Easy “Green” Home Conversions

Below is a list of simple suggestions to start transitioning to a healthier, more “green” home lifestyle. Sustainability and non-disposable products are encouraged. Eliminating use of plastic products is the goal. Some of these suggestions are not only healthy but will save you money, too.

  • Instead of boxed food, buy fresh. Plan a weekend to create meals and then freeze for easy weeknight meals.
  • Instead of buying breads, bake fresh bread and then freeze, or alternatively, source fresh locally made breads.
  • Instead of buying new, check out thrifts stores, craigslist, garage sales. Quality, vintage products can be found. Things can be restored and given new life for fractions of the price of buying new.
  • Instead of buying online or at big box stores, check out local stores. Big box stores such as Walmart, or buying things on Amazon can be so tempting. Prices are right. However, by purchasing some products from local businesses you are helping to support your community – making it more diverse and thriving.
  • Instead of buying canned food buy fresh or frozen. Canned food often has low-quality assurance standards and is often lined with BPA. Fresh food is preferred, with frozen food being the next alternative.
  • Make your own condiments. Pretty much any condiments can be made at home in one session and made in bulk. Recipes can be altered to your liking, and can often be made at fractions of the cost of buying condiments from the store. Plus, they don’t have toxic fillers and you know exactly what is in it.
  • Don’t buy cleaners – make your own. Did you know that most of the household can be cleaned and cleaned well with white distilled vinegar and baking soda? Essential oils can be added to vinegar conconctions for added anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties.
  • Switch aluminum and non-stick cookware for glass, ceramic, stone, or cast iron. Aluminum and Teflon coating is toxic and shouldn’t be used for cookware. Try an old-fashioned alternative, something your great-grandmother would have used such as cast iron, stoneware, or glass cookware. Old fashioned glass cookware and cast-iron are great things to pass down and bestow upon one’s children.
  • Make your own pet food. With natural food becoming more “trendy” and people becoming more and more aware of the carcinogens and toxic filler being put into food, people are buying expensive pet foods to ensure their pet remains healthy. Little do most people know, that you can easily and passively make your own pet food from common groceries very cheaply and store and save portions for subsequent meals. Your pet will thank you for it.
  • Make your own ice cream. Almost all ice creams, even the organic ones, have toxic preservatives in them. Plus, you don’t know where the milk came from. It is very easy to create your own icecreams after investing in an ice cream maker. Control which type of milk or milk alternatives you would like to use, flavors, and sugar content.
  • Don’t buy meat or milk from factory farms. Either hunt, raise the animal yourself or buy from local farms who humanely raise their animals and don’t pump them full of hormones and chemicals. Meat from most supermarkets are old, filled with dyes, hormones, and the animal from which it came from was horribly unhappy for the duration of its life. It was not just food, but a living being sacrificed for us. Animal agriculture is one of the biggest causes of environmental pollution today. Anytime you can forgo eating this type of animal products and opt for sustainable alternatives, the better it is for all parties involved – except the corporate stakeholders.
  • Instead of buying expensive shampoos try “no-poo”. While it’s not for everyone, we have tried it. Despite getting over a greasy phase, the oil glands in your scalp adjust to not being stripped of oil and slow down the overproduction of sebum. If you can tolerate wearing a hat for awhile or dry shampooing, not shampooing your hair can eliminate exposure to toxins and can aid in regrowth of thick natural hair.
  • Make your own toothpaste. It’s easy, cheap, and doesn’t have any toxins in it. Studies have shown that through remineralization there is a chance that you may be able to reverse tooth decay as well.
  • Make your own yogurt. It is fun, easy, and similarly to making your own ice cream, there are no toxic fillers and you can control flavors and how much sugar is added to the product.
  • Instead of shopping at a supermarket, try growing your own garden, joining a CSA, or shopping at a farmers market. When we grew our first garden, I was amazed as to how I had an overabundance of fresh, delicious vegetables to use. So much that I was able to freeze and begin storing produce for later. A little can also go a long way at a farmers market for fresh, all natural food.
  • Practice minimalism. Minimalism is essentially the antithesis to capitalism. It involves getting to the root of what things actually matter, being happy with what you have, and getting rid of everything you don’t need. It is a way of living that maximizes efficiency and freedom and eradicates useless consumerism.
  • Instead of purchasing odor maskers, diffuse essential oils, use air purifiers, and beeswax candles. Odor maskers’ labels are often undisclosed as to what ingredients are within the product and are largely unregulated. Instead of trying to mask bad odors, chose an air cleansing alternative.
  • Get rid of the microwave. Eat fresh, use the oven, and plan ahead.
  • Instead of buying paper towels, get high-quality reusable cloths.
  • Instead of buying disposable feminine products, get reusable pads or a menstrual cup.
  • Instead of plastic baby bottles, get a glass. Glass is timeless. It has been used for centuries when bottle feeding a baby. In our household, we try to eliminate all plastics. We really enjoyed the glass baby bottles we purchased and would definitely recommend them/
  • Instead of plastic storage bins, get wicker, bamboo, wood, or metal bins.
  • Instead of plastic cooking utensils, get wood or stainless steel.
  • Instead of a plastic dish rack, get a bamboo one.
  • Instead of plastic garbage cans, get a stainless steel one.
  • Instead of plastic hairbrushes, try a wooden bristle brush.
  • Instead of plastic toothbrushes, try bamboo toothbrushes,
  • Instead of plastic laundry bins, try canvas laundry bags.
  • Instead of plastic grocery bags, get reusable grocery bags.
  • Instead of plastic disposable razors, try reusable higher quality metal razors or forego shaving.
  • Instead of plastic shower curtains, get a cloth shower curtain.
  • Instead of plastic straws and ice trays, try stainless steel.
  • Instead of plastic wattle bottles, try a glass or stainless steel reusable cup.
  • Instead of plastic kids toys, get wooden or handmade toys that can be passed down.
  • Instead of packaged teas, find organic loose-leaf teas, or make your own.
  • Instead of packaged coffee pods, find organic locally roasted coffees. Coffee pods are made of plastic and are incredibly wasteful. They contribute heavily to increased waste production and are not sustainable. Try using a french press, all you need is water and coffee and you get a great cup of coffee.
  • Instead of big brand alcohols, find organic, locally brewed/distilled alcohols. Not only will you be supporting your local community, but you will know what is in year alcohol.
  • Instead of paying for cable, limit tv, borrow movies and utilize commercial free tv apps such as Netflix.
  • Replace your toxic mattress with a green mattress.
  • Replace plastic window blinds with wooden blinds or curtains.
  • Get a water purifier, instead of paying for clean water.
  • Get glass or stainless steel food storage containers instead of plastic.
  • Reuse Ziploc bags.
  • Instead of buying expensive espresso coffees, invest in an espresso machine and utilize healthier kinds of milk/flavors.
  • Invest in a deep freezer. It is great for storing fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, and breads for later. Great for big batch cooking and storing for later for easy meals.

