Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grow Sustainable Quinoa for your Kitchen

Quinoa has become trendy food worldwide, but at what cost? In Bolivia where it cultivated the demand for this super food is leading growers to abandon traditional land management practices.  Crops are not being rotated, and farmers are over planting llama grazing area.  The llama manure is required to organically fertilize the quinoa.  Poorer people in Bolivia and Peru, where the Quinoa is also grown, are no longer able to afford this traditional staple grain.

I recently planted a little raised bed of Quinoa from a seed trade.  Mine were planted a couple of weeks after these flowering and seeding Quinoa plants at the Bonner Center Community Garden. They are a lot like Amaranth, but seem to be more dense with seeds. If you like eating Quinoa, you can grow your own.  Or if you know someone who loves Quinoa, let them know they can grow their own  Seeds are available from  If you have never winnowed grains before I it very easy and best to do on a breezy day.  Check out this how to webpage for winnowing seeds.

Man with Winnow by Vincent van Gogh
Here are some other beautiful flowers that were blooming when I took the Quinoa photos.


Wild growing Phlox

Monday, May 20, 2013

Aquarian Bath Welcomes Bitcoin

Aquarian Bath has recently added bitcoin as payment method in our main online store at All product prices are now listed in USD and Bitcoin.  

Shop now for for ecofriendly handmade bath and body products.  We ship internationally within 1-4 business days, but usually next day.  Our products have been featured in the book Plastic Free by Beth Terry and British Vogue.

If you haven't heard of bitcoin, check out this trailer for the new film The Rise of Bitcoin.  And here is a little introduction from Wikipedia:

"Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency first described in a 2008 paper by pseudonymousdeveloper Satoshi Nakamoto, who called it a peer-to-peer, electronic cash system.   Bitcoin creation and transfer is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. Each bitcoin is subdivided down to eight decimal places, forming 100 million smaller units called satoshis.  Bitcoins can be transferred through a computer or smartphone without an intermediate financial institution."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bean Tee Pee Success

One goal for this gardening season was a bean tee pee.  My husband and friends and I built this from PVC and netting that was lying around the Bonner Center community garden.  I usually grow bush beans, so this was a first.  Many different types of pole beans were planted.  The first (I think) were Kentucky Wonder pole beans, most of which froze.  I later planted Violetta pole beans and a few other pole beans from a local Daytona gardener and artist Daniel Fisher.  I squeezed in one cucumber plant also.

This is what I wanted to see, kids shaded from the hot Florida sun picking beans.   Inside the tee-pee there is also Thyme and Mint.  The mint looks so healthy, you can tell it has been getting a lot of water.

It's a super harvest so far and no pests to be found.   I'm sure there was a lot of watering help from friends at the community garden.  My bush beans at home don't look half as good!  There were also 2 cucumbers hiding in there too that we took home.  Moira who has always refused store bought cucumbers, was happy to taste a fresh cuke.