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What I Love with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Living on the Edge

I love the energy and inspiration created when a group of people, all committed to a common cause, gather to share information and plans for action.  At  Living on the Edge, a Coastal Communities Conference held on Nantucket on September 29th and 30th, participants focused on the impact of how we use our waterways, the land/sea interface, and ways to knit together the shared edges between the blue water, the near shore, and the watershed.

By exploring new approaches and applying what we learn, we can help protect and preserve the health of our coastal communities.  The goal is to create a coastal waters management strategy that ensures that the sea remains healthy, and maintain the beauty of our oceans and our coastlines.

We were very fortunate to be able to screen a sneak preview of a wonderful new film, Ocean Frontiers:  The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship. The movie promises us a new way of thinking, and a new way of living, in concert with the sea. It includes stories and stunning footage from seaports and watersheds across the country, from Boston Harbor to obscure little fishing communities in the Pacific Northwest, from the Florida Keys to the Mississippi Delta.

I encourage you to visit the movie website at www.ocean-frontiers.org to watch a trailer, purchase the dvd, and find out what you can do to get involved with protecting our oceans.

Nantucket Arts Festival Week

Autumn has been my season for attending conferences and leading seminars on several thought-provoking and important topics.  I was gratified to be invited to speak this month at the Nantucket Arts Festival Week.  Hosted by the Nantucket Arts Council, this wonderful group is an advocate for the arts on the island.  Its goal is to preserve our lively cultural scene and its life-enhancing effect upon the community.

I was pleased to be able to share my presentation, Holistic House ™, with a group of people who wanted to know more about sustainable design at the Afternoon Artist’s Talk Show Series.  I believe that a healthy home is the ultimate luxury, and there are many ways to achieve that goal.  Whether building a new home, remodeling an existing one, or simply redecorating, there are healthy products, paints, finishes, and furniture to choose from that can make a difference in your health, and in the health of your family and friends.

My Holistic House ™ presentation also covers the importance of pristine indoor air, eradicating mold, and non-toxic household cleaning products.  I love to talk about sustainable design—my favorite subject—so I’m available for presentations for groups.

Contact me at info@dujardindesign.com for more information.

We’re featured in two Nantucket publications!

Please join me in enjoying articles about Dujardin Design in both Nantucket Today and Nantucket Home and Garden, on newsstands now!

Click on the Home and Garden cover image below to download our article in pdf (1.9mb)

Then join me to help create a “Blueprint for our Coast”: September 29th and 30th

 

Scientists, city planners, stewards of the environment and government officials will gather on Nantucket on Thursday, September 29th and Friday, September 30th to discuss the impact of how we use our waterways.  The goal?  To explore new tools available to analyze current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas, to achieve maximum social and economic benefits, and to ensure that the sea remains healthy.

Some of the things that impact our waterways are transportation (seaplanes, boats and ferries), fishing, pleasure boating, wind farms, aquaculture, and more.  Bringing all of these concerns together to create a coastal waters management strategy that includes ecosystem protection is one of the most important things we can do to protect the beauty of Nantucket, and allof the New England coast.

This conference is co-hosted by ReMain Nantucket (www.remainnantucket.org) and Egan Maritime Institute (www.eganmaritime.org) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership (www.massoceanpartnership.org), The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), Maria Mitchell Association (www.mmo.org),  the Urban Harbors Institute (www.uhi.umb.edu), UMass Boston and the UMass Boston Field Station.

Join me as we discuss how to knit together the shared edges between the blue water, the near shore, and the watershed!

A Party to Support The Nature Conservancy

There’s nothing like Nantucket in August:  blue skies, soft breezes and the smell of salt in the air.  I was thrilled to be asked to sponsor a festive outdoor cocktail party to support the good work of one of my favorite charities, The Nature Conservancy.With renovations at our fisherman’s cottage on Madaket complete, Frank and I welcomed 60 environmentally-minded guests to our home on Thursday, August 25th .

My interior design firm, Dujardin Design Associates, Inc.,  pulled out all the stops to make it an evening to remember, bringing island caterer Simply with Style on board to serve delicious hors d’ouevres and fanciful desserts, and island favorite Spanky’s Raw Bar to add the proper sea-faring touch with a selection of chilled oysters and clams.

Mike from Spanky’s Bar with Chris McGuire, Massachusetts Marine Director for The Nature Conservancy.

William and Laura Buck with Trudy Dujardin

Gerry Schneider and Grace Hinkley

Trudy Dujardin with husband Frank Fasanella

Tracey Marshall, Bill Marshall, Nina Duchaine, Trudy Dujardin

Chris McGuire, Lynne Hale, Wayne Klockner, Trudy Dujardin

The Nature Conservancy works to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities of the earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive, in order to leave a sustainable world for future generations.  More information is available at www.nature.org.

August is Wonderful on Nantucket!


When you come to the world’s most beautiful island, it helps if you plan to have fun.  There is so much to do to support so many very worthy causes, and August is the month when celebrations are everywhere you turn.  One fundraiser that I support is Walk Now for Autism Speaks:

Nantucket Walks to Support Autism Speaks on August 20th

There are so many important organizations we can support with our time, with our resources, or simply with a caring hand.  One that I believe in and support is Autism Speaks.

