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From the Sequoia National Forest of California, check out our latest recipes and thoughts.

Gone fishin': The Half Pints and crew hit the hills clinging to the last of summer

I sure hate to see the date: July 27. Summer isn’t over yet but it sure is working on it. Summer means a little less in this household since the boys are homeschooled but it still means something and July 27 edges into the “last chance panic” sort of dates. We’ve got to get out…

Watermelon “jello” mold: So much summertime fun!

Watermelon “jello” mold: So much summertime fun!

Here’s a project that I really thought would fit the “Pinterest fail” category — you know, where you see the pictures and then try it at home and realized you’ve wasted forty dollars in ingredients and two hours of work. This project was so successful that we laughed and giggled. Then we invited over a…

This tea or infusion may knock out your seasonal allergies or may just keep you healthy (with a brewing “pro tip”)

This tea or infusion may knock out your seasonal allergies or may just keep you healthy (with a brewing “pro tip”)

We are lucky to have nettle all around us here in the Sequoia National Forest, for nearly nine months a year at various elevations, giving us a great chance to nourish ourselves for the cost of fresh air, some clipping, and steeping or cooking. We rely on a frozen nettle stash through the year for…

Dragon fruit (pitaya): What to do with this funky fruit?

Dragon fruit (pitaya): What to do with this funky fruit?

Depending on your location, dragon fruit may be one of the most exotic fruits in your life. You may not even be able to find it in stores. Dragon fruit (pitaya) is a tropical fruit. Here in California, we can find it in southern California markets when it’s in season but I would venture a…

This volcanic rock will clean your toilet, tub, and sink ;)

This volcanic rock will clean your toilet, tub, and sink ;)

I know that none of you guys have a toilet ring as bad as the one in the video and I am sure that I let this go for five years (or 50) just so that I could show you how effective this treatment is. Yes, this neglected toilet looks like a completely different toilet…

 Flavors of the Forest

Take a walk and find something edible. Taste it in a tea. Taste it in a soda. Taste it in a cocktail. ;) Taste it. Check out these tasting ideas. (Read more about our flavors here.)


A weedy salad. You may find ingredients growing in the cracks of your driveway :)

A weedy salad. You may find ingredients growing in the cracks of your driveway :)

Glorious Summer! Wander out to the garden and gather some crunchy cucumbers, a ripe tomato or two, and a handful of purslane for the main ingredients of a memorable salad. Purslane? Yes, that weed you’ve been tossing into the compost is a wonderfully nutritious summer green – as well as tasty. Purslane is a bit…

A fun wintertime tea that you can make from your holiday decorations (it may even help your cough)

A fun wintertime tea that you can make from your holiday decorations (it may even help your cough)

Even though my children and I live in the middle of a national forest — the Sequoia National Forest and the world’s largest living trees (the giant redwoods) — we too have to be intentional about taking in nature. My boys also default to video games instead of outdoor play and hiking. It is almost…

Simple lilac-infused scones for your next special brunch

Simple lilac-infused scones for your next special brunch

“Lilacs in bloom” are our main sign that spring has come and it is actually here to stay. We get daffodils before the lilacs and narcissus before the daffodils but, without fail, those flowers shiver in the cold and end up covered in snow as they bloom. Lilac flowers come just as the deciduous oaks…

Tea to nourish your brain, heart, and immune system

Tea to nourish your brain, heart, and immune system

Elder is in full bloom in central California. It blooms from early spring and well into the summer at various elevations here. We harvest in the valley in early spring and into higher elevations as the season passes. Elder loves water and so we find it along creek beds. Some of the bushes have managed…

Rich and Dense Nettle Soup

Rich and Dense Nettle Soup

Are you looking for a spring tonic, possibly an almost-free spring tonic? Stinging nettle can be your answer. We have decided that it is on the top of our list for staying healthy. With renewed focus and dedication to nettle, we are tracking it’s life cycle and finding new stands of it. By far, the…

What's Hot

Whether it's a forest flavor, a turmeric flavor from India, or grandma's simple salad, these are the most popular posts on our site.

Hummus with unlimited flavor options

Hummus with unlimited flavor options

I was introduced to hummus and several other Middle Eastern dishes by a Jewish friend who had spent some time living in a kibbutz in Israel. If our paths had not crossed, I would be missing out on some of my favorite treats. Hummus is one of them. A basic hummus recipe follows with instructions….

Strawberry lemonade concentrate — A new beverage experience

Strawberry lemonade concentrate — A new beverage experience

Strawberry season hits in the valley below us about two months before our own berries begin to ripen. Strawberries cause the two little guys in this house to go into orbit. Alastair got the attention of all the shoppers at a local fruit stand when he squealed “stwawbawwies!” Then he announced to anyone who would…

Natural allergy relief that is so complete and immediate (and cheap), it may blow you away

Natural allergy relief that is so complete and immediate (and cheap), it may blow you away

My 10-year-old son has increasing problems with seasonal allergies — we brace ourselves as spring comes with its pollen because this kid really reacts. Last year we kept him comfortable with over-the-counter medications, local honey, regular elderflower tea, lavender oil in a nebulizer/diffuser concoction as he sleeps, and a chest rub of lavender and eucalyptus…

Start your day with this “Golden Tea” — fight cancer and build your brain at the same time (including key flavor options and a “pro tip”)

Start your day with this “Golden Tea” — fight cancer and build your brain at the same time (including key flavor options and a “pro tip”)

On my recent trip to Kauai, I was spoiled by the wide availability of fresh turmeric, so much so that I created a daily ritual of turmeric tea. Research comes out every day linking turmeric to decreased risk of cancer and to improved brain health. Adding a daily beverage made with fresh turmeric may be…

“Golden milk” for cold, flus, depression, and more (in a recipe that actually tastes good…)

“Golden milk” for cold, flus, depression, and more (in a recipe that actually tastes good…)

Turmeric is fast becoming a popular remedy for just about everything that ails you. I became an avid enthusiast on a trip to Kauai when I actually had access to the fresh root for the first time. I was recovering from a drastic dermatological procedure and it was not the optional sort — I had…


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Tweets from the forest –>

Speed of light v sound - The most fun you'll ever have learning about it (90 sec vid from the Half Pint Hacks) https://t.co/m6ERTAYxHq
The world's best (and least expensive) cherry pitter. Video demo ---> http://t.co/LP2CBZYatS
Hey, last-minute Charlies, have you gotten your sun screen offer yet? Check it out at @GoddessGarden http://t.co/HUGd44jouv
I just saw a woman with a wicked sunburn. Prevention is everything! #cancer #sunsafegoddess @GoddessGarden http://t.co/dCrEoIJ9ns
Check out the world's best homemade lemonade w "secret ingredient," say these 2 boys ;) https://t.co/7jEmCdsEI0 http://t.co/GUKddoLWTn
Prevention is easier than treatment for #cancer #sunsafegoddess @GoddessGarden Hard knocks --> http://t.co/wP5d30GaqR http://t.co/ak1gCrdGlg
Check it out! I donated to Help Honor Commitment To Love http://t.co/qVKnMgOr7s via @gofundme
A graphic picture: Prevention is easier than treatment for skin cancer. Hard knocks --> http://t.co/dCrEoIJ9ns http://t.co/Negc9mNtaI
We're hanging with Dale at Polo Towers, @diamondresorts #vegas http://t.co/O2HZaWNVq1

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