Wednesday, June 20, 2018

International Fairy Day and Special July 4 Price for New Backyard Farming Book!

New Backyard Farming Book
Fairy lovers unite!

The beginning of summer means International Fairy Day is not long behind...Sunday, June 24 is a great time to embrace your inner child and believe in the wonder and magic of fairies!

I'm welcoming the official start of summer with the release of my new backyard farming book, Little Farm Homegrown... a fun summer serendipity is that Kobo Books has selected Little Farm Homegrown for their Independence Day promotion: for the week of the July 4 holiday, June 28 - July 4, Kobo will have the ebook on sale in the US for $2.99!

The new book, subtitled A Memoir of Food-Growing, Midlife, and Self-Reliance on a Small Homestead, is Book 2 of my Little Farm in the Foothills series. Here's a brief sample--and please note that for the same July 4 holiday week, Amazon will also have the Little Farm Homegrown ebook for this special price too!

Back to fairies...As a fairy lover, I've included fairies in the storyline in two of my books: The Secret Well (an Irish short story) and The Mystery of the Christmas Fairies (a family-friendly middle-grade book). The Secret Well is a tender, mystical father-son tale that's perfect for a summer afternoon, and available for free at my website,

To all you gardeners, food-growers, and backyard farmers, may you enjoy these long summer evenings the best way ever: spending extra time "digging in the dirt," hanging out with your animals (if you have them), and after sunset, star-gazing to your heart's content...And may your summer dreams (sprinkled with a bit of fairy dust, of course) come true!

Friday, June 8, 2018

National Get Outdoors Day, Forest Bathing and a New Gardening Book!

Tomorrow, June 9, is National Get Outdoors Day…gardening or spending time in the woods is a terrific way to celebrate this special Saturday! For you gardeners or aspiring gardeners, I recommend couple of super-inspiring books I have on my shelf: The Country Garden: How to Plan and Plant a Garden that Grows Itself by Charlie Ryrie, and another that’s less practical but beautiful and inspirational is Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul by Elizabeth Murray.

Into food-growing? You might find lots of motivation in one of my favorite resources, The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe. If you don’t have a garden but believe you’d like to give one a go, you might consider buying a little basil start, re-potting it in a larger container (basil grows fast!) and setting it on a windowsill. It’s a pretty plant and now you’re set for homemade pasta and pizza sauce!

If you’re a tree-lover who enjoys cavorting in the woods, there’s a new term for that time-honored pastime, “forest bathing.”

Coined by the Japanese, “forest bathing” suggests that strolling in the woods lowers stress and improves your overall health. Researchers have confirmed that staying overnight in forests, or even simply walking through them, can have therapeutic effects.

New Gardening Book
As someone who is lucky enough to spend time outside every day, in the woods or close to it, I’m convinced this is true. I’ve always felt a sense of calm and serenity in our yard, surrounded by woodlands, and when I venture deeper into the trees, that sensation grows even stronger. If you do take a hike in the woods, however, beware of stinging nettles! (See my previous post, and how I learned this the hard way.)

My new backyard farming/homesteading book is a celebration of both gardening and the woods—Little Farm Homegrown: A Memoir of Food-Growing, Midlife, and Self-Reliance on a Small Homestead. Here’s an excerpt from the book, relating to “forest bathing”…

“One summer day, as I sat in my pollinator garden under a birch clump, the trunks swaying gently around me, I rose from my chair to lay my palm against the bark. And I felt something. A quickening…a life force. I sensed the spirit, even the soul of that tree under my hand, even of the woods surrounding me. Something infinitely precious…”

Here's a longer sample of Little Farm Homegrown... 

Little Farm Homegrown is now available for preorder at Amazon and Kobo! As for National Get Outdoors Day, even if your Saturday is full of chores and commitments, I hope you’ll take time to enjoy nature, if only for a moment… sit under your favorite tree, take a deep breath, and simply be!