Living Mexican Food class in Austin Texas

There will be a Living Mexican Food class by local chef Alicia Ojeda in Austin Texas on Sunday, February 22, 2009. Learn “uncooking” (like-  the uncola) and also about food and nutrition. All food is vegan, raw, living, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free.  A $10.00 class discount to any member of the Healthy Weight Loss for Women Meet Up group Call Alicia at (323) 356-0688

Lawn Grass in Leander & Cedar Park

Lawn Grass in Leander & Cedar Park Texas

For those whose lawns look weathered and barren now. remember, we are in the dead of winter- the grass has been dormant but will come to life soon. We had a horribly harsh summer with the drought a dry first part of the winter and we are just now getting blessed with a little rain. A good dose of Dillo Dirt or other organic fertilizer and these continued showers will do our lawns good. The Grass Patch on Ronald Reagan Blvd. (aka Parmer) in Leander sells and installs lawn grass. Farmer’s Nursery on Leander Drive in Leander does as well- not positive they install, but they sell as well as have a lawn grass demonstration area located to the left of their gate as you drive in. In the Farmer’s demo plot you can see real lawn grass growing and determine which look is right for you.  If you go to Farmer’s please tell ’em “Sandy” sent you.  I bought so much builder’s sand and other supplies during my backyards de-grassing that my name was changed by them.  Another good resource is the Williamson County Ag. Extension office. Yet another resource is the Native Plant Society of Texas. Georgetown has a very active group. Unfortunately for ME- they meet on Thursday nights when I have P & Z (Leander Planning & Zoning Commission meetings). The City of Leander has one of the best water conservation ordinances in the state as well as a recommended plant list of natives are hardy adapted plants & grasses. Builders must use Bermuda grass or Zoysia in new home landscape construction and may NOT use the water hogging St. Augustine. Commonly called “carpet” grass, St. Augustine may be good for Houston, parts of Florida or other areas with high annual rainfall amounts but not here in the Texas Hill Country.

I have 3 types of grass in my lawn (what’s left of it). Zoysia, a wide stemmed variety, Bermuda and St. Augustine. Little by little I have been removing large expanses of lawn and replacing it with low maintenance stone or granite, or xeriscaping or edibles. Neither my son nor my husband like to mow, edge, weed eat, water or otherwise care for a lawn.

I would encourage anyone contemplating putting in a lawn to think long and hard about it. Many yards are totally lawnless and look great and are functional. I have seen local landscape designers create masterpieces of hardy & beautiful plants and walkways of granite, tile or stone that aesthetically rival the finest & fanciest lawns. Maybe you could just pare down the amount of lawn and add wide pathways around the perimeter with crushed granite or stone. I put in a large native stone patio using 10 tons of native patio stone at $80. a ton 2 years ago. Set in sand and filled in with decomposed granite, it created a pervious, all weather expansive area in my back yard. I also put in a pond with a bog or biological filter to keep it clean without the use of any chemicals.

My Backyard in Leander, Texas
My Backyard in Leander, Texas

My yard is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. I garden sustainably, by organic methods. The City of Austin, Texas has a great Grow Green program. One huge aspect of the program is protecting our water supply. Nitrates and Atrazine are being found in our waterways due to Weed and Feed and other chemical fertilizers being applied to lawns and then being carried down to creeks, streams and lakes when it rains with the stormwater runoff. Deformed frogs have been linked to lawn chemicals such as pesticides. That is why the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. has a Texas Amphibian Watch program to document frogs and toads.

Leopard Frog on Lilly in My Pond
Leopard Frog on Lilly in My Pond

You see, amphibians serve as bio-indicators worldwide of how safe our environment is for us to live in.  If anybody wants to participate in the Frogwatch program, my yard’s pond is available for the study & we do have several species in our pond & yard.  Please also think of your pets and children playing on your lawn.

In my front yard, large strips of grass along the entire front edge and sides have been removed. I replaced it with xeriscaping & edible landscaping including fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. I also added some boulders- they require no maintenance or water! My goal is to have an aesthetically pleasing landscape that adds to the value of my home while eliminating as much water use and maintenance as possible while actually yielding fruit, vegetables and herbs. For more information see EDIBLE ESTATES: ATTACK ON THE FRONT LAWN A Project by Fritz Haeg & The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping: Home Landscaping with Food-Bearing Plants and Resource-Saving Techniques: by Rosalind Creasy (Sierra Club Books). These as well as many other books, pictures & websites prove that our yards can be water conserving, low maintenance, productive AND aesthetically pleasing all at the same time.

The Good Earth School in Leander, Texas

The Good Earth School in Leander, Texas is peaceful farm setting offering a Waldorf and Montessori education for young children.  The Good Earth School plans to have a Farmer’s Market and is looking for vendors.

The Good Earth Day School

10820 East Crystal Falls Parkway

Leander, TX 78641

Accross from Leander ISD’s Wiley Middle School

Hybrid Cars: Honda Insight and Toyota Prius

The extremely fuel efficient Honda Insight will reappear after a several year absence in the United States new car linups.  Already having booming sales in Japan, the new 60 mpg+ Insight will be on sale in Europe in March and in the US in April 22, 2009- Earth Day.   The new Insight will be a 5 passenger, 5 door hatchback.  The dash will include an EcoGuide to analyze driving history so hypermiling drivers can get the very best milage possible.  The most efficient drivers will be rewarded with 5 green leaves on the display.  There are a few old model original Insights still driving around Austin & Leander and on the internet for sale.

The highly popular Toyota Prius is also being revamped with a bigger, more powerful engine for its new introduction in May.  Slightly different interior and exterior dimensions may be the final factor in determining which of these 2 hybrid cars  you buy.

Making Jamaica Tea

Just steeped & poured- see the deep clart red color
Just steeped & poured- see the deep claret red color
Jamaica Tea in packaging
Jamaica Tea packaging paper
Jamaica Tea
Jamaica Tea- dry tea

I buy my Jamaica tea at HEB Plus in Leander in the Mexican products section with the tamale husks, dried shrimp, & spices. At only $1.29 for a 3 oz. packet- it’s an amazing buy. Just bring some water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, rinse your Jamaica flowers. Next, take the water off the burner, add the Jamaica tea, let steep 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sweeten to taste or drink as is. Can be served hot on a cold day or iced in Summer. It is a tart, red tea, high in Vitamin C.

Prononunced ha-mike-uh, Jamaica is made from a special variety of hibiscus flowers H. sabdariffa var. sabdariffa

Transit Oriented Development in Leander Texas

The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Leander, Texas had an Open House Saturday February 7th 2009 at the new  Capital MetroRail Leander Station.  The new Swiss train was there as well as CapMetro staff to educate attendees on the new commuter rail service into Austin, Texas.  The first of several Open Houses Capital Metro is holding, this was a well attended event.  The Austin Steam Train came by during the Open House & seeing the 2 trains side-by-side was like the old ushering in the newest technology of 2009.


Hello world!

This is a blog about GREEN events, ideas, people, businesses in the world, US, but more specifically, the Austin, TX area.  I am an Austin, Texas REALTOR®, an EcoBroker®, also a GRI and SRES®.  I was green before it was cool.  There is much GREEN in Austin, Texas- many green real estate projects, greenbuilding, green MeetUps, events, etc.