Archive for May, 2009

So, the reason why I haven’t been able to post lately is because I got signed onto a project for DC’s 10th annual Artomatic, titled “The Green Message” by Michel Heitstuman, CEO of On The Fly DC. Artomatic gathers hundreds of local artists to an unfinished commercial building to display their work. Michel Heitstuman had the idea to display what people are doing in their daily lives to live a little more simply, or environmental conscious. To do this, I collaborated with my two friends who are in video productions and went around DC to film ordinary people. Our three simple questions were “What are you doing currently that makes DC a little greener?”, “What do you think you could do to be even a little more greener?” and “What would your green message be to the world?”. We got great responses and even had some people really thinking hard.

Now this “green living” topic is a pretty large topic. Artomatic continues on for 6 weeks, therefore we will have (hopefully) 6 topics…For the first week we concentrated on food. How to eat sustainable, green and healthy. We spent time at the Dupont and Penn Quarter farmer’s markets downtown and spoke with farmers, consumers and organizers. The most important point the farmers stated was for the consumer to get to know their farmer and where their good is coming from: ask questions, taste their product. The only way you will understand what you are eating if you understand where it comes from. Their other important point was to continue to shop at the farmers market. I just learned that 80-90 cents of every dollar farmers get to keep from selling their produce at the market…that is a lot more than the farmer from Costa Rica who only gets 10 cents while the rest goes to the middle man, or huge corporations in the US. 

So come check out what these guys have to say, as well as the average person on DC streets. It is a fun and interesting video with facts and beautiful images at the end. You will also be allowed to write down your green message to the world at the exhibit, which is located on the second floor in the corner. Go to Artomatic.org for more info on time and such. Check us out on Twitter: TheGreenMessage and soon enough we will have TheGreenMessage.com website up and running for you to post your Green Message online! It is a way to rethink the way we are all living and provide messages to others. 

What is your Green Message??

Below is the print out excerpt explaining The Green Message: 




The Green Message at Artomatic

The Green Message at Artomatic


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[Reporting from Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, MD, Saturday, May 16th. Baltimore’s School Food Service Director, Tony Geraci interviews Author Michael Pollen….]

“We need your help on this type of ‘Food’ Michelle Obama is growing….” Discovery Channel’s attempt to get Michael Pollen’s help on figuring out what all this hype is with Michelle Obama planting just plain old fruits and vegetables. Come on people! It is just recognizing the fact that our nation needs more fruits and veggies!! Remember, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”. Michael Pollen’s motto. He was asked by interviewer Tony Geraci how he came about this, Pollen’s response was, he wanted it to be broken down in simple terms to get our attention. Eat food, but not too much of it, but wait, processed foods shouldn’t be included, sooo, mostly plants! It makes perfect sense, well he said he got some heat on both ends of the spectrum: from the vegetarians and the meat eaters.

“Grass Finish“. Pollen is a meat eater but he says he only consumes “grass finish” meat. I thought this was very interesting. He explained that a lot of times in Whole Foods and other natural stores, “grass fed” may not mean just that. Like for instance, he visited a chicken farm in California where they named the meat “free range” but in reality, 30,000 chickens are stuffed inside a closed pen with only 2 doors on either side of the space. Of course they aren’t going to go outside, all of their food and water is INside, they have never seen OUTside before, so they don’t venture out there. But because they have “access” to outside, they allow to say “free range” chicken. And same goes to beef, it may be called “grass fed” when only a couple months out of their lives they have grass, then they finish with grain and corn to beef them up before they are slaughtered. This is all very interesting because the FDA has loose restrictions on what is allowed under the terms of “Free Range” and “All natural”. So the next time you are in the super market, try to look for “pastured raised” chickens, this means they live outside. And talk to your butcher about where your meat comes from. Most likely at the farmers market, meat sellers will be willing to talk to you about their process. 

