I can’t afford organic food!

You know where this is going. It’s a post that is the opposite of the title. Sorry, but it got your attention so that we can do our important work now. Here I am, affording good food:

I bought two organic free ranged chickens. They were $50 for the two six pound chickens. That’s four dollars a pound.

I’m going to stretch this chicken. They are stuffed with kidneys and hearts which I got for free from my farmer friend. I’ll use the hearts in a soup. They have a great chewy texture. The kidneys I’ll eat a few then I’ll ignore them for weeks in the fridge and then give to the cats.
1. The kids and I had two drumsticks and a bit of breast for lunch.
Now I’ve taken all the meat off the bones.

2. I put the bones on with some sautéed onions, carrot ends, herbs and celery that my friend brought from her garden while I was napping. Some of the meat and hearts I’ll put with the broth for soup enough for two meals and some to give to a pregnant friend.

3. I saved the drippings to make gravy. We will eat that tonight over mashed potatoes, cooked veggies and chicken. I’m boiling down the drippings to concentrate the flavour of the gravy.

4. Some of the meat will go with my husband to work to make sandwiches for the week.
Did you keep track of all the meals those $50 chickens made and are making?
-small lunch for kids and I.
-supper tonight
-2 to 3 meals of soup
-sandwiches for husband for the week.

The veggies from the farmers market to go with all this is about $20.
That is nine organic, nutrient dense meals for $70.
Can you afford that? Remember that we are a family of seven.

Oh, and the hearts! These make another meal smothered in gravy.
There you have it: 10 organic meals for $70.

*update* this post is reaching a lot of people. How exciting it is that people are concerned about eating organic buzz words. It’s worth it. Every little
Bit helps as does forgiving yourself when you are not eating healthy. Worry is bad for your health. Keep adding in good. Add in good and the good expands. In your belly and in your life.

An Open Letter To Michelle Duggar

Dear Michelle Duggar, the lady with 19 kids and counting…

Just kidding.
How easy is it to get sucked in to other peoples drama? Before I know it, I could be on my way to find celebrity’s private naked photos, and this can happen easily at the end of a long day with kids and poop and kids if I am
not careful. I find I have to consciously tell myself “no. I’m not doing that. That’s not my life. I don’t care what strangers are doing and they’re probably fake anyways.”
If I’m going to do my important work here on this planet, I have to focus and ask myself what do I really want to spend my time on? What is going to be of most value to me and those around me? It’s so easy to get distracted. It doesn’t mean that I don’t do seemingly mindless things like watch Dr.Who or stare off into space. It’s about using the time I have to the best of my ability. It’s about asking “what is mine to do?” And then doing it.
I’ll be dead soon one day.
Did you really want to know what I thought of Michelle Duggar?
What is your purpose right now?You are seeing right now what mine is…

Your faithful life humbler,
Nadine LeBean

*update* this has been one of my most viewed posts :/ Why is that?


Fermented Tomato Hot Sauce


I’m so excited to bring you this non-recipe. It’s an easy and absolutely delicious way to preserve tomatoes. It took me ten minutes to make this and will last for over a year Unrefrigerated. I only made a few small batches of this last year as I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I took it camping and it was such a treat. The other big unschooling family we were camping with said it was there favourite food of the whole trip. I’m completely humbled by the work of the millions that it took to bring us these amazing flavours. This year, I’m making gallons.

Fermented Tomato Hot Sauce

I cut up tomatoes, garlic, onion, hot peppers and sweet peppers and blended it together.

It reduced to about half so I added more tomatoes and blended again.

I then added 60 grams or about 3 heaping TBSP of Himalayan salt for this 3 litre FIDO jar. If you can’t do the math, that is about a tablespoon of salt for a quart but you can adjust it to your taste as well as the spicyness. I really recommend doing this in a high quality clamp down. You can experiment with this too! Please let me know what creations you have discovered so I can theft your ideas. .

Don’t overfill it, it will bubble up. Clamp it down. Write the date on it with a permanent marker and leave it until it it stops bubbling. The taste will only get better as it ages.


Here’s the tomato hot sauce after 2 weeks. It’s separated but will stir back together once it’s done. Or you can scoop off the top and use the thick stuff separately.


Life told through stories.

