Wild + Free

Thunder rolls dark clouds across window panes on the homestead, I pray for rain.  Our soils are thirsty and need all the hydration they can get.  Stacks of seeds await their destiny in the vegetable garden, and I as planter, guardian, and nourisher of life, bless them and pray they give us nourishment in return.  I am once again amazed by our connection, the connection between us, plants and growers, or maybe better yet, hopers.  To plant a tiny seed, is but a radical act of faith that it will swell with moisture, break itself open, and unfurl new life to nourish and sustain.  Reminds me of being a mama.


And yet, we are all bound together, plants and people, dependent upon one another for nourishment and growth, creating a web of life extending to include animals, all living creatures, both great and small.


We are but one of those living creatures, animals, living beings soul connected to the synergistic web of life, for us the priviledge is great. We have been entrusted with creation to steward, nourish and sustain it, as well as ourselves.  A beautiful trust of the natural world, a grace not to be taken lightly, but reverently as we understand sacred connection and the sanctity of life.


In order for the food we eat to nourish our bodies and souls, it has to have life.  It cannot be rendered lifeless and dead in cardboard boxes, tin cans, and pasturized plastic sterile containers.  Life grows in the soil, it has roots, living limbs reaching for sunlight.

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Growth happens according to the creative patterns in nature, the wildness and the freedom to spontaneously adapt to individualized surroundings.  That is why my carrots do not taste the same as your carrots, even though we may be neighbors.

I believe that is a miracle.

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Life is created wild and free and that very freedom and wildness is where it not only survives, but thrives.  I believe that we, the people, the holy beings,  entrusted with creation, mirror that same pattern–We also not only survive, but thrive when we live as a part of the creative process, wildly and freely experiencing the connections to our food, to our environment, and our maker.

That too is a miracle.

the goodness of the earth..

Bringing back sacred connection to what we choose to eat, and where we choose to source it from, whether my garden, or my neighbors garden, allows us to become once again an integral part of our sacred connection to the web of life.  Becoming reconnected, dialing in, builds strong bodies, hearts, families, and communities, with neighbor supporting neighbor, family supporting family, building at once independence and interdependence upon each other and creation.  Having faith that we can uphold sacred contracts with the earth and with each other.

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The simple act of planting a tiny seed in fertile soil can have miraculous outcomes with bounty and beauty to be shared by all.  Grab a pot, till a plot, dig a hole, grab your children, or your grandchildren, or anyone else’s child, and plant a tiny seed of the wild and free found in creation, speak to connection to one another, to the earth, to our source, teach the next generation that it is not all about “You,” rather it is all about “Us,” and our connection to the sacred.

Feel your hands in earth, grow some roots, reap a thankful bounty to share freely with others, have faith that your tiny seed will grow into something more.

Revel in delight that you have said YES to life for yourself, and the natural world that sustains you.

Welcome home to the wild and free, dear one.



P.S. While you are at it, you might as well get some chickens.  Just sayin’.😉


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A quick update on the 2016 Food Revolution Summit.


Pure and simple, I am blown away by the vast amount of knowledge and empowerment that this summit is bringing forth.  It is nothing short of revolutionary, even for someone like me, who feels pretty well read and informed.

I have been studying holistic health, nutrition and healing for well over 10 years intensely, and wading in the shallow end of holistic lifestyle for over 20 years.  The wealth of knowledge that these first few days of the summit has offered is beyond compare.

I also love that the summit is audio, so I can listen while I work, and not be distracted, or need to carve out a large chunk of time to devote to sitting down and watching a video of a speaker.  These are informative, conversational talks on how to improve your health, wellness, vitality, and overall quality of life.

If you are ready to deepen your knowledge, affirm your faith in your homesteading lifestyle, get the inspiration you need to start, or take steps deeper into your holistic, healing journey, the summit is the place to be.

Get ready to be inspired folks, become a part of the movement, and join the revolution.

The time is now.



Food Revolution


There is an awakening happening.  Many of us are becoming more and more aware that our industrial food industry is not the best choice for optimal health for both us and the planet.  The 2016 Food Revolution Summit is a manifestation of a global awakening.  This year’s summit has broken all previous records for registration, there are over 2oo,ooo people already registered to partake.


