Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How Does Your Organic Garden Grow?

Sunflowers in Fargo, North Dakota.Image via Wikipedia

With lot's of love, good soil, beneficial insects and water!

My raspberries
are almost ready!

I never planted raspberries. We originally put in three raised beds.
One year raspberries started popping up through the soil. My neighbor has none on the other side of the fence so I'm not sure of where they came from. I live in a housing development that used to be called Ben-Hughes Gardens. So maybe a dormant root or a shoot from another neighbors yard made it's way into my garden bed. Eventually the raspberries took over my entire middle raised garden bed. I finally gave in and decided to quit trying to weed them out and start enjoying what nature gave me.

I figure it's nature way of telling me to drink more red raspberry tea made from the dried leaves.
It's very good for the female system. I drank a lot of it during my second pregnancy.

My peas went crazy this year. Even though it's been very warm they are still producing.

I've enjoyed salad greens, spinach, bok choy and swish chard. My tomatoes took a hard hit at the beginning of summer. We had crazy weather, lot's of rain and wind. They are starting to flower and produce fruit.
My little squash is having a hard time. I had so many sunflowers pop up I don't think it was getting enough sunlight so I had to sacrifice more sunflowers to give it some light.

My favorite flowers are Sunflowers.
They are beautiful, resilient and provide a nice source of food.

My first Sunflower of the season!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom ~author unknown (by me anyways)

Here's my latest Sunflower pictures. Updated August 23, 2010

Written by: Carol Lawrence
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Saturday, July 24, 2010


Hello everyone, I've entered an amazing contest that would completely change my home from a semi environmentally friendly green home into a complete green home!

Here's a picture of my
modest ranch style home

Here's the details of the contest!
The Montana Radio Company and Sustainable Building System’s will be giving away over $120,000 in home renovations to a few lucky Missoula homeowners!
The contest is called The Cool Green Home Missoula
  • They started this project with a simple idea, take an existing Missoula home to create a “showcase” for energy-efficient and sustainable products offered by local businesses. 24 area businesses have partnered for this unprecedented project, and each will contribute in their area of expertise.
  • They're goal is to show our community that sustainable and green homes are not only good for our planet but good for our bank accounts, and with planning, big improvements can be made with modest steps.

One of our great sponsors!

  • They intend on setting an example as to what a sustainable green home could look like. They plan on taking an existing home and getting it started on the path to green. They will start the home remodel by completing an energy audit of the home to identify the best places to improve energy efficiency
  • For the next year they will continue to monitor the Cool Green Home and track how much money the winning family saves in energy costs and how their lives have improved.

Another one of our many great sponsors are "Farm to Family Montana"
They deliver wholesome local food right to the shoppers door!

Here's my dream list of what I want to transform my home into a complete green home!

    Who will have the next "Cool Green Home" in Missoula? I sure hope's it me!
    Winning this contest would help my family reduce our carbon footprint and live a more sustainable life!
    What have you done to make your home more energy efficient? 
    How have you reduced your families carbon footprint. I would love to hear all about it. 
    If you have any tips or other ideas I should add to my list please let me know.

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    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    How do you feel about eating GENETICALLY ALTERED SALMON?

    Female grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Pa...Image via Wikipedia

    How do you feel about eating genetically altered salmon?

    It's getting closer and closer to being served on your table for dinner.

    As with anything there are varying viewpoints about this idea. Some say it's a good idea, the fish will be bigger and feed more, some say that farm raised salmon are spreading diseases and sea lice to the wild salmon greatly effecting the salmon population.

    Here's my personal thoughts on the issue. We can't solve all our food issues in the laboratory.
    Are we going to continue to raise farm raised salmon and potentially risk wiping out our wild salmon?
    If farmed raised salmon is here to stay they need to get the farms out of the oceans and into water farms on land so there's less chance of spreading diseases. Are we going to farm raise enough salmon to feed the bears and the whales and all the other animals that feed off wild salmon? There are a lot of animals that rely on salmon as a major part of their diet.

    Instead of trying to constantly fix it all in the lab, why not clean up our environment? Create an atmosphere to encourage growth. If we would get out of the way, blend in more, work harder at reducing our impact and footprint on the planet, Mother Nature will take care of the rest.  I realize part of the end goal is to try and wipe out ecoli and salmonella by cloning and feeding the masses cloned beef and chicken but can't we find better solutions? Couldn't we wipe out most of our harmful animal diseases by raising our animals in more healthier, ethically sustainable conditions? How about raising our food with respect?

