Recently I was perusing art posts on Facebook and came across a feast for the eyes and soul. “Yarndale 2013 :: The Yarndale Bunting” Apparently inspired by a knitting and stitching show put on by “Women’s Weekly” magazine a blogger/artist named Lucy set out to create a little of the spectacular creation of her own and well let’s say… now I’m inspired as well! For the full story from Lucy herself go on over to her blog. She has some amazing photos and it’s a very sweet story. Attic 24
I have you ever heard of Neem Oil before? It’s an natural organic product that can act as a pesticide without harming beneficial insects, pets or people. I found this great American based business called, Neem Tree Farms in Florida that sells all kinds of Neem products to use in your organic gardening as well as health supplements and even the trees themselves.
Neem is used throughout India and the rest of Asia as a remedy for a multitude of ailments. It’s used for everything ranging from digestive issues to anti viral. I wonder if this is a tree worth planting in the garden? They are evergreen trees that can grow quite large so they may not be for every yard. But if you have the space it’s definitely a consideration. Check out Neem Tree Farms for an American based business that sells Neem plants, and products. They also have a lot of great information about the benefits of Neem
Having said all that, I wanted to share the article that first got me interested in learning more about Neem. It was this great article on Real Farmacy. Check it out for even more information on the benefits of gardening with Neem. It’s a very informative site.
“How does it kill pest insects and not beneficial insects? Neem oil must be ingested for it to work, so only critters eating plants that have been sprayed will be affected. It’s not an instant “knock-down” effect like synthetic broad-spectrum pesticides, but it only takes a few hours and is just as effective if not more at preventing harmful pest infestations. When a pest larva ingests neem oil with the plant material, a compound called “azadirachtin” starts to act on the larva’s hormonal system and prevents it from molting to the next stage, resulting in death.”
The first house made of mud that I ever saw was the one my Grandfather Carl Romelsbacher built in a little town called Meridian California. He and his father along with uncles cousins and friends farmed the land together. By hand my grandfather built an adobe brick house some 60+ years ago to raise his little family and today it still stands. It now sits vacant and it has been through floods, shot up by teenagers, baked in the many long hot summers in the Sacramento Valley and wet winters to boot. Yet it still stands. I think the idea of building with natural materials was inspired by my grandfather’s choice. Someday I hope my husband to build us our own little house made of mud and so I frequently am drawn to books that describe the process.
Recently I was given a book called “Build A Cob House A Step-By-Step Guide” by Alex Sumerall. It’s one of the most thorough books on how to build a cob house I have ever read. It covers everything from Site Selection, Materials, Foundations, how to make cob to the actual building of walls and dealing with the whole issue of windows and doors. One of the things I was happily surprised to see was that he also added a section on earthen floors. When my husband was a young potter he actually helped his mentor to build house with an earthen floor and I am still dreaming of the day we will build our own little dream house with one. I have several cob building books but this one has great detailed photos and instructions so I truly believe with the book and maybe a tip or two from somebody with experience really any of us could build a cob house. If you’re interested in “Build A Cob House” or Alex’s other books and more instructions check them out on This Cob House
If you’re dreaming of building your own cob house I can’t recommend this book highly enough. So what do you think? Ready to get building?
Cool modular rainwater collection system!
Have you heard of Biodynamic farming or gardening? Check out this very in depth and interesting article over at EdibleMadison that offers a great explanation.
“In 1924, Austrian philosopher, scientist, social reformer and father of anthroposophy Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) introduced a series of eight lectures on agriculture. These lectures are known as the Agriculture Course Lectures and form the early foundation of biodynamic agriculture—the first intentional form of organic agriculture.”
I’m a huge fan of the website Nourished Kitchen. I find their site is really good at creating a sense of nourishment not only for the body but beyond that. Almost anybody can put together a bunch of sugary ingredients for a pecan pie and have it taste pretty darn good but what about how it makes you feel about how it could be impacting your health? It takes added skill to not only come up with a recipe that is delicious but one that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve done something terrible to your body. They are just really good at creating recipes that tastes great and you can feel good about. That’s why several months ago I signed up for their newsletter. Today I received this amazing recipe for Maple Pecan Pie in my inbox and had to share it with all of you. Here are the ingredients. If you’d like to actually make it take a look at Nourished Kitchen for the instructions. I’m definitely going to give it a try during the holidays.
1 1/2 cups sifted sprouted spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt3/4 cup cold lard chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup very cold water
1/2 cup whole, unrefined cane sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder
1 1/2 cups pecan halves preferable soaked overnight and dehydrated
via Maple Pecan Pie.
I’ve been searching for great appetizer recipe and when I came across this recipe on MyRecipes I just knew I had to try it. It originated in the 2009 Southern Living Cookbook. The only issue I have with it is that I would have to refrain from eating the whole plate! I had a reader suggest to omit the olives, chives and pepper and instead add chopped dried cranberries. I think I like her version even better!
By the way, if you are wondering about the photographer of the amazing pecan appetizer photo go check her website out. Jennifer Davick Photography She has some amazing images. I love great food photos and if I ever get around to writing that cookbook I have dreams of writing then I know who I would like to do the photography!
“Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites Recipe”
“3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper
80 large toasted pecan halves
Stir together cream cheese, olives, chives, and pepper. Spread onto 40 large toasted pecan halves; top with 40 large toasted pecan halves, forming sandwiches.
Something tells me this amazing place would not meet any American building codes. But I find it amusing, creative and fantastic!
“The Krzywy Domek is an irregularly-shaped building in Sopot, Poland. Its name translates in to English as the Crooked House.”