While no one has all the answers yet, I have long believed that it is important to protect your family from environmental toxins. The Autism Research Institute at www.autism.com has information about studies showing the possible relationship between chemicals in our environment and developmental delays.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication, and is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S.  Symptoms usually start before age three, and can cause delays or problems in many different skills, according to the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

For families with a child with an autism diagnosis, there are many concerns, including higher medical bills, special needs in school, and a struggle to provide the treatment and therapies to help each child grow into his or her best self.

Bob and Suzanne Wright discuss autism on Plum TV.

 

Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, grandparents of a child with autism.  The organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

On Saturday, August 20th, thousands of islanders on Nantucket will turn out at Jetties Beach to help raise funds for vital research.  Walk Now for Autism Speaks can change the future for all who struggle with autism.  Join us!

Find out more at www.walknowforautismspeaks.org.

Don’t miss a  new film made exclusively for the NHA by Emmy award-winning Ric Burns, simply called Nantucket. This original short film showcases the island’s natural beauty and its significant role in history. Commentary is provided by historians, islanders and writers, including New York Times best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick, and long-time residents who share their personal stories and unique insights.

The film is being shown daily at the Whaling Museum, and can be purchased as a DVD at the Museum Shop or online for $19.95.

August Race Week:  August 13-21

The eight day Race Week brings the entire Nantucket community together for regattas, award ceremonies and parties. There’s fun and sport for all age and sailing levels.  The week is hosted by the Nantucket Yacht Club and Great Harbor Yacht Club and benefits Nantucket Community Sailing.

Nantucket Race Week is proud to be a Clean Regatta as certified by Sailors for the Sea.

For more information, visit www.nantucketraceweek.org

Nature Conservancy Cocktail Party

Last but not least, Frank and I are pleased to host a cocktail party reception at our home on August 25th, to benefit the Nature Conservancy.  The Nature Conservancy works to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities of the earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive, in order to leave a sustainable world for future generations.

Dujardin Design Associates will provide the raw bar, food and beverages as our contribution to the evening and to the good work of the Conservancy.  Island caterer Simply with Style will make this a delicious and fun event!

For more information on how you can help this wonderful organization, visit www.nature.org.

Summertime on Nantucket

There’s always something happening on Nantucket in the summer.  Here are two of my favorite events on the island.  Come join me!

Nantucket Summer Kitchens Tour:  Thursday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Sponsored by the Nantucket Preservation Trust, the tour features historic homes and kitchens in the Milk Street neighborhood in Nantucket. This year, open houses are on Milk, New Dollar and New Mill Streets.  You can get historical facts and stories at each home, and local guest chefs are there to provide delicious snacks and recipes.

The biggest Kitchen Marketplace ever has a variety of vendors with specialty house and kitchen items.   Look for cookbook signings with Lulu Powers, Fran Karttunen and more.

The Nantucket Preservation Trust is an organization concerned with preserving Nantucket’s unique historical architecture, and protecting it for future generations to enjoy.  They provide programs that explore the history of the island’s buildings, and increase appreciation of the importance and fragility of historic sites.

There is no other organization so devoted to preservation of Nantucket’s unique historic resources.  The Trust works to preserve irreplaceable architectural qualities that led to Nantucket’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.

The August Fete is their second summer fundraiser, held the evening of August 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. This year’s Fete will feature a tour of private homes in the Liberty and Winter Street neighborhood, some of which have never before been open to the public

Nantucket Historical Association August Antiques Show:  August 5-7

 

 

 

This is a real highlight of the summer season, and one I never miss!  A major fundraiser for the Nantucket Historical Association, the antiques show presents a wonderful week of parties, lectures and activities.  The show is one of the most highly regarded antiques shows on the east coast.

This year, a Friends of the NHA Lecture will be held on August 2nd at 6 p.m. at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Michael K. Brown, Curator of the Bayou Bend Collections Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, will speak.

The Antiques Show Preview Party takes place August 4 from 6 to 9 p.m., at Bartlett’s Farm.

 

The Antiques Show is Friday through Sunday, August 5 to 7, at Bartlett’s Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Road.

 

Don’t miss this wonderful event.  Learn how to support the Nantucket Historical Association at www.nha.org.

Keeping Nantucket Beautiful

There are few things more important to me in life than efforts to retain what is rare and beautiful on this earth.  Nantucket, a tiny island just three and a half miles wide and fourteen miles long, can only be reached by boat or plane, making it a world of its own.

Its distance from the mainland has helped it to retain its quaintness and its charm over the years since it first found itself drawn on a map in 1602.  Grey shingled buildings, roses tumbling over fences, sandy beaches, hundreds of historic homes, and boats bobbing in the harbor combine with the natural beauty of the island to make it a priceless treasure.

ReMain Nantucket

ReMain Nantucket is one organization dedicated to strengthening the vitality of downtown Nantucket, while preserving its unique character and spirit. ReMain is committed to supporting a healthy, year round community on the island, and a flourishing downtown.

In the past twelve months, they have sponsored workshops on seasonal parking issues, presented by transportation experts; held a conference about rising sea levels, in collaboration with the Egan Maritime Institute, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Climate Central, and the Maria Mitchell Association; and hosted a presentation on sustainable downtowns, presented by the director for the National Trust Main Street Center.

