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Review: Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag – Vanilla Nut

Review for Teeccino herbl coffee, photo of cup, tee-bag

I love coffee. I love the flavor, the warmth in my hand, the taste, and the aroma. I drink a mug every morning to help get me going. I should say I make a cafe mocha every morning and give credit to my sweet Italian Moka pot. Sometimes I’d like a cup in the evening, but I don’t pour a cup because it winds up making me feel sick and I am reaching for an acid relief tablet. One cup of java a day is all I can handle. I wear the battle scars of one who once battled stomach ulcers.

So, most evenings I just brew a hot tea instead. I love tea, too. I love it cold or hot. But, I have to admit, sometimes I just really want another cafe mocha.

I was recently offered a free in-store sample of a Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag. I waited until I arrived back at home before sampling this new offering.

The front of the envelope states that it is an herbal coffee that is 75% organic, caffeine-free, and non-acidic. This particular sample was “vanilla nut” and is described as a “creamy vanilla accented by golden roasted almonds, dates, and figs.”

Ingredients: Organic carob, organic barley, organic chicory, dates, almonds, organic dates, vanilla extract, natural nut flavor, organic figs Contains: Almonds

When I opened the envelope that houses the individual Tee-bag, I was greeted by a pleasant aroma of what smelled to me like vanilla and coconut. No coconut in the ingredients, but it certainly smells like I should find tiny bits swimming in the Tee-bag.  Per the printed directions on the back of the envelope, I placed the Tee-bag in my mug and allowed it to steep for 5 mins. (3-5 min. range with boiling water). I followed the direction to “dunk the bag several times in the beginning for the best brew.”

As I stood nearby, watching the water in the mug turn a familiar shade that resembled black coffee, I hoped it would taste good because the aroma alone had gotten my hopes up so high I really couldn’t take the disappointment that I feared might await me.

I wish I could post a scratch and sniff sticker that you could smell, because the aroma from the brewed Tee-bag is so divine, it deserves to be shared. The vanilla and coconut scents mixed with a strong and distinctly “coffee” smell. My steamy cup beckoned the cat, dog, and Mr. Veg to the kitchen.

I didn’t add any soy milk, soy creamer, or sugars to my cup. The first sip needed to be naked— unfettered with other flavors and distractions. To my delight, that first sip rewarded me with the delicious taste of a robust roasted coffee.  Two more sips in and I was sighing.

Mr. Veg was eager to try it out. He declared that it “smelled amazing and tastes just like coffee.” He followed this statement up with a full inspection of the literature I’d received about the product. “I’d totally drink that” he said as he walked out of the room, followed by a pair of confounded pets who had waited to see exactly what had produced such a yummy smell.

Recap: Teeccino Herbal Coffee is delicious and would easily have fooled me, a coffee lover, into thinking that it was coffee.  Makes a great coffee alternative for anyone who wants to get off the java train, or just want a break from caffeine, coffee, and tea. I could totally see us replacing our coffee with Teeccino, and I’m thrilled and surprised by that.

You get a lot of healthy benefits in one cup, including:

– Antioxidants from carob, dates, barley and almonds

– Contains heart-healthy potassium and soluble fiber

– Prebiotic – inulin from chicory root supports beneficial microflora that improve digestion, regularity and intestinal health

– GMO-Free

I love the unbleached tea bag filter paper.

History of the product: The story behind Teeccino is inspiring for any entrepreneur.

Social Responsibility & Mission: A dedication to quality and sustainability that extends from the grower to the consumer.

green thumb Two green thumbs up for Teeccino Herbal Coffee! A perfume line cannot be far off.

Item: Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag

Price: free sample received at the store

Size: 1 Tee-bag (6g of Teeccino)

Vegan: YES!! All of the Teeccino Herbal Coffee products are vegan.

Review for Teeccino herbl coffee, photo of cup, tee-bag

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Track Your Garden Harvest Bounty Stats

Vegtables Harvest from the garden

A lot is made of planning the garden and keeping track of seeds and plant placement, but what about when the stuff starts to grow? There seems to be a shortage of material dedicated to keeping track of what you’ve actually grown.

