Category Archives: Green Giving

Green Giving: Give Food! Part 3

Back from left to right - My homemade peach butter & apple butter. Front - My homemade strawberry jam. All made using Arkansas fruits. Photo by Nao Ueda.

The Green Giving series continues today with more ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff” this holiday season.

I give same things to folks every year for holidays. This year is no different. My holiday gifts consist of:

  • Homemade strawberry jam made with Arkansas strawberries
  • Homemade blackberry jam made with Arkansas blackberries
  • Homemade peach butter made with Arkansas peaches
  • Homemade apple butter made with Arkansas Black apples
  • Local honey or sorghum
  • War Eagle Mill cornmeal (upon request from family members)
  • Homemade candied pecans made with Arkansas pecans

Nothing says “I love you” like homemade goodies. In return, Eddy’s family always gives us fresh shrimp from South Carolina where they live. We enjoy the shrimp throughout the year, throwing them into gumbo, pasta, omlets, and on top of pizzas.

Not much of a cook? Don’t worry. Several Arkansas farmers offer jams, jellies, honey, and sorghum for sale, including:

War Eagle Mill and the House of Webster also offer jams, jellies, and preserves, so check them out!

This concludes the Green Giving series. The world is full of “stuff.” We can all do our part to keep “stuff” out of landfill, support local economy, and see our loved ones happy. Let’s give green this holiday season!

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Green Giving: Give Food! Part 2

The Green Giving series continues today with more ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff” this holiday season.

Do you have foodies on your holiday shopping list? If so, how about giving them dining experience?

Many locally-owned green restaurants offer gift certificates. Some of my favorite green restaurants include:

A gift of dining experience at a locally-owned green restaurant keeps “stuff” out of landfill, helps protect the environment, and supports local farmers and economy. Can’t beat that!

If your special someone is more interested in cooking at home, give him or her a gift certificate to a locally-owned green-minded grocery stores such as Argenta Market (North Little Rock) and Ozark Natural Foods (Fayetteville).

So, those are some of my ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff” this holiday season. The Green Giving series will continue tomorrow with more ideas, so stay tuned!

Green Giving: Give Food! Part 1

The Green Giving series continues today with ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff” this holiday season.

Do you have locavores on your holiday shopping list? If so, why not give them…

Subscription to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

In recent years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here’s how it works. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or “subscription”) and in return receive a box, basket, or bag of seasonal produce on a regularly scheduled basis throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin.
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow.
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh locally-grown food.
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.

Central Arkansas is fortunate to be home of Basket-A-Month (BAM) Community Supported Agriculture program. Launched in 2005 by Jody Hardin’s Foodshed Farm, the program currently serves more than 200 households. BAM members enjoy the best that Arkansas has to offer while supporting local farmers and economy.

Interested in giving a subscription to BAM this holiday season? Visit www.arkansasfood.net to learn more about the BAM program.

Membership to Online Local Food Market

Web-based local food markets have been popping up all over the state. Here’s how they work. Unlike co-ops, buying clubs, or CSAs where everyone gets the same box of stuff (and you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it), with online local food markets, you get to order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want.

The first step is to create an account with an online market.  Once you have an account, you will be notified on certain day of the week about the market being open. You will then have several days to place your order on a website. After you place an order, you will receive an email confirmation that indicates when to pick up your order. Easy, huh?

Many online local food markets require membership to help defray administration costs. This holiday season, why not give a membership to n online local food market to your special someone?

Arkansas is home to the following online local food markets:

Locally Grown provides web support to these online markets, and it says on its website that additional markets are coming to the following Arkansas communities: Mountain Home, Maumelle, Benton, Searcy, Jacksonville, Mount Ida, Heber Springs, southwest Arkansas (Hope, Arkadelphia, and Texarkana), Leslie, and McCrory. That’s a lot of markets!

Green giving options for Arkansas locavores are endless these days, so let’s take advantage of them!

The Green Giving series continues tomorrow with more ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff” this holiday season. Stay tuned!

Green Giving: Give Experience! Part 5


The Green Giving series continues today with more ideas on how to give experience instead of “stuff” this holiday season.

Do you have friends and family members who have everything? If so, contribute to nonprofit organizations on their behalf. Some of my favorite organizations include:

KUAR

Eddy and I love KUAR, our local NPR affiliate. KUAR is our source for news. If NPR is your source for news, do your part and make a pledge. A contribution of $120 or more comes with a Sound Value Card. This card entitles the bearer to discounts at local businesses and organizations. With such benefits, a pledge to a NPR affiliate makes a perfect gift for news lovers on your holiday shopping list!

FOCAL Membership

If you have book lovers on your shopping list, why not give them membership to Friends of the Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL)? Besides supporting the largest public library system in Arkansas, FOCAL membership comes with:

  • Advance notice of used book sales.
  • Members-only preview parties and receptions.
  • Early entrance to used book sales, before the book sale opens to the public.
  • A 25% discount at River Market Books & Gifts, a “gently read” bookstore run by CALS in the Cox Creative Center on the Main Library campus in downtown Little Rock.
  • A 10% discount at Bookends Café adjacent to River Market Books & Gifts.

