Stand Upon Grace

Homesteading with heart~Cultivating the art of intentional living

Category: on the homestead

Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea

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The rooster crows indignant of the stifling heat and humidity that is already billowing in through open windows of the old farm house. He seems to be daring the day into being, his mighty crow a lusty, bring it on dare. I, on the other hand, am not feeling so bold this morning, longing for a reprieve to the stifling, bone roasting heat, coupled with the thick weight of the air makes it hard to breathe deep. Ah, summer.

Those fabulous days by the lake, sunshine and happiness radiant everywhere.  Slowing the pace to really soak it all up, take it all in, before winter overtakes us all once again.  Creating intentional moments, fire-crackling nights, the faintly musty smell of canvas and sleeping bags hauled up from the basement wrapping us all in familiar tradition.  As the garden grows and bursts into bloom, we also get to grow and bloom.  The intensity of heat, the fire of our soul, cracks us open creating ash and fertile ground to feed our growth.  To help nourish us into the next season.

So I, like that brazen little rooster out there, say a wholeheartedly, bring it on!  I am here for the journey, I can take the heat, at least well enough to know that this is what it takes to move forward.  This burning in my soul, my heart, embers on fire breaking me open to be more, give more.  I stand in the flames, no longer willing to be afraid of the heat.  My soul gently smoldering in love.  I got this. We got this.  This is how you do this parenting thing, you give your heart fully, the weight of the love cracks you open, makes you more, dares you to give more, and the soul gives way to the heat of it all, breaking open charred cracks making room for more love.

With the heat of the day on the horizon, I quiet my blazing heart.  I search inward for Jesus, for an example of how to give more, how to be more, how to love more.  And the answer is right there, you let the cracks bust wide open, you stand in the fire, you surrender to grace.  You lay it all down, the fears, the anxiety, the old patterns, the what ifs, and let it all go up in flames, smoke puffing hard, burning you back to faith, back to big love.

Because that’s what its all about.

Love bigger than all of us.  That’s what we need to put out the fire of the moment, a splash of icy cold refreshment washing over the five-alarm bells clanging in my head, bringing peaceful restoration to a parched and heat-worn soul.  God of the Universe holds us all in His hands, and His love is big enough to put out every fire.

I lean in, lean on perpetual love.  Love that does not end, love that is always there, love that is bigger than me, or any heat tested moment.  The grace of heat filled days are never more than we can stand, but it might crack us open, just a little wider so His love can seep in through the cracks.

 

The Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea

I love this idea, to quench the heat, restoring body, mind, and soul.  Iced tea always goes fast in our house, and it’s hard to keep up.  This solution solves that problem, by always having a gallon on the go.

The simple solution is this:  Cold Brew Tea.

The idea is to always have a jar at the in the fridge. This is brilliant with a house full of thirsty teenage boys, and a parched and smoldering mama.

Directions:

Fill a glass gallon jar with cold water.

Add 4-6 tea bags*, cover with a lid, and place in refrigerator overnight, and in the morning you will have tea.

Remove tea bags add lemon and desired sweetener, or leave unsweetened and allow each to sweeten their own glass to their liking.

 

*the rule of thumb is approx.. one tea bag per quart of water, but this may vary depending upon how strong you like your tea.  Also, the beauty of this simple notion is, you can make as much or as little as you like…so as those teenage boys take flight, you can adjust accordingly, some days, as people flow through the revolving door of this old farm house, a quart of iced tea is just right. 😉

I first saw this fabulous idea on Carmella Rayone, Assortment.

 

 

Home

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Breathe in the cool sweetness of early morning air, as I am quietly coaching myself back to center, back to the breath, and back to home.  Filling the handmade artisan mug for maybe the 20th time this morning, from a fresh pot of rich black coffee, I take to outside into the softness of first light.  Warm mug in hand, bare feet in cool grass, bedhead and bathrobe to the garden I go.  The dew greets me like a welcome friend, gently moistening and protecting seedlings and tender hearts from the heat and unknown of the day ahead.  I pause here.  I open my eyes and really see the dew lacing the edges of leaves, smell the freshly tilled earth, feel my feet in the wet grass, and my heart a softly opening rosebud revealing it’s pungent sweet perfume.

The surprise of tears well in my eyes, I am yet to get used to the leaving.  The coming and going of children growing and stretching their wings, leaning into dreams and living courageously helps me also to be faithful and courageous.  After all, this is what we have all been working for.  Independence, bravery, living big and full lives.

