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

Preserve Recipes Turn a Bountiful Harvest Into Holiday Gifts
September 7, 2021 · · Canning & Kitchen

Add to Favorites Want to avoid the traffic, crowded stores, and expensive prices when shopping for holiday gifts? Here’s how. Use these preserve recipes to keep seasonal foods when they’re at …

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How to Plant Daffodil, Tulip, and Other Bulbs in Pots
September 1, 2021 · · 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 5, 2021 · · 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 20, 2021 · · 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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Black Raspberries (Rubus): 2020 Herb of the Year
July 17, 2021 · · 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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A Garden of Simples Offers DIY Remedies
July 10, 2021 · · 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
June 23, 2021 · · 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 Bay Leaves is Easy and Rewarding
June 8, 2021 · · 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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How to Make Bath Salts, Soaps, Scrubs, and Balms
May 7, 2021 · · 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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Learn How to Make Shrub Syrup

Shrubs. Have you heard of them? Do you know how to make shrub syrup? If you’re not familiar, shrubs are budget-friendly, delicious, fermented vinegar, and fruit-based beverages.

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Growing the Best Herbs for Containers
April 15, 2021 · · 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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Growing Calendula from Seed
January 28, 2021 · · Growing

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 seedlings push their way through the soil.

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Anise Hyssop 2019 Herb of the Year
December 30, 2020 · · 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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How to Make Ginger Beer
December 16, 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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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
December 15, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

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 away.

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