• Why And How To Buy Organic On A Budget

    Sep 26, 2017

    There are many benefits to eating organic. Fruits and veggies that are certified organic are grown with limited pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic produce is not irradiated and the seeds are chemical and GMO free. Animal products sold as organic means the animal was not given antibiotics or growth hormones. It means that they were fed with organic feed and were not medicated, except for vaccinations or for specific illness.

    There are many environmental benefits of organic farming. It makes for cleaner groundwater and healthier soil. It reduces non-renewable energy inputs and can reduce the greenhouse effect and climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. Overall, organic farming can lead to stronger biodiversity and greater sustainability. The benefits are clear, but they also cost more. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you buy organic on a budget.

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    Join a co-op

    Becoming a member of a co-op can help reduce your grocery costs and help connect you with you local food community. Membership fees and/or volunteer hours help to keep overhead costs down and provide local and organic food at fair prices.

    Delivery services

    Organic delivery services can ensure that a steady supply of organic food arrives at your door, often for a lower price than large grocery stores. SPUD services several cities in western Canada, including Calgary and Edmonton. In the Toronto area, Wanigan Organics provides weekly or bi-weekly deliveries of package deals as well as custom orders.  Look for a provider near you, including Fresh Option in Winnipeg,  Ecollegey in Montreal and HGOF in Halifax.

    Shop smart with an affordable food list

    Knowing what to buy and what not to buy is crucial to keeping your grocery bill under control. Not everything has to be organic. The thick peel of produce, such as avocados and bananas, protects the flesh from absorbing agricultural chemicals. Be sure to wash the peel first, as the chemicals can be transferred as you cut into it. To help simplify, buy organic on the Dirty Dozen and save money going conventional on the Clean 15 -- the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

    Timbercreek hopes this post helps you buy organic on a budget! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: Safer Ways to Prevent Fleas and Ticks

    Sep 25, 2017

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    Fleas and ticks are not only irritating and unpleasant for your furry friends, they can infiltrate your home and are capable of transmitting disease. Many control and treatment products contain chemicals that can be toxic to you and your pet. How do you balance the risks posed by fleas and ticks with the risks of the repellents? Timbercreek Communities want to help with our best advice for safer ways to prevent fleas and ticks.

    Talk to Your Vet

    Before making any decisions about flea and tick control, talk to your vet. They can help you make the best decision for your pet and your whole family. You may want to consider orally administered products to limit your family’s exposure to toxic compounds.

    Citrus Juice

    Fleas are not fans of citrus. Squeezing some lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice on your dog’s fur can get rid of the blood suckers. Be careful to avoid your pet’s eyes and remember that lemon juice may lighten darker hair.

    Regular Baths

    A warm bath can help get rid of fleas and prevent them from returning. Existing fleas will fall off into the water and fleas are less attracted to cleaner animals. You may want to try a peppermint shampoo for a bit of extra protection. Place your pet on a lightly coloured towel after the bath (to better see any remaining fleas), and use a flea comb dipped in soapy water.

    Clean Your Home

    Regular, thorough cleaning of your home can help control fleas and ticks. Vacuum often and change your bedding and your pet’s bedding, regularly.

    Essential Oils

    Some essential oils like geranium, lemongrass, catnip oil or neem may help repel fleas and ticks, as well as mosquitoes and other pests. Be sure to choose high quality oils that can be applied topically.

    Timbercreek hopes this post helps you make safer choices while caring for all the members of your family. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Outdoor Adventure List

    Sep 19, 2017

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    Whether it’s camping, watersports, hiking, or an intercontinental trip, outdoor adventure is good for body and soul. Adventure is about taking risks, trying new things, and diving in with both feet. Whether it’s across the globe or in your own backyard, adventure awaits. To help you discover your inner explorer, Timbercreek brings you our outdoor adventure list.

    Camping

    Camping is key. From hikes to multi-day backcountry canoe trips, camping brings you back to nature, even if it’s in a car or an RV. Fresh air, sun and wind, water and woods. They cleanse the soul and ground the spirit. And it’s the kind of thing you don’t have to venture too far for. Even city folk can drive an hour or two, set up a tent, and bask in the rejuvenating energy of nature.

    Rock Climbing

    While this point involves considerable skill and also risk of death, it’s a great way to get outside and get your adrenaline pumping. Rock climbing is a sport that involves strength, technique, planning, and courage. It makes you face your fears, try new things, test your skills, and take chances. Best of all, it’s increasingly becoming available in unexpected like indoor climbing gyms.

    Watersports

    Adventure doesn’t have to imply distance. It’s as much a mental state as a physical activity. Doing something you don’t often do, or that can be done close by or in another medium (i.e. water), can instill a sense of exploration even in the middle of the city. Windsurfing, canoeing, swimming, kitesurfing, dragon boating, or paddle boarding: they all remove you from your normal environment and call on different skill sets. They also demand an immediate connection with nature - in these cases - with wind, water, sun, and sky.

    Road Trip

    From RVing to car camping and cross country marathons, road trips are what adventure is made of. Route 66, the Trans Canada, the Dempster highway -- roads are a symbol of freedom, the unknown, exploration, and travel. And cycling definitely counts as well. Multi-day cycling adventures can be just as exciting and promote a more direct and hands-on experience of a particular area.