 

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Support Your Local Library!

Libraries are one of the last places in society where you can go and get something of value for free. Libraries have tremendous value. Almost everything that you could ever want to learn, you can learn from a book. Most libraries today have an ordering or interlibrary loan systems to be able to get any book you would like to read to you.

Libraries offer free computers, games, printers, copiers, and public resources all for free. They are a great community asset to kids and often offer preschool storytimes, as well as adult learning seminars.

Furthermore, some libraries may offer free resources for business owners including market research and analytics resources and online training courses. We are a big fan of lifelong learning. When farming and homesteading was just a dream for us, we’d check book after book out on farming, self-sufficiency, and organic gardening. There are hundreds of books on career planning, hobbies, and cookbooks all available for free. What an amazing public resource!

Support your local library and see what resources they have available to your community today.

10 Reasons to Keep Livestock Rabbits

10 Reasons to Keep Livestock Rabbits

Remembering back to when we first started planning our homestead lifestyle from our old home located in a large urban area, the first thing we thought to obtain was meat rabbits. We immediately looked into rabbitry and took a low-cost rabbitry informational course from our local county extension agents. If your goal is self-sustainability and the idea of “emergency” preparedness and/or if humanely-treated, organically fed, non-factory farmed meats are the only kind of meat you’d like to indulge yourself in, we recommend getting a pair of meat rabbits to raise. Below we’ve listed the top reasons we’d imagine you’d like to give rabbit raising a try:

  1. Requires little space (check your local zoning laws): While rabbits love to free range, their actual housing requirements are quite small compared to other livestock animals. They can be housed in easy-to-construct pens that are affordable and take up little space.
  2. Rabbits make little noise: Unlike chickens, rabbits are small backyard livestock you can keep without frustrating your neighbors. In fact, most rabbits make very little noise at all unless they are being harmed.
  3. Comparatively, rabbits make little mess: Rabbit’s feces appear as small, round dry pellets that are fabulous manure for the garden. They find a particular area to urinate and defecate and will typically only go in this spot (did you know they can be litterbox trained?). Rabbits are easy-going creatures that cause little harm or damage to surrounding areas and animals. Compared to say poultry or other pets/livestock, rabbits make very little mess.
  4. Rapid maturation rate: Rabbits are ready to breed after six months or so from birth. A doe (female rabbit) generally has 6-8 kits (bunnies) per litters. Rabbits are harvested for meat typically between 8-12 weeks from birth. That means, hypothetically, you can fill your freezer with 6-8 rabbits every couple of months for stews, braising, etc.
  5. High in protein: Rabbits are very high in protein and are lean, low-fat meat. They will give you a “full” feeling for longer.
  6. Tastes like chicken: No, really it does. Rabbit meat can be used in lieu of chicken in many applications. The largest and most common cuts from the rabbit are the legs and the loin (the meat that runs along the backbone). Rabbit legs can replace chicken drumsticks and thigh dishes, and can also be ground, shredded, and fried. Nothing is easier than throwing a rabbit into a crockpot, set it on low overnight and then having meat with easily removed bones ready to use.
  7. Multipurpose: Rabbits are a self-sufficiency jackpot. They cost little to obtain, maintain, and process. They can provide meat that is ready to harvest shortly in hard economic times, with little input. They can provide us with furs that have been made to make beautiful coats, gloves, hats and shoes. They can be sold as pets, they can be sold as meat producers, they can be sold as meat. They consistently give us manure that is very high in nitrogen , phosphorus, and micronutrients–perfect for the organic garden! Rabbit manure is one of the only animal manures that can be added directly to the garden without being aged or composted, and it won’t burn your plants. We are truly thankful for our rabbits.
  8. Little interference/effort needed: Need little monitoring/interference. Rabbits are hardy. Do not overfeed. Need assistance in hot weather climates. Make sure rabbits are sheltered and are not left in full sunlight. They do great in the cold.
  9. Natural grazers: Rabbits are natural grass and shrub grazers. They love having fresh or dried hay (grass) to munch on. Rabbits love eating raw grains and can also be fed many weeds, herbs, and flowers. Be sure to check the list of foods poisonous to rabbits (including milkweed). During The Great Depression, families were able to eat their livestock rabbits and continue to keep them fed off of grass and weeds found when animal feed could not be afforded.
  10. Extra Income: Can sell for $10-25 a rabbit typically. Baby Rabbits can be sold. The meat, pelt, and feet can be sold. People even have started making homemade taxidermy jewelry. Don’t believe us? Check out Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/market/rabbit_bones IF animal taxidermy is against your personal belief system, you can certainly stick to breeding and selling the animals as a farm hobby. If you decide you don’t want to process the animals yourself contact your local animal processor to see what their rates are.

Floral Design Tool List

Floral Design Tool List

So you want to get started in floral design? The art of floral design is a wonderful hobby to practice. It can be calming and grounding. Working with the earth and forming living, beautiful creations is something that can be admired. The art of floral design is a skill that can be adopted by anyone with a keen eye and some practice. Like any art, everybody has their own style and preference, but there are a few basic elements to achieve good design.

To learn more see:

-Elements You Need for Great Design (and How to Grow Them-

But to get you started there is some basic gear you will want to obtain:

Floral Knife: A floral knife is a true florist’s must-have tool. Floral shears can be used to cut stems, but a floral knife allows you to cut through stems, dethorn, and clean up flowers MUCH faster than shears can. Although, safety and some caution are necessary as mishaps do occur when the mind wanders.

Floral Shears: Floral shears are nice to have when cutting through thick, woody branches and for the beginner who hasn’t mastered the floral knife.

Wire: Wire is fabulous in floral work. With threading and hook procedures you can prop, bend and align flowers to desired places.

Ribbon: Some individuals love bows, while other artists find them gaudy and outdated. An assortment of ribbon is nice to have on hand to make bows and tie pieces together. Raffia is a favorite.

Binding Wire: Bind wire is a must-have when making hand-tied bouquets. Simply make the arrangement in hand, wrap the stems in wire and then wrap in paper to complete the presentation.

Oasis (Floral foam): Ever wonder how to create darling arrangements in coffee mugs, baskets, pottery, china, and otherwise odd containers? The key is oasis, a water retaining spongy material, that holds cut stems in place and allows them to drink from its reservoirs. Caution: Poke to many holes through the oasis base and your creation will crumble, be careful to place stems in their proper place without too many replacements.

Wet Wrap: Want to present a hand-tied bouquet and have the flowers looking fresh for transport? You need to have baggies, rubber bands and floral foam.

Tissue Paper/Paper Wrap: Make a few stems of flowers or a complete hand-tied bouquet complete with a simple paper or tissue wrap. Really boosts the bouquets overall look and adds some flare! Have fun with the numerous assortments of paper patterns and textures available

5 Gallon Buckets: These come in handy so often! I love having some for my floral design work. With a little legwork, you can usually obtain 5-gallon buckets for free from local businesses and restaurants. For flowers, make sure you have food-grade 5-gallon buckets and not buckets that previously contained harsh chemicals.