And it’s good.

It’s just new again.  A new chapter, a new rhythm, a new family dynamic, one which will continue to ebb and flow for the next several years, maybe the rest of this precious lifetime.  I am learning to soften in as I unfurl my hands and let go.  I am learning to lean in, to count the moments, etch them on my heart to cherish and keep close when we are apart.  I love this opportunity to be fully all in, to experience every single feeling, and live it big.  The simple everyday moments are truly what make this life.  Big hands reaching for small, only this time, mine are the small ones.  Smiles and silly faces, and laughter, oh the laughter that comes with raising four boys.

So for now, and probably always, home is where my heart is.

All roads lead back to home.

Enough

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Golden light stretches its gentle fingers over the pastures this morning as dew dances delightfully diamond like over the tall grass.  The windows are still open with cool moisture streaking down, saturating wooden panes.  The week begins as usual, with a list of to-do’s a mile long.  Such is my life.  Regardless of lists and things that feel urgent, I remember that they aren’t.  Life is not an emergency.  It is not a frantic running from one task to the next, crossing off with strokes of ink, each moment.

I want to breathe it all in.  Savor.  Love.

I want to live fully through this body, the vibrance of gloriously red ripe strawberries, purchased from a roadside stand of berry stained beautiful little faces of farm children.  I want to feel their shape in my hands as I clean and prepare them for jam, smell their tantalizing sweetness as juice runs down my hands when I slice through.   I want to remember the light as it shines through quilted jelly jars, and the loving feeling of preserving the harvest, quietly working with my hands to nurture and nourish my family through the fruitless winter months.

I want to believe that my mama heart is enough.  That my life is not lived in vain.  That living a simple, quiet life truly is a calling.  That I don’t have to save the world, all Wonder Woman like.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Wonder Woman.  I believe that we all have that fierce warrior-ess heart, and we get to direct it where we will.  Some will save the world, all very dramatic and exciting, and others of us will save or change the world right here in our very homes, our very hearts, and the worlds of those around us.

What if how we change or save the world is by how we live our lives?

What if rather than striving for something bigger, better, we just start living each day, each moment to it’s maximum capacity of beauty, joy, and delight?

What if we embrace our children, look deeply into their eyes, walk hand in hand, and heart to heart, rather than be immersed in the computer, or building a business, or career, or distracted by whatever.  What if we just don’t miss our life, while trying to create it?

Letting go of big ideas, big children, big hopes, and big things is not always easy, but it is a part of this wild and wondrous life.  What if we try, and we don’t like who we need to become to make something work?  Do we stay the course, just because we tried?  Sometimes.  And Sometimes not.  What if we let go and they fall?  What if we fall?  We dust them and ourselves off, we love deeply, look into those eyes, and say that we are enough, this life is enough, and experiencing these moments allows us to understand what our deepest core truths and desires are.

We hold tightly to those who know, those who love, and those who understand that striving isn’t living, falling isn’t dying, and trying doesn’t mean we didn’t give it our best shot.  It’s in the trying, the falling, the depth of the journey that we learn the oceanic deep lessons.  We learn what we want and who we are.  We understand our own grit, tenacity, that we are stronger than we know, and we get to choose how we want to live, and experience the beauty of this life.  The beauty includes the bones.  The stripping away, the raw, naked experience of soul.

It is in this state of origin, that we can come back to simple. Back to basics. Back to what it is that feeds our soul, ignites our fire, and fuels our days.  Back to home.  Back to love.

For me, it is the beauty in the mundane, the sacred in the everyday.  God among us, angels we meet on streets, in stores, or along dirt roads and veggie stands. It is the ordinary routine, the nurturing those souls under my own humble roof, and the eyes we may be aligned with to gaze into daily.

This is what enough looks like to me.

Loving, living, working shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, in the here and now, the everyday ordinary.  This is sacred work.  This is soul work.  To simplify, to grow your own food and children, to nurture and love those that you are blessed to be a part of their lives. To walk barefoot on dusty trails, to hold hands, and shape hearts, to talk of dreams, and desires, spending evenings over s’mores and firefly lit campfires.

This living is what counts.

The day to day.  The quiet moment.  Each breath.  Each heartbeat.  Each kiss goodnight, and good morning. Every meal gathered round the family table.  Every prayer and blessing poured out of hearts.  This is our calling, this is our journey home.

