Tag Archives: food preservation

From the Garden: Lavender for Later

Lavender is easy to grow, and is good for more than just it’s pretty flower and pleasant smell.

It makes a wonderful, relaxing tea for those nights you can’t sleep or are stressed, and the chilled tea (in addition to being yummy) makes a wonderful compress for red or puffy skin.  From cookies to chicken, the unexpected, aromatic smell and unique flavor is a great seasoning for many things. We like to add it to lemonade and iced tea, too.


To dry, just tie together in a bundle, as shown, and hang upside down until the flowers are completely dehydrated. The time for this will vary a great deal, depending on how much moisture is in the air.



Eating Well, Sourcing Foods, and What Can We Do?

Thadd and I had The Talk again. We have versions of this talk quite often, really: What can we do to eat and live a more healthful life?

It’s not as easy to answer as it sounds. Some days–most days, in fact–it feels like we here in the US have very limited control over many of the things that impact our health.  From the water we drink, to the food we eat, to the air we breathe. Every day in my research for clients, I find more things that pose serious health risks to myself and those I love, and often those things are very, very difficult to get away from: the pipes that are used to bring water into our home, for example.

Everyone has their limitations. We rent, and will have to do so for the forseeable future due to the need to move for Thadd’s schooling. We live, therefore, on a budget that also must support his school. We live in an area that isn’t terribly progressive; and, while there is abundant farmland, the products of it are often difficult to acquire or limited in scope. Most farmers here do not plant year-round, even though the climate is suitable, and we have only a small space for our own garden.

There are other challenges, but we do our best to work around or mitigate them. We do have a small garden (which I desperately need to get out and harvest again–our beets are getting overgrown), we order our meat in bulk, we preserve as much food as we can reasonably store. We continue to look for ways to do more.

On the up side, we have some advantages: space for food storage and a deep freezer, a small backyard and awesome landlords that let us have a garden, a rural community that does grow at least some of it’s own food, local farmers who take pride in what they do, a growing community awareness of local food, and a significant other that is also passionate about local and healthy foods.

I would love to hear the challenges and advantages others have, whether they’re personal, geographical, financial, or another -al I haven’t thought of here.

Getting Creative with the Cold

The bad news is that the half bath in our house isn’t insulated–at all. The good news is that instead of a bathroom, in winter we have cold storage.  Since we live in a rental, there’s no insulating this better, and so we just close it off in winter. We have to open it for a short while each day to keep it from actually freezing the pipes, because there’s no way to shut off the water to just that room. When we had roommates, we needed the second toilet, but now, for 3 or so months a year, it’s far more functional to use it to store food.

It’s gotten cold enough now for us to start stocking up, and here’s what we’re looking to put into the water closet this year:

-1 bushel assorted hard winter squashes

-half bushel beets

-half bushel cabbages

-1 bushel assorted apples

-Radishes (however many we get from the garden)

-Turnips (same as the radishes)

That’s about all that will fit, really. It’s a small room. We wish we had more space (okay, really we just wish we had a root cellar, but that’s not happening), but we try to work with what we’ve got.  Yay for old houses, eh?