Showing posts from December, 2017

Off Grid Laundry

To start off with I need to make clear that I do not always do my laundry like this as our solar power is enough to run my electric machine most of the year round and we are still connected to public power so my electric machine is what gets used more than anything. However, there are those dark days in mid winter where we get little solar collection and get frequent power outages on the public service side of things.  I also do not have any grand illusions that nothing with ever go wrong with our solar power to where that is unavailable to me. Plus, one never knows when the electric machine will decide to break down - other than the inevitable fact it will happen in the middle of running a load. Thus, it is important for me to have a back up plan for doing laundry. This was the main reason why we put this set up together.  Of course one does not just set up such things and wait for a disaster to happen to start using.  It is very important to know how to use it and be prac

Wonderful Uses and Benefits of Wooly Lamb's Ear

Wooly Lamb's Ear (Stachys Byzantina) is another one of the many multi purpose herbs that the more self reliant types should consider growing if they are not already. If you are already growing this lovely, velvety plant, maybe you can learn something new from this article.   One of my Lamb's Ear plants in my West herb garden The soft leaves make a great bandage because they are absorbent, antibacterial, and antiseptic. They also have anti-fungal properties which is what gives them the ability to help cure candida overgrowth. It can be used to treat cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites and stings. I have used it on several occasions with a bit of chewed up yarrow or plantain in the middle of the leaf and held onto the wound with a a bit of gauze, loosely wrapped ace bandage, or even a small rubber band. The bruised or dried leaves can be brewed into a tea and taken internally to help treat many things such as internal bleeding, soothing sore throats, candida

Foraged Food and Medicine: Benefits of Chicken of the Woods and Salal

A few months ago, Patrick and I went out hunting chantrelle mushrooms that grow abundantly in our neck of the woods.  Though we did not find any that time what we DID find was Chicken of the Woods and that was very exciting to me as I had yet to try it but had been meaning to for some time. While we were out, we went ahead and gathered some salal greens and berries for using in medicinal tinctures. Here is our little cooler full of the goodies we brought home that day Of course, being who I am, I looked up the health benefits of this wild mushroom and as could be expected with pretty much any foraged food, it is packed full of goodness such as protein, fiber, and vitamins B, C, D, and K. Those last two being especially great when you live in a place where we get little sun and really need that vitamin D. Equally important is that it also is high in vitamin K as vitamins D and K need to be taken together to get the full benefits out of them. This is why I believe

Grape Leaves Health Benefits and Uses

In the late spring my grape vines around my deck go crazy and end up covering my solar lights within a matter of a few days and then start to shade too much of the plants on my deck so I need to get busy and start pruning them back so my lights and plants can get some sun.  A few of years ago, I had decided to look into grape leaves to find out what uses they might have and was pleased to find they are not only edible, but loaded with nutrients and benefits to health. So now when I prune, I do not just throw out those precious greens, I dehydrate them for future uses! In the summer when I am making lots of vinegar, I like to use the larger grape leaves to cover my fruit and herbs in order to keep them under the water while brewing. A batch of rose petal vinegar just being started They also are great for adding to cucumbers when pickling to help keep them crisp. A batch of my lacto fermented pickles I have added the young, more tender leaves to salad