Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweet Medicine! Making Garlic Honey

Garlic is a common kitchen herb with many medicinal uses. It can helps resolve colds, coughs, sore throats, and sinus infections. Externally it can be used for skin infections. For chronic concerns, Garlic helps reduce blood sugar and high blood pressure. It is also helpful to treat Malaria and boost immunity for AIDS. It is famous as a de-wormer. I remember my grandpa taking it powdered on everything. The fresh garlic is the most potent to use medicinally, but I am just not one of those people who can handle a raw clove. The first time I tried raw garlic was in Belize. One of the locals was taking it raw and suggested I try it. Too strong for me! I could barely stand it. The last time I tried raw garlic was when I was really sick with a head cold. I chewed, swallowed and abruptly started into a cold sweat, drooling and was about ready to throw up. I given up on raw garlic for myself. Now I use either cooked garlic or garlic in the sweet medicine form: Garlic Honey.

It's very simple to make Garlic honey for medicinal or culinary use. All you do is chop up a whole garlic bulb: peel and chop the cloves. Chopping helps release the most potent chemical ingredient in garlic is Allicin. Allicin is created when Allin reacts with the enzyme Allinase, which is activated when garlic is chopped or crushed. After your cloves are ready, put them in a clean pint jar. Cover with honey. I used raw wild flower honey. It takes a long time for the honey to seep through all the chopped cloves. So pour slowly.

You can use a knife or a chop stick to get the air bubbles out from among the chopped cloves. The next step is to cover and label and date your jar and put it up in a cupboard for 2-4 weeks. You can use the honey with or with out the garlic at the end of this time. The shelf life of Garlic honey is 3 months. You can take this honey by the spoonful or add it to tea if you have a cough, cold or sore throat.

I love making coleslaw dressing with garlic honey. You can give it a try:

3 tablespoons of herbal vinegar of your choice
3 tablespoons of Virgin Olive or Coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons of garlic honey
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix the above together and cover with 4 cups of shredded cabbage and 1 cup of shredded carrot. Toss and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Garlic on Foodista

This blog post is part of a sweet medicine blog party hosted by Kiva Rose.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Harvest: Yard Long Beans and Black Eyed Peas

It's harvest time at the Fair Share Garden. In recent weeks we've been picking yard long beans and black eyed peas. These yard long beans are from seeds that I purchased from Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO). The seed pack included both the green and purple/black yard long variety. My beans at home have not take off quite as nicely as these at the Fair Share Garden. They really get long when they have a nice fence to grow on. I eat them fresh. One of our volunteers at the garden told me that she used to cook them whole in green curry sauce.

We've also been harvesting black eyed peas. We have been harvesting them when the shells turn brown and the peas inside feel hard. It is best not to wait until they are getting all wrinkled and withered from the rain. They tend to get moldy and difficult to shell when that happens. Here we are shelling black eyed peas. I don't particularly care for them much myself, but my husband likes them boiled and put over corn bread. It must be a southern thing. The beans have to be soaked over night before being cooked.

Here we are at home shelling black eyed peas.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Creation of the Fair Share Garden's Rainbow Sundial

Today I had so much fun at the garden. I helped Fair Share Garden volunteer Jason Aufdenberg paint a second layer of Acrylics onto his Rainbow Sundial. Jason, pictured below, is a professor of Astronomy at Daytona's Embry Riddle University. We are so lucky to have him. He also gave us a free Garden Sundial workshop back in the Spring.

Here are Jason and Joel Tippes laying down the hour line guides for the sundial. This sundial is set to day light savings time. The hour lines we put down in rainbow colors. Next we will add month markers in black.

I put a double coat on 9 o'clock through 2 o'clock. I felt like I was having too much fun for a grown-up painting a functional rainbow in the middle of a beautiful garden. This is a morning and early afternoon sundial.

Here is a little video I took of us finishing up the painting. We are going to let it dry out for 72 hours and then add a sealer over the hour lines. Of course the herbalist in me couldn't help doing a quick pan over to the herb spiral before the memory ran out on my little camera. It is fun to have discovered the video function on my little HP camera.

Next up I will be posting with pictures of summer vegetables from the Fair Share Garden. We've been harvesting yard long beans and black eyed peas most recently.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Skin Soothing Balm Winner & Herbal Balm Sale!

Congratulations to Linda B who won my Skin Soothing Balm contest. If you didn't win, but would still like to try this Skin Soothing Balm or any of my other herbal salves then you are in luck! I am having a special sale on herbal salves this week during the Go Green Etsy Twitter Team Sale. All my herbal salves are 15% off. If there are any salves you would like to try then you can place your order and comment that you would like 15% off for the GGETT sale and I will send a paypal refund, or you can request an adjusted paypal invoice with your order.

