Friday, February 29, 2008

Maven Vermont Products is born!

Hi folks,

I'm really excited to announce that as of today Waste Free Living, Inc. owns the trade name, Maven Vermont Products (MVP! ...I guess that's sort of nod to my athletic background).

MVP will be the local manufacturing arm of Waste Free Living, Inc. I'll design and produce all kinds of backyard conservation things like birdfeeders, food dehydrators, and the Royal Suite Compost Bins (that's a picture of me holding the smallest one, called The Royal Wee).

Check out the bottom half of this blog entry if you want more information about these beautiful bins.

I'll soon be posting more business development news as I plan my big trip to Anaheim, California for the Natural Products Expo West trade show in mid-March. I hope to get up to Big Sur while I'm out there, as well!

All the best, (including garlic, skiing, and rich, black compost in which you can sink both your hands!)
the compost maven

Waste Free Living, Inc. proudly presents
The Royal Suite Compost Bins

Choose the size that's right for YOU:

Garden King (large; $190)
Compost Queen (medium; $160)
The Royal Wee (small; $120)

The Royal Suite Advantage:
  1. Compost ALL your food scraps and yard trimmings
  2. Three sizes from which to choose and no more plastic!
  3. Critter-proof wire mesh on all six sides
  4. Hand-made with local, sustainable cedar
  5. Attractive, rot-resistant cedar frame
  6. Hinged top for easy loading
  7. Removable front for easy mixing
  8. Compost recipe and instructions included
Available now.

For more information or to place an order simply email me, the compost maven, at


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stained Glass Love

Hey folks,

I know, you're thinking, Hey, I've come to this Waste Free Living website because I want to buy totally awesome hand-picked goods that will help me live happier and greener--but now all I see is Holly Rae Taylor's art! Well, I'm still working day and night on all my business ventures, including Waste Free Living, but art is just one more dimension to the whole picture. Plus it makes for better photos than business planning!

Here's my first stained glass piece. The criteria for this project were that it had to fit within 12"X 12", 15 pieces or less, and all straight lines. Trust me, my next design will have kaplanskies...

I'm taking a great class through CCV with stained glass master, Terry Zigmund, in her Burlington Glass Studio, located in Burlington's funky, reclaimed brick post-industrial art district.

The studio is right behind Liza Cowan's awesome, cutting edge, ecclectic art gallery and store, Pine Street Art Works--NOT to be missed if you're in town!

-the compost maven

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kaplansky Love

Hi folks,
Here's a photo of my latest painting. It's hanging in a group show at the Rose Street Co-op in Burlington. Check it out on the Seven Days newspaper website.

Kaplansky Undone by Holly Rae Taylor (3'X4', 2008, acrylic on canvas)

Kaplansky is the name I've given a recurring shape in my work. It's a circle within a circle, and the two are attached and in motion. Below is the original kaplansky painting.

Yellow Kaplansky by Holly Rae Taylor (15"X 40"--approximately, 2000, acrylic on paper)

I'll be posting more photos of my artwork, including the stained glass!

the compost maven


Monday, February 18, 2008

Lacto-Fermentation Love

Hi folks,

To continue on my "Love" theme, this entry is dedicated to my love for lacto-fermented foods! I attended the 26th annual NOFA-VT Winter Conference this weekend in Randolph, Vermont. The theme was "Business Not as Usual". That's why the keynote speaker on Saturday was Judy Wicks of the White Dog Cafe. Judy is one of my personal heroes because of her vision and heart and all the cool things she does for her community. She founded the BALLE network after she basically created a web of interrelated local businesses who are vendors of- or connected to vendors of the White Dog. She challenges conventional business paradigms and comes up with solutions that are positive, effective, human, and sustainable. Businesses for social change. That's what I'm excited about.

Getting back to lacto-fermentation, I went to a workshop on this given by Sarah Flack. Check out her website for recipes and other services she offers. Equipment used in fermenting is definitely on the product list for Waste Free Living--so stay tuned!

I will be writing lots more about all these topics (and more) in future posts.

This week I'm working on a community-based composting project in Franklin County and then heading down to New York City for a whirlwind weekend of fun. I'll definitely post post-NYC, after a brief stop in the Adirondacks for some backcountry skiing, and I'll share with you pictures of orchids!

In good tilth,
the compost maven


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Compost Love

Hi folks,
Welcome, welcome to this blog!

It's Valentine's Day and so I dedicate this, my very first blog entry, to compost. To paraphrase a Pablo Neruda poem about Turquoise: Compost, I love you, as if you were my girlfriend!

I'm excited to start posting on this blog. Among other things I hope it will be a place where we can all connect around green living, old fashion resourcefulness, random musings and inspirations, and miscellaneous creative whatever. I think it'll be a lot of fun. I will also start posting my business development diary as I continue to move forward with a number of projects, including Waste Free Living, Maven Vermont Products, and Community Nutrient Systems. Feel free to post any questions or comments--this is about having a conversation, not a soap box for me, Holly Rae Taylor.

I'll sign off for now with the Neruda poem I mentioned above from his Stones from the Sky collection where each poem is numbered, not named:

Turqoise, I love you
as if you were my girlfriend
as if you were mine:
you are everywhere:
you are just washed,
just recently sky blue,
just fallen from above:
you are the sky's eyes:
you slice through the surface
of the shop, of the air:
blue almond:
sky talon: