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About Me

I'm Cris; I have a passion for research, and I am obsessed with gardening, herbal medicine, cooking with real food, and much more.I dream of the day that I can finally own my own self-sufficient homestead, and this website is my journey towards that goal. Thank you for joining me!

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Most recent articles

10 Amazing Dutch Baby Recipes

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 in Cooking recipe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Dutch Babies. Puff Pancakes. German Pancakes. Whatever you call them, they are amazing.  I am known in my family as the World’s Fussiest Breakfast Eater. Even as a child, I’ve always hated: cereal, oatmeal, eggs, sausage, french toast, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, bacon…yep, pretty much any breakfast foods. Sorry, readers, please don’t hate me. People usually have a love-affair with breakfast foods and immediately feel disconnected with me when I mention my hatred for breakfast foods.  I’ve also been told: ‘then eat normal food at breakfast time!’ and that doesn’t seem to work, either. I just cannot fathom the idea of having a tuna sandwich in the morning. Thanks a lot, brain....

How to Preserve Green Beans (4 ways)

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Beans | 2 comments

How to Preserve Green Beans (4 ways) How does your garden grow? Unlike last year’s fiasco, I have a lovely thriving garden this year. True, my tomatoes and peppers did not grow past seedlings (possibly due to faulty soil mix?), so I have very few tomatoes and peppers this year. However, I DO have loads of zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers and pickles, watermelon, and green beans.  I certainly have more green beans than we can eat in a week. We started out eating about 2 meals of green beans per week, but now I’m getting a bit sick of eating them. When that happens, it’s time to start...

How to Make Dandelion Infused Oil

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Dandelion, Herbs, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every winter is happens: I finally have time to make salves, ointments, teas, tinctures, etc. and the recipes all require infused oils that use plants that are only fresh and free in my yard in the spring and summer. As an ambitious gardener, I barely keep my sanity during the spring and summer with my garden plans. I do NOT have time to make herbal remedies then! So I’ve some up with a compromise: I’m spending ONE day making Dandelion Infused Oil, Comfrey Infused Oil, and Plantain Infused Oil. When my Calendula blooms later this summer, I’ll then spend ONE day making Calendula Infused Oil and Yarrow Infused Oil. Since infused oils...

How to Make Comfrey Infused Oil

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Comfrey, Herbs, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a gardener, I’m pretty busy in spring, summer, and fall. Every winter, however, I FINALLY have time to make herbal remedies to prepare for the coming year. This includes salves, herbal teas, tinctures, etc. Especially salves. They last for at least a year, so I can make them when I have time in the winter, and then use them when I need them for the rest of the year. Here’s the problem: The recipes all call for infused oils with plants that are only available in my yard/garden during the spring and summer. Boo!  So, this spring, I made the time to gather plants for all of the following infused...

How to Make Plantain Infused Oil

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Herbs, Plantain, Uncategorized | 0 comments

It happens to me every winter. Every winter, this obsessed gardener FINALLY has time to make herbal remedies to prepare for the coming year. This includes salves, herbal teas, tinctures, etc. Especially salves. They last for at least a year, so I can make them when I have time in the winter, and then use them when I need them for the rest of the year. So what always happens to me? The recipes all call for infused oils with plants that are only available in my yard/garden during the spring and summer. Boo! True, I could buy the plants in dried form from online stores. However, it never...

How to Make a Headache Salve

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Headaches, Medicinal Recipe, Uncategorized | 2 comments

How to Make a Headache Salve I’ve mentioned it before (in my ‘about me‘ info, for example) that I’m one of those people who is prone to headaches. When the weather changes, when I eat too much processed foods, for my hormonal cycles, when I’m dehydrated, when it’s allergy season, when it’s too sunny, when my eyes are strained, when I’m stressed….yep, I get headaches for pretty much everything. It used to be pretty bad. In fact, I would have more days in a month WITH headaches than without.  However, as I wrote in my ‘15 Herbs for Headaches‘ post, I’ve found some amazing natural solutions that have made it so that I...

How to Grow Saffron

Posted by on Feb 21, 2016 in Saffron, Spices | 2 comments

Welcome to my Spice Series! This is about How to Grow Saffron. Click here to learn more about saffron. Click here to see the rest of my Spice Series. Enjoy! How to Grow Saffron Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice.  It has beautiful golden-red threads and a pound of dried saffron goes for about $5,000, about 25 percent of the price of a pound of gold. Thankfully, saffron is sold by the gram. Saffron is collected from the stigma of one type of flower: the blue saffron crocus.  It is quite easy to understand why saffron is the most expensive spice in the world when you consider that...

DIY Sore Muscle Salve

Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Essential Oils, Medicinal Recipe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

DIY Sore Muscle Salve I’ve been meaning to make my own DIY salve for sore muscles for quite some time. However, life gets busy and whatnot, so I kept putting it off. It’s one of those things where you KNOW you will need it someday, but since it’s not an immediate need, the chore keeps getting put off over and over again. Very recently, a friend of mine needed something for sore muscles. Suddenly, I knew I had a reason to finally make a double batch of sore muscle salve. Huzzah! This Sore Muscle Salve contains both warming and cooling medicinal products, so it will feel kinda like ‘icy...

How to Plan Your Garden

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Gardening, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Confession: I am a planner-person. I am most happy when I can plan out my day/week/month/year and then follow through with those plans/goals. I am pretty sure that’s one of the reasons why I love gardening. Yes, I feel an intimate connection with nature, and yes, I enjoy the thrill of growing my own food. However, it’s also a joy for me to plan out a very thorough gardening schedule.  I am also a bit old-fashioned about how I plan out my garden because I like to write it all out on paper. Yes, I could use a cool computer program, like GrowVeg.com. Honestly, if I ever decide to...

How to Properly Test Your Soil

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Gardening, Uncategorized | 1 comment

How to Properly Test Your Soil Last fall, I decided that it was time to expand my gardening knowledge by taking a local gardening class at nearby Clemson University. Did you know that some of the bigger Universities have day courses for the public? I think that it is a super cool idea for the community!  It was lovely to meet fellow gardeners from the area and I was pleasantly surprised with the information that I learned. One of the things that I learned from this garden class was about how to properly test your soil. I’ve always focused on the pH levels of the soil, but I learned that there...