NCEJN’s 22nd Annual Environmental Justice Summit (2020) registration open

Registration is open for the summit!  Looks like a great event.  John and I have enrolled and are looking forward to learning together. I took the following from their website: We Can’t Breathe: Policing, Pollution, Public Violence, and Pandemic This year, we are focusing our hearts and attention on the multiple crises that harm our communities – namely the public violence of policing, pollution, and the pandemic – and how our collective struggle can transform that harm into wellbeing for our communities.   To promote the safety of our community members, we have planned for this year’s Summit to be held online for the month of October. We will be gathering via email, social media, on Zoom, and by word of mouth to continue to practice solidarity and prove that our strength in numbers is not changed by any force! In addition to the virtual events, for the month of October, we will be asking our members and others to join in completing weekly action challenges as well [...]

By |2020-09-22T11:57:30-04:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Connecting with nature, Eating Consciously, Food, Gatherings, Growing food, Help a Neighbor|

There is definitely an interest in our community for prepared plant-based meals

Thanks to everyone who responded to our question about providing plant-based meals in our community.  We had a great response! We would love to have a community conversation on the topic and get more feedback.  Please answer this short survey so we can explore our next step.  

By |2020-09-14T09:48:56-04:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Food, Help a Neighbor|

Why focus on zero-waste when there are so many more pressing issues?

At one of our potluck events (I sure do miss those), someone said to me, "Why so much focus on zero-waste?  There are more pressing issues."  I have thought of that a lot.  Of all the issues I can think of, they all are impacted by working to move to a zero-waste community. "Our goal is to eliminate the idea of waste from our mindset and to normalize a kinder existence without waste." John and I are moving to that mindset and it has impacted every part of our lives.  John and I have lived most of our life not thinking deeply about our waste.  Recycle, recycle, recycle and we were good citizens.  Items are disposable for a reason right? Well, right we have discovered.  What we discovered and what we continue to learn is that the thought of waste is privileged.  I visit the DrawDown Project website frequently, especially the solutions page.  Here is a paragraph from the page. Here, we present the individual solutions reviewed and [...]

Eating Consciously Podcast: Shane Bellinger interviews Jacqui Edans of Rooster Head Farms

Welcome to our third podcast in the Eating Consciously series.  In this episode, Shane Bellinger, owner of Green Go Cleaning and member of the Eating Consciously team interviews Jacqui Edans of Rooster Head Farms in Brevard, NC.  Our last episode was focused on systemic racism which included a conversation on factory meat operations.  This episode shows another side of the meat industry on a different scale.  Eating Consciously focuses on the impact our food choices have on others.  This episode continues to educate towards that goal.  Thanks for being here.  We hope you enjoy the show.  Many thanks to Shane and Jacqui for sharing this conversation with us. Farmer Jacqui Shane with her family

New York Times article about sending our plastic to Africa and a carbon footprint quiz

Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic. Faced with plunging profits and a climate crisis that threatens fossil fuels, the industry is demanding a trade deal that weakens Kenya’s rules on plastics and on imports of American trash. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I read this article in today's New York Times.  It speaks of fracking and plastic and the impact the industry is having.  It reads a lot like my interview with Naeema of the NC Environmental Justice Network.  This is another story of industry working to implement systemic change. There is a mini-quiz you can take that helps you estimate your carbon footprint on a few items.  You can find it here:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/30/climate/climate-footprint-quiz.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage I keep asking myself this question:  Why is my waste permitted to impact your life? I am interested in your thoughts.  Thanks for being here. Love is the answer.  

By |2020-08-31T08:34:01-04:00August 31st, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Help a Neighbor, Moving to Zero-waste|

We need more community food scrap drop-off sites. Interested? We will help

Growing food usually requires soil.  Nutrients in the soil get used up when we grow food and luckily for us, an easy way to rebuild the soil is through making compost.  We have taken on a new community project with a few other groups that involves giving plant starts to those who are in need of food.  We usually have enough pots, plant starts, and volunteers but we usually need more soil. We currently have 2 publicized community compost drop off places in our community and we could use a few more.  If you are interested in helping us build more soil please let us know. Do you currently compost at home but have no use for the soil?  Let us know!  We could sure use it. Would you collect your food scraps for use if someone would pick them up and take them to a drop-off location?  Let us know that too. Send an email to jbwkjc@gmail.com and let's talk dirt :)

Interested in a local plant-based food chef preparing meals for you?