They have been responsible for community initiatives, such as purchasing the Mitchell’s Book Corner property and leasing it to a local entrepreneur, Mary Jennings. With the goal of renovating an historic property in an environmentally thoughtful way, they sought the expertise of local engineers and architects.  The building renovation was awarded a silver LEED certification from the U.S Green Building Council.

ReMain Nantucket is a sponsor of Nantucket Race Week, August 13-21, 2011, the Nantucket Comedy Festival, July 28-30, 2011, and the Nantucket Garden Festival, July 20-23, 2011.  The organization only sponsors non-profits, and they ask for a pledge of sustainability for their events, as well as offering guidelines to help make that happen.

Learn more about this wonderful organization at www.remainnantucket.org.

Sustainable Nantucket

Sustainable Nantucket is working to build a more locally-based and self-reliant food system on-island, along with a strong local economy.  They are making efforts to expand agricultural production, promote local farmers’ markets, encourage local food use in Nantucket restaurants, schools, hospital and other venues, and educate the community about sustainability.

Islanders can support their good work at the annual Farm Fresh Feast, happening July 16 at Moors End Farm. The menu is all “Nantucket Grown,” and will include a Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche, Herb-Crusted Dayboat Cod with Tomato Basil Salsa, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables from Pumpkin Pond and HUmmock Pond Farms, and a selection of delicious desserts.  For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.sustainablenantucket.org/events-2/upcoming-events/

Approximately 1/3 of our carbon footprint as a nation comes from industrialized agriculture, which also uses pesticides and herbicides, degrading our soil and water.  When you support local food production, you help to reduce the demand for food produced by this system, and at the same time, enjoy better taste, fresher foods, and a higher nutritional value.

Sustainable Nantucket operates a Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturdays on North Union and Cambridge Streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enhancing the Nantucket feeling of community, vendors include growers, artisans and prepared food purveyors.  There are live music performances, kids’ activities, demonstrations and more.  July is Tomato, Tomato Month, with a “making salsa” demonstration on July 23rd.

Vendors include one of my very favorite places for fresh organic produce, Pumpkin Pond Farm (www.pumpkinpondfarm.com), as well as Bartlett’s Farm, Gourmet Gardens, Nantucket Coffee Roasters and more!

There is also a Mid-Island Market at 113 Pleasant Street on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. that will run through August 30th, providing a second location and date for islanders who may not make it to the downtown market on Saturday, or who are ready to replenish their supplies.

Sustainable Nantucket also operates a Farm to School program to serve healthier meals in school cafeterias, builds school gardens and provides information to parents, teachers and students about healthy eating.  A Youth Council Program began in 2008 to help the island’s youth become leaders in implementing sustainable practices, and ongoing Outreach/Education efforts are made through classes, workshops and targeted campaigns.

Learn how you can help at www.sustainablenantucket.org.

Best Wedding Flowers are Chemical-Free

I have a favorite source for healthy, chemical-free blossoms: Organic Bouquet. I’ve written about this company before, because many people do not realize that most hot house flowers are grown in greenhouses filled with pesticides. On your wedding day, you don’t want the blossoms in your bridal bouquet drenched in toxic chemicals.

You can find beautiful bridal arrangements at organicbouquet.com, such as roses in pink, white or soft lavender, gerbera daisies, iris, lilies or sunflowers. All of their flowers, from select farms in California, Ecuador and Columbia, meet stringent requirements for environmental safety, monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations.

Their eco-friendly flower arrangements also include calla lilies, tulips, hyacinths and alstromeria lilies, and are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. They also offer a selection of organic wines. All of their shipping boxes are made from recycled and recyclable materials, and boxes, inserts and gift cards are printed on recycled or recyclable materials using soy-based ink.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of a new life, by respecting the life of everything on earth!

Visit them at www.organicbouquet.com.

Sustainable Seafood

Although nutritionists agree that eating fish is a great way to add healthy protein and omega 3’s to your diet, there is an issue in our oceans today. Quite simply, for thousands of years, humans have been fishing, and the vast varieties of life in the seas have regenerated themselves. But over the past five decades, technology has entered the oceans, allowing us to fish deeper and more efficiently than ever before. Today, there are estimates that we have lost as much as 90% of the large predatory fish, such as shark, swordfish and cod. In 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission warned that the world’s oceans are in a state of “silent collapse.”

Mercury in Seafood

The other issue in seafood consumption is contaminants, such as mercury.  According to the EPA’s National Listing of Fish Advisories, mercury advisories have risen steadily over the past decade. Mercury is released into the air when fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are burned.  Mercury falls directly on the land and water, and also enters streams, rivers and oceans through rain and surface water runoff.  Bacteria then converts it to an organic form called methylmercury, which is dangerous to humans.

When small fish with low mercury levels get eaten by bigger fish, the level of methylmercury is magnified.  Thus, according to the EPA, mercury concentrations in fish can be many times the mercury concentration in water.  Mercury is most frequently found in long-lived or predatory fish, such as swordfish, shark, orange roughy and tuna. For that reason, the physicians at Canyon Ranch and many holistic physicians recommend that we only eat fish that will fit into a small frying pan, such as herring or mackerel.

There is Good News!

There is a way we can have our fish and eat it too. There are fisheries being run in a sustainable way, and chefs like Rich Garcia, executive chef at 606 Congress at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, are leading the way with their commitment to sustainable practices.  I met Rich at the Great Wines in Grand Houses dinner on May 20th on Nantucket, featuring Saint Emilion wines.

