We went rogue and didn’t school our kids. Here’s how it turned out.

This is a post about homeschooling (interest-led learning/unschooling in particular).

It’s not a post about how one parenting path or learning journey is better than another (it isn’t). It’s not a post that assumes all of us have the privilege to stay home with our kids (though I wish that we did). This post says nothing about the incredible teachers out there doing magical things all year long in our schools (but holy heck do I salute them and the life-changing work they do in the world).

And though we live in the country now, that’s new(ish) for our family, and much of our homeschooling journey took place in a little house in town (because learning happens everywhere).

Instead, this post is simply about homeschooling. It’s for parents and caregivers just embarking on this journey, or parents and caregivers already on this path but whose confidence is shaken in their decisions to keep their kids at home.

This is the story of our family’s experience, some 18+ years in. Here goes.

We raised two kids and never sent them to school.

We denied them the childhood rites of passage of school busses and lunch boxes; class bells and recess; homework, tests, and graduation.

And sometimes I worried: what if we got the whole thing wrong?

What if there’s a reason the path through childhood almost always begins and ends with school?

Because when you stay inside the lines and live life by the well-worn rules, you’re doing as you’re told. And if everything goes sideways, at least you did what you were “supposed” to.

But when you go rogue and chart your own course? If your child struggles and falls then the whole unbearable burden hangs heavy on you.

So, yeah, it was a little terrifying.

We did it anyway.

Straight out of the gate we charted our own course. No school, and hardly any “school at home” either.

Just two kids raised wild and true and free.

A blacksmithing forge, a (weedy) garden, and some unreasonably long road trips. A flock of sheep, a library card, and more art and craft supplies than we could jam into the cabinet.

We had math that looked like baking croissants, history that looked like an obsession with Norse mythology, politics that looked like protests, biology that looked like farm babies and foraging excursions.

I recognize the privilege of this freedom that we have and am grateful to have been able to make this choice for my family. Countless parents don’t have the privilege to even make this choice. Life, circumstances, poverty, or oppression have already made it for them.

To those in this reality, I see you. Know that there are as many beautiful ways to raise your family as there are families. And this is simply the story of the path we have charted. It’s not The Right Path. It’s simply our path.

So what has it been like?

Honestly, we’ve had so much fun.

My kids and I connected–deeper than my wildest dreams.

They had the space to grow up as slowly as they needed to while we chased fireflies, slept in the yard, and spent our days following the luminous threads of their insatiable curiosity.

Our life was built brick by brick of their wonder, curiosity, creativity, and dreams.

We healed what was broken and learned side by side. Day after day, year after year.

A friend (who works with children) once said to me, “Well, you know that your kids are exceptional. They’re not like ordinary kids.”

And I told him this:

“No, my kids aren’t like other kids, but they’re also not exceptional. They’re simply normal kids who never had to fit into a mold that didn’t suit them. They’re just kids, unbroken, who never stopped asking their questions and chasing their dreams.”

And I believe that.

Ordinary kids are exceptional if we just let them be who they are, and live their messy, beautiful, non-linear lives.

And suddenly here we are, all these years later.

They’re 14 and almost 19 now (where did the time go?). And I suppose the questions you’re asking are: was it really worth it? Do you have regrets? Did going rogue really work out for them in the end or are they hopelessly prepared for life in the “real world”?

I know when I first set out, I was desperate to see the kids who’d grown up outside of the box. Show me the grown ones! How are they now? They could be my hope as I, too, broke the rules and forged my own way.

So here is my answer:

At 14 and 19, my children are thriving.

They’re both chasing dreams that are true to their hearts and living the lives that they’re called to. They have passion and friendships and depth and insatiable curiosity and know themselves better than most adults that I’ve met.

And as for the “real world”, that’s where they’ve been all along. They never stepped out of it and into those rigid walls.

So yes, they’re ready to get out there and in it, because they truly never left.

Are their lives perfect and is our home always ringing with four-part harmony? Of course not. Because we’re human.

We argue. We make mistakes. Sometimes we say hurtful words or do things we regret. But overall, our home is more harmonious and caring than I ever dreamed possible.

We truly like one another. Perhaps because of how deeply we know one another. And I credit that to the endless hours we’ve spend in one another’s company.

Did they suffer from their lack of school time? No. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite. Instead of suffering, they both truly thrived.

