Thursday, May 26, 2011

Free seeds this Saturday

This weekend, pass by the GrowNYC information booth at the Fort Greene Park Farmer's Market to pick up free flower seeds.  Get there early, because supplies will be limited.

Pictured above Tithonia rotundifolia.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Save Money and Eat In Tonight: Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

We've made this recipe many times using both fresh and canned tomatoes (recommend using diced tomatoes in tomato juice) and even fresh or dried basil.  Make this once and end up with lots of soup to freeze for later, a great way to save money on having to buy lunch or cook on one of those days you're just feeling too tired to bother with cooking.

Made with yellow tomatoes and yellow carrots.


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large fresh or 2 32oz cans of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish (about a tablespoon of dried basil can also be used)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl (a food processor or stick blender works just fine if you don't have a mill), discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

Soup is great with a side salad and homemade croutons.

Recipe courtesy of

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Go Here: Habana Outpost

Spring has come and with that, Habana Outpost is open again for the season.  This local restaurant located on Fulton St. in Fort Greene Brooklyn carries a small yet delicious menu and is eco-friendly too.  Everything from a composting toilet to solar panels to recycling of some of the foodware.  They also have other great community initiatives.  Check it out.

Habana Outpost

And make sure you try the corn!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't forget...

Don't forget that we have a seed giveaway right now for bumblebee habitat seeds.  Just send your address to to receive your seeds.  Please put the word 'seeds' in the subject line.

Also, we are still looking for volunteers for the Fort Greene Park cleanup.  If this Sunday, May 15th does not work for you, don't worry, we are planning cleanups for the following weekend also.  Just send an email with the word 'volunteer' in the subject line to the above email address.

Pictured above: Gaillardia aristata one of the many beautiful flower seeds you will receive.

Use this instead: Lemons

The acid in lemon juice removes dirt and rust stains and makes a great scouring paste when mixed with salt.  For countertops, cut lemon in half, dip into baking soda, then wipe with a wet sponge and dry (do not use on delicate stone or stainless steel).  Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to dishwashing detergent to cut even more grease on dishes.  On faucets, rub lemon juice onto taps and let sit overnight, then wipe with a wet cloth to fight lime scale.  In garbage disposals, cut lemon in half and then run both pieces though.  Need to clean tiles on countertop or backsplash?  Add lemon juice to one or two teaspoons of cream of tartar (a natural bleaching agent) to make a paste, apply to grout with a toothpaste and then rinse.  To brighten whites in the laundry, add a half cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle of your regular load.  To bleach stains on plastic food-storage containers, such as tomato soup, rub lemon juice on spots let dry in the sun and then wash as normal.  Lemon juice is also a great way to get that fishy smell off your hands after preparing seafood.

Check out The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier for more money-saving green cleaning ideas.

Bike Month in NYC

Get on your bike and ride to work or ride to play.  It's Bike Month in NYC.

And don't forget May 20th is National Bike to Work Day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Support Local Farms

Applications for some of this season's CSA's are due May 23, 2011 at Local Roots.  Sign up for affordable, locally grown fruits, veggies, meat and other items.

Local Roots NYC

Cause raising kids can be expensive...

Found this when I was pregnant with my little boy and searching for baby stuff.  This is a great way to save money on clothing and toys for quickly growing kids and help create a little less waste.

Pretty much you spend around five dollars on a box (excluding shipping) for something for your child and then you pack up your child's gently used items for another family to use.  Just like an old fashioned swap!

Just check out their site for more information.



Our First Day

At Broken Windows we look at going green as a quality of life issue with simple solutions.

We are looking for both volunteers and ideas to make our community a better place.  Right now, we are seeking volunteers for the Brooklyn Park Glass Project.  It is a small project so far that starts with the clean up of Fort Greene Park.  We will be getting together a couple of Sundays this May to collect broken glass all over Fort Greene Park.  The collected glass will then be sent to a recycling center located in Bridgeport, New Jersey (any volunteers with cars will be greatly appreciated).  Another idea we have is to work with local artisans to make something beautiful with this glass (please contact us if you are interested in any glass collected).

Also, we have a seed giveaway going on.  Just email your name and address to and you will be sent a small bag of flower seeds along with planting instructions and information free of charge.  The seeds are from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds Bumblebee Habitat Collection.  We'll be getting more varieties of seeds in the future such as Butterfly and Songbird Habitat seeds and hopefully vegetable and fruit seeds very soon.