Foraging For Nettles

8 May

Foraging for Nettles

Stinging Nettle its botanical name is Urtica Dioica which is most commonly found in damp areas of North America and Europe.  Stinging Nettle has a well know reputation for giving a sting when the skin touches the hairs on the leaves and stems.  The sting is a really irritating to the skin so make sure you where your gloves!

harvesting nettles

This herb has many well-known curative properties.  Here are just a few:

1. It is a diuretic

2. Really high in Iron great for battling anemia

3. Anti-Inflammatory – Histamines found in the Nettle plant can inhibit the body’s response to symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Stinging Nettle Plant

Nettle have many health benefits and can be substituted for spinach in any recipe.  I love them sautéed in a little butter and garlic.  Happy picking and eating.



7 May

Introducing the Belwoods Garden

6 May

So I have been on Cortes Island for almost a week and I have fallen in love with my new little house and its beautiful garden.  I share this gem of a garden with all my new housemates here at Belwoods.  All of us are employees of Hollyhock for this season.  I work in the beautiful kitchen that over looks the Pacific ocean and has a stunning view  of the Mountains.  We cater to a variety of guests that are enrolled in programs like yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, and music.  Hollyhock has a beautiful organic garden where the gardeners deliver fresh greens daily.

So I wanted to share my garden with you that is on the verge of great beauty but more importantly some really great food.


Cherry trees are sheer beauty.  The gate keeps the dear out that are in the plenty on this tiny island.  Everyone in the house had their own garden bed and were growing every vegetable under the sun.

so we decided to hack out the dense overgrown blackberry bushes.  After many painful pokes from the thorns of the blackberry we had a sweet little spot.

Me and my sweetie had brought some heirloom seeds we got from a shop in Toronto called Urban Harvest with us.   We planted radish, greens, tomatoes, and peppers and we are looking forward to some great delicious eating  this summer.

5 May

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Post 1

5 May

I have been traveling the world working as a holistic chef working at a variety of wellness retreats. From Toronto to the Caribbean and currently British Columbia I am making nutrient dense meals for people from all walks of life. I have started this blog to share my knowledge and experiences with others. Look forward to lots of tips on food, nutrition, gardening, yoga, and meditation. Plus see photos of some of the most beautiful places on earth and try one of my great healthy recipes.

Good Day

5 May

My name is Joanne Cairns and I am traveling through the world making and creating some of this planets most delicious meals with some of the freshest ingredients mother nature has given us. My intentions are simple I want to nourish your soul.  I am achieving this quest by cooking at health retreats and feeding people  all over the world.  I went to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto and learned about vitamins, minerals, bioflavanoids, and antioxidants.  I  know how each nutrient affects the body, and how much we should consume on a daily basis but for me, I want to be able to nourish someone’s soul not by just giving someone a supplement but by creating nutrient dense meals.  My philosophy is to provide nourishment the way mother nature intended.  Returning to the way our ancestors ate, lived, and loved.  To consume meals that are free from man-made chemicals, which were grown in harmony with the earth, and didn’t travel to far to get to our tables.  Of course we can’t forget how important it is that the food is made with heart and consumed with those we love.

peas, love, and brown rice