I’ve felt a lot of inspired inspiration lately to write. The great opinionated ideas have been flowing freely mixed in with the thoughts of “well, I really don’t know anything.”
I ask myself why I even write when I am just one person? what inspires a bird to swim or a fish to fly? What makes me or you or Oprah or Jesus an authority to share anyways?
We are all born entitled to share our stories, each one sacred and unique. We grow up bubbling to tell ourselves to the world and so many times that desire gets lost. I love the way children do this as if they are thinking out loud. “I have a wedgie and I’m going to pick it and have a cookie or two or three and my favourite show is strawberry shortcake. I like purple.”
What would it sound like if adults spoke out loud?
For me often it would sound like “Fuck I’m irritated. Be peaceful. Breathe. It’s ok. Man that’s irritating. Get away from it. NOW!” My thoughts are a lot less fun. I’ll try harder to suppress them. Seriously though I don’t want to cloud my stories with the ranting of thoughts that come from lack and limitation. I want to see clearly the brilliant unfolding of what is my life. Will I be able to put down the distractions and be completely immersed in life? Maybe the thoughts are our life stories?
We can learn a lot from each others stories. I think about all the stories that have been lost. How did my grandparents meet? What were their most treasured possessions during hard times? In the future, what hard times would my kids find nostalgic? Would it be huddling in a tent under thunder so loud you cover your ears and lightening so loud it temporarily blinds you? Will I remember how we left the comfort of our home to have the experience of the wind pushing the tent right onto my face while I’m lying down?
Will we fondly remember when we first moved here and ate cases of no-name kraft dinner with hemp in it? That’s hilarious considering how we eat now. You can see that we were trying with the added hemp. And it tasted horrible.
It’s lightens my heart to think of these stories and I wonder what I am doing now that may be ridiculous and funny to me later. I am sitting on the couch drinking a coffee with an egg blended into it while flies swarm and land on my face as I type furiously on my phone to get you my non-message before the children wake. The message is that there is no message. There’s flowers and flies and an abundance of world to explore. As I gain more years, I feel a calmness in this skin and a kinship with this life. I heard last night that the fifties are the best years and I can totally see why. I look forward to it. Can’t wait to be even smarter and have great stories to tell.

Making the connection.

It’s been running through my head for weeks now. What Michael Beckwith said was “It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve gotten it wrong…because the moment you get it right, it instantly connects you.”.
And it can be so true, I am noticing.
This one sentence has healed me in my parenting a lot.
How often do us parents dwell on all that we’ve done wrong? What fears do we harbour over the damage we are doing to our children because of all the mistakes we have made?
This one quote, It’s opened me up to what is next and allowed me to leave behind what has happened.
There has been a lot of things that I have resisted even though it continued to feel bad. I use to sneak off into the bathroom, locking the door for a moment to shower or poo in peace. What ended up happening was me rushing, clenched butt and vigorous shampooing through the frantic loud bangs and yelling at the door. I’d bounce up and down declaring my desire for peace.
One day I decided to let it go and stop trying to harbour my own sacred shower. Instead of sneaking, I informed them all that I was going for a shower and then I did the unthinkable…I left the door open. I kept my mind open to visitors, even if that included little naked people suddenly appearing at my butt coming in to enjoy MY warm water. What happened next was unheard of in the world of mothering…
I finally got my sacred shower.
I didn’t feel bothered even when someone came in to ask me if
It was a good idea to melt crayons in my fancy overpriced pot. It was peaceful even as I yelled “Nooooo!”.
This is only one example of how I’ve gotten it right and been instantly connected to what I was longing for.
When Aayla was born, I had been enjoying sleeping in the spare room, just her and I while Michael and the other three kids slept in the big room. I enjoyed this space and time to connect with my baby alone, so when Nova asked if she could sleep with us, my first horrible mother thought was “NO. How could you intrude on our sacred time?!?”
But what could go wrong with bringing in more babies to love? I brought her into our space and sometimes it’s one of the boys that needs it and so I just say yes.It feels
So good to just embrace it and not fight to try and set up these peaceful situations for me. Instantly connected. It didn’t change anything, having the older child in there except that now I had a barrier to keep Aayla from falling to her death out of bed. It also deepened the connection between us and it was surprisingly easy to just embrace it.
What are you resisting that you could give in to? Tell me about it? Was it easy? What did it change?


The Wandering Market Family is Expanding. This is the beginning.

Yesterday I stared into nine month old Aayla’s potty of her morning excrement. A bright pink balloon was staring back at me as if saying to me again “what are you doing?”.
Even though we were careful, she had somehow found and eaten and thankfully pooped out a balloon.
It reminded me of the video I watched of The Midway Project where they photograph carcasses of birds decaying, exposing their insides full of plastic. This video really affected me as I thought about all the plastic trinkets we have had at birthday parties, festivals, camping and on and on. A party often feels like an exception to be less mindful as we bring out the plastic toys and disposable cutlery to celebrate the event.
I think a lot about discontinuing my use of plastic as a way to support the earth. I know others are doing it and I could too but I haven’t yet.
But this post isn’t about feeling guilty. It’s about finding what inspires you to be better and do better as it leads towards our ultimate fulfillment.
Stick with me.
I have been sitting with these feelings for a while. I ponder them as I haul out massive garbage bags to the back to magically be taken away and be buried into the earth. I can see the overflowing dump from the edge of town. It is surrounded by fields of food growing around the massive heap. Garbage that has flown in litters the wheat and peas and barley and we see each other at the post office and smile as if it doesn’t exist.
This is only a small drop of polluted sand in Saskatchewan compared to the other problems like the chemical runoff into fresh water which is also the water we drink.
My neighbour doesn’t live there anymore but she comes back once in the summer to douse her yard on a windy day with chemicals. It’s just a few feet away from where we grow food. What are we doing?
I’ve sat with this for a long time, waiting to feel empowered by love and not my anger.
The time has come.
I love watching my children playing with such easy joy in the sand. We went to the lake yesterday. I sat with Aayla while she slept. I watched our future unfold as Michael walked around picking glass and other garbage out of the earth where they were playing. I noticed the children begin to follow him around and Nova even began to help him pick up. She came to me curious about things that biodegrade and things that don’t. She began putting various collected garbage in water to see what would break down.
These events inspired in me the thought

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