Food Waste Summit Review

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Two weeks ago I was able to attend the Food Waste Summit at Parkview Hospital.  I was not sure what to expect but they did have a lot of high profile people in their panel ready to answer questions about food waste.  Some of these people represented the EPA, Kroger, and Waste Management.

Two items given out were a sticker to place on a bin holding whatever food needs to be used up first (“Eat this first”) and a notepad similar to the menu plan list every homemaker uses.  These two items were supposed to help households throw out less food by being aware of what needs to be used and what is already available to prevent over buying at the store.

One example I found useful was the “blue bin” used by some restaurants to create a visual aid for food waste.  Every piece of produce that would be thrown away for the day (think ends of onions) instead was tossed into the bin.  At the end of the day the crew would go through the bin and see if they were throwing away portions of produce they would actually be able to use.

I also learned that Kroger plans on being “zero waste company” by 2020.  I knew they donated their unsold items to local charities but I was unaware of this initiative.  Under the Good Samaritan law there is also little legal risk to picking up donated (or donating) food to others.  I think if more people knew this more would donate or take the time to pick up donated food from grocery stores and deliver it to those who could use it.

I was not so encouraged about the lack of community composting talk.  It seems that even in places where this has been implemented it is scarcely used and used improperly.  I’d love to have a neighborhood-managed compost heap that everyone can add to and benefit from.

Calendula-Sage Infusion

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A few weeks ago we had someone in the family with a mucus issue… so we whipped up an infusion with some known drying herbs we grow… Sage (salvia officinalis) & Calendula .  It made a beautiful tisane and was tasty enough that the recipient had no issue sipping on it through the next two days.  The dried  Calendula blossoms grow so large and make such a lovely looking infusion.  It is nice to still have some jars filled with dried herbs from the garden as we come to the end of Winter.

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Herban Homeschool: Week 16

Truly a beautiful thing to do math work from the couch.

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Or on the floor with your sister

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More Word Families… including “EN” this week.

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And a little home made project during free time… A makeshift computer just like daddy’s (two screens) where she could play Minecraft while Skyping with grandma (who is also playing Minecraft).

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Herban Homeschool: Week 15

With week 15 we found ourselves with three more Word Families, including AT and AY.

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I love her little whimsical houses.

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In math we studied “mental math” and those fun “plus nines”.  I remember learning the trick about adding nines as a kid and how cool I thought it was.  It has been fun listening to “nine wants to be ten” with each new math problem.

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Herban Homeschool: Week 13 & 14

We got back into the weekly lessons in January and I believe it was a success mostly due to the fact that we began our Word Families booklet (yay reading!) and Winter study.  We also started solving for the unknown in Math.  Going to the library once a week for a club meeting started as well.

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We still continued to practice our lowercase letters.

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And attempted to make new Minecraft creations with video templates.

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Now to start another week by enjoying this abnormally warm weather for January!

Give The Gift Of Tea

A few months ago I woke up in a funk.  I am sure it has happened many times since then, but I remember this day specifically because my husband had that look on his face as he left for work.  The look was one of slight concern and mostly pity.  He was leaving and I was about the start the day with four little kids plus a funky mood that lingered through breakfast.

Luckily I did start feeling better. I could say it was because the kids were listening, or the baby took a good nap, or maybe it was because I got all the dishes out of the sink.  But I do remember something that clinched it.  Our mail comes after lunch, usually right as my youngest two are napping, and something was waiting for me.

In the mail on that particular day was a little note card from a far away friend.  Some kind words were written, “thinking of you” and the such… and tucked into the little note card was a delicious new tea blend to try.

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I held onto the tea for a few weeks, waiting for the perfect time to try this special blend of green tea and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis).  It was especially nice to think on the fact that someone sent it to me for a specific purpose, and it arrived on that specific day.  Since then I have attempted to leave a tea packet “calling card” whenever I bring back something I lent or decide to send a little note.  It is a simple way to share a relaxing moment miles away.  I am very thankful for that thoughtful friend and her action days before I knew I would need it.

You can purchase this specific calming blend of Green Melissa on Amazon.