You might find this one useful this time of year. Lavender Sesame Sun Burn Salve on sale 15% off along with all other herbal salves:

Also check out Linda B's Etsy Shop while you are at it. Linda is another Etsy Twitter Team Member who is offering 20% off purchases of $7 or more during the Go Green Etsy Twitter Sale. Linda makes upcycled bottle cap jewelry, among other things.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun Weekend: Watermelon Day at the Farmer's Market and Raw Potluck

Yesterday was super fun and and busy. The Fair Share Garden volunteers met at the Daytona City Island farmer's market for Watermelon Day instead of the garden. GoGreenDaytona was kind enough to share their tent with us. We passed out free watermelon, painted faces, promoted the garden, sold fair trade crafts and soaps and balms.

Here is my little sweet pea Moira with her face painted by artist and Fair Share Gardener Lucy Csihas. Moira was getting ready to win the 2nd kid's watermelon relay contest, and her picture is in the Daytona Beach New's Journal today. She and her team mates won a free smoothie for thier effort from the Avocado Kitchen in downtown Daytona. Not to be outdone, I was first in line for the women's watermelon relay. I'm not too proud to race for smoothies. I'm often downtown on the same block near to Avocado Kitchen at Mandala Bookstore. I made certain that all the ladies on my team ran barefoot instead of in flip flops. Our team won, and Moira was terribly excited for me. She has quite a competitive streak.

I had a fun time passing out samples of my new Fair trade coffee soap. I finally met Naomi who runs the City farmer's market and she asked me if I would like to set up there. I have been wanting to set up there for a long time, so hopefully I can become a regular at the market starting around September or October when the heat and humidity reach a more reasonable level for my soaps. Most of my products I kept in a dry ice chest for the morning.

Ms. Ocie and her family are my favorite vendors at the farmer's market. The make jams and other preserves, and I get all my honey from them for making elixirs and syrups. I have been buying from them for six years, and they gave me Onsies for Moira when she was born. They represent the best of our local family businesses.

Saturday night we also went to the Daytona Raw Food Potluck. This is fun group, and John's hosted in a primo location. Check out the view from the clubhouse. I am managed to catch a little bit of the lightening storm on my camera before I ran out of memory.

This was my second time to the Carribean Clubhouse. We sampled Jack fruit and an amazing raw chocolate made with Coconut oil, Carob, Cacoa, Coconut, Agave and Stevia. I made a holy basil pudding with Avacado, Banana, Chocolate mint, Moringa, and Stevia. Erin Elizabeth was kind enough to introduce me and my products to her friends at the party, so I'm happy to return the favor. Check out her amazing raw food retreat in St. Augustine.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thanks so Much! Premio Meme Blog Award. A bit about me.

I just received a fun blog award from Linda B's Jewelry. So I'm going to pass it along just for fun to some other blogs that I like.

Here's how it works...

I'm going to share seven facts about myself and then pass on the award to seven other happy bloggers! Seven facts about me:

1. I always wanted to live near the ocean when I was younger, and now I do.
2. I'm an early bird.
3. My favorite color is green.
4. I like Sci Fi/ Fantasy books and fiction. I'm currently on a Marion Zimmer Bradley reading binge.
5. My favorite soap is my Ocean Wave Sea Salt Soap.
6. I am slightly organizationally challenged, and am constantly working toward becoming more orderly for the sake of efficiency.
7. I'm a double Gemini. Maybe that relates to #6. :)

I would like to pass this award along to the following great bloggers:

Yellow Finch Designs
Magic Markings Art
Deb's Gift Boutique
Garden Plum
Cournty Windows
Witchen Kitchen

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekend Pictures from Maggies Herb Farm: Next Herbal Medicine Making Class August 8th

Over the weekend I took a wonderful trip up to Maggie's Herb farm in St. Augustine. Amazingly this was my first trip to the farm, and I'm very happy that I will have many opportunities for return visits. I spent the day at the farm teaching my Salve and Balm making class to a group of eight students who learned the basics of infused oil and balm making. We harvested fresh Mugwort, Lemon grass, and Rosemary for a pain relief salve. We also made sweet orange lip balms and a Comfrey-Yarrow skin soothing salve. Our class was held in the lovely gift shop at the farm, which is filled with dried herbs, ceramic plant markers and decorations.

Maggie's Herb farm is owned by Dora Baker, here she is with her very talkative friend Gracie in one of the green houses.

One of my favorite flower's were in bloom at the farm. The beautiful Passiflora incarnta is pictured below.

More than half of the participants signed up for my August 8th Herbal Medicine making class. There are still four spots left though. Would you like to join us?

Learn the basic methods for herbal home medicine making for your family. This is a hands on class in which you gather herbs from the farm for making tinctures, liniments and a cough syrup. We will focus on methods for making preparations, properties of herbs used during the class including Mints, Mugwort, Lemon grass and more. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Fee $35 bring a sack lunch. Please pre-register by calling the farm: 904-829-0722

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Go Green Etsy Twitter Team Sale Starts Next Week!

The Etsy Twitter Team is throwing an eco-party, and everyone is invited!

From July 21st to July 27th, the authority on Twitter for all things handmade will be offering a summer feast of cool eco-friendly tips, suggestions, awesome handcrafted genius and a scavenger hunt with lots of “green” prizes for the winners.

