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 can... 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 phoebe... Read more
No need to BBQ...for only $31.99 we will feed your family for the 4th!
1 - Whole Rotisserie Chicken
1 - 2lb Slab of BBQ Pork Ribs
6 - Dinner Rolls
2 - 1qt sides (choose from Southern Potato Salad, Southern Slaw, Macaroni Salad, or Sweet and Crunchy Broccoli Salad).
As our canoe launched off of the muddy shores of the Holmes Creek into its murky waters, I felt like I was entering a new world in an era long gone. The creek curved through the dense and lush Florida forest of hardwoods, water oaks and cypress trees. Thick, moss covered branches criss crossed overhead and created an enchanting tree canopy that shaded the entire creek. Because of the recent rain, the browns of the tree trunks and forest floor were more of a black and the greens were lush and vibrant. Spider lilies... Read more
By Bridget Welch
Slow Food founder and President Carlo Petrini, states "Everyone has the right to good, clean and fair food." By good, he means a high quality and flavorful product. By clean, he means the way the product was produced and transported was natural and Earth friendly. By fair, he means adequate pricing and treatment for both the consumers and producers.
Slow Food, an international movement founded by Petrini in 1986, began as an alternative to fast food as large chains tried to bring fast food to his region in Italy.
... Read more
By Sandy Beck
If you shop at the New Leaf Market Co-op, you are probably conscious of what you feed your body. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it makes sense that what you put on it is as important as what you put into it, right?
Here are some basic recipes that are effective, safe enough to eat, inexpensive and haven’t been tested on animals—unless your dog gets to lick the bowl.
Adapted from keeperofthehome.org
Honey Cleanser... Read more
Carving out a little space in your house to display a child’s collection of nature finds can be a great way to engage them in nature and allow them to explore natural items at their own pace. I see the goal of a nature space as being an invitation to a child to touch, explore and experience nature. This simple little space can be a great way to instill a deep love and respect for the natural world in kiddos and it’s super... Read more