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Archives for September 2017

Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

Fall is a wonderful time of year to experience all that the beautiful outdoor activities in Oklahoma.

Things to do this fall in Oklahoma

Fall is here and it’s a great time to get out in nature with the family. Oklahoma offers a wide range of family-friendly outdoor activities. These are just a few of the ways to enjoy the cooler weather and some of the beauty Oklahoma has to offer.

  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area
    Chickasaw National Recreation Area is Oklahoma’s oldest national park area. It offers mineral and freshwater springs, a 2,350-acre lake, nature trails for hiking and cycling, many great fishing areas, campgrounds, picnic areas, a nature center, and more.
  • Tenkiller State Park
    Tellkiller State Park offers a lot of great family-friendly activities. Everything from playgrounds, picnic areas, three hiking trails, a kids’ fishing pond, to the Driftwood Nature Center.
  • Greenleaf State Park
    Stay in one of the park’s cabins or at the park’s campgrounds. Nature hiking trails, a discovery center, basketball and volleyball courts, miniature golf, fishing, and naturalist lead programs are just some of the fun activities found at Greenleaf State Park.
  • Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
    The 39,000-acre preserve is the largest protected area of tallgrass prairie on Earth. The preserve is known for the bison that calls it home. With a herd of 2,700 American Bison, it’s one of the largest herds in the country. It’s also home to white-tailed deer, beavers, bobcats, coyotes, woodchucks, over 300 species of birds, and more. You can drive the 15-mile scenic road to see the bison and other wildlife, visit the preserve headquarters and gift shop, have a picnic, check out the nature trail, visit the historic 1920’s ranch bunkhouse, and more.
  • Alabaster Caverns State Park
    The 200-acre state park offers the largest natural gypsum cave open to the public and the only gypsum show cave in the United States. There are daily guided tours of the cavern. There are also hiking trails, RV sites, picnic areas, a gift shop and more.
  • Pumpkin Patch
    Oklahoma offers many great pumpkin patches with lots of fun activities for the whole family.
  • Orr Family Farm
    The Orr Family Farm offers train rides on a historic train, pony rides, a vintage 1975 carousel, a playground, and so much more. September 20th will start the fall season for the Orr Family Farm.

Additional Resources: 35 Ways to Enjoy Fall for Free!
Oklahoma Road Trips

Looking for more events in Oklahoma? Join the Green Events in Oklahoma Facebook group

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10+ Perfect Fall Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkins are in season and it’s a great time to try some new pumpkin recipes. These are sure to make you excited about fall.

Pumpkin recipes, fall pumpkin recipes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin main dishes

It’s pumpkin season! Pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient. It can be used in savory and sweet dishes, and for any meal. It’s fun to try using it in many ways during fall.

Pumpkin farms are a fun weekend activity for the family. You can pick your own pumpkins, decorate a few and turn a few into some of these delicious dishes.


When craving your pumpkins be sure to keep the insides to use for some of these recipes. It helps prevent food waste and saves you money. Pumpkins a really healthy fruit that’s great for the whole family, even the dog.

Fall Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin recipes, fall pumpkin recipes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin main dishes

Additional Resource: When to Plant Pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Pumpkin recipes, fall pumpkin recipes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin main dishes

Pumpkin recipes, fall pumpkin recipes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin main dishes

Additional Resource: Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin recipes, fall pumpkin recipes, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin main dishes

More Pumpkin Recipes


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Throw an Eco-Friendly Football Party

Football is back and so is tailgating and football parties. Both can be a lot of fun but also create a lot of waste. This year try throwing an eco-friendly football party instead. 

How to throw an eco-friendly football party, eco-friendly tailgating

It’s football season and that means football parties and tailgating. Both are favorite past times of Oklahomans. We take our football seriously around here.


These parties can mean a lot of waste though. If you are trying to live more eco-friendly this can be really tough. You don’t need to ditch your parties though, just change them.

There are a lot of ways you can make your football parties more eco-friendly and still have a ton of fun supporting your favorite team.

Throw an Eco-Friendly Football Party

Better Food
Grilling is a popular option for tailgating and football parties but conventional food for grilling can have harmful ingredients like nitrates and the meat often comes from inhumane feedlots. There are better options though. Here are some great options for your next party.

Look for uncured hot dogs. Applegate Farm’s is a readily available brand. They have several great hot dog and dinner sausage options.

Throw an Eco-Friendly Football Party or Tailgate

 

Oklahoma has a lot of great local beef and bison that is perfect for grilling. The Oklahoma Food Coop is a great place to find local meat. Many natural food stores around the state also offer local meat. If you can’t find local meat, look for organic or pasture raised meat. Even Aldi often has grass-fed, organic beef.

