Healthier Oatmeal Cookies!

My skate lady acquaintance Patti Hurst claims these are the best oatmeal cookies ever! Made gluten/refined sugar-free by using beet and date sugar, garbanzo and fava bean flour, and potato and tapioca starches. When I asked her if I could post it on the blog,  she noted “…credit should go to Babycakes bakery in NYC. I just modified their choc chip cookie recipe a little by substituting unrefined sugars and adding an egg to hold things together better. Also, I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot starch…”

So please enjoy the healthy goodness and keep pushing!

GF Oatmeal Cookies

1.5 c oats
1 c Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour
1/4 c tapioca starch
1/4 c flaxseed meal
1/2 c coconut palm sugar
1/4 c date sugar
1/4 c beet sugar
1.5 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3/4 c plus 2 T melted coconut oil
2 T vanilla
1 egg
Optional: add raisins, walnuts and/or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325F, whisk ingredients in order given, drop heaping mounds of dough on cookie sheet, bake 12-15 mins, turning sheet once. Cool thoroughly, unless you can’t wait; in that case, enjoy right out of the oven!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Krispy Treats of LOVE!

I really wanted to name this post “Baking Love in the Kitchen” because that is exactly how yummy these suckers are. They feel good on another level with their gluten-free, vegan, & GMO-free kisses! No one will be jealous that you shared this love with someone else. So pass on and enjoy!

I want to give a shout out to the noble few companies on the anti-GMO train. Of course, you can modify this recipe by putting in Cocoa Crispies or some other type of cereal,  but then you wouldn’t have the wonderful opportunity to vote with your dollar and support the companies whose first mission is to supply healthy, nutritious food – and not their own pockets. I got a box of Freedom Food’s Cocoa Crunch to try out and while perusing the web for recipes this afternoon, I came across a great recipe from Deliciously Ella to modify to my chocolate needs and voila! – A happy mouth was born!


-2c. Freedom Food’s “Cocoa Crunch” cereal
-16oz of freshly ground organic peanut butter
-0.25c agave nectar
-1tbs coconut oil


In a small sauce pan, melt together the peanut butter, agave nectar and coconut oil. Pour into a large bowl along with the cereal. Stir until coated and press into a baking pan. Place in the freezer for about an hour, cut into squares and share the love!

See! I got some love!

See!!! I got some love!!

ChocoNannerMuff On The Gluten Free Real!

What do you do when you haven’t blogged in a while?! Post a RECIPE!!!! These little mama-jamma’s are trouble. And that’s because for gluten free they are amazing and loaded with chocolate chips! Oh and because they are small so of course you eat like… 5 of em and think you haven’t eaten a thing… So enjoy, make a double batch, and share with your friends!

Gluten Free ChocoNannerMuffins


4 eggs
5 over-ripe bananas
0.75c sugar
0.5c applesauce
1tsp vanilla
0.33c melted coconut oil
1.5c brown rice flour
0.5c sorghum flour
1tsp baking soda
0.5tsp salt
1c chocolate chips


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and set to the side.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using an electric mixer. Add the bananas, sugar, applesauce and vanilla and beat together until mixed. Then blend the melted coconut oil into the mixture.

Slowly sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while blending with the electric mixer. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and spoon into the mini-muffin pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you don’t have a convection oven, make sure to rotate the muffin pans in the oven about halfway through baking. Should make about 60 gut-busting mini chocolate banana explosions!


Saving Love

The topic of love has been pretty popular these days. Winter holiday is now over and so are many many relationships. It seems this happens every year. Could it be that the cultural “New Years Resolution” has primed us to think that winter is when you drop your old partners- or I mean, habits – because you’ll make some half-assed promise to yourself that you will be different in the upcoming new year? Could these breakups be over-reactions to Seasonal Affective Disorder? Or maybe its something else entirely?

Either way, I feel like I’ve gained enough years as a witness to this phenomenon to wise up and reflect on just what it means to be in a relationship. And if I should really be in one…

Maybe I’ve been a bad picker (many of my friends would argue that). Maybe I’ve just been too nice (arguments there too). Maybe I’ve just had some bad experiences that caused me to re-evaluate whether I can forgive or not (i.e. the whole cheating thing)

But really the honest to the universe truth is that I had no friggin clue what love was and what it means to be in a relationship. I thought you were supposed to be with someone because they made you feel good. But after tireless attempts to attach myself to that feeling I came to realize I’m no more capable of staying the same than anyone else is. And with personal change comes changes in attention, behavior patterns, and needs. Basing my relationships off of my needs of today was the most foolish thing I could have done. And thankfully I am learning.

