Fall & Planning Your Garden With Your Kids

Submitted by Lisa Marvier of Farm Girl Nursery. Connect with them on facebook [here]. Image by Ashlee Dawn Photography found [here].

Fall. My favorite time of the year. I actually “fallify” my entire home right down to the bales of straw on the entry table topped with wild looking pumpkins to the multicolored fresh leaves trailing down the staircase. It is also an amazing time of the year to plan your gardens with your children and create a start to finish plan that requires sharing, creating and learning. Here are some ideas for accomplishing this and enjoying the wonders of the season:

STEP ONE –

Head on out to the nearest pumpkin patch or find a local store or nursery where you can buy organic pumpkins. Have the kids draw or use their favorite trinkets to decorate and then carve. Continue reading

Making Applesauce with Kristin Urdiales

This post is was sent to NaturalMommy by Kristin Urdiales of Nature Had it First.

Two years ago when my son Keenan was five, I took him to pick apples at a friend’s orchard.

Our little apple-picking outing was a bit of an afterthought and we were late in the season, so all the best apples had already been picked. We bobbed around the orchard stretching as high into the trees as we could (sans ladder or stepstool, mind you) in an attempt to find apples without wormholes or other signs of vermin. Finally, we had collected about two bags worth and headed home to make applesauce.

Even making applesauce was a stretch for my domestic skills. I had to print out a recipe. Since my son was so young at the time, he couldn’t help much where sharp knives and the stove were concerned, so my afternoon was spent peeling, chopping and cooking the apples. Finally, we were able to taste the fruits of our labor, and boy, was it ever delicious! Now, I know it’s tough to mess up applesauce, but there was a great sense of accomplishment in taking a food from the tree, to our table in one afternoon. Continue reading

Pillow Love

It is scary to discover what is lurking in our pillows. The standard pillow is made with synthetic down or poly-fill and is full of chemicals, like fire retardants and off-gas. When buying a pillow, especially for your child consider eco-friendly materials. Pillows can be filled with organic cotton, wool, real down or even kapok (a tree fiber).

Making pillows is a rewarding and fun activity to do with kids. Consider going to a used clothing store and make an adventure out of finding materials. Used natural material especially cotton contain less chemicals and by using them you are keeping items from entering our already full land-fills. You can purchase eco-friendly material for stuffing pillows from lots of places. Call your local fabric store to see what they have in stock or order on-line. Even if your fabric store does not carry an eco-friendly option by asking for it you are encouraging them to do so in the future. Most stores show interest in selling something if they realize there is a demand for it.

Even the most inexperienced of sewers can make a simple pillow. Simply cut two pieces of material (of equal size) to the size you want your pillow to be. Sew (inside out) by hand or by machine all the edges except one, which you sew later after it is stuffed. Turn right-side out and stuff with your eco-friendly material. Sew the opening closed and voilà! Your pillow is finished. Making pillows can become an art. Attaching old buttons or other appendages can be really fun for kids. Learning how to make items that are eco-friendly and within a small budget can be a valuable learning experience for kids as well as bonding time while you make your home warm, colourful and non-toxic.

If you do not want to make your own pillows try to find someone locally who does make them or check in your local stores or on-line for an eco-friendly alternative Sometimes it is greener and more eco-friendly to keep the old synthetic pillow that you have (it has likely already released off-gas) then it is to throw it in the garbage and buy a new one. That said, when it is time to buy a pillow, natural fibers are assuredly the better option. Some people take old pillows in-order to repurpose them into new items. Consider a recycling program or the like when disposing of your old pillows.

In the image: Eco-friendly owl throw pillow hand-made by mom Kate Prandy from EarthLab. Click image to view Kate’s items for sale.