Who’s blogging: I am Nika Boyce, a mom of three young kids, a scientist, a Colombian-American, a homesteader (we grow organic vegetables, raise organic free-range chickens for meat and eggs and also raise dairy goats for milk that then we drink and use to make raw or make raw cheeses) and the woman behind Nikas Culinaria.
I enjoy sharing what I learn about food and growing our food with others. I am also an artist and a photographer. I have a free food photography class on my site for people to get the basics of the art of food photography and the technical aspects of using the low-cost point/shoot digital cameras everyone has now. I also promote organic, frugal and permaculture principles at my food-growing, homesteading blog called Humble Garden. I have taught and will do more teaching of food preservation including canning, dehydrating and cheese making. It’s not all about food in my world but it seems like that’s what I tend to write about.
Explain your blog name: My idea at the time was to include my name to personalize it, to add a Spanish/Latin flavor to the name, and to indicate that the blog would be a sort of compendium of information/photography about food.
Blogging since: 2005
Blogging from: I blog from our rural forest in central Massachusetts. I sit at my laptop on the kitchen table and watch my garden, my chickens, my goats, and my kids playing in the little bit of paradise we have out there in our forest clearing.
Most popular post: The post that gets the most hits relates to the neurotoxicity of MSG. I am a scientist so I prefer to write things based on reality and not advertising copy – there is a lot of wishful thinking out there by people who seem to feel the need to defend MSG even though it is a known neurotoxin that has been used in the lab for decades to induce obesity in animals to then study obesity.
What you’ve learned about food while blogging: Food is not just calories – it is life. Food is emotion, culture, communication, memories. Food can transcend the judging monkey minds we live with every day to a place of direct communication. When I eat fried yuca – salty fresh from the hot oil – it takes me right back to my childhood. When I share that fried yuca with friends who have never tasted it before I can see their eyes light up in astonishment. When I eat a friend’s BBQ and am left without words to express, I can feel the love and intense focus he has poured into that food, perfecting it completely. He has spoken to me in a way that silences the tongue and opens the mind. What else in this world can do this? Words rarely do!
Where do you get inspiration for your posts? My impulse to share and educate drives my blogging. Much of what I have on my food blog relates to recipes I create or I prepare from my Colombian heritage. The key aspects are the food photography, the recipe, some commentary about why that food or recipe is important to me. Sometimes I write to help people understand food science or just science in general. Sometimes I cross content over from my homesteading blog to give people a taste of how we source our food. In sum, I never run out of inspiration!
What have you learned from blogging? As I have been blogging since 2005 I have seen so many changes in the way it was when we were first defining what a food blog was and what it seems to be today. I can’t profess to know exactly what food blogging is today as it has mushroomed to encompass such a huge number of people and ways of doing it. In other words, I am not an expert on defining this thing. I can say that there are certain aspects of my blogs which I hold close and dear. One is that it’s a one-on-one communication with people through time. Because of that it is very important to write carefully, in a way that respects the reader and one’s self. I have had so many people leave comments expressing how much an impact this or that recipe had on them – it can almost be overwhelming. Many Latinos or non-Latino spouses have used my recipes to recreate food that is loved and brings happiness. That is something I treasure being a part of.
Where else can we find you online? I have several blogs, two others that are on food include our homesteading blog called Humble Garden, where I share snapshots about our efforts to grow an organic garden, raise a flock of chickens for meat and eggs, and raise dairy goats for their milk to drink and make cheese. My other food blog is about raw food cuisine at Raw+Simple, where I have explored some of the concepts of raw food cuisine. I am an omnivore so I am drawn to raw food for its simple freshness and beauty but I still enjoy cooked foods and dairy/eggs/meat – although we try to only eat what we raise and not buy that from the store.
What are your favorite food blogs? This is so very hard to answer! I am a food blog creator but the sorts of blogs I consume are not about food unless I am completely desperate for a recipe. I like to look for specific stories online, so right now, my blog reading tends to be on homesteading, about the Fukushima disaster and about creating comic book art (a hobby of mine).