My Organic Veg Box

There has never been a better time to go organic.  Daily we are hearing in the media of the rise in cases of obesity, and of the increase in Type II Diabetes.  For a long time the argument has been that organic food was too expensive.  This is simply not true and anyway can you put a value on well-being?

my organic veg box
My Organic Veg Box bursting with delicious fresh seasonal vegetables

My weekly veg and fruit box is always full of fresh, seasonal organic produce, grown in sustainable, eco-friendly ways that are supportive of the environment, without pesticides or chemicals or any kind.  Since they are not pumped full of water to increase the size unnaturally, the vegetables have more substance and body and do not shrink when cooked.  You get more for your money and stay full for longer as the fibre and nutritional content are higher.  An absolute bargain at £10.  And no plastic trays and shrink wrap to throw away either.  The cardboard delivery box goes back each week when the fresh box arrives, creating no waste while at the same time reducing my carbon footprint!

Most of the produce is grown locally on the organic farm in Purton, Wiltshire.  Purton House Organics  is a well-established business and has grown from strength to strength over the years through the support of its local customer group.  What started as a local veg box delivery scheme has blossomed over the years and now includes a shop with a full range of organic groceries, including bread and dairy products and more recently a cafe area. Buying fresh, local produce means that every penny you spend goes back into the loop, supporting the farm, helping it to thrive and grow , while creating more jobs and opportunities.  Green living at its best. When shopping in a supermarket, most of the profit goes elsewhere, with only a very small percentage benefiting the local economy.  So your food may be a tiny bit cheaper, but all the profits go somewhere else.  There is no way of knowing if the producers are being paid a fair wage or treated with respect.

In the winter months, some of the fruit comes from other countries of course, like oranges, grapefruit and bananas, this is inevitable.  But most of the home grown winter warmers in the form of hearty root vegetables, carrots, swede, parsnips, along with leeks, sprouts, cabbage and kale, are available right through until the Spring.  My kale plants in my garden planters got me through the winter and kept my quota of greens topped up, and my ruby chard amongst my flower borders has also survived and is throwing out again nicely.

More and more local organic producers are getting up and running.  Have a look around your home area, you may be surprised.  If not, there’s always Abel & Cole or Riverford Organic .

Do please leave the name of  your local scheme in the comments box to share with others!

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Using Selenite Crystals to Enhance the Home

Most  people are familiar with the use of crystals in jewellery, such as necklaces, pendants, and rings, but did you know that using larger crystals as home accessories can contribute to an overall sense of well-being and harmony? Not only do crystals make really stunning decorative features, they can also enhance your environment and even clean your space and lift the energies of a room, thereby contributing to a more healthy home.

One such stone that is becoming  increasingly popular is Selenite. Selenite has a very fine vibration and a kind of ethereal quality. It is said to be excellent for meditation and spiritual work. It can help to bring clarity of mind, introducing a calming and gentle feel to a room.  In the current times we live in life seems to be more hectic than ever and after a busy day at work it is often hard to relax and wind down.  A large piece of Selenite placed in a room brings a peaceful atmosphere, creating a quiet space for some quality downtime.  It is also great in children’s rooms and soothes the atmosphere when tempers are high and helps to settle and solve disagreements.

Polished Selenite Pillar
Selenite Pillars create an atmosphere of calm in the home

Translucent Selenite is the most commonly used form of this stone and it can be found in a range of shapes: pillars, spars, polished palm stones and eggs, blocks, wands and hearts and even lamps and tea light holders. Not only is it attractive, Selenite also acts as a disperser of energy and works in a supportive capacity offering protection from electro-magnetic smog when placed close to sources of radiation , such as wifi, laptops and computers, TVs and other devices. It helps to create a safe space, protecting from outside influences and is one of the most powerful crystals for the new vibration on Earth.