Floral Tape: Floral tape is a special tape that comes in an array of different colors. It is used in making boutonnieres and in hiding wires.

Clear Floral Tape: Using clear, thin floral tape, you can make grids across different containers, allowing flowers to stay put in desired spots. Also, this tape can be used to secure oasis into a container.

Glue Gun & Sticks: Having a glue gun handy is just good practice. Often times, in the floral industry, we use glue guns to add flowers to wrist corsages, add finishing touches to containers, attach ribbons, etc.

Containers: Have fun with the containers you collect! Flowers can be designed and put in a huge array of containers, including anything ranging from baskets, teacups, and vases, to pumpkins, shoes, and more! But whatever you use, it must have a lining or be able to hold water.

This should be a great start to having all of the tools you need to make awesome arrangements. Floral design is fun and exciting. I would encourage anyone to try it!

Gluten Free Oat & Nut Granola Bars

Gluten Free Oat & Nut Granola Bars

These are great to make and take on trips, to work, for running errands, or just for a quick and easy healthy snack to have at home. These are easy to make and are gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 3/4 Cups Rolled Oats

1/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds (Shelled is Ok)

1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds

Toast on baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes agitate every 5 minutes

Over medium heat, combine in a medium saucepan:

3/4 Cup Maple Syrup

3T Coconut Sugar or Raw Cane Sugar

3T Coconut Oil

2t Vanilla Extract

1/2t Sea Salt

Stir until dissolved, add toasted nut mixture until well coated and add 3/4 cup dried fruits.

Preheat oven t0 300 degrees

Oil a 9×9 baking dish with either sustainable palm shortening, butter or coconut oil.

Press down granola mixture into dish

Bake for 20-25 minutes, allow to cool and cut

Store in dry, cool place for 2-3 weeks.

 

The Consumerism Addictions

The Consumerism Addictions

—On Consumer Prudence and Discretion—

You’ve done your research. First off, congratulations on making the efforts necessary to investigate and discover what products, companies, and ingredients you’ve found you need to banish from your diet and shopping agenda. Be it as it may, that we as individuals are very small, as a whole, when moving towards safe, healthy products and choosing to support environmental sustenance and human rights, it is one of the greatest things you can do in your lifetime to assist your world. However, only a very select few can take a routine or habit and change it (or cut it out entirely) after only making an initial mental commitment to change.

I highly commend those of you who have become educated on our food and industrial systems and have outright ousted any consumerism practices that are detrimental. Nevertheless, for most of us, quitting the consumerism system composed of addicting food, haphazard products, and support of corporations with “bad business ethics”  is a continuous battle due to the power of advertising and habitual behavior—and is a bit like overcoming any addiction. Quitting the cycle of purchasing products or shopping at corporations that you know (or suspect) are unethical and/or toxic is a process. This process, at times, can feel time-consuming, disappointing, even outright outraging.

However, we as a people are partially responsible for the current state of affairs from not taking time to make the decisions of who we are empowering, who we are hurting, and how our world is being damaged by not thinking about where our stuff comes from and where our stuff goes. It is now the time to take a stand, as an individual for the whole, for your fellow human race, or even just for your immediate bloodline, to banish those addicting consumerism practices that are toxic, unethical, and environmentally damaging.

People need to be educated on cause and effect and how we all play a part.

TIPS/APPROACH

  1. Educate Yourself:  This is the most time-consuming part, but it is an important part you play in taking responsibility for your actions. Information is out there and is being spread rapidly by the internet, on social media, and by word. Discretion is to be used when using these sources, but use them! Discover where your products come from, how the companies treat their workers and source their products, how the company works to help or harm the environment, how the products might harm you or your family, was there slave labor involved? Were there toxic ingredients added? What happens when the item stops working? Where will it go? Some helpful apps include:
  2. Use Deductive Thinking Skills to Separate Fact from Fiction The Truth of False Advertisement: Deciphering truth from fiction in today’s world can be very difficult. It is an important skill to when doing personal research to be able to decipher bad sources from better ones. When investigating be sure to pay attention to who wrote the article, what is their background, what might their motives be, and who do they work for. Also, when investigating facts, look for citations and look to see who others support these conclusions.
  3. Prioritize What Causes (Civil, Environmental, Human Rights, Health) are Most Important to You: While it would be wonderful if we could be advocates for everything we believe in and do all that we can, when trying to initiate change, taking the first steps can be overwhelming. Therefore, it can be helpful to prioritize what issues are most meaningful to you.
  4. Memorize or Make Lists What to Avoid, What to Look For: After doing your research, you will come across brands and ingredients that you will have found to be toxic or unethical. It is helpful to make lists for keywords to keep your eyes out for or brands to avoid.
  5. Find Stores that Support (but don’t think everything is ok in a “health” store): It is a great feeling to find stores that cater to your beliefs, advocate health and civil rights, and make initiatives to make the world a better place. In these sort of special places, you can find like-minded people, great ideas, new brands, connections, etc. However, do not be fooled into thinking that everything that you find at a “health food store” or in the “health food” section is healthy. There have been many times we have been disappointed in finding toxic, environmentally-unfriendly, products in these sorts of stores, as well as products that had been produced by forced labor.
  6. Shop Local, Buy Direct from Artisans: Not enough can be said about the importance of supporting local artisans who handcraft their wares. It is a tremendous support to families, to the local economy, and to skilled labor as opposed to large corporations and aiding monopolization of local economies.
  7. When in Doubt, Look it Up—Be Patient: If you are uncertain whether a brand, organization or product supports a healthy you and a healthy environment, don’t be afraid to do a little research. You may be amazed as to how much information you didn’t know about common household brands. It is never too late to make small changes to something a little bit better for your family and your world – no matter if you have been loyal to a product or brand for ages. Advertising has had a large grasp over societies for decades and sometimes it takes a bit of work to undo their “magic”.
  8. Make a Gameplan—Replacements, New Places to Shop, etc.: If you know what you want – you want to eat healthier, you want to stop supporting horrible organizations, you want to make a difference in the world, it is best to make a game plan before you ever even leave the house. Find local shops that have the items you are seeking, go to the farmer’s markets, go to the specialty stores. Sometimes simply avoiding big box stores is the best way to not get lured into buying cheap, toxic products and feeding your consumerism addiction.
  9. Peers and Family Interference — When investigating social consumerism and marketing it is found that often times individuals prefer certain brands or products due to social influence. Whether abiding by family traditions, or peer influence, humans are social creatures who observe and learn by others and are very influenced by social observation. Below is a list of suggestions to steer in a new, healthier direction:
    • “Traditions”: It is never too late to start a new tradition. Most would be surprised to discover that many traditions now upheld at family gatherings are the byproduct of corporate marketing efforts from within the last century. While understanding your roots and your heritage is commemorable, never be afraid to question traditions and start new ones with your own family and lead by example.
    • Find Like-Minded Peers: One of the easiest ways to stay on track and uphold your beliefs is to find friends and colleagues that uphold similar beliefs. It can be motivating and fun to discover new motivational ideas with them. There are also vast amounts of online communities to join and find inspiration and support.
    • Plan Ahead: If you know that you will be heading to a gathering and there will be toxic foods there, plan to bring your own dish, or snack ahead of time.
  10. Relapse and Guilt: Just like any other addiction, it is so easy to fall back into old habits that you know that you wouldn’t like to continue or do not feel good about. One of the reasons why large corporations succeed so successfully is because they are cheap, easy, and very accessible. If you know you wouldn’t like to shop at Walmart, or eat at McDonald’s, or perhaps that you would like to avoid eating meat, if you “relapse” and fall into a habit you don’t agree with, don’t throw in the towel! It is necessary to accept that changing habits is a process and takes plenty of reassurance to stay on track.
  11. Fight (and ask) for what you want: My grandmother always used to tell me, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This sentiment is so true. To get what we want, sometimes it is absolutely necessary to SPEAK UP. To keep asking what we want – even if you’ve never seen it done before. It is helpful to let your voice be heard. Below are some examples of how you can make positive initiatives for change.
    • Write Letters: If you don’t like something or would like to initiate change in your community, don’t be afraid to write letters to corporations and politicians. We are all just people after all, and getting through to the right people can initiate tremendous change.
    • Grocery Request Forms: I was looking through the healthy food section at a chain grocery store in Russellville, Arkansas when an employee told me that if I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I could make a request and they would order it in. Since then, I have made many requests for organic health foods that I couldn’t otherwise find at multiple stores throughout the many places we have lived. This was a great piece of information to discover.
    • Talk to Managers: If you know a product to be dangerous if you would like to see something in the store if you are concerned about corporate waste, or anything else, do not be afraid to speak with a manager. Many times I have been pleasantly surprised by my conversations with managers. We have gotten donations, had products removed and recalled, and products ordered in based on these communications. Reach out!
  1. Spread the Word: Never underestimate the power of social influence. Many people would be on board with assisting in creating change if only they had the knowledge of what problems exist if they saw people acting in positive manners if they passively felt social influence inclining them to join in and take action. Many individuals will avoid advocacy if they believe they are too small or unimportant to make a change. By exemplifying actions one can do to promote universal well-being, people can observe ways they too can help. Below are some ways you can help positively influence your community.
    • Show Your Choices: This is such a broad statement, but proudly show your choices. If you buy handmade products and handcrafted wares proudly display them. If you chose to practice veganism or vegetarianism let it be known. If you don’t shop at certain places or buy certain foods – explain why. It is important people learn from alternative voices to think twice about what they do and who and what they support.
    • Stickers/Pins: This follows the same sentiment as above, but if you shop at the farmers market, show it! If you boycott certain brands, show it. Promotion of healthy choices and groups striving to make positive change is essential to educating others who have no idea why these matters are important.
    • Social Networks: The effects, scope, and engagement reach of social media is widely underresearched and is unprecedented. Use this tool to spread ideas and research.

