All-Natural and Totally Organized

Gaiam.com, Inc

Not yet, but that’s a good goal I have in mind.

First, let me say this – this post isn’t intended to be preachy; these are my choices, and most of them don’t come easily or cheaply. I think it would be great if we could revolt against Commercialism As It Is, but that’s hard and it’s not always possible for everyone. This is a personal thing.

I’m gradually trying to weed out the nasty chemicals in my life – in food, cleaning products, everyday things, health and personal care items. Let me just say this – it is no wonder the incidence of cancer is so high in “civilized” societies. Our bodies weren’t designed for all this crap! I can’t believe we let people sell us this shit (and yeah, I’m one of the “we” there.)

I long ago gave up fabric softener, have switched to eco- and skin-friendly laundry detergents, buy recycled paper products whenever they are available (which, sadly, is not all the time here,) use compact fluorescent bulbs, obsessively recycle everything I can down to bottle caps and other stuffs. A couple of days ago, I switched to an all-natural soap from One With Nature, and HOLY WOW is it ever worth the extra couple of bucks. It is amazing. Smooth, soothing, non-drying. My skin slowly began to smile as I lathered up.

A slightly less-successful venture into The Land of Fewer Chemicals was with my new all-natural, aluminum-salts-free deodorant. It smells great…. for about four hours, at which point, I begin to notice an emanating aroma that reminds me of motorcycle rally days when I went four days straight without a shower. I suppose the option here is to just carry it with me wherever I go and refresh as warranted, but do any of you have a brand recommendation?

We buy a lot of organic produce, but it’s so expensive and it’s not always possible to find what we need in the organic section, especially in the winter. Thus, I’ve been buying quite a bit of frozen veggies, but they’re not organic, either. This is something that troubles me considerably, especially in light of a post Mike sent me this morning: Seven Foods the Experts Won’t Eat. The most surprising thing there for me was the first item – canned tomatoes. All the craze over water bottles and no one mentions this? Oy. The acidity of the tomatoes brings the BPA right out of the stupid lining of the can.

The other alarming thing was the potatoes. We don’t eat a whole bunch of white potatoes, but I go through quite a few sweet potatoes, and I bet they’re treated the same way. This is hugely disconcerting. All this just adds up to me looking even more forward to having a garden next year, for sure. And a freezer. A big, giant freezer.

The ever-resourceful Barbara sent me the following email from a relatively local ranch offering many different varieties of naturally-raised meats – I think we should start ordering from these folks for Mike’s beefy-type needs. My primary reason for becoming vegetarian was finding out about factory farming and the general treatment of animals in the meat industry. I was horrified and absolutely refused to condone anything having to do with it. From there, it was an easy extension to elimate any meat, not just factory-farmed meats, because of my love for animals and because it’s one of the best things an individual can do for the environment.

Anyhow, the email – it makes me happy to know places like this exist:

———- Forwarded Message ———-
From: “Creswick Farms” <contactus@CreswickFarms.com>
To: “Creswick Farms” <contactus@CreswickFarms.com>
Subject: Important trip information for 12/19!
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 13:05:24 -0500

Hello!  Hope the month of December is treating you well!  It’s certainly been interesting here but more on that in a minute.  First I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I’d especially like to thank everyone for their patience in last month’s pick-up!!  The November trip is the craziest trip of the year and except for a few minor snafu’s, the trip went well.  Wasn’t the weather wonderful?!!  That was definitely something to be thankful for!!   And let’s all pray that we get lucky weather-wise for the December trip too!!

Oh December.  As I said, it’s been interesting.  First the weather has been freaky – we had hardly a flake of snow this year and wham, 10 inches and the kids have their first snow day on Friday!  Needless to say, they were pretty excited!  The chickens looked like they all gained several pounds as they walked around with their feathers all puffed up to keep warm and even our doggies shivered a time or two.  The cows took it all in stride as they scratched at the snow to get to the standing hay beneath but the sheep decided it was open invitation to help themselves to the hay bales we have stacked up. We haven’t been keeping the sheep fenced into their pasture and they wander all over to forage but now they are banished due to their assault on the bales.  It’s fun to watch them wander around the house in the late evenings and early mornings as they munch along – really peaceful!  The down side of December has been that all the kids had the 24 hour stomach flu and Nathan’s mom had a small heart attack.  Sadly she isn’t recouping too well.  We also lost our refrigerator just before Thanksgiving – thank goodness we have lots of refrigeration out in the shop!  and Nathan was laid off from his day job, amongst other things.  So like I said, December has been an interesting month so far!  Let’s hope it settles down a little!

