Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Maine" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

    Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

    Many years ago, when my family was the only year round family on remote Gotts Island I actually did "Black Friday."  Black Friday is literally going to a mall after Thanksgiving and buying stuff.  I believe it came about because I listened to a talk radio station out of Boston.  This is long before talk radio was so political, of course the station talked national and local politics but also covered many human interest stories, food, psychology.  For me, it was background conversation while I worked alone in my log cabin.  I'm sure I was influenced by all the ads for Black Friday- it seemed the thing to do.

     

    So we headed ashore- no easy task- involving boats and our car.  I have no idea what we bought.  Probably broccoli and other fresh vegetables.  It was crowded, we ate at a fast food joint and by the time we got home we were all cross and grumpy.  That's my one and only Black Friday adventure.

    This year, celebrate sustainably and slow down.  There is no need to pile the family in the car, deal with hordes of people to buy cheap stuff made in China.  There are so many other things to do.  

    #OptOutside was started by the outdoor gear company REI a few years ago.  They are closed for business the Friday after Thanksgiving.  REI's mission is to connect people with each other and nature instead of spending time shopping for bargains.  

    Another alternative to Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day.  This began in Canada to highlight overconsumption.  Instead of shopping the idea is to slow down and participate in a community event, get outside or even spend a bit of time doing what you love.  It's a perfect day for some self care. 

    Both #OptOutside and Buy Nothing Day are movements and philosophies.  We're a small business which depends on sales to survive.  We understand how complex the world and economies are.  We also knowing making choices about your purchases is a way to vote for the kind of economies and world you want. 

    9 Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

    1.   Take a walk no matter what the weather is.  Bundle up, put on rain boots or rub in the sunscreen- just get outside.

    2.   While outside pick up trash.  There's nothing like picking up lots od single use plastic to help you make better buying choices.

    3.   Clean out a closet, cupboard or room and donate useable items to your local charity shop.

    4.   Write letters, postcards or call family and friends far away.

    5.   Make holiday cookies or gifts.

    6.   Read a book, play cards or do a puzzle.

    7.   Get some ART and visit a museum or gallery.

    8.   Dedicate some time to self care, give your self a facial, a hot soak in the tub or simply a bit of time doing whatever you love most.  

    9.   No matter how you spend the day- do an activity that nourishes you and helps your community and environment.

     

    WOOF for Seaweed

    WOOF for Seaweed

    Seaweeds many nutritional benefits include being rich in iron, magnesium, iodine, and the omega-3 fatty acids.  Plus there's that great "umami" flavor.  Umami is Japanese for "pleasant savory taste".  These are the reasons we humans love to add seaweed to our diet- but what about our dogs? 

    Turns out seaweed is a great addition to our dog's diet.  Those same powerful nutrients that benefit humans help improve our dog's coat and skin.  Nori, the unseasoned sushi wraps can make great training treats for your dog.  That umami taste sensation is similar to a rich, meaty bone.

    If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, washed ashore seaweed is NOT a safe dog treat.  In general, my Puerto Rican street dog Tuffy eats a lot of gross things on the beach- but she's never shown an interest in beach seaweed.  The dangers are possible pollutants, salt poisoning and expansion as the dried seaweed expands in the tummy.  

    If you're looking for a good seaweed rich supplement for your dog check out the Maine company Source.  Susan Domizi developed a nutritional product to help her horse's health.  One of the problems of modern society is our soils may be depleted and not have all the essential micronutrients that our dogs need.  Source for dogs contains "selected seaweeds plus the added benefits of yeast cultures, brewers yeast, garlic powder, vitamin E, zinc and natural beef flavor."

    Source also makes a human supplement which I use but that's another blog!

    Find out more on the Source website- https://www.4source.com/product/source-plus-for-dogs/

    Find out more about seaweeds in general by visiting the Maine Seaweed Council website- http://www.seaweedcouncil.org/

     

    Celebrating Earth Day in Maine

    Celebrating Earth Day in Maine

    Earth Day was the idea of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.  He felt that environmental issues and awareness needed to be more prominent in both the media and in politics so he created the first official Earth Day back in 1970. 

    Of course, Earth Day should be everyday.  This year, the official theme is "Environmental and Climate Literacy".  In order to get a bit more literate in this area I'm reading Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything- Capitalism vs the Climate".  It's not an easy read for me, I tend to like complex mysteries that allow me to escape into a book and this book makes you think.  Another everyday way to celebrate our planet is to get outside and pick up trash.  Noticing all the bits of litter can be very eye opening.  Besides helping to make the earth a tiny bit cleaner you are setting an example for others.  People need to see folks out there not ignoring litter but picking it up. 

    It's nice to get out and about and connect with others on this Earth Day Celebration.  Here's a list of events around the state of ME. 

    MID-COAST MAINE

    JUST EAT IT- A FOOD WASTE STORY

    Sunday April 22 at the Strand Theatre in downtown Rockland

    This event is hosted by Renew Rockland, The Strand and Good Tern Coop.  Check out their Facebook Page for more info.

