Sage Hill Farms and Vintage Store

Spring Time at Sage Hill Farms
And the Bees Have Arrived

April and Spring are here…can it be? Am I only dreaming when I walk outside and warm sunshine gently settles on my face? Is Mother Nature playing tricks with my eyes and ears…do I see and hear bees and wasp weaving their way through the wild plum and herb beds…..

I’ve had a few emails asking how to start raised beds for growing a garden, and, if it’s too late for this growing season.

Firstly, you can find instructions on the how-to of building raised beds on the Sage Hill web site. www.sagehillfar

Secondly, it is not too late for this season…regardless where you are located. Depending on your access to the materials you will need and use, raised beds can be built and ready to plant in a few days.

Another point to stress is …there is no one way that is correct. Beds can be contained with rock, stone, cinder-block, garden edging or garden timbers. They can be filled with compost, home-made or purchased, garden soil or a blend of the two. I would however, suggest organic regardless the choice.

Home-made compost is the one best thing you can do for your gardens…and again, instructions are on the website for making compost.

Seeds…..Did we ever think the time would come when seeds would be threatened by a monopoly, or any thing that would make us fear not having choices when planting time came around? Well, it saddens me and makes me angry…but that time has arrived my friends.

There is a coup in the works by a huge chemical company…Monsanto….to control all the seed in this country and even the world. Now is the time to purchase all the heirloom seed you can, grow from them and save seed from everything you grow. Heirloom seed will last for many, many years…where conventional seed is designed to produce only one year…if at all.

Don’t know who and what Monsanto is….you can Google them, but be sure you are not educating yourself from their website…they lie a lot.

To get the real history and updates, the Organic Consumers site is my favorite place to read.

A Recipe To Love~

Bhutanese Red Rice Pilaf

2 cups dried shitake mushrooms
4 cups water
¼ cup grape seed oil
¼ tsp crushed red chili peppers
1 small sweet onion-diced
1 Tbsp garlic-minced
2 cups red rice
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

(If you have Sage Hill’s Cajun blend seasoning, you can omit the peppers, garlic powder and onion powder)

Place mushrooms in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes.
Remove mushrooms from water and reserve for cooking.
Ring out the mushrooms and chop fine-set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the chili peppers, onions, and minced garlic-sauté’ with a pinch of salt until onions are clear.

Once onions are ready, add the rice, remaining salt, garlic powder, and onion powder, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Add the liquid reserved from the mushrooms, mix well, then bring the pot to a boil. (Taste to be sure the seasoning is right)

Cover the pot and reduce heat to the lowest setting.
Cook undisturbed for 55 minutes or until rice is tender.

When done, remove pot from the heat, let sit 10 minutes before removing the lid.

This is not fluffy rice, so need to fluff before serving.
Will serve 6 to 8...

This recipe is compliments of the New Age Soul Food blog.
Served with sautéed greens (I like kale or turnip) and caramelized onions, and a nice salmon steak-simply broiled----yummy for sure.

Important Reminder… especially if you have children and pets: There are many plants accepted and used in landscaping that are deadly to humans and or pets.

Below are two that are in the deadly group…please Google poison plants for a complete list.

Castor Bean

If you have consumed castor oil before, you might be surprised to learn that castor beans contain one of the most poisonous substances in the world, ricin. Just one castor bean has enough ricin to kill an adult within a few minutes. Despite this grim quality, castor bean plants are frequently grown for decorative purposes.


This is one of the most toxic, commonly grown garden plants in the world — and oddly enough, it's often found in schoolyards. Ingesting any part of this plant can be deadly, especially for children. Even smoke from burning oleander can be fatal. In fact, according to the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS), there were 847 known human poisonings in the United States related to oleander in 2002.

What’s In or On A Label

If you are a label reader (and please…if not, become one) you may have noticed a reduction in sodium over the last few months in some products. I would suggest paying close attention to what has replaced it… especially if you purchase prepackaged foods (food found in the inner isles of major supermarkets) and many prepackaged meats, etc.

Sweeteners are predicted to be on the reduction list in the immediate future-the trend is already getting my attention with a mix of sugar and stevia. On the surface this could sound like a good thing…however, we must remember that much of the refined sugar (sugar beets) is now a GM crop, so this is in my opinion a waste of stevia benefits and just another ploy to keep refined sugar high on the marketable list of products. (Sugar is never a plus in any form, under any guise.)

People and Places We Love And Trust~

If you are searching for the facts…unabridged and certainly not sugar coated, take a tour of Dan Luther’s website and FB page. But please…don’t just scan the website; read it from start to finish as the links will guide you. I promise you will come away with the knowledge we all need to make good choices and the tools to plan for harder times that are coming…regardless of what our thoughts are on the topic.

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Those who know me well know that I am a long time member of KGI….Kitchen Gardens International…..a new project to love~

Have a happy and active spring season…plant a garden, read a good book, commit to healthy living/eating…It’s all a very good thing~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz and The Sage Hill Farms family~