The good news is that you can participate too!!!  The 2016 Food Revolution Summit is a free online educational modality bringing world renowned speakers into the comfort and conveneince of your own home.  The purpose of the Food Revolution Summit is to empower, educate and inspire folks like me and you about our connections to the food we consume, the planet we inhabit, and the quality of life that we want to live.

I am excited to be a part of the Food Revolution Summit, as food is something that I am completely passionate about. I love to eat, but what if we flip that around and say, I eat to love. Eating beautiful organic homegrown food provides lots of love on many different levels. Being a homesteader, organic gardener, a bit of a foodie, and a mama, I want to be informed and inspired, because let’s be honest folks, sometimes in the middle of planting season, weeding season, and harvest season a girl can use a little inspiration!  As much as I love the work, and find joy in the process it is always nice to get a little positive affirmation that our homesteading lifestyle is truly helping us to create the abundant life that we want to live.

I am sharing a few links below to help you to decide if the 2016 Food Revolution Summit is a good fit for you and your family to become educated, informed, and inspired along the path to manifesting the life, health, and vitality that you want to create. The summit starts tomorrow, April  30, and will continue through to May 8.  Be sure to check it out, who knows, maybe this is the inspiration you have been looking for!






Got (Almond) MILK?

Homemade almond milk, so rich and creamy, with it’s velvety texture makes an indulgent addition to the homestead diet.  Most of you know that milk producing animals do not produce milk year round.  Some produce milk longer than others such as cows who can still provide milk for the homestead whilst growing next years calf, with a shorter resting time.  Goats, on the other hand generally have a longer resting time or dry period than cows.

So what’s a homestead mama to do?  Well there are a few options here.  Check out my post from a while back about Oat milk here.  I have been wanting to try making almond milk at home for a while, as it seems to agree best with my body at this time.  I like the idea of being able to drink almond milk without all the added stuff that comes in a shelf stable product, plus when you make your own almond milk at home, you have the option to sprout your almonds for an added boost of nutrition without all the extra junk.  When sprouted, almonds, as well as other grains, nuts, and beans, allow access to more valuable nutients and enzymes creating a whole, living food.

I have stopped consuming processed dairy, even in small quantities, because I am no longer willing to compromise my health and energy levels.  I choose instead whole, living foods to support my body, energy, and vitality.  More on that to come….

Drumroll please……

Enter homemade almond milk.


Making almond milk at home is quick and easy.  All that is required is a little forethought to soak your almonds, either overnight, or for up to 2 days for sprouted almond milk, a quick whir in the blender, strain and serve!  It’s as simple as that.  No need to complicate matters or make it difficult.  I like simple as much as the next gal.


For step by step pictures and directions The Kitchn has a wonderful post on making almond milk. See here.


Homemade Almond Milk

makes aprox. 2 cups


1c. organic raw almonds

2c. water, plus more for soaking

*I add no vanilla or sweeteners to my almond milk and encourage you to try it naked to begin with to truly experience the flavor and texture that homemade almond milk is, it is very satisfying on it’s own and may not need any adornment.


medium mixing bowl


fine mesh strainer

cheese cloth/nut bag (for straining)



If you should choose to sprout your almonds, you will need an extra day to soak them, rinsing and replacing the water once each day.  You will notice some foam on the top of the water, that is perfectly normal when soaking, it is the phytic acid being released from the almonds.  Think of phytic acid as a seed’s natural preservative. In nature, it keeps the seed fresh and ready to sprout and grow until the conditions are right. It’s a good thing for the sustainability of the plant, but an anti-nutrient for our bodies.  Phytic acid inhibits optimal digestion.

When we soak our seeds/nuts/legumes it releases the phytic acid from the seed/nut/legume, allowing our bodies to access the valuable nutrition that is available within, as well as easing digestion.  Soaking is a valuable tool and a simply accesible way to unlock all of the potential nutrients and energy within our food.