The GMO & Toxic Food Detox

 

So, for whatever reason, you find yourself in need of a detox. Perhaps, you spend the holidays with some family members and felt you couldn’t refuse the traditional holiday foodie sludge of yesteryear. Or perhaps, you slipped up and have found yourself in a bad pattern of eating those oh so addicting sugar and salt loaded toxic foods. Whatever it may be, you know that you don’t want to eat that garbage, and are feeling a little foggy, a little bloated, a little regretful or shameful, and know that you want to get back on track. Well, these are some steps to get you to where you want to be, just a little faster.

  1. Aloe Vera Gel—This is one of the best natural laxatives I have come across, it is gentle, plant-based, and gives a little kick to get that junk out of your body. You may buy aloe vera in capsule form, in drinks, or you can simply extract the gel from the plant yourself and ingest. The gel assists in getting things moving from your digestive tract on out of your body.
  2. Water—Filtered water with heavy metals and fluoride removed, that is, and lots of it—as you may know the body is comprised of —-% water. Humans routinely do not ingest enough water for optimum health. For your cells to replenish and heal you and to flush toxins down and out you need to flood your body with the cool refreshing stuff and watch the cravings minimize and the health maximize. For an added health kick, try adding a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar, a slice of organic lemon, or some alkalizing baking soda.
  3. Black Coffee or Americano (espresso in water, no cream or added sugar) —While the health benefits of coffee are debatable, and while it should definitely be avoided by those with anxiety disorders, and people with caffeine sensitivity, there is no doubt that coffee can help give us a slight energy boost, and to help get things moving in our bellies on out of us. However, in a detox, the coffee must be black, adding cream and sugar is not beneficial at this time. If you absolutely can’t stand the taste of black coffee, try adding cinnamon, water to weaken the bitterness, or adding the tiniest smidgen of raw honey.
  4. Get exercising or walking—everyone knows exercise does a body good. Sweating helps excrete the body’s toxins. While vigorous exercise is highly commended, it is not always plausible in our lifestyle. However, even just walking gets the body in action, raises the metabolism and helps the digestive tract to eliminate toxins quicker. So if you’re feeling groggy, bloated, and sugar, salt and fat hooked, just get up and get your body moving.
  5. Clear out your cupboards—Get all processed foods out. Get all sodas, boxed cereals, boxed meals, canned foods (except certain BPA and GMO whole foods), and chips and cookies out. If it has somehow gotten into your home by someone else, or by a moment of weakness remove it from your kitchen. It the food is something you are absolutely afraid of getting rid of, or if the food belongs to another owner, discuss placing the food in a box in another location such as another cupboard, den, or garage location where it will be seldom encountered by you.
  6. Avoid places with bad customs, and think of alternatives ahead of time—while trying to undergo a detox, avoid family, friends, and work members who are likely to tempt you back into bad habits. For example, if you always go to McDonalds weekly with your colleges, if every time you see your grandma she bakes junk food for you, if every time you meet your friend you grab a mocha latte, find a way either to avoid it until you are stronger in your personal goals and convictions, or until you have found a way to incorporate a healthy alternative without insulting your companion (people do not like feeling like they are bad for the choices they make, even if the choices are caustic).
  7. Eat the foods you do want—focusing on vegetables, healthy proteins (not just meat!), and some fruits. Depending on your personal dietary restrictions and allergies, allow for detox meals to be light meals comprised mostly of vegetables and with one or more small added portions of the following: organic soaked and/or sprouted beans, nuts, seeds, and/or lean, sustainably and ethically raised, non-GMO fed, animal meat such as pastured chicken, turkey, rabbit, wild game, or sustainably harvested non-GMO fish (mind the water pollution levels where the fish was raised). Making whole food choices is tricky and restrictive when you are first starting out, but it becomes more enjoyable as you discover foods, recipes, restaurants, and small farm-small business products you enjoy that are truly healthy for you.
  8. Take your vitamins—with modern diets and spending so much time indoors, most of us are vitamin deficient. Maintaining a whole foods diet helps, but to get to where you need to be, most of us could benefit from taking vitamins. We suggest a whole-food, organic vitamin. Synthetic vitamins are hard for the body to process.
  9. Eat only organic or homegrown—not enough can be said about how truly terrible processed food is. Even the fresh produce you get at grocery stores is likely aged, irradiated, and chemical-laden. The only way you can be sure the food you are getting is fresh and alive is to procure it yourself or from those you know. Get to know your local farmers, they would love to meet you and tell you about how their produce is grown.
  10. Get fresh air—when living in the city, as opposed to out in the country, it amazing to realize how much better you will feel getting out in the fresh air. Living in an environment that is surrounded by oxygen-rich forests and away from city pollution is a luxury not to be taken for granted. If you are stuck in the city, be sure to get a home air purifier, as well as air purifying house plants. Be sure to regularly incorporate day trips out to the woods or get out camping. Getting outside and getting fresh air is very important for whole body health.

