Kitchen / Garden / Sanctuary - Urban Homesteading to Nourish Body + Spirit

Month: July 2009

Name That Fungus!

yellow fungus / dog vomit slime mold

Around 9 a.m. one recent morning, my dad called me at work because there seemed to be kind of a garden emergency going on in one of my raised beds. Growing on the mulch, he said, was a spongy yellow fungus that hadn’t been there the night before — and it was already the size of a dinner plate. When I talked to him a couple hours later, he reported that the fungus had gotten taller. Continue reading

Christmas-in-July Eggnog Ice Cream

Christmas-in-July Eggnog Ice Cream

While visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia a few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Christmas in July. This “holiday” is more of just a marketing ploy (“Book your holiday brunch NOW!”), but it’s kind of neat because southern hemisphere dwellers can experience a northern-style Christmas with decorations, carols, snow, roaring fires, and eggnog.  While I love all these things during the winter — and winter sounds pretty good during the oppressive scorch of mid-summer — I can’t seem get into the Christmas spirit in July. However, I have been able to choke down this eggnog ice cream — ya know, in honor of the season (*smirk*).

Click “Continue Reading” for the recipe…

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Free-Range Chickens, and a Case for Raw Eggs

Healthfood Store egg vs. Pastured/Farm-fresh egg

Healthfood Store egg vs. Pastured/Farm-fresh egg

I’ve always eaten raw eggs, and have never gotten sick from them. And for most of my life, the eggs I ate weren’t even the good kind…just the cheap, factory-farmed grocery store brand.

My mom used to warn me about raw eggs, so maybe I was just lucky. Obviously, the deliciousness & instant gratification of eating gobs of raw cookie dough eclipsed any long-range consideration of food poisoning. Still does.

More recently, I’ve been buying eggs from the health food store, which are organic, vegetarian, & cage-free. I can’t taste any difference, so I buy them more for the sake of the chickens they come from. However, these eggs aren’t quite as wholesome as they sound, even though the chickens are treated more humanely. I guess chickens naturally eat bugs and weeds/greens, so while “Vegetarian Fed” may sound good, this means they’re fed strictly on organic grains — ie., they aren’t outside on the grass, eating their native (and carnivorous) diet of bugs, grubs, etc.

And “cage-free” usually means that although they’re not confined to tiny cages, they’re still raised in a barn (warehouse? Quonset hut?) where the living quarters might still be cramped. They probably don’t go outside, either, lest they sneak a non-vegetarian grub or two.

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Welcome to The Herbangardener! Thanks for stopping by!

This site is dedicated to nourishing the body + spirit through backyard organic gardening, traditional foodways, and homesteading in the heart of the city.

I wish I could describe my own homestead as “four lovely acres in the country, with a fruit orchard, vast gardens of veggies & flowers, a flock of chickens, and a cow.” That would be my dream!

My current living situation, though, is slightly less picturesque — I live in a drafty, one-bedroom attic apartment in the middle of the city. It’s not quite my dream, but in spite of all the asphalt and traffic, it’s still my homestead.

You can create a homestead no matter where you live! I’ve discovered that it’s as much a mindset as it is a physical setting — maybe even more so.

It’s time to revolutionize our gardens, reclaim our kitchens, and re-establish simple, balanced living.

You can do this wherever you are — even if your garden is just a pot of parsley in the kitchen window!

Growing and cooking our own food no longer holds the stigma it once did. In fact, not only is it in vogue now — it’s also a wonderful way to nourish both body and spirit, especially when we’re not able to achieve the part about simple, balanced living.

At my little urban homestead (which I share with my dear & wonderful hubby), I love playing with new ideas and learning new things, which I write about on this site. I also love gardening! For years, I’ve had an organic veggie garden in my parents’ backyard (five 4’x8’ raised beds). The neat thing is, my garden gives more than just vegetables — it provides satisfaction and enjoyment, and a deep sense of peacefulness when I’m near it. I feel so proud when I’m able to nourish my family with foods that I’ve lovingly grown and prepared with my own hands!

And so I warmly invite you to join me here at The Herbangardener, as we strive to create our own homestead-sanctuaries no matter what our present living situation may be!

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