Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice

Mt. Tom from the Buttermilks West of Bishop, California

May  Your 
Winter Solstice
Be filled with 

Awe and Wonder

And, of course, May You 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Yule Tree

A gorgeous Ephedra  (Ephedra nevadensis)  growing
along the gravel road West of Mono Lake
in November, 2016.

This year we brought our Yule Tree back with us from the Eastern Sierras. Since we were driving through the Toiyabe National Forest and the National Forest Service has an office just South of Bridgeport on Highway 395, we stopped and paid for a permit to cut two trees (for a whopping $10.00 per tree, double what we paid the last time we cut a tree which was a number of years ago). On our return from the Bishop area we took Highway 182 North out of Bridgeport to Nevada Highway 338 which bisects the North most section of the Toiyabe National Forest. The Forest Service is focusing on removing some Pinyon Pines from this area to open more habitat for the Sage Grouse. Apparently the Pinyon Pines have encroached upon and markedly reduced this bird's habitat thus causing the population to dramatically drop.

I love Pinyon Pines (Pinus monophylla). They have a wonderful fragrance no other pine has. These trees are also the source of pine nuts. I learned while shopping at Manor Market in Bishop that pine nuts can no longer be legally harvested and sold commercially since they are essential to the Native Peoples of California way of life. The Cultural Center in Bishop has a number of wonderful exhibits focusing on the harvesting, preparing and using pine nuts as well as the rhythm of living in relationship with the cycle of the production of this nutritious nut.

Cathie preparing to cut Tanis' Yule Tree.

This is the Pinyon Pine we all chose for our Yule Tree.

Dwight securing both trees atop Stella.
Ready to roll onto Minden, Nevada where we spent the night
before returning to MuRefuge with our Yule Tree.
Auntie T, aka Tanis Walters, with her Yule Tree
decorated with collected treasures.
Our fragrant Pinyon Pine adorned for celebrating 
the Yule, aka Winter Solstice, sitting in the corner 
of MuRefuge's Great Room.
As the shortest day and longest night draw near may we all

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Past

To celebrate our anniversary and Thanksgiving we spent some time in the Eastern Sierras. This year's sojourn was further South than we have previously spent much time, in the Owens Valley. Dwight's wish was to explore the early native peoples' (Nuumu and Newe, now commonly referred to as Paiute and Shoshone respectively) petroglyphs.  

We both are of the opinion that at this time of the year the light during the day illuminates the natural world to glorious hues. The late Galen Rowell has made famous the "light" in this area  and his work is featured at the Mountain Light Gallery located in an old bank building on Main Street in Bishop. The night sky is often clear, thus bright with brilliant stars since there is minimal light pollution during the dark hours in this area. Galen Rowell's son, Tony, is following in his father's footsteps bringing us gorgeous time lapsed photography of the brilliance of this night sky.

We made our home base in a small house moved from Manzanar, the now historical site where Japanese were interred during WW II further South on Highway 395. We were on the far North edge of Bishop and across the road from public lands. We were told we could walk from here to Lake Tahoe on these lands.    

Cathie and Shasta out for a early morning walk along
Dixon Road just South of the house.

On one of our morning hikes we came across the most
spectacular and largest stand of native
California Wild Rose I have ever seen.
The hips provide foo during the Winter for
birds and 4 leggeds.

The landscape we walked through on our daily midmorning hikes.

The Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center
on West Line Street was designed by the late Michael Black
of Sebastopol. The exhibits in the interior were extremely
well done and shared much history of these
indigenous people of the Owens Valley.
A stunning Paiute beaded treasure we bought at the center
to adorn our Yule Tree year after year.

One day we spent enjoying the Bishop Petroglyph Drive on Fish Slough Road which was unpaved, dusty. Three sites are spaced a few miles apart: the Fish Slough Petroglyph Site was difficult to locate but once we did we were pleasantly surprised to see our first ever Ringtail that quickly scurried beneath a huge rock where its den was obviously located.  

Do you notice the similarity of shape of the above "rock art" and this above petroglyph?

The second site: Chicago Canyon Petroglyph
 was a magnificent display of the ancient natives' art work.