    EARTH DAY CHORAL CONCERT

    Camden’s Quasimodal Chorus will celebrate the Earth with song.  At the Camden Public Library on Sunday starts at 2:00 and a donation of $10 is suggested.  More info- http://www.librarycamden.org/event/spring-concert-april-2/

    EARTH DAY WORK DAY at MOFGA

    Earth Day Planting Day on Sat April 21 from 9-3 at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity.  More info from MOFGA.

    A WALK FOR MOTHER EARTH

    Sears Island to Belfast on Sat April 21 from 8-3.  Here's a link to the route.

     

    SOUTHERN MAINE

    CELEBRATE SCIENCE & EARTH DAY- WHAT WOULD RACHEL DO?

    This event honors Rachel Carson and is from 10-2 on Sat at the Waterhouse Center in downtown Kennebunk.  More info here-https://www.someplaneteers.org/

    TERRA MATTERS YOUTH CLIMATE SUMMIT

    Sat 9-12 at Hannaford Hall in Portland.  Environmental clubs from Me's high and middle schools will present their projects.  After the event join the march and rally and remember to bring your refillable containers for food and drink.  More info here- http://terramatters.org/

    EARTH FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES AT THE PORTLAND CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

    Seeds,mud, stories, face painting and more! From 10:30 to 4:30, cost of admission to the museum.  More info- https://www.portlandmaine.com/events/earth-day/ 

    WELLS RESERVE AT LAUDHOLM

    This place is beautiful and on Earth Day there are family friendly events including bird watching, a concert, beach clean-up and more.  https://www.wellsreserve.org/

    A DAY OF MINDFULNESS

    If you'd like to experience peace and quiet head to Nurture Thru Nature Retreat

    starting at 9:30  for singing, chanting, meditation and more peaceful activities.  Check it out- http://www.ntnretreats.com/

    DOWN EAST

    EARTH DAY AT COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

    Roadside cleanup, picnic lunch, puppet show, e car and a showing of the film 

    "The Story of Stuff".  More info-http://www.coa.edu/calendar/#!event_id/28712/view/event

    I know this list is incomplete- feel free to add any events in the comment section.

     

     

     

    Meet the Maker Movement

    Meet the Maker Movement

    We've joined the March Meet the Maker Movement created by English entrepreneur Joanne Hawker.  It's a chance to tell our 2018 business story, make some connections, build some social media skills and have fun.

    The challenge is very well designed and 2018 is the third year.  She like many creative entrepreneurs was in the social media/creativity rut.  A tough place to be!  She started a month long challenge to show the different aspects of her business and asked others to join. 

    At Dulse & Rugosa we split the business jobs.  Carly's is the actual maker.  She starts by growing many of our botanicals and harvesting seaweed.  She also makes by hand all our products.  Then she wraps and packages everything.

    Claire goes to markets, builds wholesale accounts, mails orders and is responsible for social media.  At times social media feels like "speaking to the winds"-one of our favorite quotes by Gott Island author Ruth Moore. There are so many mornings when social media posting causes stress and makes me late.  

    Joanne has taken care of "posting stress" with a series of prompts.  The prompts tell the story of your business.  

    Thank you Joanne and we can't wait to join others in building our creative community.  Here's the link to Meet the Maker -

    https://www.marchmeetthemaker.com

    Easy Peasy Soup Stock

    Easy Peasy Soup Stock

    My daughter Carly and I were talking about "garden guilt" recently.  That's when you have more produce than you can eat and not a lot of time to can or freeze all your garden goodies.  If you have a crock pot here is an easy technique for turning an abundance of garden produce into a tasty yummy stock that you can freeze and enjoy summer's bounty on a cold winter day.

    Easy Peasy Soup Stock made with tough garden vegetables.

    If the garden gives you tough green beans make a stock.  You can use basically anything to make your stock.  I like to start with a nice chunk of kelp.  Kelp is a wonderful seaweed that adds depth and flavor to many cooked dishes especially stocks, soups and beans.  The rich flavor that seaweeds add to foods is known as umami.  It's the Japanese word for the fifth taste sensation. Umami is a great substitute for meats in your stock.  Another way to boost the umami flavor is to use dried mushrooms.  There's no hard and fast rule for making this broth and it will be different each time you make it- it all depends on what's available in your garden and farm market.  For more information about cooking and enjoying sea vegetables check out the cookbook Sea Vegetable Celebration.

    DIY Garden Stock

    The next step is to load your crockpot up with vegetables, onions, beans, tomatoes, squash, carrots, greens, whatever you have an abundance of including bunches of herbs.  This is a perfect opportunity to use older and tough vegetables including clean skins.  Turn the crock pot on and let it simmer away for hours.  I like to cook mine over night, the house is cooler and you wake up to a lovely savory smell.

    When everything is cooked, strain the stock.  You can stop here and freeze a soup base or you can use gorgeous, lovely vegetables and make a soup.  For this step I like to use the best veggies I can.  Tender and sweet.  I'll put onions and carrots in to simmer until tender and will lightly simmer other veggies including corn, beans, peas, chopped greens and herbs.  I freeze my vegetable soup without any grains, pasta or rice.  It takes up less room and I can quickly cook up my choice of starch to add to my soup before serving.

    It's not a lot of actual work making the stock, it takes awhile for the broth to simmer and then simply pop into your choice of containers and freeze.