Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keiro Kitchen Compost Grinder

Both pictures are from Quirky.com

For about 2 months, I have been trying to build a manual compost grinder so that I could break down our kitchen scraps before putting them into the compost pile.  This actually proved to be way harder then I thought it would and only of my designs worked...and it was way to bulky to be of any use.

Then just a few days I read that Quirky.com had just had a compost grinder competition and the winning product, Keiro would be going into pre-sale very soon.  Please take a few moments and check out this awesome kitchen counter sized compost grinder.

The idea behind the Keiro is very simple. Instead of placing all you scraps into a small container to take to the compost pile, you can just grind it up really quick and then broke down food falls into a storage container.  There is also a filter system in the container to trap any smells.

In order for this product to be made, 1140 people need to commit to buying it.  Once that number is reached, it can go into production s please check it out and tell your friends and family.  They say that you can un-commit at anytime and you won't be billed unless the product is actually made.  

Right now we are at 26/1140

Friday, June 18, 2010

Is Millie Really Miles?

Firefly discovered that one of our hens may in fact be a rooster. We agreed when we got the chicks that if one turned out to be a rooster that we would try to find him a good home but now we are pretty torn as to what to do with him. He is one of the friendliest chickens we have and it would be really sad to watch the remaining Silkie perch by herself at night. (The Silkie perch on the lower roost and the Winedots like to perch together on the higher one.)

Below is a repost of Firefly's blog about why we think Millie is really Miles:

Is Millie really Miles?: "I think one of our Silkies is rooster. :( Millie is actually Miles. I started thinking about how different Millie and Petri looked and the wheels started turning... something is very different. So, I googled how to tell the difference between male and female Silkies and discovered that the males will have wilder feathers on the top of their head, the feathers will be different lengths and point more towards the tail, they will also develop bubbly 'brain' looking skin on top of their beak, and have wattles under their chin. The females have more of a puffball for feathers on top of their head, they don't have the bubbly looking skin, and no wattles. So, I went out and took some pictures of the birds to confirm with others (hopefully someone who knows more than I do) as to the gender of our feathered friends.

This is Millie, notice the bubbly skin and wattle.

This is Petri, notice the neater feathers, lack of bubbly skin and wattle.

And, just to be sure, I took some of them further away:

Millie (Miles)


And because I didn't want the other two to feel left out... Here are Gibbardanna and Thelma:


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Responce from Springfield Creamery - Nancy's Yogurt

 Last month I start to wonder about the dairy products that Firefly and I buy each week.  Here is the post. I want to make sure that the dairy products we eat are made in a sustainable and humane manner after see this video of dairy farmers abusing their cows.  

I wrote to the company that makes the yogurt we enjoy, Nancy's Yogurt made by Springfield Creamery in Eugene Oregon, and below is their response:

Thank you for your interest in Nancy’s Products.  We frequently are asked about farm practices at the dairies that supply us milk for Nancy’s Cultured Dairy Products.  There are many variables involved in dairy farming so we may not be able to provide exact answers, but we are in frequent contact with representatives from the dairy coops that provide us milk, in order to provide the following information:

  • We purchase our milk from 2 dairy cooperatives: conventional milk from Northwest Dairyman’s Association (NDA) and organic milk from Organic Valley Family Farms.  The milk comes to us directly from the farms, all farms within about 100 miles of our plant, all family owned, with average herd size of 150 head. None are “factory farms.”

  • The use of Bovine Growth Hormones (rBGH, also referred to as rBST) is prohibited in organic dairies.  NDA, who supplies our conventional milk, has a strict policy of segregation of milk from treated cows and untreated cows.  All farmers are required to sign affidavits indicating their adherence to this policy.  NDA and Springfield Creamery pay a higher premium to the farmers to produce milk that is rBGH free.  We only use rBGH free milk.

  • There are many variables that affect feed and pasturing practices.  They are farm size, weather, season, management style as well as stewardship of the land.

  • All cows are fed a mixture of forages and grains.  Forages include grass, hay, silage and other field greens.  Corn, barley, soybeans, oats, field peas and flax are grains.  Conventional farms average a ratio of 60/40 forage to grains.  Organic farms average 80/20 forage to grains.  None of the grains are imported from outside of the USA at this time.

  • Access to pasture varies by farm.  Organic Valley encourages and sets standards for amount of pasturing(view at www.organicvalley.coop)

  • Generally, the smaller the farm the more access to pasture.  Access to pasture also varies by season and weather.  In order to protect the pasture, cows are allowed to pasture only during the grass growing season, which is about 8 months in Oregon.

  • Pastures take careful management to limit damage by trampling.  Organic Valley’s standard is 3 head per acre.  Cows are moved from section to section of the pasture to allow recovery of the grass.

