bikes, eco-friendly

Bicycle Ladies

Jennifer Worth, Jessica Fletcher, MJ

Riding a bicycle used to be thought of as kids play, a way for youth to get to school, or bike-women 1950s editedsomething an adult did for exercise. That attitude is changing. More and more people use bikes to get from point A to point B and beyond.

Jennifer Worth, whose memoirs are brought to life in the BCC show Call the Midwife, shows us that it wasn’t that long ago professional women road bikes to do their job. With her box of supplies strapped to the back, and in a skirt, the midwives and nuns would ride their bikes to check on the women Call-the-Midwife--with bikes editedof the East End of London.

Jessica Fletcher, the beloved fictional character from Murder She Wrote, rides her bike all over her small town of Cabot Cove – from murder scene to murder scene. There’s no end to where a bicycle can take you.

An my friend MJ and her family will ride their bikes to her sons school, 20 miles away, or into the city nearest her, about 35 miles away, just for the fun of it or to attend an event. It is a common occurrence for her to ride her bike to the farmers market and come home with her basket and panniers filled with fresh produce and other goodies.

woman on bike

I don’t know the official name I call them market bikes or cruisers – bikes with comfortable seats, handlebars you don’t have to hunch over to reach, and a basket or two. They are useful for jaunts around the neighborhood or to your local market or to take you to a community event. You don’t have to worry about finding a parking space, if there isn’t a bike rack use a handy poll. There is something freeing about getting to your destination and back under the power of your pedal.

Where do you like to ride your bike to? Do you ride for utility or exercise?

Remember you helmet

You can link to MJ’s amazing blog Imaginary Bicycle here:

Holiday, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Jar


November wouldn’t be complete at Hawks Landing Farm without our Thanksgiving Jar. The concept is really simple. At the beginning of November we put a quart canning jar on the kitchen table along with a pen and strips of autumn colored paper. Whenever someone thinks of something they are thankful for they write it down and stick it in the jar. As we eat Thanksgiving Dinner we take turns pulling the slips out and reading them. Aaron and David have never known a Thanksgiving with the Thanking Jar. Friends and neighbors even get in on the act adding a message whenever they happen to be in the house. There’s still a few weeks until Thanksgiving, get a jar, or a mug, or whatever container you like, and start a new tradition at your home.

What are you thankful for?

eco-friendly, recycle


One of Aaron and David’s nicknames for me is “recycling nazi ”. You would think having grown up at Hawks Landing Farm, rinsing the yogurt cup and putting it in the recycle bin instead of tossing it in the trash can would be natural for them. On occasion I’ll have to correct them, but for the most part they are pretty good about it. Overall at the farm way more waste is taken to the recycling side of the dump than we put in the landfill side (we haul our own trash, in a rural area like ours it a cost saving measure). Stella, who lives in town, had to ask the city for two recycle cans. She finds that her family, on a weekly basis, will only have 1/3 of their trash can full where their recycle can will be completely full (and this is after all bulky boxes have been flattened).

Recycling is easy – once you create the habit of not tossing everything into the trash can. Before you throw something away ask yourself these questions:

Can it be used by someone else? Maybe the item can be donated to a local charity.

Can it be remade into something else? This is called up-cycling. We’ll talk about this more another time

Can it be composted? Almost all non-meat food scraps can be composted. We feed all fruit and vegetable scraps to the chickens and alpacas. Things like egg shells and Ryan’s coffee grounds go in the compost pile along with garden trimmings and the chicken manure. We’ll discuss composting in detail in a later post.

Most everything else can be recycled. Check with your local waste management company
to find out the particulars for your area, but in general if the item has the recycle symbol on it and is clean it goes in your recycle bin. Yes, clean. I know it can seem like a pain to rinse out that glass jar or plastic ketchup bottle, but it will only take an extra second and the benefits will be far reaching. If the item can’t be cleaned, foil with baked on food residue, pizza box oily from the cheese, then put it in the trash can.

A look a few cool numbers: [According to the EPA]

In 2012 each American generated about 4.38 pounds of waste a day of which 1.51 pounds was recycled.

Americans are recycling 34% of all waste.

This is good, but there is still 36% of our waste going to the dump that can be recycled.

This is where you, your family, and your neighbors can make the difference. Without being obnoxious about it become that family become that person who makes their friends roll their eyes when you remind them to recycle that can or newspaper. Be vocal in the office about making sure used paper gets in the blue bin and not the round file. Help move your community to being one in which 100% of what can be recycled is recycle.

You, by simple daily acts, can make a difference.