Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Herbal Tea I Make

Ever since I decided to quit taking blood pressure medicine I've been making hawthorn tea.  Hawthorn berries, flowers and leaves work together to balance blood pressure.
If you have low blood pressure it will raise it up and if it is high it will lower it.  It does work.
I have not taken blood pressure pills for 2 years now.
I quit drinking soda many years ago and usually would drink water or iced tea. I've looked for something to drink that would not be unhealthy with food dyes or additives but found nothing.
One day while at Big Lots I found a Celestial Seasonings tea called "Zinger Ice".  An herbal ice tea with no caffeine!  It has hibiscus, rosehips, roasted chicory, orange peel, verbena, stevia, blackberry and raspberry leaves.  
I've made my own blend incorporating the hawthorn I need with hibiscus, rosehip, stevia and orange peel.  No sugar and no caffeine.
I tried to send pictures by way of my phone and they've shown as loading for 2 days.  So I found pictures on the Internet.
I bought the drawstring type bags so I wouldn't have to seal them with an iron. They work really well.  Generally, one teaspoon of herb to one 8oz. cup of tea.  I fill the bag and make an infusion in a quart jar.

Hawthorn berries - 1/2 tsp.

 Hibiscus flowers -1/2 tsp.

 Dried orange peel - 1/2 tsp.

Dried Rose Hips - 1/2 tsp.
 Dried Stevia leaf - 1/2 tsp.

Dried hawthorn flower and leaf

An infusion stays steeping for at least 8 hours.  It will make a stronger tea with less herb.  I drink this twice a day for the benefits of the hawthorn.  It is a delicious tea.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Front Porch Garden

Eggplant:  This is 3 plants in an Earth Box.

I used 2 of these boxes and they are the best growing of the whole garden.  Self watering and mineral enriched soil.

I bought these 3qt buckets at the Dollar Tree to grow herbs in until I find a good place for them.  This is Spanish oregano that took FOREVER to germinate.  The thyme took a long time too though.

Lettuce leaf basil.  We love it on sandwiches and of course brushetta.  Huge mild flavor leaves.

I grew 4 different kinds of lettuce in window boxes.  This worked great.  I have been using rock dust (Azomite) which is similar to the Dolomite the Earth Boxes use.

My lemon balm has nearly disappeared from the garden.  I transplanted into a pot so I was able to relocate.  As fall temps approach I'll be more active out there making changes for the 2016 garden.  

That's all for now.  We have a lot to do today so Monday I will get more pics and give a few sneak peaks of what I plan to do during those extreme cold months ahead!

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Getting a new phone gave me a camera.  I hope this works out.  Here's the kale I've been harvesting.

                                          Oregano.  But there's more on the way!

Monday, August 24, 2015


Looking over the list of seeds I planted back in May, I'm shocked at how different a season can turn out!  The weather, once again, threw us for a loop. We had excessive amounts of rain.  Even in the raised beds, the little root feet of my baby plants let go of their mineral and rotted cow pooh enriched soil to float.
The onions rotted, parsnips never grew, either did the beans, carrots were swimmers.  We did get a few radishes.  Two kale plants and one broccoli survived the chickens.
Two tomato plants grown in an Earth Box did beautiful as well as three eggplants in an Earth box.  They are just late in maturing.  One tomato plant grown in a large container has produced several large green tomatoes.  I hope they get ripe!  We've harvested from the Earth Box tomato plants.
Two zucchini plants produced a total of 5 zucchini.  About 20 beets were harvested from the porch and 4 window boxes of lettuce are still producing.
Swiss chard took a hard hit from the rain too and the plants haven't grown to full size.
Watermelon was eaten by the chickens.


I grew 3 kinds of basil and they really started to grow about a month ago. The oregano and thyme are just now about 3 inches high.  I've transplanted them into Dollar Tree buckets that I drilled drainage holes into.  
The cat mint grew really nice.  I'm planting it all around the yard because it's supposed to repel flea beetles.  Also harvesting seed from basil, cat mint and dill.
Just a few seedlings of cilantro.  It took a couple months to germinate!  Wow. It might have enough time to grow.  I can cover it to lengthen the season and then bring it in the house when it gets too cold.

Gutter garden and Earth Boxes made all the difference.  I bought the Earth Boxes for $23.00 each at Big Lots 2 years ago and they sold out.  I don't want to spend $50.00 on them.

It was so much easier 20 years ago when I had all the sun necessary shining on my garden.  I hope that the changes we are making now will last 20 years!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What a great morning!  The weather at 6:30 AM was perfect for getting out into the garden and dig.  I finally accumulated everything I needed to work the beds and frame them in so the chickens don't eat everything I plant.

I'm still not done but next weekend should be the last of seed planting and structure building.  In the raised beds I will have:

  • Kale  (seedlings are on porch)
  • Broccoli  (seedlings are on porch)
  • carrots
  • onions
  • parsnips
  • beets
  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • bush beans
  • garlic is up and about 8" tall in a bed of its own
I have basil seed from last year that I'll start after my morning run on Tuesday.  I'm all booked up with doing driver's recertifications from Monday through Thursday.  I also have dill to plant.

On the window sill there's 3 kinds of tomatoes and the Japanese eggplant that I like.  They'll go in the bucket garden.

I'm not sure where the squash will go yet.  I also have broccoli raab but where to put it?  Flea beetles will attack that with a vengeance.  Maybe on the porch?

Till next time...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I have an update for my storage drawers project.  I still want to add some ephemera but this will just have to happen as inspiration (and time) allow.  

I also have finished another desk project that involves storage.  Tin cans!. I'm keeping all those things I use most often that I normally have to hunt and dig for which wastes tons of time and is irritating.  

I do buy the patterned paper when I either have a coupon or it goes on sale. I try to recycle as many things for a project as I can.

Then, I made a lazy susan type base to glue my cans to but couldn't come up with a grouping I liked that would fit so it's waiting in the wings for a use.
The wood base was $3.50 at Joanne's; lazy Susan mechanism was $4.95 @ Home Depot;  I cut 2 pieces of chipboard and glued them together for the round platform that I covered in paper and trim.  

I've also been busy in the garden.  We have kale, broccoli and fava beans up that need to be transplanted.  Tomatoes haven't sprouted yet.  Beds are all ready for planting but I may add more rock dust.

So many things are in the works and/or have been done that I'll need to designate more time for posting! I will catch up.

I'm also working more at my job than I had planned but it may be a God thing.  I haven't been able to purchase the food I want for the chickens because of the expense.  Now I will be able to.

I've taken an interest in making various kinds of books and must say, it's my favorite craft and hobby!  I'm considering selling them as a way to be at home more and concentrating on building that homestead.  Can't very well take care of animals if you aren't at home.  So much change to deal with.  It feels right though so I'm just believing, again, that it's God's will for us.

I'll get some garden pictures when I am able.  Take care!