You read the secret garden as a little girl and imagined the vast walls of climbing plants surrounding that quiet, beautiful place. The place that shuts the world out and there was nothing to worry about except for admiring the beauty of God's creation. That and maybe the excellent book that you brought with you.
Now the garden provides you the same solace and peace. Now it's time to expand to growing your own medicines. A place that will provide you with all the natural medicines you use to heal your family. A sense of security that the herbs you need are affordable and growing right at your fingertips. St. Johns Wort for muscle and nerve pain, the beautiful echinacea flowers for colds and flu, and the tiny, yet tasty, elderberries for immune health.
But where in the world do you start with planning your own herbal tea garden? How do you grow those herbs that you intend to turn into powerful medicines?
There are lots of things to consider!
Oregano isn't just for pizza and pasta! Whether its small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), candida, coughs, colds, or toenail fungus. There is probably a use for oregano oil in every home.
Be it summer or winter there always seems to be someone that has a bit of congestion from allergies or a cold. Oregano oil to the rescue to help out as a natural anti-biotic and anti-septic.
It's that time of year here down on the farm when we are harvesting roses to preserve for oils, salves, teas and other culinary uses.
Do you have rose bushes in your yard and your hoping to figure out what to do with those lovely blooms aside from them adorning your landscaping? They are so beautiful, it's hard to cut them, but their beauty goes beyond their bloom.
Today's post is going to explore everything Rose. From how to come by rose bushes, how to plant them, when and how to harvest them. After harvesting roses we are going to talk about the best way to dehydrate rose petals. After preserving our rose petals it's on to the fun process of how to turn them into something useful and go over their medicinal uses.
Every Easter for the last several years I've made the women in the family, and some times the men, a little gifts. One year I made imitation See's Bordoux candy for vegan family members, one year it was lip balm of which is now in our farm store and this year it was tea infused sugar scrub!
Due to demand over on our Instagram feed, we are sharing this D.I.Y. recipe for our exfoliating tea sugar scrub with you today. Herbal and fruity, and pretty to boot, this is a great little gift for yourself or friends and family!
We missed a week of videos! Our apologies! We had our computer die on us and spent the week replacing it and then re-doing files that were lost. We are slowly getting things put back together.
How did your week go? Are you enjoying the fall weather? Hopefully there has been a bit of sunshine your way! It seems like we have had big dark clouds pouring huge amounts of rain on us. So much that it actually left a trench down our drive way.
Today though, it was beautiful, it was perfect out there. Not too hot and not too cold which bright blue skies and sunshine! A great day to get this tincture made before our milky oats start forming viable oat seed, drying out and being more useful for chickens than medicine.
Milk oats are the green seed starts on top of oats when they sprout. We blend oats into our chicken's feed and for what ever reason they left a bunch out in the garden. They buried them as they scratched around. When we planted our zucchini the oats in that area sprouted up. So while we didn't put them there or intend them to be there we are turning this problem into a solution.
Milky oats are great for feeding the nervous system, providing support during stressful times and situations as well as helping out during times of depression. These situations may be long term or just short term stress. Milky oats help with mood issues and assist with sleepless nights. They help the body cope and adjust to changing situations. Milky oats can help balance the endocrine system, and assist skin issues.
When making a tincture the alcohol helps to pull out the chemicals (known as constituents) from the herb and making it more potent. The tincture is then taken by dropper-fuls according to each persons situation and as needed. Its a handy little tincture to have around. Directions in video below and full recipe below video.
Milky Oats Tincture Recipe
1.5 cups Milky Oats (green oats not forming a viable seed)
2.4-4 cups Vodka 80 proof or higher
1.) Remove milky oats from oat stem.
2.) Pat dry if necessary.
3.) Process in food processor with 1/2 cup of vodka to break up the milky oats a little so that they tincture easier and stronger.
4.) Pour processed oats and vodka in a pint jar.
5.) Top off with remaining vodka to fill jar. Place lid on and tighten.
6.) Shake it up so that the vodka gets around all of your Milky Oats.
7.) Label jar with ingredients and ratio of ingredients. Also with the date you made it and/or the date it will be done. Tinctures are best after 6 weeks or more.
