Fall / Winter 2017 eNewsletter
The theme of this edition is “The Work that Reconnects,” based on our upcoming workshop on November 10 (learn more
). The stories, resources, and events contained herein help us navigate the turbulent waters of today and fill us with hope for tomorrow. Please enjoy this resource and share among your networks.
Greetings SWEEP Members!
Colorful foliage is beginning to reveal itself outside my window and the air has that sweet smell of early fall. As autumn moves along, the SWEEP board is working hard to plan several exciting events that will reinforce our network and enrich our members. Details on each of these events can be found in this newsletter, so here I’ll just whet your appetite with a quick run-down.
During fall and spring, we invite our membership to come together for networking and professional development over a meal prepared by our board. The Fall SWEEP Membership Gathering was held on Wednesday, September 27 at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington. Mindy Blank, the executive director of Vermont’s Community of Resilience Organizations (CRO) was our special guest speaker. It was a wonderful evening which you can read more about in the next section below.
We are thrilled to announce that SWEEP board member and Lesley College faculty, Coleen O’Connell, will present a special workshop called The Work that Reconnects on Friday, November 10 from 10 am to 3 pm in Woodstock. At this workshop, you and your colleagues will re-energize yourselves for your work ahead and ignite hope for a positive future.
Plans are underway for our Spring Membership Gathering, so please watch for more information. And speaking of plans, SWEEP and friends have launched a year-long effort to host the New England Environmental Education Conference on November 1-3, 2018 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. Our working theme, Coming Together, reflects the conference’s design, which will weave together diverse partners to integrate organizations and sectors across society. Word will go out soon to recruit more partners as well as volunteers to help organize. Please consider taking an active role and save the date to attend!
Wishing you peace and well-being,
Co-Chair of Vermont SWEEP
|Members enjoying a walking tour of Ethan Allen Homestead’s nature trails and wetlands.|
SWEEP Fall Membership Gathering Fun!
By Lauren Chicote, Winooski Valley Park District, SWEEP Board Member
On Wednesday September 29, in the midst of the late season heat wave, 18 SWEEP members, board members and guests gathered at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington for a wonderful evening of networking, information sharing, and as always, delicious food! The gathering kicked off with a tour of the community gardens, wetlands, and views of the Winooski River at the Ethan Allen Homestead, a 294-acre park owned and managed by the Winooski Valley Park District, our host for the evening. While admiring the views of the river, members took the opportunity to mingle and catch up with each other while also attempting to catch some of the many leopard frogs abound in that area. It was a wonderful site to see many like-minded educators enjoying the late afternoon warmth and peaceful environment!
As the Programs Director for the Park District, I greatly enjoyed watching the various interactions among the members that attended. Some were patiently trying to catch frogs by quietly sneaking up on them, while other were not-so-patiently trying to catch them exclaiming ‘I can’t keep calm! It’s too exciting!’ and the rest were quietly chatting, discussing the various plants found along the way or events happening in their lives. It reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from this past summer’s camp season… our campers would do the exact same thing that our members were doing! Catching frogs, some quietly and deliberately, others overcome by the excitement of seeing a frog (even it was for the 326th time) while the rest were just enjoying being outside with friends, new or old. It was a refreshing reminder of why we as environmental educators do what we do – for that connection with something outside our busy lives that helps use to slow down and enjoy life around us, for the excitement and wonder of discovery, and for the relationships we form, both with our peers and the natural world around us. We are never too old to learn or discover new things, and sharing that knowledge and experience with others never gets old – even when the stresses of our daily lives may make us forget that at times.
After the tour we returned for some wonderful food – a mix of healthy kale salads and cabbage lentil stew (check out the recipes in our NEW Sharing Corner section!) followed by decadent butterscotch blondies and numerous cookies, for balance of course! As we wrapped up our joyous meal and conversations, Mindy Blank from the Community Resilience Organizations(CROs), introduced to the gathering the important work CROs is doing across the state to help built stronger, safer communities. Laura Simons, from Community Resilience Organization of Hartford (CROH), from Hartford, VT shared with the group her involvement with CROH and the work that is happening in that area of the state. The discussion turned towards how CROs and VTSWEEP could potentially be a partner for bringing resilience education to the communities we serve and live in. The meeting then wrapped up with the usual updates on SWEEP business and information on the upcoming SWEEP professional development opportunities and workshops, and the 2018 NEEEA Conference VT SWEEP will be hosting next fall.
