Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A few people have asked me about the magazine taproot, so I thought I'd share with you an email from Jason, the publisher of taproot,  that arrived in my inbox today:

Issue 3::RETREAT in the mail soon. Renew by August 31 and lock in Founder's Rates for another 4 or 8 issues.
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Taproot Magazine

Taproot Magazine Issue 3 in a bowl of greens

Is it just me or is every day right now seeming just a little bit cooler, each night just a little crisper, as summer loosens her grip and we slip into autumn? I'd expect not, given that you may be reading this from a locale situated in the Southern hemisphere. In any case, just in time for this shift in the seasons, Taproot Issue 3::RETREAT will mail out soon to subscribers. (Even if you don't read any more of this letter, be sure to read below for some exciting news for you, our international readers!)

If you have a moment, I'd love to take a little of your time to tell you what's inside, starting with what's not. When we first thought of "retreat" as a topic word, we were thinking of the falling away of summer and the way that we start slowly pulling ourselves into the lower-activity time of winter. As we got closer to putting the issue together, we realized that the word could easily lend itself to making this the "retreat as vacation" issue. Thankfully, our contributors are more creative than that, starting with the cover. When I spoke with the artist, Jennifer Judd-McGee, back at one of our March launch events, she referred to the issue theme as "shelter" rather than "retreat" because she had already attached that meaning to it. She described the beautiful illustration you see above. "Wonderful," I told her then. "Double plus wonderful," I tell you now that I've seen it in hand.

The cover is just the start of course. Inside we have photo essays about the safety we feel in our domestic lives, the opening of ourselves to our artistic ability and the the questions posed by what is left behind in abandoned farmhouses. Writers also tackle questions about our relationship to technology (Facebook in particular), hunting and our level of engagement in activities outside the home. There's so much more to share, but I'm inclined to be coy and make you wait a bit for your copy to arrive, aside from the few additional teasers you'll find below. I truly think it's our best issue so far in our young enterprise.

Now I have to get back to cannning tomatoes and freezing blueberries, but I would be remiss if I didn't do a bit of housekeeping.

When we first embarked on this magazine, we had no idea how many folks from outside the United States were interested in the ideas we were discussing in the pages. Neither did we know exactly how much it would cost to get the magazine out to you. With two issues under our belt, we now have a handle on the answers to both of those questions and because of that, we have some wonderful news for you. We can lower our international rates to match those that we offer to Canadians (currently $37 for 4 issues and $71 for eight issues) and because of that we're extending your current subscription by an extra issue!

For many of you, Issue 3 may be the next-to-the-last issue in your subscription. To thank you for your support we'd like to reward you by letting you lock-in the new, lower Founder's Rates for another 4 or 8 issues. Just head over to taprootmag.com to renew, but don't delay; these special rates end at midnight, Friday, August 31. Click the button below to go straight to our renewal page, if you are so moved.
Renew Today and Lock-in Founder's Rates
But back to the star of the show, Issue 3. Take a look below at what's in store.

Best regards,
Jason's Signature

Essay::Hands at Squam
Living in Color
Taproot editor Amanda Blake Soule collaborated with photographer Thea Coughlin in a piece sharing her experience attending the Squam Art Workshops this past summer and considers how such journeys reinvigorate and revitalize even us as we inevitably return to our everyday lives. 
Hunting, Spirit & Place
Hunting, Spirit & Place
Former vegan turned hunter Tovar Cerulli has written a book, The Mindful Carnivore, that lays out his experience in letting go of long-held beliefs and embracing a seemingly antithetical lifestyle. Publisher Jason Miller spoke with Cerulli about this and other topics in our first Taproot interview. Photo courtesy of Open Road Media.

Essay::Farming My Way Home
Farming My Way Home
Young farmer Schirin Oeding has led a life full of impossibilities that have actually come to be. This is the reason, as she relates in her essay, that she believes that even in the face of environmental and other challenges, hope for a better future is a perfectly reasonable response.
Family Mittens
Family Mittens
Noted pattern designer Carrie Bostick Hoge (designer for Quince & Co. yarns) has created a mitten pattern with a size for every member of the family. Quick to knit, you can be sure everyone has a pair before the weather turns chilly and hands want covering!

Copyright © 2012 Taproot Magazine, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up on our website.
Our mailing address is:
Taproot Magazine
PO Box 19
Hardwick, VT 05843

Add us to your address book

To view the table of contents and some pretty pictures from Issue 3, click on the link below:


I am really enjoying 'taproot'. It doesn't matter which country you live in, the magazine is still applicable. I would recommend it to anyone interested in living 'the simple life', close to nature, anyone interested in gardening, making and baking and craft.