8.) After 6 weeks strain out the milky oats and tincture is ready to use. Store in amber tincture bottle and/or canning jar out of direct sunlight in a cool place.
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Violet Leaf Lotion Bars
We are so excited to finally share this farm project with you! Its been a long time in the making and gathering to get to this point. Our farm has the great privilege of reviewing one of the best herbal books that I've ever seen and we can't wait to share it with you!
101 Easy Homemade Products for Skin, Health & Home was given to us to review here on our farm blog. While we are very picky about the books and products we share we were more than happy to share this one with you all. It is a rare find indeed to come across an herbal book that doesn't dive into pagan history, magic, myth ect. This lovely book is strictly and herbal home care book.
Written by Jan Berry, of the Nerdy Farm Wife Blog, it contains so many wonderful and useful recipes. It was hard to pick one to start with and as you can see from the photo below I have many markers in it for future projects. Jan shares many things on her blog from soaps, to skin care, lip balms, scrubs and more on her blog. She homeschools and lives on a 7 acre farm with plenty of animals. Jan also calls herself a "serial hobbiest", if one didn't know better we could be sisters.
The 101 Easy Homemade Product book is not only chalk full herbal information regarding herbs and their properties but also very well written instructions on basic herbal principles. The book has so many beautiful pictures of herbs and flowers that it just inspires one to get in the kitchen and start creating some herbal goodness. There are resources listed making it super simple to find the ingredients that are in the recipes.
The layout and design of this lovely book is very crisp, clean and clear, making it super easy to follow while you are working away in the kitchen. Many of the pages also contain little blurbs of helpful information pertaining to the recipe you are crafting. Jan also offers substitution suggestions incase there is the chance that you can't find an ingredient, that it is too costly for your budget or you are wanting to use something else that you already have on hand.
Isn't this Peony & Orange Sugar Scrub lovely?! It is just so beautiful and to think that it is also chemical free and fragrance free using God's natural herbs that have such wonderful medicinal qualities! This sweet sugar scrub reminds me so much of our friends and wonderful bakers from the Salem Saturday Market, Sweet Peony Flour Shop! It looks good enough to eat! It would pair perfectly with some sweet confections, tied up with a little burlap bow and gifted to a new mommy or to brighten a friends day.
There are also some wonderful herbal lip balms in this book to help take care of dry cracked lips, perfect for winter! And those colors! They surely will brighten up any cloudy day and sore chapped lips.
See the details in which Jan explains all the ingredients in the recipe? Visuals are just worth so much. Jan also features many, easy to grow herbs that are commonly found in the yard and around the home making it super easy to make your very own skin and home care products. In our day of food recalls, chemical additives and the like it is a blessing to know what is going in your home and skin care products. Add to that the benefit to the home budget and its a win, win, all the way around.
After placing so many sticky notes on many of Jan's recipes in the book we decided our first one to make would be the Violet Leaf Lotion Bars. As a person with really light skin, redness is something I struggle with and so I wanted to test out the herbal properties of violet leaf that are suppose to help with that redness and irritation. Today we have for you one of our very first Youtube videos as we start adding to our channel. Follow along to make your very own lotion bars. The recipe is in the video description along with all the links to the supplies. Make sure to subscribe to our channel while you are there for future notifications of more videos. We will have a fun cheese making video up here soon. And if you enjoy the video please share the love by giving us a "thumbs up" and sharing our video with friends and family.
Thanks for stopping by the farm! If your looking for a copy of Jan's book click here and take a peek inside. Here is to natural beautiful skin and a naturally beautiful and clean home!
In the Barnyard ...
Lots of lovin' on animals in the barnyard by littles.
Oh Tiny you are such a sweet lamb.
Daisy Dog a little too anxious to meet the animals in the barn yard.
We added 18 more layer chicks to the barn yard in hopes of replacing our current laying flock. We are adding three new breeds to the barn yard and we are looking forward to some deep dark chocolate eggs in the spring :)
Hi Roscoe, our barnyard mascot, still not the same without his Lucy Girl.
