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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

How to Make Plantain Infused Oil

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Herbs, Plantain, Uncategorized | 4 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 | 4 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 | 11 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 |

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 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...

How to Make Homemade Lip Balm

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in Essential Oils, Household Recipe, Uncategorized | 2 comments

How to Make Homemade Lip Balm Confession: I’m a lip balm addict. I’ve been wearing store-bought lip balms since middle school, and I LOVE the minty types that are so intensely mint flavored that my lips tingle a bit. I’ve been perfecting my DIY Lip Balm recipe for over a year now. I’m kinda a perfectionist when it comes to my DIY projects, and I refused to post my lip balm recipe until I was sure it was EXACTLY the way I wanted it. I tried tons and TONS of DIY lip balm recipes from across the internet, and they were either too soft, too hard, or too bland...

High Quality Seed Companies for the Organic Gardener

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Gardening, Uncategorized | 13 comments

High Quality Seed Companies for the Organic Gardener You know you’re an obsessed gardener when…. **The holidays are barely over and you immediately start researching your future garden. 🙂 Yep, it’s time to start researching, choosing, and buying seeds for the gardens! Woohoo! I seriously love every season for gardening — spring’s energy, summer’s hard work, fall’s harvest, and winter’s planning.  I’ve never been interested in shopping for clothes or household items. They always make a budget-focused gal like me wince a bit. However, I always go a bit nuts over my garden seeds. I DO give myself a strict budget, but then I make sure that I spend...

Oven Fried Zucchini with Garlic Aioli Recipe

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Cooking recipe, Uncategorized |

I am THRILLED to introduce the amazing Shaye Elliott from The Elliott Homestead! I love her website and her farm and…her food. This tasty recipe can use up both zucchini and garlic from your garden, as well as any herbs you have available. I get all my seeds to grow heirloom non-GMO zucchini here.  You can find more of Shaye’s cooking videos here. She is a phenomenal cook and this recipe is amazing! Enjoy! Hello fellow foodies! So glad to meet you… even if it is digitally. I’m always humbled by the community that exists around a common love for good food. Which is obviously why you’re reading Cris’...

Natural Skincare Butters 101

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Beauty, Uncategorized |

Cool Weather = DIY project time!! Now that my fall garden, cover crops, and garlic are all planted, these chilly afternoons have less and less garden chores for me to do. Sure, I can sip some tasty spiced hot cocoa on my back porch and relax (well deserved after my summer of hard work!), but I have been getting a bit restless and I have started researching everything I need to know about DIY beauty and skincare so that I can start making my own homemade and nourishing items. I’ve already started making my own body scrubs, deodorant, and hair rinses, but I’m thinking about making herbal salves, lotion/body...