New to permaculture? Start here.

What’s it like to fairly take care of people and the earth? It’s a concept called permaculture, and it can provide a guiding spirit to the creation and tending of your landscape.

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Make Your Own Chive Blossom Vinegar

Starting in late May and lasting through June, the garden is speckled with the vibrantly purple blossoms of chives.

Chives are a welcome addition to salads, vegetables, and eggs by adding their mild onion flavor.

Their blossoms are edible as well and can also be added to salads by pulling them apart into smaller bits.


Another simple way to use the flowers is to make a chive blossom vinegar.

Start by snipping the blossoms.  You’ll need a cup or two to fill a pint jar 3/4 full with the blossoms.

After collecting the blossoms, it’s a good idea to soak them for an hour or so in water.  This way any resident bugs can evacuate . We didn’t find any bugs in our freshly-opened blossoms, but if you do find them, consider changing the water another time to make sure they’re all out.

Towel dry the blossoms.

Lightly pack a sterilized pint jar with the blossoms and cover with vinegar.  I wanted the color of this vinegar to be lovely so I used white vinegar,  but generally I make my herb-infused vinegars with apple cider vinegar as if offers numerous health benefits on its own.

Place a piece of wax paper underneath the lid so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode the metal top.


For best flavor, infuse the chives into vinegar for 2-4 weeks before straining them out. After, keep the chive vinegar in a cool, dark location.

24 Hours Later

 

one week later

 

To recap, you’ll need:

  • 1-2 cups chive blossoms, soaked to remove any bugs and then towel dried
  • a sterilized pint jar
  • wax paper
  • enough white or apple cider vinegar to cover the blossoms

And then:

Add the chive blossoms to the pint jar and cover with the vinegar ensuring that all of the blossoms are completely submerged.  Place wax paper over the opening and screw on the lid. Wait 2 -4 weeks before straining out the chives. Store the vinegar in a cool, dark location.

This vinegar can be used wherever you might use vinegar, but I plan to use it mostly for salad dressings.

A simple Chive Blossom Vinaigrette could be made like this:

(for one cup)

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chive vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried herbs and snips of fresh chives (optional)

Place all ingredients into an empty jar, make sure the lid is on, and shake away!

 

 

 

Spring updates from the farm

I apologize.  It’s been awhile.

Spring is always this crescendo of activity and energy that can feel overwhelming at times.  There’s so much momentum, growth, doing.

Add to that a family illness nearing its end, a stay in the hospital with little LF, typical spring farm growth, and you have a tiny piece of the puzzle explaining my absence.

However, we’ve still had so much going on around here.  We manage to squeeze projects into any spare moments we can find.

I’d love to share some glimmers of our life around the farm with you!

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Revolution Review

It’s rare to find a documentary that appeals to both my interest in learning about the human condition as we live on an Earth with limited resources, and my interest in animal biology and ecosystem health.

Coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef has declined by 36% over the last 25 years. That’s an enormous loss. Photo © Rob Stewart. From the documentary film Revolution.

Revolution did just that with an appealing storyline, gorgeous cinematography, and an important message to share with viewers.

Through a mix of personal history, interviews, and travels to various sites around the world, Rob Stewart, who previously released the award-winning film Sharkwater, shares a compelling call to action.  Our Earth is full of wondrous, magnificent places and beings and we are rapidly destroying much of it.  Not only is this a tragedy because of what we are losing in biodiversity, but we do this much to our own detriment.  To use resources the way that we do in the Western world, we would need SIX Earths to sustain us.

Obviously, we do not have six Earths, but we do have a lot of people who are waking up to our circumstances and are demanding people and politicians to also open their eyes and act accordingly.

Rainforest, Brazil. Photo © Brennan Grange. From the documentary film Revolution.

Expanding from filmmaker Rob Stewart’s background investigating the large scale slaughter of sharks, the film explores the interplay between ocean and terrestrial ecosystem health, why many ecosystems are in trouble, how this impacts us as humans, and what we must do to change the current course of events.

This complex subject is shared in an easily accessible and engrossing format that will leave you ready to make change in the world as well.

The movie is available to watch by following this link.  I hope that you find it valuable and visually exciting as well.

Rob accepting the “Fossil of the Day” award on behalf of Canada – for doing the most to disrupt the climate negotiations at the UN Climate Conference UN CLIMATE CONFERENCE, 16TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP 16), in Cancun Mexico. Photo © Tristan Bayer http://www.earthnative.com From the documentary film Revolution.

FTC DISCLOSURE: As a way to support my blogging and related activities, I may receive monetary or other compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services within this article. However, it is my promise to you that I am sharing my honest opinion and that I only recommend products or services that I have personally used or recommend and are in alignment with Light Footsteps ideals.

The Best Way to Create Harmony in Your Home & Life – Dawn Gettig’s #1 Tip

Today we have a guest post by the talented and inspirational Dawn Gettig.  She will share her #1 tip for creating harmony and balance in your home and life. 

