At Krrb, we’re all about keeping it local, so this summer, we say leave the long lines at the airport and the sticker shock at the gas pump behind, and think about spending your much needed summer vacation closer to HQ. The stress of travel is instantly eliminated, plus it’s nice to actually spend some time in the home that you’ve worked so hard to make your own in the first place. Staycation is the name of the game in ’11, and we are here to inspire you by sharing 7 ideas we think will make staying at home the best respite ever.
Grow A Salad In A Wagon
The season is already well underway, so go easy on yourselves and make a tiny portable garden full of delicious lettuce that you can harvest from seed in as little as 6 weeks. Looseleaf varieties do better in the heat of summer than strains that grow in heads, and you can easily move a wagon out of the harshness of direct August sun. Salad Bowl is a relatively heat resistant strain to try. Make it a family affair and give each kid their own wagon, and see what they come up with! And for help with the technical details, check out our Gardening 101 post.
Eat Someplace New
With online review sites like Yelp, Citysearch and Zagat, finding a new place that’s just around the corner is easier than, well, opening up a newspaper, certainly. With all of your neighbors reviewing all of your local spots all of the time, you are bound to discover something great within minutes of the safety of your own fridge. Try setting a limit and going someplace walking distance from home, so you can really pig out and then stroll it off before you hit the hay!
Make Your Own Paper
All you need is some torn up old paper and a blender (oh and a tub for soaking and some wire hangers and stockings for the mesh frame.) Add a bit of fragrance or some flower petals for interest and you’re good to go! Imagine how happy your Aunt Mabel will be when she gets her thank you note on paper that you made yourself! Check out theindiehomemaker for step by step instructions.
Go Camping – In Your Own Backyard
Who says the great outdoors has to be far away to be worth experiencing? Pull that tent out of the basement and set it up right in your own backyard! You’re still sleeping under the stars plus you don’t have far to go if you forget something crucial like matches or sunscreen. If you’re new to the whole ‘outdoor living’ thing, here’s a checklist to get you started.
Make A 100 Mile Dinner
Honor your inner locavore and revel in the deliciousness that’s produced within 100 miles of your home. Go to LocalHarvest.org for a list of farmer’s markets in your area, meet the folks who actually grow and raise the food, fill up your basket with goodies and enjoy a delicious meal of freshly picked produce, grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. Yum!
Work For Free
Get to know some of the folks that are doing inspirational work in your area by volunteering for a local environmental organization or spending a day (or more) working on a local farm. Help plant trees, clean up a shoreline, harvest tomatoes… whatever peaks your interest. It’s a great way to invest in your local community. Check out sites like Volunteer Match and WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) for help in locating the perfect match.
Have A Global Picnic
And last but certainly not least, make your own travel adventure out of eating alfresco by selecting the menu by chance. Spin a globe and investigate the cuisine of wherever your finger lands. Then plan a fun theme, complete with decorations and even music, and let the party begin! Here’s the recipe for the Mexican Quinoa Salad pictured above, courtesy of Mary Jolley from My Green Diet:
Mexican Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, washed and drained (I used 1/2 cup red quinoa and 1/2 cup white quinoa)
2 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 fresh limes (3 if they are small)
3/4 tsp cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
5 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, chopped (not shown in the picture)
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the quinoa and add to a saucepan with the water, cover, bring to boil and reduce to simmer – cook until all water is absorbed, 10-15 min. Turn off the heat and leave it alone for 10-15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and pour into a large bowl. Add black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado.
Separately, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, cumin and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper.
Toss dressing with quinoa mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
This salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Serves 2-4.
*Quinoa can be found at your local grocery store by the rice or by the oatmeal/grains.
Just Take It Easy
OK sure, we said 7 reasons and this is number 8, but it really is more of an underlying philosophy than a specific activity. A vacation is a time to slow down, change your routine, enjoy the moment, basically give yourself the opportunity to do things a little bit differently for a minute. So try to steer away from surfing the Internet while on your backyard camping trip, or getting all worked up by watching the news on TV after your global picnic. This is a time to recharge, so that when you do re-enter the world, you are raring to go. Because in this crazy world, we need all the battery power we can get!