Healing Foods Kitchen Utensil and Supply List

Healing Foods Kitchen Utensil and Supply List

Here at the Sunchild Flourish Farmstead, we know that it is necessary to have a properly equipped kitchen to process all of our whole-food home cooked meals, to preserve all of our foods, and to give our kitchen that traditional old-world feel. Below is a list of household kitchen supplies we have and love to use at our farmstead.

High-Functioning Food Blender: A high-functioning blender is pretty necessary for our household. We tried to get by using more frugal options and the blenders always ended up malfunctioning and breaking after some use. We use our blender constantly for smoothies, sauces, purees, whipped items, nut butter, soups, and more. Currently, on the market, there are two competing high functioning blenders for serious users, the Blendtec and the Vitamix. We chose the Blendtec and enjoy its computerized screen, wide mouth, easy storage capability.

Freezer Paper and Tape, Freezer Bags, or Vacuum Sealer and Bags for Freezing: Freezing is one of the most convenient methods for healthful food preservation. Make sure you have the proper equipment to store your food items. Vacuum sealers are especially nice for home meat processors.

Pressure Canner & Canning Supplies: You can use a large stockpot for some canning, but I prefer to have a pressure canner on hand so that you can use both the pressure canning and water bath functions. Some food items such as low acidity vegetables and meats need to be pressure canned opposed to water bath canned for safe food preservation.

Ceramic Baking Dishes or Stoneware: We love our stoneware for its old-world feel. Earthen pottery has been used for cookware since before the recording of history. We also shy away from aluminum and nonstick cookware, so ceramic stoneware is a nice alternative.

Spirelli Slicer: A spirelli slicer is a delightful tool. It creates yummy, low calorie, low carb noodles out of produce such as squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and more. We love this tool at the farmstead, especially in summer months when zucchini and cucumbers are plentiful.

Chest Freezer: We support buying in bulk, processing our own meats, and freezing the some of the years harvest for winter. We definitely suggest utilizing a chest freezer to stock up on whole foods and have them readily available.

 Root Scrubber: A root scrubber is a nice tool to have in the kitchen. We use it to brush all of our potatoes, mushrooms, and root crops such as beets, carrots, and turnips.

Airtight Canisters (Ceramic or Glass): These containers are so nice to store all of the bulk foods we retain. I love the look and feel of using these containers for storage. We use airtight containers for flours, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, pasta, and more.

 Fine Mesh Strainer: For rinsing and picking grains and beans, sifting flour,

Flour Mill: For grinding fresh grain and bean flours

Meat Grinder: Waste not! Traditional cultures respect their animals (if eaten) by not wasting parts. Take leftover portions of meat and grind to make homemade sausage, patties, and more.

Quality Knives:  You need some quality knives to cut through bone and thicker shelled produce such as winter squash or watermelon.

Cast Iron Cookware: Cast iron is fabulous. I love our cast iron cookware. Cast iron lasts forever and can be passed down from generation to generation. Some of my favorite pieces that I have obtained over the years were antique pieces. Cast iron is a safe cookware that does not contain harmful toxins such as Teflon, is easy to clean, is sturdy and long-lasting.

Kitchen aid: Multifaceted tool desired by homemakers, chefs, and bakers. Makes baking, bread making, sausage stuffing, patty grinding, and flour grinding a flash.

Whisk (or whisk attachment): Used frequently when working with eggs and sauces.

Immersion Blender: A handy tool to use in lieu of a traditional beater or blender. Especially handy when blending mashed root vegetables, for soups, sauces or single serve smoothies. I use it often when making fruit purees and sauces.

Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils: Less plastic is fantastic. Opt out for long lasting and healthy stainless steel.

 Coffee/Spice Grinder: Nothing is better than freshly ground coffee. We also use a coffee grinder to grind dried herbs and spices for storage.

 Bread Box: Like grandma used to have. Keeps bread fresher longer.

 Glass or Metal Mixing Bowls: Cut down on plastic. Invest in healthy, long-lasting stainless steel or high-quality glass such as Pyrex.

 Cooking Thermometer: This is just helpful to have. We use it when in doubt when cooking meats, when candy making, and when soap making.

 Knife Sharpener: Having good sharp knives is absolutely necessary when you are a home cook. Especially if you use them frequently for peeling, dicing, and cutting through bone.

 French Press Coffee Maker: Keurig issue. Fresh coffee. Less plastic. Can take it camping.

Dutch Oven/Kettle: We love dutch ovens. Also, a lovely thing to have is a cast-iron kettle Reminiscent of a cauldron, kettles come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for over the fire cooking. We have used our kettle to de-feather chickens, cook stews, and to do easy campfire cooking.

Whole Food Pantry List

Sunchild Flourish Farmstead’s

Whole Food Pantry List

There has been a recent shift in awareness regarding the necessity of sustainable “life-friendly” agriculture. Eating whole food diets to maintain the integrity of our personal health, as well as to preserve the health of our planet has been recognized as a fundamental urgency. A growing revolution is being driven by heartfelt individuals and humanity’s desire to become more ethical, rather than detrimentally influential on society. Connection to primordial needs, mainly health and safety, as well as a desire to have a more natural connection to nature has been the driving force. Many of us are making the shift into more natural eating habits, thereby removing the fierce clutch of industrial big business food and their biochemical operations.

It is worthwhile to keep the kitchen well stocked with whole food pantry essentials to have on hand to make healthy, natural cooking easy and well, natural. Keeping the home full of good choices will not only make you feel better, but will greatly reduce the chance of being tempted by “easy” bad food choices.

We at the Sunchild Flourish Farmstead do not support a whole-food group restrictive diet, instead, we implement foods from all food groups in balance and moderation. Understandably, individual’s personal ethics, background, and food sensitivities will determine their personal diet decisions and restrictions. Use personal discretions when examining our recommendations.

