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Bringing elements of the homestead to everyday life.

fermentation • cooking • herbalism • foraging • traditional crafts • cooking • community


Women's Heritage

Always an honor to be featured on Rip & Tan! Click here to read or see below.

Raw Chocolate Truffles from Women’s Heritage

Chocolate has a near-ancient history—some historians estimate that humans’ consumption of the cacao bean began around 2000 years ago, and some date its origins even further back than that. It’s hard to place exactly when chocolate was born, but it’s safe to say this has been the go-to sweet treat for, well, ever! Native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America, the cacao tree, or Theobroma cacao (Latin translation: “food of the gods”) is a flowering plant that produces cacao seeds, which, when sun-dried and cold-pressed, results in raw chocolate. It’s been said that with minimal processing and intervention, raw chocolate preserves the vitamins, antioxidants and minerals naturally present in cacao.

This recipe from our friends at Women’s Heritage uses dates and dried currants instead of refined sugars to add a few more healthful benefits without sacrificing any of the rich satisfaction of a chocolatey treat. In fact, we think these substitutions make this treat even better. Emma Moore, resident chef at Women’s Heritage, told us that she’d been making these for her family for years: “Because selfishly, I wanted a sweet treat that I felt good giving our kids.” To that we say: there’s nothing selfish about indulging something sweetly nourishing, unless you save them all for yourself—in which case, we wouldn’t blame you. Plus, these truffles are dairy-free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy! XXJKE



  1. In a double boiler, heat cocoa butter until almost melted (heat not to exceed 118 if still want it to be raw)
  2. Place cashews, pecans and cocoa butter in food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  3. Add cocoa powder, dates, currants and sea salt. Pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and a chocolate dough forms.
  4. Roll into 1 ½ inch balls. Roll or sprinkle truffles in choice ingredient(s).
  5. Refrigerate for up to one hour.

Recipe Notes

  • 1 teaspoon maca powder-adaptogenic, positive effect on hormone balance, energy & aphrodisiac
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen - immunity booster & antioxidant
  • 1 teaspoon baobab powder - energy release, immune function & healthy skin
  • 1 teaspoon goji berries - antioxidant & immune booster
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa nibs - magnesium, potassium &  increase mood
  • Pinch of chilli powder - antioxidant, energy booster & increase cognitive function
  • Pinch of turmeric - antioxidant & anti-inflammatory
  • Pinch of cardamon - reduces nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, loss of appetite & constipation
  • Pinch of cinnamon - lower blood sugar levels & reduce heart disease risk factors
  • Drop of vanilla or 1 vanilla bean, scraped - magnesium, potassium, calcium & aphrodisiac

*The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Roll in or sprinkle on ideas:

Roll in or sprinkle on ideas:

  • Cacao powder
  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Maca powder
  • Rose petals
  • Lavender
  • Grated Lemon rind
  • Crushed seeds or nuts like pepitos, walnuts, almonds or hemp seeds
  • Foraged finds like shepards purse, chia sage seeds, etc.

Photos: Lauren Ross


    Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

    Women's Heritage


    Ketchup is usually a preferred condiment in most households and this recipe does not disappoint. Slightly sweet and spicy with just the right amount of tang from the fermentation process, this ketchup recipe has become our family's favorite. 

    Use on anything you would put traditional ketchup on. Our favorites are roasted sweet potato wedges and eggs. 


    ● 2, 6 ounce cans tomato paste
    ● 1/4 cup raw honey, maple syrup or whole unrefined cane sugar
    ● 2 tablespoons fresh whey or water kefir
    ● 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, plus extra for thinning the ketchup,
    if desired
    ● 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
    ● 1 teaspoon allspice
    ● 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ● 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


    1. Spoon tomato paste into a large mixing bowl and stir in raw honey or other
    natural sweetener of choice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons fresh whey or
    water kefir into the sweetened tomato paste along with apple
    cider vinegar, sea salt, allspice and cloves. Continue whisking these
    ingredients together until the paste is smooth and uniform.
    2. Spoon the homemade ketchup into a mason jar and cover with a
    cloth or lid and allow the ketchup to sit at room temperature, undisturbed,
    for three to five days.
    3. After three to five days, uncover the homemade ketchup and give it a
    thorough stir before transferring to the refrigerator. Naturally fermented
    homemade ketchup will keep for several months in the refrigerator.


    Love, Emma

    Our Own Turkey

    Women's Heritage

    I am excited to share this post with you all.  I just want to be clear we are by no means pushing our views on others but we have chosen to eat meat and we are trying to raise our own animals for food to understand and be connected to the entire process of our choice.  Please be aware there are some photos that may disturb certain readers below. 


    This was first time raising our own Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey for the Thanksgiving table.  We started with a chick and in May and ended with a big, fat turkey in November.  It ended up being the tastiest turkey I have ever eaten (my husband, Keith smoked it on the Santa Maria BBQ)  and we were proud  to share it with our extended family for our Thanksgiving meal. The kids were included in every step along the way, including the harvest, and knew the destiny of our bird when we brought it home. We always thank each animal for it’s life and the gift of food it is giving our family before the slaughter. I would also like to mention that feeling sad and uncomfortable or any other emotion during the harvest completely normal and part of the process!

    I pictured raising our turkey by itself and only on turkey feed, but when it was the size of the chickens I ended up putting it on the chicken coop with our hens. I kept meaning to take it out and finish it on specific turkey feed but honestly I got too busy and it never happened. So though I didn't "finish" our turkey properly, I have to say I learned that you can have an incredible tasty turkey finishing it on Modesto Milling organic chicken layer and it was incredibly easy and convenient!

    We are by no means expert butchers but my husband and I have had some experience and we worked together to harvest our very large turkey.  Here was our process:


    • Sharp Knives 
    • "Killing cone" that you will be place the bird in upside down ( we made our own in pic below)
    • Clean table
    • Clean cutting board
    • Buckets for blood, entrails and feathers
    • Clean towels
    • Scalding bucket big enough for turkey and water at 145’
    • Cooler with ice to put the finished bird in
    • A fresh water hose for rising bird

    Before our harvest we make sure we have a clean table space to work on the bird after it is butchered. We have a large bucket (that the turkey will fit in) at 145’ ready for scalding it after butcher, this helps the plucking process.  Beforehand  we make sure our "killing cone" (see where to buy below) is all set up and secured and lastly we make sure our knives are sharp. We also, think about storage of the bird, we slaughtered Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving so we did not have to freeze it, we just kept it on ice before brining it the day before Thanksgiving.