That said, this isn’t everyone’s right path, and that’s 100% okay, too.

Even if they have the resources to run with homeschooling, not every kid–and just as importantly, not every parent–is cut out for this ride.

You’ll never hear me say that’s one proper route forward. There are truly as many beautiful paths as there are people And for many, that path may shift with time. If you homeschool for a bit and then stop, that’s cool too. There aren’t any rules or litmus test you need to abide by. Just do you, and honor your kid.

Listen to your child, listen to yourself, then make the best of exactly where you are and what you’ve got to work with. I’m rooting for you, whether your path and mine are similar or not.

For those embarking on a similar path to mine, I’m rooting for you, too!

If you’re here for advice, I’d simply say this: stop worrying and start living. They’ll learn to read, they’ll develop social skills, they’ll become independent, they’ll follow their hearts.

Tell your neighbor that you don’t need a teaching degree to be qualified to teach your own; tell your mom that reading doesn’t need to happen at age 5 to be perfectly timed; tell your uncle that social skills are not tied to how much time your children spend with like-aged peers.

Hand out copies of “How Children Learn”, “How Children Fail”, and “Teach Your Own” like party favors to your nay-sayers.

And then get back to the business of living, playing, exploring, questioning, discovering, and learning alongside your kids.

I promise you this: you won’t regret it.

Mullein Tea for Lung Care

I’ve seen more mullein this year than ever before, and the timing couldn’t be better. This common weedy plant of dry, sandy, disturbed areas is a wonder for supporting healthy lungs–something so many of us can use this season.

Because mullein is abundant, easy to identify, gentle, and safe, it’s a great beginner’s herb for those exploring herbalism for the very first time! And now more than ever, this is an herb our bodies are calling for. (Read on for how to brew your own mullein herbal tea for weary lung support.)

When we’re inhaling smoke and other irritants (hello, wildfires) or even experiencing mild asthma symptoms, mullein goes to work to help us breathe easy again. Even here in Wisconsin, far from the ravaging fires out west and in Canada, the haze in the air is evident. And I’m deeply called to brew this herb to nourish my family and myself.


While I pause before I suggest we take more from this weary earth, I do believe in my heart that when we connect with the plants and the planet, we can help to heal our relationship to the Earth and begin the work of restoring the health of the planet we call home. As long as there’s reciprocity, the plants are here–just waiting for us to lean in and listen.

In my first book, Herbal Adventures, I give loads of mullein plant ID tips so you can confidently forage your own (clears throat and whispers: mullein≠lamb’s ear)! I also share several recipes (like herbal cough syrup, an herbal steam, and an herbal tea blend for cough and cold season). But it needn’t be complicated! Even a simple mullein leaf tea is incredible for soothing smoke-weary lungs.

And making your own couldn’t be easier.

Here’s how…

Mullin Lung Love Tea

Serving Size:
1 cup
Time:
10 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy-peasy

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp mullein leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 1 cup freshly boiled water

Directions

  1. Place mullein leaf in your favorite mug.
  2. Add just-boiled water.
  3. Cover and steep for 10 minutes or longer (up to overnight).
  4. Strain and drink daily as desired. (Seriously, ya’ll. That’s how easy this is.)

Alongside dandelion, white pine, plantain, bee balm, and five other wild wonders, mullein is one of the ten plants I feature in my first book, Herbal Adventures! It’s out of print (sad face), but you can pick up a signed copy on my website (hooray!)/ And when you purchase directly from me, I plant two trees for every copy sold (Take that, Amazon)!

Lemon, Lavender & Yarrow Digestive Bitters Recipe

Most evenings you’ll find me either drinking a big mug of hot herbal tea (current fave: a blend of Tulsi, fresh ginger, plantain leaf, and wild peppermint), or sipping a mason jar of fizzy water spiked with either a dose of motherwort or blue vervain tincture or a squirt of homemade herbal digestive bitters.

I have a few favorite digestive bitters formulas (my go-to being dandelion + yellow dock + burdock + cardamom + date), but also love experimenting with new combinations of aromatic, bitter, and sweet elements. We ended up with a windfall of meyer lemons this month, and I decided to adapt an old recipe of mine to include some new elements. Today’s experiment involved yarrow, burdock, dandelion, lavender, chamomile, lemon, and honey. And I think it’s downright delightful.