Educate our Kids. Tony Geraci is Baltimore Schools Food Service Director. He started this year the Great Kids Farm. With greenhouses and chickens, Tony teaches the kids how food is grown by showing them. His mission is to bring kids back to understanding where our food comes from. It is a chance for kids to take part in growing their own fruits and vegetables. Plant it, watch it grow, then eat it. How fun is that! By this, more fresh fruits and vegetables will be available in the lunch room, while less “chicken” nuggets and processed foods will be served. He was explaining how lots of the products out in schools have “fruit flavors” disguised in a can or bottle. He shouted “No wonder our kids are confused! Aluminum cans and bottles are calling themselves “apples” and nutritional. What happened to a plan old apple?!” Tony believes if we teach our kids how to eat in school then it can set up for future consumers of the next generation. Education is key on the future of our agricultural system. 

ReEstablish our system. Our tax dollars goes towards subsidizing only 5 products: Corn, Rice, Soy, Cotton and Wheat. Notice I didn’t mention a fruit or a nutritional vegetable. So our money is going towards millions of tons of corn which is then turned into cheap food for us and our cattle. This only creates health problems as cattle are not suppose to eat corn, so then our tax dollars are spent on medicating the cows to make them not sick. The average American eats 9 ounces of meat a day…We eat what the cow eats. So beef packed with anti-biotics, corn and God knows what else then makes US sick. In 2006, 3 out of every 5 American’s are over weight. According to the UN, in 2000, the number of people suffering for OVER nutrition – 1 billion, surpassed the number suffering to malnutrition – 800 million. That is a lot of healthcare we need to cover and could be less if we concentrate on bringing back less processed foods into our Western diet. That means tell our government that we want more money towards farmers who are growing fruits and vegetables. Start LOCAL, check out what your city or state legislators are doing to support local farms. Together, lets REestablish our food system….

Check out Washington Posts article on Tony Geraci and his plan to grow kid’s school lunches. 

and of course Michael Pollen’s website for his books and next stop on his tour.

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It is a way to connect to people – on a more personal, green way: Green Drinks! How else do people meet and greet but only after a few drinks in them… That is why hundreds, maybe even thousands of people have taken it upon themselves to establish hundreds of venues for Green Drinks throughout not only the States but the world. The purpose is to establish a conversation about what green things are happening in your area: whether it is a business,a group or just individuals. Come together and share your experiences on how to be more green in your life!

Next week, Wednesday May 20th Green Drinks is at Redwood in Bethesda, MD and at Growlers Brewery in Gaithersburg, MD! For more information check out Greendrinks.org for your local chapter! Cheers!

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I planted my garden! Well, it is for my Mom, but me too! It took a long 5 hours to over turn the grass near our little shed in the backyard. But once the soil was mixed planting all my plants took no time! 

So here is what I got: 

3 “Anana Orange” heirloom tomatoes, 1 “Sweet 100” tomato, 1 “Sun Gold” tomato”, 1 “La Roma”, 1 “Early Girl” tomato, 1 “Garden Peach” heirloom tomato, 1 “Celebrity” tomato, 1 zucchini, 2 “Yellow Crookneck” squash, 1 “Burpee” eggplant, 1 “Chiban” eggplant, 2 “Burpee Hybrid” cucumber and 1 watermelon!! phewww that is a lot! 

Check it out!






So I will be swimming with produce in just under 2 months! Can’t wait!

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Ahhh the sun is out and it is warming up! That means lots of fresh food!! All you have to do is attend one of the many farmer’s markets in the area to get the freshest of fresh MD produce! Here are the ones in my area of Rockville, MD:

Gaithersburg: on the corner of Fulks Corner Ave. and Rt. 355. I can ride by bike up to this small vendor area right past Old Town Gaithersburg, where about 3-7 farmers have their tents set up every Thursday starting June 5th, 2 pm to 6 pm

Kentlands: 301 Main St. At the main pavilion, farmers come every Saturday starting May 2nd, 10 am to 2 pm

