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

Tips for a Greener Valentine’s Day

To be honest, I haven’t liked Valentine’s day much since middle school.  It was all fun and games with our shoe boxes and egalitarian distribution of Care Bears cards in elementary school, but then came the carnation sale.  Rather than a friendly gesture to celebrate a holiday, the carnation sale was really more of a contest between the three prettiest girls to see who would receive the most flowers.

While most of us sent one or two flowers to friends these girls were walking around with their 47 carnations leaving the rest of us awkward 12-year-olds with bruised egos.  The remainder of us “normal” girls sat at our desks, heads lifted eagerly each time one of the carnation messengers entered the room with the goods.  Nope, it’s for her yet again. Great.

And then when I was 13, my boyfriend gave me a box of chocolates (which really isn’t my favorite thing anyway) wrapped in paper made up of 2 inch scraps of all the letters and cards I had written to him.  I spent a lot of time on those notes – why in the world would he cut them into pieces as a gift??

Despite my less-than-perfect relationship with middle school Valentine’s days, the holiday continues on, and now I’m more concerned by the amount of waste and needless spending that the holiday promotes.  Why can’t we just be kind and giving to our loved ones on a regular basis?

However, I had an interesting request from a lovely reader recently asking what would make a good Valentine’s Day gift for someone who is interested in sustainability and reducing their consumption. Really, it’s a great question that more people should be discussing!

Here are my recommendations. Continue reading

Sprout It Out

The weather remains snowy and cold, but there are fresh things growing indoors!

Sprouts are a wonderful way to introduce a fresh, healthy food to your winter diet.  And certainly, if you are aiming to eat a low-carbon diet that incorporates lots of local foods, sprouts are an ideal way to continue eating fresh through the winter months.

They’re also really good for you! The most common types of sprouting seeds (mixes of radish, alfalfa, clover, broccoli, legumes) are rich in nutrition containing:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K
  • Minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Folate
  • Protein
  • Antioxidants
  • Chlorophyll Continue reading

Permintic Health and Wellness

What does permanent, integrative, and holistic wellness for a sustainable world look like?

There aren’t too many models at the moment, but Permintic Health and Wellness is leading the way with a new vision of what healthcare could be.

Permintic Health and Wellness is one of the next steps in the path that my partner and I are following to foster the change to a sustainable, equitable, and exciting new world that works with the Earth for the benefit of people and planet.

Here is some selected text from the Philosophy page that Michael has written: Continue reading

We Must Be the Change

As I observe people around me, I’ve been noticing a trend –most everybody, in theory, wants to save the Earth.   The problem, however, is that far too few people are willing to make the lifestyle changes necessary to ensure a livable future.  The appeal of constant financial progress, of fast food and perfectly temperature-controlled rooms is too great.  The ease of processed foods, disposable diapers, and commuting by car to work is too alluring.  The abundance of cheap clothes, out-of-season foods, electronics, and toxic beauty products is too pervasive to pass by.  We have become perpetual children – looking to others to easily assuage our hunger, temperature, and state of mood.  We expect governmental regulations or some technological breakthrough to fix global warming and the ecosystem issues we fear.  We are unwilling to take the risk that moving toward a new way of living requires.  Continue reading