Val’s Green Bookshelf

BonBon Break

Welcome to our Green issue. This issue is close to my heart. Once upon a time, I was a student at San Diego State University, working on my BS in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and then several years later after grad school, I became a science teacher who cared deeply about the environment. My students took hikes to the Cascades, hiked our island doing bird surveys after learning 100 local species and they created their own research projects that took place on our beaches, tidepools and marinas. We ended the year with 4 days camping on Vancouver Island, hiking the shoreline, exploring the tidelands and learning about the history of an area so close to home. My hope was for my students to notice the beautiful world around them and to start observing change.

Then I had kids. I thought I was passionate about things before…pshaw. Label reading. Gardening. Recipes. Shopping locally. Reading. Reading. Reading. I have to admit that all things green became a bit of an obsession in my first year as a mom. Now, it is a lifestyle.

On the continuum of green we are not “dark green” but a nice shade of grass green. I don’t walk everywhere (but I know I should). I don’t preserve enough produce to last us through the winter (but I am trying!). I do check labels. I do buy locally first. Our produce is organic if it is not from our garden. So yes, I might be considered crunchier than most of America, but I think a lot of us are headed in the right direction.

Below is a list of my favorite books that got me started and that I wanted to share with you.

Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care

Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Alan Greene

This book is the one that got me started. As a new mom, it was an incredible resource that I still use. From setting up a nursery to what you are eating and what your babe is eating, this book has it all. One-stop-shopping in a book. It was also a great resource to share with the grandparents so they could understand where we were coming from in our decisions.


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

I love Barbara Kingsolver. I adore this book. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” changed my life and I have read it three times.

In a perfect world, I would be able to replicate the year she had. In reality, I strive to make one major change for my family each year. Her poetic storytelling and her actions have completely inspired me that I CAN take control of my family’s food…it just takes some doing and that doing is worth the effort.

Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they are missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven.”~Barbara Kingsolver


Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

Sharon Lovejoy brings an incredible collection of garden ideas to her readers young and old from “A Moon Garden” to “The Pizza Patch”. Each winter we pick a project from her book to work on for the following year. The beauty is that you do not need to have a farm to complete her ideas. They start small and grow grow grow. “Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots” is an inspirational book that will live on in our family for years.


I could keep going. Really I could. Like I said, I became a voracious reader on the topic and all surrounding topics. The cookbooks. The gardening books. The children activity books. Ok, just two more pictures, because I REALLY love these too (they are linked).

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking)








We hope you are able to pick up a tip or two as you travel through these rooms. Not all of the pieces are “GREEN” but, they are entertaining! The Family Room, the Mom Cave and the Playroom are particularly Earth-friendly this week.

You will definitely want to swing by the Family Room to learn the Story Behind Dolphin Organics and leave a comment to gain a chance at winning a collection of their product line!! Once you see what this family has done to create these products, you will want some for yourself (and the citrus scent is yummmmy).


Here are the phenomenal ladies of (lucky) Issue #13 – Bonbon Break’s Green Issue.



Val Curtis

Co-Founder of Bonbon Break