Another day our excursion included the Inyo County Millpond Park for our morning walk. What an impressive park with a huge pond for Summer swimming, baseball playing field and a myriad of other facilities for families to have a grand Summer day. Our focus was traveling along Old Highway 395  to the little town of Rovana in the heart of Round Valley where thousands of Mule Deer migrate for the Winter, escaping the harsh weather in the Sierras where they live the rest of the year. Since, with the climate change and all, the weather is pretty mild the deer were scarce. There were a few including a magnificent buck. These Mule Deer do indeed look different than the deer around MuRefuge. We did however see an abundance of the Mule Deer's food for the Winter in Owens Valley, Rabbitbrush, which is stunning in the wintery light.

After the area received a light dusting of snow and more in the higher elevations, we drove out West Line Street to the Buttermilks. Shasta was so happy to romp around in the snow and she did so until she began biting at her paws that were covered with icy snow, at which time we corralled her into Stella (our trusty Prius). See the upcoming post, "Winter Solstice," for an amazing picture taken here.

This gorgeous view of Mono Lake is taken from one of our
favorite walks in the Mono Lake Basin. As we arrived we
were greeted by a Golden Eagle in flight.

The beginning and the ending of our drive along Highway 395 from Walker River Canyon to Bishop we punctuated with a stop in Bridgeport to enjoy the magical, mystical ancient energy of the wide meadow surrounding our previously favorite place to stay in the Eastern Sierras. Picnics were enjoyed both times in very brisk weather but the sun was out and we had on our down jackets. Shasta's natural coat she carries with her every where kept her plenty warm.

As you read of our Thanksgiving past and recent anniversary celebration, as well as enjoy the pictures, may you

Monday, November 14, 2016

Only in Discomfort Is Change Possible

Low growing, prostrate form of Coyote Bush
(Baccharis pilularis 'Bodega Bay')
in stunning Fall flower
The last Supermoon occurred in 1948 when I was a mere four years old. The closeness of the moon to planet Earth heightens the moon's brightness. Here at MuRefuge tonight the moon is spectacular. This awe inspiring event seems to be readying all of us to step up as citizens of the United States of America. Our President in his press conference offered each of us a challenge today. The Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Julie Packard, says "if there is any silver lining in this time of uncertainty, it will be that people will be more motivated than ever to work for change." And the message below offers each of us an alternative view and response(s) to this time of unsettledness in our country.

Wisdom Teachings For Our Time

Posted: 13 Nov 2016 01:52 PM PST
Conversation with Manjushri, post election
November 11, 2016
Oh, Manjushri, these have been very tough days since the presidential election. Many have asked me if I have received a teaching from you about all of this. And though my grief is deep, and I have wept a great deal, I must say, the results – though shocking to me – did not give me new information about the deep values of a significant part of the American electorate. We are an immature society, a society that countenances violence while it tells itself a story about its own exceptional qualities and its right to impose itself on other nations. It often seems to me to be arrogant, self-congratulatory, and focused on the pursuit of wealth over many other possible values. We praise freedom from and ignore the possibilities of freedom for. Perhaps in some way, we deserve what we have done to our republic, for surely, we have done it. And surely there is a very great deal about how we govern ourselves and manage our affairs which could well be changed, often radically changed.

I come to you this evening with a very heavy heart, full of worry for our poor earth and the cascade of environmental destructions and for those Americans with the least access to power – people of color, the poor, Moslems, the ill, immigrants, the unemployed, and surprisingly, so many women and children. Once again, I am deeply concerned about the American role in the global world, our foreign policy, and our global economic institutions and policies. We are a challenging presence in the lives of many other nations.

And once again, I am impossibly stretched between these matters and the call of the Teachers to greater consciousness, to opening our hearts, to recognizing our interdependence with all beings, and to lives shaped by both wisdom and compassion. I wish I were brave enough to ask you to direct your shining sword against our ignorance, but I am not.

Perhaps you could grace us with some strong and clear advice about how to understand our grief, even when it seems self-righteous, and how to gather ourselves up to get back to our essential tasks in these precious lives of ours? Or is there another way to address our deep confusion? Anything you might be willing to say would be a very great gift to all of us.

Ah, yes, student whose energy I have come to know well, yes. Some words for you and your friends. First, and most important, do not be afraid! You have received many teachings about fear; they always remind you that fear is an enormous obstacle to clear thinking, deep understanding, and creating solutions to problems. Of course, you are afraid, all of you. So, take up the arduous practices of the fear-work: name the fear, most importantly, and say it to another. This slight moment of self-acknowledgement shifts the energy of fear significantly. Then, conversation may follow, or sending oneself compassion for the suffering that comes from fear, or inquiring into the roots of the fear; all are helpful.

