About the Author

Rita Heikenfeld

Starting with the most important, I'm a wife, mom, grandma, aunt and sister to a very large family. My own family includes husband Frank, 3 grown sons and, to date, 11 grandchildren. We live on a little patch of heaven outside of Batavia, Ohio where we raise produce and herbs, and chickens for eggs. We heat with wood that we gather. Professionally, I've had numerous "careers". I'm an herbalist, educator, media personality, speaker, journalist and author. I've published books on kids & adults nutrition, gifts from the kitchen and garden, and herbs. My website abouteating.com reaches people who share their tips, thoughts, recipes and memories. My philosophy is simple. I have a deep faith and believe in the law of abundance: share your talents, encourage others. I love writing for the Countryside group and it's fun to see so many like-minded folks sharing my vision!
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Articles by Rita Heikenfeld

Scented Geranium Plants: Fragrant Herbs Indoors or Out
December 4, 2020 · · Growing

My love affair with scented geranium plants started decades ago. The proprietors of my husband’s restaurant cultivated an herb garden on the premises.

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How to Make No-Knead Artisan Bread
November 4, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

Nothing says “welcome” like a warm loaf of crusty bread or a basket of buttery rolls. Here are two favorites, no-knead artisan bread and brown and serve rolls that are perfect for entertaining or anytime.

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How to Make Ginger Beer
November 3, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

When we were kids and would complain about a stomachache, Mom would give us a glass of ginger ale to help stop the rumblings and pain. Fast-forward to today, and ginger beverages have grown up and become quite trendy.

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Best Kitchen Gadgets
October 30, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

When each of us kids left home, Mom gave us several of the best kitchen gadgets, one of which was a cast iron skillet. I still have that skillet and it gets daily use.

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How to Make Bath Salts, Soaps, Scrubs, and Balms
September 22, 2020 · · Soapmaking

Making my own spa products, starting with making bath salts, began as a lark. A fun experiment. Then came the Eureka moment.

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How to Plant Daffodil, Tulip and Other Bulbs in Pots
September 9, 2020 · · Growing

If you live in a condo, apartment or just don’t have space to plant spring-flowering bulbs in the ground, you can still enjoy continual color and fragrance from spring bulbs by learning how to plant daffodil, tulip and other bulbs in pots.

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Elderberry Offers Edible and Medicinal Benefits
August 30, 2020 · · Self-Reliance

My first experience with elderberries came when my husband and I moved to the country to build our first home. We purchased land that was pretty much untouched as far as wild edibles went.

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Exploring the Numerous Calendula Benefits
July 3, 2020 · · Self-Reliance

Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), or pot marigold as it’s sometimes called, is a multi-purpose edible and medicinal herb. The Shakers and early settlers knew the culinary value and superior healing qualities of this beautiful golden herb.

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A Garden of Simples Offers DIY Remedies
June 7, 2020 · · Growing

In the early days of our country, certain herbs were grown and used for the household and for simple medicinal remedies. There was no drug store around the corner so whether one was rich or poor, every household had what was then known as a garden of simples.

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Natural Pain Relievers from your Garden
March 24, 2020 · · Growing

Did you know that some of the most commonly grown culinary herbs are natural pain relievers? There’s a reason a sprig of parsley adorns your restaurant plate, and it’s not just for looks.

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Growing the Best Herbs for Containers
February 24, 2020 · · Growing

Growing the best herbs for containers needn’t be difficult. Most herbs can live their lives happily in containers. Especially herbs for culinary use.

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Black Raspberries (Rubus): 2020 Herb of the Year
December 11, 2019 · · Growing

The 2020 Herb of the Year is Rubus which not only includes black raspberries, but red raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries, too. I am going to specifically talk about black raspberries and how to grow, harvest, and store them.

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Healing Herbs List: Safe and Effective Herbal Home Remedies
October 19, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites Growing up in a large Lebanese family, herbs and spices were not only used to flavor food but to cure common ailments. I distinctly remember ginger for …

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Muffin Mania!
October 1, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

What’s more inviting than a warm muffin with a cup of tea or mug of coffee? Someone to share it with! The muffin recipes I’m sharing our family favorites and easy enough for the little ones to help.

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The Best Barbecue Ribs: Secrets to Barbecue Joint-Quality Ribs
September 8, 2019 · · Pigs

My first bite of spicy, saucy barbecue ribs in a local ribs restaurant put me on a quest to perfect this ultimate finger food. The best barbecue ribs have intense flavor from a dry rub and smoky barbecue sauce, and a texture that is tender, meaty and succulent.

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