April 2004

Newsletter Home

<< Prev   Next >>


Readers’ Write!

GM Report

Board Report

Deli News

Farming at the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference

Juice Bar News

A Coffee Primer

Book News

JenEhr Family Farm: Oven-Roasted Chickens Hot & Fresh Nightly

Specials Information

Producer Profile: Just Coffee

Ask the Midwife: Healthy Teeth in Pregnancy & Infancy

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

The Earthen Courtyard Community Building Project

Barneveld Gets
a New Food Cooperative

Community Calendar


Book News
Kathy Humiston
WSGC Staff

As I write it is a gray, drizzly March morning, but the promise of spring is in the air. On April 22 we celebrate the 34th annual observance of Earth Day. What will you do to honor the earth this day? For me Earth Day is a reminder to keep working on changing habits—especially in my personal environment. Over the years I’ve learned new ways to conserve water, gas and electricity. I’ve planted trees and gardens, vowed to bike and walk more on my daily errands, and become a strong supporter of organics.

Clean & Green
This year I’m thinking it might be time to turn my attention to a little spring-cleaning and maybe change to a few more non-toxic methods. Annie Berthold-Bond’s classic book Clean & Green has long been considered a valuable resource for creating environmentally safe cleaners for virtually any kind of mess. Berthold-Bond starts by explaining what you may actually be using when you buy a commercial cleaner. You’ll be dismayed by many things on the ingredients lists—hazardous waste products, allergens, carcinogens, neurotoxins—some scary stuff indeed. She then goes on to detail ingredients and formulas for simple products you can make at home using common things such as vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and so on. There is a chapter on safe commercial products and lists of their manufacturers and an extensive resource list if you want more in-depth information, as well as a thorough bibliography. Clean & Green is on sale for the month of April at a 15% discount off the publisher’s price. Grab your copy and start polishing!

Amazing Grains
Lots of us love to shop the bulk aisle for many different reasons—some of which also have implications for the environment. By choosing to buy in bulk you can almost eliminate packaging, which usually ends up in the landfill, you can buy just the amount of a food that you need, and the fast turnover means fresher pantry staples that taste better. There is a certain level of mystery for the new bulk aisle shopper as well—what are all these different (and sometimes strange looking) grains, beans and flours? Amazing Grains by Joanne Saltzman will help answer questions about how and why to cook many of these little gems. The book contains descriptions of many different grain products, as well as suggestions for seasonings and oils to best enhance their flavors. There are specific cooking instructions as well as simple, tasty recipes to showcase each grain.

The New Organic Grower
Many of us will celebrate Earth Day by getting out and digging in the earth a bit—weather permitting anyway. A new addition to our gardening bookshelf is Elliot Coleman’s The New Organic Grower. This book covers the usual garden basics of setting out transplants and dealing with weeds and pests. It goes beyond that to discuss various tools and equipment, soil amendments and harvesting. Coleman also shares his expertise at extending the growing season in northern climates and invites you into the winter garden as well. If you are into really large-scale growing you may also appreciate his advice on marketing the bounty and working with employees. Coleman’s work on sustainable growing has been a standard for almost 20 years and regardless of the size of your garden, there is sure to be useful information here for you.

Return to top