Archive for September, 2011

Support TreeFolks at Whole Earth

During the month of October, all three of Whole Earth’s Austin stores will be collecting funds at our cash registers for a very worthy non-profit organization, TreeFolks, Inc. We are kicking off the funddrive with a giveaway of free tree saplings at our 1014 N. Lamar store in Austin on Saturday, October 1st. Come by between noon and 2:00 pm that day for a free addition to your landscape – and don’t forget to make a small donation to assist TreeFolks fulfill their vital work in and around Austin.

Who is TreeFolks anyway?

TreeFolks grows the urban forest of Central Texas through tree planting, education and community partnerships.  Since 1989, TreeFolks has planted tens of thousands of trees in Austin area parks, schools, housing projects, medians, residential right of ways, community gardens, preserves and green belts.  They do this by partnering with businesses, schools, local governments, community groups and individuals to create a healthier environment and enhance the quality of urban life in Central Texas through the advancement of urban forestry initiatives.

Their flagship program, NeighborWoods, annually delivers 3,600 free street trees to residential properties in the Austin Energy service area to reduce the urban heat island effect.  Other programs include CommuniTrees, the Urban Orchard Project, and CityShade.  Each promotes tree planting and care by providing expertise, trees, and coordination to support the establishment of new trees thereby improving the environment and building community relationships.

TreeFolks provides speakers to a wide range of audiences about the value of trees and their care. They provide outreach to schools, libraries, festivals and fairs, to community leaders, professional organizations, and to businesses and neighborhood groups. With a small staff of four hardy folks, they reach an annual average of 11,000 people and plants nearly 10,000 trees through broad based community support.

Their mission simply stated is: TreeFolks grows the urban forest of Central Texas through tree planting, education, and community partnerships.

Thank You to All Contributors to Wildfire Relief

Whole Earth extends the warmest “thank you” to our many customers, friends, and staff who participated in the recent fund drive at our stores benefiting wildfire relief organizations in Austin. We have such generous folks in these parts (the whole state of Texas, really!) who have opened your hearts and wallets at this time of dire circumstances forced on thousands of our neighbors during the most disastrous wildfire season on record. Whole Earth Provision Company is proud to match the substantial contributions that so many have made.

Though our fund drive has concluded, you may continue donating to the wonderful, helping agencies to which this money is being given. These three worthy organizations are listed below with linkage to their individual websites for that purpose.

Austin Community Foundation through their avenue, The Central Texas Wildfire Fund, is a clearinghouse for distributing funds to support the short- or intermediate-term burdens created by the fires for central Texas non-profit agencies as they assist families and individuals affected by this disaster.

Austin Pets Alive! continues to assist in the Bastrop area with stray and abandoned animals as well as aiding individual humans who are displaced by the fires with their pets by providing supplies and boarding connections. And of course they continue to save animals from the Town Lake Animal Center.

The Capital Area Food Bank provides food and other necessities for fire emergency shelters and for individuals as well. They are helping to feed the many who are in need during this critical time.


Sapling Giveaway Day: October 1st

HAAM Benefit Day: October 4th

More details at the HAAM Benefit Day site.

Bastrop State Park update

Like many Texans, you may be wondering about conditions at Bastrop State Park after wildfires devastated the area.  Texas Parks and Wildlife released the following information late last week, which includes ways for us to help:


 Alan Fisher, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Alan Fisher, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Wildfire had significant impact on Bastrop State Park:

How the public can help

AUSTIN – Beyond the loss of lives and property, the still-smoldering Bastrop Complex Fire has had a significant impact not only on the iconic and highly-popular Bastrop State Park but much of the entire Lost Pines ecosystem.


The fire, which began north of the park on Sept. 4, claimed two lives, destroyed more than 1,500 homes, and changed the lives of thousands in Bastrop County.


“Texas Parks and Wildlife has been experiencing an outpouring of concern from citizens, conservationists and nature enthusiasts worried about the ecological impact on the park and the ecosystem it anchors,” said Todd McClanahan, park superintendent. “People have been offering money, trees, wildflowers – even wildlife. We’d like to ask the public to be patient while we assess the impact of this disaster and determine what TPWD needs to do, but we have set up a system for the public to offer assistance.”


While few areas within the park escaped the fire, most of the Civilian Conservation Corps-constructed buildings and other park infrastructure were saved. Even so, TPWD officials know that the fire has had a profound impact on the Lost Pines vegetation and wildlife habitats, though neither was totally lost.


“There will be remarkable changes in the landscape,” Greg Creacy, Natural Resources and Regional Wildland Fire Coordinator for State Parks said. “TPWD staff and cooperating scientists are focusing on assessing and documenting these effects.”


On the short term, however, TPWD personnel are still mopping up after the fire – dealing with smoldering stumps and yet-unburned fuel. Flare-ups are still a threat, especially with the continuing drought and red flag fire conditions.  Additionally, there are many hazardous trees to deal with—hundreds of which will continue to smolder and fall over the coming months.


The Lost Pines are among the more unique ecosystems in the nation and Bastrop and Buescher State Parks contain one of the best examples of the southwest-most extent of the loblolly pine.


“The genetics of these pines are unique,” said David Riskind, Director of Natural Resources for State Parks. “To provide for the long-term recovery and restoration of this plant community we need to use only the genetic stock from this area. Unfortunately no seedlings of this type are available at this moment so we do not want to introduce plants foreign to Bastrop.  The same goes for grasses and wild flowers.”


Creacy said TPWD will be assessing fire effects to determine the most seriously impacted sites and what the best strategies are to bring about maximum stabilization and recovery. This will involve mapping areas where erosion potential is greatest and working to install environmental fabrics.