We started keeping track of our harvested bounty last year. We started a simple Excel file and just kept a running tally with that program. We had a pretty impressive haul last year, some plants more than others. Check out our stats:

2009 – Garden

Cherry Tomatoes: 6.275 lbs

Cucumbers: 20.7 lbs

Zucchini: 71 lbs

Jalapeno peppers: .7 lbs

banana peppers: 1.4 lbs

Green Bell Peppers: 1 lb

Yellow Squash: 1 lb

Mixed Tomatoes (Big Boy, Roma,  Yellow, etc…) 211 lbs

lol yes, we love tomatoes

We do A LOT of canning, enough so that we have enough picante and spaghetti sauce for the winter. We haven’t hit our tomato yield from last year, but so far, we are surpassing last year in other plant growth.

Here are a few gems to help you start counting that harvest: has some great Gardening Printables, including this handy PDF for you to download that will help keep track of what what you harvest and when. While there isn’t a specific box for weight, you can just write it along with the plant name harvested. If nothing else, keep this print out by your weigh station to record into another file or system later. has a sweet little garden journal that helps you start up your garden from planning to soil preparation, but also contains a great “harvest and yields” sheet that will keep track of those bounty stats.


We’ve just signed up for Folia, so excuse our sparse info., but the site looks very neat, with lots of features. Some features you do need to go “pro” for (aka pay), but until you decide if that is for you, you’ll have a blast using the free version. There is all matter of tracking what you grow,  swapping seeds, you can keep a journal, highlight your great garden photos… there is a lot to do and see here.

I’m tracking my garden: - Organise, track & share your gardening adventures!

Keep track of what you grow because it is fun. Keep track because it helps you see what plants do well for you (and are worth your time and investment). Keep track because you can start to see a pattern in what is lacking in either your soil, your skills, or your time. Keeping tracking of your harvest also helps you stay on top of what is coming in and needs your attention. Ripe tomatoes won’t stay fresh and lovely forever.

Please, do share your methods of keeping track of your bounty!

Vegtables Harvest from the garden

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What’s Sproutin’ – A Planting Update

It’s about time for a planting update.

We usually plant potatoes, and we’ve followed the advice to cut the seed potatoes into many pieces and plant them. We’ve been successful with this method, too.  However, we recently saw a potato farmer on tv proclaiming that the planted cut pieces encourages bacteria and mold growth that contributes to smaller yields as well. He said to plant the entire potato. He also said that ANY potato would do – you don’t need to purchase seed potatoes. Well, we’d already bought our seed potatoes, so we were late on that boat, but we do plan on buying a yummy potato variety and planting it to see what “comes up.”

This news is completely contrary to our local greenhouse that proclaims that a regular potato that has gone to seed just won’t do for planting. We shall see.

We’d love to hear your experiences with potatoes, do you buy seed potatoes or have you tried planting any ol’ potato and had great results? Let us know!

Our whole seed potatoes are growing:

Potato plant growing in the garden.

We lost six tomato plants early this season to a hungry rabbit. Specifically, this rabbit caught in the act in the garden:

A hungry bunny

We have a lot of rabbits in the yard. We give them sanctuary, some great grasses to hop in, some privet and forsythia bushes to rest and hop about in, and we don’t use pesticides/herbicides on our lawn. They are very fond of the clover that grows in the yard.

A particular favorite spot of theirs is the grass that inevitably grows in the cracks of the sidewalk that extends from our front door. Yes, I could spray a toxic cocktail and rid myself of the problem, but a little weed whack does the job, and they do their part as well. The grass/weeds that grows there seems very tender and they love it.

Mr. Bunny photographed above had found a small section of the garden fence that did not have a tent stake in place to hold the bunny wire (some call chicken fence/wire, but we don’t have any of those running around) in place against the larger, picket fencing. I went out to check on the plants and found him, all but patting his little pudgy tummy. The fence is now fixed and the plants are good to go.

Update on the gutter planting:

After planting the gutter garden, we had a number of nights that dipped into frost territory and we simply covered them with a blanket to protect the little seedlings. They’ve pulled through and are doing great.

Here is a larger spinach plant that we started inside in newspaper pots:

Spniach plant grown in newspaper pot

Here is a spinach plant that we started from seed in the gutters:

Spinach grown from seed in gutter.

The mixed lettuce is doing great:

Lettuce grown from seed in gutter

We really like the gutter gardens and plan on extending them around the fence. They are practical and make growing things like spinach and lettuce a snap.

Our little zucchini plants are starting to produce some flowers:

Blooms of zucchini plants

Our strawberry plants are producing a bounty of ripe strawberries, little though they may be. They are super sweet and just perfect for adding to some soy yogurt or topping off a slice of cake. Oddly enough, we usually have to battle the birds for the sweet bites, but this year the birds have left them alone and we are seeing ants devouring them.

