History, Identification, & Uses of Elderberry

You may have seen elderberry cough syrup on the grocery store shelf right next to the rest of the cough syrup. Recently, it has become a popular home remedy for treating colds and the flu but has been used for centuries to treat these things and more.


Elderberry juice was used to treat the flu epidemic in Panama in 1995 and the German Commission E (German FDA) approved elderberry for treatment of coughs, bronchitis, fevers, and colds. Though it has been known for centuries as a remedy to help treat some illnesses and boost the immune system, only recently has there been studies to show us the possibilities of the elderberry in modern day medicine.Continue reading →

History & Identification of Poison Ivy

If you have ever had a run in with poison ivy you know how irritating it can be, but do you know some of the history behind it or how to identify it?

Poison Ivy

During the late 1700’s Europeans were fascinated by plants that are native to North America. As unimaginable as it may think, poison ivy seeds were sold as exotic plants.

The first written account of poison ivy was in 1624!Continue reading →

My First Experience at Hippie Fest – Hocking Hills, Ohio

It’s amazing all of the little festivals that take place in Ohio. I came across this event on Facebook and called up my friend, Rachel, to see if she wanted to go.

My First Experience at Hippie Fest - Hocking Hills, Ohio

I have personally attended this festival in both 2016 and 2017. This is my experience at Hippie Fest in 2016. You can read about my second experience here!

It was a beautiful autumn weekend to be down in Hocking Hill so the two of us got in her little car and headed down to hippie fest. While trying to get up the hill to the festival location we were worried that the car wouldn’t make it up the hill!Continue reading →

Pawpaw Festival 2016

Pawpaw Fest this year is September 15-17!

Every year in southeastern Ohio there is a little festival celebrating a native fruit called the Pawpaw. The festival is held on Lake Snowden, which is owned by the college I graduated from, but even after being at Hocking College for two years I never went to Pawpaw Fest.

This year, my husband and I drove down and picked up our friends Travis and Tori. The four of us decided to still go even though it called for storms all day.

It’s not a huge festival but it’s certainly interesting. They had a lot of vendors selling handmade goods and a decent selection of food trucks. There were also some groups promoting renewable energy and various outdoor programs. They even have music and some education talks. If you like the outdoors and green alternatives, it’s a pretty cool place to go to.

Tori, Travis, & a guy dressed as a pawpaw

Continue reading →

How To Make Homemade Bug Spray

For centuries man has used plants to repel bugs like mosquitos and ticks. From hanging bruised plants to rubbing oil into our skin to bug sprays, avoiding pesky bugs has always been important.

Homemade Bug spray

(This post contains affiliate links. Learn more.)


One of the most common bug spray ingredients used today to repel mosquitos and ticks is a chemical called N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET.

DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and later was registered for use by the general public in 1957. It is estimated that 200 million people use bug repellents containing DEET every year.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Pawpaw

The pawpaw is not only native to North America, but it is also the most northern species in the Annonaceae family, a mostly tropical custard apple family.


In 1541, a Portuguese officer made the first written account of the pawpaw while he was on an expedition of the southeastern United States. He wrote about the Native Americans growing and eating pawpaws in the Mississippi Valley region. Members of this expedition named the pawpaw after the papaya due to their similarities. In some areas around the world, the papaya is also called pawpaw which can lead to some confusion.Continue reading →

How to Make Homemade Almond Milk

Almond milk is a great alternative to milk if you can’t have dairy. I have a milk allergy, though I still have milk from time to time without too many issues. Recently, I decided that when it comes to cooking I want to start using alternative milk to reduce the amount of dairy I am consuming. I don’t really care to drink almond milk but I do like cooking with it. My husband, however, does drink it and says it’s much better than the store bought stuff.

how to make almond milk

Almond milk is available commercially and can be a bit pricey.  With the lawsuit against Blue Diamond Growers and WhiteWave, many people are avoiding almond milk. The lawsuit is about the companies misleading consumers, not against allergies, ingredients, or quality, though many people now avoid the milk thinking it is not actually almond milk. I personally like making my own since it cuts out all preservatives and thickeners. It also means I can cut out sugar.Continue reading →

What is a Glycerite?

If you’ve ever made or had a tincture that does not contain alcohol you have had a glycerite!

What is a Glycerite_

Before we get into what a glycerite is, let’s talk about its main ingredient, glycerine.

Glycerine was accidentally discovered in 1779 by K. W. Scheele, a Swedish chemist.  M. E. Chevreul gave glycerine its name in 1811 after the Greek word, glykys, meaning sweet. Glycerine did not become an important ingredient until 1866 when Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. From there it became a commercialized ingredient.Continue reading →

What is a Vegetarian/Vegan Diet?

Vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular today with more convenient options being available. It’s hard to not have heard of it when it is estimated that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians and 22.8 million follow one of many types of vegetarianism.

What is a VegetarianVegan Diet_

Vegetarianism isn’t new.  Pythagoreans were one of the first self-proclaimed vegetarians who adopted what they believed the Greek philosopher Pythagoras ate, though it is unknown if he really was vegetarian. Pythagoras’ supposed diet was mentioned in Greek philosopher Porphyry’s book On Abstinence from Killing Animalswhich was written in the third century.Continue reading →

What’s the Deal With Gluten?

I’m sure by now most people have heard of the Gluten Free Diet. Most grocery stores now carry gluten-free products but what exactly is it?

What is A gluten-free Diet

It is estimated that man began baking bread about 30,000 years ago. Prehistoric bread consisted of flatbread made from dried, powdered roots cooked on hot rocks. The introduction of yeast allowed our ancestors to make different types of bread other than flat bread. Refined flour was originally hand ground and made coarse whole grain bread. Yet, the desire for the whitest flour lead to filtering out the bran and the germ and bleaching the flour.Continue reading →