I recommend using raw unpasturized almonds, these can be tricky to get, as our government requires pasturization and or irradiation of all nuts sold in the USA, even when labeled as raw.  I ordered mine from here, but am looking for a direct connection to a small scale farmer who may be able to sell “truly raw” almonds.  I will update the post when/if I find a source.

If you have not yet tried making your own almond milk at home, I encourage you to take the leap to create your own fresh, living food. Your body will thank you with bountiful energy, you will not be disappointed.


*there are no affiliate links in this post, just resources for you. 


Miso Soup

I was hoping that by now the weather would have changed for the better and our soup days would be coming to an end.  However, we are in the clutches of a cold, windy, and wet April and some good hot soup helps chase chill from bones.  I made miso soup with tofu last week, and it was gooooood!  I have found that I love the earthy, salty umame taste that miso is.
Miso is a living food.  It is fermented bean curd.  MMMMmmmm….sounds yummy right??!  Stay with me here people,  Miso is loaded with probiotics, good for you bacteria, that can help you heal your digestion and restore balance to the microbiome within your body.

Here are a few thoughts on fermentation from Sandor Ellix Katz who wrote the book, The Art of Fermentation, which is a modern day fermenter’s bible, and how this process can help us heal our bodies.  Fermentation has been found to improve and restore the natural digestion process, (aka, heal a cranky gut), enhance nutrition, and aid in detoxification, just to start at the tip of the iceberg.

Exerpt from:  The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz

“The pre-digestion, nutrient enhancement,and detoxifying actions of fermentation can be of nutritional benefit whether or not foods are cooked after fermentation, as with breads, fermented porridges, or tempeh (to name just a few examples).  But in the case of foods and beverages fermented by lactic acid bacteria and then consumed without further cooking, the live bacterial communities themselves confer functional benefits.  These live cultures, which I would say are the most profound healing aspect of lactic acid ferments, are only viable in foods that have not been subjected to heat exceeding around 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 47 degrees Celsius.  Many packaged mass-produced ferments are pastueurized for shelf stability, thus destroying the live cultures.  To receive the benefits of live cultures, you must obtain these foods unpasturized, or make them yourself.

Living lactic acid bacteria, which have always been present in foods, have increased in their dietary importance because of the multitude of chemicals present in our lives, some of which are valued specifically for their ability to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria, such as antibiotic drugs.  After a round of antibiotics, researchers have found that ‘there are still persistent long term impacts on the human intestinal microbiota that remain for up to 2 years post-treatment.’*  Compound that with the growing levels of antibiotics present in our water supplies, along with chlorine, as well as the ubiquitous antibacterial cleansing products.  Given the War on Bacteria so culturally prominent in our time, the well-being of our microbial ecology requires regular replenishment and diversification now more than ever.”

There is a wealth of information in Mr. Katz’ book, if you are at all interested in the biology and art of fermentation, this book will serve you well.  As we see, it is important to choose quality fermented products, or make them at home in your kitchen.  I generally have several things bubbling away in the homestead kitchen, it has become much more of a mad scientist’s laboratory in the last several years with jars of sourdough, komboucha, ginger ale and beer, and crocks of sauerkraut, pickles, and veggies taking up counter and floor space.  But boy do we eat, and eat well.  I do not see myself making miso anytime in the forseeable future, but who’s to say???!  For now, I sourced my miso paste at the nearest food co-op.  It is made in a traditional manner, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and unpasteurized.

Here is a little information from the companies website

Traditional Miso


“These misos are called Long-Term and are made the traditional centuries-old way. They are aged naturally without temperature control for up to two years in giant four-ton cypress, redwood, or fir vats. We use only the finest certified organic ingredients, producing dark, rich misos that give a wonderful flavor to soups and stews. At the American Miso Company we follow macrobiotic theory, traditionally processing all of our misos using only certified organic whole beans and grains, Blue Ridge mountain well water, hand-made organic koji, and sun-dried sea salt. Thirty years experience in artisanal organic miso-making produces the finest miso in the world.”