Now on to the important stuff:  Our next trip is scheduled for 12/19.  The trip times are the same except for Brighton:  Waverly is 9:45; Okemos is 10:15; Brighton is now 11:30 and Novi is the same as usual at 12:45.   The Brighton time change will hopefully help us in the snowy weather.  Orders need to be in by Sunday, 12/13.  The following trip is scheduled for January 23, which has a snow date of 1/30 should the weather be bad on the 23rd.  We will notify everyone if a change is needed due to weather, so plan on 1/23.  Don’t forget that we do not travel in February. After the January trip, the next trip will not be until March (date is yet to be determined) so make sure you get stocked up in the next couple of months to make sure you can get through February!

We are quite well stocked in the beef, pork and chicken (get it while you can as we are starting to see the end of the pile) departments.  We also have some cuts remaining in the lamb department.  Eggs are their usual hard-to-come-by status so as usual please order only what you need.  Last but not least, we do have some special offerings:  we have some regular turkeys available, but we also will have a limited quantity of Smoked Turkeys for the holidays!  The birds range in size from 8 to 10-ish pounds and will be delectable!  Those of you who’ve had our smoked chicken will know what I mean!  Also, don’t forget the Sweet Bologna, both Regular and Jalapeno/Cheddar Cheese Summer Sausages, Pepperoni, Braunschweiger and Ring Bologna for your entertaining needs – ready to eat and easily sliced as hors d’oeuvres!   For those of you who like zippy things- try our Jalapeno/Cheddar Cheese snack sticks – definitely zippy!!

Well that should be it.  Nathan and Sherry will look for you on 12/19 while the kids and I run the farm.  We’d like to wish you all a very blessed Christmas, and for those of you who don’t celebrate, we wish you a peaceful holiday season and joy in whatever you choose to do!  Thanks for your interest in our farm!!
Andrea

Andrea & Nathan Creswick
Creswick Farms
6500 Rollenhagen Rd.
Ravenna, MI 49451
616/837-9226
www.CreswickFarms.com

——————————————————

Supporting a local, humane farm like this makes me happy. There are nice barns, and grass, and clean straw. Still, I just can’t look at this photo and think, “mmm, bacon.”

I see little critters I want to hang out and play with.

Still, if we must kill for food, then we should at least endeavor to make sure the animals we butcher have had as good a life and death as possible. Good on Barbara and everyone else who buys from places like this! Hopefully, Mike Neir will soon be one of them.

Making responsible choices as a citizen of the Earth is becoming important to an increasing number of people, and it warms my heart. The local all-natural store in East Lansing is usually quite busy, and were it not irrationally expensive, I’d do all of our shopping there. Simply being there is relaxing, it makes me feel good. The people are nice – the customers smile at each other with this kind of friendly, “Good for you for shopping here!” way that doesn’t smack of elitism. The products are all carefully selected by the staff. They have a really nice selection of made-on-the-site sandwiches (including the previously mentioned OMG BBQ Tempeh Reuben.) It’s a neat place, but like I said, hugely expensive (as such places tend to be.)

I still envision this wholesome farm life for us someday… we’ll see what the future brings.

Free Kefir Recipe eBook from Cultures for Health

Posts at least a little bit like this one:

Sustainability , ,

4 responses to All-Natural and Totally Organized


  1. Elle Clark

    First of all THANK YOU! We were just talking yesterday about finding a more local source to get meat that is more local. We have been doing our best since we do eat it to get organic, and raised humanly meat. But, we want stay more local then what we are doing now, because that of course is better for the environment too. Now as far as vegetables, I have found some organic frozen veggies at Kroger of all places. I do have to be honest I usually take a trip to Whole Foods in Ann Arbor when I need more if they cannot be found here. They have really good prices compared to our local places and great variety. The guilt of the drive is offset by doing other things I need to do in the area, and of course we have a hybrid, and stock up!

