November 23, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
|Date & Time:||December 6th, 2009, 12pm – 4:30pm|
|Location:||Our home (RSVP for address)|
|Hosted By:||Donna & Lauren Johanson, founders of Chivas Skin Care|
|RSVP:||Please RSVP by email to email@example.com to receive exact address. (And so that we can be sure to have enough food and drinks for everyone). Also, feel free to spread the word to your family and friends by forwarding this email, as well as sharing on Facebook & Twitter.|
|Shop:||Chivas Skin Care, The Nomad Foundation, Doie Designs, Pierce Jeans,
Ecstatic Circles cards, Bogini Jewelry and Tanzeas Baby
|WORKSHOPS:||DIY skin care (Chivas Skin Care), green living 101 (Creative Green), mat pilates (kristen 4 pilates) and Gray’s functional movement (Soma Get Fit)|
|ACTIVITIES:||Eco-gift wrap, milk goats, Chivas factory tour, raffle and massage (Soma Get Fit)|
|DONATE:||The Nomad Foundation benefiting the nomadic Tuareg tribe of Niger|
|FOOD & DRINKS:||Donna’s homemade goat milk goodies, Laloo’s goat milk ice cream,
Fat Toad Farm goat milk cajeta (caramel) and holiday beverages
November 17, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
Each of our limited edition goat milk soaps has a story behind it. For example, our Orange Spice soap is based on a friend’s recipe for raw pumpkie pie, our Santa Rosa Valley (SRV) soap (summer 2009, sold out) was inspired by the fruits and herbs that our hometown is known for, and our Herb Garden goat milk soap was designed for Donna’s green thumbs. Like the SRV soap, the Herb Garden soap quickly sold out this summer. In fact, we have received so many requests for it that we have decided to start carrying it year round. It will be available again on-line and in-stores late November 2009.
Originally posted November 3, 2009 on www.yourdailythread.com by Lauren Johanson
As a kid, I liked school, I liked studying & yes, I even I liked homework. Now as a young adult missing her school days, I’ve transferred my nerd energy towards weekend workshops. Luckily for me – and for any of you Angelenos – LA is full of incredible sustainability workshops on anything from kombucha to composting.
I want to share my five favorite things about the “Creative Green” Organic Gardening workshop that I recently attended. If the class sounds up your alley, check out their full list of workshops below on topics including sustainable kitchens, green Holidays, meditation, composting and more!
1. A Good Teacher: The sustainability coach behind Creative Green, Deborah Tull, has a rich story to tell. She grew up in Los Angeles, but as a young adult studied sustainable lifestyles and architecture in communities around the world, spending seven years as a monk at the Zen Monastery Peace Center in Northern California. But about 3 years ago, when visiting Los Angeles, Deborah found that there was so much positive momentum around going green in her home town, that her energy would be best used helping to further the movement through her consulting and workshops. Deborah has a soft, insightful & disciplined tone about her that I really enjoyed.
2. Attitude Toward Gardening: I liked Deborah’s idea that we each approach a garden the way we approach life. Some people like to study the books first, others just wing it, others simply find it as a meditative activity (see photo above). Deborah suggested, no matter your personal approach, that you focus your attitude on growing soil versus growing plants. From that foundation, we got into the nitty-gritty of crop rotation, by which you have a schedule for rotating “heavy feeders” (like tomatoes, basil, strawberries), “heavy givers” (like legumes, clover, alfalfa) and “light feeders” (like root vegetables). We also learned that some plants can actually be either friendly or antagonist towards one another. For example, whole beans don’t like beats or onions, but they love carrots and cucumber. It’s like a little high school clique.
3. Integrative Pest Management: A big part of being a beginner organic gardener is figuring out how to keep the bugs from eating all your goodies. Deborah’s advice? Be an expert observer; the earlier you catch an issue, the more creatively you can come up with a sustainable solution. For example, if you notice earwigs, place a pot upside down on a stake with newspaper dipped in soy sauce. Bizarre, yes! But better than chemical sprays, no? Here we re-used a “Red Vines” container to house any unwanted bugs or rocks we found while digging. Also, notice the simple fence they put up to keep out any larger critters.
4. Hands-On Approach: The class was about 3 hours. The first-half or so was spent in a more lecture/note taking style. In the second-half we got our hands dirty and learned how to double dig (versus single dig) the soil to prep it for a new planting. Here I am adding gypson and compost to the 12” wide row we dug up.
5. Beginner’s Tools with Advanced Options: I found that I was given many simple tools to get started, while also being inspired by more complex concepts that I could delve into down the road. In fact, I drove straight over to Sunset Nursery (link) to buy an adjustable sprayer, compost, mulch and starter veggies to finish up some loose ends on my two new raised garden beds, shown above. I am already enjoying fresh mint teas, fried sage soup toppings, jicama dill salad and can’t wait for my winter veggies to sprout.
For questions or to RSVP for any of Creative Green’s variety of workshops, contact Deborah Tull. Phone: 323-935-1214. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.creativegreen.net. In addition to their workshops, Creative Green also offers home & business consultations and green school programs.
Upcoming Workshop Schedule:
• Saturday, November 21, 1:30-4:30pm = Organic Backyard Gardening, at a Private home in Glassell Park/Eagle Rock, Price: $35
• Saturday, November 14, 12:00 -2:00 pm = The Green Kitchen: Cooking for Personal and Planetary Health at The Strawberry House in Encino Hills, Price: $40 (and part of the proceeds go to greening a preschool)
• Sunday , November 15, 1:30-3:30pm = The Sustainable Kitchen: Cooking for Personal and Planetary Health, at Liberation Yoga in Hollywood, Price: $25
• Saturday, December 12, 12-2:00 pm = How to Have a Green Holiday Season at The Strawberry House in Encino Hills, Price: $20
• Saturday, December 19, 1:30-4:30pm = Organic Backyard Gardening, at a Private Home in Glassell Park/Eagle Rock, Price $35
Since I’ve not yet taken any of Creative Green’s other classes, I would love to hear from other students! Please feel free to share your thoughts in our comments below. Happy Gardening!
November 16, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
As we now have 14 goats in our Chivas herd, I wanted to write about what makes each of our goats unique.
Sugar Muffin is the first goat that comes to mind because she was one of the first two goats I bought from a breeder in Southern California just over five years ago. When I first decided to raise goats, I started looking for Nubian goats, which are the most common breed in California. However, when I laid eyes on Sugar Muffin and her sister, it was love at first sight.
Sugar Muffin and sister, Precious, are Chamoisee French Alpine goats having tan, brown and white with black markings on the head, a black stripe down the back, and black stripes on the hind legs. To me, they look like antelope or impala and since I have visited Africa a few times, there was no doubt I wanted these goats because they are truly beautiful, majestic, and stately. Quite honestly, I bought them just because they were the most beautiful goats I have ever seen.
Sugar Muffin (Sugar for short) did not have a huge udder like her sister, who we later nicknamed Dolly Parton because she was so well endowed! Ironically, the two does produced about the same of amount of milk. Just proves the point that “size isn’t everything.”
Over the past five years, Sugar Muffin has given birth to twins or even triplets and has been the best mother. Her kids are always extremely good looking with good dispositions. Since Sugar Muffin is the oldest in our herd now, she is the matriarch and she definitely rules. But she is still sweet and loving with me and is still my favorite. I love her.
With the abundant milk that Sugar Muffin and Precious produced, I was able to begin making the goat milk soaps that now are the foundation of our goat milk skin care line. If you’d like to learn more about how Chivas Skin Care came about, please take a look at our story here.
“Musings from Mamacita” is a column written by Donna Johanson, Chivas Skin Care co-founder. As the mother half of this mother-daughter venture, Donna often signs emails to her daughter Lauren as “Mamacita,” which is the diminutive form of Mom in Spanish. As the team grows, Donna will now sign emails to the rest of the Chivas team as Mamacita.
In her column, Donna will share stories about cooking, gardening, caring for her animals, and other news from the Chivas homestead.
November 10, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
Chivas Skin Care works with Los Angeles local Shalom Printing to print our goat milk soap labels on 100% recycled paper (FCC certified) using non-toxic ink. If you are curious to learn the specifications for this ink, read more below. While it’s not perfect, we think its a step in the right direction. You can also learn more about our other environmental and social efforts here.
Environmental, Health and Safety Facts About Xerox Dry Ink Toner
- Xerox dry ink toner is non-toxic and does not generate hazardous waste. This is the result of careful selection of materials and control of the raw material ingredients.
- Chemical and dust emissions from Xerox machines are carefully controlled to very low levels that are well below regulatory requirements. Production equipment such as the Xerox iGen3TM Digital Production Press meet the same strict Xerox emissions limits as products designed for general office use.
- Prints made with the Xerox dry ink toners are readily recyclable using standard de-inking processes.