(I’m seated to the right of Edouard Moueix of Saint Emilion wines, my husband, Frank Fasanella, is across from me.  Behind me, standing, is Dennis Toner, wine festival founder.)

At the dinner, I learned that Rich Garcia is one of many people actively promoting the idea of sustainable fishing, ensuring that our oceans’ food supply will no longer be depleted at its current rate.  Rich was recognized in 2009 by industry leader Star Chefs (www.starchefs.com) as one of Boston’s rising star chefs for his commitment to sustainable practices.

Learn More

Here’s how to learn more about this important issue:

1.) Read Rich Garcia’s blog at www.chefsdailyfoodbank.com

2.) Check out www.cleanfish.com. CleanFish works closely with its producers to create next generation practices, from raising fish in polycultures, to wetlands filtration systems, to experimental deepwater aquapods.

3.) Investigate www.traceandtrust.com. Trace and Trust began when experienced New England fishermen and a few chefs in Rhode Island met to discuss what information their customers wanted to know about the high quality, fresh seafood they put on customer’s plates. Today, the company works with retailers and restaurants to ensure customers know exactly who caught their seafood, as well as when, where and how it got caught.

4.) Read Seafood Watch at www.montereybayaquarium.org. for a complete overview of the current situation with our fish, our oceans, and our solutions.

I’m Heading to the Beach!

In celebration of warm weather, sunshine and sand underfoot, I’m not going to be blogging as frequently for the next few months. Instead, look for a blog post around the first week of each month. I’ll still be talking about healthy living, beginning with the importance of joy in a healthy lifestyle in June, when we celebrate love, romance and weddings! All summer long, of course, we’ll continue to be Nantucket-based, so stay tuned for more on the elegant life of this beautiful island.

Several design installations will be completed over the summer, and in the fall, I’ll offer a sneak peek of my work, including before, during and after photos.

See you at the beach!

Earth Animal: Home to Natural Pet Care

This is me and my husband, Frank, with our three dogs, GG, Tuffy and Ellie. Thanks to Venture Photography, Westport CT, for the photograph!

My three beautiful Bichon Frises are my loving companions and dear friends, so I am fortunate to live close to an amazing retail store that caters to the health and wellbeing of companion animals: Earth Animal, in Westport, Connecticut.

In business for thirty years, this groundbreaking concept is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Goldstein, V.M.D., a holistic veterinarian, and his wife, Susan. Authors of the book The Goldstein’s Wellness & Longevity Program, the Goldsteins have made natural care for dogs and cats their lifelong mission. Dr. Bob promotes abundant health in animals through a carefully considered program of healing and nutrition that ensures a long and healthy life for animal companions. Sue operated the retail store for many years; today, their daughter Merritt manages the store, its mail order division and their website, www.earthanimal.com.

Earth Animal opened in 1979, and was the first true health food store for animals in America at that time. Sue began the store with a concept, designed the interior, then went searching for organic products to fill it, only to find there weren’t any! She found herself making custom flea collars the old fashioned way: by hand rolling the collars in herbs to repel parasitic pests, she would dip the collars in wax, one by one, serving her grateful customers who were among the first in the nation to be aware of the dangers of pesticide and nerve gas exposure.

The basic concept behind Earth Animals is loving, gentle care of our guardian animals, based on a proper diet of whole foods made with vitamins and minerals, food supplements to boost the immune system, and herbs and brewer’s yeast to fight fleas and ticks.

One of their most popular products is an herbal powder formulated for both cats and dogs. Brewer’s yeast and herbs used as a food supplement work to strengthen the blood and immune system, creating a natural, powerful barrier against disease and parasites. Although topical chemical products often produce multiple side effects, such as seizures, vomiting and damaged kidneys, Earth Animal’s natural products are effective and 100% side effect free.

Whether visiting the Earth Animal store or buying products available nationwide through their website, www.earthanimal.com, there is an awareness that every dog and cat has unique nutritional and emotional needs. Sue describes the staff at Earth Animals as healers, not cashiers. An affiliated service offered through Dr. Bob’s office, the Healing Center for Animals Natural Pharmacy, offers nationwide phone consultations with conventional as well as holistic veterinarians, teaching them how to use nutrition as a healing modality. As cancer has become endemic among companion animals today, many of the consults focus on how to support an animal through a regimen of a whole food diet, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs and homeopathic supplements working in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, depending upon the family’s choice.

The store and website offer organic and premium foods, including those specifically formulated by Dr. Bob, such as Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo is named for company owners’ Bill and Jackie Bishop’s large breed Airedale, Blue. After Blue had a bout with cancer, the Bishops found that veterinarians are concerned about the increases in environmental toxins and their effects on animals. They consulted with Dr. Bob and decided to make a food with ingredients to nourish dogs and cats, along with ones that are scientifically shown to provide an extra level of protection against environmental toxins.

Blue Buffalo food is made with real chicken, lamb or fish, plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit. The secret ingredient? LifeSource Bits, a precise blend of nutrients and antioxidants that are cold-formed for greater potency. (You can read more about Blue Buffalo at www.bluebuffalo.com.)

