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Welcome to the third post in the series celebrating creative individuals doing what they can to be good stewards of the environment. 

Some of these heroes stretch a little beyond the boundaries that one may call ‘hometown,’  but a little geographical yoga can be good for the soul.

a sign in Heifer International Museum (click to enlarge)

The Wolf River Conservancy is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the Wolf River and watershed.  They lead canoe trips, guided hikes, and educational events for the area.

Project Green Fork certifies restaurants based on six criteria: use of sustainable products, recycling, kitchen composting, using non-toxic cleaning products, reducing water/energy consumption, and preventing pollution. To date, 41 Memphis restaurants are on board.

Heifer International makes my heart glad in so many different ways.  Their headquarters building in Little Rock has won the highest “green” building award possible from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).  Heifer took an old railroad switching yard littered with industrial waste, cleaned it up and recycled and reused the old masonry to build their headquarters in Little Rock.  The building’s narrow, curving design features a glass exterior to allow natural sunlinght to permeate the building. Their roof is designed to collect and recycle rainwater. The result is 52% less energy used than in similar sized conventional office buildings. (Yes, ok, this one isn’t exactly my hometown, but it’s close enough and their impact is far-reaching).

The City of Bartlett gets a lot right.  They have gorgeous parks, lots of bike lanes, and recycling centers.

The University of Memphis has several ongoing initiatives that help educate the community by….

providing tips on how students can conserve energy in their dorms,

offering “green” internships,

and panel discussions on sustainability


Please share: Who are your hometown heroes?

This week begins a series of posts dedicated to creative individuals doing their part to be stewards of the environment, whether it be through education and research, recycling, growing things in apartment windows, or being beautiful wearing other people’s old clothes. 🙂

Please enjoy!

Here we have the recent works from Origami Swami.

Soda Can Flower


Soda Can Ornaments


Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places.

—Leonardo Da Vinci

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.

—Leo Tolstoy

Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec



To all I haven’t scared off with the above quotes,

Welcome to the latest adventure in my vegetarian escapades: broccoli sprouts! 

Broccoli is good for you.   We all know that.  It contains a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane, which helps the liver detoxify carcinogens and other funky stuff that floats around in your body, wrecking havoc on the system.  What you may not know is that broccoli sprouts contain 10-100 times the amount of this compound than mature broccoli.  Thus, eating one ounce of broccoli sprouts is roughly the equivalent of eating a pound and a half of broccoli.  Who knew?   

Here’s the weird thing about broccoli sprouts: They taste nothing like broccoli and they burn. Horseradish is one of their cruciferous cousins. I didn’t know this before hand and I was alarmed by the fire that ignited in my mouth and throat when I began gobbling them down with wild abandon.  They need to come with a warning and recipes.  So there’s your warning and in a little bit, I’ll give you recipes.  Consider this an altruistic public service announcement.  Or if you’d prefer, you can send me money.

Here’s how I made the healthful burning magic happen:

          1.  Buy sprouting seeds and sprouting containers. 

This can be done easily online at Handy Pantry by clicking  HERE.  (I’ve also found their sprouts at Whole Foods.)

          2. Pour two tablespoons of broccoli sprouting seeds into a tray, put the tray in the sprouting cover, fill it with water, and soak ’em overnight.

          3. Let the water drain from the tray and cover the tray with the cover. Rinse and drain seeds three or four times a day for three or four days. 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

          4. Uncover tray and put the tray in the sunlight for about a day so the sprouts will start producing chlorophyll.  Rinse them a couple times this day too.

          5. Remove hulls by letting them soak in water so thell hulls float up to the surface.  Pour them off the top. 

          6. Enjoy!

Below you’ll find a couple ideas and links to recipes for the sprouts.

1. Top off salads with broccoli sprouts.

2. Add ’em to veggie burgers in place of lettuce.

3. Dana of zona pellucida said she makes a mean multi-sprout springroll, which sounds amazing.

4. Spicy broccoli sprout sushi.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but given their heat, I bet broccoli sprouts would add the perfect kick.


(image courtesy of Tim Ferriss:

In the spirit of full disclosure, Handy Pantry graciously supplied the broccoli sprouts pictured in this blog in exchange for the sprouting tutorial I wrote above.  All opinions of said broccoli sprouts are soley mine. 🙂

If you want to read something completely untainted by trade agreements, though still touting sprouting, you may check out  my first post on the topic:  Sprout it Out Loud

While the archivist has been busy slacking, the Knitters and Knutters have been crafting away. Much has happened over the course of the last four meetings.

A tea and oatmeal breakfast was served with peaches and cream during last week’s morning meeting.

The centerpiece WAS the day's craft as far as the hostess was concerned

A few weeks back, Plus One, who is now officially plus one, completed her knitted masterpiece!
Her keys, lipstick, and checkbook will be all warm and snuggly in their autumnal-hued purse.  
Skattur continues working like a maniac on her garden.  She completed her recycling project, transforming this ordinary wooden pallet …. 

An ordinary wooden pallet

into this….  
then into this…
and finally into this… 


They’re the perfect accent for her whimsical garden. 
During the SoKaN hiatus, Knitter Knazi completed a couple scarves: 

A scarf in blue mohair. ("What's a Mo?" -Elitest Jerk)

Skattur’s Christmas Present from Knazi

Note:  The red and black scarf above is the knit equivalent of a Rorschach Inkblot Test.  People will stare and inquire: What are those things? Roses? Aliens? Octopuses? Octopi? Nekkid people? 

