Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Experimet: Weeks 6 &7

Ok...that was no fun. Verizon has managed to completely upset my schedule AND my life! LOL!
I had no idea I was so attached to my phone and interwebz! Two weeks with both of them gone was just about all I could bear tho. Oy.
So here I am with 2 weeks worth of info. I'll try to keep it short and at least a little bit coherent.

Week 6 :
I did some research into Target, Wally world (wallmart) and Kmart. So far as I can tell, Target is the lesser of 3 evils as far as this whole plan of mine goes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bailing. I just needed to know that when I HAD to get new jeans I wasn't REALLY messing up...just kind of messing up.
I found out that Target has not only the best work ethics, (not even gonna DISCUSS Wallyworld) but they also have a fairly new policy concerning unsold clothing. (AND some of their housewares as well.) Unsold items that have been discontinued by the chain are gathered up per store and donated to local charities. Goodwill being the most prevolent. Kmart has no written policy, and have yet to answer my inquiries, and tho Wallyworld is trying to portray itself with a new, greener image, their business practices continue to be abysmal and they also have no stated policy regarding their unsold items.
(I have it on good info tho, that as recently as last year they were still simply discarding any unsold items.)

The food aspect of this experiment is becoming a lot easier as the growing season progresses. I am hoping to find some folks who can or otherwise preserve local produce and are willing to either sell or barter once the season ends. I'm pretty good with the freezing thing, but many things do NOT keep well frozen and our little tiny freezer can't hold a full winter's worth of food, so an outside source would be awesome.
We're not alone with the gardening this year either. There are SEVERAL of our friends with either container or yard gardens going strong already! Our veggies are doing so well so far I may need more pots soon to divide them up....so if any of y'all have a couple big pots you could donate to the cause....LOL!
On a related note, I think I'll start up a supper club. I read about one in Green Living and it really seems like a great way to both save money and try some new dishes. As it is, there's a core group of us that love to gather for dinner and drinks, so I think we could do well with a supper club. Like a book club, but pot luck!
Each week at a different house, and each week the menu rotates. One week I do the entree, the next I do dessert etc. We could even limit ourselves to local wines and still have a great range to pick from! Beers too!

Week 7 :
This past weekend I decided to check out an old fave. A Trader Joe's opened up on route 1 near our 'local' Whole Foods. I haven't been since I left VA, but I remembered how wonderfully green it had been, so I made my poor hubby take me so I could do some research....and the week's shopping.
It was a bit of a toss up.
Sure enough, it was just as awesome and green as I remembered. Almost everything in there was either organic or at LEAST all natural. (SO not the same thing, but I'll get into that another time.) And being a big steampunk geek (also another time) I LOVE the pseudo Victorian styling to all the TJ brand products. Very fun. But sadly it seems TJ's has been forced to learn what I am also learning.
Far too much of our own (USA) organic produce is either being shipped oversaes, or used here by big industry. (See my Welches rant)
Almost all of the fresh produce there was from overseas. Holland actually.
Slightly more confusing than Chile...
Am I going to be forced to alter my experiment? Widen my range from 'within a day or so by truck' to 'North America'??
That would NOT make me happy. I WILL continue to fight this.
Wish me luck.
OH...hopefully soon I'll be able to post an interview with a local charity to let you all know who donates food and who does not. Might be an eye opener....
See you soon!
(Now that I have my interwebz bzck!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Experiment: Week 5

Sorry about being a day late this week, but conditions in my little world have become significantly more....complicated.
I am, as you may have heard, back in the workplace. Yay!!! This is a VERY good thing. Howerver....that having been said...this job is far more complex than any I have had in the last, oh 10 years or so. LOL!
You'd all be so proud of me though! I now work at a litle LOCAL shop called the City Market (half deli, half grocery,) that prides itself on it's local produce (one of the supplying farms is only 4 miles away), organics and locally prepared foods! (Their Cajun Chicken breast is amazing!)
They offer a vegan / Vegitarian / Omnivore menu, and the owners are very active in our communtiy itself.
Every saturday in a month the have something else going on to bring the local community together. Game nights, open mic nights and live music lend the place a really cool local feel, and between the market and the cafe down the block ( Cafe Galleria owned by the same great folks) there is HUGE support for the local art community!
So all in all, the new job fits right in! (Money in the bank is a big help too of course.)
Now all I have to do is get faster and get down all I'm expected to accomplish in a day. Yet again I find myself learning more about food than I ever thought possible.

Now the bad news....I had to break my rules for the new job. It came up so suddenly that I had to scramble for clothes....and I had to buy 2 new pair of jeans from Target. (Waiting patiently for the castigation LOL!)
But they WERE off the last chance clearance rack, so I feel I may have at least kept them from some landfill somewhere.
....I suppose I should look into what happens to Target's stock when no one buys it. Hmmm....more research! (strapping on goggles and pith helmet)
Off I go!
(Once again, apologies for the lack of pics, but I will try to post shots of my route to work next week.)