Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup

This Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup is light, bright, and deliciously satisfying.   Loaded with both flavor and nutrition, you can’t go wrong with this one!  Our children rarely all like the same meal, but they all give this one an enthusiastic thumbs-up!  Start with an organic, pasture-raised chicken and home-made stock.  You will be setting yourself up for an incredibly wholesome meal, minus the bad stuff that usually comes with chicken soups. Who really needs MSG in their soup anyway? The tumeric is what gives this dish it’s beautiful yellow color. The addition of quinoa gives a hearty and nutritional bonus.   This is truly a delicious, satisfying meal! Continue reading Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup

Preserving the Harvest by Liz Porter

Many of you know that we have been attending classes at Lady Slipper Nursery on Saturday mornings.  This Saturday we had the opportunity to attend Preserving the Harvest by Liz Porter of Buckeye Creek Farms.  Liz led a fun, informative class and gave tips for both newbies and veterans alike.  She had excellent suggestions for tools, methods, and resources.  Specific topics discussed were pressure canning versus water bath canning, blanching before freezing, canning additives, and the canning of Continue reading Preserving the Harvest by Liz Porter

Homestead Master Plan

For those of you that have been following our build process, you know that we purchased land for our dream home a couple years ago.  We have been slowly working towards making our vision a reality.  Part of that process was taking what was in our heads and getting it down on paper.  We received the help of many people in helping to take a vague idea of our vision and slowly turn it into an executable plan.  Two key people stick out as key contributors though.  The first is Casey Norris with Lady Slipper Rare Plant Nursery and the second is Doug Bork with Elements Landscape LLC. Continue reading Homestead Master Plan

Our Landscape Architect – Doug Bork with Elements Landscape LLC

When we first started day dreaming about landscaping ideas for the new property, Houzz was one of the first places we turned to.  Whenever I had a free moment I would scroll though landscaping images just for inspiration.  One afternoon an image particularly captured my attention.  I went to the profile of Elements Landscape because I wanted to see more of this work that I especially liked. I loved everything I saw!  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Elements Landscape was local to our area.  We were also pleasantly surprised to see that the company also specializes in professional renderings of landscape plans (something we would need for HOA approval).  It wasn’t long before we contacted Doug Bork of Elements Landscape to see what he could design for our property.

Doug-Bork-372x372Doug was extremely personable, prompt, and thorough.  For a summary of his qualifications click HERE.  He took his time in understanding all of our wants and needs. Then he expertly crafted a master plan to accommodate them all.  He included our requested plants along with suggestions of his own.  He also kept in mind that our budget will likely require us to implement our design in stages.  He ultimately designed an aesthetically pleasing plan while also considering our “homesteading” demands.  We couldn’t be happier with the results! Continue reading Our Landscape Architect – Doug Bork with Elements Landscape LLC

Merrilily Gardens

Our Saturday morning classes at Lady Slipper Rare Plant Nursery have been quite a joy, and this last Saturday was no exception! In the latest class we were privileged to learn from the owner of Merrilily GardensMerrilily Gardens is a local business that specializes in over 350 varieties of day lilies. The owner of Merrilily Gardens, Merrily McLaughlin (yes, you read that right), was especially helpful in explaining how to propagate daylilies. This is an inexpensive way to get your landscaping dollars to go further.  Furthermore, splitting your day lilies is actually good for the plant.  It is advantageous even if you do not want more day lilies (You can always give the cuttings to friends and family to share the pleasure of these beautiful plants). Continue reading Merrilily Gardens

Early Harvest Salad

This Early Harvest Salad was a perfect addition to our Mother’s Day celebration. There’s nothing like eating a freshly picked salad 10 minutes after it was growing in the soil!  This salad was kindly harvested from the garden by Anthony for an extra special Mother’s Day treat. Sometimes the best salads are the ones where you head to the garden and collect a little of this and a little of that – whatever looks fresh and appetizing.  Such was the case with this salad. Continue reading Early Harvest Salad

Beet Juice Cocktail

This Beet Juice Cocktail is surprisingly addictive.  A Vitamix blender is all you need to be minutes away from a refreshing, nutrient-dense libation.  Using fresh, organic ingredients is paramount to creating the healthiest version of this recipe.  Also, the salt is a key ingredient. Do not omit it unless you must.  It takes the whole experience from being merely palatable to absolutely delicious! When you are finished creating your cocktail, don’t discard the pulp.  Instead, use it to make Beet Crisps in your dehydrator. Continue reading Beet Juice Cocktail

Beet Crisps

These beet crisps are infinitely superior to the commonplace chips you find in the supermarket snack aisles.  Packed with nutrition and fiber, these crisps have no evil ingredients to spoil the fun!  Who needs MSG and preservatives when you have a chip with the depth of flavor that these have?  This recipe starts with the pulp left over from the Beet Juice Cocktail recipe.  Just a couple of minutes of effort followed by an overnight stay in the dehydrator, and you will be gnoshing these tasty snacks down. Try them out on your friends at your next get-together! Continue reading Beet Crisps

Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman – A Mother’s Day Tribute

I know there are no perfect people.  One of the frustrating things about blogging is that there is a tendency to present yourself and your life in such a way that if people didn’t know better they would think you were living the perfect life.  Our blog is no different.  We celebrate the exciting events in our life and share interesting and educational posts, but the pictures and stories are usually edited so every imperfection is wiped away.

When I decided to draft this post as part of my Mother’s Day gift to my wife, I wanted to start by clarifying that our life is messy.  We have 6 kids ranging in age from 5 months to 17 years.  I have a demanding job that frequently has me traveling most of the week.  We home school all six children.  We have bills.  We have moods.  There are diapers to change and teenagers with attitudes.  We get irritable. We are almost always tired.  We have unfulfilled goals.  We struggle with allergies, headaches, and illness.  We sometimes resort to junk food even though we know better. Our house is in a roller coaster state of clean and dirty.  The laundry piles up.  The lawn needs mowing.  The eight of us frequently let each other down.  We lose our tempers.  We fight.  We are selfish.  We drive each other nuts.  Our life was not always this “messy” though. Continue reading Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman – A Mother’s Day Tribute

Ladyslipper Saturday Morning Class – Hans Rueffert

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a post about a class we attended at Ladyslipper Rare Plant Nursery taught by Farmer’s Organic.  Yesterday we had the privilege to attend another class, this time led by the renowned Hans Rueffert.  Hans is the chef and owner of Woodbridge Inn in Jasper, GA.   Hans comes with a list of credentials including appearing on Next Food Network Star, CNN, and The Doctors.  The biggest reason this chef has my ear, however, is his triumph over aggressive cancer.  This man was given a 2%  chance of survival and was told on several occasions that he would not live beyond 24 more hours. Hans emphasizes food quality above food quantity and approaches his meals with a different twist on carpe diem – “Eat like there’s no tomorrow.”  Something to think about! Continue reading Ladyslipper Saturday Morning Class – Hans Rueffert