To CSA? That is the question.

Hello GE followers,

I hope you are enjoying this gorgeous Saturday in New England. As some of you know, my reason for starting this blog came about by way of Broke-Ass Grouch http://brokeassgrouch.wordpress.com/ and my frustrations with dropping mucho dinero at Whole Foods (which I affectionately refer to as Whole Paycheck).

I am a macrobiotic vegan, so my diet consists of vegetables, grains and legumes. Oh, and fruit. I shop every Friday only buying vegetables and fruits that are locally grown, which means they are in season. Sundays are spent cooking various macrobiotic meals for the week. I will not lie, it is quite the undertaking which requires commitment.   My issue with WF is a vegan/macro girl and can drop some serious cash in that place. I never and do mean never, walk out of there having spent under $100.

Because it is too late in the season for me to start a Victory Garden. I fancied the thought of joining a CSA. I searched the ‘net and found 2 CSA’s in my ‘hood. One requires you to put in 8 hours of farm time. Sha, right! I would love to, but I’m pretty effing busy not to mention a commitment phobe.¬† The other CSA, with significantly less shares (62) didn’t require you to “put in time”.¬† Sweet!¬† Just one problem: there are no shares available. ūüė¶¬†¬† So I called the little farm (White Barn Farm in Wrentham) and explained my desire to join their CSA. The woman on the phone¬†offered to¬†put me on their waiting list. ūüôā And then, the lovely woman said, “We have a farm stand, across the street from our farm, where we sell everything that you would normally receive in your CSA box.” Score! ¬†She gave me the farm stand hours, directions and suggested I drop by.¬† Friday, I boogied out of work early (with permission from my gorgeous Vogue fashion model boss), and caught an early Commuter Rail train. ¬†The hubster picked me up at the station and¬†we headed straight to the¬†farm stand.¬† Traffic! ARGH!¬† Would everyone please, please, clear the road, I am on it, afterall, didn’t you get the memo?…

The Town of Wrentham feels¬†like some tiny little hamlet nestled in-between Walpole,¬†Foxoboro and (what the f*ck is the next town, is it Norfolk???). I grew up in Walpole, so I’m pretty familiar with Wrentham. Most¬†associate Wrentham with the Outlets. If that is all you know about the Town of Wrentham, then you are are seriously¬†missing out. Serioulsy. It’s one of the few towns that has maintained its quaintness.

Anyway, to get back to my story. Initially¬†the hubster and I¬†were not sure where the farm was located.¬†It did feel as though we had passed it. Stopping for directions, we learned, we had not. We drove a bit further and there we saw it, the white tent. (Did the heavens just part?) We pulled in, parked, I grabbed my Whole Foods reusable shopping bag, wallet and walked slowly, with awe and fascination towards the farm stand. We entered the tent (did I just hear angels sing?) and were greeted with enthusiams by a very cute, young lad, decked out in his dirty farm clothes. Awe. His greeting was sincere. (Should I be suspicious? Nah.)¬†I immediately liked this farm stand. I said, “Hello.”¬†back, stating that it was my “first time“. I am a farm stand virgin. I wanted to say that outloud, but quickly figured it would probably be best to not scare him with my cynical, snarky remarks…just yet. ¬†The young lad said, “Well then welcome! Let me know if you have any questions.”¬† Oh not to worry sonny boy, I surely will. GE followers, I was in Awe. ¬†I felt like a kid in a candy shop. First I had to walk around to see everything. I needed to absorb all the abundance from Mother Earth, harvested by this young man and his family.¬† Then I opened my WF bag, and began to load it up with onions, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, heirlooms, parsley, basily, white onions and so on, thinking to myself, “What the f*ck is this going to cost?” I hand the bag over to cutie pie where he proceeds to weigh and add up the abundance. When he was finished, he said, “$24.00”¬†I was stunned!¬†The first thought that raced through my head was, ¬†I’m sorry, what the fuck did you just say? So I parroted back to him, “$24.00? Really?” Thinking, holy SHIT that’s effing CHEAP!¬†Outloud I said, “Wow! That’s cheap.” (Editing my initial thoughts). ¬† He laughed. I handed him the cash, he handed me my bag, feeling a tad emotional from happiness, I began to walk away when he said, “If you come on _______ days(I missed what he said, I was still shellshocked), our meat guy (?? I think that’s what he said), will be here selling fresh pork, lamb, chicken…” I immediately cut him off, not wanting to lose my farm-stand-high and said, “I’m a vegan.” so he says, “Oh, (looking down)well we have honey. Oh wait… vegans don’t eat honey.” To reassure him I said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back. See you next week.”¬†

The hubster and I jumped into the truck, I turned to him and said, “Can you believe how much shit I got for twenty-four fucking dollars???”¬† His response: “Is that good? I wouldn’t know.” Of course you wouldn’t you Alien! Because you never eat veggies. Because you can eat anything, in any amount, take a crap and lose 5lbs!¬† Grrr.

Not wanting to lose my high, I drove off into the sunset, dreaming about what I am going to do with my abundance and how I cannot wait until next week. I hope cute farm boy will be there.   

So GE followers, the question is, to CSA or not? What’s your take? Personally, I’d rather give my hard earned cash directly to cute farm boys and their families, elminating the middle man, a.k.a. Whole Foods. Do any of you belong to a CSA? What has your experience been like?¬† I love that I purchased an abundance of vegetables from a local farmer.¬† ¬†This is the way it should be. This is the way it should have always been.

I know I promised to blog about bottled water, but I just had to share my CSA/Farm Stand story.

Until next time…

Yours truly,

GiRRL_Earth

Off-Topic: The meaning of “Woot!”

Hello Eco-Friends,

This is an off-topic post:

Some people I work with have commented and/or asked me¬†what “Woot” means. As I used that expression in my last post about Baking Soda and often use it in everyday life as an expression.

In short, WOOT is “game-speak” for We Own Other Team. My husband is a big time MMORPG gamer, has been for years. In fact, he was heavy into Half-Life TFC Gas Chamber when we met. Shortly after we were married and WoW came out (that’s World of Warcraft to you, the non-gamer), he introduced me to the gaming world. Ashamedly I must admit, I didn’t take to WoW or any other MMORPG gaming the way he has. Steve is a natural. I prefer to channel my time and energy towards more constructive things like ballet and/or green living (hence this blog).¬† To that end,¬†his constant use of game-speak rubbed off and as a result, I often find myself using it. ūüė¶

So there you have it folks, the meaning of WOOT.  Use it well.

ūüôā

GiRRL_Earth

© 2011 GiRRL_Earth

Baking Soda, a thousand and one uses…

As promised, here is my post on Baking Soda. Woot!

Yah, okay, so maybe a thousand and one uses is a bit of an exaggeration but I would bet if I sat down and really thought about it, I could come up with close to a thousand uses for baking soda.  Do you recall in my last post that I purchased a 13.5 lb bag at Costco for $6 bucks and change? Well yesterday I cleaned my entire house with the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of cleaning products: Baking Soda and White Vinegar.   Applause. Applause. Applause.

For those of you living under a rock, you can use the above mentioned dance couple in the following ways:

Toilets:  Add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar  Рallow to stand, scrub and voila! No toxic chemical smell and no harming Mother Earth or you, for that matter.

You can also clean the following with the aforementioned:  drains, surfaces, teeth, dishwasher, and laundry. In fact, if you go to the Arm & Hammer website, click on Solutions you will see a whole list of things you can do with baking soda (and white vinegar). Just to make it easier for you, here is the link, thank me later. http://www.armandhammer.com/solutions.aspx

So what do you say? Rather than spend a fortune on high-priced,¬†fancy, eco-friendly cleaning products, why not use up the last of what you have and replace them¬†with a nice big bag of baking soda¬† and 1 gallon of white vinegar?¬†Just think,¬† not only will you will save the¬†earth but you’ll save your health and the health of your family?

Before I sign off, I would like to share an interesting tidbit that I read recently (and I am paraphrasing): People do not want to spend big money on eco-friendly products when they can purchase cheaper,¬†larger quantities of the¬†toxic stuff.¬† Apparently, during these tough economic times, people would rather pay for a 1 gallon bottle of bleach, than pay more money, for, say, 28 oz +/- of an eco-friendly bleach replacement products.¬†¬† People want to stretch their hard-earned dollar. When faced with a choice, people will choose money over the environment. I get that mindset, I really do. But, I don’t want to hurt the earth and I don’t want expose myself to harsh chemicals. So if I have to choose between purchasing Method or baking soda and vinegar, I choose the latter.¬† It costs more up front, but it will last me a heck of a lot longer.

Now I know what some of you thinking: “It’s too much work.”¬† Well maybe it is. Maybe it will take a bit more effort to measure out a cup of baking soda and vinegar to clean, versus just reaching in the cupboard for a pre-mixed bottle of skull & crossbones, and hey, that’s your choice.¬† Go for it!¬†¬†Just make sure you wear gloves and a protective mask. Mmmmkay?