It is more than enough.

 

A New Season

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The winds are changing a bit here on the homestead.  Shifting from the North, beginning to gently whisper warmth from the South.  Soon we will be planting.  I have been preparing for this beautiful abundant new season for months.  There is soil to tend to, and perhaps spring babes, if we are lucky. There are new seeds of life being planted, on many levels.  I have been welcoming and preparing for this new season.  I have been working diligently on exploring and expanding into what is it I would like to create with this one wild and wondrous life, and how can I share the gifts of it with others.  I have prayed about this for years, “God, what would you have me do?”

Slowly, softly, the answers have come.  As has the healing.

Miracles happen when we open to them and allow God to work in our lives.  When we release control, over and over again, for some of us….and allow the flow of love to lead the way.  It has taken work, devotion, and discipline to daily lay it down, and understand that some things are not mine to carry.

Thank you Jesus.

It has taken courage to listen to the answers to prayer, and not only listen, but take action.  Make it happen.  It is coming through me, but I still have the privilege of doing the work of being who I was created to be, and using this life for the highest good of all.  We all have a calling, a purpose.  Our purpose continues to evolve as we do throughout our life.  There is no one concrete, this is it till you are pushin up daisies, we get to heal, grow, expand, and evolve into each cycle and season of life.

I feel that I have been doing what God has asked of me, so it’s not as if I wasn’t listening before, BUT there is more, the Doing and the Being needed to catch up to each other.  My internal process, healing old wounds and letting go of patterns that are no longer serving me, needed to happen, so that I can authentically share myself and this beautifully sacred, abundant, gentle life with others.  Nurturing myself, tending the garden of my soul, has allowed the seed to germinate, sprout and blossom into tender new life as the growth has continued.

Empowering and supporting women and children has always been work that I feel strongly about.  It is time for me to expand into a wider reach to teach other women to elevate, empower, and rise into the divine sacredness of who they are.  As a society women have lost their sacred.  It is stripped away in the media, in attitudes, in how life is lived and approached.  The overarching idea/feeling is that in order to succeed in a man’s world, we must harden ourselves, we must act like men, and we must divorce our feminine essence.

This is not how creation was designed. We need both the masculine and the feminine to work together, to flow into sacred union.  It is out of balance.  We feel it on many levels, whether we are aware of it or not.  The planet, mother earth, is desperately in need of a softer, gentler approach, this ripples into our bodies as humans, our food sources, and the air we breathe.  This is important.  Society is exploding in violence and greed, and a new approach to abundance, success, and contentment is needed.  The old paradigm is no longer working.

A new season is upon us.  We all have choices and ways that we can be the change we want to see in the world, to quote Ghandi.  What is it that God would have you do today to be that change?  How can we release old patterns and rise up out of the ashes, phoenix like, to fly again?

It starts with you.

When we begin to heal our hearts and stories, we can rise up to lead others to do so.

I am starting now.

This is what I choose to do with my one wild & wondrous life.  The winds of change are blowing here on the homestead.

My mission is to teach every woman, child, and person on this planet, that THEY are Sacred.

Life is sacred.  AND we can start living sacred.

It starts with you.

I love you. You are sacred.

 

www.everydaysacredliving.com

Everyday Sacred Living

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Yesterday was a big day for me.  One I had been planning and preparing for.  It was the culmination of my hearts desire and my soul’s work, both coming together quite beautifully.  Amazing what happens when you trust your inner guidance.  When you listen to the answers to prayers whispered.  There is an opportunity for miracles when we open to them.

A blessed gift gave me courage and comfort in this time of expanding myself and stepping fully into my rising soul while allowing others to accompany me on this journey.  Quiet driving into town, radio-less, left me space to think, and breathe.  In a moment when some doubt was creeping in around the edges, grace came through.

It came through a beautiful dove flying low right before my windshield, visible, but out of harms way, carrying with her a lengthy, supple supply of dry grass obviously to be used to build a warm, safe nest for her eggs.

In that moment I knew.

I felt that I, as the dove, am working to also build a warm, safe nest, expanding myself, flying through the discomfort, and diligently gliding toward a desire to create and build a beautiful, abundant, vibrant life for myself and my family, while also elevating and empowering others to do the same.