    Deodorant. Had the same issue for a while. We tried this solid crystal thing and it wasn’t working plus countless other brands. I stumbled on this at I think Target of all places while going to the RX. It’s called Naturally Fresh. It’s a deodorant crystal but in a roll on form. I can bring a empty bottle when we get together to help you find it. It works on Corrine too, who can work up a odor like no ones business! And it is 3 oz which is exciting since I travel often and can take it in my carry on!

    CSA’s are great in the summer time but now the only one that is year long is MSU. They have a long waiting list and I think our name is up, but we have decided we wouldn’t use it as much since I have discovered frozen organics. But if you are interested I can find out if we are coming up and would be happy for you to do it if you want. Being a vegetarian this would probably be good for you. It’s all organic and they work on 16 weeks (not sure if you have to wait after inital wait but I don’t think so) It’s $490 for 16 weeks so about $30 a week. Says feeds a family of 4, so you could freeze the rest if you have overflow. I think it’s a good price for organic. They run all year round for MSU. Here’s the link if you want to look http://www.localharvest.org/csa/M5405 We really like the giving tree farm in the summer, about $10 a week, all organic. But I think MSU you get a lot more. So, organic, locally grown produce in winter. All good stuff!

    We LOVE the soap we get from a local farmer who goes to the farmers markets during the season. She told me at Women in the arts she will be in Ann Arbor market all winter. She makes them all herself. Amazing stuff.

    Anyway, I think it is challenging to become as earth friendly as we would like. But the point is to do what we can and I believe share info. if you can. Hope this helps. Now if anyone can find me a great shampoo/conditioner I would be thrilled. Was using Aveda sap moss, but they are ethical and are not making it not to diminish the supply of sap moss. So, I have been searching for a alternative that works on my long dry hair. No luck so far and holding on to my last stash of sap moss for dear life. The hunt continues!

  2. Elle Clark

    Ok one other thing! This one really turns people off even the most environmental I know. About 7 years ago at festival I decided to purchase a re-usable pad. I had a lot of problems (I am sure probably due to the chemicals in the pads) that have caused me to have an ablation this year. Anyway, I thought the concept was good but that it would be a hassle. I was wrong. Great the are all cotton and easy to deal with. I ordered more from the company in Canada. Now, I have no cycle due to the problems in the past. But they would probably be easy for someone to sew. Corrine used a sea sponge like a tampon but when she was deployed we bought her a diva cup. She said it took her a little while to get used to it but loves it now! If you think about the waste all the pads and tampons produce it’s amazing more people don’t look into it. For some reason more taboo for most! But you did bring it up!

    We also have a friend who when they had their first baby we bought a few re-usable diapers for. Not the environmental type at all! They had multiple snaps for baby growth and everything. They are now using them on their second baby and LOVE them. They call them the good diapers!

  3. Erin

    Hey there, glad to be of service with the link! Thank Barbara for pointing it out to me. 🙂 Thanks for the tip on Kroger veggies – I haven’t been to Kroger in a long while. I bet Meijer may have their Organics line in frozen veggies, too – I’ll have to check. I’m definitely interested in the deod you guys are using – this stuff isn’t cutting it! I found my old crystal stick and will try that under the all-natural stuff, maybe followed by cornstarch. I’m starting to feel like a muffin, all this stuff. 😀

    Toward the end of the summer, I found Wholly Cow Farms, a nearby husband/wife team who offer veggie baskets for $10/week. Not a huge amount, though, I’d imagine the MSU thing is better – just so much more expensive. If we can get a big ol’ freezer, though, that would cut down on waste.

    I’ve been using a menstrual cup for a good 10 years now, probably longer – I feel a lot better about not putting all that waste into the landfills and not clogging up my body with dioxins and other stuff. I’ve never been a pad fan, ever since my first period, but the reusable ones I’ve seen on Etsy get good reviews.

    Thanks for all the tips. 🙂

  4. Elle Clark

    I emailed MSU and if we get accepted wonder if you might be interested in sharing a share? It is too much for us and probably too much for you. Just a thought. I have a partial bottle I found that we forgot about that I will bring you! It really sounds like a pain with that deodorant! I had a few I tried that were like that! Anyway! I was in Kroger today and they actual have some organic meats! Although I would rather go with a local farm, it’s nice to know in a pinch. And someone told me Meijer is doing quite well with frozen organic veggies. As much as I love the special stores my dream is to have organic, ethically grown fruits, veggies and meats available and priced for all! I can dream!

Leave a Reply