Julie A Carda

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Location: United States

Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purple Cabbage

Here is a lovely fall crop that doesn't mind the temperature change. If I can get to these soon, I'll be making a batch of lacto-fermented slaw. If you aren't familiar with this type of fermentation, I highly recommend the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Red Pepper Year

Big peppers, firm, heavy, and green. WAIT! They were supposed to be a vibrant red. I specifically ordered a vibrant red variety. They've had the very best treatment. The sun is full upon them. No shadow is cast nearby, and yet, they will not turn red.

I was really looking forward to pressure canning some beautiful sweet red peppers. Well, sweet they are and red sort of but I don't think I'll see much more turning of the colors with the shorter days and cooler nights. Although, one can always hope...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pervasive Delight

On days when I see too clearly the loss of my kin domain, I get quiet and recall who I am and where I am going. With intention I step forward knowing I carry all that I need within me and leave behind me a life-restoring footprint.

May it be delightful my house;
From my head may it be delightful;
To my feet may it be delightful;
Where I lie may it be delightful;
All above me may it be delightful;
All around me may it be delightful.
~Navajo Chant~

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Cold Crop

The third week of August, I planted a small raised bed with cold crops. Some red and yellow Swiss chards, red and green romaine, a Mesclun mix, and purple kale. The combination of warm days and cool nights contributed to fast sprouting. The photo was taken about eight days after planting. This week, I've harvested the first of the Mesclun and must say the flavors were outstanding.

The tape marks 12 X 12 spots. I can plant a bit denser with this method. Since the box gets full southern sun, and is positioned next to a dryer vent, the soil stays warm into December.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stream of Prayers

There have been many times over the past month, I have had to escape the bureaucratic confines of life. One place that I seek is a nearby stream. I stood on a small footbridge, looked down, and watched the water gurgle under me and out beyond where my eye could see. And there in that pause, I experienced the accumulation of many tears transformed into all that is life-giving.

Just to be is a blessing.

Just to live is holy.

~Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bursting Calendula

Somehow the garden season would not be complete without remembering to thank those spirits who give their healing powers to me. The Calendula flower is the a true medicine cabinet. These flower heads will be plucked and dried for winter tea or made into ointments for dry skin treatments. See archives for recipes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chickens with Veggie Treat

And yet another way to see the garden work it's magic. All that food preservation leaves plenty of opportunity to offer treats to my eager tillers and restorers of the soil. Same bowl of leftover veggie materials can be given to the chickens.

Friday, September 17, 2010

You can Can with LOVE

My pressure canner doubles as a hot water canner for things like pickles, fruit, jam, and salsa. I use the pressure feature to can my vegetables, soups, and meats.

Many canning sites discuss canning as a means to save money by buying food on sale and preserving it.

I teach canning as a way to preserve the very best food you can get in season. Why can factory farm meats? Why can chemical laden fruits and vegetables?

Think of canning as a way to capture nature's NATURAL goodness for year round use. In the winter months, I want to reach for a jar of something that was nurtured with and in love.

Food relationships count. Food relationships sustain us. Food relationships are the ancient form of earth restoration.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garden Soup

If you caught the two previous posts on canning, you'll know this is the blend that combined to make the garden vegetable soup that we pressure canned. The up close visual of the freshly chopped vegetables was stunning. The photo is still special but not nearly as fabulous as the real deal!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canning Class 102

Many hands light work. Several class participants are chopping and preparing the garden vegetables for a soup. The vegetable soup will be pressure canned. Firmer vegetables will be boiled together to achieve equal texture when added to the softer vegetables. This mixture will be canned at eleven pounds pressure for seventy-five minutes. With the exception of the organic navy beans, all the other vegetables and herbs were freshly harvested a few hours before preparation.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Food Full Circle

A very nice part of preparing food for preservation is that the by-product--those parts not selected as the premium additions are willing to take on another role.

Take and give back.

See the circle in the backyard garden.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Canning Class 101

With garden harvest at its premium, food preservation is foremost on my mind. I am one who does it all. I dry food, ferment food, can food--both boiling water method and pressure can--and freeze food. I truly enjoy the processes. When I teach food preservation classes, I remind participants that this is not the same as when grandma and mom preserved. We have modern conveniences and we know that if something we do in the process doesn't produce the desired outcome, there are still plenty of food options--more on this later. For the most part, food preservation is an emotionally rewarding experience.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Sentinnel

Enjoy the one sunflower who deigned to make an appearance. Yesterday, I removed the head. I'm a bit torn between quartering it and feeding it fresh to the chickens who are absolutely nuts about the entire seed head or...drying the head and putting it out mid-winter to watch the squirrels scamper and chatter with excitement. What to do?