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Archive for May, 2011

What Is a CSA and Why Would I Want to Join One?

This guest post is written by: Julia. She is mom to Marcella, a just turned 2 year old and blogs at A Little Bit of All of It on a variety of topics. You’ll find product reviews and book reviews along with her take on babies, parenting and childbirth. She also volunteers at Natural Parents Network and can be found on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Last summer I joined a CSA for the first time. If you are not familiar with what a CSA is, hold tight, because I’m about to tell you.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We, along with other members of our community, purchased a share for the spring and summer months in a local farm and in turn we received fruits and vegetables every week during the time period specified by the farm. In this way, we are supporting local agriculture. The farm had three pick-up locations, days and times to choose from and we would just show up every week and pick up our box. All of the food was local and organic.

Why a CSA is Awesome

The thing I liked best about being part of a CSA was knowing each vegetable and fruit we received was totally organic and locally grown. That is really a big deal to me. Honestly, it is hard for me to buy organic at the grocery store. We are on a really tight budget and I have a hard time paying so much more. With the CSA, however, even though I knew I was paying for it, since we paid in advance it felt like it was free. I always felt really good about feeding these fruits and veggies to my family knowing they were pesticide free. They were normally still covered in earth and had that earthy smell to them. I don’t know; I just really thought that was cool.

Red fingerling potatoes, yellow squash, turnips, collard greens, baby romaine and lettuce mix

I relished in the challenge each week to create new, healthy dishes to use up the produce we received. I would probably never buy turnips on my own, for instance, but found out I really love them in mashed potatoes. I also got to experience things I didn’t even know existed like fingerling potatoes and blue potatoes. Read the rest of this entry »

I Knew I Was a Natural Mommy When…

Mommies, daddies and fellow green enthusiasts…my name is Jessica aka Cloth Diapering Mama and it is my honor to be guest posting over here at Becoming Crunchy, as it is one of my very favorite blogs! I’m an advocate for Natural and Green Parenting and for our dear care-giver…Mother Earth. Please stop by and say hi sometime or find me on Facebook or Twitter. I hope you enjoy my post…had a little fun with this one. :)

If you’re a reader of the Becoming Crunchy blog you have undoubtedly seen the unfolding of a Natural Mommy and Daddy in Kelly and Dave. We all have a starting point. Some of us were practicing Natural Parenting before we realized that it was actually a way of life…some of us read about it and wanted in and some of us had an epiphany of sorts – or an awakening – once we were blessed with the gift of our little ones.

However you ended up HERE, know that by being a part of this community you are raising awareness and spreading the word about Natural Family Living…grass roots style…and that’s about as organic as you can get!

Here’s a little bit about my Natural and Green awakening:

I knew I was a natural mommy when…

That expensive crib turned into a GREAT laundry basket!!

  • Just didn’t feel right to put my newly emerged nursling into a separate sleep space…even with our big-boy, our first born, nearly 4 years old…cuddling, heart to heart and breath to breath remains our bed-time routine.


~Our Family Bed/Circus~ Baby says, "Mom get that camera out of my face, I'm busy bonding with my brother!"

I knew I was a natural mommy when I thought… Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Chose Baby Led Weaning: 4 Personal Reasons

This guest post is written by Rachel Crownoble. I have to share a bit of personal background here…

Rachel was my roommate in college – we’ve known each other over 11 years now, though most of it has been long distance since we graduated!

As we’ve been somewhat in and out of touch over the years, it’s been so fun for me to see the many similarities in our parenting philosophies. I now look to Rachel as a role model in more than one area, as a new parent and an aspiring doula. (I’m sure she’s blushing now! ;) ).

I asked her specifically to write this post after a comment I saw she had written on another friend’s question on Facebook on what she should start feeding her 6 month old. Most of the other answers involved different purees and rice cereals…but Rachel’s comment was along the lines of: Don’t worry about it! My kids didn’t start eating until a bit later and then they just started grabbing food off my plate.

It was one of my first introductions to Baby Led Weaning!

I’ll share more of my perspective on the whole idea in another post, but I was really excited to hear from Rachel, as she was doing this some years ago and had great success with it.

