you get a headache after cleaning the bathroom? It could be the products you’re using to clean, as well as poor ventilation. See the first tip for less toxic cleaning materials.

Learn more!
Next month (May), I’ll be leading a workshop (the first in a series!) to help you identify household products that may be doing more harm than good. Stay tuned, full details coming soon!

Happy Spring!