Meat can have a pretty big environmental impact so it’s good to try and have some meatless meals as well, so if you are wanting a meatless meal or have any vegetarians coming why not make some homemade black bean burgers? Don’t forget the buns, check with local bakeries or make your own.

You will also need snack foods, there are great organic brands of chips and other snack and also some wonderful local options. Many local bakeries like Green Goodies in OKC use better ingredients in their delicious baked goods.

Additional Resource: Grilled Cheddar Sausage with Caramelized Onions Recipe

Dishes
If you are at home it’s best to use real dishes if possible. If you plan to have a lot of parties a good option for dishes is to check local thrift stores for a few cheap sets to have just for party use.

If real dishes aren’t an option look for recycled, compostable, plastic-free, or tree-free products.  Here are some more eco-friendly options.


Decorations

football party decor

Use things you already have around the house that are in your team’s colors. Also, check the thrift store for decorations. It’s a great way to get affordable decorations.

If you want some new items, take a look at Etsy for handmade options that are made to last. It’s a great way to support artisans and get great products.

How to throw an eco-friendly football party, eco-friendly tailgating

With these tips, you can celebrate your favorite team with friends without so much waste. Don’t forget to recycle and save your leftovers!

Want more eco-friendly living tips? Sign up for our mailing list below. 

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Field Peas with Ham

Looking for a delicious recipe that is perfect for fall and winter nights? Try Field Peas with Ham. 

Field peas with ham, how to cook field peas, local Oklahoma farms, eat local

Recently, I picked up a few things from local producers, Cattle Tracks and Rowdy Stickhorse Wild Acres. Both are family farms here in Oklahoma. I wanted to introduce you to these great local farms and share with you a tasty dish I made with their products. I created Field Peas with Ham with Dried Field Peas from Cattle Tracks and Ham Hocks from Rowdy Stickhorse. Simple, tasty, and great for this winter that just won’t end.


I created Field Peas with Ham with Dried Field Peas from Cattle Tracks and Ham Hocks from Rowdy Stickhorse. Simple, tasty, and great for cold nights.

Cattle Tracks/John’s Farm 

A family owned farm in Fairview, Oklahoma. They are Certified organic, non-GMO project verified, Animal Welfare Approved farm. They offer beef, wheat, flour, seasonings, and beef jerky. They have numerous retail locations around the state. I order their products through both the Oklahoma Food Co0op and at the OSU-OKC Farmers Market on the 1st Saturday of the month. 

Rowdy Stickhorse Wild Acres

A certified naturally grown family farm located outside of Covington Oklahoma. They offer Beef, Pork, Lamb, Goat, Eggs, Bird Feed, Goats milk herbal products (Soaps, Creams, and Laundry Powder, etc.) I have also ordered from them through the Oklahoma Food Co-op and the Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market truck.

This truck is an old yellow school bus that travels the state of Oklahoma (on a schedule).  A group of Oklahoma farmers gathers together to bring you farm fresh, clean food directly from their farms to you. You can find everything from local meat, cheese, bakery items, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and household items like laundry soap with goat’s milk. I usually pick up at Mercy’s Heart Hospital North on Memorial in Oklahoma City Thursday afternoons.

Cooking Peas and Beans

The field peas from Cattle Tracks/John’s Farm were a combination of organic Black-eyes, Victors, Chinese Reds, Red Rippers. With any dried bean or pea, soaking overnight in water is the preferred method to remove make them easier to digest. You could also do the rapid soak method of bringing the peas to a rapid boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. 

Dried peas and beans can cause some to get a little gassy. I add a 2″ x 2″ square of dried kelp (seaweed) to all my beans and peas to help eliminate the “toot”. It doesn’t add any flavor to the dish and is removed before serving. You can pick it up at most large grocery stores or any Asian market. I get mine at Cao Nguyen on Military and NW 26th in Oklahoma City.

This dish, Field Peas with Ham is a simple and delicious dish I know you are going to enjoy. Serve it with cornbread, corn tortillas, or try something different with my Irish Soda Bread.

Field Peas with Ham

Field peas with ham, how to cook field peas, local Oklahoma farms, eat local

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried peas
  • 3 cups chicken broth + water to cover peas
  • 1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or 1 Tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2″x 2″ piece of dried kelp, optional
  • Garnish: freshly chopped cilantro, optional

Directions:

  1. Soak peas overnight.
  2. Drain peas and place them in a large Dutch oven. Add fresh water to cover them by 2″.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Remove ham bone or ham hocks, kelp, and bay leaf. 
  6. Once the ham has cooled enough to work with, remove the meat and return to the peas.
  7. Spoon peas into individual serving bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired and serve.