Being a part of this evening was just what I needed to remind me of why I do the work that I do after coming off from a busy summer season and getting ready for the next busy season of fall programing. With everything that is going on in the world today, on top of an always-hectic schedule, taking time to connect with my peers and colleagues was a welcome break. The upcoming professional development workshop, The Work That Reconnects, SWEEP is hosting for our members will be another great opportunity to take a break and develop skills to help cope with our changing world and busy lives in order to stay committed to the important work that we as environmental educators do! I hope to see many familiar, and meet some new faces there!
One Starfish at a Time
Environmental education is an incredibly rewarding subject to share with others, whether they be students, friends, or colleagues. It can come in the form of teaching students how to take water quality samples, to getting overwhelmingly excited in your explanation about a recent geologic study to your non-science friends. Often it’s a moment of joy and recognition shared between coworkers as you get out in the field and are reminded why you never quite made it at that nine to five desk job. Environmental education is more than a profession, it’s a way of experiencing the world around us. I’ve never met a single environmental educator who is able to separate their professional and personal lives – they carry the same stewardship they preach to their captivated audiences home with them each and every day. Unfortunately, the good comes with the bad. The high we experience after the discovery of a new species is often quickly followed by the disparaging news that five times as many have gone extinct. So for the educators that are empathetic to the natural world around them, how can we stay positive in light of such destruction?
When I’m feeling overcome by our fossil fuel emissions, the invasive species attacking our fragile ecosystems, or the amount of waste produced every day, I try to scale back to a microcosmic level of what’s happening on the planet. Instead of worrying about how much warmer our atmosphere will be next year with an additional 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide added, I ride my bike and enjoy the crunch of the fall leaves beneath my tire. I replace my worry that zebra mussels will take over freshwater lakes with a story I heard about a grad student researching the feasibility of introducing these invasives to the local restaurant market. Ultimately, I remind myself that the aggregate of small acts of selflessness among 7.5 billion people can have remarkable worldwide effects.
Inevitably, my enthusiasm engulfs me and I share this outlook with the less positive people that surround me. “You can make a difference!” I exclaim as if this is perspective is untouched territory. The negative know-it-alls of the world snicker, as they always do, and bring up the frightening statistics I’ve tried so hard to forget. “How will one person biking to work counter the hundreds of millions of cars Americans drive daily?” they challenge. The old Amanda would retreat back into her thoughts, feeling defeated and rethinking her career choices. What’s the point in sharing environmental education with the world if it’s burning regardless?
But now, this defeat is only temporary and I remember a story I was told while working at a science camp in Southern California about a woman on a beach. While she walked along the beach, she noticed hundred of starfish washing ashore. As she passed them, one by one she would toss the starfish she found back into the water. A stranger approached her and asked what she was doing. “Helping the starfish so that they don’t dry out,” she said. “But look around, there are so many starfish and just one of you. You can’t possible make a difference,” the stranger replied. The woman thought about what the stranger had said, bent down to pick up another starfish, and tossed it back into the water. “I made a difference for that one.”
I tell this story every chance I get. As long as we focus on the good we are able to do and share our passion with others, we will make a difference. We can’t get too wrapped up in the big picture, saving the world is a daunting task. But if we take it one day, one starfish at a time, we’ll be amazed the progress we can make. So next time you encounter a climate change denier, learn of another lost species, or find an obscene amount of rubbish on the ground, remember the difference you make everyday sharing your passion for the world that surrounds us with others. Cultivate that sense of wonder and stewardship for natural spaces and we will begin to notice change.
Every great once in a while, I find a new trail to walk or a beautiful piece of art that stokes the fire of my passion for my work as an environmental educator. After years of folks recommending the book Braiding Sweetgrass
by Robin Wall Kimmerer to me, I finally bought the audio book version and settled in. Before I finished the first chapter, I knew this book would be of those rare things that can help combat the hopelessness and exhaustion that sometimes comes along with this work.
