an ode to gardening – Bella Grace Magazine – published

An-Ode-to-Gardening

words by Amber Bartek / photo by Brooke Cagle

Imagine a lush garden in your backyard teeming with growth and abundance — full of life. You grow your own fresh ear of corn you can pick right off the stalk, your children can climb up your apple trees and pick juicy, sweet apples right off the tree, and you can pull crisp cucumbers and squash right off the vine for your supper.

There is something about growing my own food and working in the garden, getting my hands deep into the earth — that makes my spirit come alive. My soul awakens when I grow the very food that will nourish me and my family.

> Read the rest of the article over at Bella Grace magazine. {Please share and comment!}

I’m so excited to be a Contributing Writer, Artist, and Photographer at Bella Grace Magazine! It’s a dream-come-true.

I adore this soulful magazine that speaks to the heart and soul about embracing the slow, savoring the simple, and celebrating everyday magic.

P.S. – If you LOVE Bella Grace Magazine – stay tuned. There are some giveaways in the works. More details to follow on my instagram >> @cloud9photographer / @simplelivingwriter and on facebook >> @photosbycloud9 .

12 Ways To Slow Down and Live The Simple Life

nostalgia etsy treasury

“nostalgia” treasury by cloud9designstudio on etsy

remember when…

life moved slowly….

pause and reflect on a life without screens.

Feel the ease…of the simple life.

You can live the simple life — free of worry, stress, busyness, and fear.

Here’s how:

1-learn to sew. ask a relative to teach you.

2-hand write your letters or type them on an old typewriter.

3-buy some pretty stationary and write a handwritten thank you note or a how are you doing letter to a loved one. remember how it feels to get letters in the mail? 🙂

4-ride your bike somewhere

5-say hello to your neighbors; invite them to come over for a visit

6-line dry your clothes – they will smell like sunshine and you’ll hear birds as you do laundry (hello, gratitude! 😉

7-call someone on the telephone; instead of texting (*bonus points for meeting in person after the phonecall – face-to-face time connects us)

8-take a soak in the bathtub everyday – showers make us want to move quickly and rush through life; baths slow us down and relax us

9-read books daily – when you awaken and when you go to sleep

10-plant a garden and grow your own food – watch the miracle of nature

11-read the bible everyday – let it nourish your soul – start in proverbs or psalms. they will encourage you.

12-explore! do something new everyday. life is an adventure! have fun. 🙂

 

I hope this little list inspires you, and encourages you to…

Let go.

Dance without fear.

Be happy.

Sing loud to the radio in the car.

Laugh – it does the heart good.

Look on the bright side.

Do something kind for someone – anonymously.

Share your beautiful heart and soul.

You matter, and you are loved.

Know that there is a plan for you and your life, and it is good.

Life is short.

Live it well.

have a seat on the porch fine art photograph cloud9designstudio.etsy

Have A Seat On The Porch fine art photograph by cloud9designstudio on etsy

{Apple Sandwiches Recipe}

Apple Sandwiches Recipe | WholeFoodsMarket.com.

These look yummy & my son loves peanut butter! I’ll have to make some soon!  🙂

Serves 2

Kids will love to help you make this healthy snack since it’s fun to spread the nut butter and sprinkle the chocolate chips. No corer in the kitchen drawer? Slice the apples into rounds first then use a small cookie cutter to remove the core from the center of each slice. Wrap sandwiches tightly and tuck them into lunchboxes, if you like.
Ingredients

2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons granola

Method

If you won’t be eating these tasty treats right away, start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.
Nutrition

Per serving (about 7oz/192g-wt.): 300 calories (150 from fat), 16g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 36g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 25g sugar), 8g protein

{Our Organic Victory Garden :: Part 1 – Seeds}

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It’s raining, it’s pouring…we’ve been really needing the rain around here.  We’ve been waiting on more rain to plant our very own “victory” garden.

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Our organic seeds are on their way! Yay! I ordered organic vegetables, fruits & herbs from Etsy seller HomegrownHealthy!

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We’ve been getting our raised bed organic garden ready over the past few weeks. And, I’m really excited to get these seeds in the ground soon! 🙂

Victory Gardens first started during the World War I & II eras, to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown.

Today we have a similar situation & a new movement called the The Slow Food Movement  –

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

I have even signed up to take part in The Growing Challenge: From Seed To Seed” on the One Green Generation blog.

I highly recommend their blog for information, resources & tips on how to grow an organic garden.

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*Oh, and the Eco-Chick did a post recently about the Obama’s planting their very own Victory garden, after much petitioning from various groups and individuals about the importance of the local food movement – the main one was TheWhoFarm.org

As reported by The Washington Times, “Proponents of the garden see the move as a victory for fresh, wholesome food. With the Obamas as role models, it could also be a turning point in their battle to overturn the perception of organic food, farmers markets and gardens as the preserves of the elite.”

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