Herbs for the 2017 Season

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It’s been a long wait, thank you for your patience!  What follows is the tentative list of herb plants which will be available to purchase here for the very first time ever!

If you don’t see something here you’ve been wishing for, please contact us as chances are pretty good that we can add it to the list.  PLEASE NOTE: this list is only for the herbs we will be offering, veggie and other plant lists are still to follow.  We will keep you updated as to when plants will be ready for purchase but we are shooting for the beginning to middle of May.

Astragalus

Basil, Genovese

Basil, Mrs. Burns Lemon

Borage

Calendula

Catnip

Cayenne

Chamomile, German (and possibly Roman)

Chevil

Cilantro

Dill

Elecampane

Fennel, Sweet

Feverfew

Holy Basil

Horehound

Hyssop

Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate

Lavender, Munstead

Lemon Balm

Lemon Bergamot

Lemon Grass

Lovage

Love in The Mist

Marshmallow

Motherwort

Nasturtium

Plantain, Greater

Oregano, Greek

Parsley, Italian

Rosemary

Sage, Garden

Savory, Summer

Thyme, English

Valerian

Viola

Wood Betony

Yarrow, White

In the days to come, there will be a new page added to the web-site which will provide plant profiles for each of these plants.  It will provide vital information on how to grow these herbs as well as usage for each one.  Keep watching!

A Kind & Gentle Way To Health

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The world can be a very harsh place and more times then not excludes true health as a consequence.  Today, we are going to start a long discussion on how to be healthy, as a whole person, using a more kind and gentle lifestyle.  As an Herbalist, I will of course, include herbs as God intended them for our help.  This discussion is going to dive even deeper then that level and will be offered in small pieces that we can all easily digest.  I hope you will be blessed as you join me, so let’s get started!

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” 

Prov. 17:22

What are the issues in our lives that cause us to suffer with less then the best for health?  Let me qualify, not just health of the physical body but also the emotional, mental, spiritual and social.  It is very hard, if not impossible, to separate out one of these components of our lives from all the others.  For our purposes, it is not even necessary to know which area of our whole self is suffering because it is not possible to separate them, in all truthfulness.  Our focus is going to be on the ‘why’ of our less then perfect overall health.  So, what are we talking about? In a word – Stress!

There is a vast amount of stressors that we are dealing with, many of them will be directly addressed.  For some people marking them off, one by one is a direct way to address the issue.  For others, they simple want to change directions and dump the whole load.  Either way, we are going to begin to resolve this giant monster, here, today – together.

The Danish people, often thought of as one of the happiest nations, have a word used to describe what we are after.  The word is ‘hygge’ pronounced ‘hooga’.  It represents the idea of coziness, joy and wellbeing.  The folks of this culture take an active role to ‘hygge’ their way through the long, bleak winter months of dark, cold and snow. Nurturing themselves with an environment of joy, relationships of meaning and health that is glowing.  I cannot presume to think they are the only group of people after this level of living because if nothing else I am!  I know that almost every person I share this with gets a twinkle in their eye and expresses their desire to have such a life.

For our purposes, the long bleak months of our cold winters can take on the picture of an entire life lived loaded down with stress and less then optimal living.  We are in deep need of dumping the extra baggage that holds us under the water and prevents us from taking those deep, cleansing breaths, both literally with clean, oxygen loaded air and spiritually by embracing the work the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to do in us.

Can we just start right here?  Let’s take in some healthy air!  Too many times we feel ‘stuck’ without any visible plan to go forward with, but we don’t have to, it’s called ‘baby-steps’.  I am going to ask you to commit to making your air healthier.  I won’t leave you wondering, keep reading and we’ll take some steps together. It does little good, though still some, if we breath deeply the less then great air that often surrounds us.  We can improve the air we are blessed with in many ways.