Digestive bitters ease digestive woes while boosting our nutritional absorption from the foods we eat. I love including all manner of healthful, local herbs in my recipes, and encourage you to adapt this formula to whatever you have on hand.

Want to make your own? My recipe is below! Do let me know how you like it after yours is ready.

Note: if you’re using the photo for your recipe (versus the typed up version below it), you may end up bumping up to a larger mason jar after your bitters steep for a few days if you find that your roots were thirsty, or if you don’t have enough room to expand and properly steep.

Lemon, Lavender, & Yarrow Digestive Bitters

Makes approximately 1/2 pint of bitters

  • 1 1/2 small Meyer lemons (or 1 regular lemon), washed and thinly sliced with the peels on
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp dried, sliced dandelion root (or 1 scant cup fresh)
  • 3 tbsp dried, sliced burdock root (or 3/4 cup fresh)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried lavender flowers
  • 1 tsp dried yarrow flowers and leaves
  • 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 1/2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy (=/-) – enough to cover herbs by 1 to 2″

Directions

  1. Combine all fruit, roots, and herbs in a pint-and-a-half-sized mason jar.
  2. Add raw honey, then top with enough brandy to generously cover the herbs and fruit by at least 1 to 2 inches.
  3. Cover with a non-reactive lid (or a lid lined with plastic, waxed paper, or parchment).
  4. Set in an out-of-the-way corner of your kitchen for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily or as often as you think of it. I strongly encourage you to taste your bitters throughout the process, so that you can participate in the magic and sense the subtle flavor shifts that happen over time.
  5. Strain your bitters through a mesh colander, squeezing firmly to extract as much liquid as you can from your herbs. Compost solids.
  6. Transfer bitters to a clean, dry glass bottle or jar (a dropper bottle is especially nice for daily use), then clearly label with name, ingredients, and date. To use, add to fizzy or non-fizzy water or (if you’re so inclined) to cocktails. If using to boost digestion (and why not?!), enjoy daily about 30 minutes before meals. Perfect to sip on while you finish making dinner!

Do you make your own digestive bitters? What’s your favorite recipe?

The Spring Simple Living Collection is here!

I’m delighted today to introduce the latest Simple Living Collection. Because now more than ever, the desire to slow down, reconnect, create more joy, and savor family life stirs deep within us.

Join me—along with a group of experts from across the globe—as we share the spring issue of The Simple Living Collection.

Along with my shrubs recipe collection (also known as “drinking vinegars), you’ll dive into over 40 tutorials, patterns, recipes, stories, and more. Projects and activities are included for all ages and every corner of the world.

The collection includes 7 categories:
– Create
– Grow
– Nourish
– Raise
– Wildcraft
– Family
– Healthy Home

Our spring issue is only available through March 22nd for $25 (valued at $550). With over 40 creators sharing their tried and true skills, everything from baking dandelion muffins, to learning to raise quail, to celebrating the spring equinox is packed inside. Creating nature shelves, growing a sunflower house, learning how to make a keyhole garden, making butterflies to hang in the window, plant life cycle stories, making rain gauges, green cleaners, crocheting, foraging, and so much more are tucked inside this digital collection!

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to slow down, savor family life, and learn new skills! Find it all right here.

Fermented Fruit Chutney Recipe

When we were in Ireland a couple of years ago, I stumbled upon Spoonful Botanicals, an intriguing fermented fruit-and-herb spread. Designed to be anti-inflammatory (and delicious) I was so tempted, but at €30.00 per jar it was way outside of my budget.

After we returned home I kept thinking about it and wishing I had been able to pick up a jar. I did a bit of researched and realized that fermented chutneys are commonplace in India, and searched around for a recipe to experiment with making my own.

Using a Nourishing Traditions raisin chutney recipe as my jumping-off point, I set to work grinding and fermenting aromatics and dried fruit.

Two days later, I cracked the jar, took a taste, and swooned. Oh, yes. This is just what I expected from the boughten, Irish version–and then some. It was spicy, sweet, and exactly what my body craved. I was hooked.

Is it a chutney? A fruity spread? I have no idea. Make a batch, then call it what you will. I won’t lie: it’s not beautiful, but the taste makes up for the appearances. (I promise!)

Why fermented foods?

Lactofermentation provides important probiotics to the digestive system. We make a habit of eating them daily: homemade Beet Kvass, sauerkraut, ginger carrots, and more. This spicy, fruity spread offered one more delicious way to included probiotics in our diet.