Big Boy is fattening up well and probably headed to the freezer soon. Its a blessing to be able to give them such a good life and to know where our food comes from and know it wasn't a feed lot.
Around the Farm ...
Bloom'n going on in the garden down on the farm!
God makes wonderfully beautiful plants, this is our tea harvest going into the dehydrator for our new Oregon Harvest Berry Tea, and Rose City Repose.
Beautiful roses from our single rose bush which hopefully will be graced with many more roses bushes this fall.
Harvesting our hop plants, such a wonderful blessing of a harvest this year!
The hops are big, bold and beautiful this year! Such an abundance!!!
September can be called harvest month for sure as we started hauling in the abundance from our crop garden. We missed a few zucchini but the chickens really didn't mind ;)
So many wonderful spaghetti squash will be entering our fall dishes so very soon.
We harvested giant red and yellow potatoes from our crop garden some of them weighing over 1 lb each!!
So much money saved by growing food in our yard... growing money in our yard ;)
About 55 lbs of potatoes from one small row of potatoes in our crop garden. Not enough to get us through the winter but a wonderful start and proof that they may be grown here in not even the best soil. We will be sure to add many more rows in our next planting of spring potatoes.
Building the Tea Studio...
If you have been following our farm you are already aware that we are adding on a tea studio to our farmhouse. It will give us a dedicated area to create the items in our farmstore. Currently every item is carefully handcrafted in our farm kitchen. We are very excited to be expanding our space!
Lots of dirt and lots of digging to get the foundation ready for the tea studio.
Building forms, this will be one sturdy foundation!
Helloooo cement truck! Time to pour! And this time it isn't tea ;)
Every good building starts with a solid foundation, how about this puppy?
The Farmer standing on our big wall... its starting to look like something now!
In the Greenhouse ...
Learning to work the new soil blocker and getting some winter plants started.
So happy to see our peppers start to fruit! Thank you St. Fiacre and Christ our Lord for answered prayers.
Working out in the greenhouse picking tomatoes with the toddler. She set them up just perfect for a little photo shoot. Time to put these puppies into the dehydrator for future sauce.
In the Farm Kitchen ...
Peaches from our local peach farm into the dehydrator and freezer for future treats.
Dehydrating aronia berries from Mt. Hope Farms for our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea. So yummy and unique!
Dinner from the garden including potato and zucchini fritters with farm fresh eggs, mini cantaloupe from the crop garden and cucumbers, tomatoes and basil from the garden.
Lunch time for our hard working construction grew! Hydrating Bloom'n Hibiscus tea and nourishing Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread... just the main ingredients for our lunch ;)
A busy day in the farm kitchen! Canning sugar free apple butter with apples we were blessed with, kombucha on its second ferment (elderberry, ginger, cardamom) and kefir fermenting.
Our tomatoes dehydrated, in their jar until its sauce making time! God's bounty is beautiful!
And the finished product, homemade tomato sauce with garden fresh dehydrated tomatoes served over a locally hand crafted pasta and on the side, a garden fresh salad!
In the Farm Store ...
Welcoming fall with our newest tea, Oregon Harvest Berry! Featuring four local Oregon farms: Blackberry leaves from our little farm, apples from Queener Farms, Aronia Berries from Mt. Hope Farms and blue Cornflowers from Floating Petals Confetti.
Its a beautiful applish berry tea, so Oregon and so harvest season! Check out more photos and the details of the tea over in our farm store. Welcome Oregon Harvest Berry!
Another Oregon blend on our list for the fall/winter season! Say hello to Coastal Cranberry Spice! Featuring Oregon grown cranberries along with hibiscus, cinnamon, lemongrass, ginger and more. Very reminiscent of a mulled wine with all the benefits of tea and alcohol free! Check Coastal Cranberry Spice out here in our farm store here.
Today's cool Oregon rainy day is making me wish for this lovely vibrant tea!