First off, may I suggest you add some plants to your own private world?  They don’t have to be any specific type because every green plant is producing oxygen!  They all benefit us on this level, but why stop there?  I surround my world, both inside and out with beautiful and fragrant herbs.  They provide me a sense of well-being because I know they will serve me should I need their helping medicine or foods for my table.  In my home, during the winter, I make a special point to add some aromatic herbs just for the pleasure of rubbing them through my hands and breathing deeply.  Trimming them to add to bath water, adding them to my teas and recipes, or infusing into the air for fragrance and function as our indoor air becomes dry and boring.  I have a dear friend who has found the joy of succulents and she is filling her home with the most beautiful arrangements you have ever seen!  Some plants do aid in removing bad air from our homes, beyond their gift of fresh oxygen.  Spider plants, Aloe, Peace Lily, Ivy and many others have been found to absorb chemicals commonly found in our homes.

No matter where you live, you have room for plants.  From college dorms, campers or high-rise apartments, there is always room for a pot or two to become your own healthy friends.  I live in a tiny little house but it is stuffed with my plants.  Turmeric and Ginger pots crowd the windows of my laundry room (it has the best lighting). My prized Mango tree sits in my kitchen window.  Low lighting plants fill my living room. Geraniums fill my office and bedroom during the winter and make us smile on the porch in the summer.  My Rosemary plants have become so large that it takes a team of mules to get them re-located, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thinking outside of the box is a game I love to play when it comes to indoor plants. I am privileged with large windows in my tiny little space so instead of nick-nacks, I have plants!!

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So, you get the idea – add plants and become your own oxygen producing factory! In addition to giving you better air, you can get lost in the soul satisfying work of tending and caring for these little beauties, which is another health benefit to having them.  Remember the verse quoted above?  A merry heart is very healing/healthy and is exactly what our goal is.  Too many times, we get caught up in the ‘work‘ of being a healthy person.  May I suggest that we start changing our focus to a life lived in joy?  Tend to others, embrace the acts of kindness that are extended to you, look to your Father for the peace that He offers and don’t forget – breath deeply!

Breathing deeply, with proper posture, fresh air and good technique can do amazing things for you.  Stretch your body as tall as you can, pull your shoulders back and let your head relax as you look up to the stars (hopefully).  Breathing in through your nose helps because the little hairs that live in there were meant to ‘catch’ lots of bad stuff.  It also helps to breath in through the nose during cold weather because, believe it or not, the cold air is brought up to body temperature before it hits your trachea.  So, in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Hold your breath to the count of 3-5 with each breath in.  If you do this in sets of 5-10 about 3-5 times a day, I am going to bet your going to feel the difference almost immediately.

Here’s a little bonus for you, take some fresh Rosemary and rub it roughly in your hands (if you don’t own such a lovely plant then a trip to your nearest garden center/greenhouse is in order!).  Now, take your deep breaths with your hands cupped to your face, taking in the aromatic fragrance of the Rosemary.  Rosemary is known to enhance oxygen levels in the head and brain which we can all use, right?

I will leave you with this little homework assignment.  I’ll be back for more great ways to hygge our way back to true health.  We’ll talk a little more about stress, where it comes from, what it does to us and how to get rid of it.  For now, may you be blessed with some true, deep, life- giving air as well as they joy and health from adding some oxygen makers to your little world.

The Dainty Daisy

daisy_close_upHave you ever wondered at all the beauty of the simple daisy?  Our Creator has laced this little lovely with so much grace.  I have found, in my time as a gardener, that there is so much more then what lays upon the surface of creation.

Before I share the gems I have un-earthed, let me share a bit of my life in the garden.  You see, I have always thought of myself as an organized, efficient person.  My life has been one of “you have to get this done”, with very little room for much else.  Let me tell you right now how inefficient this attitude is for the garden.

I’ve had an ‘organized’ lay out of food, herbs, flowers, orchards style of, everyone in their place, gardens for years – and for years I have struggled!  I have herbs that double over from culinary to medicine to just plain ole yummy tea.  I have ‘herbs’ that are more beautiful then the most prized flowers.  I have herbs that refuse to accept my most logical home in the garden.  Instead, they run out to the rocky soil of the pathway to the chicken co-op where I will have to step on or over them multiple times a day.  They do this, it seems, as if to laugh at me and my ‘management’ style of gardening. We cannot take the time here to discuss the ‘food’ gardens and the cross over they play out with medicine or how they feed so many more then just the humans here. Then there are those ‘flowers’ which most of us think of as nothing more then beauty but really, they grace my life with untold benefits!  This is the place that the simple, graceful daisy fills.