Second, inquire into a simple question: what in my community or my country is an obstacle to recognizing your deep connections with each other and with all other species? This is the simple question about your awareness of interdependence, simple and extremely powerful, if you allow it to lead you deep into the many institutions and practices common in your society. Again, this may be done singly, but it is much more powerful to do this in conversation with others.

Third, ask yourself/yourselves, which relatively focused piece of this great puzzle will you commit to changing? Be clear about how it relates to the larger picture, but do not overwhelm yourselves with a grandiose goal. The possible projects are unlimited, but what matters most, at the outset, is that you join with a few others, promising to stay focused on some important dimension of change in your community and to support each other in the process. In all likelihood, the most important outcome will be to create seeds of resilient, open-hearted community, which in turn will begin to undermine the real sickness of American society, its embrace of competitive individualism.

Young people may need some assistance with this; elders may need support to trust their relevance, but all people, winners and losers in this election cycle and all the rest, can recognize there is much work to be done in their world. Becoming active, moving through the passivity and discouragement, is essential, before anything else can even be contemplated.

So: that is a brief outline of what you might do. I must once again re-frame the moment for you. You experience defeat, rejection, and powerlessness. You are appalled at those who would reverse much progressive social change from the last decades. Let go of all of that. It is not helpful. Instead, recognize that this very upset – a perfect word – suggests opportunity. Structures that seemed impossible to change now seem weak, even tottering. Normal practices and behaviors that seemed of little interest now carry much greater weight, in your view. Grand questions are on every page and in almost every beleaguered mind. All this is very helpful! Everyone is awake, on edge, at the same moment. It is a superb opportunity to re-evaluate, re-imagine, re-shape, and then, re-build.

And none of this is possible, unless you uncover and release your fear. Begin with that work, share it, and move to focused, achievable tasks, on behalf of yourselves and your community. It is a very pregnant moment. Do not waste it, please.

Thank you very much.

I am reminded by a mantra my "laughing coach" shared with me: "only in discomfort is change possible." The much loved and looked up to for discharging emotions, the late Annette Goodheart, often said that nobody makes a change when they are comfortable. Comfort breeds complacency she often admonished.

As each of us "uncover and release our fear" and identify our path to reconnect with one another, may we

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Poignant Message, This Morning More Than Ever

This Roseleaf Sage (Salvia involucrata) is
in such splendor now with all the warm
rains and pleasant weather. This lovely
plant is primarily grown at MuRefuge for
the nectar it provides the year round residential
Anna's Hummingbird. As this photo was taken
one buzzed up to a flower and had a sip.

Wisdom Teachings For Our Time

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 07:27 AM PST
We all are deeply concerned about the aftermath of this very difficult and toxic electoral campaign. I invite you to join me in a daily practice of sending kindness and blessings and healing to those you have most disagreed with and who have disagreed with you. Begin with inviting healing and ease for yourself, and then, send it out into the country. Here is a lovely version of the ancient Metta practice, from the Himalayan Buddhist tradition, which I have adapted to express my own deepest concerns and desires. Please do the same, as you wish. Blessings to all….Penny
First, for yourself. And then, for your opponents, as you visualize them:
May I (May those who so disagree with me) be happy, healthy and whole.
May they have love, warmth, and affection.
May they be safe, economically secure, and free from fear.
May they know themselves to be respected, secure, and people of value and dignity.
May they celebrate the many layers of their identity, of who they are.
May all people find ease, peace, and well being.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween and Harvest

Pumpkins seem to be quintessential symbol of Halloween.
These were photographed at Sebastopol's
own Hale's Apple Farm where there were about 8 different
kinds of pumpkins. These are the French version called Cinderella pumpkins.

Halloween, October 31, is the secular holiday when children and adults alike dress up their favorite costumes. Growing up we use to go door to door in our little town knocking on doors and shouting "trick or treats." The older teenagers moved outhouses to school yards and other locations about town. Today however with lethal threats placed in "treats," parents are not so eager to have their children out and about on Halloween. Although in Sebastopol children with their parents gravitate for the traditional "treat or treat" Halloween outing to Florence Avenue, which year round is adorned with Amiot's delightfully fun "junk art" sculptures.
This date is also our friend Judy Withee's birthday. Here's a song for you, one that Tanis sang to me on my most recent birthday. She called it the Bolinas Birthday Song.