Cold-formed, living nutrients are also the concept behind Earth Animal’s Daily Health Nugget, a vitamin/mineral supplement created with living, uncooked, nutrients. The store and website have chewies and treats made from free-range, hormone free beef and chicken, and a bakery section filled with adorable cookies made from vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

Earth Animal also has a line of shampoo called Clean Dog, a wild bird department for feeding and attracting avian friends to your garden, and much, much more! I invite you to visit their website, and if you are lucky enough to live close enough for a store visit, to stop by and say hello to Merritt, Chris, John, Betsy and Jamie, the resident animal healers who are there to help you.

On the West Coast? Stop by tACKo!

tACKo, a counter-service taqueria owned by my stepson, Nick Fasanella, will open soon in San Francisco in the Marina at 3115 Fillmore Street. Nick is the owner or former owner of a few of the city’s favorite eateries, including Nick’s Crispy Taco’s and the Taco Shop at Underdogs. tACKo, named to reference Nantucket Island’s airport abbreviation, ACK, will feature a New England theme.

I’m proud to have designed his new décor, with a quintessential Nantucket gray exterior, complete with window boxes and white trim. There’s a nautical theme inside the restaurant, which reflects his passion for sailing and life on a houseboat in Sausalito. Nick plans to open his second tACKo branch on Nantucket in the summer of 2012, and after that, to expand across the East Coast.

Chef Nick looks for the best fresh and organic ingredients when preparing his signature dishes. Stop by and enjoy one of his lobster tortas (photo and recipe farther down), and tell Nick we said hello!

For a review and a photo of the restaurant interior, click here:

Nick and Trudy

On the East Coast? Stop by Pumpkin Pond Farm!

A certified organic 9.5 acre farm and nursery located on Nantucket, Pumpkin Pond Farm offers delicious vegetables and greens, along with trees, shrubs, perennials and garden supplies. Their dedication to sustainable agriculture and good soil science is an integral part of the farm’s approach to producing pure, fresh products.

Salad lovers will soon find the best of Spring, including lettuce, arugula, and wheatgrass, and that’s just the beginning of their growing season.

Owner Marty McGowan and his wife, Holly, have a longstanding friendship with my stepson, Nick Fasanella. Marty likes to tell the story of the day Chef Nick walked through the garden and was delighted to find Mexican tarragon growing there. It became the inspiration for a fabulous Lobster Torta that he created and cooked at the farm. We’re happy to share the recipe from the Pumpkin Pond Farm website:

Lobster Torta
Serves 4

1 bunch of Mexican tarragon
Fresh cilantro
3 Jalapenos thinly sliced
2 Ripe avocados
3 Limes
4 organic Garlic cloves
4 Chili Arbor
8 oz Nantucket butter, melted
4 1.25lb Lobsters steamed & cleaned
2 cups of Black Beans
4 Bolillo or Torpedo Rolls lightly toasted and buttered
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Cook 1 cup of dried black beans with 3 cups of water and garlic cloves. Half way through cooking add salt and pepper to taste. When the beans are tender in about an hour, let them cool slightly then blend them smoothly with just enough of their broth. Return the puree to the pan to cook out some of the moisture, check for seasoning and keep warm. Melt the butter on low heat and steep in the whole tarragon and chiles for 15 minutes, remove pepper and tarragon to reheat the lobster. Mash avocado with salt and the juice of half a lime. Toast the bread cut side down brushed with some of the butter. Spread the bottom bun with black beans and top with avocado. Divide the warmed lobster evenly and top with cilantro and jalapenos. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges and serve with ZD Chardonnay.

Enjoy!

Due to their close friendship, Marty and Nick look forward to more collaboration in the future. We’ll keep you posted!

Nantucket Wine Festival May 18-22

The 15th annual Nantucket Wine Festival kicks off on May 18th, when over 165 wineries converge upon Nantucket for one of the nation’s most celebrated wine and food events.

Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. is the kickoff with the Nantucket Wine Festival Harbor Gala, held at the charming White Elephant Hotel, an island landmark since the 1920’s. The Nantucket Yacht Club is home to the Grand Tastings during the weekend of May 21ST and 22nd, with an exceptional collection of wineries, chefs and food purveyors.

There are wine and food seminars, a luncheon symposium with distinguished winemakers, followed by a four-course luncheon of superb cuisine, and on Saturday, May 21st, a spectacular dinner and auction of rare wines at the White Elephant. This is an event not to be missed by any serious fan of food and wine—and isn’t that all of us?

Please join me!

For more information, visit www.nantucketwinefestival.com

Nantucket Daffodil Festival Week

April 29-May 1, 2011

After the long winter months, Nantucket officially springs back to life with the annual Daffodil Festival, when three million daffodils burst into bloom and decorate the island with waves of yellow blossoms. Originated by the late Jean MacAusland, a longtime summer resident of Nantucket and former publisher of Gourmet Magazine, the first daffodils were planted in 1974. That was the year she convinced the Nantucket Garden Club to sponsor a daffodil show; the original goal was to plant one million bulbs.

Thousands of daffodils were added each year, and in the early 1980’s Mrs. MacAusland ordered eight tons of bulbs from the Netherlands. Today, roadways, gardens and meadows all boast blossoms of white, orange, and yellow, in an explosion of color.


Highlights are the Antique Car Parade on Saturday, April 30, with over 100 decorated antique cars, the Children’s Parade and the Tailgate Picnic. This is the perfect time to plan a weekend on Nantucket. Come join me!

