Where do your strawberries come from? Plus: How to Freeze

So now that you’ve made a delicious strawberry crumble from your fresh berries, what will you do with all the rest?

Make ‘em last the year!

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Why is it important to do this?  There are a couple of reasons… Continue reading

Strawberry Crumble Dessert

Oh. Yes.

It’s that time. Strawberries are here and what a relief it is to taste the delectably sweet, perfectly plump, thoroughly red flesh of one that is locally grown.  I wait all year for strawberries to be like this.  Does life get any finer? Continue reading

deliberateLIFE – eMagazine Review

Recently, I received a request to take a look at a new virtual magazine called deliberateLIFE.  I wasn’t sure whether I should accept or not as I already have plenty on my plate at the moment, but when I went to the website and found their manifesto, I decided it was worth a try.

deliberate_web_transparent2a Continue reading

Buttermilk Ramp Biscuits

Have you spotted ramps while roaming through the forest or at your farmers’ market this year?  They’re fun to cook with and fun to harvest.

We’re nearing the end of ramp season, but there’s still time to try this delicious recipe!  Someone special recommended a version of it several months ago, and I was excited to finally have ramps around so that I could try it.  It’s a great way to taste the season! Continue reading

Farm to Table Through the Year – Free Ebook!

Today I’m happy to announce the debut of a new ebook, Farm to Table Through the Year: 12 Months of Fresh Food From the Garden.  This helpful book is a collection of growing tips, recipes, and inspiration for each of the 12 months of the year.  Continue reading

Interview with Montana Solar Creations

Today I’m happy to share an interview with an inspirational woman who happens to be a sponsor this month.  She owns a fabulous small business called Montana Solar Creations and blogs about natural living, too!  Be sure to visit her Etsy shop and read more on her blog. Continue reading

Homemade Yogurt in a Crockpot – Four Steps

Yogurt is an excellent way to promote proper functioning of your digestive system. As long as you’re eating yogurt that has live active cultures, it contains probiotics (aka beneficial bacteria) that help to balance the microflora in your gut.  This makes digestion easier and helps keep your system moving regularly.

Making your own yogurt ensures that you know where your milk came from, and also reduces your reliance on continually buying hundreds of little yogurt containers.  By knowing where your milk comes from, you can be sure to choose milk from grass-fed cows.  Not only are grass-fed cows generally living a higher-quality, free-ranging life where they are eating what they should be naturally (i.e. grass and not corn or soy which also increases your exposure to GMOs), but grass-fed cows also produce milk that is more nutritionally dense.   For example, most grass-fed cow milk contains nearly 5x more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an unsaturated fat that may help with heart health and assist with weight loss. Continue reading

Adventures in Natural Building: Strawbale Studio

Walking into Deanne Bednar’s Strawbale Studio in Oxford, Michigan is like walking into the future…or maybe the past.  Either way, it is at the same time homelike as it is ethereal and dreamy.  It is a wonderful, welcoming space in which to find oneself.

Here, you are immediately immersed in a more nature-based state of living: jars of herbs, kombucha, and kefir line the counters, whittling projects lie about the room, and natural trinkets like spiraling wood, herb bundles, and dried flowers can be found in every corner and adorning the walls.

What is more unique to those unfamiliar with natural building techniques are the wonderful Earthen plasters that soften edges, relax the eyes, and bring the outdoors into the home.  Continue reading

“Heart Your Heart” Herbal Sprinkles

Food is medicine.

It’s true.  What we put into our bodies will have consequences for our energy levels, ability to ward off diseases, and maintain homeostasis in our body’s systems.  We know this immediately if we pay attention to how we feel after eating poorly or well — we are either drained or renewed, weighed down or weightless.  And of course, there are new studies added almost every day that link poor diet to the diseases we see so frequently in our culture that often revolve around a cluster of symptoms we call metabolic syndrome.

Adding herbs to our diets is an easy way to benefit from their protective and healing properties.  They can also taste delicious! Continue reading

Clean it Green: Laundry Detergent

We recently went to a Sustainability Symposium at the Botanical Gardens. It was a day filled with a variety of lectures related to the impacts of climate change in Northeast Ohio, gardening, and green living.

One of the lectures discussed green cleaning products.  At one point, the presenter showed a picture of what it looks like in the cupboards underneath the sink in a “green” home — lots of cloth rags, vinegar, baking soda, and maybe some borax or washing soda.  She then asked, “How many of you have cupboards that look like this?”

I was one of very few people that raised a hand.  Hmm…I guess there’s still a lot of educational work to be done!  Continue reading