- Unlike some liquid ink technologies used in the industry today, with Xerox dry toners there is no use of petroleum distillates. Petroleum distillates are combustible, produce oil waste that needs to be carefully managed, and potentially contribute to volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the work environment.
- While Xerox dry ink toner is non-toxic, Xerox has not applied to the FDA for approval of its products for food applications.
- Sometimes customers wonder how our toners compare to vegetable based inks such as “soy inks”. The use of soy-based inks is desirable in traditional offset printing because, by substituting the soy oil for part of the petroleum oil, volatile organic emissions are reduced. In contrast, the Xerox production presses such as iGen3 use dry toners, not liquid inks. Toners are fine powders composed of plastics, colorants and small quantities of functional additives. Since Xerox toners are safe and non-toxic and because Xerox products are designed to adhere to strict emission standards, emissions of volatile organic compounds during printing should not be a concern (as it might be in offset printing and some digital liquid ink technologies).
- As for empty toner bottles and cartridges, Xerox provides a mechanism for customers to return the bottles for recycling via our Green World Alliance – see www.xerox.com/gwa.
- Xerox has also been recycling waste toner material for many years in two ways:
- As part of the manufacturing process, toner that doesn’t meet the size specifications is recycled back into the toner making process.
- Each year, over 1 million lbs of post consumer waste toner is returned to Xerox from selected products, where it is “recycled” back into the manufacturing process and is reused.
- Xerox’s advanced toner and solid inks further reduce the environmental impacts of printing:
- Emulsion Aggregation toner found in many of our newer products are energy efficient in their manufacturing and during use, reducing the energy investment by 60-70% per page compared to conventional toner. This is achieved because, compared to conventional toner, more prints can be made per pound of EA toner, lower energy is needed to fuse the EA toner to the page and the EA toner manufacturing process is more energy efficient.
- Solid ink products are cartridge-free and produce up to 90% less waste than comparable laser products.
For more information about Xerox’s environmental programs, visit www.xerox.com/environment
Xerox Environment, Health and Safety Contact 1-800-828-6571 Last revised October 20, 2008
November 9, 2009 Written by LaurenJ
Watch this video to learn how Donna makes her beloved “drunken fig jam” with figs from the Chivas farm. We know that figs are out of season now in California, but figured posting this was better late than never. And you can use the same principles of jam making, canning & preserving for nearly any fruit jam.
Plus, gossip has it that the equally loved Pomegranate Fig goat milk soap will be making a limited edition appearance on our website in December, so keep your eyes peeled (no pun intended).
If you have problems with the video, you can view it on You Tube here. Plus, find the complete recipe below.
“Drunken Fig Jam”
Recipe via Epicurious
Yield: Makes about six 1/2-pint jars
- 2 lemons
- 4 pounds ripe fresh figs (preferably black), stemmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)
- 4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup brandy or Cognac
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips. Cut peel into matchstick-size strips (about 3 tablespoons).
Combine lemon peel, figs, sugar, brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in heavy large deep saucepan; let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Bring fig mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil until jam thickens and is reduced to 6 cups, stirring frequently and occasionally mashing mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat.
Ladle mixture into 6 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.
This video was brought to you by YDT-TV, a webisode series on www.yourdailythread.com. If you’re not familiar with Your Daily Thread (aka YDT), it is an on-line magazine that keeps you in the know about the latest green news, local events, eco-discounts, lifestyle tips and more in Los Angeles. And it just so happens to be co-founded by Lauren Johanson, the daughter of the Chivas mother-daughter duo. We hope you check it out and enjoy!
November 2, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
The Daily Grommet, once of our favorite shopping sites, recently reviewed cajeta (goat milk carmel sauce) from Fat Toad Farm, a small family-run goat dairy farm located in the central mountains of Vermont. Our co-founder Donna has made cajeta before with milk from the Chivas goats, and it truly is delicious.
We love the story of Fat Toad Farm. Beginning as a small raise-your-own-food effort, the family soon realized that they had more goat milk than they could consume. While living in Mexico, their daughter Josey discovered cajeta, a goat milk caramel sauce, and encouraged her family to try their hand at making the delicious dessert topping.
Fat Toad Farm now offers their cajeta in four flavors: original, cinnamon, vanilla bean and Fair Trade coffee bean. What a way to take your next dessert from good to amazing.
We love how the story and values of Fat Toad Farm echo our own and can’t wait to give the cajeta from Fat Toad Farm a try. Curious to learn more? You can purchase our own cajeta here on The Daily Grommet.