Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup?

Report by the numbers
Conventional Organic
Samples Tested 45 16
Glyphosate Detects 43 5
Detects Above EWG’s Health Benchmark (160 ppb) 31 0

Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG.

Source: Breakfast with a dose of Roundup?

See Also:

WHY FARMERS ARE USING GLYPHOSATE TO KILL THEIR CROPS — AND WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN FOR YOU

Are You Eating Glysophate?

How Does EWG Set a Health Benchmark for Gysophate?

In Season: Zucchini!

Zucchini is good source of phosphorus, copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and the B vitamins.

Here is our favorite recipe for healthy, gluten-free zucchini-cranberry muffins!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Rub a butter wrapper on muffin cups or otherwise grease the pans so the muffins won’t stick to them.

3. Over a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients and gently stir to combine.

200 grams cloud 9 flour
200 grams chickpea flour

5 ml salt
5 ml baking soda
5 ml baking powder
4 x 5 ml cinnamon

4. In a second large bowl, mix together wet ingredients:

3 eggs
125 ml pear sauce
125 ml olive oil
2 cups granulated sugar
4 x 5 ml vanilla extract

5. Grate 500 g of zucchini and stir into wet ingredients.

6. Add 120 g of dried cranberries into wet ingredients and stir to combine.

7. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix well.

8. Pour into muffin cups. Bake 45 minutes on the top rack, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out cleanly.

9. Remove muffins from the pans and place on wire racks to cool.

10. Wash the dishes while muffins are baking to save time! The total time required is about 1 hour.

In Season: Cabbage!

Cabbage is good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the B vitamins.

Cabbage is in season in from mid-June to mid-September. This year, we have grown our own and currently have 12 beautiful, large heads of green cabbage ready to harvest.

– – – – –

Purchase or gather together other needed supplies, and set them up in the kitchen.

Supplies and Ingredients:

Ziplock large freezer bags, or reusable containers for refrigerator storage

Food-Saver vacuum sealer
Food-Saver plastic, 2 rolls of 11×16, $21.97
sharp scissors, to cut the Food-Saver plastic

– – – – –

Ok, so here are my steps for preparing and preserving cabbage for the fridge and the freezer. It’s easy!

The first main task is to use a good knife and trim off the woody stem at the bottom of the cabbage. Secondly, cut the cabbage into quarters. Then chop each quarter, measure into bags, and vacuum seal each bag. Place in the fridge or freezer, according to your preference. Finally, wash the dishes! All of this may take 1 to 3 hours, depending on how much cabbage you have.

In Season: Asparagus!

Asparagus is good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and the B vitamins.

Asparagus is in season in from mid-May to mid-June, for around $3.50 per pound. Our local source is Duggan Farms:

2651 Camp Road
Lake Country, BC V4V
Tel (250) 766-2628

* Please call ahead.

– – – – –

Place your order for asparagus about 3 days before you want to pick it up. Purchase or gather together other needed supplies, and set them up in the kitchen.

Supplies and Ingredients:

Ziplock large freezer bags, or reusable containers for refrigerator storage

Food-Saver vacuum sealer
Food-Saver plastic, 2 rolls of 11×16, $21.97
sharp scissors, to cut the Food-Saver plastic

water bath canner
kettle, for boiling water as needed
large pot
small pot
canning funnel
canning tongs
24 jars and rings
Bernardin canning lids, 2 packages of 12, $9.98

25 lbs of asparagus
cutting board
sharp knife
large bowl
colander
dish towels and cloths
kitchen scale
measuring cups and spoons

4 L of 5% natural vinegar, $2.98
pickling salt, $2.49
granulated white cane sugar, $3.32
dill seed
dried dill
cayenne pepper
mustard seed
celery seed, $4.99
garlic, $2.31

– – – – –

Ok, so here are my steps for preparing and preserving asparagus, for the fridge, the freezer, and two kinds of pickles.

The first main task is to trim off the woody ends, sort into sizes, measure the weight, and wash the asparagus. It may take about 3 hours.

1. Using a good knife, gently cut the end of each asparagus stem on top of a cutting board. If the stem is soft, cut it all the way. If it is hard, move the knife up the stem little by little until the asparagus is soft. Put the woody ends into a large bowl. Working through all the asparagus stems, make four separate piles: long and thick, long and thin, short and thick, and short and thin.

2. Measure the weight of each pile. This year, my categories are as follows:

Total:

25 lbs of asparagus, x $3.50 lb = $87.50

25 lbs of asparagus x 453.59 g = about 11000 g or 11 kg

$87.50/11 kg = $7.95 per kg of asparagus.