This is a photo of my husband, Frank, and dog, GG, enjoying the parade!

Breathing Easier with Austin Air Filters

Living close to fresh breezes off the ocean, both Long Island Sound and Nantucket Harbor, means I regularly enjoy brisk, clean air when I am outside. As a designer and proponent of healthy living, I want all of us to enjoy the same feeling of pristine air inside our homes as well.

A product that I use in my own home, and recommend to friends and clients, is the HealthMate+ from Austin Air Filters, Inc. This filter is enhanced to offer the ultimate in air filtration, making it an ideal choice for those with chemical sensitivities. A medical filter uses solid activated carbon and zeolite impregnated with potassium iodide to remove harmful gases, in addition to dust, pollen and pet dander.

Austin Air Systems, Limited was recently chosen by the National Sleep Foundation to make a new filter specifically for the bedroom, to be used while sleeping. The Bedroom Machine removes particulates that can be seen by the naked eye, like dust and pet dander, along with molds, spores, pollen and chemical gases such as sulfuric acid and ammonia.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America rates indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental health risks, which means that I recommend doing more than just opening the windows from time to time. Indoor air can harbor a number of irritants, from smoke particulates to pollen. Other chemicals such as formaldehyde from particleboard cabinets and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from paints and finishes can also be present.

A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that using High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for just two days removed 60 percent of air particulates and improved cardiovascular health in non-smoking adults. To be sold as a HEPA air filtration system, the air filter must remove 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns.

Five more things you can do to ensure clean indoor air:

• Turn on your fan while cooking, especially with gas stoves.
• Use green cleaning methods instead of heavy chemicals for housekeeping.
• Choose “green” dry cleaners that use only non-toxic cleaning products.
• Don’t wear shoes indoors. Shoes track in pesticides and chemicals, which then become trapped in carpet fibers.
• Use low or no-VOC paints and finishes in your home.

Take a deep breath and resolve to do at least one, if not more, of these suggestions. Your heart and lungs will thank you.

Earth Hour 2011

On Saturday, March 26th, at 8:30 p.m. (your local time), people all over the world will turn off their lights for one hour, in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common:  our planet.  Lights will go out in neighborhoods, cities and countries around the world, as hundreds of millions of people take a stand against climate change.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, with 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turning off the lights.  Only a year later, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating.  Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome’s Colosseum all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for the future of our planet.

March 27, 2010 was the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries joined the global display, and lights from Asia Pacific to Europe to Africa to the Americas switched off the lights

I joined this movement in 2009, and look forward to my third year of switching off the lights on March 26th, 2011.  I hope you’ll join me!

For more information, go to earthhour.org.  You can sign up there, and add your name to other individuals and businesses who are working to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.



 

 

 

 

Working Together to Curb Chemical Use

Make Cancer Prevention a Priority – Sign the Greenpeace Petition!

Greenpeace is joining up with 200 coalition groups to deliver a petition to President Obama in early May, asking him to make it a top priority to stop the use of cancer-causing chemicals in American products.  Despite the devastation caused by this horrendous disease, it’s still legal for companies to add known cancer-causing chemicals to products we use every day in our homes, schools and workplaces.

In order for this to change, people need to speak out.

Please sign the Greenpeace petition asking the Administration to create a cancer prevention plan and eliminate cancer-causing chemicals in everyday products.

I’ve signed the petition:  Please Join Me!

Organic Bouquet

When our thoughts turn to love, we often turn to flowers.  Long established as a romantic gesture, there is nothing like a dozen roses to melt the heart of your loved one.  Many people do not realize, however, that hothouse flowers are grown in greenhouses filled with pesticides, and the blossoms you hold to your face have been repeatedly treated with toxic chemicals.

There is a wonderful company determined to change the way we grow and buy flowers, however.  Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of organic floral arrangements and gifts.  All of their flowers, from select farms in California, Ecuador and Columbia, meet stringent standards for environmental safety, monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations.

Their eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris, and are shipped nationwide to all 50 states.

CEO Robert McLaughlin has created a company that positively affects the environment, the floral industry, and the people on the farms of California, and South and Central America.  They make choices every day to support responsible commerce, environmental stewardship and the health of the people who work for them.

“Sustainability is a slippery word, one that has a different meaning for different groups,” says Mr. McLaughlin.  “Being sustainable is not just about our company, it’s about our partners, our industry associates and our customers.”

“All plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and livestock were grown or raised for thousands of years organically.  Only in the last 100 years have we discovered synthetic chemicals and begun to overuse them,” he continues.  “As we’ve destroyed millions of acres and polluted millions more, this phasing out of synthetic chemicals and returning to natural methods prove that synthetic chemicals have been a brief but damaging fad that hopefully will never be repeated.”

Good things to know about Organic Bouquet:

  • The company partners with Carbonfund.org in a carbon offset program to mitigate greenhouse gases generated from shipping your flowers and gifts.  Each time you make a purchase from Organic Bouquet, the amount of carbon emissions  from that shipment is offset by rolling funds into the Nicaragua Reforestation Project—a project which will sequester more than 150,000 tons of CO2 through reforesting abandoned pasture land with native tree species.
  • Shipping boxes are made from recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Boxes are printed with water based ink, which is naturally non-toxic and low in VOCs.
  • All of their inserts and gift cards are printed on recycled or recyclable materials using soy-based ink.
  • Their glass vases are made from 100% recycled glass.