Love. Hmmm… I marinate on it and try to think of other things I love. I love listening to nature, I love making people feel good, I love learning, I love having fun, I love a lot really. And yes, all of these things that I love make me feel good. But the difference is that I don’t attach myself to these things. I witness them and appreciate them and let them go, realizing that those little moments were precious gifts to be cherished and not sequestered.

BOOM. And then it hits me. Letting go is the only way to love. Attaching myself to unrealistic needs, wants and views on relationships has given me (and others) more pain than we deserve. And so I took Joe’s advice, I stopped to find out what is wrong, aimed to get it right, so that some day I don’t have to leave love alone – in the relationship sense.

Someday I will love again. And I will be the best lover ever. My purpose in my future partners’ life will be to bear witness to their journey, be their best friend, raise them up and encourage them to be the best person they want to be. And like the stream that trickles so beautifully outside of my cottage home, my reward for loving so openly will be the good feeling I get to simply experience it’s journey- and let it go on uninterrupted.

Manifesting Destiny

If you are old enough to remember the old TV show, “Mr. Belvedere”, then you may recall how each episode would end with Mr. Belvedere sitting at his writing desk, writing in his journal while reflecting on some life lesson or word to the wise. That’s kinda how I feel tonight, as I sit at my new co-worker’s computer in a house I’ve been sleeping at for the last 12 days. October 31st was my last day on Whidbey island. I completed my apprenticeship and learned more than I can put into words. The culture out here in Washington state stole my heart so much that I decided to stay. People out here tend to have a greater awareness about themselves, their food, their impact on the environment and they take DIY as a lifestyle, not just a fun fad to brag about, like when you once made your own picture frame in grade school…

Life seems to be so much more full when you use love and keen discernment to make choices. When myself and the apprentices decided against slaughtering our baby goats for meat, an organization called the “Cascadian Center” came to the rescue and adopted our goats, with the promise to never slaughter them or separate them. Stephen paid Greenbank farm back for the cost of the goats so they could live at the Cascadian Center’s 220 acre farm with dozens of other animal friends. We were so lucky, and so were the goats! And as a side note, the employee of the farm reached out to me at a later date after the goats were adopted to offer me a job. And so, as life seems to always do, I became showered with blessings, opportunities and another chance at the good, “connected to the land” type of lifestyle.

The Cascadian Center is a host facility where people can come to gather for any occasion, whether it be related to sports, spirituality, entertainment – you name it. They are seeking change in that they would like to expand beyond the host facility structure and start to offer programs of their own. That’s where I come in.  Over the next few months I will work part time (housing and utilities included) helping with various duties while designing programs for kids to learn organic farming skills. I would imagine that since summer time is peak season for farming, that the spring and fall will be field trip seasons and the summer could be extended “farm camp” programs. I will need to think about every aspect from structure, lesson plans, financials, marketing, demographics and intent. this is exactly the type of thing I would want to do back home but have neither the resources or the capital to start it. So, this is my opportunity to manifest destiny and take the future into my own hands. I aim to educate, to inspire, to practice mindfulness and intention with every decision, to work hard, to share, and to celebrate this great life that I’m fortunate to experience.

Should you have any advice, please share. If you are a parent and there is something you would want your child to learn through a farm setting, please share. If you are a concerned citizen of the earth and think that our education system is missing something that needs to be present in our upcoming generations, speak up. And do this everywhere and with everyone, without judgement or ego, so we can become better people and continue to love this awesome life!!! DAH! Alright, enough of the soap box 🙂

More details to come! Namaste!

The Sun is Always Rising – Guest Blog by Rory McClure

In his second post and update to Lost and Found and Risen in Time, Rory McClure graces us yet again with his thoughtful reflections and lessons learned from brewing the good life. Makes you wanna curl up on the couch and have him read to you, especially on these cozy fall farm days.  Enjoy!


