When it comes to surviving Oregon’s notoriously dark and damp winters, mornings definitely find me protectively clinging to a steaming mug of full-bodied, locally-roasted coffee. But when warm weather rolls around, my solar-powered self craves something cooler (and less high-octane) to provide a light boost to my day. I’ve found a number of traditional and herbal iced tea recipes that often fit the bill, but when I really want to treat myself, I take the time to whip up a special treat: a chilled organic matcha tea latte.Read More
When summer serves up blue skies with long hot days, I crave lemonade. And not the kind that comes from a powdered mix packed with preservatives, colorants, and artificial sweeteners, but real, fresh-squeezed lemonade. The perfect balance of bright acidity, light tartness, and a hint of sweetness that I long for simply can’t be accomplished any other way. Plus, making freshly-squeezed lemonade only takes a few minutes, and it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.Read More
What is it about putting your hands into the soil that feels so good? How about wading barefoot through a stream, or breathing fresh ocean air? Being in nature is simply revitalizing. That’s one of the fundamental reasons we offer our employees the opportunity to get paid for getting outside and restoring natural areas through the Mountain Rose River Project!Read More
I love chocolate. I read that Trisha Yearwood once remarked, “I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the days that I’m not eating chocolate cake. But I do particularly like those days when I am eating chocolate cake.” This quote stuck in my mind, because that’s it exactly — that’s my relationship with all things chocolate!
This lifelong romance has followed an interesting trajectory. It began back in the '70s with the kinds of mainstream chocolate treats that you can buy at any market or gas station: candy bars, hot cocoa mix, chocolate syrup … I know, awful stuff, but I was a kid! As I grew up and learned about food science and health, I realized that the chocolate I was eating was so packed with added sugars, oils, and milk fats that you could hardly call it chocolate at all. This revelation inspired me to seek out the story behind my chocolate, to better understand how it is grown, sourced, and used, all of which eventually led me to the queen of beans: cacao.Read More
My first taste of green tea ice cream was after a feast at a Japanese restaurant. Although I was stuffed to the brim, the waiter convinced me to be adventurous and try a scoop. I thought there was no room left in my stomach, but then I tasted a bite, devoured that scoop, and thought about ordering another! The grassy, floral, and fruity notes paired perfectly with a creamy sweetness and a touch of vanilla. I skipped the second scoop and spent the drive home thinking about how to make my own.Read More
As herbs begin to emerge from the garden boxes that we built last summer, and the lavender we started from seed two years ago sends out fragrant new leaves and flowers, our bees become visible once more, busying themselves among our homestead's first brilliant blooms. Reminders of life-renewed spring forth everywhere I look, from the returning plants and flowers, to the bees buzzing from blossom to blossom, to my own little "gardening companion", my cat Theo, who playfully rolls around near me as I carefully transplant vegetable starts into the freshly tilled soil. Our chickens seem to enjoy these brighter days as well, leisurely sunbathing and picking at fresh grass outside of their coop. I savor every beautiful sight, sound, and aroma that surrounds me at this most exciting time of the year — there truly is no greater time than summer in the Willamette Valley!Read More
Never heard of amla before? Let me be upfront: it’s very sour! But more importantly, it’s regarded in the Ayurvedic tradition as having cooling properties. Also known as amalaki or Indian gooseberry, it’s a great choice for balancing any heat that comes your way. Although organic dried amla powder is most commonly known as one of the three herbs that make up the popular Ayurvedic blend called triphala, it has other herbal and culinary uses too!Read More
While the leaves, roots, flowers, barks, and seeds we know as herbs are derived from plants found all around us, this does not mean that everyone can and should ingest every herb. It can be challenging to know what is safe, what dosages are recommended, and where to turn to find the answers. Finding trusted sources of herbalism information or knowing when to consult an expert can seem overwhelming, but it is so important to do the research before charging full steam ahead!Read More
Hydrosols are produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, flowers, and other plant material, creating aromatic waters. Hydrosols have similar properties to their essential oil counterparts but with a subtler (and often greener) scent. They are lauded for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy and body care formulations.
During the brief lull between distilling season and planting season, the lovely husband-wife team who craft our certified organic hydrosols took a moment to tell us more about how they create these delightfully fragrant waters.Read More