I have been assisting clients with Medicine Wheel, Yoga and creating Sacred Space for years now, and I want to share with you my favorite tip on how to create harmony and balance in one’s environment and life.  This tip is the reason Feng Shui (creating Sacred Space) and Medicine Wheel were created as an art, science and philosophy thousands of years ago.  Therefore, my favorite tip is to bring a lot of nature into your home and life.   Nature is the purest model for creating harmony and balance. Nature inspires great music, design, art, food and so much more.

Artwork by Dawn Gettig

Artwork by Dawn Gettig

Here are a few quick and easy ways to bring nature into your spaces and senses:

The scent of nature

  • Regularly use lavender and other fragrant herbs or essential oils in your home for a naturally fragrant smelling home.
  • Weekly create simple flower arrangements and place them in key areas of your home to uplift the energy.
  • Be sure to have houseplants in your rooms year round to keep the air fresh and reduce indoor toxins.
  • Open your windows and bring in fresh air.   People often don’t open their windows — in the winter it is too cold, in the summer too hot! I have neighbors who never ever open their windows, creating very stagnant energy in the home.

The sounds of nature

  • Listen to a CD of soothing nature sounds and absorb the lovely music made by animals, birds and the ocean. Remember sound has power and can create an atmosphere of sanctuary!
  • Again, open the windows and you will hear so many wonderful sounds. At my home at night we often hear an owl in the backyard and it brings us much joy and connection to nature.

The colors of nature

  • When choosing colors in your home, be sure to choose the natural colors of nature.   Scientific studies show color can evoke feelings. For example; lovely natural blue tones will bring more flow and peace, yellows and orange more joy and sociability, and add green for harmony and healing.

The feel and texture of nature

  • Purchase bamboo or cotton (preferably organic) sheets and you will either consciously or subconsciously feel greater relaxation when sleeping on natural fabric.
  • Use natural rugs and flooring materials instead of synthetic items. Synthetics release toxins in your living areas which can cause health issues in children and adults (and pets).

The taste of nature

  • Bring the natural flavors of nature into your spaces and you will enjoy greater health. Unnatural flavorings and other processed ingredients are in many food products on the market today and these can create health issues.

The unseen quality of nature

  • In your home and body there is vital life force energy (also called Chi) that moves in and all around us. If you keep your home free of clutter and do most suggestions above then you will have good Chi flowing in your home, in turn you will breathe freer and enjoy greater health and peace of mind.

Bringing nature into your home and senses will make you feel better mentally, emotionally and physically.

Dawn's photoDawn Gettig lives in her nature-filled home in Kirtland, Ohio with her husband and two daughters. She is an advanced certified Medicine Wheel, Feng Shui and Space Clearing practitioner. She also teaches yoga and is a mixed media artist. Follow Dawn on Facebook , Pinterest or visit her website at dawngettig.com.

Three Ways to Feel More Connected with Nature

Today you can find a guest post about my three favorite ways to feel more connected with nature on Dawn Gettig’s blog.  She’s an amazing and inspirational yogini, artist, and feng shui practitioner who will be sharing some of her favorite feng shui tips with us here in a few days.

Please hop on over to my article on her blog: Three Ways to Feel More Connected with Nature.

We also love to connect with nature by visiting some of our favorite natural places.  Holden Arboretum had its annual Arbor Day Festivities over the weekend and we had a wonderful time searching for wildflowers (I found some gorgeous bloodroot and twin leaf!) and playing in Buckeye Bud’s adventure area for kids.  Continue reading

The most wonderful time of year….(spring!)

Each season has its highlights, but I don’t think there’s anything quite so wonderful as Spring.
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Everything has me speaking in exclamation points.

Did you HEAR the spring peepers?!?!” I bound through the house asking Mr. Light Footsteps while doing a few twirls.

“You wouldn’t BELIEVE the plants we saw on our walk today!” I exclaim as I fail to contain my enthusiasm and speak through jumps.

I doubt everyone gets quite so excited about such spring-things, but these are the finer points in life that I believe in celebrating.  Continue reading

Spring is on the Way {So is the New Herbal Wellness Basket!}

You know we’re getting closer to Spring in Ohio when it’s 45 degrees outside and I’m pulling out the lawn chair to soak up the sun.

Yes, there may still be snow on the ground, but these spring rays are just begging for someone to soak them up.  I will. IMG_0811

In the past week, the bird song has increased steadily each morning.  In addition to the usual chorus of black capped chickadees and cardinals, I’ve even begun hearing the red-winged blackbirds outside.  This is surely a sign that Winter’s fingers are unfurling their grasp around Northeast Ohio.

With the warming days we’ve been out playing in the yard, and joyfully been exploring the process of tapping our maple trees.  We do, after all, live in the heart of Ohio’s maple syrup kingdom.

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Walking Mindfully

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” —John Muir

IMG_0679Today I was reminded of how important it is for me to do walking meditation.

There are many ways one can train and focus the mind, but walking meditation is by far my favorite, and I think it’s also an important part of feeling more connected with the natural world. Continue reading