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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Best-selling Author of 25 Books, including the 3-Time Award-Winner Pain Erasers


My Homesteading Life--Adventures in Self Sufficiency

Luna on the Lost Orchard Trail

The apple tree Luna

The tree known as Luna, meaning the moon, appears to be reaching across the Lost Orchard trail as if to lend a hand. It is reminiscent of the moon’s steadfast light extending a silvery glow to illuminate our path on our bleakest nights. And, like the moon’s power to influence vast ocean tides and measure time month after month, there is reassurance in the moon’s consistent nocturnal light shining even as we traverse the greatest challenges and difficulties in our life. We are not alone, no matter how much we may feel it, as we place one foot after the other and move, even if slowly, toward our destiny. 

If you like what you see and read here, please consider using the links on my p…

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Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland--My Homesteading Life by Michelle Schoffro Cook

The biting cold did not stop me from bundling up and heading out on my forest trails for a morning walk, camera in hand. Since you could not join me on my trek, I thought I’d snap a few photos to share with you. I did not imagine lasting long, particularly with fingertips peeking out of my gloves. But beautiful spot after breathtaking view captured my lens and heart until I had 165 photos, as well as the frozen limbs to show for it. Upon returning to my century-old farmhouse, I stoked the fire in the woodstove and curled up by its warmth to defrost my icy self, my heart already warmer from the excursion.

Here is just one of my photos (many more to come!) that I hope will lift your s…

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Transported to a Slower Time

The Empress Kissed by Snow

The snow falls softly, gently caressing the landscape below, creating an air of stillness and peace. For a moment, I am transported to a slower time where the pace of life no longer steals the breath from my body, but rejuvenates my being. There are no hectic schedules, no deadlines, no to do lists, no voices interrupting my thoughts. I am one with the land below my feet and the landscape before me. I am the balance they proffer and the serenity in my soul. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I experience life as it is truly meant to be experienced and I feel free.

Photo: I grabbed my camera and headed out during today's blizzard for a brief walk to capture this photo of The Empres…

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Fulfilling a Dream

Cutting Trails to a Hidden Orchard

From the first step I took in an apple orchard south of Ottawa, Canada, I was in love with them. I loved the lush green trees filled with ruby red apples and the heavenly scent that filled the air. I loved filling my basket and enjoying them in pies, crisps, muffins, or eating them on their own. From that first step, I dreamt of having my own apple orchard. Every autumn, I felt homesick for an apple orchard I had never owned.

I viewed properties in British Columbia replete with orchards, but they were always out of reach. Then, after a series of distressing experiences, circumstances necessitated moving across the country and to an unseen home, relying only on the photos and descriptions…

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Happy New Year!

The Empress apple tree in all its majesty

The famous Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, once wrote: “fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” which is sound advice for any writer. The sentiment could be expanded to be: “fill your life with the breathings of your heart.” So, in 2023, instead of making resolutions to change yourself in some way, why not resolve to be more of who you truly are? After all, your heart is a perfect blueprint for your soul’s passion and purpose so filling your days with more of its breathings can only lead to a better life. That is why I am wishing you a life filled with the breathings of your heart in 2023. Happy New Year! The photo is of The Empress, my four-storey-tall apple tree and one …

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Merry Christmas

The apple tree I named The Embrace, depicted in the photo above, was one of the most challenging trees to extract from the seemingly endless prickly ash and buckthorns surrounding it. Like guards surrounding a treasure, these invasive barbed gatekeepers seemed impossible to navigate and often left me scratched and bloodied in my efforts to do so. The tree takes its name from the trunk that appears to be lovers held in an embrace across time. But, The Embrace is also the botanical embodiment of overcoming the challenges we believe hinder our ability to attain our heart’s longings. Like barbed trees, the lies we tell ourselves that we cannot reach our heart’s desires are merely obstacles o…

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Revisiting Passion

Making a Natural Cedar Wreath for My Victorian Home

Life had taken over as it often does so I hadn’t been in my orchard for a while. Unlike today’s orchards that are neat little rows of miniature trees, mine is made up of massive, Victorian-era apple trees spread over several acres. A walk through the forest trails to visit them was long overdue and gathering cedar branches to make a Christmas wreath gave me the perfect excuse to head out.

Every season is beautiful along the orchard trails and winter is no exception. While apple season finished last month, it is no less stunning at this time of year albeit in the way a black and white photograph is beautiful rather than its typical lushness.

I cut fresh cedar branches that were …

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Christmas with the Piano Man

In Memory of William Schoffro, the Piano Man

In large families, it may be easy to overlook the true significance of each person’s contribution. Such is the case with my Uncle Bill. He often took a backseat, which was typically a piano bench, to those bolder family members. My grandparents were larger than life, the kind of people who were unlike others of their time, held unique views, and were the glue that held my family together, albeit many people might have mistaken them for humble farmers. In the shadow of such bright lights, it might be easy to feel unnoticed, and I imagine that my uncle may have felt that way on more than one occasion.

But not at Christmas. It was as Christmas that my uncle truly shone. A rather shy a…

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Top 12 Foods that Fight Pain

A wide variety of rare apple varieties

The following article is an excerpt from my new book, PAIN ERASERS: The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Safe, Drug-Free Relief, available in most bookstores or online.

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste great—I can’t say that about any prescription medications I’ve come across. Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications. You’ve already learned about foods like chilis, ginger, and turmeric when they are used in their concentrated medicinal forms earlier in this book, but they also warrant a reminder here because they are among the best foods to fight pain. You also learned about many better options than the infl…

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About Michelle

Michelle Schoffro Cook--Award-Winning Author, Homesteader, Orchardist

Hi. I'm Michelle. You may know me as the best-selling & award-winning author of 25 books on food, health, and herbs but I'm also a homesteader, orchardist, and wild food forager. I practice what I preach and I'm happy to share my adventures and insights in my blog "My Homesteading Life." 

If you like what you read, please consider using the links on my page (there are no costs to use them) or purchasing my books/ebooks.

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