Note: Food can be addicting, especially food produced and designed to be extremely high in fats, sugars, salts and synthesized non-food, body-chemistry-altering “flavor enhancers” and preservatives. It is advised to REMOVE all foods that do not adhere to your individual food preferences and ethics.

For Further Reading:

Healing Foods (Category)

The Great “Health Food” Controversy

The GMO & Toxic Food Detox

Whole Food Allergy Worksheets

Whole Foods Pantry List

Without further adieu, beneath is a comprehensive inventory list of pantry items we keep on hand at the Sunchild Flourish farmstead. 

-For Printable Checklists-

Vinegars

Vinegar is an amazing and ancient found gift from nature. It is both multifaceted and powerful. It’s numerous health benefits and cleansing capacities have benefited humans since the recording of written history, beginning around 5,500 years ago. To say the least, vinegar is something we definitely keep well-equipped in our pantry.

Here are some of our household favorites:

White Vinegar:  A staple for homemade cleaning products, food preservation, and health.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Regularly used in both recipes and health tonics. One of the most ancient forms of vinegar used by man, and also one of the easiest to forge.

 For an Old-Fashioned Cider Vinegar How-To:

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar: Not a true “vinegar”, but still it is wonderful and delicious. Beware, there are a lot of imitation balsamic’s on the market. When purchasing, look for the keywords “grape must”, “aged grape must”, or “Mosto d’Uva” on the ingredients list. Otherwise, you may be purchasing cheap wine vinegar with added food coloring.

Rice Wine Vinegar: A staple for many Asian recipes. We like to always keep this on hand.

White Wine Vinegar: White wine vinegar adds a fun kick to cooking.We add a splash to sauteed vegetables, mushrooms, and in some Italian sauces. Be sure to look for bottled white wine vinegar without added sulfites if possible.

For Further Reading:

The Amazing Medicinal Uses for Vinegar

Vinegar Cleaning Recipes

Vinegar Health Tonics

D.I.Y. Flavor-Infused & Decorative Vinegars

Sweeteners

Unhealthy bleached sugar, often produced through slave labor conditions, is all too prevalent in today’s foods. Increased sugar intake has been linked to cancer, diabetes, liver disease, addiction and hormone disruption. Sugar intake can be controlled by consuming homemade goods using natural sweeteners.

Raw Honey: Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and delicious. Raw honey is another miraculous gift from nature that can and has been used medicinally in a multitude of ways. Warning, the many benefits of honey are extinguished when heated. Therefore, limit usage in baking, and be sure to purchase “raw” and/or “unpasteurized” honey. Honey also has a high glycemic content so use sparingly!

To learn more about the amazing powers and uses of honey see:

 Superfood: Honey

Coconut Sugar: To be used sparingly, but a healthier, more natural alternative to cane sugar. Evaporated palm syrup from the tree still retains some minerals (Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium) and antioxidants. While added sugars are still to be shyed away from, coconut sugar is a more natural alternative, and is lower on the glycemic scale. Coconut sugar can be substituted with both brown sugar or white sugar on a 1:1 ration in any recipe. Note: Coconut sugar has a more coarse texture than white sugar and when used can slightly alter consistency. It also leaves a yummy slightly caramel/butterscotch flavor.

Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses: High in trace essential minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. Aids in treatment for medicinal ailments ranging from acne to cancer. Plants Love it.

To learn more click:

 Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses Uses

Natural Maple Syrup: Grade B is preferred as it is more nutrient dense. Contains anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties. A truly natural sweetener straight from the tree.

Dates: Date fruit puree can be used as a whole food sweetener. Dates have a long shelf-life ranging from 45 days at room temperature; 6 months refrigerated; 1 year frozen. They can be eaten plain and are very delicious and are great in natural baked goods.

Sorghum: Sweet sorghum is a natural syrup made from sorghum grain. It is truly a homesteaders delight! Sorghum is a space-efficient, dual-purpose grain that provides both gluten-free flour and whole-food natural sweetener. We can now grow and produce a gallon from a 10×10 plot on our farmstead.

IMG_0499.jpg

Cooking Bases:

Bases are used to create culinary sauces and soups.

Vegetable Stock:   A common base ingredient for many recipes and incredibly easy and cheap to make at home. We strongly suggest making homemade vegetable stock, as many of the store-bought vegetable stocks can contain MSG and less than ideal amounts of sodium. Vegetable stock can be created easily from vegetable trimmings. Vegetable stock is also wonderful for the garden as well. Instead of throwing those veggie scraps into the compost pile, try making some vegetable stock compost tea and nourishing your body and your garden.

Animal Bone Stock:   Animal stock is also easily made at home. It is a cost-effective and suitable way to expend the animal life given by reaping extra nutrients and minerals into your meals from otherwise discarded animal bones. The gelatinous bone marrow, glucosamine, and collagen found in beef, chicken, fish, and pork bone stocks are proven to be beneficial to the gut, joints, immune system, skin, hair and nails.

-For a Quick and Easy Stock How-To-

Easy, No Fuss Overnight Stocks

Coconut Milk:  Coconut milk is a quick and wonderful base for many different styles and compositions of curries+ from around the world.

+Curry is an oriental-inspired dish that is heavily spiced, traditionally with chile peppers, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. It is comprised mostly of vegetables, with some omnivore choices, and is usually served with grains or other starches such as lentils.

Thickeners

Thickeners are used to create jellies, thicker sauces, soups, gravies, creams, custards, and puddings. The starch powder can also be used as a binding agent, gluten-free food “breading” and flour replacements.

Arrowroot Flour: Arrowroot is a neutral tasting old-time medicinal root used as both a detoxifying agent and a food source. The starch derived from the arrowroot is used as a gluten-free thickener and jellifying agent that thickens at low temperatures. Predominantly GMO-free.

Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour is derived from the cassava root, which is a common food staple grown around the world. Like arrowroot, also neutral in flavor and thickens at low temperatures. Gluten Free. Predominantly GMO-free.

Organic Corn Starch: Be sure to use only organic non-gmo. As well as a thickener, cornstarch can be used to heal rashes, aleviate burns and bug bites, treat stains, make dry shampoo, combat body odor, and underarm sweat, make baking powder, make non-toxic finger paint, and more!

Fats/Oils for Cooking

Cold-Pressed Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil:  Most individuals have heard of the miraculous benefits and uses for coconut oil. In case you haven’t or want to check out some other coconut oil ideas check out:

–An Overview of Coconut Oil Uses–

But in the kitchen, coconut oil is one of the best and most versatile oil suited for high-temperatures, such as in baking and frying. Make sure the oil you obtain is both organic and UNREFINED. Use in place of butter or vegetable oil 1:1.

Cold-Pressed Unrefined Organic Olive Oil: Olive oil is highly nutritious if unfiltered, fresh, and packaged and stored properly. There’s been some recent debacle regarding the purity and freshness of leading olive oil producers in the U.S. for a up to date resource on the best oils. Be sure to research olive oil to avoid purchasing false oils using toxic fillers.

