Sayward Rebhal

Sayward Rebhal

Bonzai! My name is Sayward Rebhal (sey-wurd reb-uhl), and I am a scientist, writer, and urban farmer extraordinaire. In 2007, after graduating with a degree in biology from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB, I relocated from sunny Southern California to the progressive playground of Portland, Oregon. I now enjoy all four seasons in the Pacific Northwest and spend my days in a tall skinny townhouse called HQ. Sharing HQ are my husband Damian, our two mutts Harley the Happy Dragon and Crash Bang Boom, and our two hens Petunia Blue and Princess Sweetpea. I like to keep my fingers (and toes!) in many pots, but these days my general interests revolve around the fusion of a cutting-edge urban lifestyle and a mindful, positive existence. Also, I seem to have an unnatural adoration of chickens. And Tom Waits.

Bonzai Makes Homemade Vegan Yogurt Via Crock-Pot

bonzai home made vegan yogurt 01 Bonzai Makes Homemade Vegan Yogurt Via Crock PotPhotographer: Sayward Rebhal

Yogurt is an ancient wonderfood, brimming with beneficial bacteria to keep your gut running good ‘n healthy. But standard yogurt is made with dairy milks – blech – which contain hormones and carcinogens and acids and allergens and irritants. Oh my! But no worries, making your own alt yogurt is *super* easy and totally fun. It also saves a small fortune versus buying prepackaged products (which contain a slew of additives as well).

If you already have a yogurt maker you’re super stoked – and you can still use this recipe, but follow your machine’s directions when it comes time to culture. If you’re interested in making lots of yogurt at home, a yogurt maker may be a good investment for you. They’re really quite cheap – especially if you can find one secondhand (check Craigslist!).

But, a yogurt maker isn’t necessary! I make yogurt in my crock-pot, which is one machine that’s worth the money for all sorts of reasons. (I <3 my crock so much!) But even if you have neither a yogurt maker nor a crock-pot, you can *still* make yogurt at home! Just see the note at the end of this post. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

I Grew My First Pumpkin, Now Get Ready For A Raw Pumpkin Pie And The Best Damn Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie… Period

pumpkin recipes bonzai aphrodite 01 I Grew My First Pumpkin, Now Get Ready For A Raw Pumpkin Pie And The Best Damn Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie... Period

The pumpkin pictured below, Is that not the purtiest, most perfect pumpkin you’ve ever laid your eyes on?! Now I’m not normally one to brag, but I growed that big beauty up there and man, I am proud! It’s my first successful squash, my garden’s inaugural gourd. The primary pumpkin! And apparently when I get excited, I alliterate!

I was so enamored of this precious pumpkin. I knew I had to do it justice, to create something really special. Lucky for me, a pumpkin goes a long way! I spent the whole weekend carving, chopping, blending, juicing, and otherwise altering the darling orb into all manner of delightful delicacies. But first things first, the prep work:

The heavy melon was washed and halved, the innards removed. The seeds were cleaned and set aside for roasty toasty. From there, it’s a blank canvas . . .

pumpkin recipes bonzai aphrodite 02 I Grew My First Pumpkin, Now Get Ready For A Raw Pumpkin Pie And The Best Damn Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie... Period
Photographer: Sayward Rebhal

Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Great Seed Exchange / From The Bonzai Aphrodite Tiny Garden

sayward bonzai aphrodite seed exchange 01 The Great Seed Exchange / From The Bonzai Aphrodite Tiny GardenPhotographer: Sayward Rebhal

Oh, deary me. Goodness goodness goodness. With a late spring, a miniature monster to care for fulltime, a foggy summer punctuated by unexpected heat waves, and most recently, two consecutive weekends away . . . it feels as though the world is conspiring against my garden. Ha! It’s just a hot mess up in there these days.

Oh well, I can’t complain! In this odd year of mostly hands-off-farming, I’ve actually learned a whole lot. And I’m so excited for next year! I can’t wait to implement all my new insights, and I just can’t wait to see this baby beast all covered in dirt and sprinkling seeds as he toddles along. We’re gonna have so much fun!

So speaking of seeds, I sort of have this grand idea. I want to organize an international seed exchange for Bonzai / G Living readers! I’ve always been enamored with the idea of saving seed – there’s something so inherently whimsical about this incredibly practical act. There are tons of really great reasons to do it, not to mention the fact that it’s just plain fun. I mean, talk about recycling!

I’ve written a bit about various seed-saving techniques, but the truth is, it’s fairly universal no matter the species. First, remove the plant part that holds the seeds. If it’s a pod or a flower, allow it to dry completely and then liberate the seeds. If it’s a fruit like a tomato or gourd, simply excavate the seeds and then allow them to dry out. Either way, collect your fully-dried seeds and label them clearly, storing in an airtight container (old spice jars work great). Easy as pie!

sayward bonzai aphrodite seed exchange 02 The Great Seed Exchange / From The Bonzai Aphrodite Tiny Garden Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

A New Sort Of Speakeasy: Kombucha Culture and Backroom Brewing

kombucha brewing sayward rebhal 01 A New Sort Of Speakeasy: Kombucha Culture and Backroom BrewingPhotographer: Sayward Rebhal

Lindsay Lohan was spotted swilling it, and soon everyone and their damned Chihuahua was talking about that strange, stinky tea called kombucha. But before you could say ‘fermented mucous blob’, the potion was pulled from the shelves of every Whole Foods and health food stores across the nation. Which means those of us who depend on it can no longer find our fix! What’s a jonesing little monkey to do?! Well, we’re taking it back prohibition-style: we’re cooking up our own ‘bathtub brew’.

Why?
Kombucha can be traced to the far east, as far back as 2,000 years ago. The fizzy fermented drink is all raw and claims bragging rights on a whole slew of healthful properties, including improved digestion, increased metabolism, regulated hunger/blood sugar, body detoxification, and immune system strength. The cordial itself contains active enzymes, probiotics, amino acids, and energizing B-vitamins. A little goes a long way, and a daily dose will leave you feeling great.

How?
Oh, Miss Lohan, what have you done? The feds got frazzled over alcohol content and now the stuff’s on lockdown. BUT, if you can get your hands on just one bottle then you’re in good shape, because you can turn it into an everlasting supply. Really, it’s very simple.

kombucha brewing sayward rebhal 02 A New Sort Of Speakeasy: Kombucha Culture and Backroom Brewing Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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