Happy birthday
Happy, happy birthday

We’re in love with you.
May happiness be yours 
throughout the coming year
And all the best to you.

So keep smilin’ every day
And may your troubles go away
And may you never ever be blue

So happy birthday
Happy, happy birthday to you

The blue flour corn recently harvested to dry for later shelling and grinding.

And Sweet Meat squash ready to be plucked from the vines.

Sweet Meat squash ready to be stored for Winter consumption.
And there was a recent visitor to MuRefuge's greenhouse that was such a surprise.

Several days later, while I was setting out of the greenhouse the native grass filled Todd planters, this BEing was curled up in a corner of a black plastic tray upon which rested one of the Todd planters. The brilliant colors in the stripes were more evident than here where it is stretched out across the Todd planter onto the cement. Seeing this BEing in this "L" shape caused Dwight to 


Samhain is the witch's New Year marking the time of the year to begin one's inward journey. 

In Mexican culture it is know as the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos). This is actually a multi-day celebration focusing on family and friends gathering to honor friends and family members who have died and to support their spiritual journey in the afterlife.

Cempoalxochitl Marigold aka Day of the Dead Marigold
often appear on the altars honoring the beloved deceased
on this Mexican Holiday.
Skulls like this one created by Dwight Sims
also often appear on the altars.
Samhain "is about death and release -- letting go of what has been as we prepare for the rebirth of light at Yule . . . . To move forward in your own life, you must let go of and make peace with the past; you must let that old part of you die." This day marks the time of moving our attention inward as though entering "dreamtime" and "dancing with transformative darkness" (Clea Danaan, 2013). The increasing amount of darkness in 24 hours and the drop of temperature outside supports this inward movement of our energy.

“Healing on the causative or primal level necessitates changing the patterns 
that govern experience, and while most people in pursuit of healing 
claim to be seeking a state of complete wellness, 
this depth of healing is typically shied away from.” 

(Loren Cruden, Medicine Grove: A Shamanic Herbal)

MuRefuge's Roger Red grape vines are turning their brilliant shades of red,
as they do at this time of the year.
The wizened grapes fortify the birds' diets at this time of the year, too.
Soon the red leaves will be blown about MuRefuge's backyard,
composting in the Winter rains and feeding the soil.
As the deciduous vines, bushes and trees drop their leaves may we too let go of those habits that no longer serve us and, of course,

Thursday, October 20, 2016


In this country we are inundated with a plethora of choices no matter what item (food, clothing, appliances, medications, etc.) we want to purchase. Here's just one of many examples: Have you ever counted the number of choices for Acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, there are on a drugstore's shelf? Furthermore, have you read each label? The choice is actually between regular (325 mg.) or double strength (650 mg.) Acetaminophen; the rest of the choices have to do with the fillers, aka inactive ingredients, which vary from having benign to extremely troublesome untoward effects for humans.

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in full bloom this Summer past.
For myself, having mild discomfort in my hands, I make a salve from St. John's Wort grown right here at MuRefuge: the flowers featured in the above picture are plucked and "tinctured" in half organic olive oil and half organic jojoba oil. Choosing to use herbal alternatives rather than those offered by the gigantic pharmaceutical industry just seems to me to be a safer choice. Do any of you remember the salve we used to purchase in the local drugstore for abrasions, scrapes and cuts? I remember it smelled just like Yarrow. I believe it actually was made from the healing herb Yarrow rather than some pharmaceutic manipulation.

The bright yellow flowers are picked and packed
lightly in a sterilized glass jar. Within a few days the
oil turns this bright red which I am in awe of every time it happens.
After the above beautifully red liquid sits in the sunshine for six weeks, it is strained. Along with beeswax and coco butter it is gently heated to melt the wax and poured into small jars.

Each morning before sitting I slather on this richly healing herbal preparation
to find that the achy joints are soothed for the day.
Then there are also choices about, take for example, washing machines: a bazillion different companies make them. Our friend who lives on Molokai was in need of replacing their washing machine and went to see the options (Sevens are big on options as my baseball buddy constantly reminds me). "Easy," she said, "There were only two choices and I just pointed to one. It does the job!"

