Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

A HOMEMADE LIFE

Delicious airplane reading en route from Ketchum back home to Maggie (and, of course, Alabama):

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

ENOUGH

While looking out over the water from the balcony of a mansion on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host makes more money in a single day than Heller will ever earn from his novel, Catch-22.

Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have.”

Vonnegut questions, “What’s that?”

“Enough.”


Untitled 10 by
David Schoemer via Lee Cerre
& a thank you to Conrad Pitts for sharing this story. . .


NATURE’S 10 SIMPLE RULES

Thanks to Maria for sending over this fantastic review of Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto from Kevin Roberts at KR Connect: Nature’s 10 Simple Rules

Adam Werbach’s book offers a great list of Nature’s 10 Simple Rules for Business Survival. In this list Adam draws from nature a tough bottom line for sustainable business. “Nature is far harsher than the market: If you are not sustainable, you die. No second chances and no bailouts.” I’m not usually a fan of rules but these ten make sense to me. They are big-scale – forest-scale. Ocean-scale. Planet-scale. I’ve jotted down my own thoughts on each one. I’ll share them with you here – five this week and five next.

Nature’s # 1. Diversify across generations. This idea has certainly inspired me to write a number of posts here that I’ve called Stella’s World. Of course they are about my and Ro’s first grandchild but they are also about what change across generations can really mean. How few companies have that aspiration! In principle we all want our businesses to thrive across generations, but how few succeed. Adam tells me that fully one-third of the companies profiled in Jim Collins’ Built to Last as out-performers, are now under-performers. Think Ford and Citibank. They lost the juice of excitement, wonder and delight and got lost in expectations and self-obsession.

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FASHION MANUFACTURING OR ON TINY PLOTS REWRITTEN

I loved that this article found its way to USA TODAY:

On tiny plots, a new generation of farmers emerges

What if the story was rewritten like this:  

In tiny factories, a new generation of manufacturers emerges The wave of young manufacturers in tiny factories is too new and too small to have turned up significantly in manufacturing statistics, but people in the manufacturing world acknowledge there’s something afoot. For these new manufacturers, going back to the factory isn’t a rejection of conventional society, but an embrace of making products for market as an honorable, important career choice — one that’s been waning in the last decades. It’s about creating something real — the stuff that touches peoples life — and at the same time healing the Earth. Says one small manufacturer, “The America that I want to live in will support people who are willing to work their asses off, who want to do good things for their community. We’re patriots of place. Here I am, I’m doing my part.” Three factors have made these small, organic factories possible: a rising consumer demand for organic and local merchandise, a huge increase in product markets nationwide, and the growing popularity of community-supported programs.

Read the story again & replace the word farm with factory, food with product:  
On tiny plots, a new generation of farmers emerges

A standing ovation to our farmers – young and old - who are choosing to make a difference…  

*Photo Elizabeth DeRamus

2009 CFDA/VOGUE FASHION FUND FINALIST

We are honored to announce that Alabama Chanin has been selected as a finalist for the 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Thank you to our office staff, our talented artisans, family, friends, readers, journalists, editors, stylists, our stores & a host of supporters around the globe.

Dance with us today… xxx from all of us @ Alabama Chanin

*Photo Russ Harrington

 

THE BATTLE FOR WINE AND LOVE

Last summer I ran into friend Amy Collins at our local Farmer’s Market and she casually invited me to come by The Wine Seller – a wine shop where she helped out a friend on Saturday afternoons. I believe that I murmured a sort-of-okay but later that afternoon did actually visit the store. It is not that I avoided wines; I just rarely found wines that I really enjoyed. Living in Austria, I fell in love with visiting the wine growers of the Wachau to sample their young wines. What I didn’t know at the time was that what I fell in love with had a name: terroir.

That afternoon at The Wine Seller, Amy gave me an impromptu wine lesson that led me to discover what I do like in a wine. My tastes included words like mineral, light, effervescence, high-acidity, subtle fruit, clean and lean.

A few weeks ago, Amy recommended The Battle for Wine and Love – calling it the The Omnivore’s Dilemma for the world of wine. The book is an eye opener and becomes like a wine dictionary for the wine novice like me.   I don’t really enjoy all the personal information that Alice Feiring shares in the book but her tales of wine and wine making are fantastic.

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SUMMER HARVEST + SUNDAY DINNER

Garden harvest basted with olive oil and headed to the oven for a slow roast.

Mix with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne before placing in the oven

Pasta with Fresh Pesto from page 70 of Chez Panisse Pasta Pizza & Calzone

Huber Hugo Grüner Veltliner & reading The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization

Happy Sunday!