The dove was a reminder and affirmation that we are all sacred, and life is sacred.  We have an opportunity to seize it, and create it.  We only have to step outside of our comfort zone and learn to fly.

http://everydaysacredliving.com/

Wishes

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Wishing all a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!!! From our family to yours ❤️

Gather

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Deep fall when leaves have left their precarious perches high above heads, making their journey back to the earth, after the color, the vibrancy, the autumnal glow is fading, is the time to gather wild rosehips.  The hard frost has been upon the homestead steadily for over a week now.

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Breaking through ice that freezes thick on water troughs has become routine during our feeding and frolicking with the critters.  Soon we will have to turn over our collection of water tanks that hold rainwater for both garden and animals.  I hold off as long as I can, as we carry water from the kitchen sink during the frozen months. Soon it will be time.

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Today is the time to gather the wild rosehips that grow alongside the wooded edges of our homestead.  Sunshine sparkles diamonds across the frozen landscape this morning as it makes it’s welcome, warming presence known.  We gather to prepare for the coming winter.  The wood, the food, the herbs and medicines that will be needed for the frozen, dormant, hibernating season.

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Wild Rosehips offer nature’s glory in a fire-red orb.  They are the fruit of the wild rose, whose heady perfume in early summer elevates the senses as you walk by.  Wild rosehips are a potent, reliable source for vitamin C in a frozen climate.  The taste is sweet-tart with a noticeable tang.  My favorite way to keep these valuable globes of nourishment for the winter months is to dry them and use in tea to boost immunity, maintain nutrition, and for infusing oils to make healing balms for cold, dry, chapped winter skin.

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It should be said that the seeds of wild rosehip should not be consumed.  They are covered in tiny hair-like fibers that prickle and stick in mouth and throat.  This is why I like to dry our winter hoard of wild rosehips.  I do not need to de-seed them, I use them whole in tea and infusion, then discard what is left.  I have found this to be the most efficient way for us to utilize them on our homestead.

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Eat Well. Be Well.

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There is a connection with how we choose to nourish our bodies to both our energy levels and vibrancy.  When we eat beautiful whole foods, we have more energy to live and enjoy life and do the work we are called to do.  We radiate health and wellbeing both inwardly and outwardly.  In contrast when we eat prepackaged, industry made, processed food, our energy levels wane and we have less to share with ourselves, our families, and community.

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If we want to be well, we must eat well.

For many of us this can be confusing with all the mixed messages from the media and government.  The act of demonizing certain foods in order to make monetary gain from another has become commonplace in modern society, with certain “science” to back it up.

However, what is now being discovered by doctors, health, wellness, and nutrition pioneers who are invested and investing in, privately-funded, independent research is this:  We are much healthier and vibrant beings when we eat an organic, plant-based and naturally pastured diet.

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Processed food has got to go to feel amazingly vibrant, holistically energetic, and live our best, healthiest lives.

So let’s keep it simple.

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Eat Well.  Be Well.

Nothing crazy here.  No fads, no gimmicks, just pure, simple, honest food.  Food in it’s most natural form, as it was intended to be.  Not laboratory created.  God created.  Grown in dirt, raised on grass.  Simple glory.  Farm to table.  No stops in between.

Whole food, traditional food, prepared by hands and hearts.

This is what it means to Eat Well.  Be Well.

 

 

Fire-Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

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As frost permeates both air and earth on our little homestead, I take inventory on the stacks of baskets, heaps of buckets, and enamelware burgeoning with garden glory.  I never can quite seem to let the green tomatoes go to frost.  I think maybe I am holding on to the hope in the green, the promise of ripening.  This has been a tough tomato year in our homestead garden.  The extreme and wet weather was not a friend to my beautiful heirloom plants.  We enjoyed several meals with the freshly sliced tang of sunshine on our tongues accompanying as a side dish.   However, I was only able to put up about eight quarts of our thick country style tomato juice.  This contrasts to closer to 100 quarts most years.

Naturally, I was anxious to preserve as many of the green tomatoes gifted from our friends’ garden as possible, so I decided to give a green tomato salsa a try.  You can make green tomato relish, why not salsa?  Tomatillos are green, I reasoned.

So I got to work.

 

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I had about thirty pounds of green tomatoes to work with, a beautiful bounty.  I am so glad our friends called before the last hard frosts this past week because this fire-roasted green tomato salsa is superb.  I loosely used my mom’s salsa recipe, which is fabulous by the way, with a couple of modifications to account for the acidity of the green tomatoes.

