Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Running Out

We are running out of some of our favorite Miessence products, and it's reminded me why I love them. Although making your own can be a great option, it's not appealing to everyone, and I was tiring of it myself. Miessence provides me something of an even higher quality and purity than I could make myself (due to their sourcing) and far more effective. If you aren't the DIY type and try to go more natural, you are usually left spending more but still unsatisfied with how your products work, or falling for misleading labels. 'Greenwashing' is making products appear more natural than they really are (because the word 'natural' is meaningless in the labeling world), emphasizing certain ingredients and hiding others, or leading you to believe something is organic when it isn't. Certified Organic (often to a food-grade standard) takes care of that! Can't wait to order again ;)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Life Flourishing in the Cracks

     One of the inspirations for the logo of Manhattan's Leaf was a piece by David Suzuki called 'Life flourishes even in the cracks.' Writing about grass, weeds, vines, and other plants which grow in the city sidewalk cracks, among bricks, or on rock faces, Suzuki quotes researcher Jeremy Lundholm, 'rather than seeing our communities as entirely human-created, unnatural environments, we should recognize that urban spaces are in many ways "structurally and functionally equivalent" to natural ecosystems.' 
     To me this was reminiscent of the human microbiome, as well as the bacterial ecosystem of a city, such as the New York City subwayI believe the city and its people are beautiful in themselves, but living here, my family also finds ourselves being outdoors and enjoying nature in ways that we rarely did before. Here we walk everywhere, go to playgrounds or beautiful parks sometimes twice a day, and are in walking distance from a rocky river shore where the kids can see seaweed and algae, climb and collect rocks. Jacqueline is learning the names of plants growing next to the sidewalk, in planters, parks and gardens. She remembers all of them and collects fallen flowers, even if we can't grow them in our own space. 
     I love to see the places that plant life springs up amidst the concrete walks or pre-war walls. The fern above was outside a nearby subway station. It helps to live in a quieter neighborhood with easy access to parks, but even downtown the same things occur: mossy brick, a dandelion in the sidewalk. They're beautiful reminders. To me, of renewing the city with life and healing (and in a lesser way, the microscopic life within us!).

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Nine Months In

These past few months have been full for my family. We are enjoying our new city, with so much still left unseen. We welcomed a new baby, now 10 weeks old, born at home in our NYC apartment! We experienced our first autumn, winter, and spring in the city, and the first year of seminary is almost completed for my husband. Although still tweaking our routine and life with three children, I hope to be more present working on Manhattan's Leaf.

 Echoing my last post about the enormous bacterial ecosystem on the subway, here is an almost beautiful visual, created by Craig Ward. "The samples were taken using sterilized sponges that had been pre-cut into the letter or number of the subway line from which the sample was to be taken - A, C, 1, 6 etc etc. The swabs were then pressed into pre-poured agar plates - their circular shape echoing the graphic language of the subway - and incubated for up to a week in his Brooklyn workshop, and photographed at various stages of development before being safely neutralized and disposed of."