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

Boot and Shoe Deodorizer: Baking Soda, Sage, & Rosemary to the Rescue

 

My mother used to tie dried lavender flowers into squares of cloth to make little lavender pouches and then she tucked them into her shoes. Not only did this freshen her footwear, it also meant that every time anyone opened her closet door, the lovely, calming scent of lavender drifted out into the room. This botanical shoe-freshening method was a charming fix for her professional office shoes, but wouldn’t have been enough for the boots and shoes I wear to work in my yard or to go hiking in. At the end of a long winter day outside in the Western Oregon rain and mud, my rubber homestead boots and hearty hiking boots need more than a freshener; they need a deodorizer. That’s where this time-tested, natural boot and shoe deodorizer is a godsend. It works on the same principle as the lovely lavender packets my mother used, but brings the deodorizing power of baking soda, rosemary, and sage to the task.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Rosehip Jelly Using Dried Rosehips + Vintage Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

I love rosehips. I love the way they look on rose shrubs and how they remain bright points of color as the gray of winter approaches. I love how they feed wildlife when it’s cold. I love the nutritional and healthful gifts they offer. And I particularly love how those tart little hips are perfect for jellies, jams, and syrups. I don’t always have time in the fall to harvest and clean fresh hips, so I am always grateful for dried rosehips when winter finally arrives and I can slow down and do some cold weather nesting. Now I have the time to pull luscious dried rosehips from my apothecary closet to make rosehip jelly for my family. However, said family firmly believes that rosehip jelly season also means cookie season, because homemade jellies and jams are the best for thumbprint and/or frosted sugar cookies.

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Posted by Heidi

Goldenseal: Planting a Future for One of Our Most At-Risk Herbs

Although goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) was used by First Nations peoples for hundreds of years before Europeans arrived in the Americas, the first written source regarding goldenseal appears in an 1801 series of essays by botanist and physician Benjamin Smith Barton titled Towards a Materia Medica in the United States. Early colonists found a well-established trade network already in place for medicinal herbs, including goldenseal. Indigenous people used it as a dye and also for a variety of health issues, including as a bitter to support digestion, as a skin and eye wash, and as a dental rinse. By the 1830s, goldenseal was also a favorite of practitioners of Eclectic medicine, and demand was increasing exponentially. That demand has never let up and today goldenseal is considered to be one of the most at-risk herbs on United Plant Savers' At-Risk Medicinal Plants List. There is, however, a potentially bright future for goldenseal thanks to innovations in cultivation.

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Posted by Heidi

Bitter, Aromatic, and Demulcent Herbs for Digestion + 3 Recipes

This is the time of year when we start thinking about how to best support our bodies as our diets shift to heartier winter eating and those inevitable holiday meals that are just around the corner. Digestive function is a key factor in our overall health and wellness, and can be thrown off by a number of things that are part and parcel of this time of year: not just hearty cold weather meals, but also changes in our routine, less sun and exercise, the stressors (both positive and negative) of family gatherings, holiday travel, etc. This seasonal dietary and energy flux impacts our bodies in a wide variety of ways, and can particularly play havoc on our digestive system. Fortunately, when we pay attention to our own unique rhythm, we can get ahead of these factors and be prepared when our normal balance is off-kilter. There are three herbal actions that are particularly helpful: bitters, aromatics, and demulcents.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Candles + Winter Bloom Essential Oil Blend (and Vegan Option)

Candlelight is good anytime, but during the winter holidays, it’s part of human traditions that date back thousands of years. This year, as the cost of everything, including candles, has skyrocketed, it makes more sense than ever to make our own. Ive made candles for fun over the years, including holiday candles, but I’m definitely not a candle-making artisan. Fortunately, we dont have to be experts to produce simple, lovely poured candles. Making our own gives us the freedom to customize the scent with pure essential oils. Candle making is also a wonderful activity with kids, so the winter school holidays are a great time to pull out the wicks, wax, and your favorite upcycled jars. Developing some old-fashioned skills like this one means inflation doesn’t have to put a damper on what you love most this time of year: traditions and family.

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Posted by Heidi

Holiday Appetizers: Seed Crackers with Cashew "Sour Cream” Dip

Festive holiday gatherings can be tricky when you have family members and friends with dietary restrictions. In my circle of favorite people, one person is a vegetarian and is also lactose intolerant, several of us don’t eat gluten, another person is allergic to almonds and hazelnuts, a couple people are trying to lose weight, and another is in serious training for a national martial arts championship and is on a weight gain and muscle building plan. It’s hard to come up with foods that please us all! We’ve found that an appetizers and cocktails/mocktails party is sometimes the way to go! It’s easier to create small bites that people can choose from rather than a single sit-down meal that requires different options for everyone. Great appetizers are where these remarkably healthy and delicious seed crackers come in. They check everyone’s boxes and also make a fantastic vehicle for a healthful, festive herbal dip that you can customize to your palate.

