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Fare Thee Well: Grateful Dead, going down the road feeling…

  It’s been a long, strange, trip indeed. I had two older siblings that were ahead of me on the excellent musical trail of the early 70s and the Grateful Dead was among the bands they listened to, talked about, and went to see. Being a curious and precocious baby sister, at the age of 11, I...

The post Fare Thee Well: Grateful Dead, going down the road feeling… appeared first on The Green Divas.

Dangers of Toxic Mold with Andrea Fabry and Jennifer Saleem

Our basement flooded a few years ago. I was terrified of wet basement getting moldy so I did whatever I could to prevent it. So far, we haven’t noticed any mold growing anywhere or experienced any health problems so we were very lucky. Did you know that about 50% of American homes are affected with...

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The post Dangers of Toxic Mold with Andrea Fabry and Jennifer Saleem appeared first on Dr. Karen S. Lee - Wholistic Health Practitioner.

Dirty Sexecology: 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth

Sexecology: It’s a real thing Sexecology is a new field of inquiry that explores places where sexology (the study of human sexual life) and ecology (the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments) overlap. The term was coined by UC-Santa Cruz art professor and filmmaker, Elizabeth Stephens and internationally renowned feminist media artist,...

The post Dirty Sexecology: 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth appeared first on The Green Divas.

What to expect on GAPS diet with Chloe Breczinski

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet has helped so many people with not only digestive issues but with allergies, skin problems, mental health and others. I put my children on GAPS diet last year in hopes that it will cure their allergies and Eczema. They are still on a modified full GAPS diet and they...

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The post What to expect on GAPS diet with Chloe Breczinski appeared first on Dr. Karen S. Lee - Wholistic Health Practitioner.

Taking the Mystery Out of a Hydroponic Barge



Welcome guest poster, mystery author Deirdre Vern:

Here’s what I love about Anna of Green Talk.  Anna is a thinker and a doer. No small task when it comes to living green. As for me, I’m a thinker. I aspire to be green, but I leave the heavy lifting to my alter-ego, CeCe Prentice, the main character in my mystery book, “Drawing Conclusions (A Sketch in Crime Mystery).”

That is, until I got caught on a self-sustaining, hydroponic barge floating along the Hudson River during a hail storm.

I’m a mystery writer and about ten years ago I decided I wanted to learn through my writing. So, I wrote myself an off-beat, off-the-grid, eco-friendly sleuth. With one published book and two more in the works, CeCe and I have come to be the best of pals.

I do the research and she gets her hands dirty composting, farming and diving in the occasional Dumpster. Along the way, I learn a whole lot about green living and CeCe gets to send the bad to guys to jail while keeping the ecosphere in balance.

Back to the hydroponic barge. To further my green research, I made an appointment with GroundWork Hudson Valley, a wonderful organization dedicated to improving neglected neighborhoods through sustainable projects. Their Science Barge, located in downtown Yonkers, is a floating greenhouse, open to the public. I was lucky enough to get a personalized tour during a summer hurricane that only a mystery writer would appreciate as an ominous backdrop to something sinister.

How disappointed was I to find that only good things happened on this barge?  Despite being tossed around like a ping pong ball in a clothing dryer, I was amazed at the barge’s production capacity. I was even more amazed that Bob Walters, the Science Barge Director, was dedicated enough to continue the tour through a lightning storm.

Of course Bob was eager to show me the plentiful supply of vegetables and fruits produced in bins of water. Yes, hydroponics really does work. Unlike the ground, where nutrients are diffused through the soil, these floating, edible plants receive exactly the right amount of nutrients to ensure maximum growth. Bucket after bucket of hydroponic plants revealed tomatoes, melons, greens, and lettuce in full bloom.

And as the barge produces its own solar and wind power and collects its own rain, the system works at “zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides and zero runoff.”

Now that’s impressive.

I couldn’t end this discussion without mentioning the fish swimming in the bins underneath. My first thought was a decorative flourish, but as Bob explained, the fish provide natural fertilizer for the self-contained, hydroponic system.

Could this get any better?

Well it can, because you, too, can visit the barge. Visit their site HERE and watch a short video about the barge to peak your interest.

Editor’s Note.  

If you love a good mystery story,  be sure to check out Deirdre’s book.  Here is a short summary of the plot:


“While she never saw eye to eye with her father—the ambitious director of a renowned genetics research center—CeCe Prentice always remained close to her brother, Teddy. When Teddy is found dead at the lab where he worked for their father, CeCe’s efforts to mourn the tragic loss are interrupted by several attempts on her own life.

CeCe is naturally drawn in to the investigation, teaming up with Detective Frank DeRosa, the officer assigned to protect her. Together, they begin looking into the circumstances surrounding Teddy’s death, only to discover the truth may be found closer to home than they think—in CeCe’s own paintings.”

It has received many favorable reviews on Amazon!   So, go find out how Teddy died.

Disclaimer:  There are affiliate links in the article. Thanks for supporting both Deirdre and Green Talk’s work.

Photo courtesy of GroundWork Hudson Valley


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Cheap and Free Yoga in Dallas Summer 2015

I’m heading out to my yoga teacher training in just a few days! Meanwhile, I am getting bombarded by emails, Facebook messages, texts and verbal inquiries from friends looking for somewhere to do yoga this summer. I can recommend several studios or gyms, but it sounds like no one is really willing to pay for a studio membership. Read more...