Daisy, Bellis perennis to be exact.  Childhood memories are filled with sunny afternoons spent playing with the daisies, making doll dresses from them, daisy chains for our heads.  Playing out the age old saying of “he loves me, he loves me not” while removing one petal at a time and watching them fall to the ground with grace and dignity.  All the while, dreaming of the young man of our imaginations that may soon come into our lives to fulfill the ‘he loves me’ hope.

There is a Christian legend that says as Mary, the mother of our Lord, was escaping Egypt with the young child, everywhere a tear from her eyes landing on the ground, a daisy was sure to appear.

While many of us in the United States have been quietly overlooking the lovely little Daisy, Europe has for ages seen beyond the little flower in the cottage garden to the potential of real medicine it holds.  Best used as a tea, but also tincture of the blossom and leaves, it serves both young and old.

It’s very name means ‘everlasting beauty’ and the beauty it holds, it is happy to share.  Loaded with nutrition, it boasts a hefty profile of essential vitamins and minerals, the highest of these are Vit. K, Calcium, Carotene and Chlorophyll.  These nutrients are complimented with many others and serve to stimulate metabolism.  Being anti-inflammatory, expectorant and having a slight laxative and blood cleansing effect, it becomes potent but gentle at clearing all sorts of problems and diseases.  From eczema and psoriasis (which are almost always from congestive issues) to herpes and neurodermatitis. Having been used on young children as a pain reliever against growing pains it follows to a great ally for young women dealing with painful menstruation.  Into childbearing where it serves as a wonderful, safe herb for  post-delivery care to tighten the conjunctive tissue after birth, returning a woman’s body to the form and tightness of pre-pregnancy with gentle nourishment.  It can, of course serve the same function in us elder folks as we need the toning and nourishing benefits to our aging bodies.

While most think in terms of tea or perhaps tinctures (which I personally prefer to save for acute issues), daisy is a wonderful compliment to our tables at meal time.  They are beautiful additions to our salads and pestos and are very graceful to hug up to the other ingredients of our soups and stews.  I have included it in an infused oil which I use to coat my skin after my baths, especially in the drying days of winter.

So, here we are, at the end of our story and I leave you with some ideas of how life is changing me.

I am going to stop thinking in terms of ‘sections’ in my gardening efforts.  I am going to allow my ‘flowers’ to flow into my ‘herbs’ to flow into my ‘food’ to flow into the wild places of my life as well as the organized, neat rows of my best efforts.  I am going to embrace all the beauty that grows at my feet and count my blessings that so many lovely plants have been given for my healing (both of mind and body).  I will continue to grow, expand and enjoy to the fullest these wonders and stop attempting to place nice, neat little labels on everyone.  I hope you can join me in this great adventure!

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With the hanging of our grandson’s birdhouse, we declare our greenhouse officially complete and ready for growing!  Many tiny details still getting marked off each day and joy over flows with each line drawn through the long list.  Besides some painting, weatherproofing and raised bed construction, we’re ready for winter.

The two main beds are being developed a little at a time, each day seeds are being sown for our winter harvest.  The stones are laid for pathways to prevent the growing ground from being packed down (Which means no further digging or tilling on our end, yea!) Raised beds will be built over the winter to be placed at waist height for further growing of more shallow rooted plants and then there is still space above for growing or trellising of some of our favorite melons and such.

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We are seeing some volunteer tomato and bean plants popping through the earth along with our seeds sown on purpose – you just can’t stop God’s abundance when fully embraced!

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We currently have sown garlic, onions, kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots mixed salad greens and wheat grass for the chickens and ducks.  Of course, the first plants to be gently placed into the soil were a few of our favorite kitchen herbs that waited patiently all summer in clay pots for their new home.  I never thought I’d see my lavender blooming in November but what a sight for sore eyes!