    1. First catch the turkey, carry by the feet and place in killing cone.  Pull the head firmly through the bottom.
    2. Cut the throat and through the jugular vein, make sure head is all the way down in order to let it bleed out as quickly as possible. We usually hold the legs at this point too. This process can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
    3. Once the turkey was dead we took the big tail feather out to save.  Then we placed it in the scalding  bucket for roughly 5 minutes swirling it around and checking to see when the feathers removed easily.
    4. Once the feathers could be removed easily we brought it onto one side of the table and plucked the entire bird.
    5. At that point my husband cut off the head at the base of the neck and at the feet.
    6. This part is a little tough but you’ll need to make a big enough area at the base of the neck to be able to reach in and remove the intestines etc.  You’ll have to cut the muscle around the base of the neck to get it out.
    7. At that point we were able to reach into the bird and take out the entrails and lungs.
    8. We then rinsed the bird inside and out and then packed in ice

    I look forward to learning more about raising poultry for food and perfecting our harvest techniques and hope to continue raising and appreciating our own Thanksgiving turkey!

    Thanks for reading, Lauren


    "Poultry Fattening for Meat" by Edward Brown

    Link to purchase Killing Cones

    Photos by Brittany Smith


    Women's Heritage

    Skin Health for Beauty and a Healthy Body

    Ashley picking calendula_preview.jpeg

    Taking good care of our skin not only keeps us looking healthy, radiant and beautiful, but it also supports the health of the entire body. Without knowing it, most people are sabotaging their skin, which disrupts the health and balance of their bodies.

    Luckily, it is both simple and pleasurable to care for our skin, and you can give your body’s largest organ the royal treatment with a few easy techniques: regular dry-brushing and bathing, exercise, avoiding wearing synthetic fabrics, keeping a healthy diet, and using only products that are completely pure and natural, with organic ingredients and free of any preservatives and toxins.

    By now, many of us know that our skin is our largest organ. But what does it do?  Beyond keeping our insides all wrapped up and providing a barrier against germs and infection, our skin performs the the important functions of respiration (breathing) and excretion (expelling toxins out of our bodies).  If our skin cannot do one or the other function, our kidneys, liver, and lymph are having to pick up the slack.

    The skin cannot perform its duties if the pores become blocked. The pores are the way through which toxins exit the body, and if they are clogged, these toxins will accumulate and remain in the body. Things that can block the pores include dead skin cells as well as products such as most lotion and other moisturizers.


    In order to keep dead skin cells from blocking your pores, a good practice is dry brushing and regular bathing. Dry brushing involves using a natural bristle brush to brush the skin in little strokes, always starting from the extremities and brushing towards the heart, before bathing. This both exfoliates the skin and promotes circulation.

    As for what we put on our skin, it is important to first consider, “could I eat this product.”  The body has to process the things our skin absorbs just as it has to process the food we eat.  Moisturizers and cleansers should be made with organic ingredients and not contain any preservatives or chemicals. It is important to note that just because something is sold in a health food store, that does not necessarily make it healthy. Most of the lotions and creams you will find on the shelves contain plenty of toxins, even if they are “organic.”

    We will continue to hold workshops and post recipes and techniques for healthy DIY skincare, and our Women’s Heritage skincare line “Beautyshare” is always free of chemicals, toxins, and preservatives, made with the highest quality ingredients. We think of it like health food for your skin!

    With proper care, our hard-working skin will be radiant and beautiful, helping to rid the body of poisons and help us stay healthy.

    Be well!

    Love, Ashley

    *This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed health care practitioner.


    Women's Heritage


    What I love most about the holidays are the traditions that encompass the season. One of our favorite family traditions this time of year is making gingerbread houses. This year Lauren, Ashley and myself thought it would be so fun to get all of our kids together to make their own!

    Although I have made gingerbread houses completely from scratch, I find that making homemade icing (aka edible glue) and using graham crackers and sugar cones as a base is just the right size for our kids. Seeking a more natural approach to gingerbread house decorating I like to use dried fruits and nuts and bits of nature like sprigs of rosemary or evergreen.

    Below you will find my favorite icing recipe and a list of decorating ingredient ideas. The almond extract really adds a nice flavor to the icing but if you are in a pinch and don't have almond extract, vanilla will do. 

    Gingerbread house icing (aka edible glue)


    • 3 egg whites room temperature
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


    1. In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until foamy. Add powdered sugar gradually. Once completely incorporated beat on high speed until mixture is able to hold stiff peaks (probably 5 to 7 minutes). 

    2. Spoon batter into an icing bag and use immediately. Or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. 

    Gingerbread house walls and decorations


    • gingerbread house icing (recipe above) 
    • graham crackers
    • sugar cones (yes, the kind you would put ice cream in)
    • thin pretzel sticks
    • dried currants
    • dried cranberries
    • unsweetened and dehydrated shredded coconut
    • slivered almonds
    • pepitos
    • mini chocolate chips
    • bits of nature (sprigs of rosemary, evergreen,juniper berries, etc.)
    • cardboard square to build gingerbread house on or plate



    Let the creativity begin! Using graham crackers and/or sugar cone(s) as a base, start icing walls together, then adding decorations. Our kids had so much fun coming up with their own unique design. And they loved tasting the process too! 

    Happy Holidays and enjoy!


    Women's Heritage

    It's that time of year again!  Wreathing has always been a part our family holiday tradition.  I so clearly remember creating wreaths and garlands with my Mother and was always amazed how beautifully she could create a wreath and how perfectly she could tie a bow. Now I have kept the tradition alive with my own children, my daughters can hardly wait  until it's time to wreath!

    Some of the craftiest women I know have been intimidated by wreathing, but once they are doing it they have realized its quite simple and quite fulfilling!  This year Ashley, Emma and I spent the afternoon wreathing together.  Here are a few simple tips to create the prefect wreath for our front door.

    You'll need:

    • Greenery
    • Scissors/clippers
    • Bendable branches or wreath base
    • Ribbon for bow if desired 
    • Wire and wire cutters
    • Hot glue gun

    How to:

    1. Look around your yard!  You'll be surprised what you can gather just around your yard or if you don't have a yard go to your local park and take a look.  Here in California we have Toyon, Bay leaf, Eucalyptus,  Rosemary, pine, Olives and more, all which make great wreaths. When we get our Christmas tree I always ask if I can have extra pine cuttings from the farm.

    2.  To begin your wreath you need 2 thick, bendable branches, grapevines are ideal but many other types of branches can work.  You can aways buy a wreath base if you can't find good branches for a base.  Once you have linked them in a circle the size you want your wreath you can interconnect them or use wire to secure.


    3. Now for the fun part! Begin adding greenery to your wreath.  It's good to think about what you want as the base greenery for your wreath, wether it's pine, olives or anything else you may have.  From there you keep adding, twisting the branches and leaves into the base and other added branches to secure. You can always use wire to secure as well. Get creative, try different things and watch your wreath grow.   I like to add the special and limited greenery or flowers I have to the bottom of my wreath and balance both sides which gives a nice frame to put a bow, but your creation is up to you!