Olive oil is a delicious oil that is best suited as a finishing oil, but is oftentimes abused by heating to too-high of temperatures. Olive oil can keep its structural integrity by slightly heating at medium low to low temperatures.

Lard, Tallow, Duck Fat or Schmaltz: Whole foodies we commend you! Whether or not you ingest in animal products (with animal welfare and environmental impact regarded) is a individual choice tied to one’s heritage and personal ethics. But there is little disdain for the use of animal fats in traditional and  gourmet cooking by chefs, food bon vivants, and traditional cultures alike. We love to use some animal fat occasionally when cooking lean meats, with beans and with some vegetables.

Finishing Oils: 

Finishing oils are a great addition to salads, fresh fruits and veggies, and to sauces. We grow a lot of oil crops at Sunchild Flourish Farms and we like to extract and try new flavors. Below is a list of some noteworthy oils to try. These oils are not to be heated to high temperatures. Try some of these oils to learn their distinct flavors and your preferences, but be sure to look for cold-pressed, organic choices:

Sesame Oil

Sunflower Oil

Walnut Oil

Hempseed Oil

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Flaxseed oil

Safflower Oil

Camelina Oil

Peanut Oil

Snacks/Additions

We have really become a fast-paced, on-the-go society, and snack foods have become some of the most addictive foods on the market. It is wise to keep your pantry full of available snack foods, so unhealthy choices will stay out of sight and out of mind. 1ase

Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These are a fabulous dried fruit to have on hand and are very easy to make at home. Sun-dried tomatoes are great in salads, on pizzas, and in pasta.

See:

 Easy Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Dried Snacking Fruits: Kids love dried fruits, and they are a great transitional food for people who are used to unhealthy snacking. Most all fruits can be dehydrated and stored for snacking and fruit/nut mixes.

Fruit Preserves: Once you begin growing your own food or you’ve located a real food producer, when fruit is in season and you have an abundance, preservation is a must to beat spoilage and is nice for those cold, dreary winter months. While fruit is usually preserved with high amounts of sugar, it is best to make your preserves at home so that you may monitor and control the amount of added sweetener you add and ensure that it comes from a non-toxic source.

Nuts/Seeds: Nuts and seeds are high in fiber and are an excellent snack. They can be added to salads, casseroles, baked goods, and just eaten plain. Nuts and seeds are multifaceted, providing us with natural oils, butters, milks, and protein. Make sure your portions are appropriate, as they can be easily over consumed.

Dried Meat Jerky: Disregard if you are supporting a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but for conscience omnivores, jerky is a respectable snack. Jerky can be easily made from many animals both hunted from the wild and from livestock animals. It is a dried food that can be taken out on the go or on the trail, and can be made from less desirable meat cuts. We at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead believe that if an animal or plant is to be sacrificed for you to eat, it is only respectful to utilize all that you can, with very little waste.  We have experimented and very much enjoyed rabbit jerky, deer jerky, and turkey jerky.

Dried Popping Corn: Popped corn is an one of our all-time favorites. It always takes me back to times spent with my grandmother during my childhood. It came to our attention that some people are unaware of how easy it is to make healthy popcorn at home. Stop buying the premade and bagged kind! All you need is some organic corn kernels, a pot with a lid, some coconut oil, and toppings of your choice. What a wonderful snack!

See:

Homemade Popcorn

For More Homemade Snack Recipes See:

Snacks (Category)

Spices: 

To see our complete spice inventory see——-

The Complete Whole-Foods Spice Index

Sauces:

We use sauces on everything. From pastas to stirfries, meats and beans, sauces are commonly used and purchased from the supermarket. However, even healthy market sauces offered are often very expensive and many other options contain msg, gmo’s and incredible levels of sodium and/or sugars. It is well worth the time to spend a day making and canning sauces to store and use from your pantry. The sauces mentioned at the bottom of the list are typically purchased, rather than made at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead.

Homemade Sauces

Homemade Teriyaki:

Homemade BBQ:

Homemade Ketchup:

Homemade Mustard:

Homemade Pasta Sauce:

Homemade Chili Sauce:

Purchased Sauces

Tamari:  A fermented soybean product, to be used in lieu of soy sauce. Gluten-free and used in many asian sauces.

Coconut Aminos: For those of you avoiding soy, coconut aminos is a wonderful soy sauce/ tamari alternative.

Umeboshi Plum Sauce: Pickled plum sauce is a fun and yummy addition to vegetables.

Salts

Most salts you find in the stores are toxic and heavily refined. Opt instead for natural sea salts  that are full of trace minerals.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt:  A healthy and beautifully pink natural salt that is lovely to have in your kitchen, and can be a fun conversation starter. This salt is sourced from deposits, some of which are over a million years old.

Celtic Sea Salt: A natural salt fresh from the sea. Celtic sea salt is higher in magnesium and lower in sodium than pink himalayan salt, and is often cheaper too.

Flours/Grains

Note: Oils in the flours can quickly go rancid. All flours should be kept in cool, dry places to preserve freshness, ideally a fridge. Flours are best freshly ground. Grains are most digestible and wholesome when they have been properly soaked and sprouted, releasing available nutrients by springing the grain seed to life from its dormancy and discarding some of the seeds phyto acids (protective barriers that inhibit dissemination).

Fresh Ground Cornmeal: A gluten-free grain. Ensure that the corn/cornmeal you are purchasing is from non-gmo, organic corn. Breads, tortillas, and breaded food items made from fresh, cornmeal is entirely unparalleled to the nutritionally depleted cornmeal found at the box stores.

Fresh Ground Wheat Flour or Wheat Berries: An ode to wheat! We here at the Sunchild Flourish Farmstead pay homage to this old-world grain that has helped sustain and propel the human race from starvation across the globe for ages. The utilization of wheat agriculture has allowed humans to transition from nomadic lifestyles to sustained civilizations. Although human wheat tolerance and health impacts has been a current controversial trend, wheat foods have been coveted by many people through many generations, to sustain peoples throughout famine, winter times and to gain weight! While in American dieting, wheat restriction may be advised to assist in weight-loss, and for nutritive based healing, wheat foods continue to have our praise, when respected. Traditionally and properly prepared wheat foods, that are from fresh, whole food wheat groats, are a coveted part of our diet when eaten in moderation, and during the winter season when fresh produce is in low-production.

Fresh Ground Rye Flour or Rye Cereal: Rye is absolutely delicious in bread and baked goods. We like to keep fresh rye around just for that purpose alone.

Fresh Ground Oat Flour or Oat Groats: Oats are delicious, gluten-free, and are said to have mood-elevating properties.

Fresh Steelcut or “Irish” Oats:  Irish or steel cut oats are whole oat cuts that have been sliced. Steelcut oats, although they take longer to cook, are preferable over rolled or quick oats, as they are less processed.  Steel cut oats are also lower in calories and lower on the glycemic scale, when compared to rolled oats, which are oats that have been husked, steamed, and rolled.

