Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

Greening Austin, One Garden at a Time

March 30th, 2009 . by lisa knaggs
GCP, Feeding Austin, One Garden at a Time

One of the organizations that Bark for Peace! has been proudest to support over the last three years has been Green Corn Project.  No one ever gets everything right, but these folks are onto something and they are making it happen in a most beautiful, bio-intensive, way! This Spring, I got to train as a Dig-In Leader, and help refurbish a local Elementary School’s gardens.  Dirt Therapy ROCKS!

Mitch Mills, GCP Board President demonstrates double-digging

Mitch Mills, GCP Board President demonstrates double-digging

From their website, their mission is: “That Central Texans have nutritious, affordable food grown in ways that conserve natural resources, promote self-reliance, and strengthen communities.”  Like B4P!, they believe that delicious, organic food should be available to everyone.  Unlike, B4P! they’ve found a way to make that happen!  (I can’t yet figure out how to be legal, affordable, AND use seasonal organic veggies from local farms- the USDA and State regs and fees are really cumbersome.)  Digs are open to people of all ages- kids are great gardeners!

Everyone plays a part in Green Corn Project Dig-Ins

Everyone plays a part in Green Corn Project Dig-Ins

If you’re looking for a way to learn about high yield organic gardening, Green Corn Project is a wonderful resource for that; you can get training yourself, AND you can volunteer to help someone else grow their own delicious and nutritious organic food at home or school!!  GCP workshops and Dig-Ins happen Spring and Fall, so put it on your calendar for Fall now.  In the meantime, check out Jeavons books(Amazon link)- available locally in Austin @ BookPeople (who by the way is expanding their gardening section to include more organic references- let ‘em know if you have a fav!)

Finished Garden at Dig-In Leader training (South Austin)

Finished Garden at Dig-In Leader training (South Austin)

Dog Therapy at GCP re-furb of Gardens at Andrews Elementary

Dog Therapy at GCP re-furb of Gardens at Andrews Elementary

Re-furbing @ Andrews Elementary

Re-furbing @ Andrews Elementary

Cindy and Clementine had an immediate love connection- made all of our hearts sing! :)

Cindy and Clementine had an immediate love connection- made all of our hearts sing! :)

Thorndale, Texas

March 23rd, 2009 . by lisa knaggs

I’ve only been there twice.  And even if you’re an Austin native, like me- it’s highly likely you’ve never heard of Thorndale, the sleepy little town that time has pretty much passed by.  If you saw the 2002 film “The Rookie” starring Dennis Quaid, you saw a bit of Thorndale.  As an aside: “The Rookie” is based on a true Texas baseball story and both Quaid and director John Lee Hancock are native Texans. Thorndale is on HWy 79, past Taylor and before Rockdale, about an hour from Austin.  There’s one signal and three gas stations on the highway stop.

Steve's Bar- yes, it's a real bar- open for business (and a pretty cool hang, I hear)

Steve's Place- just over the RR tracks, 1/2 block off Main Street Yes, it's a real bar (and a pretty cool hang, I hear)

My first visit was in 2005, to the pound, to meet “a high-dollar blue heeler,” aka Clementine. Although she did not deliver as advertised on the blue-blood status, she delivered more than promised in fun, laughter, frivolity, mischief, and learning.  She’s a great dog who has once again done what the dogs who find me do- rocked my world!

A dog in her natural habitat, guarding the farmhouse (and posing for a picture!  she always seems to offfer a profile or 3/4 angle!)

A dog in her natural habitat, guarding the farmhouse (and posing for a picture! she always seems to offer a profile or 3/4 angle!)

Anyway, last week we spent 5 days in a friend’s charming 100 year old Victorian Farmhouse.  (which is going on the market shortly, if you’re interested) It has been lovingly restored and was a wonderful, healing, restorative get-away from the hustle and bustle of city-life.  Windows open, fresh-air, birds singing, deck out back with rolling hill views…aaahhhhhhh…..  They don’t call it “vacation” for nothing!

100 year old restored Victorian farmhouse (dog not included)

100 year old restored Victorian farmhouse (dog not included)

Raggamuffin red terrier, “Murphy”, became the object of Clementine’s affection (unrequited, sadly) and my unsolicited bed warmer (appreciated on the cooler nights).

while on an afternoon walk... Initial Reaction (argh...)

while on an afternoon walk... Initial Reaction (argh...)

A More Appropriate Greeting

At last, civility.

And poor kitties Paddy and Tigger earned their food and shelter the good ‘ol fashioned way- around the farm, since Little Miss Mischief decided that our tour of duty meant a “No Cats Allowed” claim on the farmhouse.  Funny how they came back around as I was packing up the Forester- I’m sure they were delighted to see us go.  Murphy pouted, and we felt the pangs of withdrawl as well.

Guinea Hens

Why did the Guinea Hens cross the road?

Same reason the Rooster did, the dogs were coming!

Same reason the Rooster did, the dogs were coming!

Herbal Heaven

March 11th, 2009 . by blogadmin

Today was the final day of a most wonderful 8 week class- “Herbs for the Chakras!”   My mind is swimming with loads of information- busily cross referencing new native herbs I’ve learned about as well as old favorites from Chinese, Native American, and Ayurvedic traditions.  Herbalist Ginger Webb’s focus is on local plants- which makes so much sense to me practically and in terms of sustainability.  We had a fun small group of wise women who laughed, shared, and drank a LOT of herbal infusions – talk about a bonding experience!

If you’re in need of delicious herbal teas, herbal tinctures made with organic herbs and organic alcohol, or interested in learning more about the wonderful healing properties of happy herbs, I highly recommend Ginger! (btw, I consider this is no way a commerical, since Ginger is a very good friend~ I’m just braggin’ on her!)  There’s also an article about her in the current issue of Edible Austin magazine! Go Ginger!! woof!woof!

Best Herbalist in Austin!

Best Herbalist in Austin!

http://texasmedicinals.com/