Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Ila Bonczek

Ila lives in the Garden State with her family and four chickens. She has been growing produce and perennials for 20 years, and recommends gardening for food and fun, but not for fortune.
Liqiu-Wikimedia-Commons
Chinese Autumn Begins With Liqiu and the Body is Rejuvenated with White Fungus Soup (Recipe)
According to Chinese tradition, autumn begins in August, with the thirteenth solar term Liqiu (立秋), a period spanning August 8-August 22. These two weeks are recognized as the first solar term of autumn, when the...
Mysterious Memory of Water and Its Astounding Applications
Many ancient philosophies recognize five elements as the fundamental building blocks of all matter. In Chinese, the five elements (wuxing 五行) include metal, wood, water, fire and earth; each of which has its own character...
Seasonal Eating for August, and Preserving the Bounty
August is the month when garden produce is at its peak. At a time when practically everything is in season, the problem is more often what to do with the surplus than what to eat....
arnica-medicinal-herbs-flickr
For Powerful Traditional Remedies, Know and Grow Medicinal Herbs (A): Arnica
In both the East and the West, before modern medicine there were herbs. People, mainly women, knew their plants and understood their medicinal effects. Valuable recipes were recorded in books or passed along orally through...
The Fascinating Process Behind the Beauty of Natural Fibers (Part VI): Abaca
As we’ve seen in the first parts of this series, natural fibers come from an amazing array of sources. From caterpillar cocoons and animal fleece to plant stalks and seed pods, the natural world provides...
Yixing Teapots: Tradition, Elegance and Artistry
As my design studio professor Paula Horrigan always stressed, a good design is “simple, elegant and direct.” When it comes to brewing tea, nothing fits the bill better than the traditional Chinese Yixing teapot. Meticulously...
Independence Day Fireworks, and Their International Origin
As the skies across America explode with color and sound this Fourth of July, one might wonder how and why this clamorous tradition came to be. Like most of us, fireworks’ roots are not in...
Seasonal Eating for July, and the Topic of Landrace
Moving through the months to highlight suitable foods for seasonal eating, we have taken the opportunity to examine a different aspect of the practice with each part of the series. Last month we discussed the...
Seed Saving Basics for the Home Gardener
Seed saving is not merely an economical tactic that will save you a good bit of money in the future; it is also a responsible, sustainable, safe and easy way to make your world —...
nurture-knees-Ila-Bonczek
Nurture Your Knees Now for Long-Term Mobility
Our knees are big joints with an even bigger job. We depend on them to stand, bend, get around, and bear heavy loads. These complicated structures are built to last, but like any valued tool,...
Untangle the Ties of Jealousy With Wisdom
Jealousy: a complex concept While jealousy is most commonly understood as a negative emotion directed at a rival in a relationship, it goes far beyond this narrow scope. In Chinese, jealousy is represented by two...
The Fascinating Process Behind the Beauty of Natural Fibers (Part V): Hemp
Hemp has been valued for its strength and versatility since prehistoric times. Shrouded in controversy over family ties, hemp production lost nearly a century’s worth of momentum and is only recently making a comeback as...