    Pilgrimage

    A more extensive outdoor adventure, a pilgrimage in the style of Mecca, the Camino de Santiago, or visiting Stonehenge, is an adventure with purpose. With spiritual meaning and physical, outdoor components, an adventure of this sort combines the visceral aspect of moving through a new environment, with the mental component of experiencing new and unseen vistas.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you a few ideas for your own outdoor adventure this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Best Kid-Friendly Fall Activities

    Sep 18, 2017

    To help keep your little ones smiling this fall, Timbercreek brings you this list of kid-friendly fall activities the whole family will love.

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    Nature Walk

    It’s almost always a good time to go for a walk. Even if you’re subdivision bound, there are always parks close by, or conservation areas a little further away, that can make for a great fall outing. Pack a snack or a full-on lunch, make sure to bring water, and outfit your little ones with some sturdy shoes. Also bring bags for the kids to collect nature items - twigs, rocks, leaves, bark - it can all be fun for nature collections or crafting once you get home. As fall temperatures start to drop, be sure to consider appropriate clothing and layers to make your outing disaster proof.

    Picnic

    Picnics aren’t just for summer. A fantastic fall activity, picnics are great so long as you wear and bring the right stuff along. With unpredictable temperatures, pack some hats and coats. Don’t forget to bring all the usual picnic supplies like frisbees, baseballs, blankets, PB & J sammies, drink boxes, and kites. 

    Pumpkin Carving

    While generally reserved for Halloween, pumpkins are a symbol of autumn. Harvested from September through October, they offer families a great range of activities. Going to a local pumpkin “patch” to pick a few for the house is a great afternoon outing, while carving competitions, roasting pumpkin seeds, and playing with pumpkin “slime” are all great ways to enjoy them.

    Leaf Forts

    Jumping in a pile of leaves is a classic fall activity that never gets old. For kids it’s like an invitation to play and explore. Burying, burrowing, making forts, tossing them all over each other in leaf wars: they all make for great outdoor play that can occupy kids for hours. On a safety note, while obvious, check your leaf piles (before your kid jumps in them) for branches, rocks, garbage, and other debris that can be hiding inside after raking and yard cleaning.

    Baking

    A great fall activity for kids is baking. A couple seasonal snack options are apple chips and roasted pumpkin seeds. Slice some apples in thin, full width pieces and place evenly on a baking tray. Sprinkle them with cinnamon, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and even some coarse sea salt, and bake at 340F until slightly dehydrated and/or golden brown. Let dry and refrigerate for a great snack. Almost the same process can be applied to pumpkin seeds. Clean and rinse a big handful of seeds and lay them out evenly on a baking sheet. Add coarse salt and, if desired, a dash of olive oil, and bake until firm and slightly brown.

    Make Butter

    It’s surprisingly easy to make butter and it’s also a great activity to do with kids. All it requires is heavy whipping cream and a whisk. But by using a Mason jar, two small marbles, and a bit of music, you can dance your way to whipping that cream into butter. Shake a jar (or whisk) until the cream thickens. As the fat molecules bind together, a ball of butter will form, separating from the remaining buttermilk. Once a ball has formed, drain off the buttermilk, add some salt, and voila!  Homemade butter.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you a few ideas for how to entertain your kids this fall. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Portable (College-Friendly) Meal Ideas

    Sep 12, 2017

    Life can get pretty hectic, and constantly eating on the go from take-out containers can get pretty expensive. It’s also unhealthy. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you eat well on-the-go with these portable (college-friendly) meal ideas.

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    Teriyaki Bento Box

    A Teriyaki Bento Box is a great way to sample several delicious Japanese dishes all at once. Making it yourself will help you save a few bucks, too! This recipe is easy and accessible for home cooks. Simmer rice until the water is absorbed. Stir the rice, remove the lid and remove from the heat. Marinate boneless chicken thighs with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, mirin, rice wine vinegar and minced garlic. In an another bowl mix miso, vinegar, soy sauce and honey and set aside. Sauté green beans and mushrooms in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes before adding the miso dressing. Complete your bento box with a simple salad or fresh fruit.

    Breakfast Cookies

    You’re an adult now, and that means you can eat cookies for breakfast, if you want to. If you want to be a responsible adult and actually eat a breakfast that will keep you energized and is fun and portable -- try these Jumbo Breakfast Cookies. They can be ready to eat in about 20 minutes and you can make them the night before to grab and go!

    Ramen

    Why subject yourself to packets of noodles loaded with salt and MSG when your can create your own ramen dish in minutes? This Easy Vegan Ramen is great all on it’s own, or use it as a base to add meaty morsels to. The 10-ingredient recipe is made with mushroom broth, crispy tofu and miso-roasted veggies.

    Buddha Bowl

    A healthy Buddha Bowl will fill your belly and put a smile on your face. A Buddha Bowl is a blanket term for colorful bowls composed of vegetables, healthy grains, and protein. There are limitless combinations, so you will never grow weary of this easy, make-at-home meal.

    Sushi

    The secret to great sushi is in the rice. This recipe will show you how to make it right. Once you have the rice down, you’re ready to move onto some delicious rolls. California rolls make a great, portable meal because raw fish may not travel well. They call for avocado and Surimi (cooked, imitation crab).

    Timbercreek hopes that these portable meal ideas keep you from running on empty. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

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