Sinead eats rhubarb
Rhubarb is a little sour in its raw state

Middle Eastern Rhubarb Fool

The rhubarb theme continues in my mother’s garden.  My niece was visiting from LA and the family decided to celebrate her “Almost 1” birthday since she wouldn’t be in town when she actually turned one.  It was the perfect opportunity to use up some of my mom’s rhubarb and introduce my wee niece to a new taste!

But first I needed rhubarb inspiration.  Epicurious is so helpful for this.  They had a ton of rhubarb recipes – rhubarb upside down cake, rhubarb pie, rhubarb cheesecake, the list went on…  For once though I didn’t want to spend hours prepping and/or making my dessert.  I wanted simple and delicious.  Rhubarb fool was the obvious choice.

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Guest Blog – The GAPS Diet

Fall LeavesGuest Blogger Anna Miller-Rhees tells of of her experiences on the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet). It was this post from Anna that originally inspired me to take the plunge and get on the GAPS diet ourselves. It has changed our lives for the better. Thanks so much Anna!

Looking back over the last two years, I cannot believe how our lives have changed. I would wake up and struggle through the day, barely keeping pace with my two children. The fatigue was overwhelming; not just a normal fatigue, but a listless, no-energy-at-all fatigue with anger and emotional spikes in between. My son Elliot was often irrational and possessed with a frenetic energy. His behavior patterned after ADHD, which took so much energy to manage.

Fast forward to today. I wake up with more energy, even when I haven’t had the best nights sleep. I am able to get all the housework done, cook all our meals from scratch, focus on the children without getting frustrated, and just plain enjoy life. Not that I have super-human mothering abilities all of a sudden, just that now I know what normal functioning is.

This tremendous change has been largely due to the GAPS diet. Before, we ate a (mostly) nourishing traditional diet. I made fermented bread from fresh ground flour, and we drank raw milk. We consumed our fair share of raw vegetables (though not many fermented ones), and introduced coconut oil as a cooking agent. I did what I thought was important, but slowly began to realize that I was not well.

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Backyard Edibles 2009 I

This year got started late with a huge snowstorm and a very cold winter. The roses seem to have done well though, and the amazing backyard gardens of Vancouver BC are going full swing. I am constantly impressed by how many plants there are in some of these spaces. It is also interesting to see that different plants are being…

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Stone Soup Festival 2009

Planting Pumpkin

The Stone Soup Festival at Britannia on Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC fell on Mother’s Day weekend this year. We arrived at the festival just as the jolly Carnival Band was rambling around the park and were soon planting pumpkin and sunflower seeds, feeding the chickens at the Backyard Chicken information desk and munching on a bowl of hearty FREE stone soup.

This was my first time at the festival and I was really impressed and surprised that although there were a few vendors selling honey, dehydrated vegetable crackers, pottery, gourmet foods and plants, the main content of the festival was information.

I stopped at a mason bee exhibition and was impressed to discover that even though I could buy a very affordable bee home and bees, I could actually make the same thing myself from bamboo and just put it in a sunny spot and let some prayers drift on the wind in hopes that some mason bees will make it their home. I felt no pressure to spend money, but I did get a great mug for my mother while there.

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Favorite Canadian Seed Savers

I had a look through a ton of companies in Canada selling seeds online and chose out about ten that looked interesting and had websites that were workable on my computer. I mostly leaned towards West Coast seed companies, but there was one company from Ontario that is simply outstanding and couldn’t be passed by. From those ten I have weeded out the following five sites:

West Coast Seeds is a refreshing green site with some interesting products such as sprouting seeds, soil, coconut husk mulch, kitchen equipment and worm cast tea.

West Coast Seeds Wish List

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Favorite US Seed Savers

A small collection of some of my favorite seed saving companies in the US. They all collect heirloom varieties many of which are becoming more scarce because of the monoculture and terminator seeds promoted by Monsanto.

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