  • Conventional Farms with large herds may or may not pasture, partially because of the logistics of rounding up the cows for milking, however cows are able to move around in the “loafing” area.  No cows are confined to a stall, other than during milking.
  • All farms provide a humane and healthy environment for their herds in order to produce the fine quality milk we purchase.  We have always had the utmost confidence in the quality of milk we receive- for 50 years!
Kind regards,

Elaine Kesey
Springfield Creamery, Inc.
Nancy's Cultured Dairy and Soy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Silver Creek Campground and Reserve America

For our first camping trip with Daisy we decided to go to a camp ground that wasn't to far away just in case we had problems and needed to limp home.  The bus did great and we had a great time.  I also wanted to be close to home in case we needed anything that I knew we would forget.

We went to a little campground just outside of Truckee Ca, and had a nice quiet break from life. 

We ended up at Silver Creek campground but I think next time we come back to this area, we would go to the campground just north of this one (towards Truckee) called Granite Flats

I also wanted to let you know about a great website called Reserveamerica.com From here you can search campgrounds all over the United States by location and/or by features of the park or spot.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A History of the American Presidency in One Infographic

This is another repost from GOOD

A History of the American Presidency in One Infographic: "

This is about as complete an inforgraphic on the American presidency as you're ever going to see.

You can zoom in and view it in all its absurdly comprehensive glory over at Timeplots. They'll also sell you a poster-size copy.

Via Fast Company


Friday, June 11, 2010

Rocket stove from Stove Tec works great

Reuse THEN Recycle, How to Sell Your Old Electronics

Check out Gazelle, a quick and simple way to sell your old electronics. Here is how they describe what they do:

Gazelle wants to change the world – one cell phone, one laptop, one iPod at a time.
It is our purpose – and our promise – to provide a practical, rewarding way for people to finally rid themselves of all those old cell phones, digital cameras, and gaming systems that they no longer use, but can't seem to find a way to let go of.
Too often when people think of recycling, they rush straight to smashing things into bits for parts. We believe that reuse should always come first. If your GPS unit still works, why not keep it in circulation AND get paid for it? If reusing isn't in the cards, then let us recycle that vintage camcorder. We think of it as ReCommerce.
Yeah, we're green.
Green for you with dollars in your pocket. Green for the environment with fewer electronics being trashed.

It's good to Gazelle. That's our promise.
 The process is super simple to use (I just found the site and have not used it yet) you just type in the item you have, answer a few questions about it and then accept the price they will give you for your item.  I love that they Reuse before they Recycle

Thursday, June 10, 2010


How to help Refugees in 3 Steps

Step one: Move to Canada
Step two: Read this post  from Good
Step three: Make it happen captain!

Do You Use YOUR Library?

I don't. I don't even have a library card anymore. I've been debating a lot lately about with ebook reader is a better deal both for me and for the planet. The one thing that most people agree on is that the greenest way to read your next book is to walk down to the local library and borrow it. on that note, check out the below post from GOOD.

How To: Save Your Local Library: "

With recent cuts in city and state funding, libraries are an increasingly endangered species. From Charlotte to Los Angeles (and lots of places in between) libraries are being closed and their hours cut. We talked to librarian Steve Klein about how you can keep the doors of your beloved branch open.

1. Borrow Your Next Read. Circulation is one of the most important ways for the budget keepers to decide what branches are most active. Next time you need a book, go to the library instead of that big retail store.

2. Use it or Lose It. When was the last time you stepped foot in your library? Foot traffic is a key indicator of how many people the branch is serving and how much of an asset it is to the surrounding community. Even if you don’t need a book, try to stop in your local library once or twice a month. Besides books, most libraries now offer DVDs, music, and magazines: all for free!

3. Create Great Programming. Your librarian is probably overworked and underpaid, so don’t ask him (or her) for more programming. Do it yourself. “Staff tends to get stuck in ruts and sometimes have trouble coming up with new ideas, so greater participation in the library by the community is the best possible solution to keeping the library relevant,” says Klein. Programs ranging from genealogy to film screenings can all be hosted and run by volunteers. And it’s not just adults who can contribute. Kids can teach workshops on how to use Facebook, iPhones, and other technology to older library members.

4. Volunteer. Besides programming, volunteers can help beleaguered staff with a number of operational functions. Got some extra time? Help reshelving books, repairing and maintaining the building, or creating displays and exhibits, says Klein. Because building conditions are an important consideration for the powers that be, point out (or help fix) small problems before they become big (read: expensive) problems for the city to handle.

5. Team Up. Does your child’s school need a place for after school tutors? Does the local community center need a computer lab? Connecting the dots and showing how local organizations benefit from the library will demonstrate its value to the surrounding community. And remind teachers, the PTA, and students to speak up. The more diverse the group of voices, the more likely it is your politicians will hear them.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Stewart

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of GOOD's collaboration with the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or submit your own idea today.

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