Rachel is now a certified birth doula and aspiring midwife in Southern California. Aside from this exciting work, she is mom to two beautiful girls – Abigail (Abie) and Amileah (Millie). She also blogs about her amazing experiences with birth at Doula Rachel. You can find her on Facebook as well.

Without further ado, here is her post… :) Read the rest of this entry »

Love Letter For a Bean – May 2011

(These posts are inspired by Touchstonez & SausageMama – if you blog and you’re interested in posting a monthly letter to your kiddos, you can grab the badge to join in here).

This month’s letter is written by Daddy…

Dear Baby Bean,

18 months ago you were in Mommy’s belly, smaller than an actual bean. 9 months ago you were born. I was there to watch you take your first breath of air. You were so small back then. Today you are nine months old. You are still and always will be my little Baby Bean, though you have grown quite a bit in the last nine months!

You know how to feed yourself (sort of). I’m so proud of you and how you figured how to put food in your mouth. You crawl so fast now, too. I can barely keep up. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention, Part 2

Sage & Bean

Sage & Bean

This is the continuation of my recent interview with Dr. Paul McCutcheon – founder of the East York Animal Clinic (a holistic veterinarian clinic in Toronto) and author of The New Holistic Way for Pets.

Please see Part 1: Natural Flea & Tick Prevention for Pets

Moving on now to a question on heartworm – carried by certain mosquitoes. (If you’ve got a dog or cat, this may be something you hear about frequently).

I’ve read that the best prevention for heartworm is a healthy diet and a healthy dog along with regular checkups, and eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil made into a spray as a mosquito repellent. Do you think these are effective preventatives?

Dr. McCutcheon:  Good health is essential – even for flea and tick control (more on that further down).

Be careful with sensitivities to essential oils – be sure to test them on a small patch of skin first (cats are particularly sensitive). They may cause reactions, so don’t begin by plastering them with it!

Essential oils are very potent when concentrated and can easily cause reactions, so you should always consult with your veterinarian before using them – pets react differently to certain natural products than we do!

Solvarome is an essential oil preparation available for both dogs and humans – it is ideal to shampoo with it or put 50 drops in about a litre of water to dilute it. If you’ve tested for reaction and there is none, you can spray it on the pet as a deterrent.

It is difficult to know, however, if repellants like this are fully viable unless you try them, and there is a danger of causing skin reactions. Avoid DEET, and if you’re using citronella (which can also be an irritant to dogs) it needs to be in very small proportions, mixed with water.

What then is the BEST deterrent to pests for our pets? Read the rest of this entry »

Victoria Day Weekend Sunday Surf

Grilling Vegetables - Day 250

Our probably won`t look quite this healthy...

To all you Canadians out there – happy Victoria Day Weekend!

I just love 3 day weekends…I think there should be more of them. ;)

We’re planning a BBQ tonight with friends we don’t get to see very often, which means I have to finish getting the house cleaned shortly! And we’re hoping it doesn’t rain…though if it does we’ll just move the BBQ into the garage!

Long weekends are certainly a bit more low key now that the Bean is here, but we’re OK with that.

I even got a special gift from the husband this morning – the chance to sleep in! He got up early with the Bean and took her for a visit to his parent’s house – I got to sleep until almost 9:00AM! I think it’s the latest I’ve slept in for close to 9 months now.

It is telling, however, that I didn’t sleep longer…before baby I could have easily gone until 12 – maybe even 1. Oh how things change…

I’ve really got to finish my housecleaning soon, but thought I would procrastinate just a little bit longer to share some of the great posts I’ve been reading this week. In the meantime, hope your weekend is going awesome! :D

Sunday Surf… Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Pets – Part 1

Luther & The Bean

Luther & The Bean

Though you wouldn’t think so from the weather around here this past week, we are heading into summer – and for many of us who are pet owners, that means dealing with pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes that can range from mere nuisances to big problems.

We’ve always gone the ‘mainstream’ route when it came to protecting our dog from pests, but with the arrival of the Bean, those (frequently toxic, chemical filled) options went out the window for us.

I did some research to find some natural preventatives and remedies, but as there is a lot of information out there, I wanted to have what I found confirmed by someone who knew what they were talking about!

So I contacted Dr. Paul McCutcheon – founder of the East York Animal Clinic (a holistic veterinarian clinic in Toronto) and author of The New Holistic Way for Pets.

