Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit group that is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.  Every year, they come up with a list of the 12 (+) worst produce items, as well as the 15 (+) best, in terms of pesticide residue. From their website: EWG analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for the following popular fresh produce items. DIRTY DOZEN CLEAN FIFTEEN 1. Strawberries 1. Sweet Corn* 2. Spinach 2. Avocados 3. Nectarines 3. Pineapples 4. Apples 4. Cabbage 5. Peaches 5. Onions 6. Pears 6. Sweet Peas (Frozen) 7. Cherries 7. Papayas* 8. Grapes  8. Asparagus 9. Celery 9. Mangos 10. Tomatoes 10. Eggplant 11. Sweet Bell Peppers 11. Honeydew Melon 12. Potatoes 12. Kiwi   13. Cantaloupe   14. Cauliflower   15. Grapefruit *Sweet corn and papaya are Read More

Hearty Chili

I will start by saying that I am not a fan of tomatoes.  I can not eat them raw, I just can’t do it!  But if you cook them, blend them and add enough spices (as in pasta sauce, ketchup and pizza sauce), I like them.   I always thought of chili having big chunks of tomatoes and there is no way I could bring myself to eat it.  It wasn’t until Tyler suggested blending the tomatoes to more of a paste consistency since he doesn’t love them either, that I actually tried and fell in love with chili. This recipe has a mild taste because that’s what Tyler and the boys prefer, though if I was making it for myself, I would probably add more chilies to give it a bit more of a kick.  -Cassandra

Instant Pot Chicken Soup

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while, especially since so many people I know got Instant Pot’s for Christmas. When I was first reading up on the things you could do with the Instant Pot, I was amazed that you could cook a whole chicken in 30 minutes!  I now realize  that it’s not a miracle appliance, and though it does take 30 minutes to cook the chicken (which is still pretty amazing), this doesn’t factor in the time it takes to heat up the pot and bring it to pressure, and the time it also takes to release the pressure after the cook time is over. This chicken soup recipe is definitely my family’s favorite.  Its quick and easy to prepare and it is delicious.  My mother in law tried it once and said that it tasted like homemade chicken soup that her mom used Read More

The Start of the Story

Tyler and I have been talking today, about how it’s been over a year since we moved to the farm and we realized we haven’t wrote about it yet.  We thought maybe some of you would like to hear the start of the story…   At the start of August 2016, we moved from our acreage to my parents camper in the middle of our field.  We had our mobile home moved onto our new ‘yard site’ from it’s previous location and our plan was to move into it right away and just live without power or natural gas since they hadn’t been brought onto the property yet.  Unfortunately, since the mobile home and the addition sat separately for a while, we ended up with a bit of a mouse problem.  Anyone that knows me, knows it was a serious problem, as I am terrified of mice!  We got the Read More

Beyond Organic

I would like to start off by stating that when feeding our family, if we can not raise or grow it ourselves or buy it from someone local who grows or raises it in the same way that we do, we try and buy certified organic, GMO free food whenever possible. I also want to say that I know there are farmers out there; organic and conventional, I know some of them, that are using methods in their farming practices that try and rebuild the health of their land and impart as minimal damage to the environment as they possibly can.  For this article however, I am speaking about the way farming is done across the majority of North America. I listen to 840 CFCW AM radio because I’m an old man, or so says my wife.  Its an Alberta wide radio station so of course there are a lot Read More

Gluten-Free Banana Muffins

Well, its that time of the year again… summer is coming to an end and the kids are heading back to school, which means packing school lunches becoming part of our routine again!  This is actually the first year of full-time school for us, which means being even more creative with lunch ideas.   Wyatt’s lunch usually consists of: Main – sandwich, wrap, salad, leftovers Vegetables – carrots, kohlrabi, peppers, snap peas, beans Fruit – apple, orange, banana, mango, berries, melon, applesauce Dairy – yogurt or cheese Baked goods – muffin, biscuit, granola bar I very rarely buy pre-packaged lunch snacks, besides the occasional granola or fruit bar, and this year I would like to avoid those completely as well.    In order to do this, I plan to do baking on the weekends to make sure that I always have a selection of baked goods we can grab from Read More

Busy, Busy!

Hello!  Hope you have all been enjoying your summer so far!  Sorry we haven’t been on here much.  We have been super busy! Here is a quick update of some of the things that have been happening at Natural Heritage Farm: In May, we got the pasture seeded to grass and got our garden boxes and potatoes planted.  Since then we have been busy weeding & watering the garden and Tyler has been working extra hard to try to take care of the weeds that have been growing in the field since we aren’t using any chemical pesticides.  It has been quite the challenge, with lots of hours spent in the tractor mowing down weeds. We have added quite a few new critters to the farm in the last couple months.  A few years ago, when we were still living on the acreage, we purchased a great little mini donkey Read More

Ranch Dip Mix

Summer is just around the corner (I hope!).  We bbq a lot in the summer and we love having veggies & dip with supper or as a snack.  This is the easiest way to get Tyler to eat raw veggies.  Yes, my husband, not the kids!   We used to just go to the store and pick up a tub of sour cream and a packet of ranch dressing mix when we wanted to have veggies & dip, but with ingredients such as maltodextrin, MSG and some other less than appealing ingredients in the dip mix, we decided there had to be a way to make it at home using real ingredients.  Tyler searched the internet and came across a recipe that we love and it is super easy to make.  We mix it up and store it in the pantry so we always have it when we want to Read More

Yak Meatloaf Muffins

Are you a busy,  working mom?  Or just busy?  Who isn’t?  Working out of the house part-time, I definitely love quick, easy, healthy, family friendly meals!  Meatloaf is one of our favorites!  It’s easy to prepare, doesn’t take long to cook and is also a comfort food.   This is a recipe that I came up with and have been making variations of for years.  I have made meatloaf in an actual loaf pan before and I definitely prefer using a muffin tin, plus the kids love the idea of meatloaf ‘muffins’.   It’s as simple as mixing all the ingredients together, spooning the mixture into a muffin tin & baking. I didn’t have any cracker or bread crumbs the last time I made these, so I used Organics brand Wheat Squares Cereal and just crushed them up and it worked well.  

Building A Homestead Community

 I always tell my wife that I think I was born in the wrong era.  I look back to the days before technology, machines and the feeling of having to go, go, go and wish that I could go back in time.  I now know that I don’t need a time machine, I just have to look back to the days of my grandparents and great grandparents, take the lessons of how they lived, and bring them forward and apply them to my life in this modern era. My family and I love being at our new place out in the country and living a homesteading lifestyle.  Being able to raise and grow our own food gives me such joy and a feeling of accomplishment.  It is nice not having to worry about what in the food that my family is eating because we either raised it ourselves or bought Read More