After perusing several hundred, no not really, but at least 12 different recipes for miso soup, I deduced that Miso Soup is really a sustainable meal.  What I mean by that is, it is the kind of kitchen sink soup that helps you to use up what you have in the fridge.  It is a primarily simple veggie broth with garlic, onions, and some fresh grated ginger if that suits your fancy.  Traditionally it is made with dashi, which is a type of asian fish broth concentrate in the form of flakes, and also calls for Nori, or some type of seaweed.  Miso soup is as diversified as it gets.  There are vegan recipes that call for tofu and no dashi, there are of course the traditional recipes, there are some recipes that call for white misto paste, and some for red, there are some creative recipes that call for a variety of vegetables and seasonings.   You get the idea here, folks.

I decided to keep it simple and use what I had, and this is what I came up with.  A super yummy cold-chasing simple recipe that can be modified to fit your needs, and make do with what you have.



Miso Soup

2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped

2 T. ginger root, peeled and freshly grated

1/2c. finely chopped celery

1-1 1/2c. carrots, sliced 1/8″ thick

1c. sliced mushrooms

6c. water

3c. fresh spinach leaves

1c. sprouted extra-firm tofu, cubed into bite size pieces

2 T. Red Miso Paste

Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in 4qt. stockpot.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger root to pot and saute until onion is translucent, stirring frequently so garlic doesn’t brown.  Once all root vegetables are softened, add carrots, celery, and sliced mushrooms, continue sauteing over medium heat for aprox. 5 min. till softened.  This will help to develop a stronger flavor profile in your soup since essentially we are creating a veggie broth.

Add 6c. water to sauteed vegetables in the stockpot.  Stir to dissapate veggies and olive oil into the water creating a broth.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.   Cook a few more minutes until veggies are done to your liking, reduce heat back to medium, stir in fresh spinach leaves and cubed tofu.  Stir to combine.

Remove from heat.  With a ladle, remove aprox. 1/2c. broth from stockpot into a soup bowl,  let cool for 2-3 min.  Add Red Miso Paste and incorporate it into the cooled broth with the back of a spoon.  Return miso paste/broth combo back into the stockpot.  Use your ladle to stir it up good.  Soup is now ready to serve.  Ladle into bowls immediately and enjoy immensely.

Remember, this recipe is more of a guideline, Miso Soup is truly a use-what-you-have-on-hand kind of recipe.  I used spinach instead of seaweed, and tofu because I had it.  You can easily use another dark leafy green, I’m thinking Kale would be supurb when it is ready in the garden, I added mushrooms the second time I made Miso Soup, and although they added another dimension of flavor, it was also good without it.  If you are not a ginger fan, leave it out.  You get the idea.  It’s simple, nutritious and comforting, especially on a windy, cold, wet spring day.



Why I Love Homeschooling

We are coming to the end, if you can ever truly call it that, of our third year of homeschooling already.  What I mean by that is, when you begin homeschooling the learning never really stops.  It doesn’t come to an abrupt halt on any given day, there is a gentle learning that begins to weave itself into the everyday.  Even when we are on “Summer Break,” there are projects going, telescopes gazing into night skies, a yearning and quest for knowledge of how the world around us works.  Learning is interwoven into everything that we do.  

This is why I love homeschooling.  

I have been reluctant to share in this space much about our homeschool adventure.  We have been learning, nurturing, and gently shielding a new life as a homeschool family, here in our nest.  Afraid that opening up to the truth and beauty that we have experienced would somehow get spoiled by the big bad wolf of public opinion.  However, at this point in the journey, our freshly hatched homeschool is gaining strength and beginning to open it’s wings.  I want to encourage others with our unique homeschool experience, our growth as a homeschool family.  It’s not perfect, such as life is not, but it has been miraculous.  

 This is why I love homeschooling.  

Looking back to the beginning, we jumped into the deep end of the pool.  I had two boys who had just completed sixth and second grade who were failing to thrive in a public school environment.  They were drowning in the deep end.  The oldest of the two had shut down.  He went to school with his hoodie up and would not take it down, he would not speak, or participate… his concerned teacher called me several times a week throughout that sixth grade school year.  At home he kept his hoodie up when possible, stayed in his room with his door closed, didn’t talk unless necessary, could no longer smile easily.  The youngest missed days of school, with stomach aches, and mystery illnesses.  He came home from school every day a mess, each afternoon resulting in a meltdown of epic proportions.  He was doing ok academically, but there were a few things beginning to slip, not because of his efforts, but due to scheduling at his school.  He felt helpless, and felt like a failure…he was in third grade.  

