Seasonal Eating~continued

Eating In Season…continued~
In a research study conducted in 1997 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in London, England, significant differences were found in the nutrient content of cows milk in summer versus winter. Iodine was higher in the winter; beta-carotene was higher in the summer. The Ministry discovered that these differences in milk composition were primarily due to differences in the diets of the cows. With more salt-preserved foods in winter and more fresh plants in the summer, cows ended up producing nutritionally different milks during the two seasons. Similarly, researchers in Japan found three-fold differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter.

We must not forget to add the warming spices to our fall and winter menu…emphasize ginger, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, clove, and turmeric…

In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

In all seasons, be creative and listen to your body, it will dictate the foods needed to energize and stabilize for the season. Let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter be your guide.
A simple stew and bread can be tweaked to the most nourishing meal one could need…to the stew, start with your seasonal vegetables and meat of choice ( if any) add dried herbs such as thyme or basil for flavor, a good shake of cayenne pepper and a bland pot suddenly becomes festive!

The bread can be seasoned with oregano and garlic, black-pepper or your favorite hot pepper, sage also adds great flavor to bread….just enough for a slight bite…don’t over season or you’ll just end up with ‘hot’ and not pleased.


Seasonal Eating~

Eating In Season~
Eating foods when nature produces them is what people the world over have done naturally throughout most of history, before supermarkets landed on every corner of the landscape and processed foods became ubiquitous. Seasonal eating is also a cornerstone of several ancient and holistic medical traditions, which view it as integral to good health and emotional balance.

Seasonal eating means two things….building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of winter, spring, summer and fall. While it may seem like a luxury to have any food we want, anytime we want it, eating foods in season is directly related to how well our system functions .

( if we dress our body in layers of heavy clothing in August…the body will sweat and actually become sick if not unburdened of the load…the same applies to what we put into our stomach…heavy foods in summer makes extra work for the entire system….leaving it exhausted and in the fight or flight mode…not a good place for it to be!)

(If, we opt for salads in the cold winter months…again the fight or flight mode kicks in and will pull vital nutrients needed for warmth and stability from other places …leaving someone without winter fuel for survival.)

Seasonal eating connects us to the calendar and often to one another, reminding us of simple joys — apple picking on a clear autumn day, slicing a juicy red tomato in the heat of summer, celebrating winter holidays with belly-warming fare. Secondly, produce picked and eaten at its peak has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances.

**Today’s landscape does not have a farm or a kitchen garden on every corner,
however, with thought and a little planning we can still accomplish the goal and reap the benefits of Seasonal Eating.

I hope this little series has sparked a notion that settles in for the season and dines with you daily! Nothing better than good company over good food!

Blissoma…My New Bliss!!

Blissoma Holistic Skincare - Unique natural skincare for sensitive, acne, and aging skin that wants intensive nutritional support

Blissoma is the elegant marriage of herbal form and function, crafted by the exploitative mind of Julie Longyear, an artist enamored with science.

 After years of making do with my own skin care from my own garden….I have finally found a wonderful, organic, all healthy, fruits and vegetables, carefully crafted into a delicious skin care product.

I have opted to be an affiliate for Blissoma…that means I will make a commission when products are purchased through my website…
You also know I never put my seal of approval on anything less than the best…

How much better could this product be….If it’s good for the inside, it has to be good for the outside….

Take a tour, the reading is exciting and something you don’t find on most labels.

The pricing is really affordable, less than what you will find on chemical laden “high end” big brand cosmetic counters. I like that…A lot!

What makes Blissoma special?

 Blissoma formulations faithfully offer the best medicinal compounds from plants that are research-proven to have healing superpowers for the human body. Ingredients are fresh, stored and combined at optimal temperatures, and blended with skill to offer a final product that is uniquely effective, pleasant to use, and a direct experience with plants as nature created them. Generally the ingredients are just 1 step away from the original plant material from which they came. Many are cold-processed and raw so that no damage is done to heat-sensitive vitamins and other valuable compounds. An initial feel of the products demonstrates the difference as the texture, color, and smell all distinctly tell the story of the nutritive ingredients contained therein. By not changing the botanical’s Blissoma offers a big change for your skin.

Eating In Season~ Across Seasons~


Sustainable to a generational farmer is something totally different from the buzz word “sustainable” in today’s new world manipulation of  green, climate change and other alterations designed to herd us somewhere we don’t need to go.

