Keepin' It Fresh

If you’re anything like me the following scenario will sound familiar to you: You go to the store and buy all sorts of yummy produce. Fruit and veggies galore! You even get a few organic things, cause you know you should. You go home, put it all away in your fridge and two days later when you go to get a handful of those strawberries or to use that spinach you bought, they’ve already gone bad! To me, there are few things more frustrating. Not only have I now wasted my money, but usually the items that fade the fastest are the ones I was most excited about getting to eat. This leads me to hesitate on buying foods like this the next time I go to the store, making me miss out on some of my favorite, healthy foods. Well I’ve had enough and am so excited to tell you about a newer product at EcoMtn that has changed my food buying game... It’s called Fresh Paper. 

Fresh Paper sheets are infused with organic spices that keep fruits & veggies fresh for 2-4x longer, naturally.  FreshPaper was created by a young inventor who happened upon the active ingredients after accidentally drinking some tap water while visiting her grandma in India. Her grandma gave her a home remedy - a mixture of spices - which kept her from getting sick. After years of research and development, starting with a middle school science project, she discovered a new application of her grandma's generations-old home remedy - a remarkably effective way to keep food fresh. 

This magic little piece of “paper” has some serious spoil fighting properties. All it takes is one sheet for a whole berry carton, produce drawer, salad bag or fruit bowl and the food lasts up to 4x longer and each sheet lasts for up to a month! I started using them about a month ago and have seen such huge results. All of my food is lasting so much longer than it previously did. Even the vegetable that gets shoved to the back of the drawer is usually still good when I finally see it! These little sheets are helping people cut way down on their food waste, which not only saves us money but it so much better for our earth. Twenty-five percent of the worlds food supply is lost to spoilage. This just doesn’t seem right to me. I am so thankful for companies like Fresh Paper who are working hard and giving us products that can help with problems like these.

Everyone can benefit from a product like this, so get on down to our beautiful store, grab a few sheets and see your food last long enough for you to really enjoy it! ;)

Urban Chickens: Pets with Benefits

Chickens are just for people who have farms and who can dedicate their lives to caring for the land and their animals.  At the very least, they are for people who have a lot of land and live in the country and have grown up on a farm. They are not for people who live in the city or who work full time or who have zero experience with “farm animals”, right?

Wrong!

 The Urban Chicken movement is clucking and scratching its way into our lives and bringing loads of happy benefits to city dwellers everywhere. In our first post about composting, Dee mentioned how her chickens contributed to her over-abundant garden. Today, I want to unpack it a little more and really show just how awesome owning chickens can be and why you might want to consider getting your own feathery friends.

I know that when I used to think about why a person would have chickens only two reasons came to mind: eggs and meat. The egg part intrigued me, but not enough to go through all the “trouble” I thought owning chickens would be. I also knew that there was no way I could use them for meat. My tender little heart gets too attached to things for that to be possible. So, I wrote off ever owning chickens. Little did I know that they can play such a big role in allowing people to truly live a “no waste” life, saving them and their communities tons of money all while responsibly caring for this beautiful earth of ours.

There is no shortage of information out there about owning your own chickens and what all goes into that, but today I just want to give you my top 5 reasons why owning your own chicks is an eggcellent idea!! The most economically and politically compelling reason is that they recycle food and yard waste, keeping it out of landfills and turning it into an invaluable soil builder for your garden. You feed your chickens scraps from your kitchen, they poop nitrogen-rich fertilizer that you mix with leaves and other yard waste to grow an amazing garden which feeds your family, and the cycle continues. Pure gold.

  1. They are your own personal exterminating service. Chickens eat bugs, bugs that may have otherwise ruined your garden. They also eat many weeds, keeping your garden healthy and beautiful with little effort on your part. That, my friends, is a HUGE win in my book.

  2. They help make your soil top notch. Not only do they contribute fertilizer, but they also are expert tillers. Their scratching and digging tendencies mix your soil with the compost and fertilizer making it prime real estate for your growing veggies.

  3. They help with depression. Now, I bet you weren’t expecting this to be on the list! But ask almost anyone who has chickens and they will tell you that their effect on your happiness is the same as owning a dog or cat. There are even therapy chickens out there!  Who knew, but it’s true, having chickens around releases oxytocin (the love hormone) and gives you the warm fuzzies deep inside.

  4. Their eggs can add a little extra income. Not only can your family benefit from the fresh eggs your chickens produce but so can your neighbors and surrounding community. If you chose to do so, selling your organic, fresh eggs can absolutely bring in some extra cash. How much they bring in obviously depends on the amount of chickens you have and the amount of eggs they are producing, but as we all know, every little bit helps.