Three new gift sets have made their appearance in our farm store as well! Two new sets for men: one features 2 oz tins of our Cypress Deodorant and Beard Balm. The other features our tea and salve with smaller tins of salve. The third is a salve only set for new mothers/expectant mothers. Featuring three of our 2 oz salves: Farmer's Wife Nursing Salve, Baby Bum and Body Balm, and Belly Balm for growing and changing bellies. Check them all out in our farm store under the gift set section! And for being a devoted reader please make sure to take 10% off your order with coupon code THANKYOU2016!
Thanks for stopping by the farm!
Its officially summer and its starting to get mighty warm in the Pacific Northwest. It makes for happy plants but also thirsty and dehydrated gardeners as well as children. What to do? We thought we would share our favorite down on the farm recipe for a nutritious hydrating and flavorful cold drink that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
The recipe we are sharing today is made with our Bloom'n Hibiscus Tea Blend which features the lovely and brilliant colored hibiscus flower. Most people will recognize this lovely flower as a Hawaiian flower and actually the yellow hibiscus is the state of Hawaii's flower. It has a bright petals usually five in number with a long protruding pistil typical of the tropical flower we all tend to think of. They come in many different colors but our tea today features the bright red variety.
The tropical flower this tea is based off of will make you think of the tropics when you drink it as the lemon balm and lemon grass compliment the fruitless of this flower with a citrus twist. Blackberry and Raspberry leaves give it some heartiness which is reminiscent of a light green tea and add a nutritious punch. Some have likened the taste of this hibiscus tea to 'Kool-aid' but better and I have yet to meet anyone who didn't like this tea - be they a tea drinker or not.
According to online sources hibiscus boosts the immune system, helps prevent cold and flu, assists in weight loss, helps to quench thirst, aids in blood pressure management, assists in reducing anxiety and depression, helps to lower levels of bad LDL, protects the liver against infections, assists with relief from cramps and menstrual symptoms as well as slowing down the growth of cancer.
Needless to say if you are looking for cool and refreshing and a crowd pleaser for young or old this is the drink to try!! Without further ado we will move on to the tutorial.
Bloom'n Hibiscus Cooler Recipe
What you will need:
1 1/2 gal. canning jar or glass equivalent
2 large tea filters (found at most grocery stores near the coffee filters)
1/2 oz Bloom'n Hibiscus Loose Leaf Tea (small bag from our farm store)
1/2 gallon filtered water
1 lid for canning jar
1/3 cup local raw honey (optional)
1/4 cup organic unbleached sugar (optional)
Lemon slices (optional)
Once you have your materials gathered together take the 1/2 oz of Bloom'n Hibiscus tea and place it inside each of the tea filters, putting half a bag of tea in one filter and the other half in the second filter.
Next fill your half gallon jar with clean filtered water (tap water will work but may give an off flavor). We love our Berky for filtering gunk out of water as well as fluoride.
Slide your tea bags in the jar hanging the lip of them over the edge of the jar so that the tea leaves cannot get out of the bag. Screw the lid on your jar so that it holds the tea bags in place.
Place your tea in a sunny spot outside, we tried ours in the entrance to the greenhouse... but the sun moved so we decided to move the tea....
It loved brewing on the front porch as much as we love the sun on the front porch too... this day we skipped the tea bags and dumped our blend right in the jar using a metal strainer to separate when finished. When your tea has brewed to the strength you prefer (for us about 4-6 hours depending on the sun) discard the tea filters and/or strain. Pour over ice for a refreshing drink. Though if you would like to make your tea up as we do it down on the farm we add about 1/3 of a cup of raw local honey and blend using a stick blender. We pour over ice and if we are getting really fancy with it we dip the rim of our cup in some liquid (water or lemon juice) and then dip the rim in some organic raw sugar for some sparkle. Add a slice of lemon to your cup and you have a very affordable summer time treat!
Thanks for visiting us down on the farm and if you really want to make this an affordable drink make sure to check out our larger size economy bags of tea for more tea and less on your pocket book in our farm store. See you next time!
My name is CeAnne, wife to my Farmer and mama to 4 adopted kiddos. I help farm lov'n mama's (and grandmas) turn common herbs into powerful medicines without being overwhelmed. Here you will find all sorts of nourishing goodness on natural medicine, herb gardening and wholesome real foods. Read more about our farm HERE.