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Monday, April 23, 2012

I love hearing from you!

It's so nice to hear from folks who are reading my blog!  I've made some cyber friends that way and I appreciate each and every one of you.  I've tried to make it easy for my readers to leave a comment without having to jump through too many hoops.  Spam filters seem to work fairly well and I'm amazed at the number of comments (and their content) that are stopped in that file.
All this to say that while I realize that some of you would rather comment anonymously, I am going to stop posting those comments that I can't link back to.  In other words, if I click on the "from" and get an error or can't find the sender, due to abuse, I'm going to delete them along with the spam.  I'm sorry to have to do this but I suspect spammers are finding new ways to thwart the system.  Most likely, the spammers will never read this anyway but in case there are those who post legitimate comments anonymously, I apologize if your comment is deleted.  It may be that some of the comments coming through are losing something is translation that make them sound suspicious but....well, I hope you understand.

If you have any thoughts on this problem, please let me know as I'm learning as I go.

I really do enjoy hearing from you so please continue to let me know you're out there!
Thanks for reading my thoughts here at the Woodwife's Journal!

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Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Upcycling Plastic in the Garden

With all the publicity about toxins and xenoestrogens that enter our food when we use plastic for food storage, I'm making a few changes.  I've always used canning jars to store lots of things from kefir to yogurt to leftovers and they work great.  But sometimes you need a different shape or size so I purchased some glass containers with plastic lids.
  They are great...until they hit my stone floor!  So I had a nice, sturdy, plastic lid without a home.  I put in in my stash of things that I know, in my bones, will come in handy some day.  Sometimes I'm right and sometimes it's just a sickness.  Click here to join Pack Rats Anonymous!
A few weeks later, as I stared once again at the lidless milk jugs I was getting ready for my raw milk run, I thought, "There has to be a better way!"
A light bulb lit in the back of my mind and began to illuminate a great idea!
Remember the old paper milk bottle discs that came from the dairy?  Why couldn't I make my own with some plastic circles cut from that sturdy red lid I'd saved?
 So I did and they work great!!!
The little tab on each one makes it easier to pull out of the bottle top.

I love it when a plan comes together!
This week, as we were planting seeds indoors, I realized that I didn't have any markers for the flats.  The allusive box of craft sticks was hiding, again.  So I started looking around in my stash box.  Remember the old ice cream buckets?  Yes, back in the day I bought ice cream in them!  Since then the buckets have made their rounds and been used for all kinds of things, broken stained and lost.  Enter the lids!

I cut the rim off the edge and started by cutting the circle in half.

By continuing to half each pie shaped wedge until the circular side was about 3/4 inch wide, I ended up with a nice handful of plant tags that worked well in my seed packs.

You could do this with any larger size circular plastic lid like those on coconut oil buckets or even ~gasp~ Cool Whip tubs.  Oh!  How about the large yogurt tubs from the store?  You could cut the sides into wedges!  Use your imagination to recycle plastic instead of disposing of it.

Sharing this post with the folks @ The Homestead Barnhop #59

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Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scented Notes

PhotobucketHave you ever walked in to a room and been immediately transported to a time and place in the past simply because of a scent in the air?  A certain perfume, aromas from the kitchen, wood smoke or the smell of a workshop.  Scents and smells are often connected to memories, hopefully good ones, that make us feel at home.
We can use pleasing scents to cover bad odors or give ourselves, our home, our clothing or hair a fragrance that will be pleasing to others.  We can even use aromatherapy to create moods or increase and maintain health.
How do you use scents to create a pleasing environment in your home....your car....near you?  Here are some ideas we use in our home.
Essential Oils
Room Sprays
Refreshing powders
Herbal Soaps
and more...

As each topic goes live, the links above will be activated. 
We'll be exploring and learning more about each of these techniques over the following months and sharing some tips, how-tos and applications...maybe even a guest post or two.   I hope you'll join me as I share more tales fromScented Notes.

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Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chinese Tea Eggs

It's always fun to try new things...especially around the holidays.  This year we decided to try our hand at Chinese Tea Eggs!  Recipes can be found all over the web but here's the one we followed:
The process was fairly simple but a little more time consuming than traditional egg coloring.

Here's what we did:
First the eggs (recipe calls for 6-8 but we did 12 -some were bantam) are boiled for 5-7 minutes.
Rinsed in cool water and allowed the sit for a few minutes in more cold water.
With the back of a spoon, gently tap the shell to create spider web like cracks all over the egg.
Cover with cool water.
To that add 1/3 cup soy sauce (no msg)
2 tsp salt
3-4 tsp black tea
Recipe calls for Chinese five-spice but we didn't have it so we used the alternative.
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Return the pan to the stove and simmer, covered, for one hour (two is better!)
Eat the eggs right away or continue to marinate in a jar in the fridge.
They are pretty and taste good but I'm thinking next time I'll try Teriyaki instead of or in addition to the soy sauce.
The process intrigued me so I thought I'd try the same thing with my pickled eggs w/ beets.
The result was a subtle tie-dyed effect that was pretty but not worth the time because I'd rather peel the eggs before they're marinated in beet juice!

Here's another post from that intrigues me!
Natural food dyes for deep, rich, earthy colored Easter eggs!

Aren't they beautiful?!

Let's not forget the reason we celebrate Easter and what Good Friday means to those who claim the Cross!
 Happy Easter, Everyone!
I'm sharing this post with the folks @ Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Golden Milk w/ Turmeric ~ Yummy and So Good for You!

Golden Milk: An Ancient & Healing Remedy

by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years for countless ailments. In recent years it has also caught the attention of western researchers and there are many studies touting its many benefits.

Some benefits include...

Digestion and the liver (Ulcers, diverticulitis, flatulence, leaky gut)

Heart heath (High blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol)

Immune support (Cancer, colds and flu, bronchitis)

Musculoskeletal strength and flexibility (Joint disorders, arthritis, pain)

Nervous system (Pain, Alzheimer's)

Wound healing and healthy skin (Eczema, psoriasis)

Diabetes and Menstruation difficulties

Turmeric is pretty astonishing!

I learned this basic recipe from Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa and I often suggest it to my clients with a lot of success.

K.P. Khalsa has a new course coming out this week called Culinary Herbalism.

This recipe is in two parts. First we make the paste and then we’ll explore how to use it.

To make the turmeric paste you’ll need:

1/4 cup of turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper

1/2 cup of water

Measure out the ingredients. The additional pepper makes the turmeric more bioavailable, meaning that you use less for better results. At these measurements the pepper is about 3% of the mixture.

Next add the powders and the water to a small sauce pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste. This won’t take long!

Let this mixture cool and then keep it in a small jar in the fridge.

Now we’ll look at a variety of ways to use this mixture.

Golden Milk

To make Golden Milk you’ll need...

1 cup of milk (or milk substitute if you don’t consume dairy)

1 teaspoon almond oil, ghee or olive oil...I use coconut.

1/4 teaspoon or more of turmeric paste

honey to taste

Combine all the ingredients (except honey) in a saucepan and while stirring constantly heat the mixture until just before it boils.

Add honey to taste.

Other suggestions... this could be made into a smoothie. When blended it creates a beautifully foamy drink. Fruit could be added. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on top, etc. Experiment and enjoy!

Other options for turmeric paste

Add a small dollop of the paste on top of crackers and cheese.

Spread the paste on sandwich bread and continue with sandwich ingredients.

The best way to get our medicine is in our food.

Sharing with Wildcrafting Wednesday #36

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Much herbal love,

A passion for organics

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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.