I was so pleased when he agreed to speak with me (and can’t wait to read his book that is on its way to me in the mail!). Here is what I learned from our conversation…

(Note – this is taken from my notes from speaking with Dr. McCutcheon over the phone, so not every answer is a direct quote.)

My first question had to do with vaccines. My husband and I have very much enjoyed learning from the Cesar Millan books for raising and training dogs, and that was where we first learned that the vaccine schedule for dogs is way overboard and may be a cause for many of the illnesses our pets experience as they age.

I asked Dr. McCutcheon if he recommended the yearly vaccine booster schedule for dogs or whether he would suggest any alternatives to the recommended pet vaccine schedule. His answer?

No – we recommend minimal vaccines – a very basic program initially, and from there we test antibody levels (titer testing) to make sure of continued immunity.

I loved this answer! (We are so taking Luther to the East York Animal Clinic next time he needs to see a vet).

Essentially, they do not re-vaccinate a dog unless the dog needs it, which is very rare. Their usual schedule for dogs is to vaccinate at 9 weeks and 16 weeks unless the titers indicate a problem.

As for rabies – a vaccine that is mandated by law – they vaccinate at 6 months of age – not before, along with a booster  that is required one year later, then every 3 years (again, as required by law).

“Yes – we do vaccinate – but wisely. Minimal vaccines, and only if necessary.”

Moving on to flea and tick prevention… Read the rest of this entry »

I’d Like to Visit a Nudist Colony



Hmm…did I get  your attention with that headline?

Now that I have it, ;) just wanted to say that most people don’t call them nudist colonies anymore – you will probably find them named as ‘naturist‘ parks or communities.

Either way, the idea is still the same - it’s a park or beach or some kinda place where everyone is in the nude.

And I would like to visit one someday – to plan a camping trip or even a day trip. I’ve mentioned it to my husband more than once and he just shakes his head, but I’m serious!

Here’s the thing:

I would LOVE to be that comfortable with my body.

It’s something I think about often – how incredibly uncomfortable we are in our skins. Read the rest of this entry »

Menu Plan Monday 5/16/2011

The Menu

The Menu

I don’t know that I’ll be on the ball enough to do this every Monday, but Julia over at A Little Bit of All of It has inspired me to give it a shot. :)

Personally, I love reading people’s menu plans as it means I can steal ideas (it’s also handy for me to come back to my blog to see what I’m supposed to be cooking. ;) )

At the moment, we are going grain free and sugar free – something that originally started out as a 2 week plan and will probably extend a bit longer than I originally thought – mainly because we are loving the results! I still think we will eventually incorporate grains back into our diet, but we’ll be making many changes to the way they are prepared and how frequently they’re consumed.

In the meantime, here’s my grain free menu plan for this week:

Breakfasts: Read the rest of this entry »

The Risks of Babywearing, A Wasteful Generation, Supporting Birth Centres and More in This Week’s Sunday Surf

We are off to a baby shower this afternoon (getting so excited for this little one to arrive – I love babies! :)and I thought I’d leave you with some of the great posts I’ve been reading over the past week…

  • No one talks about THE RISKS of babywearing. Sure, you’re baby will be happier, cry 43% less than their pram based counterparts, they will sleep soundly, will learn how to self regulate their own temperature, they won’t get a flathead that requires special pillows or corrective helmets, they will have better head control, they can access the breast whilst you go about your day hands free…..but is it REALLY worth it with THE RISKS?The Risks from Sausage Mama & the Sausagettes.
  • If my mother could ignore a doctor who would condemn me to death, then I can ignore my inner demons who tell me I’ll never make it as a writer. If my mother could demand that I achieve straight As in school, then I can demand greatness from every blog post I publish. If my mother could lobby school administrators and government agencies to get me the help I needed, then I can lobby bloggers and social media power users to get my idea the attention it deserves.On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas from Copyblogger
  • As a lover of words and a believer in the power of ritual, I relished the chance to write a script for the ceremony that conveyed the importance of our respect for our baby’s individuality and identity, his connection to all people, as well as the natural world, and our desire to parent sensitively with love and compassion.The Ritual of Dedication (guest post by Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama) on the Natural Parents Network Read the rest of this entry »
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