History, Identification, & Uses of Persimmons

Kaki persimmons, or Japanese persimmons, are popular fruits available in autumn but did you know there is a persimmon tree native to North America?

american persimmons

The American Persimmon was a fascinating plant too early settlers but were actively used by Native American for both food and medicine. Persimmon loaves were often gifted to the settlers by the Native American. It soon became a favorite North American fruit. It wasn’t long before more recipes started to include persimmons.

There are many types of persimmon found around the world. Diospyros kaki is the most popular cultivated species that is native to Japan, China, and Korea. Kaki persimmons are what you can normally find in the store. Diospyros virginiana is native to eastern North America and not cultivated for its fruit. Their fruit is also delicious and a great food source for wildlife and pollen for honey bees. In the U.S., the American persimmon is grown for its wood.Continue reading →

Peanut Free Buckeye Balls

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Buckeyes: the fruit of Ohio’s state tree and the favorite dessert of any Ohio State Buckeye fan.

Oh, Buckeyes. If you grew up in Ohio you are familiar with buckeye candy. Sugary ball of peanut butter coated in chocolate to look like buckeyes from the buckeye tree. If you grew up in Columbus you may be familiar with the 235-pound buckeye candy on display at Anthony Thomas. College football is a big thing in Ohio, especially in Columbus, and with football comes buckeye candy.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of American Holly

Holly is a very common Christmas ornament but it is more than just a pretty evergreen.

american holly

When the pilgrims came over to America they found American hollies growing along the cost of the new world. American holly looks very similar to English holly which was a symbol of Christmas in England and Europe. It quickly became a popular plant in North America. Even George Washinton was a fan of them, planting more than a dozen at Mt. Vernon.

Hollies are much like ginkgos in the sense that they are dioecious, they have separate male and female trees. So, only the female trees produce those pretty red berries. They are also a great wildlife tree, as 18 species of birds love to eat the berries.Continue reading →

How To Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

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Sparkling lights in the night, gifts under the tree, hot cocoa, and stockings. Who’s ready for the Christmas season?

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Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to sidetrack your goal of going green. Here are 10 ways you can be eco-friendly this Christmas season.

1. Use Recyclable or Reusable Gift Wrap

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Did you know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable? Some contain plastic and a lot of ink that does not make it worthwhile, or even possible, to recycle. Just think of how many bags of wrapping paper you end up throwing away after Christmas.Continue reading →

Reusable Gift Wrap & How To Use It

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How many rolls of Christmas wrapping paper does your family use every year? How much do you spend on wrapping paper? Unfortunately, most wrapping paper is not recyclable and ends up in the landfill.

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One of my favorite parts of Christmas is looking at all the wrapped presents under the tree. The shiny paper and crisp outlines of the boxes were so beautiful to me. Every year my brothers and I would tear the paper off and throw it aside. I never really thought about what happened to the paper after our gifts were unveiled. As time went by and I grew older, I began to notice how wasteful wrapping paper was. After Christmas with my family, we would throw out a bag or two stuffed full of wrapping paper. Continue reading →

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christmas

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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It also happens to be one of the most wasteful times too. There are quite a few things that you can do to reduce your environmental impact during the holidays, but what do you get people that won’t hurt the environment?

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is upon us and finding the right gift or even stocking stuffers can be difficult. Here are 10 eco-friendly ideas for the green person in your life.

1. Wooden Toothbrushes

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Over 269 million toothbrushes are used every year in the U.S. Most toothbrushes are made of plastic and can end up in the ocean. Switching to wooden toothbrushes is more sustainable and better for the environment. They also make a great stocking stuffer.Continue reading →

Graze Box Review

I am very much a grazer. I love to snack and would rather snack all day than eat just 3 meals a day. I was excited to give the graze box a try when my friend recommended it to me.

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All opinions here are my own. This is not a sponsored post. I received this sample box for free because my friend recommended it to me. If you use my code I might receive discounts or free products for recommending you.

Setting Up Ordering

allergies

First things first. Graze may not be suitable for those with allergies. I do have allergies and I was able to pick out some snacks that were safe for me to eat! If you have severe allergies I wouldn’t risk it.Continue reading →

The Rush to Save Patriot: An Adoption Story

Adopting a dog is a big decision and it’s not always an easy one either. There’s so much that goes into getting a dog especially if you don’t already have dogs. Sometimes, it’s the difference between life and death for a dog if it doesn’t get adopted.

rush to save patriot

I’ve been following some groups on Facebook that advocate for dogs that need to be adopted in shelters around Columbus, Ohio for a while now. I remember one occasion where there was this overweight beagle that was absolutely adorable. I obsessed over him for a few days but we couldn’t really afford to get a dog and he was in foster care. I figured he’d get adopted at some pointed and resigned myself to the fact that we couldn’t get the dog and that he’d find a forever home elsewhere.

However, that is not the case for many dogs.Continue reading →

Harvesting & Cooking Ginkgo Nuts

Most ginkgos that are planted are male trees. Sometimes you might run across a female tree full of nuts that can actually be harvested and eaten!

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The reason we don’t see many female ginkgo trees is due to the fruit they produce, which is rather smelly. One female tree can produce a lot of seeds that will drop to the ground in the fall and get stepped on and run over, creating a big smelly mess. I personally think they don’t smell as awful as people say they do. My husband says they smell like trash that’s been in the garbage can for a few days. They do smell better than roadkill!

Ginkgo Nuts

Ginkgo nuts aren’t actually nuts. They are actually gymnosperm! Gymnosperms are “naked” seeds found in the conifer family as well as a few other families. The ginkgo nut is not a tree nut and may be closer to a pine nut.Continue reading →

Crickets: The Lost Protein

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Crickets: The protein of the future.

crickets the lost protein

Entomophagy: the human consumpton of insects

Have you ever eaten an insect?

I’m sure your immediate answer may be “No! Never!” or “Not on purpose…” but everyone has eaten an insect before. You may be eating them more often than you think. Eating insects are not very popular in the United States or in Europe but it’s a common ingredient in many countries all around the world.

There are some products that we use that are derived from insects. Natural red dye 4, also known as carmine or cochineal extract, for example. This red dye is made from the female cochineal insect and is added to food suck as fake crab meat, soft drinks, candies, and in medicine. However, most of the insects that we end up eating are from our everyday food and the amount the FDA allows to be in our food.Amount of Insects in Food (1)Continue reading →