Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good Stuff

We're in the house! It's wonderful, and we're feeling so blessed and fortunate. More on that later. In the meantime, there's plenty of complaining about the fact that we don't have internet access yet (hence, the lack of updating, commenting and photos of the garden/yard/various works-in-progress). It's scheduled to be hooked up tomorrow. Thank goodness! I'm itching to get back into the swing of regular posts as it seems like there is so much material. Anyway, my Mom is visiting now and has been a great help with watching the Bean, lining shelves, cooking meals with the loads of zucchini that keep coming from the garden (think zucchini pancakes with salsa verde; zuchhini muffins with fresh currants from the garden; lasagne made with long strips of zucchini in place of the noodles; zucchini and ricotta penne pasta…you get the idea; please send favorite zukes recipes my way!!), and generally just being helpful in the way that only a Mom can. Matt's parents were here for week beforehand, and were also really great with suggestions about the land and plenty of snuggle-time with their youngest grandchild.

Instead of diving into all of the thoughts swirling about my head about the house, the garden, open spaces, local farming, community, what I've been reading and the like, I thought I'd tell you about two nice sustainable businesses in downtown Philadelphia. I was heading back to work from a business lunch a few weeks ago when a sign for fair trade, organic coffee caught my attention. In need of some afternoon energy and some beans to take home for the morning, I strolled over to the independently-owned Joe Coffee Bar (11th and Walnut) this afternoon and was delighted. Joe's is an eclectic little space selling whole beans, the standard coffee drinks, and assorted munchies. The helpful clerk told me about the organic and local foods that they serve, as well as the fair trade coffees. She helped me pick out some Mexican beans too. And, because I bought 1 lb., I got a free cuppa coffee (with soy milk- a big plus for me). Shame on me for leaving my travel mug back at the office - -bah! Joe's has a reciprocal relationship with the fair trade non-profit Ten Thousand Villages which has a store a couple of doors down on Walnut St. so that if you show your receipt from Joe's at Ten Thousand Villages, you get 10% off and vice versa. The purchases don't have to be on the same day so you can save the receipts for when you need to do some shopping or some coffee drinking. I hopped over to Ten Thousand Villages and found some cloth napkins that were 75% off, so it only cost $8 for a set of six. This will be my third set of cloth napkins, and I still think we could use more. I am committed to reducing/eliminating our use of paper napkins and paper towels (except for the yuckiest spills), and I think that we need to have a bunch of napkins on hand so that they're at the ready for all of those good ol' fashioned community-building potlucks and casual meals we've already started having around our new kitchen table. Good stuff.

Oh, and I was pleased as punch to open up my email today and see that I won a handmade cloth produce bag from Melissa at The Color Green. Can't wait to get it! Another step in the quest to reduce plastic bags in our house.

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