If you decide to subscribe, let me know, I'd love to hear your comments.

Wishing you happy days, full of laughter, joy, health and happiness.

Much love,

Julie xxoo

Monday, August 27, 2012


* soaking and cooking white beans

* making Carrot and Ginger Soup

* sorting seeds ready for planting

* breakfast outside on both days.....soaking up the sun and it's beautiful warmth......watching and listening to our girls (chooks)......listening to the birds.......enjoying the view......checking on the newly planted seeds and feeling happy that a couple of rocket seeds are up.....thankful for rocket, the seeds sprout and pop up in only a few days after planting, always reliable, tasty and so good for you.....watching my husband and youngest son get ready for a morning of cutting and delivering wood......feeling thankful that my big boy gets his plaster off tomorrow and hoping he is back on both feet very soon, he is missing his daily walk

* perennial basil

* planting seeds in these boxes.....they don't dry out as much, it's less fiddly and it's quick

* carrying my favourite cup around with me.....sipping on water...... always sipping on water.....it makes me feel  good

* made Broccoli Pesto

* enjoying the rhythm of my days.....a little bit of work, a little bit of rest......some time inside, some time outside

Hope your weekend was a lovely one.

xxoo Julie

Thursday, August 23, 2012

garden notes

Things are starting to liven up for me in the area of vege gardening at the moment as spring is on its way.

I thought I'd share a few gardening links with you:

* I just found this blog today by Nicola Chatham. Nicola has some free giveaways on her blog too: an ebook, a video and weekly newsletters.

The Witches Kitchen: is full of gardening tips and recipes.

ABC Gardening Vege Guide: I use this one to work out what to plant when. It also gives tips for planting. 

This week I am planting GREEN LEAFY vegetables. I also bought another half wine barrel which is sitting on the other side of our back door. In it I have planted one spinach plant and some parsley, rocket and spring onion seed. Hopefully it will go just as well as the other wine barrel garden that you can see above.

What else is happening:

-the lavender plants are bursting into flower

-we picked our first head of broccoli, above. The first one I have ever managed to grow, organically of course. Usually I plant broccoli seeds in spring which are eaten by caterpillars as they grow. This one was planted in autumn when the white moths were dwindling in number. Next autumn I will plant a lot more. 

Happy gardening. 

xxoo Julie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Happy Monday or Tuesday, depending on where you are in the world.

I thought it might be a nice way to begin the week with an inspirational quote. I love inspirational quotes. Do you?

My quote for today is:

Nurture your mind
with great thoughts.
Benjamin Disreali

We can CHOOSE to think about good things or bad things. We can CHOOSE to think positively or negatively.  It is so much nicer to think about good things and to think positively.  It creates nice, happy feelings in our body. 

I hope your week is full of happiness, health and positivety.

Love Julie xxoo

Monday, August 13, 2012

growing gratitude

Today I am grateful for:

*the lovely weekend we had visiting family and celebrating my sister in laws 40th birthday. 

*our local doctor's surgery for fitting Brad in today and for the x-ray place for doing an x-ray on his foot straight away. 

*our local Plaster Centre, that they can plaster Brad's foot tomorrow afternoon as our doctor requested. 

*Brad. He injured his foot on Friday night not long after arriving at his auntie's home. He spent the whole weekend a lot quieter than he planned and he hasn't complained once. Thank you. 

*being home again.

*August, the month that we begin planting ready for spring. I can't wait. I have been inspired so much by my blogging friends in the northern hemisphere during their spring and summer. I can't wait to get some seeds planted and my hands in the beautiful dirt. 

I hope you have a fantastic week. 


Linking up with Lisa at Hullabaloo Homestead  for 'growing gratitude.' 

Lisa says:

.:Beauty and simplicity surround us all the time and are things that I try to embrace as often as I can slow down to see. Every Monday I will be posting…a “growing gratitude” post. Basking in our own state of gratitude as well as the gratitude of others always seems uplifting to me. Plus, I always love a good positive start to the beginning of each week. I will put a Mr. Linky at the end of each week’s post in hopes that some of you may want to join in this mindfulness journey with me. You can formulate your own posts however you want to…lots of pictures, or none; lots of thoughts, or maybe just one profound one. The main gist is to share whatever you are feeling grateful for in your life…right now; here and now; in the present. I’ve included a button as well, so if you’re interested, you can grab a button and link back to each week’s post. So let’s begin, shall we?:.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

it's good to be home

Don't get me wrong......I love holidays and I loved our recent holiday, but at the same time it's nice to be home again.

Home is where I'm happiest, the most relaxed and I feel safe here. It's good. 