Anti-inflammatory Herbal Allies

Lately I’ve been experiencing more joint pain than I’d like. (I suppose any is more than I’d like, but this is quite a bit.) So I’m doing my best to limit inflammatory foods like sugar and refined grains, and to incorporate anti-inflammatory herbs in my diet each day.

A daily dose of ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and other allies is already going into in my morning tea, and I drink a shot of tart cherry juice most nights. But adding more anti-inflammatory foods and herbs felt like a smart decision.

This fruity-sweet ferment includes turmeric, pepper, and ginger–warming anti-inflammatories that can help alleviate joint pain. And it’s so delicious that after surprising Lupine with a taste on a bite of whole-grain pancakes yesterday, she dipped into the jar and spread a generous amount on her next helping. “It’s so good that I’m taking more on purpose.”

Approved.

Ready to whip up a batch? It goes together in a snap and will keep for weeks in the fridge once fermented (if you don’t gobble it up before that.)

Fermented Fruit Chutney Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 Tb ground turmeric (or 3 Tb fresh ground turmeric and 2 Tb ground)
  • 1 Tb fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground (fine)
  • 3/4 C hot water
  • 2″ knob fresh ginger (peel on), grated
  • 3/4 C dried dates
  • scant 1 1/4 tsp salt (divided)

Directions

  1. Combine raisins, turmeric, black pepper, and fennel in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl. Avoid plastic or other materials that may stain from turmeric.
  2. Add 3/4 C very warm water (approximately 100 to 120° F) water and stir to combine. Cover and allow to soak for 1 to three hours.
  3. Meanwhile, combine fresh, unpeeled ginger with pitted dates plus 1 scant teaspoon salt in the bowl of your food processor. Process until a smooth, sticky paste results.
  4. After raisin mixture has soaked and raisins have plumped somewhat, transfer the mix along with any remaining soaking liquid to the ginger and date mix in the the processor. Pulse for several minutes until desired consistency is achieved. (I like mine as a spread so it’s fairly smooth, but chunkier is fine, too.)
  5. Transfer paste to a suitably sized glass jar (I used a pint), allowing at least 1″ of headroom. Tap jar gently on the counter, then insert a butter knife to remove any large air bubbles and tap again. Smooth the top surface of your paste with the knife.
  6. In a separate container, combine 1/4 tsp salt with 1/4 C warm water. Stir to dissolve, then pour gently over the top of your dried fruit mix, completely covering the surface of the chutney. Discard any extra brine that doesn’t fit in the jar.
  7. Tightly seal and set on a stain-proof plate or bowl. Allow to ferment at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 2 days.
  8. After two days, open your jar over the sink, just in case any brine spills out. (The jar may be slightly pressurized from fermentation. A satisfying “pssssshhht!” sound is perfectly normal and not a cause for alarm.) Most of your brine will have been drawn down into the fruit mix, but if any surface brine remains, pour it off into the sink.
  9. Stir well, sneak a taste, then refrigerate.
  10. Allow to mellow for a few days if desired, then spread on crackers, pancakes, waffles, apple slices, or toast, or stir into hot porridge.

Fermented chutney will keep for three months or more in the refrigerator.

The Winter Simple Living Collection

So many of you joined me this fall when I shared the Autumn Simple Living Bundle with you. This fabulous resource was just what the season called for, inviting us to slow down and savor the turning of the year. 

In my life, winter invites slowness more than any other season, encouraging us to breathe into the stillness and find a little bit of ourselves hidden within. Winter inspires my family to hunker down with warming recipes, lingering days, and cozy projects to bring light into the darkness.

And with all that in mind, I’m delighted to announce that The Winter Issue of The Simple Living Collection is here!

Now more than ever, the desire to slow down, reconnect, create more joy, and savor family life stirs deep within us. I have gathered together with a group of inspiring writers and creators from across the globe for this seasonal family resource that will inspire us to do just that.

What makes this collection special? Within these pages, you will find:

  • a blueprint to craft a life filled with lasting memories, new skills, and deeper connections.
  • 40+ products including e-books, tutorials, patterns, recipes, stories, and so much more!
  • materials for all ages
  • resources to use no matter where you call home

Contributions are organized in 7 curated categories: 

  • Create
  • Grow
  • Nourish
  • Raise
  • Wildcraft
  • Family
  • Healthy Home

Our winter issue is only available through December 7th and is just $25 (valued at around $550). With over 30 creators sharing their passions and gifts, you’ll discover everything from learning to cook on a wood stove, to making mullein candles, to celebrating the winter solstice, to my own contribution: homemade golden milk and tips for sweetest dreams.

