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10 Holiday Tips From Buddy the Elf (and Upcoming Events)

The holidays are coming! Which might not make us all feel quite as giddy as our pal Buddy the Elf here, so I’ve compiled this short list of advice to get us into the holiday spirit. Hugs are good, just don’t try to hug a raccoon. Keep smiling, and if someone gives you a hard time,…

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Terra Madre: They are Giants, but We are Millions

For the last week, I’ve been attending an international food conference and festival called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Torino, a beautiful city located in the Piedmont Region of Italy. This event is organized by Slow Food International, an organization committed to making good, clean, and fair food available to all people. And while…

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Dinner Conversation: Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender harvest has begun. After a day in the field of cutting sticky handfuls, I met my friend Liz Birnbaum for dinner, who just happens to be the lovely mastermind behind The Curated Feast. A lively conversation ensued about the history, uses and folklore of this odoriferous plant. We even had a musky grapefruit and lavender saison by…

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Foraging Friday: Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica)

For centuries, this wild miracle plant has been used in numerous ways throughout many countries and cultures worldwide. Most commonly, nettles have been eaten, used as topical medicine, and consumed as a mineral rich tea. The fibers of its stem have been used to make a strong cloth, similar to that of hemp or flax. In…

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Make Your Own Whipped Body Butter

When I began selling my natural skincare products, my intention was to share the recipes as well. Why? Because I want you to know how they’re made and that you don’t have to buy that chemically laden crap that’s out on the market. And if you want to make your own, it’s quite simple if you…

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Foraging Friday: Wild Winter Mushrooms of the Monterey Bay Area

Porcinis, black trumpets and candy caps, oh my! Mushroom foraging in the Monterey Bay area most likely brings to mind the beautiful fan-shaped golden chanterelle, but the oak, redwood and mixed pine forests of the area have much, much more to offer in the way of fungus among us. Chef Zachary Mazi of LionFish SupperClub,…

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Cooking with Friends: Tomato Pie (and other things)

I know it seems late to post about tomatoes, but I’m finally getting around to writing this about a month later than I’d planned. Just last weekend, I harvested the last of my tomatoes and pulled out my two lonely tomato plants. It’s finally starting to rain here (hooray!) and it was time to fill the…

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Upcoming Events

Happy fall! I hope you are all enjoying the changing weather and seasonal joys that autumn brings. I have a couple of events coming up that I’d like to share with you! You can now also stay up to date by checking my Events page.   Makers Market Santa Cruz @ Santa Cruz Music Fest, October 10…

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Planting Tomatoes in Pots

Container gardening has its advantages. It’s perfect if, like me, you’re renting and want to be able to take your plants with you when you move. It’s also a great way to get around gopher problems and plots with poor soil or disease issues. Container gardening might be the only way to have a garden for many apartment dwellers, and…

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