The Sun is Always Rising

by Rory McClure

The dreams are speeding up and it’s tough to focus on any single one. They begin to blur together and fade as I’m not quite awake but no longer sleeping. The sun is rising over the Delaware River and the morning light rips through my bedroom windows. The work pants that were hung over my chair last night still have some life in them, fresh socks are mandatory but the rest doesn’t much matter. Dressed and down the stairs, my legs not quite as stiff as this spring but not as nimble as two springs past. I pop the lock on my back door with a flathead screwdriver and squint hard as I make my way through the morning sun to the water basin.

The metal tub has collected water for my three plants all year, I only recall it running dry once or twice. I dip a half-gallon jug into the cool water then pour slowly into each bucket where the vines meet the soil, pouring several times into each one in turn till the water flows out the holes in the bottom of the buckets. The vines have overgrown the doorway trellises I’ve built and continued on to the strands of twine I lashed to my roof and the brackets of an old basketball hoop at the far end of my concrete slab. I check each plant over for dead leaves, rip out a few ambitious ivy vines coming from next door and make sure that there are no pests swelling in rank. I don’t want to meddle too much so I leave them to soak up the sun as I attend to other business.

The day passes on and I find myself home again, I climb out my bedroom window and find a comfortable place to sit and have a beer on my roof. My view is eastern, there wouldn’t be much of a sunset tonight even with a western vantage but it’s peaceful just the same. I sip my blond ale that hit the spot throughout the heat of the summer, heat that seems to have given way to cooler nights and good sleeping weather. My thoughts drift from the spicy-ginger flavor of my pint to the hops below, the lessons I’d learned both this year and years past…every one of them the hard way.

Castile soap makes a far better bug -repellent than juiced habanero peppers and spraying down the leaves is necessary but timing is everything, midday watering during full sun tends to burn holes straight through those leaves. They want to grow up twine and on a steep angle. They will grow vertically with a little training and they will grow horizontally with a lot of training but in their heart of hearts they want to climb on a 70-80 degree angle until they reach the sky. These ladies don’t need much training or grooming if you have the luxury of burying them in the ground, if you’re growing them out of a bucket then you should let no more than a half dozen vines climb.

I haven’t seen the cascade and the centennial take off like I expected, I fear that a hop plant in a 5 gallon bucket may be potted in its second season. Little I can do about that now but plot for next year. They’re all healthy plants; I’ll take some clippings and spread them around like Johnny Appleseed. Maybe grow them in 55 gallon trash cans so their roots have a little more room to spread out, that might buy me another two years, I’m not sure that’s worth it…but I digress.  My mind wanders from the future back to the little cones these ladies are forming. The coming harvest is about a month away, and as I sit atop my roof in the fading light of the day and the waning heat of an Indian summer I await a second wind as the sun leaves me and continues on to cut short the dreams of those that let the morning light shine through their windows.

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Please Allow Me To Introduce: HOME

Just when you thought this blog was sittin heavy with nothing but food, refection, and farming, a skate crew came and shredded through the sucka!

Six months ago I came to Whidbey and for the first month I was totally bummed. I thought the Oak Harbor skatepark was the only park to shred. Dont get me wrong, it has a sick 6 foot concrete mini, but in my opinion, thats it. The rails seem more like a funky alien decoration, the crete is tired and rough, and there is more flat bottom than I care to skate. I had heard there was a park on the naval base but received mixed feedback from the locals. Plus, you apparently need to know someone in the military to get in.  So that never materialized in my quest… But then my roommate Stephen spotted a little gem on the south side of the island: South Whidbey Skatepark. I scoped it out and jumped for joy! So much more my speed! Bowled out concrete mini, perfect transitions, long 4′ quarter to practice grinds and stalls on, and much more- all tucked into a peaceful northwest fir tree silhouette. Oh and no-one is hardly ever there, so the runs are a plenty. One day at the park I met a group of cats that spoke of a secret indoor mini on the island. JACKPOT! Next thing you know, I was meeting all kinds of skate family and back on the axle stall prowl. Of the people I met at the ramp, was a cat named Watson. A dapper ripper with manners and steeze, who scooped me up with his crew, HOME skateboards, to Orcas after just a few hours of meeting me. Since then I’ve been uber stoked to be able to skate with him & his peeps a few times a month to get a break from the never ending responsibilities on the farm.

