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DIY Natural Face Wash

Although I’ve been making lots of my own skin care products for a little while now, I’ve always been slightly intimidated by face wash, body wash and shampoo. However, thanks to a wonderful and powerful ingredient called castile soap, that’s about to be history! Castile soap is all natural, green and safe for sensitive skin! It’s also…

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Cooking with Friends: Gnocchi

My friends, do I have a treat for you today. Despite the gluten-free craze sweeping the nation, I’ve been learning tons through my volunteer work with Slow Food Santa Cruz about wheat’s currently overlooked positive attributes. I got to see the renowned sustainable chef Dan Barber speak in March, and he made some points about…

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Honey Meyer Lemon Curd

What could be more lovely than making lemon curd with fresh, in-season improved Meyer lemons, golden orange egg yolks from the henhouse and raw amber honey as the sun comes up? What a beautiful way to start the day, with all the hues of yellow imaginable. Lemon curd will bring sunshine into the kitchen any time of day. Here in Santa…

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Growing Coffee: Colombia Edition

I am currently travelling in Colombia, the world’s 3rd largest producer of coffee last year, and I have fully immersed myself in all the joys of this flavorful, earthy beverage. My friend Mark lives in Medellín, and he considers coffee to be one of the major food groups. The next stop on my journey from that…

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Organic Agriculture: Know your Farmer or Big Food?

A growing controversy within the organic industry is whether or not the development of large-scale organic agriculture is in alignment with the original goals of the organic pioneers. Organic has been extremely successful, so much so that all the large food corporations now have their own organic brands for value-added (processed) organic products. There are those…

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Dried Persimmons

I had never tried a Persimmon until four years ago (I’m obviously not from California) at a community garden where I was volunteering. It was of an astringent variety, Hachiya, and it wasn’t ripe yet. It was terribly bitter and it made my mouth feel weird, so I concluded that I just didn’t like them. Then about…

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Planting Garlic

So, I’m a little behind in planting garlic… I think. I meant to do it last month before the fall window closed, but somehow it is now mid-December! Luckily, I live in a mediterranean climate that is quite forgiving of procrastination. This is actually my first time planting garlic so I’m excited to see how…

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The Power of Gratitude

I don’t have a food recipe or gardening how-to for you today, but I thought it would particularly suiting for the holiday to reflect on a different kind of recipe: a recipe for the heart. Gratitude. What is gratitude and what does it look like? Why gratitude? And how can we cultivate more of it…

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Blackberry Sage Jam

I spent three hours making jam this afternoon. I had no idea it would take that long, but it’s so delicious that I don’t even care! This is an old-fashioned jam, Joy of Cooking style. No pectin: just fruit, sugar and a little elbow grease. And some sage and lemon. Some people like the taste…

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The Roots of Organic Farming: Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be…

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