Shinrin-yoku Forest Bathing

I’m a huge fan and supporter of shinrin-yoku AKA, forest bathing. From a very young age I felt a deep kin to trees. So much so, that in second grade when we were asked to share a story about ourselves in front of class, I admitted to having multiple past lives as a tree. I also informed the littles that trees can heal us. They thought I was nuts, but I knew in my heart I wasn’t. As a wellness practitioner, I am confident that nature is a master healer.

Fast forward 30 years and Japanese officials spent about  $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. The upshot of the study? Forest bathing effects viral infected cells and can shift immune system health and cancer prevention.

“This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better—inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.”

Can’t get into the forest? All good! A simple hack is to brew up some pine or cedarwood (for example) essential oil in a diffuser, meditate and drop in.

Read the full story HERE.

 

Forest Bathing

photo: ©Marisa Gross/Lady Greenthumbs – Canon 10mm

Oh Precious Bees

Oh precious bees, how I honor thee… While it’s wonderful news that 7 species of bees were placed on the Endangered Species list, and will therefore have a greater level of protection, it’s alarming and insane that we have gotten to a point of such chemical overload on our amazing planet, that even had to happen. #ColonyCollapseDisorder is no joke and without the bees pollinating our food, we only have about 4 years left to live on Mother Earth. To assist, plant “pollinators” (yarrow, asters, sunflower, borage…) in your organic garden to attract bees and other pollinating friends, never kill a bee (or anything) and never ever spray pesticides or herbicides… your future self thanks you.

oh precious bees

Activism and #WaterIsLife

Years ago I used to be a VERY vocal activist. As an Earth Guardian, much of my effort was to wayshow others the atrocities that big business, politics and ego had on humanity and earth in the name of money and greed. I spoke of these ills to anyone that would listen, and spoke even louder to those that didn’t. DOH! That strategy wasn’t exactly effective for me so I decided that instead of focusing on the ills of the world, I was going to put energy and effort into visioning a new world while connecting with others to create sustainable ways for a new paradigm. I feel as if I have failed. I feel as if in an attempt to cocreate this new paradigm I am losing the dialogue of the current situation and what is happening on this planet IS NOT OK… I remind myself, it’s all about balance.

Earth is calling out to us. She is issuing a warning that for us to proceed, we must get it together as a species and clear the ego from our motives. We must cherish, protect and honor The Mothership, for it is she that sustains us. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not earth that needs to be saved, it’s humanity. She will outlive humanity. We need her… and we need to respect her in all her glory. NOW.

Today I am writing about the waters of Earth, for #WaterIsLife, specifically the The Dakota Access Pipeline and the Algonquin AIM Pipeline being constructed in Peekskill, NY.


DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE


The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.8 billion project that will carry an insane amount of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois threatening the precious waters of Mother Earth. The pipeline is through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the decision to build was made without Tribal input. A 2 mile long path has already been bulldozed through sacred tribal burial grounds. On April 1, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched an ongoing protest camp called Sacred Stone. Since late July, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline,  too many have already been arrested in protest and the Army has been violent. THIS IS NOT OK!!!! This protest has grown in leaps and while mainstream media isn’t reporting to the extent in which this protest has grown, the truth is contagious, and that truth is exposing leaks in our “freedom”.  Amy Goodman, a reporter for Democracy Now was recently arrested for coverage of these protests. What is up America? Free Speech? What ever happened to that?

Everything  you need to know about The Dakota Pipeline HERE.

A dear friend and healer I used to work with, Rachel Esquilin,  is headed North Dakota with a small team of Acupuncturists (GAHP) to provide Acupuncture and medical care for the the protesters at Standing Rock. Please support her mission.

ALGONQUIN AIM PIPELINE

Below is info on another *urgent situation* that hits epic close to home regarding a fracked gas pipeline expansion project happening upstate New York — including how you can help! The “Algonquin” AIM pipeline that is being constructed in Peekskill, NY right next to Indian Point nuclear power plant, over 2 fault lines, and directly under the Hudson River !!! This puts NYC drinking water in great danger, not to mention the health & safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline upstate. We have to move FAST on this — as gas starts flowing by (latest) Nov 1st — unless we stop it!  Let us not go the way of Flint, Michigan!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

CALL

& demand that they call on federal officials to the Spectra AIM pipeline NOW!

DONATE to ResistSPECTRA’s Resilience and Resistance GoFundMe campaign

CONNECT with activist groups to find out about events & contact them to find out what else you can do!


LEARN MORE HERE…

& In case you missed this (which –umm– most of us did!), here’s some press to get you up to date:

The Guardian – video about the pipeline – Sept 22, 2015
https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/sep/22/high-pressure-pipeline-new-york-state

NY Times – article about pipeline concerns – Feb 29, 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/nyregion/plan-to-expand-a-pipeline-at-indian-point-raises-concern.html?_r=0

Senator Schumer – press release – May 20, 2016
https://www.schumer.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-gillibrand-urge-ferc-to-suspend-construction-on-aim-pipeline-expansion-until-independent-health-and-safety-studies-are-conducted

Democracy Now
– segment on concerns & protestors’ direct action – May 25, 2016
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/25/our_lives_are_on_the_line

NY Times – article on Spectra’s merger with Enbridge (creating the largest energy-infrastructure company on the continent) – Sept 6, 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/business/dealbook/2-pipeline-companies-enbridge-and-spectra-energy-to-merge.html

_______

Earth Guardian FTW!