You’ll also discover tree tapping, nourishing soups, seasonal tea time, winter nature tables, solstice countdown stories, winter foraging, herbal salves, needle felting, winter wreaths, and so much more are tucked inside this digital collection.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to slow down, savor family life, and learn new skills. This year more than ever, we’re being invited to reinvent how we live, and this booklet is ready to be your guide.

The Simple Living Winter Collection would make an inspiring holiday gift for kids or grownups alike who are facing a long winter at home this year.

Are you ready to craft a life that’s slower, more intentional, and rich with simple pleasures? Me, too. I can’t wait to hear how this collection shapes your family for seasons to come.

Find the Winter Collection here, but only for a limited time. Available now through December 7.

What is your favorite slow, winter tradition? Share below!

Rosemary & Lemon or Ginger & Cardamom Soda Syrup Recipes

Holidays are looking distinctively low-key this year. Unable to travel to see my family due to common-sense covid protocol, it’s just us, hunkered down here at home.

In an attempt to make things still feel special this season, we’re throwing both old and new traditions in our winter holiday mix. And some fancy fizzies seem like just the thing to cultivate a more festive feel, even if we’re just hanging out at home.

With that in mind, I improvised the two soda syrup recipes below last night, and today Lupine and I are having a hard time not drinking them all before dinner time. Making them takes almost no active time, so get on it! If your family celebrates Thanksgiving, you can get these made easily with time to spare for tonight’s meal. (And if you wait until the last minute, just double down on the herbs and spices quantities, and steep for just 10 to 20 minutes instead of 2 hours, then quick-chill in the freezer.)

Amounts are so forgiving and flexible! I only measured because I wanted to share with you. Feel free to go rogue and wing it, throwing in your own favorite aromatics like thyme or sage, coriander or clove, grapefruit or lime.

Recipes follow!

Rosemary & Lemon Soda Syrup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 12 whole peppercorns
  • zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except lemon juice in a small cooking pot.
  • Place over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring mixture to a vigorous simmer, then cover and remove from heat. 
  • Steep for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
  • Strain and transfer to a 1/2 pint jar. 
  • For rosemary syrup, add lemon juice and stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.

Ginger & Cardamom Soda Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey, sugar, or maple syrup
  • 2″ knob of fresh ginger, sliced or smashed
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a small cooking pot.
  • Place over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring mixture to a vigorous simmer, then cover and remove from heat. 
  • Steep for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
  • Strain and transfer to a 1/2 pint jar. 
  • For rosemary syrup, add lemon juice and stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.

To use, add a splash to fizzy water, and serve over ice (we like approximately 1 tbsp per cup). 

We can do hard things

During my second week of high school, I lost my battle against worsening scoliosis and was fitted with a back brace–the thing I’d been desperate to avoid since the 4th grade.

Made of leather and steel, my brace was a medieval thing that fit from chin to pelvis, holding my stock-straight (If you image search “Milwaukee Brace” you’ll see what this monster looked like. It’s pretty intense.).

I wore it day and night–to school, at home–even to sleep. I remember going to the theater (wearing my brace) to see Sixteen Candles with some friends shortly after I was fitted with it. There’s a girl in the film who wears a brace–a super nerdy kid, of course–and she’s drinking from the water fountain. Everyone in the theater was laughing except for me, simultaneously embarrassed & annoyed (as she impossibly bent at the waist to drink–such rubbish) while feeling deep shame for being that nerdy kid, & burning from their laughter.

Drinking fountains–like cars, sleep, and being a teenager in general–were all more difficult in a brace. But that was my adolescence. Uncomfortable, awkward, and harder than I wanted it to be.

In all, I was braced for 5 years, from the start of high school through my freshman year of college. And while a brace isn’t something I’d wish upon anyone, it was one of my most important teachers.

Because the truth is, we can all do hard things–things we’re certain we aren’t capable of.

Things we don’t want, and things we try to wish away. I suppose even now that lesson holds, some thirty years later.

