Sunday, June 22, 2008

Natural Herbal Pesticides for your Organic Plants! 7 Simple Tips for Organic Growing.

My garden it being attacked! I have to save it quick! What should I do?

After some research I have stumbled on some good tips to deter pests and weed in an Organically grown garden. My biggest problem here on Vancouver Islands West Coast is slugs. Next up is weeds. If any one has any suggestions about what has worked for them, I would love to hear it. Until then, here are some tips I found and am going to try out. I will update later with the results.

1. For nibbling pests one gardener suggests a concoction of crushed garlic and hot peppers such as cayenne, added to water and sprayed on your plants. Steep one gallon of water with 1\2 teaspoon of each and dilute to about 25% before spraying vegetables.

2. For pesky weeds in sidewalks or other places that are hard to dig the roots up, pour a mixture of boiling water and vinegar on them. Beware of hitting neighboring good organic plants though.

3. Use tonnes of mulch. Through your grass clipping around your plants. Or put compost, bark mulch, hay and leaves. This will help keep the weeds down.

4. To deter slugs and add calcuim to organic soil, save you eggshells and surround your plants with them.

5. Stop cutworms with a simple cutworm collar. Cutworms are the pest that cut throught the base of your Organic Plants when they are just new transplants. To make a collar, cut a toliet paper roll in half legnthwise and then cut a slit through the side to allow for the collar to slip around the seedling. Put around the stem of your plant and push down slightly to stop the cutworms.

6. Iron phosphate has proven to be an effective and completely safe way to keep slimy nocturnal creatures like slugs from eating your hard work. Commercial brands in pellet form include Sluggo and Escar-Go. Simply sprinkle the pellets around where slug damage is evident. Pellets need re-applied every two weeks or so.

7. Some one told me to hang bags of human hair in netting around the garden in order to repel deer organically, this seems a little dark to me. Smelly soap does the job too with less of a weird factor. An egg wash with one egg mixed into a spray bottle of water and sprayed on plants will deter deer from eating. Lemon dish soap spray is also a good mix to keep predators off your goods.

Let me know how these tips work for you and your own Organic Garden. If you want to see some organic gardening proffessionally done, be sure to visit the Harbour House Garden Tour in Sooke, BC. They have one of the best edible gardens on the island.

Dress Pure,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Organic Hemp Cookie Recipe!

I needed to make some delicious cookies for the one Year Anniversary party at our store! Thats right the Salts Studio Boutique home of Organic Clothing delights is now one year old! Our full service boutique is beautiful Sooke, BC features clothing in sustainable fabrics for Men, Ladies and Children as well as little eco-friendly goodies and gifts. Salts Boutique has a large selection of handmade jewelery, art and accessories made by local Vancouver Island Artisans. We are located at 2052 Otter Point Road. While you are here be sure to check out the Little Vienna Bakery down the road, they have recently switched to Organic Flour in some of their breads. They have the best soups on Vancouver Island. If you make the trip up to Sooke you will be glad you did, our clothing store features a verity of hemp, organic cotton, soy and bamboo products as well as some recycled clothing. Fun!

So heres the recipe....Me likes the hemp!

Salts Hemp-y Almond-y Cookies

- 1 cup whole-wheat organic pastry flour (if you can find it)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar or cane crystals (Level Ground Trading has a nice sugar)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons organic almond or cashew or peanut if you prefer...butter
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (VERY important ingredient)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (we get ours from our Mexican Grandma)
- 1/3 cup vanilla hemp milk (Manitoba Harvest is great)

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the 1/3 cup of almond butter with the maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the dry, stir through, and as it is coming together, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of almond butter leaving chunky bits of almond butter for delicious surprise bites.

Place medium spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet greased or lined. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are slightly crisp on the edges, but still soft in the middle. Let cool for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove cookies.

Makes 12 medium cookies

Add chocolate chips, raisins or nuts if the mood strikes you.


Dress Pure.

Photo above is us at the Clothing Store!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is Green My Colour? Sustainable fashion is not just a fad and it won't require you to compromise on Style. By Christina Matte for Monday Magazine

