Spanish moss hung from towering cypress trees, dancing in the delicious breeze that whispered hints of a coming fall. A rope swing dangled above crystal clear blue waters, calling out to all those with enough moxie to grab a hold of one of its many knots. As my kiddo... Read more
By Gretchen Hein
Ever arrive home at the end of a challenging day and wish the Fairy Kitchen Goddess had sneaked into the kitchen while you were away, leaving behind a yummy meal for you to enjoy? In many households the dinnertime “chef” works outside the home, and arrives home after a full day’s work to prepare a nutritious home cooked meal. It’s easy to allow the constraints of time, energy, and creativity to give way to fast food or boxed quick meals, both devoid of good nutrition and high in fats, salt and sugar. Crockpots and slow cooking offer more options and better choices.... Read more
By Bridget GuruBeant Welch, LMT
How do you raise a healthy eater? Start early and feed them real foods from the beginning. When your baby is ready to begin eating solids, replace processed, constipating, rice cereals with fresh avocado (great for the brain and heart), or banana or steamed carrots or zucchini. When possible, make your own baby food by steaming and mashing vegetables. Also, avoid those foods marketed for babies and toddlers that are processed cereal-like puffs in plastic canisters, which can set baby up for constipation and carbohydrate addiction (loving only... Read more
By Michele Hatton
The average individual uses about 70 gallons of water indoors per day—the average family, 350 gallons per day. Changing a few habits and investing in some low-tech devices can have dramatic effect on the burden we put on our wastewater treatment facility and septic tanks.
Let's talk toilets. The Florida Public Service Commission claims that 80 percent of water used indoors is in the... Read more
Looking for a low calorie, nutrient dense snack to keep in the cupboard or take on hiking adventures? Allow me to introduce you to my friend, kale chips. Holy cow, are these things delish, not to mention packed with things that do your body good. Kale chips are high in:... Read more
Above ground, you see no hint at the magical world that lies right below your feet at the Florida Caverns State Park. The area above is just your typical emerald colored Florida forest and rather unassuming. But what lies beneath is a real treasure. Chandeliers of limestone stalactites and soda straws hang from the cavern ceiling. Shimmering stalagmites jut up from the ground like petrified cypress knees. Elegant stone draperies look as if... Read more
There is something so incredibly alluring in a full moon crawling over the horizon on a summer’s eve. While many myths surround our little stellar neighbor flooding the night sky with light - babies being born, werewolves being spotted - one thing is for sure. Ain’t she a beaut? Recently, I got to experience this awe in a new way: while paddling along the Wakulla River with my family, sunset at my back, and the full moon beckoning me from the... Read more
By Sandy Beck
Living in Florida presents certain challenges for pet owners. Our doctor is fond of telling us, “It’s good to exercise only on days that you eat.” This goes for dogs too. But exercising in the summertime sun and humidity can be tricky. This time of year, it’s best to time walks for the early morning or evening. If you’re hot, your dog, with his less effective cooling system, is much hotter.
If you have to be outdoors the rest of the day, stay in the shade and carry enough water for both of you. Walk your dog on the grass if possible; asphalt gets very hot and... Read more
By Billy Lunsford, Assistant Grocery Manager
Over the last few decades the artisan cheese movement has been growing by leaps and bounds here in the States. You can go almost anywhere, to almost any region of the United States (U.S.), to almost any climate, and find local, handmade cheese. To set yourself apart from the pack is becoming harder and harder, and cheese makers must work not only more diligently but also smarter and with an eye to ecologically sound practices to make a name for themselves in this ever burgeoning field. One farm that really has set itself apart, both in... Read more
By Sandy Beck
On the last day of school, I asked second-grader Jackson how he was going to spend his summer.
“Well, the first thing I’m going to do is lie on my back and watch the clouds," he said.
Jackson is on a soccer team and does other “regular” kid stuff, but his wise mom makes sure he also has something special: free time and a blank notebook. He carries it around in a little bag with a bird field guide and pencils. He draws and writes about the birds he sees, and then looks them up in his bird book.
Jackson told me that a bird we saw was an eastern... Read more