That being understood ….using what we have in a manner for good without doing harm in the process and will benefit the coming generations….Sustainable goes hand-n-hand with Seasonal Eating.

Foods grown in our local region can be preserved by ; canning, freezing, or dehydrating/drying and add value to in season eating, even though the food in question is out of the normal growing season.
The key is knowing it is locally grown..local being within a 100 mile or so of our own location.

Fruits and berries fall into this category for me….each requires a little something different…Pears were on my list this week and so simple to do.

Recipe for freezing…

Wash, peel and core pears.

Leave in halves or slice.
Treat with a fruit powder or lemon juice to prevent darkening.
Prepare a sugar syrup according to taste…light, medium or heavy..
I use the light….1/2 cup or less raw sugar to 5 quarts water.
(adjust according to amount of pears being used.) this recipe was perfect for 5 quart size containers.

Allow pears and liquid to cool…

Pack pears in freezer containers and pour the syrup over enough to cover.

Label and freeze…

Simply Good!!



The Secret Life of the Coneflower…echinacea….


More than a pretty addition in the flower garden…echinacea is native to the USA, where it was a staple among the Native Americans as a medicinal/healing tool.
Modern research has confirmed echinacea’s immune -boosting properties and it is extensively used as an antiviral.


The flower petals make a lovely tea, but the medicinal power is found in the root(dried and powdered) containing inulin, polysaccharides, essential oil, resin
plant sterols, and fatty acids. ( proven to increase body resistance to infection.)

Used in the treatment of colds and influenza, as well as more chronic conditions such as glandular fever or ME/post-viral fatigue. It stimulates the production of white blood sells, which fight infection, and is therefore being used as a support for HIV/AIDS.
It is best used as a commercial prepared tincture and should always be sought out and used under the supervision of a qualified herbal/Holistic practitioner.

PS: Among the other colors of the coneflower, the purple purpurea is the only one with medicinal properties.


Healthy, Beautiful, Deadly if Abused~


I’ve been writing negative reviews on sunscreens for many years…glad to see this from EWG.
Certainly no secret that the sun provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D.

If we don’t abuse the time in the sun we have no need for sunscreen at all.
Please know, all sunscreens are not created equally. In fact, a 2017 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 75 percent of sunscreens didn’t work. That is to say these sunscreens provide inadequate sun protection and/or they contained harmful ingredients.

In EWG’s 11th Annual Guide to Sunscreens report, the results show that while there have been major improvements over the last decade, the vast majority of sunscreens available for purchase in the U.S. still contain damaging chemicals or fail to offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays.

Note: About half of the sunscreens sold in the U.S. would not be allowed on the market in Europe, according to Sonya Lunder, lead scientist involved with the sunscreen guide.

So…be kind to your skin and don’t take it for granted…it may be fashionable or just a personal like to bake oneself into a copy of Gingerbread girl/boy…but the rewards will be something not fashionable or to our liking!

Feeling Good and Looking Good From The Inside Out~

Botanical Bliss

I’ve written a lot on the benefits of herbs and natural ingredients and the goodness they supply to our inner being.

As few as 40 years ago, many women looked to plants for much of their skin care regiments.

Those options and ingredients have more recently been incorporated more and more into many mainline products.

All natural ( really natural ) organic and chemical free is always the “best” way to go…but, if and when that is not an option or a choice, one can still find products that are less harmful by considering the ingredients.


Marine Ingredients…Undersea elements such as seaweed and algae are great hydrators, and they are rich in trace elements…very good for the skin. With minerals such as zinc, magnesium, vitamins A,C,and E-all will work to hydrate your outer skin.

Antioxidants…plays the starring role in the anti aging process by inhibiting the free radicals that cause collagen breakdown. Vitamin C, coffee berry, and argan oil are three of the most sought after…one of these 3 ingredients should be at the top or very near the ingredient list to be effective.

Caramides…lipids that are found in the skins surface that function like mortar to hold cells together, prevent water loss and keeping the skin plump and hydrated.

Peptides…these are amino acid chains that penetrate the skin’s uppermost layers and have the ability to tell cells to behave in a certain way…produce more collagen for instances.

Calming Agents…last but certainly not the least of the best. These are found in plant products…such as , chamomile, cucumber, and aloe…all have calming agents that reduce inflammation and redness brought on from rosacea or chapped and sensitive skin.

These are agents that should be found in the ingredient label of your foundation, lip gloss, eye care products, etc., as well as the most important part of your skin care routine…which is the cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine.

