Defending the dandelion: it's not just another weed
Flowers & Herbs, Garden of Eatin', You Can Eat That?!

Defending the Dandelion: It’s Not Just Another Weed

The ever-pervasive dandelion. It’s one of the first plants to sprout in spring, when the ground is barely free of frost, and remains steadfast through the season with vibrant pops of yellow and downy balls of seeds so nostalgic of childhood wonderment.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, this humble plant that has fed and healed humanity for thousands of years became a blight on our landscape. Dismissed as a weed, eradicated at all costs, cursed and scorned for its stubbornly long taproots that often refuse to give from the earth, it’s earned a reputation for invasiveness and uselessness.

Continue Reading

The surprise that was The New Camp Cookbook cover
Makings of a Book, Work

The Surprise That Was The New Camp Cookbook Cover

After having the luxury of shooting my first book at home (or in various relatives’ homes) with easy access to a dishwasher, hot running water, and electricity, my second book was a true test of faith and patience.

Forget the beautiful filtered light through the windows and being able to walk barefoot on soft carpet. Think glaring midday sun and waiting for the light to move over the trees. Think dusty feet in flip-flops crunching across a pine needle-littered campsite.

Continue Reading

Gemma at one day old.
Parenthood

Here’s to the First Year

Above: Gemma at one day old.

Every morning, I take the first nap with the baby. I always wake up an hour before she starts stirring, but rather than getting up and going about my day, I like to lie in bed with her and simply watch her sleep. The sweet sighs. The rise and fall of her round belly. I love the way her lips pucker under the weight of her chubby cheeks, and I love to bury my nose in her soft tuft of hair, breathing in that milky baby smell.

Continue Reading

Checklist for your spring garden tune-up
Garden of Eatin', How-To

Checklist for Your Spring Garden Tune-Up

Early spring can feel like a game of garden roulette: sunny and warm one week, tempting you to transplant all those tomatoes you’d started inside, then wet and cold the next week, reminding you that frost isn’t entirely out of the picture.

If you’re itching to get outside but the unpredictable weather is reigning you in, there’s still plenty you can do around the yard before (and aside from) sowing seeds or putting tender seedlings in the ground. The name of the game in March is “clean-up,” and this checklist will walk you through all the sometimes forgotten (or intentionally overlooked) tasks to help you tune-up your garden for prime planting season.
Continue Reading

Moroccan orange blossom iced tea
Recipes, Sips & Syrups

Moroccan Orange Blossom Iced Tea

Late winter to early spring is one of my favorite times to be in the garden: the days are longer, the weather’s warmer, and the air is thick with the heady fragrance of flowers from our orange and mandarin trees. When I’m feeling pulled in multiple directions and need to decompress, even for just a few minutes, I simply stand under the canopy of my citrus tree and breathe it all in. It’s like having my own aromatherapy session; the scent is delicate yet overpowering all at once, and slowly I feel my spirits start to lift.

Continue Reading

My little garden helper
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. She’s gone rafting and camping, but she’s never been wetter or dirtier than after a day of “helping” me in the garden. This babe is clearly not afraid to get a little dirt under her nails!

Continue Reading

Homegrown pineapple
Fruits, Garden of Eatin', Vegetables

Sleep-Promoting Fruits and Vegetables That Help You “Spring Forward” Easier

I have a love/hate for Daylight Saving Time. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that the days are about to get longer and I can get a little more work done in the garden, finish my bike rides while it’s still light out, and not feel like it’s time for bed when it’s only 8 pm.

On the other hand, “losing” that hour of sleep makes me feel off kilter for weeks as I struggle to nip my late-night habits in the bud. Research has shown that our circadian rhythms never fully adjust to Daylight Saving Time, and the transition is especially difficult for night owls. (Not to stray off topic, but I am firmly in the “let’s abolish DST once and for all” camp. Or maybe I should just move to Arizona.)

Continue Reading