If all of that isn’t enough to convince you, consider this:

The company’s flower farms employ 60% women, all from the surrounding villages.  These jobs empower women, help bring the family out of poverty, and improve the lives of their children.  Each certified farm has medical facilities on site, day care for workers, health education, above minimum wages, and teaches a trade.

For more information and to order your Valentine’s Day flowers, visit them at: www.OrganicBouquet.com

Connecticut Cottages and Gardens Magazine

Join me in celebrating our eight page spread in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Magazine.  The February issue of the magazine will feature my newly remodeled Nantucket home by the sea!  Completely “green” in design from front door to chimney top, all the building materials, cabinetry, flooring and finishes were carefully selected to be as healthy as they are beautiful.

Creating a home as fresh as the sea breezes that blow through the windows is easier than ever now, as eco-friendly choices in rugs, upholstered furniture, and drapery fabrics are rapidly expanding.  I invite you to pick up a copy of the magazine and drop in for a “visit!’  I hope it feels like a little bit of summer for you.

The article will be available on Connecticut Cottages & Gardens’ website after February 10th.

I’m Helping to Build Healthier Communities

I’m excited to join the Connecticut Chapter of the Green Building Council (CTGBC) as a Board Advisor.  The CTGBC is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Connecticut through the promotion of intelligently designed and constructed high performance green buildings.

Volunteering for this position is one of the ways I can share what I’ve learned about sustainable design, and give back to the community where I live and work.

You can find out more about the work of the CTGBC at www.ctgbc.org

Practical Green Remodeling

Practical Green Remodeling, by Barry Katz. Published by The Taunton Press, 2010


Practical Green Remodeling: Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes

Going green doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.  It’s possible to make sustainable choices that result in a more energy-efficient home and healthier living spaces by incorporating ideas from Barry Katz’s new book Practical Green Remodeling: Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes. (Published by The Taunton Press, 2010)

An architect and building professional who offers green building services for both residential and commercial projects, Barry has written a user-friendly book to guide novice and expert alike through ways to improve the home you live in.

Remodeling an existing house is always “greener” than building a new one: as Barry explains, “you are keeping significant amounts of material—lumber, hardwood flooring, copper tubing, cabinets—and continuing to use these resources rather than sending them to a landfill and replacing them with virgin material.”

He continues, “And you are continuing to live in a place where infrastructure—roads, sewers, utility lines—is already in place, rather than moving to a new sub-division where previously undeveloped land needs to be cleared, dug up, and paved over and where new water and sewer lines and electric, telephone and TV cables must be installed, all at great cost both financially and in the consumption of resources.”

This book covers the fundamentals of green remodeling and explains things in reader-friendly language that makes it a perfect guide for anyone updating or remodeling their home.

I’ve remodeled two waterfront homes and speak from experience: you can create the holistic house of your dreams without changing your address. This book can show you how.

Don’t Postpone Joy!

In my last blog post, I wrote about the renewal of mind, body and spirit that I experience at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. One other thing that I always come away with is expressed in these three words: Don’t postpone joy!

It’s easy to feel stress in our daily lives. We all have to-do lists that seem to get longer as the day goes on. But we can’t live a healthy life without joy. So keep it on your calendar. Schedule time for the things, and the people, you love. Take a walk with your dad, catch a movie with your spouse, make time for a yoga class.

Do something joyful every day!

Canyon Ranch

The beginning of the New Year has always meant a time of reflection, and for me, a time for renewal of body, mind and spirit as well.  I use the early weeks of January, when the holiday lights have been taken down and the cold weather has settled around us, for a trip to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts.

I know that it is important to keep myself in balance through the right nutrition for my body, good sleep in a healthy environment, and exercise that gently stretches me to new levels of fitness.  The experts at Canyon Ranch offer an innovative approach to health and wellness, and a passionate commitment to holistic care, all in beautiful and relaxing surroundings.

Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts is housed in the former Bellefontaine Mansion, in the heart of the Berkshires.  Built in 1897, the building has been restored in a style harmonious with the surrounding countryside.  Architects worked with the local historic preservation board to be sure their restoration was fully authentic.  In recent years, the spa has embraced the concept of sustainable interiors, and has chosen to use low VOC paints and other non-toxic materials in their healthy and beautiful surroundings.

It’s a step forward for all of us (and for a healthy planet) whenever sustainable choices are made:  my enthusiasm for the good work done at Canyon Ranch is amplified by their conscious stewardship of the earth, and their dedication to the health of their guests.

The bottom line:  however we choose to honor and care for ourselves, we must never take our health for granted!

Please Join Me in Reading

Anthill: A Novel E.O. Wilson

I’m reading a wonderful book:  Anthill: A Novel, by E.O. Wilson.  Join me!

Edward O. Wilson, a Pulitzer-prize winning author of 22 non-fiction books, has written a wonderful first novel.  Anthill tells the story of three parallel worlds:  the smallest is the world of ants, then there is the world of humans, and last, “thousands of times greater in space and time…the biosphere, the totality of all life, plastered like a membrane over all of earth.” (from the Prologue).