Green is the most important fashion statement
of 2008—and not on a colour
wheel. From manufacturing practices
to fibre sources, components of the apparel
industry are spurring the next major shift in
the market for an organic—or, at least, more
carbon-neutral—lifestyle. New fabric choices,
like bamboo and soy, are allowing apparel to
become eco-friendly, while remaining stylish and
modern (see sidebar).
Organic, recycled and sustainable are just a
few frequent terms. Organic fabric—like food—
is made without pesticides, insecticides and the
like. Recycled designs are when designers take
items and re-design them into something new.
Sustainable, like eco-friendly, is a blanket term
used for a number of conscious practices, supplies
and approaches to fashion. It takes into
consideration a recycled fashion might be made
out of polyester, but it’s still less impactful on the
planet by the fact that it’s being reused.
Curiously, sustainable fashion seems to have
come into full-bloom rapidly—and recently.
When Gord Johns opened the first Fiber Options
Naturals store in Tofino in 1997, he says, “we felt like we were
a museum. It was a huge challenge in developing and educating
the consumer.” In 1998, a second store was opened in
Whistler and then a third here in Victoria in 2000, selling
home decor items, body and personal care products, and of
course, a wide range of clothing. In that time, he has watched
others flounder in niche market issues; however, a corner has
been turned.
“The styles have drastically changed, and more and more
creative Canadian entrepreneurs are bringing out eco-friendly
lines,” he explains. “We’ve also witnessed a huge change
in quality and availability.” As higher-quality textiles have
become available, and consumer awareness has heighted,
larger companies—like MEC, Patagonia and Lululemon—
have converted to organic cotton, or started incorporating
other naturals. In 2005, MEC was one of the top-25 buyers
of organic cotton in the world, and when they make cotton
clothes today, it’s always 100 percent organic. “This,” adds
Johns, “only helps us, because the consumer recognizes that
our company is not just partially committed, but we are
leaders.” It also lends legitimacy, exposure, and large capital
investment to the whole market.

More than pretty
Since Pam Skelton first opened her chic and
sustainable Fort Street boutique, Not Just Pretty,
the changes in her business have been acute. “In
the beginning, there were less than 10 designers
[carried in the store]. Now, that’s grown to
around 40.” And she doesn’t have to go searching
for them. “I get e-mails, phone calls—around 10
a week—from new designers.” As long as she can
find ethical, caring practices behind what they
make and how, she considers designers from
all over the world, though she prefers to source
locally as much as possible.
For Jennifer Graham, owner of Sooke-based
label and boutique Salts Organics, the purity of
her textiles—and her practices—are her hallmarks.
Her clothing is carried in both Johns’
and Skelton’s stores and is made of organic cotton,
whether purely, or blended with other naturals.
“The main reason I do this,” says Graham, “is
because I don’t want to put my name on something
that’s contributing to the destruction of the
planet. And, I’m really careful to make sure
that everything I make would sell to a person
who doesn’t care. That’s kind of my goal. Then,
I don’t have to educate them, and they’re still
going to buy a really great product.”
Graham is also one of the few designers that
manufactures entirely in Canada and visits her
factory frequently to make sure her standards are being met.
“Waste is huge,” she explains. “I make headbands, leg warmers,
whatever I can out of my excess. In the shop we recycle,
we use low-wattage light bulbs and do our part in all the
normal ways.” The compelling data on mainstream fashion’s
practices makes it nearly impossible to call any of it a business
The culture of cotton Off-shore production, which Johns
says accounts for somewhere
around 96 percent of manufacturers, and sweatshop
labour have widely understood environmental, economic
and social costs. But it’s actually our most favoured natural
fabric that is one of the biggest offenders. Cotton is natural,
renewable and accounts for two percent of global farmland;
unfourtunately, for every pound of cotton grown, a third of
a pound of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and defoliants
are applied—all of which are highly toxic to soil, people and
animals. As the soil is depleted, the amount of fertilizer and
water needed for future crops increases. Excess water runs
off—poor soil doesn’t hold it well—and those chemicals seep
into the ecosystem, and in many developing countries, the
surrounding community’s drinking water.
The UK-based Pesticide Action Network estimates 20,000
people in developing countries die every year from exposure
to agricultural pesticides, and that another three million suffer
acute, reproductive or long term exposure effects. Because cotton
isn’t identified as a food crop—although cottonseed oil ends up
in cattlefeed and other foods such as canned tuna—its chemical
treatment isn’t as rigourously regulated.
In 2006, the Global Organic Textile Standard was developed
by an international group of organic certification
bodies to ensure that from harvesting the raw material—to
manufacturing and market—consumers could be assured that
“organic” really means just that. These efforts coincided with
the interest of larger companies in eco-friendly fabrics.
Essentially, awareness blended together amongst retailers,
designers, special-interest groups and everyone else with a stake in
this planet, and retailers like Skelton and Johns are optimistic that
it won’t be unravelling anytime soon. “We spend a lot less time
now discussing the environmental benefits with our customers,
and more time finding them the size, style and colour. Most of
our customers, and certainly the Canadian customer, are well educated
about natural products and the environment,” explains
Johns. “From what I see at mainstream clothing trade shows, and
the attitude of traditional mainstream retailers, I think natural
clothing is here to stay.”
And while no one aspect of the process is perfect, the
more we invest, the greater the potential for innovation. “It
all needs work,” admits Graham, when asked about energy
consumption, waste-water regulating, certification and other
eco-consideration, “but if you don’t support the process, it
won’t get better, either.”

