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

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Add to Favorites My old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe is a perennial favorite during the holidays. My sisters and I make batches of this easy peanut butter fudge to give …

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Food Preservation Methods for an Abundant Tomato Harvest
March 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Add to Favorites As an herbalist, I’m always thinking of ways to use the abundance of herbs this time of year. Couple that with a huge tomato harvest and it’s …

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Edible Flowers List: 5 Plants for Culinary Creations
March 1, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites An edible flowers list doesn’t have to be exotic. Your own flower garden can supply your kitchen with yummy goodies. I was a young girl when I …

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How Long Does it Take Tomatoes to Grow?
March 1, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites It’s fun to grow your own tomatoes. There’s pure joy in biting into a sun-ripened tomato that you grew yourself. And therein lies the question how long …

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Stress Relief Techniques: RX From Mother Nature
February 25, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites No doubt about it, stress is a normal part of life. But there’s good news: stress can be managed in the most basic of ways with a …

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Use a Hydroponic Grow System for Year-Round Produce
February 25, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites Have you ever grown a sweet potato vine or avocado pit in water? If so, consider yourself a hydroponic gardener! My first experience with a simple hydroponic …

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Anise Hyssop 2019 Herb of the Year
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites The herb of the year for 2019 is anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). A member of the mint family, this lovely, easy to grow perennial is native to …

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10 Ways Drinking Lemon Water Benefits You
February 13, 2019 · · Canning & Kitchen

Add to Favorites Each morning I drink a glass of warm lemon water to jump start my day. I learned years ago that drinking lemon water benefits me in so …

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Reap Bay Leaf Benefits in Teas, Oils, Foods
February 13, 2019 · · Self-Reliance

Add to Favorites The first couple of years when I was growing bay leaves I didn’t know much about the many bay leaf benefits. I used the leaves for culinary use …

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Growing Bay Leaves is Easy and Rewarding
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites My first bay laurel tree was a tiny four-inch seedling from the nursery. I found out quickly that growing bay leaves is not at all difficult. I …

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Growing Valerian: Taking Root in the Garden
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites I have been growing valerian (Valeriana officinalis) for years in the medicinal section of my herb garden. Native to Europe and Asia, this calming herb also grows …

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Growing Calendula from Seed
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites Growing calendula (Calendula officinalis) from seed is an annual garden project in my family. We let the little ones help, and they enjoy monitoring growth as the first …

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10 Plants That Repel Bugs Naturally
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites Originally published in Countryside May / June 2017. Subscribe for the full digital issue!  I have learned a lot through the years about plants that repel bugs naturally. …

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Coriander/Cilantro: Herb and Spice All in One
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites My first herb garden was planted years ago with familiar Mediterranean herbs including basil, parsley, mint, and thyme. I experimented with different recipes, and with each new …

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Growing Jalapeño Peppers
February 13, 2019 · · Growing

Add to Favorites I remember well the first time I started growing jalapeño peppers in my vegetable garden. That was years ago, when growing jalapeño peppers was considered a novelty. …

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