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

Tamarind paste: How to make it and use it (in a lesson from India)

Tamarind paste: How to make it and use it (in a lesson from India)

Usually during summer season, here in India, we are busy making homemade oils, powders, and other things required for the whole year. One important thing that we regularly do is collect and store tamarind — we use it almost daily. We have tamarind trees in our farm and the whole process of collecting and storing…

You would think that cooking would destroy a strawberry and yet this approach takes it to a new level

You would think that cooking would destroy a strawberry and yet this approach takes it to a new level

Here in California we have a long and delicious strawberry season. Our own garden produces from late spring through the summer but the bumper crop across California hits in late April and early May. In fact there is a whole business model in central California of “corner strawberry stands” where the strawberries are grown on…

Capture the brightness of citrus in these handy flavor extracts

Capture the brightness of citrus in these handy flavor extracts

Here in central California we are lucky enough to have access to some sort of fresh citrus much of the year. However, the motherlode really does hit in the spring when friends end up with back yards smelling of fermenting orange and lemon after months of picking limes then lemons then oranges. By mid-spring you…

A gourmet soda: An ode to your pine tree

A gourmet soda: An ode to your pine tree

We had a great surprise here this week: This soda was killer. Everyone tasted it and everyone gushed. It surprised us because we’ve fussed with pine quite a bit and have had varying results in getting the pine flavor into water. It is easily done as a tea but a soda requires a very strong…

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…

 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.)


Another fun forest flavor in a soda

Another fun forest flavor in a soda

Magical things happen when you take two hours to yourself for the first time in a month. I grabbed some bags, clippers, and gloves and headed out to gather something else entirely when I stumbled upon a prolific stand of native chamomile. Chamomile grows readily here in the Sequoia National Forest but it is a…

Have you ever tasted pine needles? Here you go…

Have you ever tasted pine needles? Here you go…

Our adventures on “The Lost Road” turned piney with Frederick’s request for harvesting pine needles and turning them into some sort of dessert (read more here). Thanks to some help on Facebook, I discovered that pine needle infusions were a thing and that we were about to embrace extreme coolness in our activity. Apparently the…

Your handy “flu shots” and what research says about using this fruit to recover from the flu

Your handy “flu shots” and what research says about using this fruit to recover from the flu

Home remedies for common illnesses such as the flu are exciting by all counts, but this fruit may be particularly exciting because, in our case, it grows wild near us. We can harvest it easily and for free. We use it in elderberry syrup and elderberry tea. Is elderberry really effective against the flu? In…

A springtime nettle soup, full of so much flavor and health, it has changed our lives…

A springtime nettle soup, full of so much flavor and health, it has changed our lives…

How could anything this healthy be so totally delicious? Nettle soup has a growing fan base across the country and for good reason. Nettle leaf is delicately flavored and cooks to a smooth silky texture. The prickly little needles are completely gone. No other vegetable in our experience provides the texture that nettle does. And…

A lilac-infused butter cookie

A lilac-infused butter cookie

It’s a fun time of year when the edible flowers begin their blooming fanfare. Spring came a bit early to California but if these flowers are still shivering in your area, you have a few weeks to think about these cookies. Harvesting lilacs as edibles is simple: Cut a dozen flowers and remove their blossoms…

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.

This cabbage salad is light, bright, and fresh with a delicate combination of flavors

This cabbage salad is light, bright, and fresh with a delicate combination of flavors

Put away any notion you might have of what a cabbage salad should be if you have only experienced mayonnaise-based coleslaw they offer in many restaurants. A traditional coleslaw is great and has its place, but there are many other ways to make non-traditional cabbage salad. The flavor of this cabbage salad is light, bright,…

Your new migraine remedy: A simple and inexpensive herbal tincture

Your new migraine remedy: A simple and inexpensive herbal tincture

The feverfew began blooming this year and my son announced, “We need to pick some of that for my headaches.” My head jerked around in his direction. “Really? How did you know feverfew is good for headaches?” He couldn’t remember. In my quest to get this emerging teenager outside with me and engaged in projects,…

TEDxLAMiracleMile: One simple change to improve free choice of food in the U.S. (You’ll never forget the leading story in this video…)

TEDxLAMiracleMile: One simple change to improve free choice of food in the U.S. (You’ll never forget the leading story in this video…)

It was a food politics moment I never imagined possible: at TEDxLAMiracleMile, the man who grew the Southern California farmers markets for Organic Pastures Dairy Farm, Maurice Kaehler, spoke to the 150 people in attendance at the Sunset Boulevard venue in Hollywood: “There was a time when I despised Amanda Rose….” The audience laughed. I…

This heart-healthy tea may be as effective as Captropil at lowering blood pressure (with cholesterol-lowering properties as a bonus)

This heart-healthy tea may be as effective as Captropil at lowering blood pressure (with cholesterol-lowering properties as a bonus)

This family has long enjoyed hibiscus tea on hot summer days but having grown up in a largely-Hispanic part of California, we don’t call it “hibiscus,” we call it by its Spanish name, “jamaica.” Though spelled like the island country of Jamaica, it is actually pronounced “Ha-Mike-Ah” in Spanish. It is a striking deep red…

How a flower saved me from going completely bananas (aka “How I survived the Grand Jury”)

How a flower saved me from going completely bananas (aka “How I survived the Grand Jury”)

There are some experiences adults should never have, some we cannot ever even talk about, and yet, there we find ourselves dead in the middle of it, silent. On occasion, time itself affords us an opportunity to make mention and so time has passed and I mention how I came to love this particular herb,…


From Instagram –>


Tweets from the forest –>

We have reentered the "pants optional" season around here ;) http://t.co/Y8RLgZP9zw
I love being able to pick a batch of #lemon balm from the property #lemonbalm #herbs #homesteading https://t.co/ejLqf4U6hn
Here's a fun planter we found as we travel the central #California coast https://t.co/dtCpRVKLqK
We are on the hunt for signs of subsidence -- the ground sinking on this case due to compaction of… https://t.co/5ZrBBjHu6q
He had charisma & great humor. He rode a mechanical bull in San Jose CA like a beast in 1991. RIP Robert Leszczyński http://t.co/PGsSP9qPeu

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