8 Herbal Coffee Alternatives, Including 2 You Can Grow

8 Herbal Coffee Alternatives, Including 2 You Can Grow - Check out these natural, caffeine free, herbal coffee alternatives for a healthier morning habit or a warm and toasty drink that won't keep you up at night.

When I mentioned I was writing a post on herbal coffee alternatives, my eldest quipped, “Isn’t that called, ‘tea’?”  Not being a coffee drinker, the boy simply doesn’t understand the finer aspects of coffee drinking.  There’s just something about that rich, earthy brew that calls to me on cold winter mornings.  I drink plenty of regular and herbal tea, but coffee is an altogether different beverage category.

In the interest of being a little kinder to my liver and adrenal glands, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of herbal coffee substitutes without caffeine.  Do any of them taste exactly like America’s favorite morning caffeine hit?  Nope.  Are they reasonably tasty?  You bet!  Plus if you’re so inclined, they are a great way to help ween yourself off of your coffee habit.  Just start with mostly coffee and a small amount of herbal coffee, and gradually increase the amount of herbal coffee while decreasing the amount of regular coffee each day until you’re switched over to herbal.  [Read more…]

How to Make Kolache

How to Make Kolache, a lightly sweetened Czech pastry

Kolache, kolace, kolach, or kolacky -

No matter how you spell it,just about everyone enjoys these tasty treats.  My momma taught me how to make kolache the way I do in this post, but there are many different shapes, sizes and fillings.  From  rounds to folded pockets, hand sized to pie-sized, sweet to savory, your imagination seems to be the limit.  Most sources seem to agree that the name “kolache” (however you spell it) comes from the Czech word for “cookie”.  As for the origin of kolache, no one is really certain, but this story from the Polish Art Center is sweet: [Read more…]

Winter Storm Survival – Keeping Warm When the Power Goes Out

Winter Storm Survival - Keeping You and Your Home Warm When the Power Goes Out - Conserving heat, dressing for warmth, food and water needs, hygiene issues.

It’s winter, you always *planned* to get supplies if the power went out.  Now it’s below zero and the power just failed. What do you do when a winter storm leaves you without power?  This post contains ideas for winter storm survival while sheltering in your home, but many of the ideas could be adapted for elsewhere, especially the section on cold weather clothing. Plan NOW instead of trying to remember all this when you are freezing and the power is out. [Read more…]

Introduction to Permaculture

Introduction to Permaculture - Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ethical, sustainable food system. Learn how one family is transforming their own land and helping to teach others.

I was busy in June ’14 cutting swales all over the garden. It is up to almost 2 acres of hand dug swales in under 8 months. It can be done for free and by one person!


This is a guest post by Matt Powers, author of “The Permaculture Student”.

Have you heard of Permaculture?

I hadn’t until I really began exploring organic gardening and saw a divide between those that were just changing their inputs to organic and those really gardening naturally. I was on a mission to find clean and healthy food for my wife, a 3 time cancer survivor. I was not going to be satisfied with good or better; I was going to find what was best. That’s what permaculture is for a gardener – it’s the best way to garden, but it’s also a whole lot more than gardening. In fact, gardening may end up being just a small part of it. [Read more…]

Emergency Water Storage and Filtration – What You Need to Know

Emergency water storage - How much water do I need to store? What containers should I use for water storage? How can I filter/purify water in an emergency?Water is life.  In case of emergency, a reliable water supply is critical.  If power is interrupted due to storms or other events such as solar flares or grid overload due to high demand, for most of us, our water supplies are also interrupted.  Municipal water supplies could also be a likely “soft” target for terrorist attacks.  Emergency water storage should be a part of any emergency preparedness plan.

How Much Water Do I Need to Store?

FEMA recommends a three day supply with one gallon per person per day, half of that just for drinking.  Age, physical condition, activity level, foods consumed and environmental conditions will influence those requirements.  Hot, humid weather, illness, pregnancy and lactation, increased physical activity levels will all increase the amount needed.  The Crisis Preparedness Handbook recommends 20 -30 gallons per person for a period of two to three weeks without water.  This allows water for drinking, cooking, hygiene and some reserve.  If you plan to rely heavily on dehydrated food, store an extra 2 to 5 gallons per person. [Read more…]