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Many days of delight await us as we spend them tending the good earth we’ve been given and many a good meal is going to be shared from the harvest we receive.  Stop in and spend a few minutes with us in this little piece of heaven and let us know of any folks that may enjoy some of the good food growing here, we can’t wait to share.

Thank you again for all the prayers, support and help that enabled us to get here today.  You all will be in our prayers of thanksgiving everyday!

Greenhouse Update

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It has been one blurry, fast-paced summer and I promised to keep everyone updated on the greenhouse project.  We are almost totally framed out!!  The cement work is totally finished and the polycarbonate panels are being shipped, hopefully as I type.  When they arrive we hope to be finished framing.  We still have a wee bit on the roof and then the vents and doors to frame, the skin will go on and the solar openers attached and we will be ready to roll!

Our goal is Sept. 1 because I do grow year-round inside and need the fall months to get my winter produce fully mature before the very short days of January and February.  I am so excited I can hardly wait!  Fresh produce is so wonderful to have, right outside our front door.  This house will be double the space of our last one and we plan to use all the height of the new one to add more growing space too.  A small outdoor addition is placed on the south side of the building where we will grow grapes along it’s fence and use a small bed next to the building to trellis up veggies that will also help shade the inside during the high heat months of summer.  Oh, the plans we have!!

So, speaking of plans – as some of you have probable figured out, this is way more space then we need for the two of us to have fresh food.  We are hoping to share the extras with the elderly and shut-in community we live amongst.  It is so very important for all of us to eat fresh produce daily but for some of our neighbors, a trip to the store is out of the question because of physical or budget restrictions. While we are compiling a list of folks that may benefit from our work here, we need your help finding others.  If you know of someone who would enjoy some fresh food, please contact us so we don’t overlook anyone.

Some of you may not realize that we operate a small inn here on our property. In our efforts to come away from the commercial style of living and in our hopes of blessing our guests with wholesome food during their stay, we will also use some of our homegrown produce for our signature “Breakfast in a Basket” option.  For an additional price, our guests can have a totally homemade and almost totally homegrown breakfast delivered to their door in the morning.  Our melons and strawberries have graced many a basket in the past but with the additional growing space we will be able to branch out to greater offerings.  You can see more about our little inn at:  www.sleepforlessmotel.com

So there you have it, our August update. Lord willing, September will find me on my hands and knees planting seeds of joy in my new dirt pile!  Thank you all for your various helps as we work toward the completion of this rather large project.  First to my Father in heaven who continually stretches us and grows us as His own lovely little plants.  Next to my ever sweet husband whose hands are full of splinters but heart is full of love for his crazy wife and her ideas.  Also, special thanks to my earthly dad, Alvin who at the age of almost 80, traveled here to help us (and may I say, ran circles around us for 4 days), my mom, Carroll,  who cooked and cleaned and kept everyone encouraged and full of ice water as we worked in our high 90 days of July.  Our son, Steven who labored beside his dad and grandpa for days giving us the strength of his age when we were lacking, and to his wife Kat who graciously shared him with us.  His awesome friend Chris, who pitched in without even knowing us and left his ladder for us to use in the completion.  And our always faithful friend,  Chad,  who was willing to drive out here and give his help with such enthusiasm.  This crew worked without one grumble and I think we were all amazed at how smooth the work went.  There are others who have held us up in prayer, provided resources and stopped by to offer a word of encouragement.  There are some who helped without even knowing it.  I speak of the great donation of lumber that came from the scrap pile of the new Marriott motel that is being built on the horizon of our landscape.  The owner, I am told, lives in Saudi Arabia, and I am sure we will never meet.  The lumber we drug home from their site provided over half of all the lumber in this project and there are scraps which will make elevated strawberry and wheatgrass beds too!

Stay tuned for further updates as we move toward completion.  Stop by if your in the neighborhood.  Most of all, please pray for us, we have overcome great  obstacles that I won’t give the enemy power by detailing.  We seek to glorify our Father in this work and it will be ongoing.  Please help us to find those folks who need the nourishment from our work here as that is the greatest help we need at this point.  And last of all, plant some seeds!

