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Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

If you are a person who looks to use and purchase products that help to promote the idea of organic farming practices and the idea of sustainability; then I would like to introduce you to Peppermint Jim and his products.

I first met Peppermint Jim back a couple of years ago in person in Michigan.  He’s had an impact in Michigan where he helped to save his family’s heritage mint farm from foreclosure.  He did this through hard work, and with the help of loyal customers.  Jim believes in using organic farming practices that help build up the soil and protect it from poor farming practices that harm the earth with dangerous chemicals and destructive, or careless techniques that don’t look beyond the season’s current harvest.

I have to say that I was impressed with the man’s knowledge not only of those issues; but also, the intensive passion he shares for mint farming and for supporting struggling independent producers who are trying to make a living in a very competitive world.  He’s done this by not compromising his faith or his belief in doing things in such a way as to honor God’s creation.  He does his best to educate others and to provide products that promote health and well-being for the consumer as well as the environment.

In fact, Jim supports Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Greens World Care to encourage green practices in communities and businesses.  The Tucson Arizona community is familiar with this way of thinking and it is a great place to connect with like- minded people.

In the May edition of Guideposts magazine you will find an article on Peppermint Jim and the story of his legacy from the role that his family’s heritage mint farm played in his professional growth; to the place that he is in now and, the direction that his experiences are leading him to, in the future.  Don’t miss it…get the May 2011 edition of Guidepost’s magazine to learn more about Peppermint Jim and his life partner, wife Lilian and the role that their mint based business will play in the forward thinking communities who are wise to a greener and more sustainable world.

Jim has taken his knowledge, passion and purpose to Arizona and is introducing community members and loyal customers to his new line of products.  His commitment to sustainability is contagious and he educates others to this way of farming.  He is an encouragement to other farmers and independent producers of consumer goods; to do what they know is right and to have an opportunity to provide a living for themselves by bringing products to the marketplace that envelope all that they believe in.

You can see Peppermint Jim’s line of pure mint oils, body care products, farming tools, his handmade candies and goodies as well as his soil rejuvenator which feeds plants from seedling to bloom/harvest.  You can find out more about what’s good for you and your family at Peppermint Jim

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Seed saving is a method of preserving a particular species of vegetable, fruit or flower.   Without families and farmers of yesteryear having the wisdom to save seeds from their own harvest many particular species of favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers would have died out.  Think about how easy it is for people today to run to their local greenhouse or gardening center to pick up the items that they wish to plant.  Our forebearers did not have the luxury of doing that.  They had to work hard planting, nurturing, harvesting and preserving the very food that they put on the table that took care of their families.

Quite often today, many features of specific heirloom plants have been bred right out of plants in the name of hybridisation.  In the world of agriculture, scientists are always looking to improve a particular strain or species of a plant; either by shape, color, size or some other feature deemed to be valuable.  However, in the name of improving a strain…sometimes other things are lost in the process.  What makes a particular fruit, vegetable or flower a favorite is different which is why there are so many variations available today.

If you find one that you love…think about this; will that particular strain of plant that you love be available in the future?  To continue reading: Write Where You Are

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Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
Continue reading here:  Write Where You Are

 

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       You may have noticed that I haven’t posted here in a few days…I have moved; that is my big news.   I sure would love it if you would come and see me at my new environment.  It will look familiar to you, it will still feel comfortable and yet, because change is change…it will be a little bit different.  I will still write about all that is going on in the world, my observations and opinions.  I had to move and expand my wings.    Come and see me anyway; relationships are no fun when it is only one -sided…if i write…who will read?  http://www.writewhereyouareblog.com  I miss your company and your comments on my blog!!!

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Well, this past week has been a lesson on nurturing my blog.  This past week was a week out of the ordinary and I was not able to nurture my blog in the way that I normally do.  I began to think on that thought.  A blog is a bit like a baby…it needs to be nurtured to grow and prosper.

How do you nurture a blog, you ask?  First things first, if you have a blog already you need to evaluate it’s well-being.  If you do not have a blog…begin one.  You need to think about what your blog is intended to accomplish.  Mine was initially set up to develop some discipline, commitment, and to help improve my writing.  As it evolved, I learned more…and therefore; I have discovered what I want and need.  Some of those things have changed with time; and now, I know that  my blog needs some adjustments.   That is ok, it is called growing pains; things that don’t grow become stagnant…they wither and die.  If your goals change for your blog, then you must make changes.  That knowledge requires some re-evaluation.  (more…)

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       Breaking news of a horrific nature…Australia has been experiencing some terrible fires, overnight, that has caused major damage to some towns and at least 84 deaths.  Although that number may continue to climb as they gain control of the brush fires.   There are many who were hospitalized with burns and some of them may yet lose their lives because of their injuries.  This is the deadliest wildfire that Australia has ever had.  The areas that have been the most impacted were in the southeastern area of Australia; as well as  towns about 50 miles north and east of the capital, Melbourne.

         People have lost their homes, their livelihoods in some cases and many have lost their loved ones or their own lives.  Some people were killed in the fires as they tried to escape in their vehicles.  This is horrible; it is suspected that some of these fires were deliberately set.   If that is true; it is a crime, the murders of innocent people are on the hands of those who set these fires.  It is unfathamable why anyone would wish to do such harm.  The firefighters are bravely trying to fight the fires, which may take days to control.  I pray that God help the Australians by bringing some rain and helping the firefighters to gain control and help the people of Australia as they cope with their losses.

