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I must admit I am pretty proud of my little vegetable garden. After several months of tilling, watering, pulling weeds, pruning and tying and lacing, I am ready for a rest - except I can’t rest. Now I have to get my produce to the market, in this case – my friends, who are eagerly waiting to crunch down on cucumbers, tear apart some basil, parsley, oregano and tarragon and bite into some...
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Now they want to get rid of clean water

I don't know about you, but I have been working my butt off trying to make sure that beaches in Chicago are free of contaminants and litter. Why am I doing this? Because I want to not only swim in Lake Michigan, I want to be able to at least believe the water won't kill me if accidentally swallowed. This week, Congress is debating proposals that would strip the federal Clean Water Act of its...
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Taking a time out

Have you ever visited a place that was so tranquil, so beautiful or so nurturing that you had to claim it as your own spot, only to find others already claimed it for the same reasons?The Osaka Japanese Garden in Chicago's Jackson Park is just such a place. Last week I was feeling unbelievably stressed out due to budget cuts at work, everything climbing but my my...
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The supply and demand for organic foods

I recently found out why organic costs so much more than regular food. Last weekend I worked my flat butt off getting the weeds out of my garden. Those suckers did not want to leave. I think there were more weeds than dirt.  I know there were more weeds than vegetables. After grueling in the sun for over two hours pulling those critters, I now consider myself a farmhand. Talk about...
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Community gardening is the neighborly way to go

I am slightly disappointed in some of my vegetables, specifically the jalapeño peppers and beets. They have not grown an inch…literally. It was recently brought to my attention (as in hindsight) not to fret too much as the seeds might have been too old to sow. Never thought about that aspect.Planting my vegetable garden has kind of taken on a life of its own. Neighbors now talk with me at the...
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Obesity is our fault

Okay – this is how I see it. Ronald McDonald is getting all the scapegoat crap slung at him because we-the-parents are blaming him for shoving fat inducing, high cholesterol producing, and Type II diabetes potential food down our kid’s throats?I mean, c’mon. Where are the parents in all this? You’re going to tell me that parents, all of a sudden, just learned how to read labels on food...
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Another effort for 63rd Street Beach

A hot summer day in Chicago. Temperature above 90 degrees - humidity hitting 75%. Hot air blows into your face. You don’t have a towel so you use your shirt to wipe the sweat off your face and neck. You take a swig of cold-fresh-water from a fountain, bottle or cup. Ahhhhh!Did you know that everyday more than 4,000 children in places like Africa, Haiti, and India die because they don’t have...
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Virginal attempt at a vegetable garden

This article is for the farmer in all of us. In that fruits and vegetables in the stores and so-called farmers markets are just too expensive for me, I have decided to produce a vegetable garden so spectacular that you will want my recipe for success.  I should probably mention that I am so excited about this venture and getting my fingers back into the earth that I can't stand...
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Adopt A Beach

I was just thinking (this could be dangerous) about fresh clean water and how we take it for granted. According to the World Bank, as many as two billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities to protect them from water-borne disease, while a billion lack access to clean water altogether. According to the United Nations, which has declared 2005-2015 the “Water for Life” decade, 95 percent...
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