The older two boys, the eldest having just finished his sophmore year at the local high school, and the second to oldest, had just finished up junior high.  Both were treading water.  The oldest boys’ attitude was in the crapper.  He felt trapped in a pointless existence, he was making choices that did not reflect the truth of who he is/was as a person.  Our second oldest son was struggling academically.  He is a kinestetic learner and a fact memorizing curriculum was not serving him, or honoring who he was created to be.  It became obvious that the time was upon us to make a change in our family.  We had always been a very close-knit open and loving family, but at that moment in time, we felt disconnected, disjointed, and just plain ‘ol fallin’ apart.  

 It was time to build a life-raft.  Our family was getting washed away with the current, and my man and I could feel the sand sifting away from under us.  We decided to try homeschooling for a year and see if it would be an answer to our prayers.  The water was rising fast, we had to leap.  

That first year was amazing on every level.  That is not to say it was easy.  It was anything but.  This is an honest pulling back of the curtains here folks.  God used homeschooling to rebuild our family.  Nearly every day that first year I was brought to my knees.  I battled with my own fears, doubts, and abilities.  I read and researched everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling, and the “right” way to do it.  I battled hard for my boys’ hearts.  I prayed consistently.  I set alarms on my phone for hard stops for prayer, three times a day–9, noon, and six.  I hardly had to wait for the alarm to go off, as most days between alarms I prayed without ceasing.  

Throughout the hard moments though, there were moments of sheer beauty, complete joy.  I felt fulfilled as a mama again, having a nest full of hatchlings, we were starting over again.  I began to see our boys slowly reconnecting, rediscovering, and rebuilding each other.  I was witnessing a miracle.  Everyday.  Little glorious steps of triumph in the right direction, in the coming together, beginning again.  

This is why I love homeschooling.  

Each day we have a chance to begin again.  We learn together, we play together, we eat 3 meals a day together gathered round the old table, we pray together giving thanks for each other and each blessing.  Oh, and we laugh together, the peals of joy weave throughout our days.  We explore creation around us living and learning immersed in nature.  Homesteading and homeschooling are a natural pairing, each and every day there are opportunities to learn and grow, hands on, in real time.  I am able to teach, to offer opportunities for each child to learn and explore in his own way, at his own pace.  We can dive deep into subjects and projects that light us up, bring us joy.  Our routine is flexible offering time to fully immerse ourselves in the process.  We pulse gently together to the rhythms of the seasons becoming more fully aware and sensitive to the cyclical life that we live in.

This is why I love homeschooling.  

I encourage you, if you have ever wondered about homeschooling, or worried about homeschooling, to pray about it.  Ask yourself and your spouse if this life could be right for you.  We were like many others who, liked the idea, but didn’t know where to start, or if we were even qualified to teach our own children.  Remember what I said about doubts and fears…   

We have dove right smack dab into the deep end, built a life-raft, and are sailing together, each day building a life of meaning and joy.  The sparkle has come back into my boys’ eyes and hearts, we reach for each other once again, unafraid and loving fully, openly.  Their hearts have opened back up, and I wouldn’t trade any moment of our journey into and through homeschooling.  Even the hard ones….

Each and every moment has knit us into a stronger, more capable family, able to weather all of life’s moments, and embrace, even celebrate the messy imperfectness of who we are, of who God created us to be together.  

I am here to tell you that YES! you can do it!

 NO! it won’t always be easy,

 but WOW!, it will be amazing.  

…and who knows it just may be the miracle that you never knew you needed.  

This is why I love homeschooling!



Sustainability is more than a trend, it is becoming a desired way to live.  More and more I hear the term sustainablility, self- sustainable, etc. What is sustainability you might ask? defines sustainability as this: 

Sustainability (noun)

  • the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed

Mirriam-Webster defines sustainable as this:

Sustainable (adjective)

  • able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed
  • involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
  • able to last or continue a long time.

