On a recent chilly afternoon, Natasha Hegmann, 28, and her husband, Pete Kerns, 27, tended the fire of a giant copper boiler holding some 250 gallons of maple sap. The sap had flowed into the boiler overnight through a series of pipes from nearby trees. Turning the gooey sap into syrup will take days.
A native Iowan, Hegmann worked at a number of local community farms before her and Kerns set up their own, Turkey River Farms, in 2015 to grow vegetables in warmer months and harvest maple sap d...
Farm Life Isn't Nearly As Idyllic As It Looks On Instagram—But I Still Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything
It’s early Saturday morning. When the clock hits 7 AM, farmers market goers will arrive, trickling through empty streets before summer’s sun touches nearby rooftops. By 6:50, my stand and produce are all set up. I have 10 minutes to kill, so I peek at my phone behind the table.
I read a comment on an Instagram photo of our farm: “Beautiful—so jealous of farm life!” My husband and I own a small, diverse vegetabl...
Edmund and Tricia Jackson have run a poultry and beef operation near Honey Creek, Iowa, for over a decade. Then, last year, they added a new piece of land with a plan to grow organic feed—corn and hay—for their animals.
“It has been a learning process,” says Tricia. “The more we studied, the more we were in awe of how it made so much sense to work with nature, and not against it.”
Organic certification is just the latest incarnation of the Jacksons’s ongoing work to make their operation susta...
Empowering people to invest in sustainable farms and the farmers who steward them.
Sustainable farmers are stewards of the land—taking responsibility for the soil, nourishing our communities and proving that there is a better way to do agriculture. But the going is tough for the little guys: human-scale farms need access to capital if they’re going to survive and grow—capital that’s often hard to come by.
Steward is the world’s first CrowdFarming platformTM, helping sustai...
Pitched thinkpiece minimum of 1000 words, assigned and completed within 2 weeks. Explores the many ways sustainable/regenerative agriculture is imperative to strong public health for the population, and ends with a call-to-action to support sustainable farmers to make this a reality.
Supplements aren’t meant to replace prescribed medication or other doctor-approved therapies. But they can be helpful additions to your care plan.
Although the supplements below are generally tolerated well, it’s important to understand how they may affect you specifically. Age, upcoming surgery, pregnancy, or other underlying health conditions can all affect your individual dosage. Some supplements are dangerous when taken in higher than recommended doses.
You should always check with your d...
By Adrian White
Natural health and holistic self-care are all the rage these days. Herbal products are a big part of this latest wave— and herbal supplements especially so.
There’s a lot that consumers should know about herbal supplements before taking them, though. Misinformation is easy to come by, and it’s important to have healthy expectations of supplements while knowing facts from claims.
That said, how can we understand herbal supplements better? One approach that may help: categorizin...
February is American Heart Health Month. Though it only comes once a year, it’s a great time to touch up on important heart health tips for your self-care routine.
These 4 tips are the most recommended by heart health organizations, doctors, and nutritionists to boost your heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases— no matter the time of year.
And best of all: these can each be done at home.
Eating well is instrumental to heart health. You don’t need a nutritionist to ke...
By Adrian White
Getting into a better (and brighter) self-care routine can be a little daunting. This is especially true when you’re just starting to explore herbs and how they help various health states—there are so many to choose from (and so many different uses for them, too!).
As an herbalist and organic farmer, growing my own healing herbs has helped me better connect with herbal remedies.
But you don’t have to be an expert herbalist (or farmer/gardener/horticulturist) to grow herbal rem...
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Burning sage — also known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual ritual.
Smudging has been well established as a Native American cultural or tribal practice, although it isn’t practiced by all groups.
We have the traditions of many Native American peoples to thank for its use. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others.
Many other cultures around the world share similar rituals.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of burning sage and how you can use it to...
So, you’ve decided to go vegetarian. Or, you’re ready to embrace a vegan lifestyle.
it’s honorable and important to cut animal products out of your diet (and for many reasons). But, be prepared to lose out on (and compensate for) animal-based whole food sources of certain nutrients.
Second: some nutrients absent in plant-based diets are vital. Yes— your health can greatly suffer if you don’t get enough of them. And one of these nutrients is vitamin B12.
Vegans and Vegetarians Are Most Vulnera...
Two Michelin star chef Dominique Le Stanc has worked with a wide range of famous chefs and many Michelin star restaurants — some having been elevated through his amazing talent and work ethic. These include Paul Haeberlin, Robert Husser, Gaston Lenôtre, Alain Chapel, and others; and prestigious establishments like L’Auberge de L’Ill, Le Pré Catelan and more. Though Le Stanc achieved his childhood dream to achieve two Michelin stars, he’s most remarkable for maintaining his deep appreciation o...
Clover hasn’t always been the bane of every lawn lover’s existence.
Sure, ripping it out (or spraying it) as soon as it creeps into your perfectly manicured turf might be a good way to fit into your neighborhood nowadays. But this lawn care tidbit could surprise you: Several decades ago, killing clover was not at all in vogue. It was a standard part of grass seed mixes.
With more and more homeowners today avoiding the use of pesticides, it’s likely clovers could come back in style again as (d...
Think piece, minimum of 1,000 words, assigned by Rodale's Organic Life editor and completed in 2 weeks. Includes interview quotes, and a multi-faceted approach with many perspectives on whether or not the USDA Organic label should still be upheld as trustworthy, in light of certain scandals. Explores alternative labels.
“Organic.” “Natural.” These days, it’s likely you’ll see these words in just about any store, and on more products than ever before. Maybe they’re just buzzwords, and that’s about it. Or do they stand for something more besides their buzzword reputations?
Since these words are in all likelihood here to stay for good on our shopping labels, it’s important that we as consumers educate ourselves on their true meaning. Why? Because, when it all boils down, “organic” and “natural” represent very d...