I’ve missed you…

Posted April 1st, 2016 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).
breast cancerSorry I’ve been gone a while, but when life takes you by the shoulders and says, “It’s time to focus on you, you listen.” I’ll be back soon with more tricks on how to continue to eliminate all those toxins from your life and our plant.

Happy Earth Day!

Posted April 22nd, 2015 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

photo[1]Rock’n the trash suit at the Sustainable Danville Earth Day Festival. The majority of all trash generated at schools comes from lunch. Remember, it only takes 10 seconds to wash a reusable container, but 1,000 years for a plastic sandwich bag to break down.

Botulism – A True Story

Posted January 17th, 2015 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

bot·u·lism – ˈbäCHəˌlizəm/noun – Food poisoning caused by a bacterium (botulinum) growing on improperly sterilized canned meats and other preserved foods.

Pasta SauceMany homesteaders tell me they are concerned about canning their own foods, for fear of getting sick. The concern is valid and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many food born illnesses reported each year. Most will cause unpleasant symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, ect.), however, the king of food born illness, botulism can result in death. And I can laugh about it now, but for a few scary hours, I thought I had it… Read more »

Nanette’s Pasta Sauce

Posted September 26th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

San MarzanosSeveral years ago I was on the hunt for the perfect pasta sauce. Nothing too ketchupy, acidic, or pasty. Convinced it was all in the tomatoes, while on vacation in Italy, I asked every Nonna, produce clerk, and chef I could find. Of course, each had their own family recipe, but one ingredient that had more first place votes than the rest was the infamous San Marzano tomato. Read more »

Prescription Mattresses?

Posted July 24th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

toxic matressesWhen my son entered middle school he was 5’6” and wore a size twelve shoe. He’d grown out of his bed, and needed a desk for the pending workload. It was time for some new furniture, but his room is tiny so we opted for a futon to maximize space and give him room to grow.

I was delighted to discover the futon store offered a chemical free mattress. “No problem,” the sales man said. “Just bring me a prescription from your doctor.” I couldn’t believe it. I needed a prescription to protect my son from cancer causing fire retardants. Read more »

What the heck is Wrong with these pears?

Posted May 30th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

Conventional PearsMy family eats mostly organic. We grow a lot of our own produce, and shop at natural food stores for the rest. The other day I was running late so I stopped at a big-name grocery store on the way home to pick up dinner and some fruit for the week. Pears are my favorite, and I typically eat one a day. That day, I bought twelve conventional pears, all green, and put them in a fruit bowl on the counter to ripen.

Pears are one of those fruits that will continue to ripen off the vine like peaches, tomatoes, and bananas so I waited a week and cut one open, only to find it still hard and crunchy inside. Strange. After two weeks the conventional pear skins had begun to shrivel, but the insides remained hard, and bland. I knew producers sprayed potatoes and bananas to keep them shelf stable, but I’d never had that happen with pears before.

I searched the web, and even went back to the store to ask the manager if he knew what they’d been sprayed with. He said he’d look into it, but alas I have yet to hear from him. In the end, I put the pears in my yard waste bin. I didn’t even want them in my home compost, because who knew what they’d been sprayed with.

It never fails. You can’t beat organic.

Happy Earth Day!

Posted April 22nd, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).
Love my draught tolerant lavender!

Love my draught tolerant lavender!

Water on our planet is finite. If you live in a dry area, please consider draught tolerant landscaping. Have a great Earth Day!

Edible Landscaping and Citrus

Posted March 19th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).
Edible Landscaping and Citrus

Edible Landscaping and Citrus

Edible landscaping is one of my favorite topics in homesteading. In fact, much of my yard is edible. I have twenty-one fruit trees, twenty berry plants, and several citrus hedges. The trick with a citrus hedge is to pick the correct size trees and to prune them properly.

Make sure to pick a dwarf tree unless you want a twenty-foot tall hedge. Also, citrus trees produce blossoms on new growth so take care to prune heavily in the fall so the new spring growth can produce lots of blossoms.

I have a west-facing hedge of one Meyer lemon tree and two Cutie tangerines. My five-foot tall lemon tree produces more lemons than our family can eat at one time so when they’re good and ripe I pick and juice them all, freezing the juice into ice cube trays. Then I pop the cubes into a glass freezer container and defrost them as needed for year round organic lemon juice.  This trick also works with limes for summertime margaritas!

E-Waste Debate

Posted November 21st, 2013 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

EwasteWith the holiday season upon us, and noting electronics are at the top of many people’s list, I find this to be a timely discussion.

Debate Question
Should manufactures and retailers be required to take back all of the electronic items they sell when people are done with them? Read more »

Patio Potatoes

Posted October 24th, 2013 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

Potatoes in Wine Barrels

Growing potatoes is one of the easiest homesteading projects you can accomplish. I prefer to grow them in containers because there are no critters to contend with, I can move them around when needed, and harvesting is a snap. Read more »