Beginning on Tuesday, July 21st, our blog will have a list of participating shops that feature eco-friendly handmade items and more details about the fun scavenger hunt. See you there!!

I have donated one of my eco-friendly all natural soaps as a prize for the scavenger hunt, and will be offering a special sale in my Etsy Shop next week. I hope you will check back to participate.

Graphic created by Susan Brown of SalonDArte

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Keeping Chickens Healthy with Herbs: Deworming and Parasite Prevention

Backyard chickens are becoming extremely popular. And 'free-range' sounds all the more natural and healthy. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way that free range chickens are also more susceptible to parasites from wild bird droppings. Using herbs only it appears I have almost won out the battle against parasites.

I woke up up 4th of July morning to find dropping with roundworms! Yuck! I suppose I should have guessed at this possibility as I was noticing that the earlobes and eggs from my grey Araucana Meenie were fading from a pretty baby blue to an off white over a period of about 2 weeks. She also had loose stools that I thought were related to poor health from all the rainy weather we have been having. For some reason I did not make the connection though. Two of my herbal friend's with more chicken experience suggested a chemical wormer for the birds, being wary of treatment with herbs only, but I was very encouraged by this article that I found about naturally worming chickens. I felt like I should try with herbs first, and given that it was a holiday, and the following day was a Sunday, my options were limited as to what I could purchase. I remembered from my herbal training as well as from Juliette Levy's Farm and Stable Handbook that garlic was the number one choice for treatment of chickens with round worms. So I immediately stockpiled a batch. I had been giving them garlic on occasion previously, but they really didn't seem to eat it so I had been sticking to apple, eggs, various weeds and watermelon as extra treats for them. No more. From now on garlic will be a staple.

I am on day nine of treating all the birds for worms and at this point today I am very encouraged that the results are good. I have not seen any more worms since the first day, then two days ago my husband said he saw the Araucana still had loose stools, today I was so excited to see she had a normal formed stool. This is very encouraging and I hope that we can avoid the chemical de-wormer all together. The following is what I have been doing to help the birds:

Day 1: Made a strong garlic tea with 6 cloves of crushed garlic and 1/2 cup of boiling water. Cooled the tea and fed each of the 5 birds about 3 droppers full of tea. Repeated this process again once that day. Mixed about 1/4 cup of this strained tea with one gallon of water and replaced regular water with this solution.

Days 2- 8 (present): Made a cold infusion of crushed garlic in 1/2 cup of water. Again I mixed about 1/4 cup of this strained tea with one gallon of water and replaced regular water with this solution. I made sure that the chickens did not have access to any other rain water during this time. Next was the Chicken egg salad! It is getting a little tiresome to make but the chickens love it. I hard boil their eggs chop up 2 or 2 of them with the shell left on, plus minced garlic, chopped onion and elderberry leaves. Onion and Elderberry leaves were two other anti-parasitic herbs suggested in Juliette Levy's book. She had a number of other suggestions a few of which included adding bramble leaves, wormwood, rue, and hyssop as available. The chickens seem to not mind the garlic anymore now that it is mixed in with eggs. My other two mature hens, the gold Buff Orpington "Buffy" and the Rhode Island Red "Fifi" both laid two eggs the day after they had their first egg salad.

Ongoing: I plan to keep up the above treatment for the next 6 days or so. Then I am going to switch to just adding minced or powdered garlic to the feed on an ongoing basis. I am considering to continue treatment with the Arucana, however to be extra cautious. I will probably give her droppers full of garlic tea for a few days for an extra week or so, and then monitor her stools to see if they stay normal and formed.

I am very interested to see if anyone has any positive outcomes for prevention and treatment of parasites in chickens with herbs only. Please leave a comment if you have anything to share.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Home Away from Home Summer Garden Pictures

My mom has a lovely flower and Herb Garden in Washington State. I love buying plants for her while I'm there or taking cuttings for her to grow of herbs that I can't maintain in the Florida heat. Today she sent me some great pictures of her garden and some of the plants I gave her while I was there in May. The first picture is a view of the garden from the back porch. My aunt made the great window frame for her from salvaged materials and it was installed while I was there this Spring.

The Calendula and Nasturtiums that I picked up while I was there are looking fabulous. My mom is saving the Calendula blossoms for me. I use Calendula petals my Skin Soothing Balm. Calendula has been impossible for me to grow in Florida heat, but I may give it one more try here this fall as a winter crop. The nasturtiums would are a great colorful addition to salads.

Have you ever seen Hens and Chicks (Sedum) in Bloom? I think these are the same plants I gave my mom about 9 years ago. Wow! So long.

Summer Weeds: Herbal Blog Party!

This week Darcey of Blue Turtle Botanical's is hosting a Summer Weeds Blog party. Be sure to drop in and check out all the great herbal blog posts including posts on Nettle seeds by Kiva Rose, Cottonwood by Dreamseeds, Mullein, Garlic Mustard and more! In case you missed it, Darcy has included my earlier Mulberry post in the blog party.