Allopathic Herbalism?

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Allopathic Herbalist, what in the world is that? Recently I wrote a blog post for another web-site; www.christianherbal.org  explaining what a Clinical Herbalist is and how we work with clients. This caused me to consider the need for a further explanation. The word “clinical” has a way of throwing people off course.

Before we discuss, in greater detail, what a Clinical Herbalist is, let’s look at what I mean by an Allopathic Herbalist. I hope you will endure the length of this article as the best comes at the end!

The term allopathic is often used to describe the Western Medicine mode of healthcare, sadly a large amount of  herbalism has become very similar. The American medical system is the most descriptive picture I can provide for you. This mode of healthcare, while having its importance, is inept to provide true, deep healing. In all reality, it provides sick-care, not healthcare. If you partake in this model of medicine, you will be provided approximately 15 minutes for your appointment, to include any study time your practitioner spends with your health record. Diagnostic testing has advanced to a high degree and offers us many benefits, unfortunately many doctors rely completely on these tests, having either forgotten, or more likely, never been taught the art of studying their patients by observation and conversation. In addition, if you utilize multiple practitioners, they may contradict or overlook each other which can lead to grave results in your health. A vast amount of your M.D.’s current treatment protocols are provided by the pharmaceutical rep. that regularly visits the office with literature and samples of the latest drugs on the market. Which brings us to treatments.

Treatment options within the allopathic medical system almost always include pharmaceuticals. When people don’t feel well, they have a strong desire to feel better, quick! Your physician knows this and usually has the ‘pill to fit the bill’. The problem is, that is often where it stops, no other considerations and no other plan for complete wellness, just feel better right now.

While it may seem as though I am overly critical of this mode of medicine, let me offer a balance. Your doctor may see as many as 30 or more patients a day, make hospital rounds and be on call for after hour emergencies, they live a dizzy, fast paced life. They have spent a lot of time and money on their education and need to make their careers successful. Many, many of them have a servant’s heart but are trapped in a system that will never allow them to live this desire out. Nurses fall into this same exact situation and these people work tirelessly to help folks. It’s the system that is broken and I want to make it clear that I am not singling out the individuals within the system.

So, this is a quick peek into the window of allopathic medicine. Now, take this picture and lay it over the term “Allopathic Herbalist” and you will have an almost perfect picture of what I wish to describe for you. An herbalist working within this framework is going to leave you wanting. They offer lots of ‘bandage medicine’ that differs only in the medicine of choice from the allopathic medical world.

Have you ever felt sick and ran to the health food store for ‘something to help you feel better’? There you encounter isles marked “immune” or “allergies” and see all the bottles of goodness without one idea which one to choose? Then, from heaven, it seems, a helpful employee tells you, if you have a cold try ABC, it always works. The only problem is; do you really have a cold or is it something that only looks like a cold? If it truly is a cold, why did you catch it, and do you really want the cough to stop, what is your underlying picture that may or may not cause that remedy to be right for you? A hundred other questions should be answered before you grab your wonder bottle from the shelf.

This little example is what I mean by the difference between an Allopathic Herbalist and a Clinical Herbalist. With an allopathic picture, you just want to feel better and you don’t really care about anything else. Many a helpful and often knowledgeable herbalist, in their quest to help, is willing to offer you the quick one/two in an effort to help you feel better. In some cases, this is all that is needed and will work beautifully for the here and now, but won’t do a thing to help you build true wellness.

