cropped-carrotlove.jpgHi! I’m a budding gardener who likes to cook nearly as much as I love to eat. I’ve been hoarding recipes and experimenting in the kitchen for as long as I can remember.

I started this blog back in 2010, when I was fresh out of college and doing much of the cooking for my family. Since then, I’ve worked on organic farms around the country, learning from many wise farmers in western Washington, Fat Blossom Farm in Michigan, the Borner Farm Project in Wisconsin, and Gaia Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico; taught English in Ecuador and the States; and volunteered at Jubilee Partners, an intentional community in Georgia serving newly resettled refugees. I also spent a summer teaching at Slide Ranch, an educational farm on the northern California coast, and got involved in food justice and school garden projects back in my hometown of Oakland, California. More recently, I spent a winter and spring at Spreadwing, a small farmstead where I learned to eat simply from the land and make goat cheese, ferments, and tortillas from scratch, then learned the art of solar cooking during my summer at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center. I spent the next seven months at Chrysalis Earth, a fledging farm in western North Carolina, falling in love with the wonders of hot peppers, fermentation and sourdough! I took sourdough starter and chili powder with me to The Lord’s Acre, a non-profit garden just outside of Asheville, where I crowded the tiny counter and fridge of my RV with ambitious cooking and fermentation experiments. I’m curious to see what new culinary adventures await me at Camphill Village, cooking and enjoying meals together with a “family” of individuals with special needs and volunteers from around the world.

In short, I’ve spent many hours in many kitchens, cooking for myself, for relatives and friends, and for up to eighty people with various dietary restrictions. I’ve been nourished by crew lunches, potlucks, and wood-fired pizza nights, as well as plenty of simple meals alone. At other times, I’ve had very little opportunity to cook, and been terrified to even light the stove! It’s been an amazing journey so far… and often all-consuming. I haven’t had the time to update this site as often as I’d like, but I’ve tried my best to offer a taste of what I’m learning and savoring along the way.

The food I prepare is inspired by my passion for wholesome vegetarian meals; local, seasonal produce; international cuisine; and whatever ingredients I have around at the time. I try to reference my inspiration when possible, though I’m notoriously bad at following a recipe (even my own). As I’ve gained experience and confidence in the kitchen, many of my meals no longer involve a recipe at all, relying instead on versatile techniques and experimental combinations. Some work out better than others, most are edible, a few truly exceptional. I’ve done my best to record the most noteworthy victories and failures, and approximate what I did. Just bear in mind that I’ve gotten pretty lazy about measuring, and these recipes are intended merely as a starting point, with endless possible variations!

Most recipes are intended to serve 3-5 adults, unless otherwise indicated.


3 Responses to About

  1. Michael Hewitt says:

    We met briefly at the lords acre shortly before you departed. I’m enjoying your blog!! I’m a huge fan of hot sauces and salsa’s. I would love to stay connected somehow. Where are you off to this time???

    • herbabuena says:

      So glad you are enjoying the recipes! Thanks for reaching out, it was good to hear from you! It was also a good reminder to update this page. Hope to get the rest of the hot sauce recipes posted soon, along with a few other treats I’ve been meaning to add, and will perhaps have some kitchen escapades to share during my year at Camphill Village (a land-based community that includes individuals with developmental disabilities in Copake, NY).

      • Michael hewitt says:

        That place sounds just fantastic! I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts. Please stay in touch.

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