Composting Workshop

Though I have been composting for a few years, I have never had much of a science behind it, and certainly not much skill…it has all been luck. Quite lucky I must say as I have turned mountains of organic kitchen waste into nothing but a small pile of “black gold”, quite by accident. I have always wanted to learn more and I am thrilled to announce the compost workshop that we have coming up. This class will be co-hosted by Carolina Alzate on Saturday September 21st at 11:30 am. Carolina will demonstrate how to create the easiest worm composting system and I will be serving lunch…a perfect pairing. Click here for the full class schedule and to sign up!
Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, is a method, and even more, an opportunity that allows us to recycle our organic wastes  and turn them into something useful. Come learn how to deviate your kitchen scraps from landfills and not only take part in alleviating some of the most pressing environmental problems, but also produce the most fertile, sweet-smelling soil that you could ever find. This will be a hand-on workshop where you will learn how to produce a worm bin with just a few simple steps and with simple, constantly available materials to any home.  Best of all, it is a CLEAN composting system that does not require much maintenance and can be placed anywhere from a home with large yard to a small studio apartment. 
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Carolina Alzate is a Permaculture Edible Landscape Designer who also has a background in Anthropology, Experiential Education, and Agroecology.  Her background allowed her to immerse herself in deep and profound travel and learning experiences that permitted her to share with people and  communities throughout the world.
Through these interactions, Carolina learned more about how humans connect to the Earth that maintains and sustains them. In 2009, she returned to Miami and decided to make it her home with the purpose of building community and sharing the knowledge and wisdom that had been passed down to her. After three years of working with Earth Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to growing a life-sustaining culture in the Greater Everglades bioregion, Carolina is now part of the Urbaneco Development family.
Urbaneco Development is an Eco-lifestyle builder whose mission is to allow virtually anyone to live in harmony with the planet while ensuring that the cost of being environmentally sustainable is accessible as well.  Carolina draws upon the wisdom of the Earth, the ancients before her as well as the knowledge of the present to create intentional, sustainable, and efficient landscape designs which she also installs. As an educator, her message of redirecting our wastes and  building soil are predominant.  She has come to understand that re-connecting with our food and re-directing our wastes can be one of the simplest acts that any human can do to have a significant and abundant positive impact on our families, our communities, and our world as a whole.

Gluten-Free Almond Orange Scones

LOVE LOVE this new recipe for Gluten-free Almond Orange Scones! So easy and perfect for a lazy weekend morning, it literally takes about 6 minutes to prepare the dough and under 15 minutes to bake. They also freeze perfectly also so you can eat throughout the week as well. A great and festive exchange is to use hazelnut flour instead of the almond four and viola, you have a whole new recipe. Some fresh fruit or berries make a great addition as well.

It was inspired from Elana’s Pantry…a must visit site for all things gluten-free and non-processed.

SUPER fast Gluten-free Orange Almond Scones.

Photo provided by Ben Thacker


Gluten-Free Almond Orange Scones


2-1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, cherries etc
2 large pasture raised eggs
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or agave
1+ Tablespoon orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla

Makes 8-10 servings

read more…

Thai Mango Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favorite salads and perfect for mango season here in South Florida. I made it as a demo for the Annual Mango Festival at the Fairchild Tropical Gardens last month and it was a hit. It is the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, salty and spicy…just how Thai food should be!

Thai Mango Cucumber Salad with Mint & Toasted Cashews


1 large tomato or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 large cucumbers, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (peeled if not organic)
1 medium semi-ripe mango, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2-3 Tablespoons coconut sugar*
2-3 Tablespoons fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce or low-sodium Tamari
2-4 fresh Thai or serrano chilies, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed**
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped cashews or peanuts

Serves 4

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Squash and Sage Flatbread with Goat Cheese & Pistachios

This is SUPER easy and crowd pleasing. It makes a nice appetizer cut into smaller pieces or a great entree with a salad. Change up the squash for another seasonal vegetable, zucchini, fresh corn or tomatoes are perfect!

Winter Squash Flatbread with Goat Cheese


1 pound store-bought pizza dough, preferably wheat, thawed if frozen
1 pound delicata, acorn or butternut squash, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (if using butternut be sure to peel it)
1/2 medium red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8-10 large fresh sage leaves
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Good quality olive oil, as needed
8 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
cornmeal for the pan
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

read more…

Sneaky Names for MSG

Just when I think I have gotten a handle on label reading (and I read most labels), I realize how deceiving they can be. Have you ever bought anything that contained “yeast extract” or “soy protein”? I sure have. As a matter of fact I have encouraged my clients to buy the Better Than Bouillon veggie base. It is organic, gluten free, economical and cuts down on the waste of the cardboard containers that stock usually comes in, oh and I bought it at Whole Foods, a seemingly safe zone. read more…

The Vanishing of The Bees

Bees pollinate 80% of all flowering crops, which makes up one third of our diet. Without the honey bee, we would have much less food. Bees pollinate dozens of the plants that produce what many Americans eat. From almonds, apricots, avocadoes and beans, to cucumbers, melons, pears, asparagus, zucchini, and the list goes on. Bees also pollinate many of the grasses that feed the animals we eat. These include alfalfa and clover which in turn fuel the beef, poultry, lamb and dairy products industries.

The growing use of insecticides and pesticides for agricultural pest control has created the side effect of killing the bees necessary for maintaining our crops. Such environmental stresses have devastated honeybee populations in the United States beginning in the 1980s. This has made it necessary for farmers to rent bees from keepers in order to get their crops pollinated in order to sustain food production. In recent years commercial honeybee hives have suffered from colony collapse disorder, which has left many bee boxes empty of bees.

What can we do to help save the honey bees?

  • Plant nectar plants in your gardens so your local bees have the food they need.
  • Reduce the amount of pesticides you use.
  • You can support companies that support bee research and breeding programs.
  • Go to Save The Honey Bees for more info
  • You can go to this FREE screening of The Vanishing of The Bees and learn ALL about it!


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