    4. Now for the bow.  Cut 3 strips of ribbon, each one a couple inches shorter than the other and then 1 piece about 4 inches long. The largest piece will be your tail, the ribbon hanging down from your bow, so decide how long you would like it and go from there.  Now lay your tail piece out on the table, take your next shortest piece which is your first bow layer,  fold ends together tie they touch and lay in the middle of tail ribbon, do the same with the next piece which is your next bow layer and now lay that piece on top of your first bow layer. Squeeze in the middle, you should now start seeing a bow!  You can now use a piece of wire to secure and then take your 4 inch piece and wrap around center of the bow, secure with hot glue gun or wire. Now secure entire beautiful bow to the wreath with wire or hot glue gun as well. You can also use different ribbons to layer your bows...

    5. Congrats you have made your wreath, now where are you going to put it??

    Happy Holidays! 

    Love, Lauren 

    Rose Hip Syrup

    Women's Heritage


    Every year at about this time we make rose hip syrup.  The whole family enjoys it, whether drizzled over pancakes or taken by the spoonful for a healthful vitamin C boost.  Easily harvested with a small twist, the rose hip is actually the fruit of the rose, and develops as a red, roundish seed pod after the flowers drop off.   You can use the hips off of your garden roses, as long as they are not sprayed with any pesticides, or you can forage for wild rose hips in the late summer through autumn.

    Rose hips are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C known, and I like to give a spoonful to each member of our family in leu of vitamin tablets.  This recipe also uses the petals of the rose.  It's optional, but I love the extra complexity of taste they bring to the syrup.  Honey is another main component of the recipe, and is another one of our favorite medicines.  We use it on cuts and scrapes, to soothe a sore throat, and as an ingredient in cough syrups, face masks, and many other important products in our household.  It is antimicrobial, making it an excellent preservative, and it also contains important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 


    You can order dried rose hips from reputable online companies such as Mountain Rose Herbs, but if you use fresh, as we do, first you will need to prepare them.  With a sharp knife, cut each rose hip lengthwise, scraping out the seeds and fine hairs and reserving the fruit.  Once all the fruit is cleaned and de-seeded you are ready to begin.  If you'd like to make your syrup extra special, fill a small jar with rose petals (you can cut them up if they are fresh, or use a mortar and pestle to grind them up a little if they are dried) and cover the petals with brandy.  Cover the jar, shake, and let it infuse for 24hrs up to a month or more.  When you are ready to make your syrup, strain out the petals reserving the brandy.  

    To make your syrup you will need:


    - 4c filtered water or rainwater
    - 2c cleaned rose hips (or 1 and 1/4 dried)
    - a splash of rose petal-infused brandy (plain brandy also works just fine)
    - a handful of fresh or dried rose petals (optional)
    - 1 to 2c honey, depending on preference 


    1. Place the water and rose hips in a sauce pot and simmer until reduced by 1/2.

    2. Turn off the heat, add rose petals (optional), cover, and let steep 5-10 minutes. 

    3.  Strain out and compost the solids, reserving the liquid.  Return liquid to pot.

    4. Add honey and brandy to the pot, and stir until combined.  Pour your syrup into sterilized bottles and keep in a cool, dry place or the fridge.

    Any leftover rose hips can be cleaned and dehydrated, then stored in a glass jar with a tight lid.  You can use these in your tea, or to make more syrup next time.


    Love, Ashley

    Homemade Granola

    Women's Heritage


    Soaking grains can help ease digestion and make nutrients more readily available to the body. This granola uses this technique and the result is more flavorful and nutrient rich granola. I like to use dried tart cherries, coconut chips and hazelnuts but really any dried fruits and nuts will do!


    • 5 cups gluten free oats
    • 1 cup coconut kefir, coconut yogurt or coconut milk
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • 1/8 cup chia seeds
    • 1 cup roasted and coursely chopped hazelnuts
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey or agave)
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsweetened dried tart cherries


    1. Combine oats, water and coconut milk in large bowl. Mixture should be moist but not wet. Cover and let sit for 24 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees farenheit
    3. Add coconut chips, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and hazelnuts. Mix until incorporated.
    4. In a small saucepan over medium heat lightly melt coconut oil and add maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Stir well.
    5. Add maple syrup and oil mixture to oat mixture.
    6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly divide and spread out granola mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or longer until dark golden brown, stirring mixture every 15 minutes to promote even browning. Set cookie sheets on a cooling rack. Once cool add dried cherries send transfer to airtight container.

    Enjoy on yogurt, in porridge or as a stand alone snack. The possibilities are endless. Granola makes a great gift for any occasion as well:)

    Love, Emma

    Sunset Magazine Feature

    Women's Heritage

    IMG_8000 (1).jpg

    We are thrilled to be in the November 2017 Issue of Sunset! 

    When friends Lauren Malloy, Ashley Moore and Emma Moore (no relation) - an animal specialist, folk herbalist and expert home cook, respectively- set out to teach old-school skills like cow milking and cheesemaking, they weren't sure how many people would show up. But shortly after the Santa Barbra County- based trio launched Women's Heritage roughly two years ago, their monthly workshops (which run the gamut from welding to wreath making) began selling out. Now they have opened Heritage Goods and Supply, a country-style general store in beach-centric Carpinteria, where they stock Instagram ready ingredients for the urban homestead lifestyle- think Weck jars and Current Elliot denim. Got questions on beekeeping, growing an herbal remedy garden, or raising backyard chickens? You'll find tips (and baby chicks!) on hand. The goal say the women, is to bring back community. "You can keep your modern life and bring in elements from the years past," says Ashley. "When you make something from scratch, you have a connection to it and all the people you made it with."

    -Words by Jennifer Blaise Krammer


    Apple Butter Sourdough Hand Pies

    Women's Heritage


    It's that time of year. The days are becoming shorter, the air is crisper, leaves are changing colors and apple season is in full swing. This year our apple tree is over abundant which means I found myself coming up with all sorts of ways to preserve our harvest. Last year I made a lot of apple sauce. This year I found myself canning apple butter (don't worry, the recipe is below). For this reason I came up with the idea to make pop tarts using homemade apple butter and it turned out to be a fun project to include my kids on too!

    This recipe uses apple butter as a filling to make a scrumptious sourdough pop tart (aka jam hand pie) dusted with cane sugar but really, any fruit butter will do! It also features a sourdough pie crust that I have highlighted before (see post on tea, pie and eggs). Of course if you are in a pinch you can just use store bought pie dough in place of the homemade kind. Same is true for the fruit butter.


    For the sourdough pie dough:

    • 1 cup white flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 2 sticks butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled*
    • 1 cup sourdough starter

    For the hand pie:

    • ⅓ cup apple butter (see recipe below)

    For the hand pie topping:

    • 1 egg, whisked
    • Cane sugar for sprinkling


    For the pie dough:

    1. Using 2 pastry blenders blend together the flours, salt and sugar.
    2. Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal, with some chunks of butter remaining.
    3. Gradually stir in the starter and fold in with a spatula until it starts to come together.
    4. Gather the dough into two equal balls, wrap with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 7 hours or overnight.