For more great recipes and family related articles, be sure to check out my website, Little Family Adventure.

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Getting Your City to Recycle

Want to start a recycling program in your city? These tips will help you get started and encourage your city to recycle.

How to start a recycling program, getting your city to recycle

While many cities in Oklahoma have recycling programs, there are still many that don’t. So what can you do if your city doesn’t have a recycling program? It’s not something that will happen overnight but there are things you can do to encourage your city to recycle.

Getting Your City to Recycle

  • Talk to city officials and ask questions like, have you looked into having a recycling program? What would be your concerns about offering a recycling program?
  • Talk to people in your city to find out if others are interested in recycling. You can even set up a free survey on Google Docs or many other sites and share it on sites like Facebook, to find out what the interest levels are.
  • Consider starting a recycling coalition. Recycling coalitions like Ada Recycling Coalition have played big roles in getting recycling programs started. A few years ago the coalition in Ada helped convince the city to start a curbside recycling program which is still going strong.
  • Talk to nearby towns, that are about the same size, that currently have recycling programs. You can try and find out how their program got started and if they have any tips.
  • If your city contracts out your trash, see if you can talk to the trash company to find out if they offer a recycling program.
  • Ask to speak at a city council meeting about recycling and your desire to have a recycling program in your town.
  • Check out the Oklahoma Recycling Association, they have a lot of great information on recycling.
  • Most importantly, don’t give up and get others involved.

If you choose to take on this project it can be a lot of work but if you are able to make it happen you will have a lasting impact on your city and even the world.

Have a tip for how to start a recycling program? Post in the comments below.

We would also love to hear from you if you helped get your city to start a recycling program or are working on doing so, send us an email at gogreenokla@gmail.com

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9 Foods to Avoid During Ragweed Season

Ragweed season is here. If you find yourself dealing with some new food allergies it may be oral allergy syndrome. Learn how to stop the symptoms.

9 Foods to Avoid During Ragweed Season, Oral Allergy Syndrome, Natural Health

If you are experiencing allergies right now you are likely one of the 10-30% of Americans that suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And of the most common causes of hay fever during fall is ragweed.


Ragweed is very common in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic has been showing a rise in the pollen counts lately.

Symptoms of hay fever include-

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Cough
  • Sinus and facial pain and pressure
  • Decreased sense of taste or smell
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat

Treatments include antihistamines, corticosteroids, allergy shots, decongestants, and other over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Another way you can help reduce your systems is by eliminating some foods that may be causing you to have Oral allergy syndrome.

Oral allergy syndrome is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in pollen and in raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, and tree nuts. The immune system recognizes similar proteins found in these foods and causes an allergic reaction to it. Cooked forms of the foods don’t often cause the same issue. Ragweed is an allergen that suffers from oral allergy syndrome often have.

It’s estimated that up to a third of pollen allergy patients suffer from oral allergy syndrome. Most cases are mild but it can cause serious, even life-threatening reactions.

Common oral allergy syndrome triggers for ragweed suffers include-

  • Banana
  • Cucumber
  • Cantaloupe
  • Melons
  • Zucchini
  • Echinacea
  • Chamomile
  • Artichoke
  • Hibiscus

If you eat these foods take note of any symptoms after.

The most common symptoms of OAS include-

  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Tingling at the back of your throat
  • Itchy or swollen lips
  • Scratchiness on the roof of your mouth

If you notice any of these reactions be sure to let your doctor know and avoid the food. You can also avoid these foods as a precaution, as you may not be able to notice they are making your allergies worse.

Interested in more information like this? Sign up for our mailing list below. 

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35+ Delicious Apple Recipes

It’s apple season and a great time to try some new apple recipes. Try one of these delicious recipes today with some local apples. 

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

It’s time for apples here in Oklahoma and much of the US. Trying some new apple recipes is a great way to support local apple farmers and to get in the mood for fall.


With so many types of apples, the number of things you can make with them is endless. Everything from sweet treats to savory dishes are perfect with apples.

Be sure to look for apples at your local farmers’ market. It’s a great time to support local farmers.

Delicious Apple Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Additional Resource: How to Can Apples for Baking

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Addition Resource: Apple Picking Tips

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Additional Resource: Get an Instant Pot

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

More Apple Recipes