Perhaps we would find negotiating the excessive number of choices, which are in place to support the capitalist driven economy, if we established for ourselves some helpful parameters before making a purchase, like does it benefit Mother Earth or at worst does her no harm. Avoid using such parameters as "is it cheap?" or "is it on sale"? My beloved now dead stepfather Stephen B. Howard had a saying he lived employing: "Those who buy what they do not need often cannot buy what they need."

Supporting companies that produce items responsibly and sustainably is a great way to reduce the excessive amount of choices. Recently I was pleasantly surprised when the organic non-soy laying pellets we purchase for our small duck flock had included on the label no corn. When I contacted the company, Bar Ale in Winters, California, they indicated that both ingredients are nonorganic and tainted with GMOs. HURRAH! for Bar Ale!!

Across our county there are many concerned citizens who believe the state of our Union  is no longer a democracy and do not believe there is a viable choice for the next President of the United States of America to reverse this. One candidate is determined to maintain the status quo of "Big Money" running our government and the other is a bully.

Our friend, Larry Needleman, a talented sculptor, created this mask.
With this candidate's snorting during the debates
an alternative mask to the baboon could be of a snorting bull.
As with so many choices, neither candidate is without major negative consequences. So as we deal with this troublesome choice and all the others we face daily, may we

Friday, October 14, 2016

Seasonal Eating

Shasta looking longing outside at her territory. 
She was house bound for two weeks recently
as she healed from her bladder surgery.
Grappling with altering Shasta’s homemade stew to minimize the reoccurrence of struvite bladder stones that were surgically removed recently, I have revisited from whom we buy our food. Wanting organic and nonGMO verified plant and animal ingredients to prepare her meals has motivated me talk with the local vendors about their farming practices. The Sebastopol Farmers Market has some stellar farmers, both male and female, who are more than willing to discuss how their vegetables and/or meat are raised. Those farms, like Green Star Farm, almost our next door neighbor, and Bodega Pastures, from whom we buy lambs for our freezer each year, raise their animals on ancestral diets; for example goats and lambs eat grass in the pasture, not in feedlots where the animals are fattened up with grain. Cows, goats, sheep for example cannot digest grain which ferments in their digestive tract thus creating large amounts of methane which adds to the increasing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere now resulting in unprecedented violent weather worldwide.

Buying local food allows us to know the source of our food and one can often visit those farms, which is not only instructive, but can be a fun Sunday outing as well. It is amazing to me how forthright farmers are about their practices especially when they are beneficial to both Mother Earth and all BEIngs who call her home.

Both purchasing locally and eating seasonally maximize nutrition. During storage and transportation of especially plant based food, both vital nutrients and life force energy aka qi are lost. With globalization of the market place it is commonplace during our Winter months to see blueberries from the Southern hemisphere for sale in our markets as well as apples from Australia. Eating seasonally would focus on consuming citrus as well as root vegetables during this time. Of course, this requires each of us to look at our food planning and preparation, but with forethought and adjusting our habits we reap the benefits of varied local foods with their maximum nutrition.

Organs like liver, heart, kidneys, gizzards do not routinely appear in the grocery stores catering to the average United States citizen. For Shasta to have a fully nutritious diet a variety animal organs is essential . I was so pleasantly surprised at the response from Mindful Meats administration office when I emailed them about getting beef hearts and liver. Oliver's Markets (I shop the flagship market in Cotati each Wednesday) are the only markets in Sonoma County that presently carry Mindful Meats. With some negotiations between Mindful Meats administration and Oliver's meat department managers, Oliver's Markets are now receiving organs as part of their weekly order. And the butchers at the Cotati Oliver's are ever so kind to grind the exact amount needed to complete a beef recipe for Shasta.

Those of us living in Northern California who buy our food from local farms often remark how lucky we are to live in a place where organic, fresh, high nutrient density fresh food is so readily available year round. The choices are remarkably diverse over the course of an entire year. 

Eating seasonally is simple for a person shopping at their local Farmers Market: one buys what the vendors have harvested from their fields, whether plant or animal. Shasta's vegetable and fruit mix is made with whatever is in season and available from MuRefuge's garden and/or vendors at the Sebastopol Farm Market.

