Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam Masala

Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam MasalaEvery year, when peach season hits, I get insanely excited. I love them. So much. And we have our favorite stand at the farmers’ market from whom we love to buy peaches each year.

This year, I decided to go a little peach crazy. This ultimately yielded a lovely batch of canned peaches, some homemade Peach + Cinnamon Refrigerator Jam (which I froze), and today’s feature: Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam Masala.

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Two Approaches to Refrigerator Pickles – Easy + Quick!

Refrigerator PicklesLet me begin this post be stating: I love dill pickles. The whole family does. I only made one batch last year, and it was gone within a week.

And so… we began the summer with 3 lovely cucumber plants and dreams of a bountiful harvest, leading to a plethora of homemade pickles. We headed away on vacation in June with multiple very-promising cucumbers starting to appear. I felt buoyant with hope.

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How to Make Your Own Shaving Soap: Homemade Natural Coconut Shaving Soap Recipe

Homemade Shaving SoapMy husband is very picky about his shaving soap. Which is totally cool. He’s one of those guys who has to shave every day – and so I can absolutely understand being particular about ensuring whatever he’s using works well, feels good, and doesn’t create a huge mess.

Shaving soap also happened to be the final item he needed in his personal care arsenal in order to be ENTIRELY natural, homemade, and chemical-free. Yup… he’s ridĀ of all personal care store-bought products at this point. The shaving soap was the last hurdle to conquer!

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It’s working! (starting seedlings in eggshells)

eggshelltrays 001Wow! I didn’t expect to see confirmation of the effectiveness of this method so fast… but I’m already seeing my seedlings begin to sprout (after only 5 days)!

Little shoots and leaves of green are already peeking up. Now I wish I’d kept collecting eggshells so I could start yet another tray! Thought I’d share a little photo in case you were on the fence about whether or not to start your seedlings in eggshells. It really does work. Crazy.

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Starting Seeds the Cheap and Easy Way

Garden 2013Gardening is still a very new thing to me. I don’t consider myself particularly good at it, but last year we increased our beds, added a ton of berry plants, and got several indoor citrus plants as well. I grow food. I preserve food. It’s going well, though I’m always working to do more.

I knew this year I wanted to try starting plants from seed to get a jump on the growing season (our peppers never really made it last year given the crazy temps, and I’m sick of buying expensive, non-organic starters from Home Depot). Right now is the ideal time to start seeds in our neck of the woods.

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Bee a Hero: 6 Easy Ways to Save Your Pollinators

Lake County Beekeepers AssociationI went to an Introductory Beekeeping class this month, and it was AMAZING!! Offered by the Lake County Beekeepers Association, it was chock-full of information, useful strategies, history and biology, and specific steps for starting your own hives.

I left with the very firm conviction that I want to commit to beekeeping; however, with a daughter who is still hesitant, neighbors right next door who are somewhat nature-phobic, and still so much to learn… I’m okay taking one more year to plan carefully, feel fully prepared, and find a good home for my initial hives.

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Save Money… Make Your Own Granola! (How to make the ABSOLUTE best homemade granola ever)

Perfect Granola!I am picky about my granola. It has to be sweet, but not too sweet; it has to have a nuttiness to it that will pair well with any manner of fresh or dried fruits; it has to stand up well to milk but also play nicely with yogurt; and it has to have just the right amount of salt to balance all the flavors out.

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