Braiding Sweetgrass is a delight of a book on many levels. Kimmerer expertly weaves together substantial and fascinating botanical knowledge, storytelling, and philosophy. I often was so absorbed in the story that I would forget I was learning new, relevant information about, for example, pecans. And at the end of a section or chapter I would be bowled over with a connection or analogy that Kimmerer made between the plant world and human culture. As an environmental educator, I tell myself and my students all the time that we are part of nature; we come from it, and we can use it as a model for how systems function together well. It is one thing to say this and to understand it intellectually, and another thing entirely to feel the wonder of truly feeling this revelation and connectedness again.
I recommend Braiding Sweetgrass to anyone who enjoys a good story- Kimmerer’s narrative is approachable, potent, funny, and she is simply a great storyteller. But it feels like a delight particularly tailored for those of us who are naturalists, teachers, and revelers in natural beauty. As a member of the Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer is able to offer and give voice to a perspective on the natural world all too often forgotten or over romanticized in American today. As a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY, she is able to satisfy my geekiest urges for understanding the particulars of the plant biology without being too dry.
I remember reading the chapter on the Three Sisters: corn, bean and squash. I have planted three sisters gardens many times, told the story to my students and taught on farms for a decade now. Surely, I thought, this chapter would just be review. A pleasant review, but I expected no new understanding to come from it. The corn provides a natural trellis for the bean, which is also a nitrogen fixer and so replenishes the soil. The squash shades the ground and suppresses weed growth. Got it. I was delighted to find out how wrong I was to think I knew so much.
“The three sisters offer us a new metaphor for an emerging relationship between indigenous knowledge and Western science, both of which are rooted in the earth. I think of the corn as traditional ecological knowledge, the physical and spiritual framework that can guide the curious been of science, which twines like a double helix, the squash creates the ethical habitat for coexistence and mutual flourishing. I envision a time when the intellectual monoculture of science will be replaced with a polyculture of complementary knowledge. And so all may be fed.” (pg. 139)
As a mother, I most connected with her chapter A Mother’s Work, in which she describes the process of transforming a pond with a “very high nutrient content” (read: full of sludge) into something swimmable over the course of her daughters’ childhoods. As her eldest daughter prepares to leave for college, her work is still not done. She describes a surprise she came across one day while working on the water:
“This is Hydrodictyon. I stretch it between my fingers and it glistens, almost weightless after the water has drained away. As orderly as a honeycomb, Hyrdrodictyon, is a geometrical surprise in a seemingly random stew of a murky pond. It hangs in the water, a colony of tiny nets all fused together. Under the microscope, the fabric of Hydrodictyon is made up a six-sided polygons, a mesh of linked green cells that surround the holes of the net. It multiplies quickly because of a unique means of clonal reproduction. Inside each of the net cells, daughter cells are born. They arrange themselves into hexagons, neat replicas of the mother net. In order to disperse her young, the mother cell must disintegrate, freeing the daughter cells into the water. The floating newborn hexagons fuse with others, forging new connections and weaving a new net.
I look out at the expanse of Hydrodictyon visible just below the surface. I imagine a liberation of new cells, the daughters spinning off on their own. What does a good mother do when the mothering time is done? As I stand in the water, my eyes brim and drop salt tears into the freshwater at my feet. Fortunately, my daughters are not clones of their mother, nor must I disintegrate to set them free, but I wonder how that fabric is changed when the release of daughter tears a hole. Does it heal over quickly, or does empty space remain? And how do the daughter cells make new connections? How is the fabric rewoven?” (pg. 93)
She describes paddling through water lilies directly after dropping her youngest daughter off at college, feeling the sadness of a huge life change and marveling at the water lilies and their aerenchyma (air filled cells in aquatic plant’s leaves) that make it possible for the plants to grow in the water:
“The new leaves take up oxygen into the tightly packed air spaces of their young, developing tissues, who’s density creates a pressure gradient. The older leaves, with looser air spaces created by the tatters and tears that open the leaf, create a low-pressure region where oxygen can be released in to the atmosphere. This gradient exerts a pull on the air taken in by the young leaf. Since they are connected by air-filled capillary networks, the oxygen moves by mass flow from the young leaves to the old, passing through and oxygenating the rhizome in the process. The young and the old are linked in one long breath, an inhalation that calls for reciprocal exhalation, nourishing the common root form which they both arose. New leaf to old, old to new, mother to daughter- mutuality endures. I am consoled by the lesson of lilies.
The earth, that first among good mothers, gives us the gift that we cannot provide ourselves. I hadn’t realized that I had come to the lake and said feed me, but my empty heart was fed. I had a good mother. She gives what we need without being asked. I wonder if she gets tired, old Mother Earth. Or if she too is fed by the giving. ‘Thanks,’ I whispered, ‘for all of this.'” (pg. 103)
Braiding Sweetgrass helps me remember that even though we can feel isolated and overwhelmed by the world, we are not alone. We are part of the natural world and, if we care to listen and notice, the plants can be our teachers just as readily as we are for our students. Kimmerer’s work reminds me not just to approach teaching and my subject matter with my head, but also with my heart. That is it possible to do so without being overly sentimental or skirting around some of the more devastating realities of our past and present situation. Her work helps me feel it is safe to love this world still, again and always.
Professional Development: The Work That Reconnects
Friday, November 10, 2017, 10 am – 3 pm
The Forest Center, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Route 4, Woodstock, VT
A professional development workshop for continuing and new SWEEP members by Coleen O’Connell, Board Member of SWEEP and NEEEA
As Environmental Educators, we are on the forefront of building a healthy relationship with the natural world. Yet the many negative issues coming down around us can take an emotional toll. This workshop will allow us to support one another in uncertain times and serve as an important professional check-in. How are we doing? How can we keep showing up for our work with a clear spirit and a positive vision?
The Work that Reconnects is an experiential workshop that supports participants with tools and techniques. You will have the opportunity to chat with others, serve as a compassionate listener, and share your current concerns for the world. We will sing when appropriate, we will move, we may take time in silence. Coleen will guide the group through meditations supportive of holding hope, finding strength, clarifying purpose, and remembering our unfailing interconnectedness with all of life. Generally, people leave this workshop with renewed energy and a deeper commitment to their purpose.
Coleen O’Connell has been an Environmental Educator for the past 40 years. She is on the faculty of the Ecological Teaching and Learning MS Program at Lesley University. The Work That Reconnects was developed by Joanna Macy, an ecophilosopher and Buddhist Activist. It is a critical practice that has guided Coleen through out her career. She has been facilitating this work for the past 15 years and offers this day of retreat to the Vermont SWEEP community.
Workshop fee: $70, which includes an individual SWEEP membership for calendar year 2018. $50 if you are already an individual, student, or organizational 2018 member. $50 if you require financial assistance to attend; includes an individual 2018 SWEEP membership. Morning refreshments and a wholesome lunch are provided. (Please note: We don’t want to turn anyone away. If you require further financial assistance to attend, please let us know when you register.)
The Wellborn Hub Leadership Conference
The Wellborn Leadership Conference
is an opportunity for educators to come together to learn from and share with one another about their challenges and successes doing place-based ecology education in Vermont & New Hampshire’s Upper Connecticut River Valley. In 2017, we will host our 4th conference.
This year’s keynote is Bill Kilburn of the Back to Nature Network, Ontario’s provincial organization representing the international children and nature movement. Read more about Bill here.
Attendees range from classroom teachers, to administrators and principals, to professional development providers and educational consultants. We all have one thing in common: a passion for getting all kids engaged with the natural word.
This year’s conference will be held on Friday, November 3 at Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, Vermont. We expect 100-150 participants. Register here.
Sustainability Student Leaders Symposium
On Sunday, November 5 Swarthmore, Emerson, and Champlain Colleges will be co-hosting the
Sustainability Student Leaders Symposium
(SSLS). The conference will feature 30-45 minute presentations by students and regional young professionals. This will be an exciting opportunity for student sustainability leaders to meet and collaborate with peers from other institutions!
The event will run from 11 am – 5:30 pm on Sunday, November 5 in THREE LOCATIONS:
- Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania (main event location)
- Champlain College, Vermont (virtual hub)
- Emerson College, Massachusetts (virtual hub)
We aim to showcase sustainable conferencing by hosting regional hubs for students residing a long distance from the Philadelphia region where Swarthmore is located. All presentations will be given at Swarthmore and broadcast at Champlain & Emerson via Zoom video-conferencing.
Please pass along this information to students at your college that you feel would be interested!
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our planning team will get back to you.
Vermont High Schoolers: Join us for a week of “Environmental CSI!”
Join the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont
this summer for a week-long exploration of our state’s landscape and environmental health!
The Environmental Science & Technology Institute invites you to investigate and help solve the mysteries of Vermont’s natural world. You’ll be the specialist collecting, analyzing, and interpreting pollution data from local communities using professional-grade laboratory and field instrumentation. What’s in our air, water, and soil, and what are the impacts for public and environmental health? Working with peers and experts, you’ll present your data and recommendations to the community. What solutions will you propose?
The Environmental Science & Technology Institute takes place at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. You’ll have the opportunity to stay on a college campus for a week, with students who are just as passionate about environmental science as you are! Our sliding scale tuition ensures that GIV is affordable for all Vermonters.
Applications launch on February 1, so visit www.giv.org to learn more!
VCTM 2017 Annual Conference
The Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics
will hold their annual conference on Monday, October 16, 2017 at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT.
Conference agenda includes:
- Exciting 30, 60, and 90 minute K-12 sessions focusing on equity, access, discourse, PBGRs, pedagogy, leadership, assessment and networking opportunities!
- Information on the benefits of VCTM membership
- A business meeting to elect a new slate of officers
Cost/Registration: $125 (includes a 1-year membership to VCTM)
Conference Committee Chair Katie Westby: email@example.com
or Conference Chair Elect Jacie Kendrew: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note: Purchase Orders are NO LONGER being Accepted. Although we no longer accept POs for registration, you may be able to apply for a PO within your district for personal reimbursement purposes. Only checks and credit cards will be accepted on the day of the conference.
Forest Days Evaluation Report Documents Benefits, Key Ingredients
Forest Days programs
are gaining ground in Vermont’s and New Hampshire’s early primary grades. An increasing number of public kindergartens and elementary schools are committing themselves to integrating nature and the outdoors into the school week. A recent evaluation report
prepared for Antioch University New England and the Wellborn Ecology Fund employed a case study approach to understand how Forest Days programs look like in different schools, what their benefits are, and what challenges and obstacles they encounter in implementation.
Read the entire report here (PDF).
New Project Based Learning Resources from the Soil Carbon Coalition
By Didi Pershouse, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Thetford Center, Vermont
Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function: A Teacher’s Manual
(Didi Pershouse, August 2017) has 150 pages of hands-on investigations for project-based learning. This curriculum focuses on soil biology’s role in the creation of the natural “soil carbon sponge” that soaks up, stores, and filters water, and that prevents flooding, drought, erosion, runoff and algae blooms-all issues that we are dealing with in Vermont. It includes principles for restoring soil health and the natural function of land and watersheds that students can implement in the landscapes around them.
You can download a review copy of the manual for free at: http://soilcarboncoalition.org/learn. New chapters will be added throughout the coming year.
The investigations, which draw heavily on systems thinking, are aligned with NGSS, Common Core, and Agricultural education 9-12 standards-but can be used with all ages, including adults. Didi Pershouse developed this curriculum as part of the Climate, Water, Soil and Hope project that she began in Vermont in 2014. The curriculum has been adopted by two of the five USDA regional Climate Hubs, the Sequioa Riverlands Trust in California, as well as Oklahoma’s Future Farmers of America agricultural career tech program. Supporters include the Vermont Community Foundation’s Sustainable Future Fund, USDA-NRCS, the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub, Wellborn Ecology Fund, Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, Redlands Community College, and the Dixon Water Foundation.
A test version of our long awaited Atlas of Biological Work web app, https://atlasbiowork.com is now up and running. It is designed to help monitor, map and share observations and data on actual changes in ecosystem services-such as accumulation of soil carbon, soil’s capacity to soak up and filter water, brix and nutrient density of food from a particular farm, production per inch of rainfall, photographs of erosion, and more. Student and community data and observations of improvements on the land around them can be uploaded directly onto public maps and saved to track change over time. You can find a short intro with video at http://soilcarboncoalition.org/atlas, and a monitoring guide with more instructions for fieldwork at http://soilcarboncoalition.org/learn.
We welcome new and existing data from school and community groups, conservation districts, and other organizations, and can create a version specific to your project’s needs. If you have questions or suggestions about using the app, or existing data you would like to add to the map, you can contact our director and developer Peter Donovan at email@example.com, or 541-263-1888 between 7 am and 6 pm.