Trimmed and sorted:

Long and thick: 3 kg = 3 ziplock bags of 1 kg each, to put in the fridge for fresh eating. 3 kg x $7.95 = $23.85

Long and thin: 2 kg = 2 bags of 1 kg each, to vacuum-seal and freeze. 2 kg x $7.95 = $15.90

Long and thin: 2 kg, set aside for pickles.

Short and thick: 1 kg, set aside for pickles.

Short and thin: 1 kg, set aside for pickles.

4 kg x $7.95 = $31.80

Bernardin canning lids, 2 packages of 12, $9.98

4 L of 5% natural vinegar, $2.98

garlic, $2.31

Cost of pickles: $47.07/ 24 jars = $1.96 per jar

Woody ends: 2 kg, to vacuum-seal and freeze, to include in vegetable broth next fall. 2 kg x $7.95 = $15.90

3. Fill a sink half full of cold water. Gently swish each pile of asparagus seperately, place in a colander or bowl to remove excess water, and then onto a dish towel. Bag and seal asparagus for the fridge and freezer. Each step here may take 2 to 5 minutes. (Ziplock bags or containers work great to keep asparagus fresh in the fridge. For the freezer, I always use a vacuum-sealer now. I have had vegetables keep 2 to 4 years even!)

4. Set out ingredients for asparagus pickles: 12 garlic cloves, dill seed, cayenne pepper, 4 L of 5% vinegar, a kettle of hot water, canning salt, celery seed, mustard seed, dried dill, and white cane sugar.

5. Fill a clean dishwasher (or sink, to wash by hand) with 24 pint jars and rings, a small amount of dishwasher detergent, and wash on the hottest setting. Fill a water bath canner with water.

6. Break for lunch.

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The second main task is to make the pickles. It may take another 3 hours from start to finish, including clean up.

7. Batch #1: Asparagus Pickles with Garlic and Dill.

Bring canner to a boil. Peel 12 garlic cloves. Place one in the bottom of each of 12 pints. Add 1 ml of dill seed to each jar, and a few shakes of cayennne pepper to 6 jars.

8. Trim the asparagus so that it will fit 3 cm down from the rim of the jar. Stems that have no tops, cut into short pieces.

Short and thick: 1 kg 200 g

Short and thin: 1 kg

This will make 6 pints of asparagus spears and 6 pints of pieces.

9. In a large pot, combine 4x 250 ml each of hot water and 5% white vinegar. Add 120 ml canning salt. Stir, and bring to a boil. Add 12 canning lids to a small pot of water, and bring to a boil.

10. Using a canning funnel and a measuring cup or ladle, fill each jar with brine, leaving 1 cm of headspace. Using a butter knife, remove air bubbles and add more brine if necessary. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, hot, damp cloth. Apply canning lids and loosely tighten rings.

11. Using canning tongs, place jars in a boiling water canner, and boil for 10 minutes. Set on a towel or rack to cool. Repeat with the next 6 pints. The jars should seal within 20 minutes of being out of the canner, but may take longer. Check the seals by pressing on the lids. If the lid moves or makes a sound, it hasn’t sealed and can be boiled again with a following batch, or refrigerated in a few hours if it hasn’t sealed by then.

12. Allow jars to sit for 7 days for best flavour development. Yield: 12 pints.

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13. Batch #2: Sweet Asparagus Pickles.

Bring canner to a boil. Set out 12 pints. To each jar, add: 1 ml of celery seed, 2 or 4 ml of mustard seed, and 10 ml of dried dill.

14. Trim the asparagus so that it will fit 3 cm down from the rim of the jar. Stems that have no tops, cut into short pieces.

Tall and thin: 2 kg

This will make 6 pints of asparagus spears and 6 pints of pieces.

15. In the same large pot, with any remaining brine, add 6x 250 ml of hot water and 8x 250 ml 5% white vinegar. Add 400 g white cane sugar and 80 ml canning salt. Stir, and bring to a boil. Add 12 canning lids to a small pot of water, and bring to a boil.

16. Using a canning funnel and a measuring cup or ladle, fill each jar with brine, leaving 1 cm of headspace. Using a butter knife, remove air bubbles and add more brine if necessary. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, hot, damp cloth. Apply canning lids and loosely tighten rings.

