This is a rhubarb custard pie, baking inside our Sun Oven. So yes. The answer is yes, you can bake a pie in a solar oven! Here's how. Read more →


I fell hard for the bees last year when I joined a citizen-science program called Shutterbee. So I signed up again this year, and... I think my crush has grown into a full-blown obsession! Read more →


We received our third conservation award this summer - this time from the organization Wild Ones, which promotes native plant gardening. They've designated our yard a Native Plant Butterfly Garden. We're now part of a network of gardens providing needed habitat for butterflies across the United States.  Read more →


Last time we mentioned solar cooking, we introduced you to the sun-sational (that pun can't help itself) Sun Oven and showed you how we used it to cook a pot of rice. This time I'm all about the meat, which turns out to be a great thing to cook the solar way. Read more →


Yeah, that's my superhero hunk, AKA the other half of Brunette Gardens... But what's that shiny thing there in the left corner? It's not kryptonite... it's a Sun Oven! Read more →


Halloween took its first fatal hit for me in the 1980s, when gossip about razor blades in apples gave my parents alarm. However, this was simply a continuation of a string of urban myths that started in the 1950s and continued through subsequent decades. The myths themselves derived from cases of homicide in which the murderer tried to cover up his crime by claiming poison came from trick-or-treat candy, or drug 'accidents' perpetrated by children who got into their parents' stash, the adults attempting to deflect blame on stranger's candy. You can read more about this over at the Halloween Love blog. Read more →


The desire to forget is very human. Something bad happens, and we want to get through it and move on, forgetting it ever occurred. This can even be a healthy inclination, if we keep from getting stalled out, bogged down by grief or pain. But there's a lot to be said for remembrance and acknowledgment as well. If we forget the past, especially if we forget wrongs done to us personally or to our people, forgetting can actually be dangerous.  Read more →


When we began growing annual vegetables last year, we came to the task with at least some experience, but we certainly had a lot to learn. Still, I'm amazed by how much food we're getting already out of our little 1/4-acre homestead habitat. Read more →


We purchase most of our meat directly from farms, a practice we began in 2015, when we lived in Chehalis, a small town in Washington state. Back then our beef came from the Olson farm, just outside of town. Here in Missouri, we had to source meat anew, so we hit the local farmer's market and found two excellent locals: Eckenfels Farms and Farrar Out Farm. Read more →