Long-Grain Brown Rice:  In our kitchen, we like to keep food items closely relative to the natural state in which the food was harvested, while also properly preparing to make all nutrients as bioavailable a possible. Therefore, when it comes to rice we opt for organic rices that have the both the bran and germ intact. Long grain brown and black rices are household favorites, that are chock full of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and protein. Note: Recent studies have found that many rices both grown and imported into the U.S. contain dangerous levels of arsenic from being grown in contaminated soil. Opt for organic choices and don’t exceed 2-3 servings weekly for adults of rice products for adults, and under 2 servings weekly of rice products for children. Remember to always properly prepare your grains by rinsing and/or sprouting!

For information on rice and arsenic levels see:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm

Wild Rice: Wild rice is a wetland grass seed grain that originated in North America, which was commonly utilized by the Native Americans in the region in which it grows wildly. Wild rice is higher in -protein than most other grains and is full of vitamins and minerals.

Amaranth: Amaranth is a seed grain similar to quinoa. It was a staple to the Aztec’s, and is very high in protein and also gluten-free. Amaranth has a wide range of culinary applications ranging from sweet candy and breakfast dishes, to spicy and savory, spicy dishes. It can also be popped!

Quinoa: An ancient grain seed, heavily used by the Incas. A quickly prepared gluten-free, whole-grain, that is rich in amino acids and protein. I commonly use quinoa in lieu of rice in burritos and curries.

Barley: One of our favorites. Barley is an old-time, easy to grow grain that is great in soups and salads.

Buckwheat: Gluten-free grain from grass. Typically ground into flour and used in gluten-free baking.

 Legumes

Although beans are typically avoided by raw and paleo dieters, they hold an esteemed place in our pantry. Legumes are natural seeds from plants that help us fix the nitrogen in the soil, making the soil more nutrient available for following crops. Nutritionally, legumes are full of protein and are gluten and grain free. They make for a hearty meal when limiting meat intake and have a very long storage shelf life. We love the bean crops we have here at the farmstead and love looking at all the different jarred varieties on our pantry shelves waiting to be used for hearty meals all winter long. Below is a brief overview of some of our favorite varieties.

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Chickpeas have a wide range of applications. They are delicious additions to sandwiches, curries, many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes or eaten alone as snacks.

Red Beans (Light and Dark Kidney Beans): Red beans remind me of the South. We use these largely to make chili, red beans and rice, and some curries.

Pinto Beans: Also commonly used in Latin foods. Yummy addition to burritos and delicious refried.

Black Beans: Used heavily in Latin and Cajun-influenced cooking. We use these often for refried beans, burritos, salsas, and summer salads.

White Beans (Great Northern, Navy, Cannellini): White beans are used often here at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead. They are great in spring vegetable soups, with salted pork, and in white chicken chili. They are hearty and filling and are wonderful additions to some of our favorite cold-weather meals.

Cowpeas (Black Eyed Peas, Southern Peas): Used in a wide range of culinary cuisines, these legumes are nice to have on hand.

Peanuts: We commonly implement peanuts into Thai and other Asian-inspired dishes. Also try African peanut stew.

Mung Beans: We keep these on hand solely for sprouting. Mung beans make delicious and fast-growing bean sprouts that are fabulous on sandwiches or in Asian cuisine.

Lima/Butter Beans: Starchy beans that can be put into salads, cooked in tomato sauce, or baked.

Fava Beans (Broad Beans)Fava beans, or broad beans are large beans that are used for snacking, fillings, and often used in Mediterranean-style dishes. They have a wide range of culinary applications.

Lentils: Starchy lentils are very versatile. They can be used in curries, cajun dishes, as well as indian, middle eastern, and mediterranean dishes. They are used similarly to beans, yet they do not require overnight soaking.

Split Peas: One of our favorite easy, winter meals is split pea soup. It is starchy, hearty and healthy. Split peas, like lentils are gluten-free and do not require overnight soaking. They can be added to the slow cooker with an assortment of vegetables and fixings and left to turn into wonderfully delicious soups in under 15 minutes of prep time.

This concludes Sunchild Flourish Farmstead’s Whole Food Pantry List. Thanks for visiting!

 

D.I.Y Natural Garden Mix: Fungicide, Pesticide and More!

USES:

  • Natural Non-Toxic Fungicide

    • Rid Yourself of Powdery Mildew, Black Spot, Sooty Mold & other Fungal Disease
  • Kills Slugs, Cabbage Worms, and Snails

    • Dust leaves and apply directly to eradicate soft-bodied pests
  • Tomato Sweetener

  • Calcium Fertilizer

  • Discourages weed growth

  • Discourages Rabbits, Ants, Silver Fish, Gnats, Aphids, Beatles and Roaches

  • Soil Alkalizer  (Raises pH like adding lime)

    • Warning: Some plants need acidity and will not tolerate alkalinity. Use extreme caution when using  this garden mix on soil near or on blackberry, cranberry, blueberry, parsley, potato , raspberry or sweet potato plants as these plants need acidic soil.
  • Federal EPA cleared for safe use on edible plants

  • Causes no apparent harm on plants

    • Note: Test small area before using frequently. Do not apply on hot, sunny day or will induce leaf burn (brown or yellow patches at ends of plants). Dilute if necessary.

      Ground Garden Mix
      Ground Garden Mixture

MATERIALS:

Egg Shells

Baking Soda

Food Processor, Mortar & Pestle, or Blender

Empty Container for Storage

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Retain Eggshells. Once one dozen+ eggs have been gathered allow to dry 24+ hours or dry in oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit 5-7 minutes.

    Collected Eggshells
    Collected Dried Eggshells
  2. Grind dried eggshells to fine powder.
  3. Add Baking Soda to mixture. Add One Tablespoon of Baking Soda per 12 ground eggshells. This yields about 1/2 cup of gardening mixture. Collect in dry container.
  4. Shake light layer evenly over soil to alkalize, add calcium, prevent fungus and ward off pests. Reapply every 2 weeks.
  5. Apply directly to soft-bodied bugs such as snails, slugs, and cabbage worms to eradicate.
  6. Apply in thick layer on weeds to discourage weed growth. Warning: Garden mix raises pH. Do not over-apply to growing area or soil chemistry will be disrupted hindering plant growth.
  7. Sprinkle 2T to soil around each tomato plant when they are about 1-inch in diameter to sweeten. Reapply every 2-3 weeks.
  8. For an active fungal or pest infection, dilute 2 Tablespoons of garden mix with 1 Gallon of water. For better coverage add 2-
    Blend and Add Baking Soda
    Blend and Add Baking Soda.

    3 teaspoons of mild dish soap and vegetable oil to spray, this will also help.

  9. Enjoy your cheap, easy and natural fungicide, pesticide, alkalizing calcium booster!