As someone who loves to be outside a lot — like, a lot lot — I’m always looking for safe sunscreens that don’t contain a smorgasbord of chemicals. Many mineral sunscreens leave you pasty white or smelling funny or feeling like bacon (both in the fried and the greasy sense). Some sunscreens are like the processed foods in the middle aisles of the store — they look good on the shelf, but once you give the ingredient list a glance-over, you feel like you’re in science class.
At some point you start to wonder: Is it safer to forego sun protection altogether, or to coat your skin with a cocktail of chemicals?
One of my go-to sites is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide, an annually updated database of virtually every sunscreen on the market (257 brands and over 1,800 products and counting). You can look up your favorite sunscreen and see how it ranks on EWG’s scale of toxicity. Green icons (showing ranks of 0 to 2) indicate low hazard; red icons (showing ranks of 7 to 10) indicate high hazard. Not surprisingly, you want to be as green as possible.
Goddess Garden‘s natural sunscreens are as green as they come (check out their EWG scorecard; they were rated one of the best beach and sport sunscreens for 2012). And how could I resist the name? But I needed a sunscreen that went beyond the garden, and into the betty — it had to be light enough for everyday wear, but also tough enough for surfing, swimming, climbing, and even whitewater kayaking.
After a month of spending my summer outside, I’m happy to report: No sunburns, no peeling, and a giveaway of my favorite Goddess Garden products to one lucky winner!
With a place as picturesque as Yosemite, it’s hard to not find a view anywhere you go. I’ve seen Yosemite Valley from above (high above — 7,200 feet — atop Glacier Point) as well as below (from the valley floor on the main road that loops through the park).
But one of the most spectacular ways to see the valley is not on granite at all — but on the crystal clear waters of the Merced River.
Have you harvested your garlic yet? After curing and cleaning off my crop this season, I came across these tiny bulbs of Siciliano artichoke garlic.
Here we are, a whole season after the first onion seeds were sown, and those little specks have slowly grown into a bed of bulging, fragrant alliums.
While onions can be harvested and eaten at any stage, the most satisfying part of growing onions is being able to pluck a fresh onion from the pantry months after you’ve plucked it from the ground. Curing makes that happen.
Right around this time of year, bundles of garlic scapes abound at farmers’ markets all over, but if you grow hardneck garlic at home, you might notice the same curious tendrils shooting out of your garlic bulbs. The scapes (also called garlic shoots, stems, stalks or spears) are a garden foodie favorite and can be used like a vegetable. The long, edible stems have the consistency of a green bean and the flavor of garlic crossed with green onion.
Harvest them for a bonus edible before your garlic crop matures!
Last year, I started mixing my own soy-free, mostly organic, whole grain chicken feed. The decision to feed a whole grain diet — versus a commercially formulated diet — is a personal one based on what I believe is best for my chickens. Luckily, it also turned out to be an economical decision and a benefit to my own diet.
Homemade feed is not as expensive or complicated as you may have thought or been told. My three chickens (a Barred Rock, Easter Egger, and Cochin) lay over a dozen eggs a week on a hippie diet of whole grains and leafy greens. Their feathers are soft and shiny, their personalities as perky as ever… so I must be doing something right!
Last week, Bogs and I teamed up to give away a $100 gift card to our outdoor-loving, dirt-stomping friends. With over 100 styles for men, women and kids, from urban kicks to mud bog boots, there seemed to be a shoe for everyone.
You said you’d wear your Bogs in the rain. In the mud. In the snow. Or just out and about town. And the best thing about Bogs? Even the “work shoes” are stylie enough for play, or vice versa… but we all know that when it comes to being outside, work is play, right?!
The lucky winner, drawn by my randomizer, will definitely get to work/play this summer in her new Bogs. And that winner is…