• Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food,  Permaculture

    Clueless attempts at Permaculture: 3.5 months

    The good news is: food is actually growing. The half-dozen pots of lettuce I had planted as we were getting settled are large and we are consistently pilfering leaves for salads. We’ve had our first little crop of radishes and celery, green onions and herbs are in abundance. Almost every tiny bit of space that could be eked out of what used to be our driveway has been put to good use. Combined with our new little property (see below), this feels like a tremendous amount of plants for me. The thing is, while I have always loved to garden and have always had one, up to now it has…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food

    The chicken saga

    As part of our shift to try to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle I wanted to have animals to help provide more protein for our diets (eggs, milk, cheese). The tricky part is that I have no clue what I’m doing. Perhaps you don’t know this already, but I’m not exactly a farm girl. We didn’t have animals when I was growing up – we didn’t even have house plants. My husband on the other hand, was raised in a swamp (at least for a little while) and had pigs, chickens and turkeys at various points in his childhood. The kicker is, he’s not here, he has been working in…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food

    My clueless attempts at permaculture.

    OK, so some of you may have been reading about our renovation process and how we are going about rehabilitating the cabinas we have purchased in the jungle. Part of this whole process however is the idea that we are going to live as self-sufficiently as possible and that means growing as much of our own food as we can. Our property is only about one acre: some of that is primary rain forest, some hillside, a large amount of driveway and some inhospitable cliff. We are trying to purchase a nearby property that would give us some actual farming space, but, like oh-so-many things in Costa Rica, it is…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food

    Why all the cool kids are growing pineapple

    There are pineapples growing in my garden. As a Canadian who was always struggling to get even tomatoes and peppers to grow in my short summer season, this is the height of tropical decadence. As a nutrition fiend and herbalist, there are some major health benefits to growing this fruit and I thought I would share a couple of them here. Pineapple has gained respect in the past couple decades or so in the health field because of the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain helps with the digestion of proteins, so it is sometimes found in digestive system supplements or weight loss products, but it also works to break down dead protein…

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  • Vitamins Minerals and Herbs (oh my!)

    3 Herbs to start Wildcrafting

    Tis the season for wildcrafting. If this is a term you are unfamiliar with, ‘wildcrafting’ means to find medicinal and culinary herbs and plants in their natural habitat and harvest them in a sustainable (read: not picking every last flower or enraging the Lorax) way. I am lucky enough to live in the Central Okanagan in an area where two ecosystems brush up against each other; one being desert like, and the other a wet rich cedar forest. Between these two areas there are many medicinal plants to be found, most of which people think of as weeds. While it can be dangerous to simply start picking and eating plants…

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  • Fabulous Food

    Why No-One Should Eat Wheat Ever

    Health practitioners and naturopathic doctors tend to shy away from sweeping statements, so when someone like Dr. Joseph Pizzorno announces flat out at a lecture that no one should eat wheat, it tends to stick with you. Dr. Pizzorno is well respected in the health industry. Among his many credentials, he has authored the definitive Textbook of Naturopathic Medicine, and is the co-founder of Bastyr University. His statement that no one should eat wheat came during a presentation about gut permeability and the damage it can do to the body. Alas, it also came during the dessert course at a beautiful winery, so it put a bit of a damper…

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