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Posted by Heidi

A Midwinter Cordial to Support Your Digestive System

In the United States, ‘cordial' and ‘liqueur’ are two words for the same thing; they are sweetened distilled spirits. Although many people know them as cocktail ingredients, cordials can also be potent digestifs. This digestive-aid version of cordials is generally more bitter and less sweet than its cocktail-focused brethren and is loaded with herbs, spices, and other natural flavorings that support the digestive tract. A cordial-digestif can be as simple and delicious as a 3-seed herbal cordial for digestion, or you can make them more complex with layers of herbal flavors and aromas to delight the nose and the palate. Either way, they are ridiculously easy to make. This festive midwinter version with its blend of aromatics and bitters is the perfect finish to a holiday meal, when you have a moment to sit down and enjoy the company of your favorite people.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Playdough: No-Cook Playdough Colored with Herbal Powders

Recently, I was barred from calling my grandbaby any endearment that includes the word “baby.”  Apparently, we are in “big kid” territory now. The term “big kid” doesn’t really lend itself to sweet endearments, but that aside, the no-longer-baby has had one consistent love since the moment those little hands and big brain were coordinated enough to squish clay—this kid loves playdough. However, Nana (me) is not fond of the typical store-bought versions, which can include chemical preservatives, binders, lubricants, surfactants, hardeners, anti-fungal additives, and artificial fragrances and colors. My favorite little dough-lover spends hours each week rolling, shaping, stamping, and building. I don’t want her hands in chemicals, preservatives, and additives day in and day out. In her world, a day without playdough is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, which means I had to figure out how to make an excellent, naturally colored playdough that is easy to whip up when the need arises. 

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Posted by Heidi

Guide to Brewing Tea

As you no doubt know, the Mountain Rose Herb team loves a good cup of tea. Our in-house artisan tea experts blend our teas with health and well-being in mind using superior botanicals to create nourishing, delicious teas with rich, organic flavors and nuanced tasting notes. But the quality of a tea is best showcased when it is brewed correctly. If you appreciate a fantastic cup of tea, here are some pointers on how to create your dream cuppa’.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Soothe a Bee Sting at Home & in the Wild

We’re getting to the time of year when some species of bees, wasps, and hornets get more aggressive, so we’re more likely to get stung. In late summer and fall, these stinging insects start to prepare for winter at the same time that their natural food sources are depleted. They’re hungry and their instinct to protect their hive and, particularly, their queen becomes more intense. I sometimes get “hangry” too, so at some level I get it, but being on the receiving end of a yellow jacket’s misplaced fury is a big drag. Fortunately—so long as you are not allergic to bees and wasps—there are a number of very effective natural and herbal remedies if you’ve been stung.

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Posted by Heidi

3 Healthy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes

Chia pudding is one of those foods that people often have very clear feelings about. They are either fully “Team Chia!” or are squicked out by the texture. The texture of chia pudding is all about proportions—a tiny change can make or break it. When you dial it in correctly, chia seed pudding gives you a delicious, high-fiber snack or topping that is beneficial for your gut, rich in Omega-3s, and provides protein and a number of essential minerals and antioxidants. Chia pudding is also a perfect vehicle for herbal powders which means you can easily customize the flavors and add herbal support!

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Posted by Heidi

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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

Boot and Shoe Deodorizer: Baking Soda, Sage, & Rosemary to the Rescue

This easy, natural boot and shoe deodorizer brings the power of baking soda, rosemary, and sage to the task of freshening your boots and shoes!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

December 12, 2022

Homemade Rosehip Jelly Using Dried Rosehips + Vintage Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

Winter is the perfect time to get out your stash of dried rosehips out and make delicious rosehip jelly. And if you’re in a holiday-prep mood, consider adding jelly to sugar cookies!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

December 2, 2022

Goldenseal: Planting a Future for One of Our Most At-Risk Herbs

Goldenseal is one of the most at-risk plants in North America. Learn more about a new method of cultivation for goldenseal's sustainable future.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

December 1, 2022

Bitter, Aromatic, and Demulcent Herbs for Digestion + 3 Recipes

Learn about three herbal properties that are helpful when our normal digestive balance is off-kilter—bitters, aromatics, and demulcents. Plus recipes!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 21, 2022

Homemade Candles + Winter Bloom Essential Oil Blend (and Vegan Option)

Bring the comforting scents of the winter season to your space this year with DIY candles. Scented with pure essential oils, the Winter Bloom candle blend will delight you and your holiday guests.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 17, 2022

Holiday Appetizers: Seed Crackers with Cashew "Sour Cream” Dip

Holiday gathering can get complicated when you have loved ones with dietary restrictions. This seed cracker and herb dip combination is an appetizer win!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 14, 2022

A Midwinter Cordial to Support Your Digestive System

This festive midwinter cordial brings together bitter and aromatic herbs for a delicious digestion-supporting finish to a bountiful meal.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 10, 2022

Homemade Playdough: No-Cook Playdough Colored with Herbal Powders

It’s simple and fast to make awesome, homemade, no-cook playdough and you can easily color it with herbal powders rather than artificial food dyes!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 4, 2022

Guide to Brewing Tea

The finest qualities of teas are best showcased when brewed correctly. Learn about the factors that go into a perfect tea-sipping experience: tea quality, storage, quantity, water temperature, and steep time.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

September 16, 2022

How to Soothe a Bee Sting at Home & in the Wild

While we love our pollinator friends, getting stung is a total drag! These simple natural remedies will help soothe the burning and itching associated with a sting. Included are ways to address a bee sting at home or in the wild!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

September 6, 2022

3 Healthy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes

Chia seed pudding is a perfect vehicle for herbal powders, so you can customize the flavor and the herbal support in a delicious snack or breakfast bowl.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 28, 2022