By contrast, a Clinical Herbalist will separate from this mode, almost entirely. They do care, very deeply that you are sick but their knowledge leads them to know that the sickness has come about due to layers of issues that must be addressed. So while they may offer you some immediate help to feel better, their real concern is why you are sick and they will address that for lasting results. They will make you feel like you are writing a book when you provide the intake paperwork they need to properly access your situation. They will take that valuable information and spend hours on end, if necessary, studying it and diving deep into the issues they see within those pages. After this, many more hours will be spent with you, talking, observing, talking, observing. While any diagnostic test information you have will be very helpful, this will be far from the core of information your Clinical Herbalist will be using. Their goal is to teach you the truths you need to know to build your health and create total wellness. It is a long, detailed process but it is lasting and deep in its results. Clinical Herbalism, in my mind, is akin to the Slow Food movement. We need to slow down, think deeply, act rightly and carefully, to build nurturing and health into our lives by this process.IMG_2279

As you could guess, a Clinical Herbalist works mostly with chronic illness/injury profiles. They are more than able and willing to help you with acute and accident situations but a standing relationship is beneficial, even for the more immediate needs.

A Clinical Herbalist has been trained to look at all the fine details of you! In addition, they know all the fine details of the plant medicine they work with. Within allopathic medicine we see pharmaceuticals that are sometimes created from plants but usually amount to other substances. Within the allopathic mode of herbalism, we often see the isolated constituents, the active ingredient, taken from the whole plant, in an effort to make the remedy more effective. The problem with this is that the Creator who made these plants, created them whole and complete and when single components are taken alone, they often are no longer effective. One example of this is Hawthorn, an excellent cardiovascular tonic. German researchers thought that the active benefit from this berry came from the flavonoids, especially the one known as vitexin-O-rhamnoside, so they isolated that from the rest of the plant hoping to increase its effectiveness but instead found it to be non-effective altogether. In addition, they fed the berries to animals, minus this specific flavonoid, it was equally ineffective. Only when used as a whole food/berry does the benefit get seen. To take this example a bit further, some folks could benefit from using Hawthorn berries, others might need the leaves, others still may need an entirely different plant or a combination of plants. In some cases, a syrup would be best but in others a tincture is the right fit, for others still, a tea blended with other herbs might be what is needed or perhaps another herb altogether. These are the details you are paying your Clinical Herbalist to know. Only when all the details are combined can you truly experience herbalism as God created it.

In closing, the picture of the cactus is a visual example for me, of Allopathic Herbalism.  While it looks beautiful, organized and purposeful, it is nearly impossible to get to the meat of it, or center where real healing takes place.  I would share, if you fall and scrap up your knees, then by all means, grab the Calendula salve. Learn all you can about how to care for yourself using herbs and safely put into practice what you learn, but source your information carefully, and don’t fall into the quick, easy trap of following an Allopathic Herbalism model. If, however, your needs are complicated and serious, or you find you desire a deeper level of wellness then you currently have, find a good Clinical Herbalist and work with them to create the health you deserve. Take your time and allow them to do the same, your quality of life will vastly improve and that is our Father’s desire, see 3 John 2. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

The Biblical Herbal

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This summer issue is just packed with informative articles to please everyone!

I’ve written two of the articles, one of them will become a series for Herbal Gardening, titled “In The Garden”.  The second article is titled “HolySchtick Mindset Change” where I share my testimony of how I became an Herbalist.

There is fun activities for the children in their own little section, lots of great recipes and plenty of advanced information for the hungry student.

Please consider taking a look at this issue, you may purchase as a single edition or sign up for a full subscription and receive a discount.  Click on the photo to go to the ordering page.  This is an affiliate link.

 

Our Greenhouse Update

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Just wanted to keep you all up to date on our big project here.  The wall surrounding the old greenhouse has finally been completely relocated, and may I say, it looks pretty happy in it’s new home.

Concrete work is scheduled for next week, please pray with us that we can keep this schedule and all goes well with this next phase.  We will also be moving some giant boulders and scooping out gravel to make room for the added space of the new greenhouse.

After this comes the framing.  The Lord has blessed us with some very skilled counselors and we are pretty sure about the plan at this point.

We appreciate your prayers along this journey!  We still have a long way to go and framing will most likely be the slowest step.  Still welcoming any volunteers who would like to help us, we need those muscles!!  Would you please continue to pray for us to seek out those elderly and shut-in folks in the community that we can share the bounty of this great work with.  Costs are always higher then you budget, no matter how carefully you proceed,  so please pray we can complete this project without breaking the bank.