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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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       I will play the devil’s advocate for a minute.  With all of the adulations for President Barack Obama and the intense emotional highs today of the American people…I couldn’t help but wonder about former President Bush and his wife Laura as they left the White House and all that goes with it.  Was the presidential leave taking a moment of relief or regrets?

        I am sure there has to be an immense sense of relief to shift the weight of the world ( actually the weight of the US) from President Bush to new President Obama’s shoulders.  That has to feel good to a certain degree.  The issues of the country are no longer his burden; and yet, I am sure there is a boat load of conflict going on his his heart and mind.

         It has to feel bittersweet to see all of the open welcoming that the Obamas are receiving at the moment when there are those who have made it clear that they couldn’t wait for the President Bush to leave office.  In fact, the last year of his term in office…there were reports that claimed that he had the lowest presidential approval of any president in recent memory.  That has to hurt. 

        Certainly Bush made mistakes in his governing; Obama says that there are sure to be mistakes in his administration as well.  That is just humanity.  What is notable is that when mistakes are made that they are acknowledged and corrected. 

         The grace of the American public had come to an end because of a multitude of crises and financial upheaval.  There was no more time to get back into the good graces of the American public.  In my mind, former President Bush has to have some regrets about some world events and some personal choices.  Those regrets include the fact that there wasn’t anymore time to correct the legacy of his presidency.  When it comes right down to it…the man and the position are blended with world events and political choices. 

        The presidential legacy that is left when one president leaves office and another takes the helm is often open to interpetation; some believe that in time, some of President Bush’s decisions will be explained and redeemed.  At this moment in time, because of the issues facing the nation….we dont have the luxury of time to do that analyzing now…we have work to do…as President Obama made sure we understood in his address to the nation.  

         President Obama’s legacy is yet to be developed.  Time is the lens through which we view the quality of a President’s service.

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      This is interesting news to me; and, not altogether unhappy news, it has come to my attention that as a direct result of the financial crisis in this country…we are all going to be receiving less junk mail in our mail boxes!  Isn’t that wonderful?  It is just sad that it took something of this nature to reduce all of these unwanted solicitations. 

       Now, I have to admit, i hate junk mail.  It piles up and seems to breed when I am not looking, before I can dispose of it.  I could build a miniature high rise building with the stacks of envelopes that I get each week.  It is frustrating, as my shredder is broken; and, many of those envelopes are attempts to get me to sign up for credit cards, home equity loans; and or, other means of putting me further and further in debt. 

       Hello people, where is the common sense here?  I hate getting those pieces of mail; because, if you open them up…they have multiple spots on the applications with personal name & address information.  As I said, without a shredder…i must hand tear them into small pieces so that no one else can activate them if they come across the applications.  That is highly annoying to have to go through all of that extra work because of no fault of my own.  However, it is necessary with all of those warnings that we all hear about on the news programs of identity theft.  It is too easy for someone with ulterior motives to make use of that private, and personal information they find inside of those envelopes that everyone tosses away.

        It also goes against my growing sense of green living.  There is no reason to slaughter thousands of trees a year just to bombard people with mail that they don’t want or need; which only ends up in landfills anyway.  I want to protect the environment and be a good steward of the world that we live in.   Let’s take a moment and compliment those companies that are cutting back on wasting trees and money by curbing the direct marketing sales envelopes that we all receive.  Thank you for cutting back, I want to encourage you to continue this practice even when the economy improves!   I admire your leadership in this area of your business (yes, i know you are mainly doing it to save money…that is ok…we both benefit).

         Of course, we all want the financial world to get back on it’s feet.  Let this small step of reducing unwanted mail be the first positive step in the right direction, as far as using common sense, in the business world.  I believe that the impact is far reaching.  I for one, appreciate the fact that I will get less unwanted mail.  How do you feel about the matter?  Will you respect a company for taking this step?

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     Today has been one of those lazy, do nothing and enjoy it kind of days.  Those are few and far between…but, so very necessary for the soul to rest and build up strength to do what must be done every other day of the week. 

      It has been cold and wet.  We woke up this morning to a growing blanket of fluffy white snow…the first of the season, to lightly coat the ground.  Of course, it did not stay there because the ground is not frozen yet…so, the warmth of the earth melted the brilliant, white snow early in the day.  This is just a mini preview of what is to come in the next few weeks.

       The snow brought joy to my child’s face…and, a look of acceptance to mine 🙂  Now is the time to contemplate making a nice homemade, chunky sort of comfort meal…like maybe a hot, hearty chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings…or maybe a rich, smooth, smoky pea soup, or possibly a filling fall harvest kind of soup with some happy orange carrots, and some limey green cabbage surrounding floating chunks of the all american staple of potatoes in a nice rich broth of ham pieces or some pieces of bacon. However, this is work…and, cannot stand alone.  One must complement the meal with some fresh- from- the- oven homemade doughy, buttery rolls.  This is the treat that we offer ourselves when the reality of 6 months of cold, wet, dark and dreary winter comes sneaking upon us.  Oh, if that sounds ominous…then you will have to come back on another day when the snow is cherished and given glory…just not today when i have to grow to appreciate it’s beauty.

       Golly, you will just have to check back in a few weeks, when i paint the picture of a cheery morning; when the snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight and underscore the weight of the evergreen branches that bow under the weight of the heavy flakes of snow that have fallen overnight, much to our surprise.  Then you will see that the human spirit is flexible and has the wisdom to recognize all of the gifts in life. 

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