Roasting the green tomatoes on the grill enhanced the flavor and gave additional sweetness to the chartreuse globes.  The gentle char gave the perfect amount of smokiness to the overall flavor profile of the salsa.  Roasting all the vegetables whole also made for a quick and easy way to blast my way through a very large amount of produce.

This is a creative recipe. Be loose with it, it’s a basic guide ready for customization.   It’s  a fun time to spend together in the kitchen, and a good project to share with friends, or your teenage boys.  It is not tedious, there is not a ridiculous amount of chopping, the food processor and the grill carries the burden of the labor.  Just be sure you have plenty of tortilla chips available…especially if you are creating with teenage boys!

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I encourage you to taste as you go.  Start with the basic roasted veggies, whirled in the food processor, and taste them before you add any seasoning.  This will give you an idea of the base flavor you are working with and give you a starting place.  This is your canvas.  The flavors you add will enhance and bring more color to those that you begin with.  Taste after each addition of herb or seasoning, and allow the flavors to slowly build as you simmer and create together.  Enjoy the process, make it an event, maybe even a salsa making party!

It’s that good, and a great way to celebrate the bounty of the harvest!

 

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 Fire-Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

makes about 5 pints

5 lbs. green tomatoes

2 cups yellow or white onion, quartered or halved

2 cups mixed peppers, sweet, red, jalapeno, etc.*

1 head of garlic, cloves, separated, peeled, and left whole

1/4 cup fresh, cilantro leaves, washed and removed from stem

2-4 Tablespoons lime juice

2-3 Tablespoons salt

 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper

Wash, core, and remove any bad spots from green tomatoes, place on large baking sheet.  Preheat grill to approximately 400 degrees, and turn down to low, to maintain heat.** Place baking sheet of green tomatoes directly on the grates.

Roast for 25-35 minutes or until tomatoes are fragrant, have a nice char, and are slightly soft to the touch. (Be careful not to burn yourself!  Use a spoon, or utensil to press into the side of the tomato if you have any concerns.)

Remove from grill.  Allow to cool while you roast the peppers, onion and garlic.

While the tomatoes are roasting, wash and prepare onions, peppers, and garlic.  Place on large baking sheet.

Roast onion, pepper, and garlic mixture on hot grill 20-30 minutes, until fragrant, nicely charred, and slightly softened.

Remove from grill.  Allow to cool slightly.

With a slotted spoon, lift the cooled, roasted green tomatoes into the food processor, and process 30-60 seconds, until tomatoes have a relish consistency, or is the consistency that you and your family likes.  We all have a preference as to how chunky we like our salsa!

Pour processed tomatoes into a large kettle, 6-8qt, gives you plenty of simmering room.  Continue processing until all roasted veggies are processed, (add cilantro leaves to your onion, pepper, and garlic mixture when you process),  and added to the kettle.

Place kettle on stove over medium high heat.  Bring to a slow boil, turn down heat to medium low to maintain a nice slow simmer.  Taste.

Add minimal amount of lime juice, salt and black pepper.  Taste and adjust according to your liking.

Simmer 45-60 minutes, tasting and stirring occasionally so salsa doesn’t stick and scorch.

Prepare boiling water canner.  Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use.  Do not boil.  Keep warm.

Warm lids in small sauce pan until bubbles begin to form on the rubber edges.  Do not boil.  Turn off heat and keep them in hot water in the saucepan, until you are ready to seal your jars.  Set rings aside, but keep them at the ready.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim.  Place hot lid on jar, secure into place with ring.  Keep jars in a warm place.  Repeat until all jars are filled.

Place jars in a boiling water canner, process for 15 minutes, adjust for altitude, if needed.  Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes.

Carefully remove jars with a jar lifter from canner, place on a clean dishtowel on the countertop, and allow to cool.  Check lids for seal after 24 hours.  Lid should not pop or flex, when center is pressed down.

You may also pressure can this recipe following manufacturer’s instructions.

NOTES:

 *adjust the heat of your salsa by adding more or less hot peppers, such as jalapeno, habanero, etc. The heat of the individual peppers may vary, so taste and decide how hot you want your salsa to be.  That is why I do not include an exact measurement of jalapeno, or hot and spicy peppers here.  Heat is variable to people, make this your recipe, add what tastes good to you.  Just remember that while the salsa is cooking the peppers won’t have quite as much heat as they do as it cools down, leave a little margin for the final heat of the salsa to rise.