And don’t overlook the diet…beauty is, as we have come to know, truly from the inside out…when we don’t nourish our body’s need for proper fuel, it will compensate by taking from us…our healthy, bright, plump and beautiful outer skin.

Herbs and our Skin~


Herbs and our Skin~

I write a lot about culinary herbs, but do you know there are some simple ways to use herbs outside the body for healthy and beautiful skin.

These can all be made into tinctures and ingested…but, for now I’m talking about simple applications that can be derived through steeping and using as a splash or spray.

Red Clover and Nettle…will cleanse and detoxify

Yarrow, Chamomile and Calendula…reduces itching and redness from rashes and allergies.

Chamomile and Comfrey…soothe soreness-from exercise or injury.
Can also be used to easy stings, cuts, and has mighty wound healing properties. The leaves were used in WWI and WWII in place of bandages because of supply shortages.

Thyme and Echinacea…fights infections.

Lavender…healthy skin growth.

Yarrow and Nettle…helps eliminate waste via the kidneys.

Fennel and Clary Sage…helps balance hormonal fluctuations leading to skin blemishes.

Lemon Balm and Marjoram…eases stress.

Horsetail and Oat…promotes wound healing.

Bring a quart of water to a boil, add herb of choice and gently boil for about 5 minutes…remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain and store in a glass container…..fill a spray bottle as needed or use with cotton balls to apply to needed areas.

I keep it in the frig, feels wonderful on a hot summer day-spritzed or applied to the face or even the feet,

Note…this in no way implies medicinal advice. And please avoid the eyes when applying to the face.

Happy and safe summer~Bug free we can wish !

Healing Power of Salt~


For years I’ve been advocating the benefits of salt in a health focused routine…if you are still using basic table-salt, please, please… Stop!!

Table salt is refined to a negative point with additives of anti-caking agents, these are the elements that cause issues in blood pressure and other health related maladies …we have so many other wonderfully-healthy salts to choose from.

A list of good choices and the benefits of each can be found on the Sage Hill Gardens website for future reference.
Salt is healing…this is documented in a plethora of ways back through the earliest of times.

These are the four I opt for and would suggest to you!

(Salts for Soaking in a Bath…)

1.. Epsom: A hydrate form of magnesium sulfate named for the mineral rich spring waters of Epsom, England.
2..Celtic Sea Salt: A brand of unprocessed salt with trace minerals; from coastal France.
3..Himalayan salt: A rock salt mined in Pakistan that sometimes has a pink tinge from iron oxide.
4..Hawaiian sea salt: Sea salt mixed with red clay containing iron oxide, color ranges from white to pink.
+ One…Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate; softens water and relieves minor skin irritations.

+ One…The Celtic and/or Himalayan is a perfect replacement for your table salt/food usage.

March Madness~

March Madness-In The Gardens-at Sage Hill Farms


March is that month that gives and then takes away.

I’m speaking of the weather of course. It gives beautiful sunny days and tempts us to go digging in the gardens only to welcome us overnight to the coldest day of the year.

What’s a gardener to do to keep from going mad….well, just put the brakes on and go with the flow. On those warm and sunny days, walk through your gardens and get acquainted with every little nook and cranny. Dig a few inches into the soil and meet the little guys that keep your soil rich and workable. ( earthworms) without these your soil will be hard and compacted.

Look for places that are inviting to toads and lizards, what? You don’t have any!
Toads and lizzies are a must in the garden, they eat all manner of not so welcomed guest. You can make little homes for them by building a stack of rocks or broken bricks around a large flower pot-drain saucer. Keep the saucer filled with water and the toads and lizzies will thank you by working hard to rid your garden of unwanted pest.

Most every garden has a resident snake, you may not see it often, but know that it is there. Depending on where you live, make a point of knowing the kinds of snakes you can expect to see. There are good ones and bad ones…knowing the difference can be very important to your health and the health of the snake. Some say the only good snake is a dead snake. While I don’t subscribe to that thinking, I also don’t go out of my way to make friends with any snake.

What stage is your compost pile this month?

You should have a bin full that has been working during the winter and ready for spring planting. Composting is the most valuable asset to your soil, right up there with the earthworms, in fact the worms turn your soil into natural compost.

Now, for those days that are dark, rainy and cold.
Curl up in your favorite spot with a good garden book and a cup of warm and nourishing tea from Sage Hill Farms.
Many flavors to pick from and if you want your own blend, just ask and I’ll see what I can do.

Make March a Mighty month in your garden!