Wholesome Digs

By Elizabeth Hurchalla

In addition to acting as an enduring symbol of peace, the humble olive branch also happens to be an excellent source of material for first-class cutting boards and other kitchen implements. Wholesome Digs, a company started last year by a Seattle couple, sources eco-friendly serving boards, kitchen utensils, and more from artisans internationally—including olive wood rolling pins and cutting boards from a small, family-owned company on the Mediterranean coast. The dramatic contrast between light and dark grain in the wood makes it particularly gorgeous, and its density ensures impressive durability and resistance to odors and stains.

You’ll also find beautiful hardwood bowls made from reclaimed woods in Missouri, hand-forged garden tools from a blacksmith in Montana, and handcrafted toys made from sustainable woods. Even the simplest wooden spoon provides a glimpse of the artisan (and the tree) behind it, thanks to its one-of-a-kind curves and grain. Peaceful, practical, beautiful—what’s not to love?

How to care for wooden cutting boards

  • Wipe the cutting board clean with dish soap and water after each use, and rinse quickly. Never put it in the dishwasher or soak it in the sink—water expands wood and makes it warp and crack.

  • Dry the board with a dishtowel and let it finish air-drying in a vertical position or hanging up.

  • Once every month or so, scrub the board with salt and half a lemon, wipe it off, and let it dry completely.

  • Apply food-safe mineral oil (never use corn or vegetable oils, since they will turn rancid) and use a clean cloth or paper towel to spread it over the entire board.

  • Let the oil soak in overnight, then wipe it off in the morning. The oil will protect the wood and keep it from cracking.