Olney: Rt 108 and Spartan Rd. in front of the old movie theater. Lots of craft vendors, live music and unique ethic foods. Every Sunday 9 am to 1 pm Starting May 10th

Rockville: Rt 28 and Monroe St. in the parking lot. Every Saturday, starting May 16th, 9 am to 1 pm and Wednesday, starting June 3rd, in front of the Regal movie theater, 11 am to 2 pm

Bethesda: Norfolk Ave and Woodmont Ave. Every Tuesday 10 am to 2:30 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2:30 pm Starting May 5th 

For more information check out MD Farmer’s Market Directory

For a great DC market, check out Eastern Market up on Capital Hill. You can’t beat this loaded craft fair/produce market with music, art, crafts, food….it is unbeatable! It is one of the oldest markets still opened, started in 1873. For produce, the indoor market is opened in the temporary East Hall Tuesday-Sunday. Outdoor farmers are lined up both on Saturday and Sunday but the great flea market filled with unique vendors is 10 am to 5 pm every Sunday. It makes a great Sunday for leisure shopping or to pick up essentials.  For more: Eastern Market 


Sundays at Dupont Circle every Sunday 9am to 1pm. 

Wednesdays at Foggy Bottom at I st. between New Hampshire and 24th st. 2:30 to 7pm

Thursdays at Penn Quarter at the North end of 8th st. NW, between D and E st. 3pm to 7pm

Did I not list any markets in your area? Check out Local Harvest to search your zip code for local farmer’s markets, CSAs, Co-ops and restaurants! 

And remember! It is best to start up a conversation with your local farmer, get to know him or her. Start and build a relationship to infuse quality produce coming to you. What goes into these tomatoes or peppers? Do they use any chemicals? How far do they have to travel to get to you? These are essential questions and concerns that ultimately make or break how green and how healthy the produce is you are going to consume. Be Well!

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That’s right, he is coming! If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to either the Round House Theatre this Friday, May 15th in Bethesda, MD or Saturday at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, Pollen will be there! He will be giving a lecture on his most recent book, In Defense of Food; An Eater’s Manifesto: how to get back to the roots of consuming food. He states in his book that now a days, Americans are “consuming edible food-like substances” and how the more “we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become”. That is our whole idea of what healthy is, is determined by what food corporations state on their packaging labels – “Low-Fat”, “All Natural”, “Low-Carb”: when in reality it is packed with processed substances and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Simple stated, Pollen’s manifesto is: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I am extremely excited to see Pollen in action, after I read both his books. They are very inspiring for anyone: the person who wants to loose weight, be healthy or just be green with what they consume. Check his books out and his website: Michael Pollen and the links to the events: 

Politics & Prose

Baltimore Green Works 

Will update about the lecture soon! 

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Speaking of voting with your dollar, I learned about this great activist group called Carrotmob. They came up with a way to advocate companies to become a little more green with the incentive that they will get more money in return. How? Well, as they say, companies will do ANYTHING FOR MONEY. Right? So they had the idea to get businesses to compete to see who could put up the highest percentage of their income for one day to reducing their carbon footprint. In return, Carrotmob would gather a mob of people to come purchase products at their store. Check out the video on their website (which if anything is a hilarious, entertaining music video) giving an example of how it worked. Out of 23 liquor stores in a San Francisco neighborhood, the highest bidder said they would give 22% of the income they made that day to making their store more energy efficient. So, Carrotmob got the attention of hundreds of people to come out that day to buy what they needed and if not, at least donate some goods to a local shelter. Its like 3 birds with one stone; 1. reduce carbon footprint, 2. income to their business, and 3. helping out the hungry… WOW! So, the result? On an average good day, the store says they get around $3,000, in a couple hours they managed to have an income of $9,000! They said that this was enough money to complete a whole energy retrofit to their store and reduce their energy bills as well as carbon footprint! It is a win-win-win situation for everyone!

So I am hoping this type of activist will continue and spread throughout the world. Creating more green actions for all. I will be keeping my eye out on them and update hopefully soon! LETS MOB!

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