And then as I was drafting this post, THIS happened.

Earthworks Innovation

earthworks chair

 

“Land art doubles as lawn furniture with Terra, a “grass armchair” that grows from seeds and soil in a cardboard frame. Designed by Andrea Sanna and Piergiorgio Robino of Turin, Italy-based Studio Nucleo, it’s a vision of what seating might look like in a sustainable outdoor living room of the future.

Terra’s designers were motivated by what they see as a need for a more eco-friendly approach to design and manufacturing. The process of manufacturing wooden chairs, for example, takes a toll on the environment: it tends to waste wood, as well as energy for factories and shipping. Terra, on the other hand, cancels out any carbon footprint associated with its shipment by adding more greenery to the world.”

Read more…

Grow a Grass Armchair in Your Garden

Tesla Town

We are living in truly incredible times. “A new town planned for outside Melbourne, Australia could provide the first look at the future of suburban living. As Renew Economy reports, the “Tesla Town” will be the first in the world to feature solar roofs, energy efficient appliances, and Tesla Powerwalls built into every household.

Designed and developed by the Australian property group Glenvill, the town has been dubbed YarraBend for the nearby Yarra River. When the project is complete, it will have 2500 townhouses, apartments, and single-family homes. The people who populate the town are predicted to use 43 percent less water and generate 80 percent less trash than they would living elsewhere, and because solar energy will be so abundant, residents should have enough to charge up their vehicles for no extra cost.”

Read more at Mental Floss.

Tesla Town

Honeybee Inspired Green Space

Obsessed with the bee Queendom. Such magical creatures they are with their profound understanding of geometry.  Absolute perfection.

I love this project…

“A honeybee-inspired urban intervention has transformed a Sicilian city block into a thriving green public space. Milia Arredamenti and Farm Cultural Park commissioned OFL Architecture to design Zighizaghi, a multi-sensory urban garden in the town of Favara. Completed last month, the new “living room” to Favara welcomes visitors with plants, music, and art.” Read more at Inhabitat.

hive green space

 

 

Vertical Farm Start-ups are Flourishing

Growing in small spaces is nothing new, but the amount of start-ups in the space is! Microgreens last much longer and go from seed to harvest in less than 2 weeks, loss liability is much less and A LOT can be produced in very small spaces. Lots of businesses opening up in the space such as City-Hydro and Farmbox Greens. Read more about vertical farm entrepreneurship at New York Times.

 

Pumice FTW

And you thought pumice was just for straggly feet… Think again! “One of the problems with modernist architecture is that in many places in the world, it has supplanted traditional methods of building that over generations, have been specifically adapted to local climates, materials and knowledge. Much of this monoculture of modern architecture depends on carbon-intensive, industrial materials, creating forms that are often divorced from the unique cultures and building solutions that have developed in place, over many years. Think concrete boxes and gridded subdivisions, devouring land as far as the eye can see.”

Read more at Tree Hugger.

pumice homie

 

6 Ways to Purify Water

The water situation on the planet is no joke. “The Earth’s population is booming, the planet is getting hotter, and drinkable water is either scarce or contaminated in many parts of the world. While certain commercial water purification methods depend on non-sustainable methods and materials that are environmentally taxing, there are great alternatives. Natural water filtration systems can remove bacteria, sediment, and protozoa from fresh water just as well as commercialized systems and are more accessible to people in parts of the world where resources are scarce.”

Read more at Inhabitat.

 

Nursery Fields Forever

Most kids these days thinks “food” comes from a plastic package in a store. Yet once you inspire them with the greenthumbing process they are absolutely enthralled and don’t understand why anyone would buy vegetables from a store when you can grow your own, even indoors in a small apartment. Nursery Fields Forever is an innovative design proposal that fuses urban farming with nursery education” and can bridge the gap between the agriculture process that kids are exposed to.

NYC Girl Gone Jungle

After many years of urban food garden facilitation in NYC and Brooklyn, I have moved to be closer to nature in Costa Rica. I’m living on the land at Puerta a la Vida and it’s Pura Vida. Lush, vibrant, and full of earth Qi. Today we had our first meeting discussing the future of the growing operations and I can’t wait to share more.

Earth Qi in Costa Rica

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day in The Etas Unis! And while Lady Greenthumbs believes everyday should be met with a movement towards healthier, more affordable and sustainable food practices, the goal of this movement is to ‘strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies. Join this push for a stronger, more united food movement by signing up to organize or attend Food Day events in your community

The Voice and Heart of Nature

I am deeply committed to sustaining and nurturing Gaia and I embrace all of the goodness that comes from this relationship. Earlier today, someone called me The Voice and Heart of Nature and I take this title/sentiment seriously. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to educate or inspire a greater connection between you and Mother Earth.

A few months ago I did an interview with Demo Dirt and I touched on a few simple ways to create great change on the planet. Check it out and let me know what you think! XO

With love,

Lady Greenthumbs

Terreform Proposes a Self-Sufficient NYC

Ever since I began the Lady Greenthumbs Garden Project, the urban landscape no longer looks crowded. Rooftops, vertical gardens, edible living walls and street-level gardens present a huge opportunity for our crowded city to get self-sufficient. I see NYC as a tremendous growing opportunity as we shift our resources and engage unused spaces!

Terreform proposes a plan that would bring the city to a self-sufficient state, while using Times Square as an energetic production hub.