“Another focus will be protecting especially sensitive habitats like the Houston Toad breeding ponds,” he said.  “All our study sites and transects will be monitored to determine effects on insects, wildlife, and vegetation.”


The Lost Pines are considered the last stronghold of the endangered amphibian, which once could be found in 14 Texas counties.


Here’s how the public can help:

  • If you are interested in the ecological restoration of Bastrop State Park and want to donate to habitat restoration or research please send your donations to:

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Attn: Cashiers
4200 Smith School Rd.
Austin, TX 78744

On the memo line note: Bastrop Recover Project-Habitat Restoration

  • If you would like to donate your time or specialty items for both the short and long-term restoration and stewardship of the park, please provide your contact information and area of interest to:
  • If you have suggestions or want to comment on the restoration and stewardship effort, please e-mail your remarks to:
  • If you want to contribute to the TPWD employees who lost their homes and processions to the Bastrop Complex Fire:


  • Make the check payable to:  Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
  • On the memo line please put:  TPW Employee Relief


Navigate to one of the following URL addresses:



Introduction to First Aid at Quarry Market

September’s Full Moon

Source: Wikipedia

If you have been watching the night sky these past few evenings, you may have noticed that the moon has looked full since Saturday night.  However, its brightness has only been half of what it will be tonight when the Harvest Moon rises in the East.  There can be some confusion about which full moon, September or October’s, is the Harvest Moon.  The full moon closer to the Autumn Equinox is traditionally considered to be the Harvest Moon, so this year it is in September.


Today is also the 15th day of the Eighth Lunar month of the Chinese calendar, better known as the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival.  Celebrated throughout Asia, the Festival varies from country to country.  In China, the Moon goddess, Chang’e, is honored with mooncakes and lantern processions.  In Japan, people gather to gaze on the most beautiful moon of the year.  In Korea, families return home to celebrate the harvest and honor their ancestors; and in Vietnam, lion dances mark the day.


So this evening see if you can find Chang’e, the lady in the Moon or gaze on the silvery beauty of a world lit by moonlight.  And as always, don’t forget: lunar is the root of lunacy.



Support San Antonio Goes Orange

An estimated 49 million Americans are food-insecure. Of those 49 million, almost 17 million are children and 5 million are seniors. Last year, over 37 million people used a Food Bank for emergency food assistance. The San Antonio Food Bank’s SA Goes Orange Campaign offers companies and individuals the opportunity to make a difference by raising funds and awareness for hunger reliefe. SA Goes Orange engages San Antonians in public awareness and fundraising activities that will ultimately help the San Antonio Food Bank end hunger in Southwest Texas. For more info on how you can help during SA Goes Orange visit

Of course, the next time you visit our Whole Earth store in the Quarry Market, please take time to make a small donation to this very worthy cause. You can also leave canned and dry goods at any of the participating businesses in Quarry Market for the entire month of September, 2011.

College Essentials to get you through the week!

Have you been to a Whole Earth Provision Company store? Yes, we have shoes and clothes, but we have so much more. Here’s a sampling of how we can help you through the week….

Monday 7 a.m. – Yoga class

Almost late for yoga …  Pulled on my Prana Leyla top, jumped into my Rainbow two layer flipflops, grabbed my Timbuk 2 Messenger bag and was out the door. Thankfully packed my bag the night before, so arrived at class with my Prana Eco Sticky Mat – Nailed Shirshasana!

Tuesday 11:30 a.m. – coffee shop

Overslept, must have coffee – Scored a great table to people-watch while adding a touch of style to the scene in Suncloud shades and black glitter Toms.  Pulled out my iPad– no scratches on my screen (thanks to STM Glove) – read article for class then wrote down strange dream in my new Moleskine journal.   What could it mean?

Wednesday 1 p.m. – before class

So many classes– so many books – lucky for me they all fit in The North Face Recon day pack – My Chaco’s can take the weight, but can I?   In class my Camelback insulated bottle got me through another one of Dr. B’s long dry lectures…  Checked out “How to Ask Your Parents for Money” in The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College – If that fails, there’s always the chapter on “How to Eat when You’re Broke”…..

Thursday 4 p.m. – study break

Been studying all day – Time to stretch!  The Yucatan hammock sure looks inviting.  I’ll just pull my Scala western hat over my eyes and…  nap attack!!!  Dreamed of wind, water and the hooting of owls….  Woke refreshed and ready to plan our weekend trip – love 100 Classic Hikes in Texas– beautiful pictures and so many possibilities… Chinquapin Trail, Enchanted Rock, Government Canyon, the Greenbelt Trailway…..

Friday 7 p.m. – on the road

Stopped by the Whole Earth Provision store on our way out of town to pick up a Camelbak Hydration pack – everybody says hydrate, hydrate – couldn’t resist the Flashflight LED Disc – cool! Weather report says rain (hah!) but just in case we’ve got our North Face Venture jackets.  Number One Guy can’t wait to try out The North Face Ultra 105 trail shoes.  I can’t wait to see the view from the top.  Enchanted Rock here we come!

Visit your local Whole Earth Provision Company store to check out our huge selection of quality shoes, clothing, backpacks, water bottles, gear, toys, books and gifts – everything you need for good looks and great comfort on campus…

This year Whole Earth Provision Company has hosted a trip giveaway to the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, gifted National Parks Passes, and handed out gift certificates for in-store use! Stay up to date with our events, special discounts, contests and everything for travel, adventure and fun in Texas – Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!