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Posts Tagged ‘Co-Op’


I have a notoriously brown thumb. Stillmog shivers in horror every time I bring another victim home. But honestly, I can’t help myself! I grew up with my mom’s garden, and a house full of plants. It’s not my fault I can’t keep them alive to…well…save my life. Or theirs. So I just keep trying, and hoping. Hoping that some day, there will be some lucky plant I can’t kill. (I’ve even killed cactus because I forgot to water it. How sad is that?!)

Water Boy and I made the drive over to my mom Virgo’s house this morning to pick her up. Then off we went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens’ Annual Spring Plant Sale. Too bad it felt like the middle of winter! It was about 38 degrees, with a wind chill factor of Holy Shiate It’s COLD! But I came prepared. Water Boy was in three layers, with a hat, and I bundled him up in his favorite quilt in our little red wagon. I of course forgot to factor in that the plant sale is over a series of Hills and that wagon is hard to pull with thirty pounds of toddler and Stuff in it. But we managed.

I didn’t get much, under the cautious assumption that I might kill things if I tried too many plants this time around. So I picked up three pepper plants, some elfin thyme (which is adorable!) and some catmint. We currently have four cats, so I felt it was necessary. I still have a mint plant that I haven’t put in a pot yet, from our weekly Co-Op. I was strongly tempted by the key lime trees they had for $20, but expense and experience (two dead citrus trees last year) deterred me.

On the way out, Water Boy decided he’d had enough of the wagon, and demanded he be let out. Then I’m guessing he decided we were Going Too Slow and took things into his own hands, dragging us along behind him as he pulled the wagon to the car. I love a man who will take charge like that.

After the plant sale, we went to try out a new cafe in town. Stillmog and I have had terrible luck with local coffee shops, they keep closing on us! Panther City Coffee closed last year, then this January, EuroTazza closed. We spent the majority of my pregnancy with Water Boy at Panther City, playing Magic the Gathering and drinking hot chocolate until late at night. So when my friends at Artisan Baking Company told me about some new clients of theirs, the Gallery Art Cafe, I knew we had to try them out.

Two thumbs way, way up, as Siskel and Ebert would say. They not only serve your standard espresso drinks, but hot food, too. Virgo and I both had their traditional breakfast, two eggs, sausage or bacon, fried potatoes, and wheat toast. We added two large hot chocolates to help us thaw out from our trek across the Frozen Tundra earlier that morning. And yum, it was good. They’ve just extended their evening hours, so I’m hoping to take Stillmog there some evening very soon. Unfortunately, they aren’t that close to our house, about 15 minutes or more away, but if we like them, I feel it will be worth it. This morning, of the five occupied tables, four of them had kids, a very positive sign for Water Boy. The owners were very friendly, too.

The added bonus is that they aren’t called Gallery Art Cafe for kicks. They display the work of local artists on their beautiful brick walls as well as the standard coffee menu. So now I can feel like I’m soaking up culture at the same time I’m soaking up caffeine. Wonderful!

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I’m a member of a co-op, which means I own a share of the farmer’s crop and am entitled to a percentage of each harvest. What this really means, is that each week I go and pick up a box of locally grown veges and get to gloat over my produce without actually having to grow or pick it myself. Seems almost illegal, doesn’t it?

Now that Spring has sprung in Texas, or at least, almost, our boxes have been stuffed full of green leafy vegetables and sprouts. Everything in this salad came from my co-op, minus the eggs and tomatoes. Several kinds of lettuce, spinach, green onions, and sprouts.

Aren’t you jealous? I got to eat this for lunch, sharing with Water Boy, of course. He’s a salad fiend.

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I joined the Health Source Co-op, a co-op in my area, and I’m really excited about it. The whole process of living greenly and with nature and natural products is so foreign to me. It sort of feels like I’m doing something extreme and daring by joining this mysterious vegetable/fruit coalition.

I’ve been trying to go green for some time now, but it’s hard because Stillmog and I are such hard-wired consumers, even when we don’t want to be. When I think about helping the planet and my family by living more closely with the earth(I sound like a hippie), I think about what I need to buy.

Like, I bought those nifty CFL light bulbs that are so controversial now. They contain a little mercury, but it’s less mercury then what’s in a thermometer, you wouldn’t even see it with your naked eye. So just remember to dispose of them carefully, through a licensed hazardous waste recycling facility. Or you can put them in a plastic baggie and throw them away in your household trash.

I want to cloth diaper, although I would have to change the way I do laundry. We live in an apartment with no washer/dryer in it. We have to go down to our little laundry room and pay $1.25 for each load. So laundry is a hassle, so we don’t do it until we run out of underwear. 😀 Cloth diapering, on the other hand, would at least require washing every other day, probably.

Composting is another neat trick I’d like to try, actually the vermicomposting trick. We throw away so much stuff in our house! And there are only three of us! I could turn all that vegetable and fruit detritus into awesome black dirt. Or really, let the worms turn it into dirt for me. But what would I use it on? Answer below.

Container gardening is also something I’d like to pick up. Grow my own herbs, at least. We don’t live in one of those cool, inner city type apartments where you have a roof and a little garden up there. No, we have more of a motel set-up, with an itty-bitty courtyard that is sort of communal but not in a sharing way. More, sure, you can sit there, just don’t touch the flower beds. Therefore, container gardening would be great for us, maybe. At least I would have somewhere to put all my good black dirt.

Using green housecleaning products is another goal. Toilet paper, dishwasher liquid, dish soap, cleaning spray, paper towels, soap, deodorant, shampoo. Other stuff I can’t think of right now. I want to replace it all with either homemade concoctions or something like Seventh Generation products. I also heard about using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper? I don’t know if I’d be up for that. It sounds good on the one hand, but I know I’d be the one washing them, so not too fair to me.

Oh yeah, and feminine hygiene products. I’ve seen several different evolutions. There is the recycled paper tampon. There’s the same for pads. There’s cloth pads. And then there’s the Diva Cup, or Moon Cup. The first three, it’s easy to tell what they are, I mean, duh. But the Moon Cup is actually a little platex, plastic cup, that you, well…insert. And it catches the flow, and when it’s full, you remove it and rinse it out, and re-insert it. I don’t know if I’m up for being that green yet. I might be okay with cloth, I’ve seen a couple models that actually look pretty comfortable, and that time of the month is all about comfort.

But I’ve gotten completely off-track here. Back on topic: My co-op. Every other Tuesday, I pay 25 dollars and get 15lbs. of seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables. I can also order meat, dairy, eggs, grains, and other organic foodstuffs through the co-op. I really really want some local honey. I’m just so excited to see what we get for our first pick-up. It could be anything! It’s like an early Christmas! I think our pick-up is this coming Tuesday, December 4th. I’m going to put on here everything we get and what we plan to do with it.

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