My Grandma Is Not A Hippie

An Early Imprint Becomes A Mother (of a) Quest Today is my paternal grandmother’s 99th birthday. On June 8, 1918, Ida Dorothy Hodges was born in a log house (not cabin, or she will correct you) in a hollow at the bottom of a small mountain in Surry County, North Carolina.  Except for a few summers, she lived in this well-loved family home until she married my grandfather, Walter Cecil Stone, at twenty.  I’ve heard whispered accounts at family gatherings ofRead more

Why Is Kale The New Beef?

“Kale is my best friend. I eat kale salad. I put kale in my smoothies, kale in my soup. Kale, kale, kale! I feel like Popeye. I love it. I definitely need variety or I get super bored, so I have to mix it up with different sauces and tahini or whatever.” – Alanis Morissette  discussing her kale obsession with Runner’s Did You Know? Kale is considered to be a form of wild cabbage. Kale’s official name borecole originates from the Dutch phrase forRead more

The Dream of the Blue Hen Video

Our little Mille Fleur Belgian Bantam hen just decided she wanted to come into the house to lay her egg this summer… at the feet of the blue hen in the bathroom. We didn’t train her to do this and we would actually prefer she not come into the house as there are three cats and two dogs in here. But she is insistent, so we let her in when we can shut the door and allow her the privacyRead more

The Gift of the Forest Mother

It’s a clear spring day and I wander into the woods behind the hen house, over the high ridge of the pond dam and its lady slipper orchid colony, into a low-lying forest carpeted with giant ferns… a place I never go because of the snakes I envision encountering there.  I am searching for a lost Belgian bantam, a friendly, speckled chicken the size of a wind-up toy.  Stepping gingerly over logs, my eyes scanning for the faintest flutter ofRead more

Mindfully Growing Greens

So, the White House is growing their own organic, first family garden and Jamie’s Food Revolution is inspiring a national run on home gardening supplies.  Just before following this welcome trend and jumping with abandon onto the family gardening bandwagon, what if we paused long enough to shift the impetus for polishing our hoes from fear of fast food to appreciation for life?   Would a mindful approach to growing food ensure our investments weren’t based on fads, but our commitmentRead more

Spiritual Composting

Windsong, a small white horse rented to carry a diamond engagement ring in a leather bag draped around his neck, dug in his hooves at the bottom of the arched wooden bridge named Crim Dell on Virginia’s College of William and Mary campus. Unmovable, the horse made the knight in shining plastic armour fish the ring out of the bag and walk to meet his dumbstruck college sweetheart standing alone on the footbridge. While the knight was capturing his fairRead more

Our Favorite Organic Seed Catalogs (And Why You Should Support Them!)

Below you will find the seed catalogs that I have grown up with as a home gardener, then organic CSA farmer and now a home biodynamic gardener.  I am especially fond of Baker Creek Seeds, as I remember their first colorful and homey catalog with Jere Gettle’s passion for seed collecting jumping off of every page in 1998, the year I was gardening with a toddler in tow.  I have followed him and his young family as he has beenRead more

Worldviews, Heroes Journeys and Home-canned Tomatoes

This Thanksgiving I will be caravanning with family members to my father’s boyhood home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to feast on homemade dishes and reconnecting stories.  Over the nearly half century of my life, my grandmother’s home has served as a pool of clear water that I journey to through a forest of childhood memories to reflect and remember what was it was like to think as child, a teenager, a new mother, and this year,Read more

Elephant Garlic Now at Our New Partners at Virginia Gourmet

“No, it’s not the protected Yorktown Onion!” I promised a friend who shook her head and looked at me incredulously stuttering, “I can’t accept that.”  Why not?  Are you a Nosferatu?  Even if she were a vampire, elephant garlic isn’t a true garlic, so I am not sure it would have the same deleterious effect.  The large, purple pompom bloom at the top of the three to four foot long stalk does resemble the famous, and protected Yorktown Onion, but itsRead more