Friday, February 24, 2017

Local Herbs And Their Uses

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat."
Genesis 1:29
Herb Defined:
1 Plants, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume.
2 Botany 
Any seed-bearing plant which does not have a woody stem and dies down to the ground after flowering.
Erb or Herb?
The word herb began use in the 1300's from an old Old French word, erbe which came from the Latin word, herba. Here in America, because the French word is used, we don't usually pronounce the hard "H".
Herbs are useful in maintaining health and can be used to treat illness. Herbs fall into two categories, tonic and medicinal. Tonic herbs may be safely used to maintain good health and medicinal herbs may be used to treat ailments.

Dandelion: High in phytonutrients and antioxidants which aid in slowing cancer growth and spread, prevents free radical damage to cells and DNA. Can be used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, gallbladder and inflammation. Boosts immune system.

Plantain: Astringent properties- May be crushed or chewed and placed directly over a sting, bite or rash, hemorrhoid remedy. Healing effect on the digestive system. Gentle expectorant.

Blackberry: Rich in bioflavonids and Vitamin C, low sodium, one of the highest antioxidant levels, source of fiber, good for digestive health, prevents cancer, useful for weight management, bone strength, skin health, improved vision, prevents eye disease, heart healthy, cognitive health, immunity booster, normal blood clotting treats endothelial dysfunction (abnormal function of lining of blood vessels), the folate useful in pregnancy, also known as the "gout berry" by the ancient Greeks AND is the Official Fruit of The State Of Alabama. The leaves cure diarrhea and the tannins in the leaves heal wounds.

Mullein: Treatment of various inflammatory diseases, diarrhea, asthma, coughs and other lung related issues. Used to treat the pain and inflammation associated with earaches.
Treatment of bruises, burns, hemorrhoids and gout, leaves can be applied topically to soften and protect the skin.  Mullein can be ingested, applied topically and even smoked.

Yellow Dock: High in iron, the root is medicinal for detoxing and skin ailments, laxative.

Eating seasonally has health benefits.
Spring greens for blood cleaning and purifying.
Summer Fruits and Vegetables to boost immunity.
Fall/Winter foods for antioxidants.
Essential Oils
Lavender: Reduces anxiety and emotional stress, heals burns and wounds, improves sleep, restores skin complexion and reduces acne, slows aging with powerful antioxidants, improves eczema and psoriasis, alleviates headaches. Researchers claim that 2,000 years ago lavender was referred to as Spikenard or Nard. The most famous usage of  lavender being the oil Mary used in John 12:3 to anoint Jesus.
"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." John 12:3 (NIV)
Tea Tree: Treats acne, bacterial infections, chickenpox, cold sores, congestion and respiratory tract infections, earaches, fungal infections (especially Candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus), halitosis (bad breath), head lice, MRSA, psoriasis, dry cuticles, itchy insect bites, sores and sunburns, boils from staph infections.
Household uses: Antimicrobial, laundry freshener, insect repellant, natural deodorant, acne face wash, removes foot order, removes mold, household cleaner.
Local Wild Foods Smoothie
1 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Frozen Banana
1/2 Frozen Mango
1 Handful Dandelion Greens (Washed)
1 Handful Frozen Blackberries
Combine Almond Milk with Dandelion Greens and blend until smooth. Add frozen Banana, Mango and Blackberries.
(Any other additives such as 1 T Flaxseed or 4 T Almond Butter may be included.)
Blend until smooth, pour into a pint mason jar and enjoy.

Disclaimer: The information herein is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as a diagnosis, prescription or treatment, nor is it meant to replace the medical services of a medical professional. The remedies, approaches, and techniques described in these materials are not to be a substitute for, professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat an ailment without prior consultation with a licensed medical professional. You should always consult with your medical professional before beginning any course of treatment.

These statements have not been approved by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Timing Is Everything

 Regardless of whether the local Groundhogs saw their shadow this month or not, Valentine's Day is going to happen on February 14 and the honey bee queen is making plans for expanding in anticipation of Spring.

Right now would be a good time to find a day when the outside temperature is going to rise above 60 degrees F and put those supers of empty comb over the brood chamber. The hives here reside above I-20.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stayin' Alive

  Mr. Baker, of the Ole Baker Farm in Harpersville, Alabama was probably 100 years old when he told me the story of a local family that had moved down from Birmingham, Alabama during the Great Depression of the 1930's. They had become his neighbors. This particular family was inexperienced at gardening and had failed in their first attempt to feed themselves. Mr. Baker and his family, being the good neighbors that they are, helped this family survive the winter by supplying them with sweet potatoes and molasses.

