Hello, I'm Michele. I have always lived a simple lifestyle filled with passion and a desire to change things. I have dedicated half of my life to creating everyday household products, beauty aids, herbal remedies, and mouth watering gourmet foods and confections mostly from plants and items I grew and crafted myself. Growing organically, harvesting, and preparing some of the daily fruits, nuts, herbs, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and even meats that we consume has always been important to me. Taking part in this on a daily basis with my own two hands in my own backyard is something I am most proud of. Give me a shovel and I'll give you a fully functioning, gourmet, biodiverse, "Edible and Herbal Backyard Food Forest!" Give me a harvest, and I’ll give you an entire year's worth of everyday homemade necessities, scrumptious gourmet meals, and useful holiday gifts. These include classic holiday goodies and helpful items such as lip balms, deodorants, cleaning supplies, pet products, muscle rubs, cold and flu tonics, and even chewy and authentic loaves of sourdough bread, fresh from the oven.

My Edible and Herbal Backyard Food Forest - I grew up in a gardening family and have grown food throughout my life regardless of where I was living. After completing master gardening classes, I spent the past 15 years designing a 90% edible and herbal landscape right in the middle of my suburban, half acre backyard in Pennsylvania. I have everything you can imagine planted including hundreds of fruits, herbs, vegetables, nuts, roots, companion plants, perennials, and extremely fragrant flowers. All of this is compacted together into one self-sufficient ecosystem. My main objective has always been to become more self-sustaining, grow healthy toxin free foods, and to focus on plants that grow well in our cold Pennsylvanian climate. The results have been outstanding - they never cease to amaze me. I never imagined my plan would work this well. Nature already knows - we just need to listen!

What Inspired Me to Live This Way - My daughter, Gabriele, was born weighing one pound and eight ounces. This quickly dropped to one pound flat. She was so weak and small that she could fit in the palm of my hand. She suffered terribly for the first 10 years of her life. At age 10, she became so ill that we almost lost her. She needed a kidney transplant ASAP, which my husband graciously and heroically donated. We realized quickly that she needed to take charge of her body and supply it with quality, nutrient rich foods and products that would not harm her new kidney. We needed to do anything and everything possible to avoid her rejecting this kidney in the future. Gabriele is my true inspiration every single day. I would certainly obtain modern medical treatments if she needed them; after all, they saved my daughters life. However, I knew that I needed to combine the ideas and practices of medical professionals with my knowledge of the power of natural foods and homemade remedies. My family made some big changes! More than ever now, I am convinced that dialing back the stress is necessary along with playing a bigger role in our everyday choices that we have always trusted others to make for us.

This is a Lifestyle to Me, and a Job That I Love - It is a day-to-day ritual that I have simplified tremendously. It is a lifestyle that brings stability to our family and benefits everyone involved. It is a lifestyle that has saved us thousands of dollars every year. In an emergency situation, we would never need to worry about getting to the store because we have everything we need at home already. Now, I merely buy meat and other staple ingredients that I cannot grow myself in bulk from as many local sources as possible. I grow just enough of my own ingredients and supplies that will last us for one entire year, then I start the whole process all over again in January. It is well planned, journaled and even broken down monthly. This lifestyle has given me an understanding of what goes into the foods we eat and the everyday products we use. In my eyes, it's just me being a mom. This is my life, my passion, my joy, and my soul. This is what I was born to do, and I can't wait to share it with you.