Right now, life is damn hard—for so many of us, and for so many reasons. None of us wanted this, & none of us know how long it’s going to last, nor how long we can take it. And I can so relate to that feeling.

2020 is something of a collective back brace for us all. We’re doing the hard, uncomfortable, painful thing because we don’t have another choice. And sometimes it pinches, & sometimes we can’t sleep because we feel like we’re suffocating, & sometimes it brings us to tears when we least want it to. But in the end, we’re going to come out the other side stronger, more resilient, and even better for it in small, invisible ways. I’m certain of that. I really am.

I’m rooting for you, friend. This sucks, but please know you’re not alone.

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

I joked yesterday on social media that I’m going to have Sage (18) caption all of my photographs going forward.

This one? “I don’t know what you’re making in here, but it smells disgusting.”

Because, well, fire cider.

If you’re new to fire cider, I’m betting that this probably isn’t the most compelling sales pitch ever. But this witchy, pungent infusion is an incredible seasonal immune tonic. And funky scent or not, I’m betting that’s something we all could use in spades right now.

To set the record straight, Sage despises apple cider vinegar in any form. So that’s the main bit of trouble with fire cider for him. Layer over that the smell of sliced, fresh horseradish punching him in the nose when he walked in the room, and he just couldn’t do it. To me, on the other hand, it smells delicious, nourishing, and like fierce immunity magic in a jar.

Which, of course, it is.

Made with fresh onions and garlic, horseradish and aromatics, fire cider is spirited, spicy, pungent, and warming. This immune-supporting marvel is made with fresh herbs and aromatics, it’s just the kick our bodies need to stay healthy during this most challenging time. It takes just minutes to prep enough to last the winter, with extra bottles to pass along to friends. Will you make a big batch this weekend to share with those you love?

Don’t wait. Make it now, and it won’t be ready until early December.

Go rogue

Don’t let the specific ingredients or quantities listed in the recipe below limit your creative flex.

If you’re out of cayenne and want to add fresh chilis (like I did in the jar pictured below), go for it. If you’re vegan and want to sub maple for honey, knock yourself out. If you’re not eating alliums, cut them from the list; then boost the quantities of the other ingredients a bit to make up for the missing oniony-punch.

Because every herbalist has their own favorite fire cider formula, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. This recipe just happens to be mine.

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

Makes approximately 3 pints

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh ginger root (approximately 1 oz.)
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh horseradish root
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (approximately ½ cup) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried cayenne powder
  • 2 tbsp rose hips (optional)
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 3 cups (plus extra if needed) organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon (at bottling time)

Instructions

Place finely chopped or grated vegetables, and dried herbs in a quart-sized mason jar. Add honey, then top off with enough apple cider vinegar to fill the jar to just above the shoulders (approximately 3 cups). 

Stir well, then cover with a plastic lid or a metal lid lined with waxed paper or a food-grade plastic bag. 

Infuse for 4 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking gently once a week, or any time you think of it. 

After 4 weeks pour your fire cider through a cheesecloth-lined colander and transfer liquid to a clean mason jar. Add lemon juice, and label with date and contents. Stored in the refrigerator, Fire Cider will keep for at least 1 year.

To Use

Take 1 tsp to 1 tbsp daily for adults; ½ to 1 tsp for children, throughout cold and flu season. Stir into a cup of room temperature water, cold juice, or (for the bravest among us!) take right from the spoon or shot glass.

Note

Fire Cider may cause stomach upset in people with heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion.

Rosemary Gladstar

And finally, my (and most of the world’s) inspiration for my fire cider recipe is the lovely Rosemary. If you’d enjoy a how-to video of this simple process, her’s is below. I adore Rosemary, and if you don’t already, this video should be all that it takes for you to join me in the herb-nerd fan club.

Now get busy and make a quart or two for yourself, your family, your friends, and your neighborhood!

Together, we can find our way back to our roots, back to handmade and homemade, back to effective remedies made from what we have.


Be well, friends. We’re all in this together.

Rachel

Autumn Lantern Tutorial

I’m over on The Artful Parent today, sharing an excerpt from The Unplugged Family Activity Book. It’s one of my favorite projects from the Autumn chapter, and one that my own family has enjoyed for years.

Head over to their blog for all the details, or turn to page 92 in your copy of The Unplugged Family Activity Book. (We’re also offering a copy up to one lucky winner on Instagram + Facebook!