Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
I've been using the greens all week and have come up with my 5 favorite meals:
Potato Black Bean and Beet Green Enchiladas
Beet Green and Feta Quiche
Beef Stew with Beet Greens
Sauteed Beet Greens with Sesame and Garlic
Beet Green and Quinoa Pancakes ( I use a cornmeal base and add in the quinoa and chopped beet greens)
Here's to Happy Harvesting!
Monday, September 26, 2011
I needed to go to Denver to run an errand, so we decided to stop at the botanical gardens. What a beautiful site! Sage ran down the pathways like a little elf, grabbing purple sage, yellow brown eyed susans, noticing the buzzing of bees, and swirling scents of catmints, basils, lavenders! The gardens are manicured, but still remain meadowlike in their presence. As we strolled from perennial pathways into the formal herb gardens, I noticed the two most sweet tiny mushrooms standing under a large spruce tree. We snuck off the path, into the wild area and snapped some shots. Lying among all the beauty of those gardens, that were hand weeded and tended to immaculately, was nature's gift perfectly tidy, simple, happy, and sure of it's place in the greater gardens. We sat and marveled at the mushrooms before moving on.
This week we also ventured to the farm to celebrate autumn equinox. We gathered our friends and hiked around the ranch near our home, seeking out horses and pigs, listening to the baaaaing of sheep and clucking of chickens, and watching Patches the cow munch on some yummy alfalfa. The scents of the farm also stirred up a unique smell for the children. Under the oak tree, we made wind wands, and admired at the fairy sized creek that emerged from a giant tuft of grass. Sage had to take his shoes off and wade around. A red dragonfly darted around, landing on the rock, we studied his transluscent wings and he let Sage touch him.The sun was warm and inviting, and left us wondering if summer was ready to part. The spirit of this day was cheery, uplifting, wholesome. I think these are words we often use to associate with family and small organic farms. Ideallic for sure.
This morning, the sky was grey and a shadow of fog lingered. We decided to head to a nature area close to home. We arrived to the sounds of the running creek, full of life and to autumnal hues caressing the forest. The oaks, mountain mahogany, and current bushes that surrounded the creek were changing colors and creating a crunchy sound where some of the leaves had fallen already. Birds still sang and we watched them for a while- darting back and forth, teasing the squirrels, gathering seeds. Sage likes to watch things for a while and does not easily get deterred which I appreciate in him. He likes to watch the stream move along, listening to it's song. He ran back and forth, across the wooden bridge, inhaling fall's fresh moist air, giggling, and bending over the side as if ready to bolt in. I spotted him of course, but he probably would have liked to go in the water.
So many experiences can occur outdoors that do not happen in the same way inside. The smells and scents of unique places, the feel of the changing temperature and breeze moving across your face. The sounds of animals and bugs, water, wind, woodpeckers- you name it. There is something about being alive in an area that is full of life. Relationships are all around. This is what sets apart outdoor environments from indoor ones. There is a zestful beauty that being outside offers to children and adults alike. It is easy to understand the world of nature when you are immersed inside of it, easy to remember that we too are nature. I appreciate our outdoor moments so much and am grateful these places are all around us and I always look forward to tomorrow's outdoor time as well. Every child deserves to be outside and to hopefully to find a special place in their heart for mother nature.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The rain crashed down hard today
washing summer's warmth away
The air felt cool, filled with fresh smells
autumn is here, I shall tell
The sun is low, shimmering down
upon dwindling plants on the ground
Trees are blowing in the wind
happy autumn has come again
Worms are burrowing underground
squirrels hiding nuts all around
candles burning longer into the evening light
sun is lower, not as bright
the smell of chai fills our home
mama calls to the autumn gnomes
numbing toes, wool sweater time
I think autumn is quite divine
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Medicine making for me has been part of my mothering style since day one. I am not huge fan of anything that comes from an unknown source and has multiple possible side affects like tylenol or the like. I feel like masking symptoms helps us cope when we need to get through the day, but rarely is it addressing the underlying conditions. So I feel better knowing I'm going to nourish the yuckies away and help my kiddo feel better with simple natural remedies that are safe for him. Note that many plants and "natural" remedies are NOT meant for children, so NEVER give your child any medicine or remedy that you are unsure about. I do not claim to be a doctor, but I do believe mother's are able to make solid and sound health choices for their families with proper research and experience. For me, medicine making comes from my love of plants, nature, and crafting, along with my many years of practicing herbal medicine on my own and with friends and mentors. I have listed a few remedy recipes that are easy and really do make a difference in healing.So- here's to the medicine making mama in all of us....Cheers to a happy, healthy, and handmade childhood!
Elderberry is an extremely popular children's cold remedy in Europe. If you are going to make this syrup, only use blue elderberries, as the red ones are toxic in large quantities. Also make sure to never eat uncooked elderberries. Rosehips are high in vitamin C and can also soothe fussiness if a child is coming down with something.
1 c. fresh or 1/2 c. dried elderberries ( I use dried since they do not grow around here in CO)
1/2 c. fresh or 1/4 c. dried rosehips
3 c. water
Suggested doses for children: Based on one teaspoon (60 grains) for adult dose as recommended from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Remedies for Children's Health.
12-18 months 7 grains
18-24 months 8 grains
2-3 years 10 grains
3-4 years 12 grains
4-6 years 15 grains
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Mix dry ingredients together in bowl and set aside. Blend all other ingredients together except carrots on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend on medium speed 1-2 more minutes or until well blended. Stir in carrots. Grease tins or add cupcake liners.Fill muffin tins 1/2 full and bake for 20-24 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Makes 24 regular sized cupcakes. I like to use the icing recipe below and top them with toasted coconut!