There are lots of ways to enjoy the goodness of plants, but for accessibility and simplicity, it's hard to beat a good cup of tea. Herbal tea blends are a fantastic way to combine the synergistic qualities of different plant allies, and creating your own allows you to craft steepable combinations that cater to your personal nutrition goals and flavor preferences. With such a wide world of botanicals to choose from, however, it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we've been crafting organic tea blends for decades, and we're all too happy to share some of the strategies we've pick up along the way!
The world of herbalism is intriguing, vast . . . and sometimes intimidating! Projects like creating tinctures using the percolation method, or making your own mead, can seem daunting for those new to the botanical arts. That's why when we're trying to help a friend get started in herbs without overwhelming them, we often recommend one of our favorite herbalism projects for beginners: making herb-infused oilsRead More
I recently attended the New England Women’s Herbal Conference and was struck by the sense of welcome and togetherness that was present throughout the entire event. There was much focus on inclusion and creating space for one another, and I felt compelled to share that spirit beyond the bounds of the conference. I was inspired to help bring more awareness to the strength of the herbal community and how people can be more involved in putting it to good use. Herbalists come in all genders, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, education levels, and from all geographic locations and backgrounds, and we all have something to share with each other.Read More
Food preservation has been around for thousands of years. From drying acorns for extended storage to turning grapes into wine, the act of preservation has allowed people around the globe to enjoy various foods and botanicals well past their harvest season. As a chef and homesteader, I often find myself having way more fresh ingredients than I can use before they turn. This is where food preservation comes into play! I do my best to appropriately utilize as much as I can so that my family may enjoy the spring, summer, and autumn harvest well into the cold winters of Maine. Extra cabbage gets salt and turns to sauerkraut, excess peaches get pureed and dehydrated into fruit leather, and the list goes on. Over the years, I have become particularly fond of vinegar and its acidic properties to capture the essence, flavor, and minerals naturally found in fruits and herbs.Read More
If you’ve never used kokum butter, it’s similar in firmness to cocoa butter, but a little flakier. Many consider it a good substitute for cocoa butter because of its uniform triglyceride composition. It can be used to thicken many homemade cosmetics including body butters, creams, lotions, and lip balms.Read More
Herbal infusions have been used for thousands of years. Many of us create them regularly when we brew tea, which is simply an infusion of tea leaves. However, while there's a lot to love about this classic teatime preparation, it's just one of the countless options you can experiment with when crafting your own infusion.Read More
In days long ago, herbal potions were full of mystery and intrigue! In medieval France, many abbeys had their own unique recipes for distilled tonics. These blends were formulated with various herbs and spices and were a closely guarded secret within the abbey.
Recently, my husband and I were taking a training class with our puppy, Gracie Cakes. The dog trainer suggested that we class attendees head to the grocery store and buy jars of baby food as training treats for the dogs — apparently, dogs love the common pureed ingredients used in commercial baby foods. I say this to explain how I found myself standing in a baby food aisle for the very first time in my life. I realized, as I stood there not knowing where to even begin, that I had raised three babies to healthy adulthood and, until Gracie Cakes the terrier, had done so without ever twisting the lid from a commercial baby food jar.
When I moved from my home state of New Jersey to beautiful Oregon, I was exposed to so many new things. Among my favorite discoveries were the abundant, handwritten road signs that advertised fresh local produce, eggs, and honey. Intrigued and excited by these signs, I stopped in to meet my local neighborhood beekeeper, who was thrilled that I knocked on his door to say hello. He brought me over to his hives and taught me a lot about what it means to care for bees. I wanted to support my farm neighbor, so I bought a gallon of honey. What I was going to do with that much honey, I had yet to figure out.Read More