Michelle's Earth Foundation News
Earth Day 2008  
Michelle's Earth Foundation,  P.O. Box 5140 Preston King Station, Arlington, Virginia 22205
www.michellesearth.org    info@michellesearthfound.org

February and March were big months for MEF, as we advanced one of our biggest projects (sunflower phytoremediation in New Orleans) and held one of our biggest events (Nathan Lyon's cooking locally-grown foods).  Both provided a medium for carrying out our mission, and both combined innovation and education.  Read more below, and let us know how you'd like to participate.


Michelle's "This I Believe" YouTube Video viewed over 32,000 times.

Michelle's essay, "This I Believe," was also read on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition last summer.

You can read the essay here.  Click on the video link (right) to watch the video version read by famous women.


Chef Lyon meets the 'Cooking Local in Midwinter' Challenge

Former Arlington resident and H-B Woodlawn graduate, Nathan Lyon, rose to meet Michelle's Earth Foundation's challenge of preparing a meal in midwinter from foods found in local farmers' markets. Nathan, chef of Discovery Health's, A Lyon in the Kitchen, flew from his home in Los Angeles to participate in the program sponsored by Michelle's Earth Foundation. On Saturday, February 23rd, Nathan met MEF and CNN at the Java Shack, Arlington's first green restaurant. He then led a shopping expedition to the Courthouse farmers' market with camera crews in tow. Sunday he acquired more food at the Dupont Circle farmers' market and began cooking.

On Monday Nathan presented samples of his menu to a sold-out and enthusiastic audience. H-B partnered with MEF, providing the cafeteria, kitchen, jazz band, electrical equipment & white table cloths. Whole Foods also provided some drinks, flowers and hard to find foods. Students from the Environment Club acted as servers for the 6 sample courses. Former teachers and class mates were in the audience and enlivened the program as they joked and shared memories with Nathan.

A skilled chef and graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, Nathan cooked, entertained and answered many questions with ease. For starters he presented warm spiced cider with samples of pecan date pie and toasted almonds. The pecans and dates were brought from his LA farmers' market. The appetizer was eggplant caponta crostini with locally produced lemon yogurt followed by roast kabocha squash soup. For the entree Nathan presented spelt risotto with roasted tomatoes & baby arugula and braised winter greens with root vegetables. Noting that his birthday was that day, he further exceeded expectations by making a ricotta cheesecake with Grand Marnier chantille. A hardy 'Happy Birthday' was sung by everyone, as his mother brought out a traditional birthday cake.

The evening's program featured many useful tips on preparing foods and keeping them fresh. As Dusty Horwitt was introducing his friend Nathan, he noted that Nathan's program, A Lyon in the Kitchen, is broadcast Monday and Wednesday at 4 pm on Discovery Health. Michelle's Earth Foundation was pleased to sponsor and support such an engaging and meaningful program about 'cooking local'.
MEF Toolkit for Buying Local
Rachele Huennekens has assembled an excellent collection of wisdom and resources for buying locally grown foods.

Promoting locally-grown food is one of the fastest-growing environmental movements today.  The oft-cited statistic that the average vegetable travels 1,500 miles to get to a dinner table is simply the jumping-off point for a larger debate about what and how we eat, and how it effects our planet.  

Click here to read the rest of Rachele's MEF Guide online 
MEF Sunflower Phytoremediation Project in Louisiana

Work continues in New orleans in cooperation with governmenta agencies and a variety of church and volunteer groups.  Next month seniors from H-B Woodlawn's Environmental Club will travel to new Orleans to help with harvesting, preparation, reseading, and soil testing. 

If you wish to contribute to this project or any other MEF program or project, please contact us or visit our new
Facebook Causes donations site.
Support from LSU AgCenter for MEF Sunflower Phytoremediation
LSU Associate Professor Ed Bush is partnering with Michelle's Earth sunflower phytoremediation projects in New Orleans, Louisiana . He works with the LSU AgCenter and the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences. The soil samples we send from the lots where we're planting sunflowers are tested at lab in which he works in Baton Rouge. He also helps us interpret the findings and will offer guidance for future plantings.

Along with Dr. Pam Blanchard, another professor at LSU, Bush has also started an educational program called 'Coastal Roots.' It's a K-12 Environmental Stewardship Program encompassing public and private schools providing a hands-on and classroom Science experience. It has been in existence since 2001, with renewed interest since Katrina and Rita impacted southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

The participating schools build their own tree and grass nurseries in which they collect and plant seeds, and learn about the coastal restoration. Each school produces coastal plants and takes a field trip into the marshes and swamps of south Louisiana to plant their nursery plants. Bush currently has 23 participating schools in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana. He is currently exploring new partnerships with Texas and Mississippi. For further information: http://calvin.ednet.lsu.edu/~coastalroots/.
This semester Alison Bell is visiting Michelle's homestay brother, Marcelo Barbosa, who lives  in Curitiba, Brazil.  Curitiba is known as the world's greenest city. Stay tuned........