Kombucha Tasting

Kombucha Tasting

Kombucha made with palm sugar does indeed have a slightly more sour taste than kombucha made with cane sugar, but in my opinion it tastes quite good.  I chose to use the palm sugar purely for its health benefits and am happy I stuck with that decision in the end.  Now I just need to start the next batch and order a larger container to make this in.  To make your own kombucha, you can use our recipe here:  http://liskabora.com/kombucha-tea-recipe/

Earth Hour Tonight at 8:30 Central

Earth Hour is being observed in Chicago tonight starting at 8:30 pm local time. This global act of energy conservation was started in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund. Please join us in turning off all non-essential lights for one hour this evening!

Happy Spring!

Water DamageSpringtime brings with it warmth and flowers, but it can also bring bursting pipes and floods.  Such is the case with a family member’s home (pictured left).  Needless to say, everyone in our family has been quite busy trying to help put humpty dumpty back together.

A word of caution:  for anyone with American Family Insurance, be sure to have them fully explain to you all the things that they don’t cover (like bursting pipes), preferably in writing and in layman’s terms, so that you aren’t stuck footing the entire repair bill yourself.  Shutting off the water if you plan to be away for more than a few days would also be wise.

Our First Seedlings

Growing Vegetables From SeedI planted the seedlings for this summer’s garden just over a week ago and the little seedlings are just beginning to emerge.  First to appear was our monster squash seedling (the long horizontal guy stretching across the tray) and our pea and pumpkin seeds.  We also have a few carrots, a tomato, a bunch of peppers,  and some cabbage seedlings emerging.

I very much like the practice of growing our vegetable plants from seed instead of buying them from a nursery.  This not only gives me complete control over how they are grown, but it also is a huge cost savings over the store bought plants.  We purchased this year’s seeds from SeedsNow.com – mostly using the .99 cent packs they have, so in all we have spent about 10 – 15 dollars for the varieties growing here (and we have seeds left over for probably the next two years as well).  I like the fact that they have signed the safe seed pledge and all of their seeds are 100% non-gmo and non-hybrid.  Now we just need the weather to warm up so we can bring our little garden outdoors!

Gardening By The Moon

Planting by the moon
Planting by moon phase is an interesting idea. I imagine that since the moon’s position affects both the tides and our own bodies, it could have an affect on plants and the soil that they grow in as well. At the very least I appreciate the idea of planting mindfully and in tune with mother nature.  Lunar Organics makes a beautiful calendar (shown above, available at lunarorganics.com) that breaks down what to plant when according to the lunar cycle.

Tiered Planters

Tiered PlanterI love the idea of being able to grow more food in a smaller space, especially now when we are still located in suburban Chicago. I came across these, and love the look of them. They can be extremely expensive to purchase pre-made, but luckily they should be simple enough to build yourself.  You can either purchase plans though the company linked through the photo to the left or wing it off of the photo. If I ever get a spare moment, this would be a project that would actually be fun to do.  These would work perfectly for berries, herbs and spices!


As an alternative for those of us with absolutely no spare time on our hands (this is me lately), you can also get something similar premade from Amazon.



Pea Soup Recipe – Vegan and Gluten Free

Gluten Free Pea Soup RecipeIngredients:
8 cups water
2 cups dried split peas
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery
1 sweet potato
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup green onions, diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste.

Place the onions, celery, garlic and green onions into a blender with just enough water to blend properly. Once completely smooth, place into a soup pot with 8 cups of water, the sweet potato, lemon juice, smoked paprika (mimics meat flavor found in traditional pea soup), and 2 cups of dry split peas. Simmer on low until the peas have completely cooked and begin to fall apart. Mash the sweet potato evenly into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is a wonderful, hearty soup, for a cold day.

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