And so I introduce to you: HOME skateboards via John Watson.  Peep their Facebook page and if you are in the Seattle/Whidbey/PNW area, give em your support. They are keepin the stoke alive out here!

Home Skateboards –  with John Watson

1) Home Skateboards. I’ve stalked you on the internet and can’t find you anywhere. Are you a covert operation attempting to take over Washington State? Whats the deal? Give us the who, what, where, why, how, when!

W- My friend Brian started the company early last year.  I took a trip to Chile/Peru in November and when I got back I had a message from Brian on my phone asking me if I would be interested in being his partner in the company so I said sure.  So far its working out great.  We both have real jobs and aren’t doing this for money, which is key because skateboarding is something I love and I don’t want it to start feeling like a job.

2) Any lady skaters in the Home crew?

W-Just you.
3) The secret miniramp on Whidbey Island. I’m so stoked to have been able to skate it with you guys. I’ve heard stories about its changes since inception. Can you give us a little history on it?

W-That ramp is was originally built back in 1999.  It’s pretty much a frankenstien of three different ramps but the way we built it this time is by far the most solid.
4) Top five skate spots in the PNW and why. GO!

W- 1. South Whidbey skatepark. I know there are way better parks out there but that one is still my favorite. Must be  because its my home turf.

2. Tegus’s Moonboot bowl. I don’t even know where to begin. If you been there, you know.

3. Bingin skatepark. Hot laps!

4. Lower Woodland skatepark. Because its my local park now.

5. Whidbey ramp. It’s the Dojo. It’s where you go to work shit out and theres always friends showing up to skate.

5) Skating is a lifestyle for sure, but there are other rad things to get stoked on in life as well. Tell us about your car and what you’ve done so far!

W- Living where we do it rains about 10 months out of the year so until they invent the aquatread skate wheel you need to have a hobby you can do indoors.  So last year I picked up a 1947 Pontiac and now I have my hands full rain or shine.

6) You’ve always got a video camera in tow. Any footy you’d like to share with us?

WThis is a clip of Shults, Johnny, The Rook and I taking a trip out to the Bag Pipes last summer

Home Full Pipe DAYYYYYUM!
7) What do you see happening with Home Skateboards in the future? Any plans?

W One thing we are really trying to do is to become self sufficient.  The graphics on our next run of boards will be silk screened by our friend Quill.  So we will have real paint on our decks instead of heat transfers which is what all the big companies use.  Heat transfers are cheaper but its basically just a sticker stuck to your board and the graphics tend to flake.  We are also working on making forms and pressing our own decks.  Other than that just keep it fun.

8) How many times have you hit your head on that cross beam at the ramp?

W-Too many.

9) Any inspirational messages you want to share with the youth of today?

W- Turn off the TV.

Plum Sauce Ya’ll!!!!

One of the great things about living here on Whidbey Island is that there seems to be an overabundance of FRUIT TREES!!! Oh Paradise! And since our lovely friends at Good Cheer Food Bank take such good care of the community, people drop off copious amounts of their fruit booty to share with those in need. My fellow farm apprentice and soul sistah Dani went with me to the food bank last Tuesday. We were given a huge box of plums that were almost too far gone and what did we do?!! Well, first, we played plumball and splatted the hell out of a few of those rotten suckers in great delight during the epic island sunset right in our front yard! Then we dehydrated some with skins on (too tart for my tastes) and dehydrated some without skins (still too tart for my tastes). This adventure was no failure though, for I decided to get adventurous and make some awesomesauce, er, uh, plum sauce rather 😉

So should you find yourself with an abundance of plums and need something delicious to do with them, give this recipe a whirl. I tweaked the original recipe which came from the Oregon Extension Service. Lather your stir fried veggies with this stuff over rice,  dip egg rolls in it, drink it, whatever you gotta do to enjoy, and share with your peeps. Namaste!


Dank Plum Sauce


6 lbs Plums, Whole

1.5 cups Apple Cider Vinegar

2 cups Sugar

5 tbs Molasses

1 Large Onion, Chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

2 -3 inch Piece of Peeled Ginger, Minced

2 Tbs Mustard Seed


1) Blanch the plums by dropping them in boiling water for 30 seconds, draining then placing in a tub of cold water. This will make the skins really easy to remove. Once the skins are removed, put them in a large pot and cook them over medium low heat for 1.5-2 hours, smashing and stirring every 20 minutes or so. Eventually the plums will be so mushed that you can just fish out the pits to remove them.

