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Heidi

Heidi is a native Oregonian and an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been honored to receive a number of literary prizes including the esteemed Pushcart Prize, and an Individual Artists Award in Creative Writing from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. When she isn’t working in the garden, cleaning the henhouse, preserving food for winter, pruning the fruit trees, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll find her in her quilting room, or somewhere with her nose in a book, or up in the mountains alongside her husband and her terrier pup, Gracie Cakes.

Recent Posts

Best Herbs for Men's Health

This time of year—coming up on Father’s Day—I take some extra time to appreciate how blessed I have been in the quality of the men who have played significant roles in my life. I was raised by an excellent single father, I’m married to the best of husbands, and I’m privileged to be mother to two fantastic sons. From the time I was a little girl, “my” men have always had my back, believed in me, lifted me up, and supported my dreams. So when it comes to their health, I’m serious about providing everything I can to support their overall well-being.

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Triple Rose Moisturizing Face Cream Recipe

When choosing or crafting a natural moisturizer for your face, it helps to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the different oils included in the recipe. Facial skin tends to be more delicate and sensitive than the rest of the body, and it can be a little tricky to adequately nourish your complexion without either smothering your pores or causing irritation. This is why organic rosehip seed oil is one of the most universally loved choices for gentle moisturizers. 

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Dukkah Seasoning Recipes & Uses

You know that moment when you try something for the first time and you have a "where-have-you-been-all-my-life" experience? Discovering dukkah (sometimes spelled duqqa, du’ah, or do’a) was one of those culinary moments for me. Since that dukkah eureka moment, I’ve made a point of keeping a container around all the time, in case I need a quick, healthy boost of energy or a punch of amazing sprinkle-on flavor to finish a dish.

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Simple Calendula Salve & Lip Balm Recipe

As English Poet Laureate Alfred Austin said, The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” Here in the beautiful Willamette Valley, our Mediterranean climate can stretch the gardening “season” through most of the year, and many green thumbs take full advantage of this fact! That means spending a lot of time wrist-deep in soil, which can take its toll on hardworking hands.

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Spring Nettle & Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

It’s nettle harvest time! How humans came to figure out that nettles are a powerhouse of goodness is beyond me. They contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and a treasure trove of other vitamins and minerals. But as a kid growing up in the Coast Range of western Oregon, my entire relationship with nettles involved trying not to get stung by those wicked trichomes while romping through the woods. So, kudos to the first brave nettle-harvesting souls, because they figured out (as I now know) that harvesting nettles without getting stung is actually easy, and this puts urtica dioica on my list as a versatile and delicious herb.

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Herbal Oxymel Recipes & Benefits

In 400 B.C.E., in his On Regimen in Acute Diseases, Hippocrates wrote, “You will find the drink, called oxymel, often very useful…for it promotes expectoration and freedom of breathing.” It’s too bad I didn’t have that definition the first time I saw the word “oxymel,” because I came across the term right about the same time that I was reading the Harry Potter series to my daughter. This might explain why an oxymel sounds to me like something one would whip up in potions class.

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5-Seed Irish Soda Bread (with Vegan Variation!)

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that delights the comfort-foodie in me. Within my circle of friends, it’s been known to inspire Jameson-fueled quests to perfect the finer points of Irish soda bread. Although people often think of soda bread as being a product of Ireland, it’s actually an American invention that shows up in many cuisines around the world because of its simplicity, and the results are SO good! It’s a quick, one-bowl process and, because it relies on a chemical reaction between baking soda and a moist acid like buttermilk, the bread requires no resting or rising. In truth, soda bread is more or less a big biscuit. This five-seed, Himalayan-salted version retains the super-easy nature of traditional soda bread while seriously upping the nutritional content and flavor by adding whole wheat pastry flour and aromatic seeds. Whether youre aiming for a perfect St. Patricks Day loaf, or you just want to try your hand at one of the worlds simplest bread-baking methods, this seeded soda bread may be just the answer!

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How to Make Four Thieves Vinegar for a Natural Kitchen

Over the years, weve received questions about taking our DIY Four Thieves Oil Blend internally. The answer, in case youre wondering, is no—we never recommend ingesting essential oils because they are highly concentrated. Those questions got us thinking though, and were excited to share a DIY Four Thieves vinegar formula that can be taken by the spoonful, added to water, or used in place of regular vinegars in a variety of recipes, including vinaigrettes, marinades, sauces, etc. Also, because it is a vinegar base, this delicious, versatile edible makes a very effective, fantastically-scented spray cleaner.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Oil and Shiitake Mushrooms

Brassicas—that genus of plants in the mustard family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, among others—have not always been my vegetables of choice. I blame the fact that I was a child of the 70’s: bell bottoms, 8-track tapes, rotary phones…and seriously overcooked vegetables. My father was considered a “health nut” who insisted we eat whole grains and sprouted seeds, and that we take a daily dose of what he called mushroom tea, now commonly known as kombucha. However, outside of our home, it was a weird time for food, an era when a popular party and potluck dish called “Watergate Salad” was made from a horror list of ingredients that included marshmallows, instant pistachio pudding, and a whipped topping of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil. But, in my opinion, it was the abused vegetables that were the worst. Bowls of once healthful veggies were commonly presented as limp, cooked-to-death wastelands. No wonder I spent years thinking I didn’t like brassicas.

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Vanilla Body Scrub Recipe with Jojoba Meal

A fantastic scrub butter like Neroli or Awapuhi leaves the skin feeling moisturized, exfoliated, and loved—these body scrubs are a wonderful way to practice self care! However, for some people (like me), salt- and sugar-based body scrubs aren’t as ideal. No matter how gentle I am, the intensity of salts and sugars rubbed into my skin always leaves me feeling like I lost some epidermis that I actually wanted to keep. This has become truer as I’ve aged. Exfoliation is important for happy skin, but I want a gentler touch these days… which explains my recent quest to perfect a DIY “microderm” body scrub that does a good job, but dials back some of the scrubbing fierceness of sugars and salts.

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