Since we have started the Eating Consciously project, I have learned that factory produced meats are not something I can support anymore.  While we do still consume some meat products in our home, mostly bone broths, we have substantially cut back.  I have to admit it was something I never thought I would do.  I didn't feel I was getting what I needed from a plant-based diet until 2 things happened. Fermenting The first thing that had a significant impact on our home-cooked meals was learning to ferment from Noel's classes.  We bought a few books on the topic and learned to make fermented blueberries and tomato water.  That changed everything.  It brought a depth of flavor we were missing and our bodies love the ferment!  Everything works better. Exploring the depth of plant-based cooking Another thing that has helped us was learning the depth of things you can do with plants.  "I never knew you could do that with flaxseed!" I told John.  It has been really [...]

By |2020-08-30T14:32:42-04:00August 30th, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Food, Help a Neighbor, Kathryn Parker, Shane Bellinger|

Free fermenting classes

This is something that is near and dear to my heart and I have discussed with the Shockey’s, my fermenting gurus and friends. So in spite of their world being turned upside down with COVID they are still walking the talk and trying to connect with those folks in most need. Scroll down to the bottom paragraphs and you will see what I mean.   We hope this finds you well. For the last few months we have been working on getting two special fermentation classes up. One is a Master Class that includes 7 techniques, a number of videos and a full color workbook with recipes. This class has so much for both a seasoned fermenter as well as brand new fermenters. The other class is very basic fermentation and is 100% FREE. FREE? What you say? Why? Let us explain.  Microbes are everywhere and key to nearly every natural process. They were on the Earth first, long before our farthest common ancestors existed, and they will likely be here [...]

By |2020-08-24T11:07:15-04:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Food, Food preservation, Gatherings, Help a Neighbor, Use Food Scraps|

Eating Consciously, Eating Seasonally, Eating Locally

Another favorite of the nightshade family is the pepper: there are hundreds of kinds, ranging from super sweet to hellishly hot. I’ll focus on the sweet. Many do not like green bell peppers and for good reason: they are green, are not ripe and can be bitter. One can find in the grocery stores ripe bell peppers that are red, yellow and orange but chances are these took an international trip before getting to the store. Like tomatoes, peppers of all kinds are planted in the late spring once the soil and ambient temperature are warm. It takes about 2 months for a pepper to become green and ‘ripe’ enough to eat. To get to the full ripe state of red, orange or yellow takes another month. The fruit are heavy and require some effort to support so farmers are often ready to pick green and sell. So what does one do if one wants a pepper with color and sweetness? Plant Lunchbox Peppers! Not only are the [...]

By |2020-08-24T10:57:06-04:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Food, Growing food, Noel Thurner, Recipe|

Thank you Whistlestop Market for helping us feed hungry children and selling in bulk

Whistlestop Market in Cedar Mountain has been ordering bulk products for us since November.  We are able to get almost anything we use to get from the Hendersonville Coop closer to home and many times at a saving. Many of us have been working with Rooster Head Farm to feed the hungry around their farm. Many from Conservers has donated money and time to help.  Thank you!  As it became obvious that this was going to be a long term project, several in the community came together to find a different way to help that did not involve Jacqui having to do all the shopping, transport, food preparation, and distribution. John and I do almost all of our grocery shopping through Whistlestop and before COVID we were sharing bulk food purchases with those in Conservers who were interested.  When we asked if we could buy bulk packages of meatless hot dogs, buns, peanut butter and jelly, and anything else they said sure!  Not only did they order the [...]

By |2020-08-24T12:09:04-04:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: Eating Consciously, Essential workers, Food, Help a Neighbor|

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.