Thanks so much for your continued interest and I shall post more as we move along.

What Is This Mess About?!

IMG_2227Life in our garden is not real pretty right now, as you can see! My old friend and trusted greenhouse has been sold and now we have a big ugly mess and a whole bunch of work ahead of us.  May I share our plans and dreams with you?

For over six years now we have had a wonderland of growing space inside our 12 by 24, solar operated greenhouse. We start our flowers, herbs and veggies for the year, keep herbs overwintered, supply our chickens and ducks with wintertime greens and food for ourselves year round. It has been very successful and pleasing to us.

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We have had our trials too, in-experience is a harsh schoolmaster! Having learned what to do and more importantly, what not to do, we have decided to step our living to a new level. We are very excited to share our plans with you.

We are planning a new, bigger and better greenhouse to be sized at about 20 by 28 feet. The new one will be solar operated as the previous one was. What that means is that we do not put any power for cooling or heating into the building, instead rely completely on the sun. In the winter the sun heats it quite well thanks to our location and fairly sunny skies during the winter. For the summer, we use both bottom and top vents with solar openers to cool the building. These little gems are set to open at 80 degrees (which is the ideal temperature to maintain) and then close again when the temp. drops below 80 to help maintain that for as long as possible. Drastic change of temperatures are the biggest enemy for our greenhouse work and since we are very scattered over our property with other work and can’t always babysit the greenhouse, these openers are our best friends! This new greenhouse will be build with much beefed up materials and built to LAST!!

We plan to continue using it for much the same purposes as the old one, just more goodness growing in the soil (we grow directly in the soil). We eat a sizable amount of produce but know that we can produce much, much more then needed for ourselves (this is where it gets exciting). We plan to grow fruits and veggies for the shut-ins and elderly of our community too!IMG_0925

It has always been a burden on our hearts to try to look after the elderly. Many of them have physical or financial obstacles that prevent them from having wholesome food for their tables at the very time in life they need it most. We plan to make a dent in that problem with our new greenhouse.

Here’s where we are asking for your help, and please bear with me, this is not something I am very good at. This building project is a huge undertaking for us. If any of you know Wayne and I, you know we are most certainly not gifted as builders! We are asking for those of you who can get your hearts around our vision to assist us in any number of ways:

  1. PRAYER! Yes, that is the absolute best gift you could give us right now. Please pray for our plans to succeed and for many to eat the goodness provided by the Lord through our little effort here.
  2. Advise and wisdom! Yes, we are need of these in good measure. If you have construction or engineering knowledge, we would love to hear from you. We first thought to design a bit differently than our previous greenhouse but believe the most cost effective, strong design for which we have the ability to build may be to keep it basic. We are open to your input and help in design work if you feel led but need to complete this phase rather quickly, which leads me to the next point.
  3. Please pray for a good, honest and affordable concrete contractor! We need someone with a good skill level to do some excavating, leveling and squaring for the footer of this building. We thought we had a very dear friend lined up for this but due to medical emergencies that may not work out.
  4. Which brings us to the next point. We are very, very open to any hands on help you may have to lend. Some of the framing work, especially will be hard for the two of us to complete as we are planning to frame with 2×6 hardwood, as that is what the Good Shepherd has provided, but it weighs a lot! If you have some time and strong muscles to share, we would be very grateful!
  5. This project is a massive expenditure for us. We are not people of means but can’t help feeling the Lord wants us to proceed with this. We have been gifted some seed funds and of course have the sell funds from the old greenhouse, which we are hoping will aid us with the foundational work. If the wood we have will work and we have enough, that should not be an expense however there will be plenty of hardware costs. The skin for this new building will be very costly but hopefully will last a very long time, if we budget carefully, we can keep that cost below $4,000. If you feel this is something you could help with, we would be abundantly grateful! If you do want to share financially, there are a number of ways to do this. If you are local, you already know where we are and we will gladly receive any gift you may be able to share. If you are not local, you can simple use the ‘donate’ button on this web-site. We are also able to receive checks by mail, our mailing address is: 954 East Elm Street, Sidney, NE 69162, checks can be made out to Wayne Waller.
  6. Last but not least by any means; we need your help finding those elderly or shut-in folks that could benefit from some wholesome, fresh food. We have begun forming a list and still have plenty of room to add folks. If you know of someone, local, please contact us privately so we can plan to share with them.