I also missed everyone from this wonderful blogging community. 

But I'm back, feeling refreshed, relaxed and connected to myself and my family. (even if I do have a touch of the flu)

Thank you for reading beautiful people. I appreciate each and every one of you. 

May your days be happy and healthy ones.

Lots of love,
Julie xxoo

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

facing your fears

My husband and I recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. As a result of this and our recent holiday, I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately.

17 years ago when I first met my future husband, I had not been in a plane. It was my BIGGEST  fear. My future husband (Nig), on the other hand, loved flying and he loved travelling to different places. He was like a man on a mission, determined to get me over my fear of flying.

Three months after we met, Nig took me on my first flight, a little one, from Sydney to Brisbane. There were lots of prep talks beforehand from Nig and his family. 'It was just like sitting at home in your arm chair', they told me. Now, as I said, this was my BIGGEST  fear. I was REALLY, REALLY  SCARED. To help me, not be too freaked out on the plane, I went to the doctor and got some medication to help me relax. I was 28 and had never flown before and I was PETRIFIED.  I also visualized myself sitting in the plane, calm and relaxed.

That first flight went OK. Nig said that it was actually quite a bumpy flight. Mmmmm maybe this flying thing isn't too bad after all, I thought. The flight home was a bit better, but still a bit bumpy at times.

Fueled with his first success Nig then wanted to take me on a bigger flight and it was only three months after the last one. You'd think we had plenty of money, but we didn't. I was teaching at the time and Nig was working and living with his parents, so we both had money to burn, or so we thought.

So the second flight was to Fiji and this time I became hooked on flying. We had a smooth flight and I relaxed and actually enjoyed it.

Three months later ( nine months after we met) we were married. For our honeymoon we went to New Zealand. We hired a campervan and travelled around the south island of New Zealand. I now felt like quite the traveller.

Three months after our wedding we went back to Fiji.

Three months after that we went to, I was happily pregnant with our first baby and the flying stopped for quite a few years. We moved a couple of times and bought our first home. We had another baby, sold our first home, bought some land and moved again. We built a new home. There was no spare money for flying and expensive holidays.

At times I look back and think of the money we wasted spent on all those holidays in the first year that Nig and I were together. Four flights and four holidays in one year, plus a wedding. It was an expensive year. BUT it was also the year I CONQUERED MY BIGGEST FEAR. It was the year we had a lot of fun as we travelled around and got to know each other. It was the year I married my best friend.

Celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary was one of the reasons we took our boys to New Zealand and hired a campervan. We did a lot of reminiscing and showed our boys where we went. We also took them snow boarding for the first time, they had a jet boat ride and we took them to some natural, thermal hot pools. Our boys are getting older, they are now 11 and 14. My husband (the adventurer) wanted to take our boys on their first overseas holiday. We wanted to have some time to connect as a family and to create some wonderful family memories. You don't have to go overseas to do this, but this is what WE wanted to do.

Now our boys have got the travel bug. They are dreaming about where they would like to go next, overseas of course. Looks like we'd better start saving.

I am so.... happy that I faced my fear, my biggest fear that I had. It was holding me back from doing things I wanted to do. It was holding me back from living the life that I wanted to live.

However this is now a thing of the past. Flying is now my preferred method of travel. Who would have thought?

These photos were taken of the entrance to the domestic terminal, at the airport in Sydney, from our motel room the day before our flight.

Friday, August 3, 2012

our holiday

We arrived back from our holiday last night after spending 11 nights on the south island of New Zealand. 

Here are some of our photos......

This photo is somewhere between Christchurch and Queenstown on our second day. It was taken from the window of our campervan, that we hired, as we travelled along. 

The gondola in Queenstown. It is a lot steeper than it looks.

The view of Queenstown from the top of the gondola.

 The gondola again.

 Nig and I on the way into Queenstown.

 Josh and Brad ready to hit the slopes on the Remarkable Mountains.

 Josh and then Brad on the travelator that took them from the bottom of the slope to the top.

The cafe and coffee shop where I spent some time while the boys snowboarded.

 Me with Brad's snowboard.

The campervan, we hired, in a caravan park in Queenstown. 

A gorgeous church in Queenstown.

Mmmmmm........this sounds interesting.

Me with the mulled wine. The view above is out to the side of where I'm sitting.

Our van and some of the beautiful scenery.

The 'Blue Pools" between Lake Wanaka and Haast.

Franz  Joseph Glacier.

Waterfalls on the way to the glacier.

A beautiful rock wall on the way to the glacier.

These are just some of our photos. The south island of New Zealand is full of natural beauty. It is a place we hope to visit again one day.