Isn’t that awesome? To find out more, visit http://www.cals.lib.ar.us/focal/membership.html.

Environmental organizations such as…

All of them work very hard to protect Arkansas’s natural beauty. All of them offer membership benefits such as monthly bird walks (Audubon Society), native plant walks (Native Plant Society), hikes (The Ozark Society), and paddling clinic (Canoe Club). For nature lovers on your shopping list, membership to these organizations would make a fabulous gift!

So, those are some of my ideas on how to give experience instead of “stuff” this holiday season. The Green Giving series will continue tomorrow with ideas on how to give food instead of “stuff.” Stay tuned!

Green Giving: Give Experience! Part 4

Photo courtesy of Share Tompkins.

The Green Giving series continues today with more ideas on how to give experience instead of “stuff” this holiday season.

Are you a handyman or handywoman? Do you like to baby sit? Then, offer your services this holiday season!

Offering services is a great way to show that you care. Your time, especially this time of the year, is worth a lot more than “stuff.”

Don’t have special services that you can offer? Don’t worry. There are many ways to offer services, including:

  • Raking leaves
  • Cooking dinner
  • Cleaning and organizing the house
  • Walking dogs
  • Running errands
  • Tutoring

So, this holiday season, offer services instead of “stuff” to your special someone.

The Green Giving series will continue tomorrow with more ideas. Stay tuned!

Green Giving: Give Experience! Part 3

The Green Giving series was originally scheduled to resume Monday, but due to the unexpected illness of the author, it has been pushed back to today. Sorry about that!

My recent illness reminded me the importance of health. How about for this holiday season, you give a gift of health instead of “stuff”? For example…

Yoga Classes

I LOVE yoga. Yoga helps tone my muscles and make me more flexible. After a yoga lesson, I always feel more calm and peaceful.

So, this holiday season, why not give a gift of yoga to your special someone?

I haven’t been to a lesson in ages due to my busy schedule. (That’s probably why I was sick!) I plan to go back very soon, and when I do, I’ll be back at the Yoga Studio of Little Rock. Cliff Riggs who runs the studio is an amazing instructor. He and his instructors teach Hatha yoga to people of all skill levels. If you are new to yoga, I highly recommend Yoga Studio of Little Rock.

Other yoga studios that I recommend are Barefoot Studio (Little Rock) and Floating Lotus Yoga (Hot Springs). Check them out!

Gym Membership

It’s cold outside! When it’s cold, I tend to shy away from outdoor activities. But with the holiday (sugar) season upon us, we cannot afford to not work out. Gym memberships, though, can be a bit pricey.

So, how about for this holiday season you give a gift of gym membership? Many gyms offer discounts and special rates during this time of the year, so be sure to shop around to find something that fits for your special someone.

Massages

Who doesn’t like massages? I often wish someone would give me a trip to a masseuse. Really, who needs “stuff” when you can get a massage?

So, those are some of my ideas on how to give experience instead of “stuff” this holiday season. The Green Giving series will continue next week with more ideas, so stay tuned!

Green Giving: Give Experience! Part 2

The Green Giving series continues today with more ideas on how to give experience this holiday season.

I love to learn new things. Fortunately, the sky is the limit when it comes to learning new things in the Natural State. For example…

Arkansas Arts Center Museum School

The Arkansas Arts Center Museum School offers a variety of classes on topics such as drawing, jewelry making, digital photography, and woodworking. Children, teens and adults of every skill level could participate. Classes are offered on a quarterly basis with day, evening and weekend classes available.

The Museum School is currently accepting registrations for Winter Quarter, which starts on January 3, 2011. Interested? Check out the School’s course offerings by clicking here.

Arkansas Extended Learning Center

Got a gardener on your holiday shopping list? How about a foodie? Then, check out Arkansas Extended Learning Center (A.E.L.C.)! A.E.L.C. has something for everyone – landscaping and gardening, wine tasting, gourmet cooking, sewing and knitting, language classes and more.

A.E.L.C. is currently accepting registrations for its Winter classes, most of which start in January 2011. Click here to browse A.E.L.C.’s course offerings.

Ozark Folk School at Ozark Folk Center

Learn traditional Ozark crafts, music and gardening in the beautiful and relaxed atmosphere of the Arkansas Ozarks.

Nestled in Mountain View, Arkansas, the Ozark Folk School offers a variety of workshops on topics such as cheesemaking, blacksmithing, candle making, weaving, and wood carving. Best of all, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, the School will help you set up a Design-Your-Own-Workshop that fits your schedule.

The School currently have three sessions of Folk School open for registration. For more information about the sessions, visit www.ozarkfolkcenter.com.

So, those are some of my ideas on how to give experience instead of “stuff” this holiday season. The Green Giving series will continue Monday with more ideas, so stay tuned!