A bowl of ripe strawberries

We hope you’ll share your garden photos and tips!

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No Gutter Balls & Food, Inc.

Well, we did get two of our old gutters up this weekend. We are testing them out on the inside of our fence. While it probably wasn’t necessary, we put up a board behind the gutter just to give it a little more stability. These gutters aren’t going anywhere. The top gutter is lettuce, the bottom is spinach.

If I get ambitious I might throw a coat of paint on them, but honestly, I kinda like them just the way they are. I love remaining in a standing position while tending to my little seeds (and future plants). I love that the rabbits can happily continue to cavort through the yard (don’t let the lattice fool you, they aren’t stopped by it or the smell of dogs) without me wrapping everything in another layer of fencing.

A few happily transplanted spinach seedlings.

Happy seedlings in the gutter

One thing left to do is installing a mesh screen at the end of the gutters to keep everything in place. A very simple project and one that I look forward to building upon.

Speaking of edibles…

Food, Inc. on POV

Food, Inc. is playing on PBS tonight (April 21, 2010), as part of the POV series How cool is that?

I’ve yet to see it, so I’m very excited the opportunity to catch it on tv. If you happen to miss it tonight or want to see it again, it will be streaming online from April 22 – April 29.

There are some great activities centered around the movie being featured at PBS, you really should check them out.

Maybe you’d like to host a Food, Inc. potluck? They’ve got a great list of recipes to help get you started (complete with a large vegetarian offering). After you’ve had your great potluck, post your photos in the Flickr POV Food, Inc. Potluck group.  You’ll see some yummy goodness like Barbara Kingsolver’s dilly beans in jenyuie’s photostream. Can beans really be any lovelier?


Potluck hosts, enter to win some pretty great swag when you provide some feedback on the event you so generously provided for your hungry friends.

Find out when Food, Inc. will air in your area.

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Newspaper Pots and Mind in the Gutter

Bachelor buttons grow in newspaper pot

Quick update on how things are going since we planted some seeds in our handmade newspaper pots.

The newspaper pots are holding up to watering and being moved and shifted about. The seeds are sprouting and growing, so all is well. So, our little experiment is a successful one. Now if we could just get started earlier in the season next year. It is very difficult to think about planting anything when you are shivering in the snow.

Unlike most people, I want you to get your mind into the gutter. Recycled gutters that is.

When we moved in to our house we had to replace the leaky gutters. Like the good recyclers we are (or hoarders), we’ve held onto them, keeping them stashed away in the barn for a rainy day project or to eventually haul off to recycling. Ten years later, and I think we have a winner of an idea for those old beautiful gutters.

Gutter gardening! I know, it sounds less than fabulous, but honestly, doesn’t this look amazing to you?

suzanne forsling grows a great gutter garden

Photo  Credit: Suzanne Forsling as printed at the Juneau

Thought you might change your tune. Who knew stuff growing in gutters could be a good thing? Hoping to get our own gutter garden “off the ground” this weekend. Herbs, lettuce, radishes, and maybe some carrots sound perfect for a gutter garden.

For some more inspiration, and the reason why I stumbled across this gem of an idea at all, visit

What inventive methods are you utilizing in your garden space this year? Do share and tell!

What is growing in the newspaper pot photographed?

Blue blachelor button flowers

Blue Bachelor Buttons

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Read It and Plant It

The calendar says spring is here, and you know what that means – cleaning and planting. Or, if you are still waiting on the last frost of the season, preparing to plant.  Let’s combine the two and see what we can come up with.

A lot of people have a big stack of newspapers just piling up in the corner waiting for that “some day use” to occur. If you are like us, you use newspapers for a number of things, including ripping into strips to add to your compost pile. If you don’t have any newspapers, just ask your neighbor, or visit your recycling center. You are bound to find more than you ever wanted.

Newspapers make great starter pots for seeds. Now, you can get a fancy tool that is not only attractive and helpful, or you can use some simple items in your cupboard like a glass, food can, or a pill bottle. Our tool? An old Tylenol pill bottle works the best for us.