Lots of love,

Girrl_Earth

© 2011 GiRRL_Earth

Next Post: Bottled water and bottle caps — guess what Eco-Friends, they’re not recyclable!

Hello World! Welcome to GiRRL Earth: Grow it. Re-use. Recycle. Love our Earth ¬© 2011 GiRRL_Earth

The inspiration for this blog came about one day last week when I stumbled upon a blog by Broke-Ass Grouch.¬† Broke-Ass is my hero!¬†Due to a significant shift in Broke-Ass’ finances, she learned to live with less, and by doing so, realized, she was living “green” and reducing her carbon footprint. I was hooked. Reading Broke-Ass Grouch’s (BAG) blogs made me realize I didn’t have to shell out lots of $$$ for food or cleaning supplies.¬† Her blog “Stocking the Broke-Ass Pantry: What¬†You¬†Need on Hand to Get by on Nathan” inspired me to join¬†Costco so that I may reduce my shopping trips to Whole Paycheck (Foods) and Target.

I¬†became a vegan January 1, 2011, prior to that I was a¬† lacto-ovo vegetarian. As a result, every week¬†I have been dropping mucho dinero at Whole Foods because let’s face it, being a vegan can be more expensive than eating¬†animal products. ¬†I also drop quite a bit of dough at Target for my non-food items. All told I spend about $275.00 a week on groceries and household items (I should probably mention I have 6 cats).¬† Before I discovered BAG’s blog, I was frustrated and tired of working my ass off so all of my hard-earned money goes toward living and breathing. Enough already.

Now I realize there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of websites out there telling everyone how to live green and reduce one’s carbon footprint and hey, that’s great. Unfortunately for me, it can be overwhelming. Plus, when I stumble upon a new idea that I either figured out on my own or learned from someone else, I’d like to share it via this blog, with my friends and family, rather than posting it on Facebook.

So there it is in a nutshell: the purpose of this blog is for my friends and me¬†to share interesting, cheap ways on how to live without spending a fortune, all the while reducing one’s carbon footprint on good ole’ Mother Earth.

What this blog is not: a political forum of any kind.

Lastly, as for the name: GiRRL_Earth. Well, I had been struggling to come up with a name for my blog. I felt green was overused so I stayed away from that. Then I tried to come up with something witty (I don’t do witty very well).¬† And then, tonight, while washing the cat food dishes it came to me. I’m a girl and I want to do my part to save Mother Earth. Maybe “girl” could stand for something. G for grow it. R for reuse. R for recycle (redundant I realize, but bear with me). L for love as in I love Mother Earth.¬† Okay so it’s not very clever and some will think it’s pretty darn stupid but I don’t care. GiRRL_Earth means something to me and hey, that’s all that really matters, right?

Upcoming Topics: Baking Soda. A Thousand and One Uses. and Method – Sorry but I am breaking up with you.

Cheers!

 

DISCLAIMER: All content and photos on GiRRL_EARTH.COM©2011 are protected by COPYRIGHT. Pictures and content can only be used with prior consent of GiRRL_EARTH and they have to be linked back to this blog. It is forbidden to use the pictures for commercial reasons.

Photography by GiRRL_EARTH or GiRRL_EARTH.COM©2011

Sorry Method, but I am breaking up with you…

I love Method. I really do. I mean, who doesn’t. Method is eco-friendly and supposedly will not harm good ole Momma Earth. But¬†not long ago,¬†I paid $2.99 for a 28 oz bottle. Grrrrr.

And yet, on Sunday at Costco, I paid $3.99 for 1.32 gallons, did you catch that? I said, GALLONS of white vinegar that will probably last me until rapture.

Last night, after I used up the last of my lavender Method (sniff), I rinsed the bottle, and filled it with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water. Going forward, this Repurposed, yep, you read it right REPURPOSED(one of my Rs in GiRRL) ¬†plastic Method bottle has been reborn into nature’s best cleaning product.¬†I slept soundly that night, ¬†in the arms of Morpheus, knowing this solution will not hurt my Momma Earth. Now if that aint green then I don’t know what.

Full Disclosure: I cannot take credit for this. Credit is due to Broke-Ass Grouch’s blog as I nicked the idea from her. Not the repurposing of the Method bottle but the vinegar/water as a cleaning solution. Although BAG likes to add a bit of essential oils to her mixture so her house doesn’t “…smell like a salad.”¬† Next project: seek out essential oils so my house won’t smell¬†like a salad either.

My next post: Baking Soda: A Thousand and One Uses…

Cheers!

© 2011 GiRRL_Earth