Selenite Heart, Wand, Block and Small Spar
A Selenite Heart, Wand, Block and Small Spar

Small pieces can be purchased for as little as £2 as it is easily obtained and found in a number of countries, including the US, Mexico, Russia, Austria, Greece, Poland, Germany, France and even England, though I have not been fortunate to find any myself.

One thing to note:  Selenite needs to be kept away from damp environments such as bathrooms or kitchens as steam and moisture generally can cause it to dissolve or flake.  It is more accurately a chemical sedimentary mineral than a stone, and is only a 2 on the Mohs scale of hardness.  If dropped on a hard surface, such as a tiled or stone floor it will likely shatter.  Since it is readily available though, it is not difficult to replace in the event of a mishap.

What are your favourite crystals? Do share your ideas and experiences.

10 Reasons to Get Excited about Hemp

Have you ever had a favourite outfit that you loved so much you wore it to death and you have never been able to replace it?   Whatever happened to timeless elegance in the rush to conform to the High Street command of “get the latest look”?  How much money would we have left over for that holiday we have all been dreaming of if our clothes lasted more than one season?

Organic Hemp is now available in a range of beautiful colours

Well, hemp fabric could be the answer.

Here are 10 reasons why we should all get excited about hemp

  • Hemp is stronger than cotton.  It is the most durable natural fibre with the highest abrasion resistance and tensile strength amongst all of the natural fibres, providing maximum wear and use
  • It becomes softer with use.  The inherent lustre and light reflecting qualitites of hemp are enhanced by washing
  • The fabric breathes as well as linen and better than cotton, and is as effective an insulator as wool.  It feels cooler in summer and during cool weather it retains body heat
  • Hemp resists staining by releasing a microscopic layer of cells with each laundering, exposing a fresh surface.  In effect, this means that hemp retains its sleek sheen every time it is washed, that it never dulls and that it releases stains more easily than other fabrics.  It becomes finer and more luxurious with use.
  • It will not stretch out of shape, so it will always look good
  • The fabric is very porous, making it highly absorbent and quick drying.   Hemp absorbs more moisture than cotton and much more than synthetic fibres, and faster.
  • It is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and bacteria, and naturally mothproof, and has natural antimicrobial properties, so it does not need to be treated with chemicals and is therefore better for you and your family’s health and well-being
  • Hemp blocks UV rays more effectively than any other fabrics with less fibre degradation from UV exposure than any other natural fibre, making it especially good for window coverings and a wide range of eco soft-furnishings
  • With a longer lifespan than other natural fabrics, it can render a lifetime of service,  is biodegradable and easily recyclable and even more than any other eco fabrics lends itself to re-fashioning and upcyclling.

Wow!  And if  you thought that hemp fabric and eco textiles means a return to the dark ages and the days of sackcloth, look again.  With ever better production methods, fibres can be polished and finished to much higher standards than ever before, meaning that it is possible to be indulgent and kind to the environment at the same time.

Anything we’ve missed here?  We’d love to hear from you…….

Eco for Health

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Ever wondered why you get a headache or become mysteriously ‘off colour’ when you go on holiday?  Not so long ago I treated myself to a short break with a swimming pool, sauna, gym and yoga classes and was so looking forward to relaxing and regenerating my batteries.  I had hardly been in the hotel room more than an hour or two when I developed a headache and felt really ‘off’ and ‘liverish’.  I put it down to a reaction to having been stressed and tense for so long previous to that.  Now I’m not so sure.

Ever since making some curtains for a hotel and a nursing home I have known that fire safety regulations dictate that fabrics used for making curtains and the covering of furniture such as sofas and chairs be coated with flame retardant chemicals to reduce the risk of fire.  I imagine it’s the same for carpets.  Now I have experienced first hand just what this means in terms of human health and well-being.

I shall give where I next go on holiday some very careful consideration.  Camping anyone?

For  more information about eco textiles and eco soft-furnishings visit www.designercushionsandthrows.co.uk/natural-organic-fabric

Cushions and Curtains is 'Hardy Organic Hemp' - colour Alabaster and Mist Grey