Product Review: Aketta Cricket Powder

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Cricket Powder

It’s that time of year again! World Edible Insect Day was October 23rd! What? You forgot to celebrate this exciting event, you say? You’ve never even heard of it, you say? Eating insects is disgusting, you say?

It may be time to reevaluate our relationship to insects and entamophagy (the eating of bugs). The fact is, most of the world actually eats insects on a regular basis, and because they are cheap, easy to grow, and use infinitely less resources than any other form of protein, bugs may be the wave of the future for us all.

Thanks to Aspire Food Group, located in Austin, TX, I was able to try my hand at using their finely milled cricket powder in my everyday cooking. The product is pure cricket, ground to a powder comprised of 68% protein. I was pleased to find out that these insects enjoy a better diet than most humans. Aspire’s crickets feed exclusively on local, organic fare, and drink only reverse-osmosis filtered water. Reverse osmosis, people. Let that sink in for a moment.
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Harvest Time!

Homegrown Table Grapes

Homegrown Table Grapes

We have always enjoyed fresh local produce, whether from a CSA, farmers market or, for the past few years, generous friends and family.  It’s hard to motivate myself to plant when we already have consumed more than our share of zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers!

Each year, there seems to be a standout among the fresh produce.  At least for me, personally.  Last year I couldn’t get enough of the tomatoes!  Although they are just as tasty this year, and I’ve eaten just as many, I have a different obsession: grapes.

A few years ago my parents planted a grape vine they ordered online from Rolling River Nursery, which is a great source for organic starts.  I can’t believe grapes even grow in the high desert, USDA Hardiness Zone 7a (0F to 5F). It has flourished, and this year there have been almost too many to eat.  I don’t mind the many clusters that have made it to our house, and our girls love them too!
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How to Fix the Sound on a Stuffed Animal

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The beloved Pony

One toy that has been popular in our house is a little blue pony that, when hugged, makes a galloping noise followed by a whinny.  After much love, the sound got shorter and shorter until all you would hear were the first gallop.  It’s a tiny little toy, and wouldn’t be that expensive to replace, but I didn’t like the idea of throwing a perfectly good toy away just because the battery needs to be replaced.

Also, the idea of all those batteries ending up in the landfill just because the toy stopped making noise, made me uncomfortable.  I mean, how many of us tear a toy apart to remove the little batteries when they stop making noise?  Especially when it requires a tiny screwdriver and a bit of patience.
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Kids and Backyard Chickens

chickensWe have had chickens in the past, along with goats, turkeys and ducks, but only when we lived in rural areas. We left our quasi-homesteading life three years ago so we could stop commuting and we now live in town and within a mile of our son’s school and our jobs. We love walking and biking everywhere and really like our neighbors but the thing we missed the most was chickens. So a few months ago I impulse purchased five baby chicks from a feed store when out and about with our son.  Three were Rhode Island Reds and the other two were unknown breeds but we were told they were cold-hardy and good layers.

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Product Review: Bitty Foods Cricket Flour

Bitty Foods Cricket Flour and Cookies

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1lb bag of baking flour blend

Ever since the United Nations published a report in 2013 touting the massive benefits of edible insect consumption and urging Western Nations to get on board, interest in the subject has surged. You are probably thinking “Has it?  I hadn’t noticed”.  As a former biologist and insect lover (aka:nerd) I have definitely noticed this particular trend and apparently so has Bitty Foods.

Bitty Food’s mission, according to their website, is simple. “We make delicious foods with cricket flour”. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of their products. The idea of eating insects as a source of protein is something I have been interested in and excited about for some time now and I was delighted to receive a bag of baking flour blend and a package of cookies from Bitty Foods. At $20 per pound for the flour blend and $10 for a bag of cookies, it’s not cheap. I was curious to find out if their products were worth the money.
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“Unshopping” Month Update

Franci's Rummage Sale Finds

Franci’s Rummage Sale Finds

I wish we could claim ultimate success during our “unshopping” month, but we’ve had a few slip-ups. Nothing to loose sleep over, but enough that I’m going to extend the challenge to see if I can actually succeed for a few weeks.

Allison and I made a last-minute trip to Rebecca’s book release party, and I was able to confine my spending to consumables, but there were probably too many of those.  Oh, and those pairs of used overalls and sunglasses for Franci to wear gardening are not edible.  As much as I wanted to avoid buying anything for the girls, I’ve been looking for overalls for months and hadn’t found any second-hand until then.  I just couldn’t pass it up.
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Product Review: JAWS Cleaners

JAWS Just Add Water System

Just Add Water System

Just Add Water System

We recently received a JAWS – Just Add Water System Complete Home Cleaning Kit to review. JAWS uses reusable spray bottles and little cartridges of highly concentrated cleaning ingredients. You just fill the spray bottles with water and all you need to buy after investing in your first set is the cartridges of cleaning solution.

We tried all four — Shower, Hardwood, Kitchen and Glass. In terms of efficacy, these products are good. My favorite was the glass cleaner. I looked online at other reviews and I am not alone. The stuff really works. It’s way better and more effective than Windex or its generic equivalents. My mirrors are all streak-free and I hardly used any of the cleaner.
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Fun With Babywearing

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Celebrating Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 with the goal of supporting environmental protection.  As Eco-Conscious parents, we try to make green choices every day, but any cause for celebration is more than welcome!  Here are a few ideas to help your family honor the Earth.

Let us know in the comments how you are celebrating Earth Day today!

 Choose Local

The farther food and other goods have to travel, the more carbon emission are released into the atmosphere.  Buying local not only reduces your own carbon footprint, but supports your community at the same time.

Whether you are visiting a farmer’s market or a shop that sells locally-made items, buying local also strengthen ties within the community and builds a happier, safer environment for your family.
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Garden to Table with Kids

Winter garden plantingSpring has sprung and now is the perfect time to get your hands in the dirt!  Whether you are ready to commit to a full garden or just a planter or two of flowers, gardening is a great activity for the whole family.  The more involved your kids are with food production, the more they are likely to try something new.  The phenomenon of planting seeds or seedlings and watching them gown into vegetables can spark the curiosity of even the pickiest of eaters.

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Next time you’re cooking a meal, consider re-growing some of the ingredients instead of tossing the scraps in the trash.  Depending on where you live, you might not have luck getting your avocado pit to turn into a fruit-bearing tree, but it can still be fun and educational to watch the seed turn into a plant.
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