Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chopped Fruit and Quinoa Salad

  • 4 cups organic mixed greens (I use Nature's Promise spring mix along with several organic kale leaves.)
  • 1/2 organic orange peeled and sectioned
  • 1 organic Granny Smith apple, cut into sections
  • 6 organic strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh organic blueberries
  • 1/4 cup organic walnuts
  • 1/2 cup organic cooked rainbow quinoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)

In a large stainless steel bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries and cooked quinoa. Chop using a meza luna. Add blueberries, cooked quinoa and dressing after chopping; mix well.  Makes 2 servings.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Annie's Naturals organic honey mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine the above ingredients; refrigerate reminder in a tightly-covered container.

One of my favorites for lunch.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


It seems like yesterday we moved to this beautiful, rural mountain area from Massachusetts.  It's been a long road with my EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity).  It is nice to finally be able to tolerate the computer in short intervals to begin blogging again.  I am also glad to be able to live here in WV away from the cell phone towers and wi-fi.  I feel so blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful area!  We fell in love with the property when we found it two years ago.  It has everything we wanted to homestead, including 18.5 acres, a one-level home, several outbuildings, a pond, a workshop with a root cellar, 21 sugar maple trees, three grapevines and a large hayfield.

Our dog, Jamie, enjoying a warm fire during the holidays
The interior of the house was dated, but the home had a fairly new roof, siding and windows.  We updated the home's interior, and I will post before and after photos in the coming weeks. We redid both the kitchen and bath, replaced all of the flooring, faucets and light fixtures and painted every dark-paneled wall throughout.  In addition, we finished the mudroom addition the previous owners started, and updated the front porch with a beadboard ceiling and painted the floor. We installed a vintage reproduction screen door between the kitchen and mudroom and also one at the front door.  They remind me of the screen door on the Walton's, complete with that sound when you open and close them. We also added a stone hearth to accommodate our wood stove, which heats the entire house. We bought one with a glass front door, so we could enjoy the ambiance of the flames. During the colder months, I love having my morning coffee in front of a warm, crackling fire.

one of last season's daily harvests
One of the best things about living in the country is the ability to grow our own organic vegetables. Last season, we had an amazing garden.  We added a small greenhouse to our property and started the plants from seed. We then created a 48' x 48' fenced garden area and planted carrots, potatoes, pole beans, zucchini, crooked neck squash, cucumbers, peppers, onions, tomatoes and pumpkins.   The soil is very rocky here in the mountains. After removing the rocks, we amended the soil with compost from our compost spinner. We look forward to starting our plants from seed in the greenhouse in a couple of weeks.

Onyx and Cissy
We've been slow to add animals to our homestead. We plan on adding chickens and a couple of goats in the near future, once some accommodations have been made to the outbuilding we plan to convert to a barn/chicken coop.

The most wonderful part of living here has been the peacefulness.  During the warmer months, I love waking up in the morning and throwing open the front door.  You can hear the birds chirping and the sound of rushing water from the stream across the street.  The air is crisp and fresh, without any hint of the smell of automobile exhaust fumes.

I am also currently studying to be a Master Herbalist and have five more classes to complete. Looking forward to studying out on the front porch in my rocking chair soon!