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Giveaway winner plus more!

2013 July 4
by Rachel Turiel


How fun it was to hear from you all in your comments to the book giveaway post. How farmy and frugal and joyful you all sound! Can we all be friends in real life?

Naturally, I’ve been thinking about money a lot (that’s what reading and writing about these books does to you).

There’s so much more to say about money, but some thoughts keep circulating through my mind. We learned, when we studied money in our homeschool co-op, that money was developed to improve upon the equability and efficiency of bartering. Because maybe you have a cow to trade, and a cow is worth 100 chickens but you can’t find someone who has exactly 100 chickens they want to trade. Also the cow takes over a year to get to slaughtering weight, but the chickens are ready after just 6 months, so the timing is off. Which is to say, barter can get complicated and money is supposed to obviate that, but we can see, money is nothing if not complicated.

But it does feel like an important skill to:

1) Enjoy your money and the possibilities it offers.

2) Know how to live well off of very little money (As a smart and liberated choice! Poverty is not sexy!)

3) Find the intersection between the two above points.

Someone please get back to me when you have it all figured out.

Also, at 8 1/2 Col lost his first tooth. As Dan said recently, “he’s dentally delayed but we’re not gonna stress about it.” I’m famous for getting choked up at Col’s milestones. And as much as I’ve had years of evidence that Col is going to be just fine, there’s something about his preemie start that tugs at me especially hard when he achieves an utterly normal milestone. I find myself exhaling breath I didn’t know I was holding.


Col, Hugh-Hefnering around all day in his bathrobe.

Lunch and snacks at the river for three:


Jar of peanut butter and honey, smoothie, cherries. One spoon. Done. Word.

If say, the predicted models of climate change for the Southwest are accurate and it will become increasingly hotter and drier here, requiring us to adapt agriculturally, I’d like to mention that I swapped in amaranth leaves for 25% of spinach in the creamy spinach artichoke dip I made when my mother-in-law was here, and nobody, myself included (nor Mr. “3-helpings” Col), could tell.


Amaranth needs nothing from you. Not good soil, nor irrigation, I don’t even plant it! I bow down. Also, where my  spinach currently looks like it would like to transport itself to the foggy banks of Northern Cali,  Amaranth appears to have just woken up from a restorative nap.

Dan’s mom admiring some of the bows he makes.


Love this picture. Judy was probably saying, “That’s very nice, Daniel” in the same sincere way she’d say it if Dan was showing her the new golf clubs he bought after being promoted to CEO of Everything Antlers Inc. She’s just unconditionally supportive like that.

For the past two years I’ve been keeping my washed lettuce in wet cloth bags in the crisper. It works better than plastic because the lettuce comes out of the spa of humidity and every cell wall salutes you with crisp freshness. Plus no shenanigans of BPA and phthalates.


Can you find the amaranth, purslane and lamb’s quarters? All friends of a changing earth. Note: bags must be wet.

Also, hollyhock pin-up of the week:


And, the giveaway winner:

#25. Rose, who said:

“The timing of this gives me chills. This is a subject being discussed at great length around here lately. Me staying home with the kids contributes to our happiness and making our own cleaning and personal care products saves us money. There’s a lot more we could be doing. I’m feeling grateful for the inspiration today. Thank you:)”

Rose, dear, e-mail me your address and I’ll pass it along to the publishers.



14 Responses leave one →
  1. July 4, 2013

    This post is full of all kinds of goodness.
    Congrats to Rose!
    Thanks for the lettuce greens tip. I have been searching for more and more ways to keep frig food fresh sans plastic. Sewing on the agenda today… Think I will sew up a greens bag!

  2. July 4, 2013

    where do you buy those groovy bags?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 4, 2013

      I get them from, but I bet someone super crafty like you could sew them up in a minute.

  3. July 4, 2013

    Have I babbled to you about Malabar spinach yet? It’s not actually a spinach, but it passes for one. I believe it’s a native of some tropical place like the Philippines and is grown in tropical places and eaten like spinach. It thrives in hot weather, never bolts and grows in a vine, so you don’t have to devote that much space to it while harvesting it all hot summer long.

    Congrats on losing your tooth Col.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 4, 2013

      Is that like new zealand spinach?

  4. Andrea permalink
    July 4, 2013

    congrats to col!

    i hear you mama, those ‘milestones’…

    those damn mother fuckin, cock suckin, milestones. just another way we can all make each other feel bad about parenting, our kids, thier progress, etc. they will all get there, or they wont. i know it has nothing to do with happiness, or peace, or love, or worth.

    happy 4th! so thankful for the freedom of speech to drop curse words in this space :) and rachel, we ARE all friends in real life. silly.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 4, 2013

      Of course we are, I’m just picturing beers in the garden together while kids romp.
      And freedom for children to be their own individual selves with their own timing and gifts.

  5. July 4, 2013

    Oh amaranth! We love it (we used to grow the bicolor one on the farm…). I have been told that it contains 10 times more good stuff than kale… if that’s even possible!

  6. Katy permalink
    July 5, 2013

    Hang on – you can eat amaranth leaves?! I just won the greens lottery! Any restrictions on the kind of amaranth? Jeez, I’m such a worrier.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 7, 2013

      No restrictions that I know of. You are winner of the greens lottery!

  7. Jo Hadley permalink
    July 6, 2013

    Hey Col! I was dentally delayed too! (And I was born almost 2 weeks LATE!) When I was 8, I STILL hadn’t lost any teeth. You know what that crazy dentist of mine decided to do? He gave me laughing gas and pulled out 8 teeth at once: 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. When I came back down to reality and looked in the mirror, I scared myself silly and started crying!!! Happy for you, Col, that you’re taking it slow and natural, one tooth at a time. Enjoy!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 7, 2013

      Geez. That’s horrible. Did you go to Dr. Wampler in Berkeley? He always scared me.

  8. July 9, 2013

    i can so relate to the breath-holding of mothering. congrats on the first tooth, col! i also think quinn and col should someday hugh hefner around together – q would live in his bathrobe if i didn’t insist otherwise. and that is just the tip of the iceberg of how well i think they would get along. including having mothers who bring lunches like that- they will be scarred in all the same ways and will be able to relate to each other so well. :)

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