17. Using canning tongs, place jars in a boiling water canner, and boil for 10 minutes. Set on a towel or rack to cool. Repeat with the next 6 pints. The jars should seal within 20 minutes of being out of the canner, but may take longer. Check the seals by pressing on the lids. If the lid moves or makes a sound, it hasn’t sealed and can be boiled again with a following batch, or refrigerated in a few hours if it hasn’t sealed by then.

18. Allow jars to sit for 7 days for best flavour development. Yield: 12 pints.

– – – –

19. Load the dishwasher, wash counters and tables, and sweep the floor.

20. Let the canner cool, and wash it the next day. Also the next day, tighten the rings on the jars, wash jars gently if they are sticky, and store in a cool, dark place.

Merry Christmas!

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

~~ Luke 2:8-14, New King James Version

Good Gardening Soil

Question: What is the best gardening soil for a large garden bed?

We bought mushroom manure three years ago for about $35 per yard, plus a small delivery fee. The company dumped it in front our house, and we used our wheelbarrows to move it where we wanted. I wasn’t sure at first because I had read conflicting information, but it was the best looking soil, compost, and mulch mix for the lowest price. It turned out to be amazing for all of our flowers, herbs, and vegetables. We had a huge difference in growth and production between the plants that got mushroom manure and the ones that didn’t. It also looked great! I highly recommend it.

A Radically Beneficial World

For a few months now I’ve been reading “Of Two Minds” by Charles Hugh Smith. He seems to have good ideas about what is going on with the economy, politics, and the culture in general. Not only that, but he has ideas about solutions. In the last week or so I read his book “A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All: The Future Belongs to Work That Is Meaningful“. I don’t agree with everything, but I think he has some very good, practical ideas that can be implemented in a variety of ways in families, schools, workplaces, and new organizations. It is exciting to have some ideas to work towards that really might make things better for people, the size and scale remaining to be seen.

The Solid Rock

Edward Mote, 1834

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Source: Timeless Truths – The Solid Rock

To God Be the Glory

Frances J. Crosby, 1865

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Source: Timeless Truths – To God Be the Glory

Back to Eden

We first watched “Back to Eden” by Paul Gautschi three years ago. It really resonated with us! Paul encourages a no-till, organic, non-GMO garden, with a covering of mushroom manure compost and wood chips. We were already doing most of those things, but the last two were new to us. We gave it a try, and realized immediately the benefits he describes. The weeds became easy to pull because the soil was loose. Our plants grew really well and produced fruits and vegetables abundantly. We didn’t have to water as often because the wood chips held moisture.

Naturally, it takes time to build a great garden, and after three years, we have realized a few things. Firstly, Paul mentions digging up thistles, and we should have done that as well as dug up the dandelions and wild grasses. No amount of paper or wood chips stopped those weeds, and even if we didn’t pull everything, we should have been more diligent than we were to prepare the area. Secondly, our plants that grew the best were already started in pots of good soil or perennials, and we did have to apply fertilizer to help them get established. Paul notes in the video that that is to be expected at first. A lot of seeds have not germinated, even though I’ve tried not to plant them in the wood chips. Finally, we still water quite a bit compared to the implication in the video, but I assume that is to be expected for now as well.

Overall, however, the benefits are greater than the difficulties. We will continue adding mushroom manure and wood chips, and learning how to make our garden better each year. It is amazing how much food we are able to grow in a small space with minimal time and effort. I encourage you to watch the video, and I hope you enjoy it too!

12 Weeks Old

Our precious little N made his arrival April 4th. It was more difficult than I had anticipated, but beautiful nevertheless. The last few months have also been difficult, however not because of lack of sleep. N has been sleeping the longest uninterrupted stretches of time I’ve ever experienced from a baby! The addition of an unpredictable baby naturally makes it difficult to do all the other things that need to be done, and it has been the hardest on the little kids, T, L, and C. We’ve done a lot of field trips though (which have been so fun!), finished Grade 4 and preschool, sorted through our home, and put in as much as we could for our garden, plus the regular day to day things. We are exhausted and happy at the same time, and truly thankful.

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Charles Wesley, 1793

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Source: Timeless Truths – Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Spring Break – 2017

It’s such a blessing to begin a new season! Spring always seems like such a joy to me with it’s brighter and warmer days, after winter’s darkness and coldness. We are happy to officially begin spring and Spring Break today. This season holds another treasure for us as a family: we await the birth of a new baby any day now. Everything is as ready as possible, and any extra events or tasks of our schedule are paused. Basic household chores naturally continue, as do stories, games, park days, and visits with family and friends.

May you also have a happy Spring Break, full of joy as a new season of life begins!