    To make hand pie:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. 
    2. Working with half the dough, roll it out and using a round cookie cutter cut out 14 equal sized circles.
    3. Fill seven circles with a dollop of apple butter (about 1 heaping tablespoon) each. Top each with another circle of pie dough and press the edges with a fork to seal them.
    4. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet, prick the ropes of each tart to make air holes and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cane sugar.
    5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.
    6. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. 

    And if you'd like making your own apple butter 

    Apple Butter


    • 5 lbs apples
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 cups water
    • 4 cups brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon


    1. Core and cut the apples into quarters, without peeling them.
    2. Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
    3. Purée apple mixture using blender a blender or fine mesh sieve.
    4. Return puréed Apple mixture to large pot and add sugar, spices and lemon rind and juice.
    5. Cook uncovered on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. Cook until thick and smooth.
    6. Sterilize canning jars.
    7. Pour Apple butter into hot, sterilized jars and seal. 
    8. You can of course just put in the refrigerator to keep or if you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.

    Enjoy your fall! Emma

    Photos by Brittany Smith

    Stressed? Try Magnesium Oil!

    Women's Heritage


    High levels of stress, trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, muscle cramps, and chronic pain can all be symptoms of poor magnesium uptake. The studies I have read show that less than 30% of Americans are getting enough magnesium, and we need this vital mineral for the proper health of our bones, teeth, muscles and joints.

    Magnesium levels in our bodies become depleted when we drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda, when we eat refined sugar and when we are under excess stress. Naturally occurring sources of magnesium are less available to us because over-farming has depleted the mineral levels in our soil and water filtration can remove the minerals from our drinking and cooking water.

    In our family, we take CALM magnesium supplement from time to time, but our preferred method of upping our magnesium levels is topically. Swimming in the ocean is our favorite way to replenish magnesium, although since we are not able to do this every day we make our own magnesium "oil" and keep it in a spray bottle. After baths we spray it directly on our skin before applying lotion or herbal oil to moisturize.

    Sometimes topical magnesium can feel itchy when first applied. This only lasts for a few minutes. Some say if you become itchy that is a sign that your magnesium levels are depleted, and once they are restored you won't have that reaction. I find that applying lotion or herbal oil after spraying on magnesium oil keeps us from feeling itchy, and it also helps to use less magnesium flakes and more water in your recipe if you find yourself to be sensitive.

    Making your own magnesium oil spray is simple:

    1. Put 1c magnesium chloride flakes into a glass or ceramic bowl.
    2. Pour 1c of freshly boiled distilled water over your flakes.
    3. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flakes are dissolved.
    4. Once your mixture cools a bit, pour it into a spray bottle and store on the shelf in your bathroom.

    You can make less or more, depending on your family size and how often you will be using your spray. Just use a 1:1 ratio of magnesium chloride flakes to distilled water.

    Don't forget to take your calcium too as it helps with magnesium absorption. 

    Wishing you lots of calm energy and restful sleep!


    Photos by Lauren Ross


    Women's Heritage


    Most store bought coconut yogurt has extra fillers like gums and carrageenan. I like to make my coconut yogurt with fresh Thai young coconuts and without the fillers. The recipe below just involves two ingredients and the flavor is out of this world.

    How To Make Raw, Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt:

    Makes about 1 quart


    • 1 Thai young coconut
    • 2 probiotic capsules


    • Vitamix or blender of choice
    • 1 quart glass jar with lid



    1. Sterilize the jar: Either by using your dishwasher or submerging the glass jar in hot boiling water for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    2. Open two Thai young coconuts by piercing a large hole in the top of the coconut and pouring the coconutwater into the Vitamix then scrape the inside of the coconut so that all flesh can be used in the yogurt mixture as well. Blend on high for a minute or so.

    3. Open the probiotic capsules and pour the powdery contents over the milk (discard the capsule’s casing). Blend for 30 seconds.

    4. Pour the coconut mixture into the sterilized jar and screw on the lid. Place into the oven set at 100 degrees F — turn the oven light on to keep the environment warm. Alternatively, use a yogurt maker, place into a dehydrator at 110°F or use a insulated camping cooler with a pot of boiling water inside the cooler. Leave for 12 to 24 hours without disturbing.

    5. Place the set yogurt into the fridge and chill for at least 6 hours. The yogurt will become thicker as it chills.

    6. Keep coconut yogurt refrigerated and use within 2 weeks.

    Enjoy, Emma

    Photos by Brittany Smith

    Orange Blossom Shrub

    Women's Heritage


    Simply put, a shrub is a drinking vinegar that includes vinegar, fruit and sugar. Once the drinking vinegar is created you can add bubbly water or spice it up a bit by adding alcohol and maybe even some bitters. There are so many different ways to make shrubs. Some recipes invite you to heat all of the ingredients before straining and using. Others require no cooking at all. I prefer the later. I also love to use Braggs apple cider vinegar due to it’s raw, unfiltered quality. I figure I might as well get extra health benefits from the drinking vinegar I create and indulge in. Below is one of my favorite fall/wintertime shrub drinks. If you don't have orange blossoms on hand just sub more oranges.


    1 cup orange blossoms
    1 orange
    2 cups sugar
    1 ½  cups apple cider vinegar                                                                                          


    1. In a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the orange blossom, flesh of one orange (peel and pith removed) and sugar. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler to smash the fruit a bit.

    2. Cover and refrigerate.

    3. After about a week strain out the fruit with a mesh sieve. Add the vinegar and taste the mixture. If it’s to your liking, that's it. It should taste fruity with a mellow vinegar flavor. Pour the syrup into a clear jar.

    Your shrub should keep well, covered in the fridge, for three weeks.

    To make a non-alcoholic cocktail just add 1 ½ parts shrub mixture to 2 parts tonic water, aka bubbly water (more or less tonic water can be added given your taste preference. If you want a little alcohol in your cocktail add one part shrub, 1 ½ parts alcohol of choice and one part tonic water.




    Women's Heritage

    We are beyond thrilled to be announcing the Grand Opening of our new store "Heritage Goods and Supply".   We have been working so hard over the past several months to bring you the goods sand supplies you need to  bring elements of the homestead home!

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    We have a range of from animal husbandry supply to wood working supply to herbal supply to kitchen supply to clothing and more!

    Vendors will include Modesto Milling, Joie, Dansko shoes, Patagonia, Yeti, Blundstone Boots, Current Elliot Denim, Weck Jars, Brookes Boswell Hats, Urban Coop Company. 

    Local artisans include Maddie Gordon, Kara Thoms, Garment Farmer, Bolt West, Butterbean Studios, Madewell, Four Leaf and so many more!

    Heritage Goods & Supply will occupy the building that was once Rincon Cycles. It has been transformed with the helping hands of our husbands and friends! We feel so lucky to have the support of our family's community and be sharing the things we love with you all!

    See you on the 26th of August for our Grand Opening!


    Lauren, Emma and Ashley


    Women's Heritage

    I remember my first sourdough starter experience. I actually received some from an acquaintance. However, after about a month I threw the starter away because I thought it was bad (there was a thin layer of brownish liquid on top). Little did I know that this was okay and that I just needed to add a tad more flour to the mixture or feed my starter in more regular intervals. Regardless, I decided to start over and make it myself and I haven't looked back.