The realization of the scope of this project makes me catch my breath a bit, however I have seen the Lord move so many mountains in our lives. We know there are so many that can be blessed by this and can’t wait to get started! Please share our plans and this post with those you know who might be interested in our project. I will provide updates as we proceed. If you are able, please stop by and see, firsthand how things are proceeding. Many blessing to you all for reading to the end of my babbling!

 

Tinctures-How Much?

 

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Most of us are familiar with herbal tinctures, we used them for any number of needs.  I often get the question “How much should I take?”  It can get confusing, and there are some very important factors to keep in mind.  While it is not appropriate for me to be ‘prescribing’ herbal medicine, I can give you  some guidelines to use for your own determinations.

Dosage recommendations on the bottles of tinctures are just that ‘recommendations’. They are usually calculated for a 120 lbs. person and/or run along a ‘safe for most’ line of thought. I feel it is imperative to take a personal approach to herbalism and this certainly would include dosages.

A number of  things should always be taken into consideration such as: What is the weight as well as the age of the person. People who are very young or very old need to have consideration for that as well as weight.   For people in these categories, we often do better to give a smaller dose and consider giving it more often, rather then a normal (by weight) dose all at once or even consider another mode to administer our herbs. 

General health and wellbeing is another issue, as weaker, chronically ill people need to take things slow and easy. Often these folks are not at a point where they are absorbing nutrients very well so, again, we may choose another way to give them the herbs they need.  We have many choices to pick from and a combination is sometimes best.  Saving our tinctures for acute illnesses or first aid use may fit the bill better.  Other times tinctures fit into the chronic illness picture quite well, you just have to know the person’s situation and pick the right herbs, in tincture form for these issues.

There are also times when the dosage recommended on the bottle must be increased quite a bit for the correct result. A normal dose for one issue may be of no effect for another issue.  This is really important to consider when you are using tinctures in first aid or crisis situations, keeping in mind that you can go overboard and create problems too.  Obviously, people who are above the normal 120 lbs. dose recommendation will need to have their doses stepped up too.

People that consume a high protein diet should also be aware that taking tinctures with meals will delay their action. While this may not require an increased dose, it does need to be kept into consideration, because there may be a delay in reaction when taking tinctures with heavy protein diets.  Some herbs should be consumed with foods, others right before meals, etc.  Knowing your herbal tinctures and what you are hoping for, as an outcome can guide you in these decisions.

What the herbs are tinctured in is another consideration.  A blend or formula will also effect your dosage decisions as the more herbs in the formula, the more complicated your picture.  Some herbs assist other herbs in their actions, and others help drive the herbs into the body, to where they are needed.  Knowing what is in your formula and it’s intended purpose helps you know how to customize the dose.  Believe it or not, there are some formulas where herbs are added strictly to enhance flavor or other reasons that really don’t give you a medicinal benefit. 

With a little knowledge under your belt, you can learn how to read the labels on tinctures and source the really good manufacturers.  Of course, like anything, high quality tinctures will provide you the maximum benefit for your dose.  Good companies always include whether they used dried or fresh plant matter, what ratio the herbs to alcohol is and what percentage of alcohol is used, at the very least.

As a last consideration, pregnant and nursing women must exercise caution and knowledge in their choices of tinctures.  I always avoid using tinctures on wee babes as a general rule.  People using pharmaceuticals also do well to have professional assistance in making their choices of herbs in general and tinctures specifically.

I hope this little overview has been helpful.  As I always stress; herbalism is not about “take this much of this, for that” but rather is about taking the whole situation into account.  Know the person well, understand all their needs and individual circumstances, know the plants well, how they work and what they have to offer the situation and make a custom fit for best benefit.

 

 

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