Didi Pershouse teaches professional development workshops for teachers as well as Land Listeners Trainings for schools and communities that want to start large-scale monitoring projects. Please sign up for the mailing list at www.didipershouse.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified of professional development workshops, or if you would like to host one. She welcomes comments, questions, reviews, and suggestions on the new manual.
Educational Resources About Climate Change
Are you looking for high quality, science-based resources to teach about climate change? Are you interested in enhancing your own understanding of climate change? If either or both of these conditions pertain to you, you might consider perusing the following:
World of 7 Billion
Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion
student video contest helps you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short video connecting world population growth and one of three global challenges: Advancing Women and Girls, Feeding 10 Billion, or Preventing Pollution. Students can win up to $1,000 and participating teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 22, 2018 – use this lesson plan
to get started now! Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found here
TRY for the Environment
The UVM Extension 4-H program
has some great opportunities for youth in grades 7-12 this fall. Check out TRY for the Environment
and the Youth Environmental Summit
. And, if you live in the greater Burlington area or are willing to travel to Burlington, then check out TRY Teen Science Cafe
. We are recruiting for a leadership team to get these cafes started.
A little more about TRY for the Environment: Recipient of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is an environmental leadership opportunity for students in grades 7-12. It is an environmental education program taught by teens and designed to increase environmental literacy and responsibility in younger youth.
TRY for the Environment includes five program areas to connect young people to real-world environmental problems allowing them to be key change agents contributing to real-world solutions.
- Energy FUNdamentals highlights wind and sun energy engineering.
- Climate Change Through Waste Solutions focuses on the 4Rs-reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.
- Food Systems explores the food system and the need to protect our soil, seeds, pollinators and climate.
- Forests & Trees investigates the basic concepts of forest and tree stewardship.
- TRY 4-H20 examines the water cycle, watersheds, water quality and health, and aquatic life.
Click here for more information!
Free Digital Magazine for Teachers and Students
A Special Offer for Teachers and Students: Free Digital Subscriptions to Northern Woodlands Magazine
Are you looking for quality place-based education materials? Northern Woodlands magazine is available FREE as a digital resource to both teachers and students.
Whether your students are interested in bird biology, timber framing, or creative non-fiction, there is something for them in every issue. The magazine promotes greater understanding of the ecological and human benefits of forests, and a deeper appreciation for our shared role as stewards of local nature.
Northern Woodlands is published quarterly by the Center for Northern Woodlands Education, an educational nonprofit that promotes forest stewardship in the Northeast. You can learn more about us, and explore our two-decades-and-counting archive of articles on our website.
To qualify for a free subscription, you must be currently teaching a class at a school or other educational organization (this includes adult learning classes), or be an enrolled student age 13 or older. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Easy Kale and Black Bean Salad
This is a great side dish for any meal and can utilize many veggies most home gardeners grow – great way to use up those veggies at the end of the season! Add some rice, quinoa, tofu or other meat to it and it’s a healthy meal all on it’s own!
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey (or use other liquid sweetener – agave or maple syrup, if vegan)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (optional but recommended)
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder (optional but recommended)
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
For the Salad:
- 3 cups kale, washed, tough stems removed and finely chopped
- 2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded (from 1 small peeled carrot)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup; or use any colour pepper)
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped (I substituted with green onions)
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing until smooth – olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt, cumin, chili powder and fresh ground black pepper or hot sauce if using. Season the dressing to taste, adding more salt, pepper, lime juice, honey or hot sauce if needed.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the kale. Drizzle half of the dressing over the kale and massage for a minute or two until the kale is wilted and softened.
- Add the black beans, parsley, carrot, bell pepper and onion to the kale. Pour the remaining dressing over top and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
By Alison Thomas
- Puree large tomatoes (about 6), or use two 15oz cans of tomato puree
- Diced onion, 1 medium
- Diced garlic, 4 cloves
- 1 Cup of brown rice
- 1 Cup of French lentils
- Vegetable or beef stock
- ½ lb Ground beef, optional
- ¼ Cup EVOO
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- 1 t turmeric
- 2 t cumin
- Sea salt
If using meat, sauté in a pan until brown before putting it all in the crockpot. Heat for about 8 hours on high until it bubbles, and then low heat.