    If certain countries choose to continue to raise their animals in filth and diseased rampant environments stop importing food from them. We as consumers have to start making wiser choices. Your dollar and how you shop have a huge impact. I know some people feel they don't have a voice. You do!
    Where you spend your money. What companies you choose to support and invest in, the items and food you buy all matter.

    After you finish reading my complete article you might want to go and read about the health risks involved with farm raised salmon and what actor William Shatner has been up too lately!

    Health Risks Associated With Consuming Farm Raised Salmon
    Here's a great article on how actor William Shatner is helping to save the wild salmon.

    A few interesting Salmon facts:
    • Growing 1 pound of farmed salmon requires 3 pounds of wild fish, robbing marine animals of a primary food source
    • Salmon contain a good source of protein but where they come from determines how healthy they are and their contaminant levels. (Another reason to clean up the oceans) There are associated health risks to eating farmed raised salmon also. Make sure to refer to the safe seafood shopping guide. Link located below.
    • Salmon get their pink color from the krill they eat. Farm raised salmon get their pink color from dye added to their feed.
    Some animals that rely on mature salmon, young fry or eggs as part of their food source:

    Bald eagles, seals, Dolly Varden trout, grizzly bears, wolves and Killer whales.

    If you like to eat seafood, learn the facts.
    For your family's health, be sure to read the NRDC sustainable seafood guide.
    Th also have a great printable seafood shopping guide you can carry in your wallet.
    Natural Resource Defense Council Sustainable Seafood Guide.


    Look for the Marine Stewardship Council Certified Sustainable Seafood Label.

    Here's a link for parents, teachers and kids. Find out how you can protect the oceans!
    Fish & Kids is a project of the Marine Stewardship Council, designed to bring sustainable seafood sourcing to schools and restaurants.

    Here is a recent New York Times Top Story:
    Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table
    Published: June 25, 2010
    The first engineered animal for people to eat, salmon that grow faster than normal, may be approved by the F.D.A.

    What do you think about all this?
     I'd really love to hear opinions.

    Thanks for reading my blog. Remember sharing is caring. If you like this article please share with your friends on facebook, twitter or any way you wish. I really appreciate it.

    For sustainably harvested wild Salmon delivered right to you door check out:

    FromTheFarm.com - Gourmet Selections

    Written by: Carol Lawrence
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    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Have you heard of TAGXEDO?

    Have you heard of this yet? You can create your own TAGXEDO using your own individual words or putting in the URL of your website or blog. Create your personalized TAGXEDO in a few short minutes.
    The words pop off the screen right at you. This is really fun. Hardy Leung, the creator of Tagxedo created a program that takes word clouds and turns them into shapes.

    You can make various shapes such as flowers, whales, dolphins, Eagle, famous people, dinosaurs and more.
    Gather up your kids and make a TAGXEDO together today.
    This is a fun and easy activity.
    Click here to see really cool Tagxedo creations.

    Here's my Tagxedo I made in a few short minutes just by adding my pet blog URL.

    And here's the Tagxedo I made with my parenting blogs url


    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Grover Miraculously Finds His Way Home! True Story!

    Here's a great story from our local newspaper "The Missoulian"
    A lady was walking her dog next to the Bitterroot river and when he jumped in he was immediately carried away. She tried to keep up with him along the bank of the swollen river but lost site of him.
    She was devastated, and it was getting late so she decided to head home. At home was a big surprise! Her dog had made it out of the swollen river and made it home. They are guessing he went through the wildlife refuge to find his way home because she had previously walked him there. What do you think?
    How did he find his way home?

    We had two wolf and husky mixed dogs 24 years ago. Do to the circumstances at the time we had to find good homes for them. It was a heart breaking process. We found homes for them individually. Both of them separately ran away from their new owners and made their way through the dessert back home. The new owner of one of our dogs lived 40 minutes away and we had never taken our dogs walking anywhere near his new home. He found his way back to us. I think it's their sixth sense. Dogs are more intuitive than we are.
    Have you ever watched your dog go to the door, start wagging his/her tail in anticipation for the company about to knock on your door?

     It was even more heartbreaking to have to continue to find new homes for them after they both had made their way back home to us. We did end up finding a nice ranch home to take both of them in allowing them to have the space to run that they needed.

    I'm very happy the Missoula dog owner had a happy ending to her harrowing story.

    Have you ever had a dog or a cat find it's way home to you?

    Here's the complete story of the dog that nearly drowned.
    She thought her dog had drowned!

    Written By: Carol Lawrence

    MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life: A Story of LoveJames Herriot's Dog Stories: Warm And Wonderful Stories About The Animals Herriot Loves BestThe Best Dog Stories