**I use a gas grill.  Times and temperatures will vary with any grilling experience.  Adjust accordingly for what type of grill you have, and how you use it.

The Accidental Food Activist

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So, I never set out to be an influencer.  Only a homestead mama sharing the joy.  However, sometimes, somewhere along the way, purpose finds you.  You can choose to step into the moment, lean in hard and listen good, or you can shrink back and shy away from it.

One choice will feel right, good, like it was meant to be, even if while  beginning to share your authenticity, your truth, you may feel uncomfortable,vulnerable even.  Little beautiful moments light the way to allow you to know that you are on the right path, that you are helping, empowering and uplifting others in your own brave kind of bold.  While the other path of not stepping forward in faith will just be uncomfortable.

So here we are friends, me stepping out, faithfully hopeful that my brave sharing in this space continues to uplift and empower each of you to step into your own kind of brave bold.

Life sometimes has a way, God, has a way, to take little moments of broken and turn them into brave.  Turn them into bold.  Refine and polish while you are busy living, so that when you pause to turn back over your shoulder, reflect on the time gone by, you see how that broken was used to make you brave, to embolden you to step onto a path you didn’t even see you were following, until now.

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Our homestead is my brave bold.  We arrived here a bit accidentally, a bit by default, or so I thought, but in reflection I can see a very intentional life.  Created by us, although sometimes out of necessity, or out of what felt like extenuating circumstances. However, now I see perhaps it was just opportunity.  Opportunity to step onto the path that uplifts, or to choose to stay stuck in the muck, so to speak.

Our Artisan Kitchen is my brave bold.  Embracing whole nourishing food, seasonal eating, traditionally prepared, holistic, God-given food straight from the garden has been nothing but beautiful.  Hard, yes, sometimes, but still beautiful.  It has been a slow awakening, an evolution along the way, created by us, but influenced by this gift of a life that we have been given.  In the beginning, we planted the garden from one part passion to feed our babies good, nutrient packed food, and one part necessity.  We couldn’t afford the options from the grocery store.  We were young and in love with each other and our growing family.

Looking back, I had no idea how passionate I would become about providing whole, nourishing, honest food for my family.  I also had no idea how industry would change our view of what that meant.  I never knew it would propel me headlong onto a path of growing and raising,  creative, simple, beautiful food for our family table.  I never knew I would become an accidental food activist.

What I do know now, is that there is a difference between wholesome nourishing food, prepared in a traditional and loving way, and prepackaged, industry prepared food.  Real, holistic food as God intended it to be.  Simple, honest, and beautiful. Food that doesn’t need fancy colors or additives to elevate and nourish you and your family.

It is the food itself that brings us together, creates connection, gathering hearts around the family table, satiating both body and soul.  Cooking and creating simple satisfying food, with love, for yourself and your family is a gift that brings you together in the kitchen, in the garden, or in the coop, celebrating life, and working through the muck.

It’s just all so good.

Whether you grow ‘yer own, or source your food from farmer’s markets, homesteaders, neighbors, or others, really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you take the time to connect, to cook, to open yourself to the possibility, that yes, you can do this–you can create beautiful nourishing food for yourself and for your family.  I want to embolden you to take that step, take my hand, friend, and walk into your kitchen, welcome yourself with a latte or a glass of wine, and create something simple, something honest, something pure, and something good.

Keep it simple.  Find passion and joy in the sourcing of ingredients, whether you gather in the garden, the market, or the store.  Look for the beauty, and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Grilled cheese maybe?  A seasonal twist perhaps, of cheddar and apples with a little spinach topped by a slathering of Dijon?  Go to the bakery for your handmade bread, or try a new recipe, do something out of the ordinary.  Make it an event, a joyful occasion to gather, rather than a dreaded chore of shopping, or harvesting from the garden.

Make something to share, whether it’s with co-workers, or dropped by the neighbors. The sharing creates connection, brings joy in the giving of yourself to others.

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It is my hope and purpose in sharing here, that you will take your own leap of faith, your own kind of brave bold, to start where you are, gather in your kitchen with friends and family around a heap of fresh greens, veggies,  and other beautiful whole foods, to enjoy the process of creating your own artisan meal and memories.  And yes, a salad counts!

Perhaps, before you know it, your passion and confidence may grow you into an accidental food activist as well!

Eat well.  Be well.

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