    With sourdough, all you need is flour and water and the wild yeasts in the air around you to create a bubbly mixture capable of producing a bread that is full of flavor and texture. While taste is certainly enough reason to create a sourdough starter, it is not the only one. The process of souring the dough means that it is actually healthier for us. In essence, the acids created in the fermentation of the starter make flour more readily available for digestion. What is more, the fermentation process also produces good bacteria for the digestive system and makes gluten more easily digestible.

    Sourdough Starter


    • flour
    • filtered water


    • large jar to house your sourdough starter
    • scraper
    • cloth for covering the sourdough starter


    Starting the sourdough: Vigorously stir ¼ cup of flour and 3 tablespoons filtered water in a small bowl. Pour this into a jar and cover with a cloth but don’t seal it, and let it rest somewhere warm (70 degrees fahrenheit is optimal) and let it sit for twelve hours.

    Twelve hours later, stir in ½ cup flour with ¼ cup filtered water and scrape the sides of the jar. Continue adding ½ cup flour and ¼ cup water and scrape the sides of the jar every twelve hours for five days until your starter is bubbling.

    By now, you are hoping for bubbles and the start of a smell, something musty and soured. If this isn’t the case don't fret, just keep feeding and looking for the signs. Temperature, climate and other variations can make it take a little longer. 

    Maintaining the sourdough:

    After a week, your sourdough should be sturdy enough to bake with or consider storage. If you bake infrequently (you bake less than once a week) you can store your sourdough in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature and feed it well for two, twelve hour cycles before you plan to bake.

    Storing a sourdough starter in the fridge slows down the process such that they can be fed once a week, and in this case, it might be worth doubling the amount flour and water for feeding. If you bake more frequently (every day or a few times a week) you can store your sourdough at room temperature on your counter and feed it with ½ cup flour and ¼ cup filtered water (or ¼ cup flour and 2 tablespoons filtered water) once a day. 

    What to do with all of your starter:

    If you've made too much sourdough starter for the capacity of your jar, take some out and use it to make sourdough flatbread, biscuits, pancakes or crackers to name a few.

    Sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally-occurring lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a mildly sour taste and better inherent keeping qualities than other bread due to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli. This bread recipe has become a staple in our household. With a thick crackly crust and a soft and tangy interior it won't last long!

    No-Knead Sourdough Bread


    • 3 ½ to 4 cups (600 grams) flour
    • 1/4  cup (100 grams) sourdough starter (I feed my starter the night before or early in the morning)
    • 2 cups (350 grams) water
    • 1 teaspoon (10 grams) fine grained sea salt plus 1/4 cup water (25 grams)
    • Rice flour for dusting and prepping loaf.


    1. In a large bowl combine starter and water. Add flour and mix together until mixture comes together. Dough should not be too wet or too dry.
    2. Cover with a cloth and leave overnight for at least 8 hours. 
    3. Mix sea salt and 25 grams of water in small bowl. Add water/salt mixture to dough and squish to combine. Let rise for 4 more hours. 
    4. Form your loaf. Place a generous amount of rice flour on your kitchen counter. Scoop dough out onto the flour then sprinkle generously with more flour. Gently create a rectangle. Fold in thirds and then in thirds again to create a ball. 
    5. Place more rice flour on a clean tea towel. Invert the loaf with the seam side up and place back in bowl. Cover and let sit for 3 to 4 hours.  
    6. Place a large oven-proof dish with a lid in the oven (I use a dutch oven). Preheat oven to  500°F and the oven proof pan for at least 1/2 hour.
    7. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Remove lid. Gently place the loaf in the pan inverted so that the rougher surface is now on the bottom. Don’t worry about smoothing it out or having it centered – it will work itself out in the oven. Score the loaf if you wish. Turn the head down to 450°F.
    8. Pop the lid back on and bake for 20 minutes.
    9. Remove the lid and and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes until the loaf is deep brown.
    10. Cool on a wire rack uncovered for at least 30 minutes if you can wait that long.

    Enjoy, Emma

    Homemade Bug Spray

    Women's Heritage

    Summer is the season for camping, day hikes and beach barbecues, and it's also the season for bugs!  And for some reason, the bugs seem to really love me.  Conventional bug sprays have ingredients that are harsh on the environment and our bodies, so I make my own at home with natural ingredients - apple cider vinegar and herbs that are safe for people but ones that the bugs are not keen on.  

    To make your own bug spray, you will need: 

    -apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
    -lavender blossoms

    You can use either dried or fresh herbs.  If you are using fresh, chop them up and fill a mason jar 1/2-2/3 full.  Then, pour apple cider vinegar to the top, and screw on a plastic lid.  If you are using a metal lid, just put a piece of waxed paper in between the lid and the jar.

    If you are using dried herbs, they will expand when they begin to soak up the vinegar, so only fill your jar 1/3 full at most.  Then pour your apple cider vinegar up to the top and put on the lid.

    Give your jar a good shake, and set on the kitchen counter, or some other place out of direct sunlight where you will see it.  You will need to shake your jar at least once a day for two weeks, then let it sit for another two weeks if you have the time.  Strain out the solids, and you have your bug spray.  If you will use it directly on your skin, dilute it with water 1:1, and pour it into spray bottles.  If you are more likely to use it on your clothes and socks it's better to keep it full strength.  

    Happy summer!

    Love, Ashley

    Video by Nicole Halabisky

    Photos by Brittany Smith


    Women's Heritage

    We decided to get a pig last summer.  I had never owned a pig and was excited to jump in and see what these funny little creatures were like to own.  I knew I didn't want a giant pig and I knew I wanted a friendly breed and also one for meat, so I was lucky enough to find what for me is the perfect breed, the Kunekune!   

    Kunekunes are of Asian origin but have been in New Zealand since the 19th century.  They were an important part of Maori culture, and Kunekune means "fat and round" in their native language.  Kunekunes are the smallest of the meat breeds ad are known to be friendly, easy going, good mothers and intelligent. In fact they root less than most pigs because of their short snout and actually graze on grass too!

    After owning our Kunekune for several months we had the opportunity to get 3 more so of course we did!  We slaughtered one and it is the best pork I have ever tasted!  With the 3 we have now I am going to try to breed and am so excited to have piglets.

    All pigs need basic care, shelter, food water and love. Pigs also need a place to wallow (yes - be in the mud) so they can regulate their temperature when it's too hot. Our piggies eat EVERYTHING! So all our compost and extra food goes to them, I also feed them hay and a little ration of grain everyday. It's easy to overfeed a pig as they seem so hungry all the time, so make sure your pig is staying a healthy weight. I have automatic water in their pen which always helps minimize chores. I have straw bedding in their shelter and they seem to love to make nests in it. Pigs are very social and need attention to thrive, especially if alone.  I let mine out during the day and they roam around our few acres, and with a "piggy piggy call" and some grain they come running into the pen to be locked in at night.  From my experience these pigs are incredibly easy going and adorable.

    I love my animals, so you might be wondering how we could slaughter one.   Just because we are raising the pigs for meat does not mean we withhold love or proper care for them.  We honor the animal we are slaughtering by doing our best to give it a good life while we raise it, and thank it for it's life.  Death makes me uncomfortable and sad, so I am not the one to make the kill.  But I have chosen to eat meat, so I feel better knowing the animal had a good life and was loved, but this still doesn't mean it's easy.   

    Though I have not owned any other breed of pig the Kunekune has my heart for it's easy going ways, adorable little faces and tasty meat!  Stay tuned for a post when there are piglets!

    Oink Oink,


    Photos by Lauren Ross

    Jun Tea

    Women's Heritage

    Although I have been making my own Kombucha for years now, I recently was gifted a Jun scoby to ferment with. Jun is similar to making Kombucha but instead of using black tea and sugar it is brewed with green tea and honey. For this reason, there is a lower caffeine content (if any by the time it is fully fermented). 

    I have also found that by using green tea and honey together the flavor profile is lighter and fresher tasting. What is more, it takes less time to ferment than kombucha and is said to have a higher lactobacillus content. Which means it can be even healthier for our gut. The one down side of making jun is that it is definitely more expensive to produce due to the cost of honey versus sugar. Still, I do think the health benefits and the taste make it worth trying!


    • 1 Jun scoby (purchase here)
    • 2 teaspoons green tea or 2 green tea bags
    • 8 cups hot water
    • 1/2 cup raw honey
    • 1/2 cup Jun tea from a previous batch
    • one 1/2 gallon glass jar, cloth cover, rubber band
    • optional: glass bottles with stoppers


    1. Boil the water, remove from heat and let cool to 165 degrees fahrenheit. 
    2. Steep the tea for 2 minutes. The longer the tea steeps the stronger “green tea” flavor your Jun tea will have.
    3. Remove tea and set aside to cool between 96 and 104 degrees fahrenheit. Add honey and stir to dissolve. You can skip this step but the health benefits are greater when the honey is not heated at a higher temperature. 
    4. Pour this mixture into a ½ gallon container and add the scoby and previously cultured Jun tea.
    5. Cover the container with a cloth and secure with a rubber band.
    6. Allow to culture for 3 days. You can culture longer however the taste might just become more acid than you'd like. 
    7. Once pleasantly sour and still a little sweet, you can drink your tea right away or try second fermenting it for added bubbles. Think Kombucha Champagne, YUM!
    8. Save 1/2 cup of your Jun tea then repeat this process!
    9. Enjoy!

    xxoo Emma

    Photos by Lauren Ross

    Tea, pie and eggs with sheree

    Women's Heritage

    Sheree Commerford found us on instagram and asked if she could come meet and interview us.  We were already fans of her inspiring family blog "Captain and the Gypsy Kid" so of course we were excited to meet her... and when we did we knew we were all long lost soul sisters!  She spent the day making tea with Ashley, cooking with Emma and helping with Lauren's animals.  We talked about everything from family to style to chores to travel.   How we wish she didn't live so far away, but we'll have to do a Women's Heritage tour down under... Thank you again to Sheree for reaching out and writing such a great story on us.  Here it is! 


    I was so excited when I stumbled onto Women’s Heritage through Instagram. Here were these three women sharing and teaching life skills. Real life skills. Skills that allow you to live from the land and be self-sufficient. You! As in me, a woman. Their workshops won’t show you how to create a vignette for Instagram or give you fashionable tips for the season but they will share with you how to weld metal, care for a jersey cow and milk it making kefir and kefir cheese. How to master the art of fermentation or how to forage for nutritious weeds and flowers in your own garden. How to master horse grooming and saddling with the addition of my favourite part of any female gathering, wine and food tasting. Of late I have been feeling restless with my intention, my purpose. What skills do I really have? What am I contributing to the world and what am I teaching my children that will keep their feet firmly grounded in the soil…

    Tell us how you all met? How did the idea of Women’s Heritage come to life?

    We met at our children’s preschool.  We went on a family trip to the mountains together and began talking about how we wanted to learn one another’s skills and from there Women’s Heritage was born.  We held our first class on sourdough bread baking and it sold out within minutes of posting it! The day was so magical, we knew we were onto something.  From there we began a blog to share our how to’s, recipes and inspirations.  We are also so excited to announce we are opening a homesteading supply store this fall in Carpinteria, California.

    Define homestead and what it means in relation to Women’s Heritage?

    Homesteading has different meanings to different people. To us in this modern age, homesteading  means self-sufficiency, and learning how to make things from scratch like generations before us did.  Connecting to the land, food, animals, community and learning where things come from is empowering for ourselves and for our families. We strive to bring women together to resurrect the traditions and crafts of the past while encouraging a feeling of sisterhood and support.

    What was the moment when you realised that this was something worth sharing, that there was a growing need for this type of support and circle of learning for women?

    We ourselves wished to have more time to be with other women and learn from one another.  Each class leaves us with a feeling of fulfillment and knowledge.  We’ve created traditions within our classes to connect and learn more about each person.  There is no feeling better than learning something among supportive women and everyone leaves with something they created in their hands.

    Perhaps there might have been a time say in the 80’s and 90’s were these skills were socially given little value, and if anything, dismissed as being “domestic”. Why is it now you think women are gravitating back to these more traditional skills and giving them the respect and platform they deserve?

    It’s a pushback!  We feel that over the decades, modern conveniences have been helpful, but because of them we’ve forgotten we can actually hand make much of what we need if we so choose. There is a big movement of wanting to reconnect to the natural world around us and the things we are putting in and on our bodies, possibly because we are becoming more aware of the impact food and preservatives in skincare have on our health and well being.  The skills we teach are part of our heritage, and were passed down for generations until relatively recently.  We want to reestablish that connection, bring women together in learning, and empower people through independence and interdependence.

    I know I cannot survive as a healthy human, a generous partner or sane mother without my immediate community of women. How important is community is to WH? 

    Community is at the heart of Women’s Heritage!  Teaching and learning, sharing and growing in friendship are all pillars of why we started our business.  We together are more than the sum of our parts!

    Have you been surprised by the response and interest to what you are all doing?

    We have been very pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic response!  We have made so many good friends and learned so much, having lots of fun along the way.

    What role has motherhood played, if any, in the decision to seek out and nurture these forgotten skills and crafts?  

    Motherhood has ignited a passion for learning new skills that we can bring home and use to create a wholesome and fun environment for our families.  Baking bread, planting the garden, making herbal medicines – these things are even more enjoyable when shared with our children!  Becoming mothers encouraged each of us to really start living healthy lifestyles.

    I feel definitely that I have made no room in my life at present to discover new passions, new skills outside of my career and this makes me sad. What would you say to the sisterhood out there who feel overwhelmed or intimated by making such changes in their everyday life or might not feel so confident seeking out such a community?

    It takes much less time than you might think!  One afternoon of learning can offer years of inspiration.  And even if you don’t continue a newly learned skill right away, it is made forever accessible and you can include the aspects that work for you in your home.

    What do you look for when deciding on a skill share workshop?

    We hold workshops on subjects we are passionate about, or new skills that we are dying to learn ourselves.

    What does the future hold for WH? 

    We are really excited to announce the opening of a retail store – “Heritage Goods & Supply” in Carpinteria, CA, coming this August. Our store will feature a curated assortment of apparel, goods, and supplies for the urban homesteader – man, woman and child, and we will also have a teaching and learning space where we will host workshops.


    Ashley Moore | FOLK HERBALIST

    Describe the difference between a straight up herbalist and a folk herbalist?

    There are so many different types of herbalists – folk herbalists, clinical herbalists, community herbalists, professional herbalists, wise-woman herbalists… I like the title “folk herbalist” for what I do. I do not have a practice, and I rarely sell my medicines. It feels good to me to be able to offer healing help as a gift, to share what I’ve learned and to learn from others through classes or meeting for tea, and to keep myself and my family feeling healthy and happy with the earth’s medicine.

    I am so baffled at how much you know. You’re like a modern day wizard; a good witch making potions and spells that improve our health and wellbeing. Is this something you studied or was it self-taught?

    Thank you – I do like to think of myself as a good witch!  Herbalism is something I have been really interested in, even before I knew what the name of it was. I began reading books on plant medicine, herbal remedies and homemade beauty products when I was around six years old, and the idea that we could use the plants around us for our health  and wellbeing has always been fascinating to me. I am grateful for the online and correspondence courses available in herbalism, and I’ve taken as many as time and mothering allow. I have enjoyed studying  with master herbalists like Susun Weed and Rosemary Gladstar, and also at The Herbal Academy.  My dad is a doctor, and he has been a big inspiration to me to spend a lot of time on what you might consider the “medical” side of herbalism – the systems of the body, the herb-drug reactions and side effects, the chemistry and active constituents. But I would say most of my herbal education has been self-driven just out of pleasure – I try to read every book on the subject I can get my hands on, take classes offered by local plant experts, and spend as much time as possible out in nature, making medicines and working with the plants. It’s very rewarding! My children love to help me make tinctures and elixirs, salves and creams, and they especially enjoy helping me wildcraft the herbs. It’s such a fun way to spend time with them!

    Lets talk about the little shed in the back of your house where you keep all your herbs and dried ingredients; walk us through what it takes to collect and house these wonderful and mysterious plants.

    Oh, the little shed my children lovingly call “The Witch Hut”, and they each have their own space under the eaves to whip up their own concoctions!  The herbs that you see are nearly all from our garden and the foothills and mountains near our home. We collect what we need (never more!), hang it in bundles to dry, or dry it in the outdoor dehydrator, and then store it in glass jars for later use. We usually use up whatever we have within 6 months so we are in a constant state of replenishment. Because we mostly grow or wildcraft our herbs, my children and I get to know each plant in a really lovely way. I adore the entire process – growing, harvesting, hiking, wildcrafting, drying, storing, medicine-making and taking!  The herbs in here we use to make teas, herbal candies, cough drops, syrups, salves and ointments, tinctures and oxymels.  I love having on hand the things I will need to care for my family and friends, and the process of making medicine from start to finish is really as beautiful as it is empowering, as good for the soul as it is for the body.

    DIY Herbal Tea
    Making tea is a beautiful ritual at our house.  Herbal teas (tisanes) are so healing and nourishing to the mind, body and soul.  When I make a tea blend, I think about what my body and mind are craving.  Am I feeling tired or stressed?  Am I coming down with a cold?  Do I feel like I need some cleansing for my skin?  I also always think about how the tea will taste, and even how it will look.  I want my teas to be delicious and also delightful to look at.  So, for example, I might be thinking of a tea that is both good for my skin and nourishing for my whole body.
    I could use some nettle and calendula, then maybe I add rose petals and a sprinkle of blue cornflowers.  Not all of the teas I make are specifically medicinal.  Sitting in a cosy chair sipping a delicious cup of tea on a foggy day is great medicine on it’s own!  Sometimes I wildcraft herbs along the way when I am on a hike.  When I get home I like to make tea from what I gathered, and it reminds me of the hike.  I dry and store the herbs and can have a tangible reminder of my day on the mountain whenever I like.
    To make your own tea blend:
    1. Start with a few different (edible) leaves.  Some of my favorites are nettle, peppermint, and red raspberry.
    2. Next, add some (edible) flowers – rose, chamomile, calendula, cornflower are all delicious and look lovely in the blend.
    3. Start with a small scoop or handful of two types of leaves.
    4. Mix them together and see how they smell.  Then, smell your flowers.
    5. Use your intuition, add a few and smell again.
    6. Keep adding some of this and some of that until your blend looks and smells just right.
    A little practice and you will be a pro.
    xoxo Ashley
    Lauren Malloy | ANIMAL SPECIALIST
    What is an animal specialist?

    I have my degree in “Animal Science”, which was a four year program at University. The program was wonderful and I learned such a wide array everything ranging from animal anatomy to animal feed to animal behaviour. I have worked in many different ways with animals from helping with cattle ranch work to working with cheetahs in Africa.

    Have you always been this person, connected to the earth, to animals? Has ranch life always been a part of you or was there a moment or an experience that made it clear that this was the way you wanted to live?

    I have always loved animals and felt an incredible connection to these beings I can only communicate with through body language.  I grew up with lots of animals and even worked on dairy farm since an early age.  I would come home cover in manure but so happy!  I think those early days working on the dairy ( I worked there from age 8-18) it was clear there was no place I’d rather be and nothing I’d rather be doing.  I now have a family milk cow and sometimes I just sit with her and enjoy her company, being near my animals always been my happy place and still is!

    I know more and more people who reside closer to cities and suburbia who want to house chickens and bee’s, ourselves included. Do you have any advice for people wanting to farm animals in non rural areas?  

    Yes, do it!!!  But realize the commitment to the animals when you do!  Chickens and bees are such a great place to start.  When planning a chicken coop, make sure you have automatic water and a big feeder (makes life easier) and an appropriate coop and space for the chickens.  I got bees a year ago and have been learning so much from a mentor, so I would recommend finding a beekeeper so you can pick their brain!  My advice when considering getting any animal is do lots of research on what the animals needs  before hand and also ask people who have those animals you are interested in lots and lots of questions. And then just go for it, learn by doing!