As you can see, chickens can be used for so much more than those cheesy jokes that you learned as a child. They can add joy and health and bounty to your home, even when living within the city limits. I know that owning chickens isn’t for everyone, but I hope that if you have even slightly considered putting your eggs in this basket that this post has encouraged you to go for it and not chicken out!

Our Grand Opening!!

This last weekend was the store's Grand Opening - and what a weekend it was! The love and response that the store got was so incredible and I was so thankful to get to be a part of it all. Cindy and Dee have poured their heart and soul into this adventure and truly deserve every second of love and recognition that they received. Thank you to everyone who came out and showed your support! Below are some pictures of the festivities on Friday Night. If you haven't made it to the store yet, make some time in that busy schedule and go see this special, special space. 

We're ready to CELEBRATE!!

We're ready to CELEBRATE!!

The store was packed out during the Soft Opening on Friday night! 

The store was packed out during the Soft Opening on Friday night! 

It was so fun to watch people really get into the Handmade Homecare section. It was a huge hit!

It was so fun to watch people really get into the Handmade Homecare section. It was a huge hit!

Mami and Cathee with Mami's finished All Purpose Cleaner!

Mami and Cathee with Mami's finished All Purpose Cleaner!

May many lives be changed by this open door. 

May many lives be changed by this open door. 

What is "Modern" Home-Keeping?

This week we're gearing up for our Grand Opening at EcoMountain, so what a great time to share with you the real inspiration and motivation for this venture!  The store and our "modern" home-keeping philosophy has its genesis in a day I experienced with my then 8-month old daughter Cindy (our co-founder) that is truly imprinted on my soul... and has helped craft a lot of who I am and how I live.

Young, broke, and living in an old place with a couple acres, I decided I could make our lives full and rich by going back to some old school basics (like growing my own food to save money), and using my modern savvy to make our lives healthy and happy (like using my own soaps and detergents to keep chemicals away from my baby daughter). So, I got to work! I created a garden space in our yard and planted food for my family. I found an old wringer washer in the basement,  got it working, and hung our clothes to dry outside on a line instead of spending money at the laundromat. There were grapes growing nearby, so I picked them and made jam...I even pruned them down and made wreathes out of the vines to decorate my home!

One day, when the garden was in full bloom, with my sweet baby lying on a blanket in the grass near me while I hung the laundry out, I began noticing how rich our lives had become.  My dried flowers and wreaths hung on my door, homemade yogurt was in the fridge and fresh chicken soup on the stove. Jars of pickled beets and cucumbers lined my windowsill like jewels. We had an abundance all around us, and I felt the joy and peace that came from being in a lovely, healthy place.

Today, our fast paced lives are filled with so much busyness, we're used to grabbing what is convenient, but our need for convenience is costing all of us personal health and the health of our world. Not to mention those moments of peace and serenity. Everything comes in plastic or is made of plastic...we wash our clothes in  chemicals to get the illusion of white and dry them with synthetic fragrances so we get that "clean" smell, not knowing that these products are full of endocrine disruptors and those scents don't really mean clean at all. Our philosophy of "modern" home-keeping is really taking the best of the past and combining it with the best today to give us healthy, non-toxic and sustainable convenience.  I see a longing in our society to experience what was imprinted on me so long ago -  fresh, clean, healthy abundance. I think that's why social media is full of "make-your-own" everything or organic this and that... but, is there anywhere I can go to actually get everything I need for a healthy lifestyle in one place?  Well, yes...now there is!

This weekend, we'll be celebrating the Grand Opening of our first retail store location, which we hope will become your one-stop-shop for eco-friendly home needs. We've been researching, creating, sourcing for years to curate the best, healthy, innovative products and ideas. At EcoMountain, you can make-your-own non-toxic laundry detergent or all-purpose cleaner using our recipes. All the ingredients are at your fingertips and go home with you in a compostable bag or glass bottle instead of plastic. Or maybe you have your own recipes and would like to grab bulk, chemical-free ingredients from our store instead of having to source all those things online and wait for them to come in. We carry heirloom seeds so your garden can have the real nutrition we were meant to get from our food. Even if you live in an apartment with nowhere to garden, don't worry - we've got you covered with ways you can grow veggies for your home, too. You can save money and energy by using all wool dryer balls instead of hanging your clothes outside... you can kill weeds AND clean your toilet with natural 30% vinegar... The list of our products and resources really goes on and on!

While you may not have time to pursue every project I worked on all those years ago, picking just one thing to start with can get you on the right path.  For instance, replacing your non-stick pans with pure ceramic ones will already remove some poisons from your life everyday!  And our in-store classes are a great way to discover ways you can add some modern home-keeping methods to your life. So, if you're in the Denver area, I hope you'll join us this coming weekend, July 16th & 17th for our Grand Opening. We hope you'll find and abundance of healthy, non-toxic and sustainable conveniences for your home and family at EcoMountain. Can't wait to see you there!