Sustainability is a life choice, choosing to live in a way that not only pacifies the immediate moment (i.e. instant gratification), but also allows for a lasting change or impact.  Is this a new idea?  Not necessarily, our grandparents and great-grandparents had a much more sustainable mindset than our modern outlook,  but people once again are gaining a newfound awareness of how sustainability can impact their lives and the lives of their children, and perhaps their children’s children.  Those who came before had a deeper understanding of what it meant to purchase something and work the land. Their money was hard-won and they understood the value of the exchange they were making, the sweat equity invested, if you will.  They were informed consumers, purchasing only what they needed, (the original minimalists), as well as choosing a quality product from a craftsman/artisan who specialized in making that particular product, knowing that it was made to last.  

I believe sustainability is gaining momentum in this country.  People are beginning to see that how they live, what they buy, and the choices that they make, does impact the earth, their health, their family, and leave a lasting impression, a legacy, if you will.  However, it can be tricky to think outside the instant-box ideas that we have grown accustomed to, so we may need to pause to become intentional and mindful in the choices that we make.  

We are currently experiencing a phoenix-rising-from-ashes artisan/craftsman resurgence in this country.  With the help of the internet, artisans are once again able to support themselves and their families with their craft or art, and in turn they are providing us a unique opportunity to forego the big box type outlet for all our needs and choose a sustainable lasting product, in many times a merging of utility and art.  

We also need to become aware that we can look down the road at our neighbors, our community craftsman/artisans right in our own backyards.  In our rural area we have many many craftsman/artisans.  A few miles down our road, is a knife-maker, who makes high quality beautiful knives and leatherwork.  We also have a wood-worker who produces works of art that are purchased all over the world.  I myself have become a bread-baker selling at our local farmers markets and taking orders for special occasions.  We have a retired artisan just up the hill, who creates works of art from metal.  We also have amish basket-makers and quilters in the area.  These few examples are just the tip of the iceberg from the top of my head.  This is not to even mention the numbers of carpenters, mechanics, organic farmers and homesteaders, and also the skilled laborers who make their livings in our neighborhoods.  In choosing a sustainable product or service from your neighbors, your local craftspeople and artisans, supports your community and the families living around you.  

I have become more and more aware of sustainability in this past year, call me a late bloomer if you will, but to some degree we have been living this way for years, just by default.  We haven’t always had the latest and greatest, our vehicles are not new, but well maintained.  When we got chickens we re-purposed a shed that was no longer in use from another family member, we didn’t rush out to buy new materials to build a state of the art coop.  (Let me tell you though, it has taken a lot of years and acceptance to realize that Martha Stewarts chicken coop should not be coveted!) wink. wink.  I love my chicken coop, the weathered boards and peeling paint, my grandmas nesting boxes, and old feeders and waterers we picked up at auction sales for pennies on the dollar.  Making do with what we have has brought us endless moments of creativity and much more joy than we could have ever dreamed.  I would not want to live any other way.  I love my sustainable life.  

Homesteading is a great showcase of sustainability.  Raising your own chickens, growing your own gardens for food and medicine, cooking with what you have, buying in bulk rather than single-serve often plastic containers, looking closely at how you live, and how you can become more sustainable-conscious.  Homesteading is a state of the heart, a mindset, an intentional way of living, being fully awake and invested in your own health and well-being as well as that of your family, while being firmly rooted in your values, living conciously and deliberately in order to elevate yourself and others. Even if you live in an urban area, or are new to gardening, chicken-keeping, etc. employing sustainable thinking, a homesteader’s heart, to your lifestyle is not only possible, it may lead you down a path to a healthier, happier, life.

In keeping with a sustainable mindset, I want to dedicate Monday’s posts to Sustainability.  Here I will share ideas for living a sustainable, and sometimes self-sustaining lifestyle.  It’s all about making concious, informed choices, and living your values, whether you are purchasing an item, or making-do with what you have.  Let’s awaken together to a creative and beautiful way to live, repurposing items, reducing our enviromnental impact, and leaving a legacy of abundance and joy in the process.  

 Please join me in this journey by sharing what sustainability means to you in the comments below.