     Tips for Keeping Chickens
    Chickens are perhaps some of the easiest animals to keep, and with one of the biggest rewards! There is nothing like fresh eggs in the morning or sharing our eggs, and I love knowing I’ll always have eggs for my recipes!
    There are many different ways to keep chickens, but here are a few things that I do to ensure that chicken keeping is easy for my family and my hens are happy and healthy.
    The first thing you need, of course,  is a secure chicken coop that wildlife and dogs cannot break into. That means having it set up so animals can’t tunnel into the coop, so there has to be wire underneath or wire dug deep into the perimeter.   Chickens need shelter in their coop, a nesting box, roosting poles and a run where they can be outside, but still protected.  The rule of thumb is 4 square feet in the coop for every chicken and 10 square feet in the run per chicken.  If you really want chickens and see yourself having them for a long time I would say invest in a nice solid, large coop. You can build it yourself, buy a kit or, like I did, hire a local carpenter to build a coop.
    Something I discovered along the way is that having an automatic waterer makes chicken keeping a lot easier.  They are inexpensive and really easy to install, so build your chicken coop near where a hose bib is located.  The other thing I do is I have a very large feeder that I only have to fill about once a week.  We also feed our chickens fruit, vegetables and grain scraps daily.  They love it and we reduce our food waste.
    Lots of people let their chickens out daily and then when they return to roost they close them in for the night.  I prefer to keep my chickens in the coop most of the time and if I do let them out, it is just before dark and roosting.  We have lost several chickens by letting them out and they make a mess in my yard and eat my garden.  We made sure in designing our coop they’d have enough room to stay in most of the time.  Another option is having a coop that can be moved around, but I haven’t tried that yet.
    Chickens lay according to the amount of sun light, so remember they lay less in the winter and start to lay more as the days get longer. Chickens slow down their laying as they get older, so I like to get new chicks every other year to ensure we have plenty of eggs.
    I don’t have a specific breed of chicken I like best.  When I get chicks I usually do a variety because I like the look of having all different types, and then the eggs are different colors too.
    Chickens are fun and easy, my kids love them and we get the best tasting, healthiest eggs around.  We reduce our food waste, use their manure as fertilizer and just enjoy having them around.  Even after years of raising chickens I am still learning new things, but the only way to really learn is to do it!
    Happy chicken keeping!
    Love, Lauren

    Just being around you I wanted to start cooking differently. Actually let’s be honest, it made me want to start cooking period!! You actually sounded more like a doctor who was creating the most delicious medicine. There’s a whole other layer to this than just cooking…how do I describe what you do?

    I try to provide myself and my family the healthiest lifestyle possible. After all, they are the ones that have inspired me to cook the way I do. I believe my quality of life, health and environment are related to the foods that we put in our bodies. As such,  I do treat food as a medicine. It can be preventative, healing and restorative.

    To do this, I try to find the freshest and purest ingredients possible. This means growing what I can in my small backyard urban garden, foraging local seasonal edible plants from the trails and sourcing other ingredients from the local farmers market when possible. In essence, I like to know where my food comes from.

    Part of my approach to cooking this way includes fermentation that not only adds flavor but creates an array of health benefits for our gut.

    What are the basics you need in the pantry to build a foundation for this medicinal type of cooking?

    I like to know where my food comes from and start with the purest and freshest ingredients possible.

    If cooking with meat, I like to know where the animal has come from too.

    When using sweeteners, I tend to try to minimize cooking with refined sugars. So I use what nature makes instead: Honey and maple syrup.

    As for having healthy fats on hand, grassfed butter, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil are my favorites. Again, source matters.

    After that, much of what I do is already available in the kitchen, it just might take an extra step or two. For example, I could just buy a can of coconut milk to make coconut milk kefir but when I buy a fresh coconut and start from scratch the flavor and health benefits are that much greater.

    Do you have any advice for parents on ways to include their children so they are inspired to make healthy and sustainable choices in their own lives regardless of age?

    Yes! Practice what you preach. Grow food together, forage together, cook together, and even shop together at your local farmers market. I have found with our two children that they are more willing to try vegetables that we have grown ourselves and are more enticed with dinners that they have helped prepare (even if it’s just chopping veggies for a soup). We also talk openly about the food choices we make as a family and why we eat what we eat. For example, just recently I purchased hard white wheat berries at the farmers markets. Our daughter who is eight was thrilled with the idea of turning the wheat berries into flour and then making sourdough bread. So we did it together and along the way we talked about the farmer that we purchased the wheat berries from, what the process for making sourdough bread entails and so on. These moments teach our children how to connect back to the earth and provide nourishment for their own bodies no matter how old they are.

    Rhubarb Strawberry Pie with Sourdough Pie Crust
    Sourdough Crust:
    1 cup white flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
    1 tsp salt
    1 TBSP sugar
    2 sticks butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled*
    1 cup sourdough starter
    7 cups rhubarb (1 ¾ lbs) when chopped into 1 inch / 2.5 cm pieces
    3 cups strawberries washed and hulled
    2 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
    1 ½ cups unrefined sugar
    1 orange juiced and zest
    1 to 2 inches grated ginger
    ¼ cup tapioca granules, ground
    Crust preparation:
    1. Using 2 pastry blenders blend together the flours, salt and sugar.
    2. Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal, with some chunks of butter remaining.
    3. Gradually stir in the starter and fold in with a spatula until it starts to come together.
    4. Gather the dough into two equal balls, wrap with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 7 hours or overnight.
    5. When ready, roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish.
    Filling instructions:
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
    2. Put all ingredients in a large pot except strawberries and tapioca.
    3. Cover and bring to a boil; then remove the cover and reduce to a gentle simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rhubarb pieces are soft.
    4. Stir frequently and deeply, to avoid scorching.
    5. Stir in prepared strawberries and tapioca, bring back to a boil, then turn heat off and let sit for 10 minutes.
    6. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. 7. Crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
    8. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Let cool before serving.
    Enjoy! Emma
    Photographed by the always awesome and very clever Scott Soens on location in California

    Lauren, Ashley and Emma wear Ulla Johnson

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    DIY Herbal Aftershave

    Women's Heritage

    With Father's Day coming up, I've been thinking of special gifts to make for the men in my life.  This herbal aftershave smells so good, and will keep my husband's and dad's skin nice and soft, while helping to stop any bleeding from small nicks and keeping them clean.  They could even splash a little on their underarms for a natural deodorant. 

    You will need:

    • A pint jar
    • A small handful of dried bay leaves
    • 3-4 star anise pods
    • 1T dried orange peel (or 3T fresh)
    • 1T dried allspice berries
    • 1t cloves
    • 2T dried Yarrow blossoms (or 2 fresh flower head clusters)
    • 1 cup rum
    • 1 cup witch hazel extract
    • 1t aloe vera gel
    • 1t vegetable glycerine

    To make:

    1. Put the dry ingredients into the pint jar, follow with the liquids, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top.

    2. Put on the top, and give your aftershave a little shake.

    3. Set it on the counter, away from direct sunlight, and shake it once a day for 2 to 4 weeks.

    4. Next, strain out the solids, reserving the liquid.

    5. Use a funnel to pour your aftershave into a nice glass bottle, tie a little twine around the top, and you are all set!

    Love, Ashley

    Video by: Nicole Halabisky

    Photos by: Brittany Smith