The post Cheap and Free Yoga in Dallas Summer 2015 appeared first on Living Consciously.

3 Ways to Help Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

Whether you’re a proud greenie, interested in long-term environmental solutions, or simply want to make a dint in your electricity bill, there are plenty of reasons to make your home eco-friendly. Have a look through some of the suggestions below and see what might work best for your home. 1. Invest in Solar Power Few things are […]

The post 3 Ways to Help Make Your Home Eco-Friendly appeared first on Nature Moms Blog.

Stonyfield and Late July Easy Party Chip and Dip
Summer feels like never-ending snack time with Bar-B-Qs, beach days, and birthday parties. I’m trying to keep the snacks for my two-year-old’s birthday party relatively healthy, to mitigate the requisite pizza and too-lazy-to-bake-it-myself store bought cake. Fortunately I received some treats and tips from my friends at Stonyfield Yogurt and Late July Snacks, two of […]
Lobster Roll with Homemade Mayo

Summer always reminds me of past family vacations on New England seaside towns. Digging for clams, collecting sea shells, fishing, having clam bakes, and scarfing down seafood, especially, lobster-by-the-pound, are just a few ways we used to enjoy coastal vacations. And when I say “lobster-by-the-pound“, I don’t mean dining out at fancy restaurants where lobsters...

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Farm Share Recipes: Using Your Greens
We are thrilled to have a farm share this year at one of the most beautiful and oldest working farms in our area, Appleton Farms. It is such a joy to visit the farm each week with my little ones. They especially love picking their fruits and vegetables, and I love that they can really […]The post Farm Share Recipes: Using Your Greens appeared first on I Thought I Knew Mama.

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How to Plant Mint and Not Sob Uncontrollably


There is nothing like fresh mint.  But add it your garden beds and wish you died 1000 deaths before trying to get rid of it.  Mint spreads faster than butter.  Before you know it your whole garden bed has been taken over unless you know how to keep it in check.  Learn the right way, not the wrong way how to plant mint.  You will thank me later.

All Begins Innocently.

Mint is quite demur at first.  It doesn’t spread much the first year.  By the second year, it starts to warm up and spreads about 18 inches.  See the picture below of my chocolate mint.  Last year it was merely a three legged plant.


I know how any mint related plant can spread.  I made my first mistake planting innocent oregano in a bed.  Oregano is part of the mint family.  It took  literally five years to get rid of it in this bed.  I am still fighting it as it crept into the pathways as well.

Oh by the way, some mints play better with others.  Lemon balm, catmint and catnip don’t spread as quickly but I still wouldn’t suggest putting it in a vegetable garden bed.  My not so invasive mint is in my surrounding plant beds.

In fact, I planted lemon balm and pineapple mint together.   The pineapple mint was just beating on the lemon balm like it was its younger brother.

How to Plant Mint

If you don’t have a dedicated bed just for mint, then you will have to contain it.  Mint always wins and is quite a thug.  Oh, but a beautifully smelling thug so you don’t want to pull it all out.  (Your second mistake.)

Years ago, I read how to plant mint to keep it contained.  I was only told half of the truth.  Or perhaps, I didn’t keep the lip of the container above ground.  In any event, simply planting it in a container in the ground will NOT contain it unless you are very vigilant in pulling it out.

The mint will leave you thank you notes as it gallops it way across your beds.


You want to prevent the mint from touching the ground. It roots and keeps on spreading.  It spreads by runners.

Here are four ways to keep your sanity and enjoy mint:

#1 Grow it in Container

Simply grow it in a nice size container.  Realize since its nature is to spread you will need to either re-pot each year to a bigger container or simply pull some out so that the roots don’t strangle the plant.   You will be thinning the plant and rejuvenating it.

If you want the mint to survive, you will need to bring it into the house.  Place it by a east or south facing window.  Don’t forget to water it.  Mint likes to stay moist but not soggy.  In addition, mist it or put it on top of pebbles with water underneath to create humidity.

Turn it every week so the plant receives equal sunlight.

#2 Plant it in a Container in the Ground


Most mint are perennials so the plants comes back ever year. (Be sure to check your variety before you plant.)

My second attempt at planting mint was in a container in the ground.  I thought I would contain it but it still spread.

Leave the lip of the pot about 2 inches above the ground.

I have heard mixed results about planting mint in plastic or clay pots. Some people say that the mint will shatter the clay pot.  I bet they didn’t thin their plants.

What should you do with the mint you pulled out? You can use the pulled out mint to create new pots of mint or simply use it in your favorite dish or drink.

#3 Plant Mint in a Raised Bed


Planting it in a raised bed will NOT prevent it from running.  As I mentioned above, my oregano jumped ship and started to grow alongside the raised bed.

You can plant mint in a raised bed but be sure to contain it by using weed barrier fabric around the bed.  Note, you need to thin the plants in the bed since the garden bed is one big container.

Alternatively, simply pull it out when it comes out of the bed. Mint with runners are easy to pull out.  Lemon Balm is not as easy since it grows more like a plant with a single nice size root.

#4 Plant Mint in Its Own Bed

You can spit caution to the wind and plant the mint in its own soil bed.  It makes excellent ground cover but it will bully other plants.  Mint even bullies comfrey which is a thug in its own right. (Comfrey smothers plants underneath it.)

My mint grows out of my prepared beds into the lawn.  We just mow it or pull it.

To learn about other plant thugs in your garden, read HERE.  Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you.

Join the Conversation

How do you plant mint?





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