  This recipe survived. 

Sweet Potato Dumplings

2 or 3 Sweet Potatos (Raw Grated)
Basic Biscuit Dough
2 C. Water
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 Stick Butter

1) Roll out Basic Biscuit Dough into a long rectangle about 1/4" thick.
2) Spread sweet potato on top.
3) Roll up jelly roll style and slice into 1/2" circles and place circles in a greased baking dish cut sides down.
4) Heat water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & butter in a sauce pan.
5) Pour over circles & bake at 425 Degrees F for 30 Minutes.

(Basic Biscuit Dough)
2 c. Plain Flour
1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
6 tbs. Butter
1 c. Buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal. Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2 x 4 Laundry And Dish Washing Liquid

Here is a recipe for a quick easy Laundry and Dish Washing liquid that is safe.

2 Gallon Bucket With Lid

2 Cups Washing Soda 

2 Cups Borax

4 Cups Natural Soap Flakes

1) In the 2 gallon bucket combine 4 cups of soap flakes with 4 cups of boiling water.

2) Use a wire whisk to stir after the soap flakes are like a gel.

3) Add the 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of Washing Soda.

4) Add hot water to fill remainder of bucket.

5) Stir daily with wire whisk until the liquid becomes like gel.

Use 1/4 cup per average load of laundry.

Use 1/4 cup per sink of dishes.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Asleep On Snow

"Morning dove sat by my window and I awoke to hear his serene song".
My latest thrift shop find was a soft, mint green wool blend sweater that was hung at the very end of the ladies sweater display rack.  Finds of this nature usually jump right off the rack as if to say, "You're mine".
I tried it on for fit and made a quick check in a mirror to see if the shade was pleasing.  Two snap buttons closed the open front at the waist and there were squiggle designs all around.
I noticed the squiggle designs again when I put on my new found treasure for Sunday morning. On my way to meeting I received a call from a friend who wanted to see if I would stop by after Service and look at items that she need to part with and wanted to share..  She and her family had made positive changes and after a tough passage of time were filling a U-Haul and were moving back home.
When I arrived, one look at my sweater and my friend and her Mom instantly saw what I had not seen.  What I thought was scribbling was cursive writing. Around I went as they both read,
"Morning dove sat by my window and I awoke to hear his serene song".
~The real voyage of discovery comes not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.~
One of my favorite quotes came alive to me as my sweet friend had inspired me to make positive changes in my own life.  The sadly neglected herb garden by my front door had been in need of positive changes for years.  The first thing that needed to happen was to reduce the area to a size that was more manageable.
One morning last week I was on my way back to my house from the goat barn.  I looked at the native sandstone rocks that defined the edge of the bed and grabbed a long-handle hoe and started re-arranging rocks.  I purposed to redo one section before I stopped.
In a popular novel set in the days of the Civil War here in the South one of  the main characters was quoted as saying,
 "Only do the amount of work today that you can get back up and do again tomorrow".
In 1988 I applied postive change to my own life.  I left a corporate job that was no longer satisfying and moved back to the family farm to make a life and a living for my family off the land.
"Asleep On Snow"  is where I would like to share my daily living here on Simple Life Farm and where I would like to share interesting ideas for simple living, interesting crafts, recipes, common sense and more.  \
I have needed to do this for a long time now, I just couldn't see it...
Cheryl of Simple Life Farm

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Things I Learned On The Na Pali Kalalau Trail

1) Start each day with a cup of good might be your last.

2) You meet the nicest people in the strangest places.

3) Food is more important than clothes.

4) Anything you really need, you can carry.

5) Don't leave it on the trail for someone else to carry, unless it's useful.

6) Luxuries can become a burden.

7) Comfortable shoes are a good investment.

8) Don't work so hard today that you can't get up and do it again tomorrow.

9) STOP, and look.

10) A tarp can make a pleasant resting place, especially when you have friends to share it with.

L-R: The McLeroys' and me. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

How To Make Cold Process Soap

When ever I don the bonnet and hover over the washpot (in public), inevitably these questions will rise:

Do you make soap? Yes

Next question:


Here you go...

Will you do my laundry? Sure

How much? $100 per hour

Last question: