Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

A Surprising (and Easy!) Way to Grow Your Garden

August 13th, 2014 · Do It Yourself

A Surprising (and Easy!) Way to Grow Your Garden :: via Kitchen Stewardship

This post is by KS contributing writer Pam Farley from Brown Thumb Mama.

It’s dangerous to mention the word “garden” in the summertime! This one word causes people to start crowing about the giant heirloom tomatoes they’ve harvested and the exotic new varieties of watermelon they’re trying to cultivate.

That’s pretty intimidating for new gardeners, especially when you’re one of those folks who can barely get a seed to sprout. It seems like gardening people speak a foreign language–soil fertility, integrated pest management, compost and vermiculture…what the what?!?

And heaven forbid that you confess to having trouble with your garden. You’ll be overwhelmed with advice, information, data, suggestions, old wives’ tales, or worse. My poor green bean plants were the victims of bugs and “incorrect information overload” a few years ago. (photo source)

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that will make you an accomplished gardener–without any stress from the summertime gardeners looking over your shoulder.

It’s easy, your kids can help, and you’ll be thrilled with the result.

What’s the secret?

Fall vegetables.
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The Secret to Storing Bulk Food {YOUR} Way (& a peek into my basement)

August 12th, 2014 · Green Living

Storing Bulk Food the (Easy? Cheap? Green?) Way

You should be scared.

Very scared.

Visiting my basement isn’t all the bows and rainbows you might think!

I’m not a master at food storage by any means, but I do buy a LOT of food in bulk to save money and get the healthiest options I can find for my family, and I think I do a couple things right.

I hope you enjoy my post over at Life Your Way today, where I’ll share my successful tips, a few mistakes, and a major disaster last fall that you and I both can learn a lot from:

Buying food in bulk and preserving from your garden and farmer’s markets is as an awesome way to save money and capture maximum nutrition, but there’s even one more reason to love those frugal habits: they reduce waste and help save the earth, too.

A 25-pound bag of dried beans uses far fewer packaging resources than 25 one-pound plastic bags, and the cans and shipping weight/fuel saved by making your own beans from dry has to be significant. In my household, all the bulk foods I buy also save me numerous trips to the store, since I almost always have food in the house for plenty of meals without having to drive my van around and create pollution.

The last piece of the puzzle, then, is how to store bulk foods in the safest way possible, both to keep the food from spoiling or getting eaten by critters and to protect your family from potential leaching from questionable materials.

Readers often ask how I store bulk foods, and it’s probably not the best way to start a post but I’m going to be honest here: I really make it up as I go along and may not have the most efficient or perfect system. However – if you want to store your bulk foods frugally, I think you’ll find some nuggets of ideas in my basement. (You can do it “your way” in the true spirit of this site!!)

Read the rest at Storing Bulk Food the (Easy? Cheap? Green?) Way

Note: If you need the pantry moth traps – and every home should have a few, trust me!!! – this is the brand I bought on Amazon and probably need to reorder about now…

Thanks to Our Sponsor, Plan to Eat!

I want to take a minute to give a hearty, well-fed "thank you" to one of our August sponsors, Plan to Eat. We’ve been partnering for years to bring you simple, online meal planning and even a special KS group over there with over 140,000 searchable, plannable real food recipes from KS readers only. How cool is that?

Actually, what’s even cooler is the newest feature of Plan to Eat: Prep Notes.

It’s something I’ve suggested since I first signed on for my own 30-day free trial, and I am so geeked to be able to automate things like "soak dry beans" and "thaw roast" and even "prep homemade cream of chicken soup" for recipes. We love automation at our house!

Let me know what you think of the new feature if you’re a PTE user already, and if you sign on for the 30-day trial, I can’t wait to hear what you think as well!


I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.

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Goodbye Paper Towels: How to Ditch Disposables in the Kitchen {GUEST POST}

August 11th, 2014 · Avoiding Waste, Green Living

This is a guest post from Sarah at Early Bird Mom (clearly not me!!).

Did you know that Americans use 3,000 tons of paper towels each day? (source) That’s a LOT of paper (and money) that goes straight in the garbage.

A lot of you already know that there is a better way.

Ditch the Disposables and Have a Paper-Free Kitchen :: via Kitchen Stewardship

What if more people had a paper-free kitchen?

If you don’t already, what if you switched to the “real” thing: cloth napkins, kitchen towels for spills and clean-ups, and cloth washcloths to help scrub little hands?

Why go to the trouble of avoiding paper and reducing waste in the kitchen? With a little extra work, you can avoid a whole lot of waste and save a lot of money. If your kitchen is as hard-working as mine is, there’s a LOT of clean up on a daily basis! Using cloth helps avoid throwing a ton of paper right into the garbage.

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Got Littles? Don’t Want to Bother with the Vaccination Debate? This {GIVEAWAY} is for You!

August 9th, 2014 · Natural Health, What to Buy

Help for Vaccinations

It seems there are a handful of options when it comes to vaccines:

  • Do what your doctor says. Get all your shots, on time, multiple vaccines at once, and more added to the list every few years, it seems.
  • Push back, hard. Do research, avoid all vaccines, sign waivers, deal with angry pediatricians.
  • Take a decision-making approach one shot at a time. Choose some vaccines and not others.
  • Go slower. Get all your shots but space them out over a longer period of time or avoid multiple vaccines in one day, or just delay starting vaccinations until a child is one or two years old.

I’d like to introduce you to our newest sponsor, Vaccishield, who offers one more option for vaccination time:

Build your child’s immune system and give them defenses particularly designed to fight the potential side effects of vaccines.

For plenty of parents in category number one, vaccines are a non-issue. They go to their well-child checkups, make sure their child gets hugs and kisses and a band-aid, and they neither know nor worry about whether the vaccine might hurt their child. (top photo source)

For many of the KS readers, however, I’m guessing there’s some concern in the groups of parents who choose vaccines for their children. They’ve done their research, learned about the potential real and mythical side effects of vaccinations, and they’ve decided that the benefits of the shots outweigh the risks…but they’ve read about the risks. Of course they want to do whatever they can to mitigate them.

Some will choose to space out vaccines, to leave a few off the list, to delay starting them. There’s some peace of mind there, and I’m pleased to share another version of vaccine peace of mind in today’s giveaway.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

Squooshi reusable food pouches