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Calendula: of the Sun

Calendula: of the Sun

According to folklore, calendula is associated with the sun and the fire element, and was once believed to imbue those in its company with the magical powers of protection and clairvoyance. Flowers hung above doorposts and placed under beds were thought to ward off evil and protect those sleeping. And it was rumored that to […]
The Rose: a History of Sweet Seduction

The Rose: a History of Sweet Seduction

“That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” —William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps the most beloved flower in human history, the rose has been exalted throughout time for its intoxicating perfume, sweet flavor and ravishing beauty. Its heady scent is known as an aphrodisiac, evoking feelings of sensuality […]
Chamomile: Small Wonder

Chamomile: Small Wonder

Chamomile has always been one of my favorite herbs. In fact, it was probably one of the first herbs I knew about. As far back as many of us can remember, our mothers have most likely had chamomile tea on hand for upset tummies and as a comforting bedtime treat. So it’s not much of a surprise to learn that Chamomile is one of the oldest and most broadly […]
6 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Is Better Than Milk Chocolate

6 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Is Better Than Milk Chocolate

I recently read a well-written and hilarious, yet completely misguided and, dare I say, inaccurate article touting the superiority of milk chocolate over dark chocolate. To sum it up, the author centers most of her opening argument around Halloween candy and the Hershey’s mini bag, then goes on to state “facts” that she believes support […]
Terra Madre: They are Giants, but We are Millions

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 […]
Lavender: The Seductive Sedative

Lavender: The Seductive Sedative

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 […]
Foraging for Stinging Nettles

Foraging for Stinging Nettles

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 […]
Foraging for Mushrooms

Foraging for Mushrooms

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, […]
Growing Coffee: Colombia Edition

Growing Coffee: Colombia Edition

I am currently traveling in Colombia, the world’s third 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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10 Reasons to Drink Raw Goat Milk

10 Reasons to Drink Raw Goat Milk

We’ve finally gotten used to milking around here. Penelope is giving me a quart every morning now, and it is absolutely delicious. I used to drink goat milk as a kid (no pun intended), but I didn’t remember how it tasted beyond the fact that I liked it. I’ve never liked the store bought homogenized, […]
Getting Started with Baby Chicks

Getting Started with Baby Chicks

Here I drowsily sit in my living room on a Sunday evening, listening to a drone of crickets and bullfrogs pulsing steadily through the window, punctuated now and then with soft chirps of contented chicks in their brooder. Getting started with baby chicks is quite simple, but you need to make sure that you’re ready […]