Knitter Knazi also completed this weird hat:

Little Dude & Mini Nutter made keychains and bracelets.

T-shirt reconstruction was all the rage at one of the meetings.  Scissors were snappin and material was flyin. Holes were created in some shirts and patched in others.

XXX marks the spot where a hole was in this t-shirt

Lil’Croche-E with the help of ThunderCoooka created this princess cake for Mini Nutter’s birthday:

As I was saying, the whole ashram experience seemed like a really bad idea those first three days. One fella politely excused himself from the whole experience, left, and was never heard from again.

The rest of us settled in for the long haul and tried our best to adjust to the restrictive guidelines (no drinking, smoking, drugs, sexing, meat, or caffeine) and intense schedule.

Each morning a bell chimed at 5:30 and the groggy bathroom shuffle would commence.  By 6:00 a.m. we were all cross-seated in a candlelit room for morning meditation and satsang. The day dawned in silence broken only by the sound of cocks’ crows drifting in through the open windows. Around the time the horses awoke whinnying at the world we began our chanting.  The guru’s lecture started at 7:00.  We discussed pretty much everything there is to discuss in these  lectures: food, sex, Sanskrit, anatomy, selfless service, breathing,  bowel movements, movies, recipes, books, energy, the universe, chakras, tantric yoga, devotion, rap stars the guru had met including 50 Cent, personal finance, the Bahamas, drugs, drinking, disco, smoking, dreadlocks, work, marriage, land surveying, meat, fasting, divorce, children, Jesus, Krishna, Allah, amen, Om, computers, gardens, Truth, chiropractors, compassion, heaven, hell, reincarnation,  meditation, asasnas, pranayma, chanting, ahimsa, charity, kapalabati, zen, enlightenment, the gunas, ayurveda, karma, dharma, ishwarapranidhaana, swaadhyaaya, satya, asteya, aparigraha, hatha yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, nada yoga….and a bunch of other words with a lot of a’s in them.  The list goes on and on.

At 8:00 we did our morning asana practice for an hour and a half, which gave us about half an hour to get settled in for breakfast at 10.

Following breakfast we had the option to spend an hour practicing karma yoga (i.e., selfless service). I spent three days of my karma yoga in the garden, one making mango pie, several in the kitchen on dish duty, and some cleaning bathrooms and/or the floor.  A few words are warranted about the garden.  The garden initially elicited romantic notions (at least in my mind) of nourishment, health, happiness, and wholesome earthy sustenance.  The reality of the garden was this no doubt.  The reality of the garden was also mud and muck and heat and stinky stuff and weeds and creepy crawly things with wings and pinchers and stingers that ran and jumped and flew out at you without warning. It was the most difficult work I’ve ever done in my life.  It was amazing and horrible and wonderful all at once.  Yoga is the union of opposites.  In the garden, things started making a lot more sense.

The Lovely Noelle

From noon to 2:00 we had free time.  Some folks spent this time studying and practicing for the class they would teach.  Others spent it sleeping or showering.  I usually went on walks or contacted the outside world with reports. On day five, three of us broke out of the ashram during our free time to hit the store down the street.  

Who knew a grocery store trip could be THIS exhilarating?

The afternoon hours were comprised of lecture followed by another hour and a half of yoga. Dinner was served at 6:00. We had another round of meditation, chanting, and lecture from 7:30-9:30 at night. 

Something must be said here about the mangos. I’d never had a fresh mango hot off the tree before this experience.  It was mango season and there were mangos everywhere and I ate them like a maniac.  I ate them for breakfast. I made them in pies. I ate them in pies for breakfast. I ate them for dinner. I ate them at random times during the day. 

Mangos Mangos everywhere!
Mango pies

Then I discovered I was allergic to mangos.  I broke out into a rash.  My lips inflated to three times their normal size, which prompted one of my roommates to exclaim, “Wow! People pay big money for lips like that!” So one of my karma yoga periods was spent at a medical clinic to deal with my mango madness.

The Knitters & Nutters Report

Featured Member

One of our members deserves special recognition for her accomplishments. This member has spent the last several months being vastly productive.  She has dramatically expanded her repertoire of arts, crafts and general nuttery.  She knits faster than a speeding bullet, creates crafts more powerful than a locomotive, and she’s able to leap small buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky – it’s a bird? It’s a plane? No, it’s….a pirate?  No, wait! It’s SuperSkattur!

SuperSkattur is super-duper amazing-cool. She designed the SoKaN logo above.  This feat alone demanded the patience of a saint.  Getting 10 complete nutters to agree on  anything is a major accomplishment in itself. The trials and tribulations Skattur faced to this end may be found here:  The Evolution of a Logo.

Skattur was one of the original  Knit-Wits in SoKaN. She taught herself to knit from a video and then went on to make several scarves and various pirate-themed knits (e.g., armbands/beer cozies).  She generously shares her knitting knowledge with others…including strange men…in bars.

Her latest knitted projects include decorative pillows for her livingroom.  She’s currently at work on a knitted blanket.

She’s been hard at work this year making decoupage decorum for her home:

Decorative decoupage balls

Decoupaged trunk

This year she’s brought her considerable creative powers to her backyard, which she is transforming into a wonderland:

In addition to all this, she has another really neat “recycling” project in the works.  The before and after pictures will be posted when it’s complete.

For her fantastic nuttery, Skattur wins the Happy Acorn Award!

Yay Skattur!

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