Friday, November 23, 2012

Growing Herbs

My first encounter with growing herbs was a few years ago, when I bought a potted parsley plant and put in my kitchen window.  I had no idea whether it would live or not, because we do not get much sun in that window, but it was the only place to put it.  Thankfully, it lived for about a year before it bolted.  Last year, I decided to try to grow several herbs in our new raised garden beds and also grow a few pots worth.  This last summer was a very hard on gardens in my area.  Some things came up and thrived, but some did not.  I was ok with that, after all it is a learning process and even the seasoned gardeners and farmers were struggling.  One herb that thrived pretty well was my chamomile.  I was really happy with the results. 

Anyways, I really enjoyed growing herbs and would like to expand the varieties that I am growing.  I would like to have herbs for both culinary and medical purposes.  Right now, learning about medical herbs is my big thing, so I would love to have fresh herbs on hands.  I have compiled a list of sites that specialize in herb seeds to share with my readers.  Here are the sites that I have found.  Keep in mind, I have not ordered from these companies yet, but plan to in the near future.

The book I am using to learn about herbal medicine is:

Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
I feel this book explains things well and is easy to use. As always, I would encourage anyone who is interested in medical herbalism, to talk to their family doctor before beginning. Herbs are medications and should not be treated lightly. If you are interested in this book for yourself, you can check it out at Amazon.

Herbal knowledge is a good homesteading skill to have. I am just at the beginning stages. I hope to learn a lot more over the years. I plan to post more about this in the future. What's more, you don't have to live in the country to learn herbs, you can live just about anywhere.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Your Custom Homestead Sale

Your Custom Homestead
Hello!  Sorry it's been so long. :(  I've been so busy the last several months, that blogging had to take a back seat.  I hope I will have more time now because I really enjoy blogging.  I wanted to let you know about a special deal that is coming. On November 23rd through midnight on November 25th, Your Custom Homestead is going to be on sale for only $2.50.  I thought I would let you know about it, since it is a great deal.  Your Custom Homestead is a great way to get started on homesteading.  It can be used by anyone whether they live in the city, suburbs or in the country.  It is not a how to book, it is a book that helps you develop your own homesteading plan no matter your circumstances and no matter where you live.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Herbal Tea


June was botanical challenge with the Urban Farm Handbook Challenge.  This year, was my first year of having a small herb garden.  Several herbs that I am growing are chamomile, stevia, parsley, two types of basil, two types of mint, and dill.  I decided for the challenge, I was going to make a tea from fresh herbs from my garden.  I used chamomile, stevia, mint and spearmint.  I was unsure of how much to use of each of the plant, but I just used what I could spare.  The plants are still fairly small.  Then I brewed it in hot water.  Well, I brewed it way too long! lol!!  It was so weak looking, so I kept brewing it. lol!!!  I also made the mistake of adding some liquid stevia, since I didn't add much of the leaves.  That made the stevia too strong.  I think it would have been better with just the stevia leaves.  I plan to try this again soon, but next time limit the brew time to 5-7 minutes no matter how weak it looks and leave out the liquid stevia. 

For more Urban Farm Handbook Challenges, go to this blog post.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dandelion Cookies

Well, it is time for my wrap-up for May's Urban Farm Challenge.  This month it was on foraging. Honestly, I don't do a lot of foraging and this is really out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do the challenge. :)  I harvested dandelion buds from my yard.  We have a ton of them.  I put some on my salad one day and it was really good.  I just put the yellow petals. And then I made dandelion cookies.  I wasn't crazy about them.  My oldest son liked them and one of my friends, but my little guy and husband did not.  I think I will try them again in the future, but use more sweetener like maybe some coconut sugar.  They just weren't sweet enough and were kinda bland.  My oldest son also suggested adding some raisins and I think that may help them be more tasty to us. 

Well, if you want to join the Urban Farm Challenge, then go on over to Sustainable Eats blog.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Urban Farm Challenge- Seed Starting

Well, I didn't do a lot of planting in April.  I had gotten most of my spring stuff done in February and March and my summer stuff wasn't ready to plant until May, but I wanted to take part in the Urban Farm Challenge, so...  I got this tiny little plot planted. :) I have never tried growing beans in the garden before.  My only experience with growing beans is those weird experiments you do with your kids that usually end up a moldy mess.  I plan on planting beans this year and lots of them, but most of them I was saving to plant in May.  I went ahead and planted this little place and if it grows, I will have Scarlet Runner beans growing up my privacy fence.  I really hope they grow!  Not only can you eat Scarlet Runner Beans, but they provide red flowers that can attract hummingbirds.  How fun!  I planted these so when you look out our back windows, you can see them.  So far, they have not sprouted, but I'm not giving up hope.

How am I doing with the rest of my homesteading goals?  Well, I have come to the conclusion that I was trying to do too much to soon.  I even gave myself tennis elbow making sourdough.  lol!!!  I am trying to rush myself.  I need to learn to pace myself and take it one step at a time.  So right now, I am concentrating on my gardens and learning about herbs.  I am hoping to get some fruit trees and berry bushes, but that is still up in the air. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Homesteading Binder

The e-book (Your Custom Homestead) that I am following in my journey to become a better suburban homesteader encourages you to build a homesteading binder.  This is the front cover of my binder.  I of course, loved the opportunity to dig out my scrapbooking stuff!  I was already planning to put together a homesteading binder, but this e-book gave me the kick in the rear I needed to get it started.  Here is a picture of the inside (kinda plain still):

The sections that I have so far are:
  • Goals
  • Local Farmers and Resources
  • Grains and Dairy
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Articles
I would like this binder to not only be an organizing tool for me now, but also a way for me to plan for the future and to help me keep track of everything I am learning.  

You can read more about my goal of becoming a suburban homesteader and one of the guides that I am using in my last post: here

Monday, March 5, 2012

Your Custom Homestead

Your Custom Homestead

I recently purchased this e-book called Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger. I am really happy with the purchase and think it will help me stay on track on developing my suburban homestead.  My problem is I tend to want to live in the future.  I hope to someday be able to buy a nice size piece of property a little out into the country, but right now that just is not possible.  I need to be content and work toward developing my homesteading skills right now instead of what I wish could be.  This e-book helps you to do that, develop your homestead no matter where you live.  This is not a book on how to homestead, it is a book to help you develop yourself as a homesteader.  It goes through 21 days and has assignments each day to do that.  The assignments seem easy to do and makes me want to just right in and work on them.  This e-book was only $4.99.  I couldn't find the price on the website, so I was a bit wary of ordering it, but I figured if I didn't like the price I could back out before the order went through.  I was pleasantly surprised when the cost showed up at $4.99.  I figured, what did I have to loose?  Anyways, I am glad that I got it because it seems to be just what I was needing to get more focused.  I plan to post some of my results to this book online.  I would encourage you to take a look at this e-book: Your Custom Homestead.