Wordless Wednesday: Farmers Market Finds

Perfect tomatoes. Ready to eat. No adornments necessary.

English peas. Preciously short season. Delicious in Minted Pea Soup.

Fingerling potatoes. Red and white. To be roasted with garden herbs and olive oil.

Strawberries. Last of the crop. Season came early this year. Perfect for Cold Strawberry Soup.

Icelancic lambs wool. Naturally gorgeous brown color. Will be used to make a batch of Fuzzy Soaps.

Peas and potatoes and basil.

Tomatoes and cucumbers. A salad in the making.

The jewel-toned cauliflower would look gorgeous on a crudité platter.

Nice variety of squash. My favorite are the oddly decorative and yummy patty pan.

Garlic scapes have a very short season. They are wonderful in stir fries.

So happy to have Solitude Wool selling their wares now at the farmers market.


Our New Brick and Mortar Friend: The Local Market

The Local Market opened less than a month ago in Falls Church, VA. The store features locally produced breads, dairy products, sausages, condiments and in-season fruits and vegetables from farms within a 100-mile radius of the store. The owners, husband and wife team Tom and Laura Coates, came up with the idea after missing too many Saturday mornings at the town’s award winning farmers market, due to their children’s sports commitments. The Local Market is open 7 days a week from 9am to 8pm, so people like me who also often miss the farmers market (due to travel or oversleeping) can have access to all the great produce, dairy products, fresh bread and more any time it’s convenient. I have been wishing for a store like this since I moved to this area, so I was thrilled when two different friends told me that it was coming to town.

In addition to being a great place to do my grocery shopping, it is the first retail outlet near me to carry my full line of bath and body products, so I love The Local Market even more than I would have!

image copyright The Falls Church News Press

The local press has already given it some great coverage, and word-of-mouth news about the new neighborhood gem has been spreading like wildfire. I believe this store is a place whose time has come, so not only are they going to make it, but I believe it will thrive.

So, if you are in town, I hope you’ll stop by The Local Market at 246 West Broad Street, Falls Church VA 22046.

The People’s Garden Fall 2010 Programs

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) People’s Garden Project continues with some great fall programming. Workshops include instruction on food preservation techniques, cover crop selection, hoop house construction, and more. You can download the 2010 Fall Program Guide for specific details about their offerings. All programs are free and open to the public.

In addition, the USDA Farmers Market will continue through October 29 every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located in USDA’s parking lot, at the corner of 12th Street & Independence Avenue, SW. You can purchase locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, maple products, baked goods, and much more from local producers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. And on Friday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the USDA will hold its Harvest Festival, which include music, food, games, and more.

For more information, you can visit the People’s Garden website or call (202) 708-0082.

So many thanks, so little time!

Within the past month, and primarily within the last week, I have received a plethora of great reviews and mentions in gift guides. So, I would like to return the favor and thank all the blogs and websites that have featured my products — I appreciate your kind words! Here are the people I would like to thank, and whose gift guides I would also like to recommend to you, dear reader…

Dallas Star-Telegram “When you buy holiday gifts that benefit a charity, the good feeling is priceless” A holiday guide to products that support a cause, a charity, a relief effort, a positive change in the world.

Going Green DC “2nd Annual Going Green DC Gift Guide” A guide to some of the coolest eco-friendly gifts that are made right here in the DC area.

We Love DC “We Love Really Cool Gifts” Great gifts made by DC area artists and craftspersons.

Chic & Green Christmas Wishes 2009 Daily handcrafted holiday gift recommendations from the Chic & Green blog.

Bella Sugar “10 Feel-Good Gifts For Dad on Any Budget” A guide to “the perfect holiday gifts for the Y chromosome who loves you most.”

EcoLeeko “4th Day of Christmas” Twelve days of eco-friendly, artisan gift suggestions handpicked by EcoLeeko.

Nuorganics’ “On the 1st Day of Christmas” Greenworks offers 12 days of recommendations for handcrafted, unique, quality products from independent artisans.

Whitz World of Beauty “More Christmas Gift Ideas with Herban Lifestyle” A listing of some of my best-selling products, many of which were featured in…

Create your own Spa Week with Herban Lifestyle featured in the Examiner in September.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. And Happy Holidays!!!

7 Easy Green Things Anyone Can Do

GreenI have tried to be “green” all of my adult life — driving fuel-efficient cars, taking public transportation when I could, recycling, minimizing my use of household chemicals, eating organic or pesticide-free foods. But, at times in the past, I slacked off in certain areas because it took too much time, space and effort. For example, my town didn’t used to have recycling collection, so I would have to store newspapers, cans and bottles until I had enough to justify the trek to the collection center. I used to belong to food co-ops, which required monthly time and energy commitments, in order to get decent prices on organic foods. And there was a time when I had to mail-order compact flourescent bulbs and recycled paper products, as they weren’t available locally. However, over the years, as green products and services have become more common, I have found that being green becomes easier and easier.

Here are 7 easy green practices, which I have found take very little extra effort:

1) Replace your regular light bulbs with compact flourescents (available in Home Depot and many other easily-accessible stores). While it is important to not throw away your used flourescents (they contain mercury, so can’t just be thrown out), I have never had to throw one out (and some of mine are over 15 years old!).

2) Buy 100% recycled toilet paper, paper napkins and paper towels (it is better to use cloth, but if that doesn’t work for you, 100% recycled is best). Marcal is a common brand that is made from 100% recycled, 60% post-consumer paper. It is easily found in grocery stores, as well as Staples.

3) Keep a supply of reusable bags in your car. Most grocery stores carry them for $1 or less, and some will give you a 5 or 10 cent credit each time you use one. Most large stores now offer their own branded reusable bags. Be sure to use your bags in any situation where a store might give you plastic.

4) Donate your old books and clothes to Goodwill or some other charitable collection center. Why add them to landfills when they could be used by someone else?

5) Replace your dishwashing and laundry detergents with biodegradable, earth-friendly brands. Most grocery stores now carry green products by brands like Seventh Generation.

6) Use waxed paper bags for sandwiches rather than plastic. Or better yet, invest in reusable sandwich bags, like those carried by 4 Girls Designs.

7) Purchase organic and locally-produced foods. Many stores now have store-brand organics, which do not cost more than name-brand non-organic products. And seasonal, locally-grown produce is abundant and well-priced.


This article originally appeared in my blog, Becoming Your StellarSelf