Thanks to my vintage (but still viable), 1978 edition of Park’s Success with Seeds, I know that for successful seed germination, my container needs to be the right depth (2.75 – 3.5″) so that the planting medium is 2.5 – 3″ deep. Too little plant medium and your plants won’t have optimum root development and growth. The planting medium will also dry out too quickly. If your pot is too big and you use too little planting medium you risk losing your seeds in the mix. Additionally,  limited air circulation and light will surely will be the final kiss of death to the little seedlings.

So, we marked off the correct measurements on our pill bottle so that our newspaper pots were big enough (3.5″)  to accommodate the appropriate amount of planting medium (2.5 – 3″).  We started rolling the newspaper pot at the top marking, keeping the pot even and properly measured. The videos don’t really discuss this tidbit of planting success, so we hope you’ll find it helpful.

Some of the videos show the newspaper pot makers using tape and glue, but we used neither. The bottoms of our pots are a little bulky, but think this might help keep them intact. We shall see.

Paper pots from newspaper for planting

There are a lot of videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to make a newspaper planting pot. We picked a few that we particularly liked to help guide you on your way to the garden of your dreams. Got one you’d like to share?

Newspaper pots are free and biodegradable. It’s a little messy, but you might just like the opportunity to give yourself permission to get a little dirty. We won’t tell.

Another thing we like about using newspaper is how easy it is to write on the pots to keep track of your plantings. No need for additional plant markers!

What are we planting you ask? A lot! That is another post entirely. We are really excited to get started on the seeds sent to us by thanks to an offer we spotted at Urban Sustainable Living Magazine.

This is our first try with the newspaper pots, so we are excited to see exactly what sprouts up. Share your newspaper pot stories and photos with us, we’d love to hear your experiences.

By the way, you can now find us on Facebook, come ’round and fan us.


To search for more just enter: Newspaper Pots on YouTube – Visit our page

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How My Silk Soymilk Garden Grows

Silk Soymilk containers used to protect plants.

Start saving those Silk Soymilk containers for your very own Silk Soymilk garden fortress. For years we’ve used our Silk cartons (and others we’ve had on hand) as protectors for our herb seedlings that we plant near the house. Our very large and hungry resident bunnies love these sweet little plants and will devour them in no time.

The Silk cartons work great because we can cut off the top (with the pour spout), cut the bottom down the middle, spread out the two resulting flaps and use them to anchor the carton in the dirt surrounding the seedling. Additionally, if you want to start compiling the cartons now, once you perform the above surgery you can fold them flat and store them out of the way until you need them.

The cartons last a long time. We’ve been known to keep them around some plants, like chives, all season long. Our bunnies are very into chives. The cartons never turn into mush, withstand direct watering, rains, sun, high winds, and even a few clumsy foot falls. When we’re done with them we just pack them up for recycling.

Yep, our little soy garden has intrigued many a person over the years and is always a conversation starter. The conversation quickly turns from plants to soy products to veganism. Of course we’re then asked how we use herb x in a vegan meal, and we’re off spreading the vegan recipe love to another willing adventurer.

Silk Soymilk containers used to protect plants.

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A Garden In Your Window

The most impressive hydroponics system I’ve ever laid eyes on was during the Living with the Land boat ride at  Epcot in Walt Disney World. The amount and variety of plants they grow is enough to not only make your mouth water, but your mind wander at the limitless possibilities of this form of agriculture. Check out these impressive photos captured by Fraochsidhe.

I’ve yet to tinker with any hydroponics project, but thanks to the great Window Farms project, I don’t seem to have a reason not to try it. I’m not exactly their target audience. I don’t live in New York, and I’m far from urban, but I do have mad love for fresh veg. 🙂

While I do have a vegetable garden and an outdoor compost heap, the winter months are long, and my home-canned supply of veggies only takes me on so many culinary journeys. I long to pick a beautiful lettuce leaf. Additionally, I think our little vermicomposters can supply some great nutrients for the plants.

I was thinking of starting a challenge next month to encourage everyone to get started on indoor seedlings, but I’d like to challenge you to starting your own Window Farm project. Grow where you are planted and share the wealth!

I’ll keep you posted on the successes or failures. Ironically, we are considering a move, so this may dampen the project a little. I’d like to start with seeds rather than plants, so that may take some tinkering. The great part is, the project is open to anyone who wants to participate.

Check out the YouTube videos from Window Farms

Here is a great introduction to the project and explanation to what exactly it means to have a Window Farm.

Thumbnail photo credit:

Britta and Rebecca with the first window farm, May 2009. Photo by Julia Makarova.