2) In another large, non-aluminum pot, place the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil while stirring to mix everything well.

3) Add the de-pitted plum reduction to the broth, stir frequently and let cook until the sauce is the consistency of duck sauce. This may take 30+ minutes.

4) Pour into jars in store in the refrigerator or prep canning jars according to manufacturers instructions and hot bath can for 10 minutes under rolling boil.

5) Do the plum sauce dance and enjoy!

Kokabu and Hakurei – Spanning The Globe And Making Everyone Happy!

Lets be honest: NOBODY stokes out at the thought of turnips alone. Well, that is, until these bad ass sparkling white  mamajama’s came into our lives!!!

This year we have been succession planting Hakurei salad turnips for our CSA members and farmers market customers. A total hit, they are deliciously juicy and crispy raw, and good roasted/sauteed as well. The greens are a fantastic braising vegetable so it brings about warmth knowing that no part of this delectable veggie goes to waste. Every person I share these with goes ga-ga for the flavor and juicy freshness. I hope to see them make their way to my home town in the east coast so my family and friends can enjoy them, but as all veggies go- some are better adapted to certain climates and the mild cool weather here on Whidbey Island, WA just might be the weather they prefer.

After sharing this bright, nutritious “salad turnip” with a monk at the Zen Monastery post yoga, he excitedly exclaimed that these turnips are called “Kokabu” back in japan and that they are very highly regarded. This made me so happy to hear! And made me curious as to how many other veggies are out there that we as a culture may not know about but are dying to try!

Should I make my way back east I’m going to try to grow them and see if they can handle the heat without bolting or changing their flavor. Keep your fingers crossed and should you see them, buy em up!

Here’s my roommate and fellow apprentice, Dani- sharing the bounty!

Egg Yolk Peritonitis (or more personally known as “RIP Margie II”)

Today my farming soul sister and I had to kill again. This time it was justified and so I was okay with it. Poor Margie II was in pain. It was her time.

When we slaughtered 26 broilers last month I broke down in some serious emotional tears. I tried. I killed one. That was all I could do. Not having eaten much meat in the last 5 months and being extremely healthy gave me no reason to kill those chickens. I had killed just for the sake of killing. And it not only killed that chicken, it killed a little part of me.

About 2 months ago, one of our layer hens, Margie, had gotten really sick. She was waddling when she could move and had a very swollen abdomen. Her vent and underside were perpetually poopy. She stopped eating and drinking. We tried to quarantine her and give her oatmeal yummies and a bath. Nothing worked and she was wearing away. So we did what we thought best and killed her. When you hold a chicken by its legs and hang them upside down it makes them feel relaxed and a bit “drunk”. So while holding her in this state we cut both sides of her neck to bleed her out. Once she had passed my inner biological curiosity got the best of me so I dissected her belly only to find a giant, softball sized “tumor”. This was not a tumor.

The tumor was actually a large mass of egg deposits that had been accumulating via reverse peristalsis into her abdomen. According to avianweb, this is caused by thin shelled eggs that break in the oviduct and then get deposited into the belly, where a secondary infection occurs. Unfortunately there is no good treatment and the condition is fatal. I am glad that we put Margie out of her misery.

Unfortunately a few days ago, I noticed that her sister (they were Rhode Island Red hens) was displaying the same behaviors and her belly was swollen. We tried to bring her back to health just to see if maybe she was just egg bound but after a few days it was inevitable and so we culled her a few hours ago. Her remains are in the compost, where she will return to the earth and be pain free.

I talked to one of my veterinarian CSA members about egg yolk peritonitis yesterday and she said it could be familial because this condition is quite rare. To be safe, we are going to be paying more attention to our hen’s food, adding more oyster shells for calcium to try to harden their egg shells, and make more roosts so that they are encouraged to perch rather than lay on the straw covered ground, where there may be a source of bacteria from their poop.

When life gives you sadness and disappointment, don’t wallow in it. Think about what the problem is and try to solve it.
Thats all we really can do, right?