• Bamboo is a pest-resistant, fast-growing
crop. Whether a silky knit shirt
or a structured woven jacket, bamboo is a
breathable, hearty fabric that absorbs 60
percent more moisture than cotton, and can
be laundered the same way. Because it’s
heated and processed into charcoal particles,
bamboo fabric absorbs odours too. “Bamboo,”
says Not Just Pretty’s Pam Skelton, “is the
fabric of the future.”
• Lyocell fiber (commonly called Tencel, for its inventor,
Tencel Inc.) is made from wood-pulp cellulose, and is the
first new fibre in over 20 years. Although it’s a manufactured
fibre, it’s processed in a non-toxic, recyclable dissolving
agent, and is economical in its use of natural resources and
energy. Its yarn absorbs colour better than most fabrics, and
can be processed to mimic durable cotton, or luxurious silk.
• Soybean fiber has similar antibacterial properties to
bamboo, and also has UV-protection properties. The amino
acids in the fabric are also an on-contact micro-activator of
collagen (the substance produced to keep skin’s elasticity).
Like Lyocell, it’s made from the by-products of another production
process. The proteins left over from soybean oil, tofu
and soymilk production are solidified into a fiber after going
through a process called wet-spinning to combine them.
Soybean fiber is the fashion equivalent to recycled paper.
• Organic cotton is growing in popularity, as more companies
are investing in it. It’s grown with beneficial bugs,
manure and cover and rotation methods to ensure good
crops. Most other organic fabrics, like bamboo, are blended
into a yarn with cotton, but be wary that many companies
will blend their organics with conventional cotton.
• Hemp fibre requires no chemicals to grow, because, like
bamboo, it’s naturally pest-resistant. It also doesn’t exhaust
the soil, leaving excellent growing conditions for future
crops, and is naturally a good soil builder. One of the strongest
natural fibers available, hemp is a great denim alternative,
and like denim, hemp’s appearance and feel improve
the more it’s laundered. It can also be blended with silk to
make eveningwear and more tailored looks.

Organic and Eco Friendly Dresses 101.

Isn't it time that you picked out your new summer dress? At the Salts Studio Boutique in lovely Sooke, BC we have just got in a bunch of lovely eco-friendly dresses from Lilikoi Clothing in Nelson, BC. Designed and hand printed by Barbara Bowsell these one of a kind eco dresses are beautiful as well as ethical and sustainable. She makes her dresses in Canada in a small shop. Each item is handprinted in Eco-Friendly inks on sustainable materials like organic cotton, soy and bamboo fabrics. We love her ocean inspired prints and whimsical cuts that are very flattering. This green dress here is the Meridith dress, Its made out of 100% organic Cotton Poplin and features a beautiful eco-friendly flower print. We now have these in stock at the Salts Boutique.

The first dress in this line up is the Jess Halter dress made from super soft eco-friendly soy/ Organic Cotton Fabric. This is the perfect grad or wedding dress.

The Obi Wrap top show in blue bamboo fabric with a mix of Organic Cotton is perfect to dress up or down. The Coral print on the tie is done in eco-friendly phalate free inks.

Last but not east shown in Coral color is the Tara top. So cute and flattening on every body. This bamboo striped fabric also is mixed with a touch of organic cotton and has a very delicate stripe incorporated into the fabric.

Stop by soon at 2052 Otter Point Road in Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island to check out this great selection of sustainable Lilikoi Clothing.

Dress Pure,

Be Cheap and Green AND Save Money! 7 easy ways to EcoFriendly your Life!

Can you be super Green and Save money at the same time? Of course! Being Eco Friendly is about having more with less! Most eco-products are very high quality and last much longer. There are also simple ways to add more eco consciousness to you life with our sacrificing any cash at all. In fact some of these tips will even save you money! Right on...Read on....

Tip #1. Save $25 a year by washing you Eco Clothes in Cold Water in stead of warm water twice a week. It saves your clothing too, clothes will last much longer when washed in cold.

Tip#2. Turn off you video game console (or get you kids too, bribes work) when not in use. This will save you $14 a year in power...extra allowance anyone?

Tip#3. Recycle! Most Districts pick up recycling at no cost and you will save $30 to $100 dollars a year in garbage pick up costs.

Tip#4. Turn down you heat a few degrees at night and during the day while you are at work. This will save you at least $39 dollars a year.

Tip #5. Grow some food! Set up a garden box on your deck to grow salad greens and edible flowers for great tasty salads anytime. If you eat salads everyday (good for you, you healthy nut) then this can save you $3-10 a week. Those are big savings, growing food it fun and relaxing too.

Tip#6. Line dry you clothing on nice days. Dryers are the worst energy consumers! Lay off yours in the summer and enjoy your organic clothing for longer.

Tip #7. Find a local farmer and make friends with them! Shop at farmers markets for great deals on fresh local produce, buying direct from the farmer is the best way to get healthy food at less of a mark up.

Dress Pure.