In the foreground are Crane Melons
hybridized right here on the Santa Rosa Plain.
They are juicy, sweet and luscious.
With a cup of plain, organic, nonGMO verified low fat Greek yogurt scooped into the center, a half of a Crane Melon is a quick pick me up at any time of the day.

Some of us preserve the abundance of Summer to enjoy during the Winter when root veggies are predominate. Slow roasted heirloom tomatoes, unthawed from the freezer, make a tasty meal warmed and served over mashed potatoes with canned peaches for dessert.

Huckleberry Gold potatoes which this vendor tried for the first
time this season. He bought the entire 50# bag of seed potatoes 
because the "seed" potatoes were just the right size. 
He planted only this variety of potatoes this year without ever having tasted them.
He, along with all his customers, have discovered that these potatoes are awesomely delicious!
A variety of heirloom tomatoes displayed for sale recently
by The Patch, located on 5 acres near the town of Sonoma.
The sign says it all! For four consecutive Sundays I bought a box of these peaches.
Jars of jam, butter and canned in a light maple sugar syrup 
now sit in our pantry for Winter consumption.
These peaches come from Yolo County and the huge organic
orchard, on the off season, was purchased by a young man and woman
to carry on the tradition of bringing the best ever peaches to the
Sunday Sebastopol Farmers Market.
Pickled peppers (I prefer pimento peppers from MuRefuge's vegetable garden) atop 7 Sprouted Grain toasted English Muffins make for a light evening meal.
What a beautiful display by The Patch's of their many different kinds of peppers.
In large part due to the "roller coastal" weather this growing season, pears are not their usual stellar juicy deliciousness. A number of farmers brought their harvest and we tried all of them. Dwight is the pear connoisseur and no vendor's pears met with his stamp of approval.
Red Pears from Stone Horse Farm located on Occidental Road near Sebastopol.
As each one of us grapple with our individual and/or family's nutrition and where our food actually is raised, may each of us

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Picnic for Autumnal Equinox

Western Spiraea (Spiracea douglasii) in her Autumn attire.
Today, September 22, 2016, is the zenith of Fall, aka Autumnal Equinox.This day, says Clea Danaan “is also called Mabon, after the Welsh god of love and youthful strength. He is a sun god, honored at this time as night and day sit momentarily in balance before slipping toward darkness. At Mabon, the Goddess evolves from mother to crone and the God prepares for death. The land is ripe, full of bounty; this is the Pagan Thanksgiving. It is a cooling, bittersweet holiday, for the bounty of ripe apples will fall, the leaves turn and drift to the ground. The sleep of winter is near.” 

In the vein of using the “gifts of autumn” we might gather locally grown eggs and beans, preparing them for a picnic to enjoy the glorious weather we are presently blessed with here in Northern California.

Here’s a recipe by which we can enjoy the ducks eggs our resident flock produce:


Hard boil 6 eggs, plunging them into ice water to cool enough to peel and cut in half. Set whites on a deviled egg plate & set aside.

In a bowl empty the yolks and add:
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of 1 Meyer’s lemon
  • 1/4 C. organic olive oil
  • 1 T. organic Dijon mustard
Season to taste with 
  • Sea salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper 
  • Freshly chopped chives
  • Thyme

Blend with a hand blender (or mixer) until smooth. Then place a large soup
spoon full into each 1/2 cooked egg white. 

As you can see the color of the deviled eggs is different than
when mayonnaise is used for fat rather than avocado.
Feel free to add organic edible flowers on top for decoration. The pineapple sage is in bloom here at MuRefuge right now.These would be a lovely decorative addition and taste delicious, too. 


Pick over and wash 2 C. organic small navy beans (or any other small white bean you prefer) adding them to a bean pot with 5 C. water. 

  • 6 “diced” organic bacon slices
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 C. finely chopped organic onion
  • 3 T. dark organic unsulfured molasses
  • 2 T. organic Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 T. grated organic fresh ginger
  • 6 grinds of organic black pepper

We don’t tolerate garlic here, but for those of you who do, adding 2 cloves of organic minced fresh garlic adds another dimension to the flavor.

Put the lid on the bean pot and set it in the oven. Bake at 250 degrees for 14-16 hours when the bean will have turned a rich dark reddish brown.

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) in her colorful Fall glory.

While we enjoy our picnic on this glorious Autumnal Equinox, may we each