Wilson, a naturalist and ant expert, has become increasingly concerned about the declining health of planet Earth.  He has written deeply on topics of conservancy, including in 2006, The Creation—An Appeal to Save Life on Earth.

Anthill tells the inspirational story of a boy who grows up determined to save earth from her most fierce predator:  man himself. The novel follows the boy as he grows up, first witnessing through a child’s eyes the creation and destruction of four amazing anthills, and then later, his life as a legal gladiator in a fight to preserve the wilderness he loves.  It is a parable for our times, and can teach us all important lessons about survival in a world that we must learn to treat with more care.

Our Russian Christmas Fantasy

Our Russian Christmas Fantasy

Once again, the end of November found the team at Dujardin Design Associates in full decorating mode at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. This year, we created a Russian Christmas Fantasy display for the Nantucket Historical Association’s 17th Annual Festival of Trees.

Inspired by my Russian heritage, the tree is a splendor in red and gold, with red glass balls, golden ribbons and over 50 handmade Russian ornaments. There are Russian Cossacks, snowflakes, Faberge eggs and matryoshka dolls (the traditional nesting dolls), all delicately hand painted in festive fashion.

We created the illusion of snow covered branches by wrapping the tree in hundreds of little white lights, and tucking fresh baby’s breath into the boughs. A silk tree skirt embroidered in red glass beads in a snowflake design is a work of art in itself, crafted for us by the same people who did the Christmas tree skirts for the White House.

A Nod to Antiquity Required Special Handling:

The museum is home to rare artifacts and aged documents such as original ships’ whaling logs, so the ornaments, although they appear to be cookies, are not made with any edible products. Likewise, the fabulous faux “gingerbread” cathedral, depicting St. Basil’s in Moscow, is a meticulously molded and painted replica.

St. Basil’s Gingerbread Cathedral

Accompanies the Tree:

Standing next to the tree on a red plaid skirted table is a replica of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Approximately two feet wide and three feet high, its creation required over 200 man hours by the skilled craftspeople at Colette’s Cakes of New York.

St. Basil’s was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1555. The building’s shape was designed to mimic the flame of a bonfire rising into the sky. Its full name is the Cathedral of Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, Temple of Basil the Blessed, but it has been referred to as St. Basil’s for centuries. It comprises nine individual chapels, each topped with a unique onion dome.

The Story of BabushkaIf you would like a copy of this delightful Russian Christmas Legend please send us your contact information.Seven Simple Steps for a Sustainable Holiday Season

  • A gift is a thoughtful gesture and the same sentiment can be shown in sustainable ways. Consider exchanging time instead of gifts with the elderly or lonely during the holiday season, or making a sustainable donation to a local charity with the money you save. Put your money to work helping others and the planet with a “life-changing gift”, such as Heifer International, www.heifer.org or ChildFund International, www.childfund.org.
  • Be socially conscious with gifts that promote fair trade.
  • Use energy efficient LED holiday lights to add sparkle. (Install a timer!)
  • Give locally made products, help reduce the impact of transportation.
  • Purchase greeting cards printed on recycled materials with vegetable based non-toxic inks, or send email greetings.
  • Give gifts such as gift certificates or theater tickets – they don’t require a lot of gift wrapping. Avoid wrapping with glossy or metallic paper. Colorful fabric or reusable gift bags are an environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Choose toys that do not require batteries. Instead choose gifts that stimulate a child’s imagination without impacting the environment.

For more on sustainable ideas for your home, visit our website at www.dujardindesign.com.

The Q Collection

The Q Collection

I often talk to my clients about the importance of indoor air quality. Our super-insulated, warm homes can generate a poor air exchange system, so that chemicals that are introduced unknowingly build up and can cause allergies, asthma, and auto immune disorders.

Producing upholstered furniture and dyed fabrics requires the use of many chemical products, some of which may be harmful to us. The list includes things such as formaldehyde and polyurethane, flame retardants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all sources of noxious indoor vapors.

The Q Collection was one of the first fabric and furniture companies dedicated to eco-safe home furnishings. Their materials are free of chemicals that can pollute your home, such as toxic glues, finishes and dyes. Their residential fabric line includes biodegradable, environmentally-safe products made with natural materials such as alpaca, bamboo, Oeko-Tex certified cotton, hemp, leather, linen, viscose and wool.

I’ve used the Q Collection fabrics and upholstered pieces in several of my “green” designs, and recommend them as one more thing you can do to help make all of our lives a little healthier, and the earth a little cleaner, as well as more beautiful!

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More, by Anna Getty.

Another thing I love is a book entitled, I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas:  Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More, by Anna Getty. This charming paperback by a chef, mother, organic living expert and environmental advocate offers advice on everything from choosing the best tree (real or fake?) to homemade craft ideas, recipes and entertaining friends and family. She offers tips like The Ten Easiest Things You Can Do to Save Energy during the Holidays, and chapters on Nesting, Trimming and Giving.

A statistic from the book states that Americans throw away an additional five million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This little book may be the start of a more sustainable holiday for you and your family.

Available from Chronicle Books. ISBN-10:  0811867676
List Price $24.95

If you’re on Nantucket, you can find this book at Parchment, Eleven Washington Street. 508-228-4110 www.parchmentnantucket.com. Heidi, Parchment’s gracious storekeeper, will be delighted to help you.