Search This Blog

Monday, July 9, 2012

First Green Birthday - a year in review

Today is Liam's first birthday, and I thought I should take a moment and reflect back on our families goals and accomplishments.

1- We wanted Liam to make a small impact on the environment
  •  Cloth diapers have been a huge success! They are way cheaper and easier than disposables, and they work better! We gave up using the occasional disposable when they started printing the Lorax character on them (but that's another subject entirely)
  • We have exclusively breastfed and bottle fed expressed breast milk (EBM)
  • We always try to buy used clothes and toys first (especially colorful adorable sweaters, but that's also another subject entirely)

Liam modeling the adorable sweater that started my addiction (circa December 2011)

  • We threw a huge birthday bash for Liam and Dad and managed to keep it very green: compostable plates, jam jars for cups, real utensils, and compostable cupcake wrappers (all natural parchment paper).  The total garbage produced from the party was less than half a grocery bag (and consisted of a little plastic film and half a hotdog- just the meat part, composted the bun.)

The compost bin - 2 days post party
2- We wanted to live "actively"
  • For the first six months Liam rode the bus and rode in a stroller most days (much of the time out of necessity as much as convenience) and we tried to limit the use of the car to my long commute and the trips to visit family
  • At six months Liam could hold himself up well and wear a bike helmet.  So, we started him in a Peapod seat on the back of Dad's xtracycle.

Liam's first Bike ride (January 2012)
  • In February we moved to Salem, reducing my daily commute from a 60 mile round trip by car to a 2 mile round trip by bike (or foot).  Now Liam and Dad walk or ride to my work every day for lunch so we can nurse and play and eat together.
  • We can now grocery shop and do most other errands exclusively by bike (and sometimes by foot).
Riding home from shopping trip to Roth's in West Salem, we love crossing the Willamette on the Steel Bridge.

3- We wanted to eat whole foods and teach Liam to enjoy the seasonal variety Oregon has to offer
  • We've dived in to the local markets and really been please by what the Cherry City has to offer.  Even during the hungry months (February and March in my book) we could find enough local produce at the public market to fill the meals (somewhat creatively) each week.  This included  trying out cardoon, turning some wrinkly apples into fresh sauce, and eating alot of leafy greens.
  • We've joined a local harvest group that cleans-up unwanted crops for donation and our own consumption
  • Friends in our new community have helped us find new foraging areas, shared harvests of delicious wild greens (we made a rocking nettle quiche!) and have invited us to harvest at their homes when there is an overabundance (we have a freezer full of raspberries and a giant bag of cherries on my table waiting to be processed)
  • I started making my own yogurt which Liam really enjoys too.  (Now I just need to find a source for good local milk)
  • We put the work into starting a new vegetable garden and some perennial edibles at our new place in Salem (even after saying we would wait a year to discover the sun an soil situation)
Liam helping Dad put up the new garden fence
  • The whole foods we find essential and can't find locally (flour, beans, rice, oatmeal, olive oil, peanut butter) we try to buy in bulk quantity from a good source and store in our make shift basement pantry

We prefer Bob's Red Mill Flours and Grains (25lb bags stored in food grade buckets), Maranatha peanut butter and Napa Valley Naturals Olive Oil (purchased by the case from the manufacturer online)
  • We finally purchased a pressure cooker! Now we can smoke, dry, freeze, water-bath-can, and pressure-can for winter
  • Most importantly we let Liam try everything possible.  To my discontent the only food he just doesn't seem to excited about is avocado! but I am saved by his apparent love for heirloom tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries.  Other wonderful surprises have been his love of homemade whole wheat bread, black beans, lentils, and plain popcorn.
Liam enjoying a cherry today at lunch (Mom removed the pit first)

Every day of success breeds the next round of life changing goals (I want to make lavender and rosemary hand cream and age prosciutto in the basement).  It's a open ended process full of dirt, and sweat, and peeing on paper-plates while they rot back to the soil we will grow next years dinner in.

No comments:

Post a Comment