Posts from the “Herbology” Category

Sick chicken update

Posted on September 14, 2018

It’s been a few weeks since one of the chickens fell sick.  Seth and I noticed that she was sitting on the ground all of the time, either unable or unwilling to move around all that much.  She got herself from the henhouse to the feeder in the mornings, and back again at night. Once it became clear that she wasn’t doing so hot, we isolated her in the spare bunny hutch and christened her Buttercup.  Because after all, you can’t call an animal Sick Chicken all the time and expect her to get better.  As one of the animal-feeding volunteers said, “Let’s put that good energy out into the universe!” Buttercup couldn’t walk without propping herself up using her wings on the ground. It…

Herbs forever

Posted on November 15, 2017

I've opened an Etsy shop for my herbs. Because the thing about herbs — I mean, I feel the need to explain since I'm the only one I know who's in love with them — is that they're some kind of magic. I was volunteering at Stearns Farm, minding my own beeswax, when I realized it. Just plugging along weeding vegetables every weekend. Then it struck me that I could learn what makes people say herbs are medicine. It seemed like a terrible waste to let Stearns's three herb gardens all die off for the winter without knowing what the heck they did. Research is always the answer. One Kindle book later, I grew obsessed with lemon balm, which seemed like an easy one…

A bit of organization

Posted on September 19, 2017

I had some rest time this weekend, and resolved to organize my herbal stuff. There's only so many times I can shift my herb bundles from counter to table and back again before the untidiness drives me to distraction. I made some space under the counter for all the herbals that will be going up for sale, and the supplies I use to make them. That's all of the essences, the herb bundles for smudging and smoke cleansing, and the little finishes I used on my daily card base. It's been interesting coming up with a storage method for the herbs. The dried flowers are fragile and can't be stacked. Right now it looks like trays are my best bet. The cupboard isn't appropriate…

Ebbs and flows

Posted on September 14, 2017

Time flies. I've had a busy few weeks, dating back to a recent acupuncture appointment. We talked about the possibility of Lyme Disease, which is no joke here in our part of Massachusetts, and since then I've felt a fire growing. Was it the words or the acupuncture treatment? Regardless, my ginger is up and all I know is that my hands want to be full of herbs. Everything else is taking a backseat to figuring out what I can do with my plants in the time I have left this season. I have some ideas in the works, plans for helping people and selling the things I've been working on. They are so pretty! And we all know that I love pretty things.…

August is for herbs

Posted on August 18, 2017

Every morning for the last week, I've woken up and thought to myself, how much will I be able to knit today? I hope it's a lot. But August has other plans of the green variety, I guess! Because when I look back at what I've done, there's been a lot more herb gathering than yarn squeezing. The garden is giving me loads of spilanthes, aka toothache plant. I wasn't sure what to do with it at first, until I learned that it makes for a quick fix for teething babies. Let them chew on a bud for 30 seconds or so without swallowing. Presto! Numb gums with reduced pain afterwards. And let me tell you, that has saved my bacon multiple times this…

It’s in the cards

Posted on August 11, 2017

This is such a little craft that it feels almost too small to post. But I figured let's share it and bring some magic into your life as well as mine. This beautiful bit of wood is a card holder for my daily herbal oracle draw. Every day, I pick a card from the deck at random to meditate on, and use this holder to display the card. The wood itself is a piece of cherry gifted to us from a friend with a lot of scraps from his wood shop. We were planning to use them to feed our wood stove, but some were big enough for small projects. Seth cut this one to my specifications, and I sealed and painted the ends…

We are a salve-y house

Posted on July 10, 2017

There’s herbalism in every corner of this house of ours. We are running low on jars but high on homemade salves and essences and all the things that make this mama feel just a wee bit more connected. And that is a very good thing.  I’ve been using The Nerdy Farm Wife’s calendula salve recipe as my leaping off point for years. Calendula is a gateway herb, I tell ya. And now with my big garden and my newly-tamed food sensitivities, I’ll be expanding out to infused vinegars and more internal medicines this year. More herbs! Where will we store them? 

The great herbalism cold and flu flow chart

Posted on March 15, 2017

I’ve been asked several times over the past few months what to do for the cold and flu.  Mostly because I’ve caught the flu twice and had a cold twice in the last few months (ah, the joys of trying to sleep while caring for a newborn), so I must have something good up my sleeve.

There are herbs that are awesome for colds and the flu!  But I’ve noticed that it does depend on what type of cold you have.  And since I was laid up again and had a lot of down time…

Cold and flu flow chart

Colds and the flu provide a low stakes way to dabble in herbs for health without spending a ton of money or getting overwhelmed.  All of these remedies are readily available at a natural foods store, pharmacy, or sometimes at your regular supermarket depending on how cool your neighborhood is.  Or you can make them yourself if you plan ahead for next season.

A note on how to use this chart: Don’t use it if you’re pregnant, lactating, have food allergies, thyroid issues, or you’re a kid younger than age 12.  Everyone should consult their doctor before taking herbs, especially if nervous about how they’ll affect you.  But I feel pretty comfortable with these remedies as they’re gentle, and I’ve recommended all of them to my family and friends.  And they work!  Better than cold medicines! Huzzah!  My favorite brands are Traditional Medicinals for the teas, Sambucol for the elderberry syrup, and homemade for fire cider (non-affiliate links).

If you’re so inclined, I’ve turned the Cold and flu flow chart into a PDF so you can print it out and stash it in your medicine cupboard.  Please use and enjoy!

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Dirigible Plums and Snargaluff Pods

Posted on October 6, 2014

Calendula.  It’s a gateway drug, I tell you.  I grew some in the garden this year as my first foray into flowers, and because I had a vague idea that I could make soap this winter.  Springtime is full of optimists.  What was I thinking?  I’m not going to make soap.  There are lots of good soapmakers already, and I’ve got a tiny house to build.  But hot damn, my calendula plant produced dozens and dozens of flowers over its lifespan, and this last bit of warm weather has lengthened its staying power. So here I am, drying out the flower heads thanks to a compulsive need to preserve as many garden products as possible.  Then it occurs to me that I have to do…