Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you!!

The Woodwife's Journal is compilation of things I've learned on my journey to a better understanding of good health, good food and good medicine.  I started writing here to talk about and document my experiments (with trials and errors) in the pursuit of a more traditional lifestyle.  Real food recipes, new ways to preserve foods, herbal remedies, traditional treatments and all the rest. 

I've had an interest in herbs for as long as I can remember.  It's been a long, lovely journey that has taught me so much.  As a young wife, at first it was a sort of awe...or a reserved idea that I knew they offered valuable healing properties but I was hesitant of an unhealthy interest in them for fear I would be delving into realms that would be contrary to my faith.  I felt safe buying a supplement here and there from commercial sources but couldn't bring myself to ingest anything I'd grown or wildcrafted outside the common culinary variety, even though I was learning to identify more and more plants in the wild.  And with my identification came more knowledge and an appreciation for folk remedies and herbal lore.  More faith in empirical evidence and testimony helped me put things in the proper perspective. I've realized...or just put into practice... the fact that every good and perfect gift is from above, put here for our benefit.

But, I started out with the wrong books. There are lots of books that teach about herbs and their properties and promptly advise against using them in any capacity. What good is that? What I wanted was the knowledge that would help me use God's gifts from field and forest to keep my family healthy and be more self sustaining. So, as my knowledge increased, my book choices became more informed. Much as I hate to admit it, because I'm not especially computer savvy, the Internet gave me so much encouragement. I found a little herb farm, QUIET CREEK HERB FARM AND SCHOOL OF COUNTRY LIVING  a few miles away, that offered classes and some great friendships. The world of herbal remedies and whole foods became more accessible to me through the things I learned there.  I never realized how many folks were learning the same things and sharing information through organizations like THE WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATIONNourishing Traditions quickly became a favorite book at our house.  You can find it and many of my favorite resources in the scrolling list on my sidebar.  (If you'd like to purchase any of them, simply click on the link to go directly to Amazon.  The cost to you is the same but I earn a few cents on each purchase.)  I talked with some folks who shared remedies from their childhood. My library grew and I began applying what I was learning to our everyday life and teaching my kids about the world around us and all that it offers for our benefit. I enrolled in an herbology class with ,VINTAGE REMEDIES  , who teaches from a Christian perspective, to learn even more. I've realized, too, that I don't need to throw the proverbial "baby out with the bath water" when it comes to herbal lore and application. All the wonderful characteristics of herbal remedies and pleasures are available to me without any compromises required. To God be the Glory!

Back in 1991, I had my first child.  In a effort to be a stay at home mom who could supplement our income, I started a dried flower and herb business when I lost my drafting position in the engineering dept of a local plant due to cut-backs.  Still, mostly only admiring herbs for their beauty and aroma, I crafted wreaths, arrangements and potpourri.   This led to dabbling in aromatherapy with a natural progression to essential oils.  It's been a whole new world ever since!  Our little house was full of bundles of herbs and flowers hanging to dry.  Spices and fragrances filled the air with a wonderful aroma.  My garage was soon full of hanging bundles as my gardens produced more and more.  Then, we started building our farmhouse and the garage loft quickly became my workshop.  The construction crew joked that it was the best smelling garage they'd ever worked in!

With the birth of my second child, it became harder to spend as much time in the shop and I came to the decision that it was not the season in my life to continue a business that took me away from home so much.  But I never stopped learning and it soon became clear that as much as I loved that type of craft, I could easily expand right into the soaps, teas and remedies that I've been making on a small scale for our family and as gifts for a long time.  Some of my products are gaining a healing reputation and that makes me feel so good.  I'm turning these natural elements into things that can benefit others.  It's been such a blessing to me.  There have been folks who've attempted to steal those blessings away but as my empirical evidence mounts, I realize they can't do it.

Whole foods plays such an important role in our lives now.  As you can see from the recipes here it really is all about returning to traditional ways of preparing food.  Eliminating processed, boxed, pasteurized, homogenized dead foods in favor of live food as close to it's natural state as we can get it.  What has a greater historical, traditional heritage than real food, herbal remedies and fermentation?  The Woodwife's Journal is all about my journey back to these traditional lifestyle choices. 

My journey took on a special significance when I started to realize some special health needs of my own.  There are times when I've felt like giving up but just about that time I'd begin to see positive results and gain a renewed desire to press on.  I think God is showing me a lot about myself and teaching me to rest in Him as He increases my awareness of all that He's provided if we just look for it.
 
So....all that to say a big, big "Thank you!" to everyone who's helped boost my readership!  I hope you enjoy what you're reading here and keep coming back to see what's up next.  I'd love it if you'd "follow" me so I could see who's out there.  It's really encouraging to see your faces.  Check out the blog hops and carnivals like TUESDAY TWISTER, REAL FOOD WEDNESDAY and PENNYWISE PLATTER THURSDAY that offer so much information and wonderful whole foods recipes.  Comments are welcome.  At some points, I'll offer a linking tools so you can share your favorites with other readers, too.  If you're not blogging, you can also share by leaving a comment.  Thanks so much for your support.
Sharon

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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.