Dried Botanical Herbs

I love to use my herbs fresh but sometimes it just isn’t practical so I like to have a good selection of dried medicinal herbs on hand. There are so many uses for them and it’s a good feeling to know they are right at my fingertips if I need them.

I’m not going into individual uses for the dried herbs I have on hand right now because, for the most part, each herb can be used for many different problems. I’m just going to list what I have on hand in case you are finding it difficult to buy what you need.

These herbs can be purchased by the ounce by emailing me before 6pm on a Friday preceeding the Saturday Old Miakka Farmer’s Market and then picked up at the market on Satuday from 9-2. If you don’t see something you need on the list, contact me and I’ll try my best to have it.

These herbs are all certified organic and are $2.00 per ounce unless noted otherwise.

DRIED HERB AVAILABILITY LIST
Arnica Flowers ($16.00 per oz.)
Calendula Flowers
Catnip leaf
Chickweed
Cilantro Leaf
Comfrey Leaf
Comfrey Root
Cramp Bark ($4.75 per oz.)
Goldenseal Root Powder ($16.00 per oz.)
Horse Chestnut
Horsetail
Lobelia ($4.50 per oz.)
Marshmallow powder
Milk Thistle Seed powder
Olive Leaf
Peppermint Leaf
Plantain Leaf
Raspberry Leaf
Slippery Elm Powder
Wild Cherry Bark

Drinking Herb Tea with a Purpose

Did you know herbal teas are more than a comfort drink on a cold winter’s day? Most can be enjoyed hot or cold and, depending on the blend, have wonderful, nourishing & healthful uses.

Making an herbal infusion
“Tea” is actually an infusion made by taking 1 or 2 teaspoons of herbal material, placing it in to the brewing utensil of your choice, adding 16 to 32 oz. of lightly boiled water, cover and allow to “steep” for 5 minutes, strain and drink. If a more “medicinal” effect is desired, allow to steep for 15 to 30 minutes. I always add some raw, local honey as I like my herb tea a bit sweet and enjoy the healthful benefits of raw honey whenever I have an excuse.

I have 4 wonderful blends of delicious herbal tea available right now. They are in loose-leaf form and are certified organic or are wildharvested. I am offering them at the Old Miakka Farmer’s Market by the ounce in bulk containers so you can scoop out as much or little as you would like.

IMMUNI-TEA
There are so many ways that our immune system can be overwhelmed…air, water, workplace, stress, etc. This blend is not only helpful, but comforting, strengthening and delicious.
Contains: Organic Red Clover blossoms, organic Nettle leaf, Pau d’ Arco bark, organic Alfalfa, organic Sage leaf, organic St. John’s Wort and a hint of organic Ginger root.

BLOSSOMS of HEALTH
Beautiful to look at, deliciously tasty and, it’s good for you. An energizing and uplifting infusion blend.
Contains: Organic Ginkgo leaf, organic Red Clover leaf and flower, Nettle leaf, organic Meadowsweet, organic Calendula flower, organic Chamomile flower, organic Lavender flower, organic Gotu Kola leaf, and a pinch of organic Stevia.

EASY DAY TEA
A truly superb, and herbaliciously simple beverage, this tea can be enjoyed by young and old alike, in the evening, during the day, hot or iced. With just the right hint of berry and mint, it is inspiring and tasty!
Contains: Organic Blackberry leaf, organic Linden leaf and flower, organic Peppermint, organic Lemon Balm, and organic Marshmallow leaf.

COMFORTING ALLERGY TEA
A refreshingly cool, minty flavored infusion blend with a citrus undertone to assist you with the discomfort & symptoms associated with allergy season. Consider taking it ahead of time with nettle or nettle and eyebright capsules.
Contains: Organic Nettle leaf, organic Peppermint, organic Spearmint, Yerba Santa, organic Eyebright, organic Lemongrass, organic Calendula flowers, organic Red Clover leaf and flower, organic Lavender flowers, organic Fennel seed and a pinch of organic Stevia.

3 Great Reasons to eat raw, local, unfiltered honey

Raw Local Honey with Comb


There are actually many more than 3 reasons to eat raw, local, unfiltered honey but we’ll start out with 3 basic reasons.

One: Taste
Most store bought honey is made from clover blossoms. That’s why many people only know the taste of clover honey. Local honey, on the other hand, is made by the bees visiting a diversity of flowers and plants, resulting in a more complex flavor depending on where and when the honey is harvested. Much of honey’s subtle flavors and nutritional values are lost when the honey is heated and filtered. Therefore, the best way to eat honey is the way our ancestors ate it…directly from the hive, or as close as possible.

Two: Allergy symptom prevention
Many alternative medicine practitioners recommend eating local honey to build up your system’s defenses against allergens in your environment, a result of the pollen and nectar gathered by the bees in certain locales at certain times of the year.

Three: Mass produced honey could actually be dangerous
A study in Seattle reports that more than 60% of honey consumed in the U.S. is imported and half of that is from China but not by a direct route. A large portion of the Chinese honey is first sent to other countries in Asia and the South Pacific so that the country of origin is mislabeled before it is finally shipped off to the U.S. and other countries. This honey may be laced with pesticides, antibiotics and other contaminants and could be dangerous to your health.

So next time you’re tempted to reach for the cheaper, generic honey in the store why not decide to do yourself and your local beekeepers a big favor by purchasing and eating delicious, local, varietal honey, supporting the industry and promoting your own good health.

August Herbs


I’ve always found August to be the most difficult month for my herbs. No matter what good intentions I have, I can’t seem to get ahead of the rampant growth of everything in the garden, especially the weeds!

My once beautiful June garden is now looking wild & ragged. Instead of letting the state of the garden get to me, I like to use this time to plan any changes I want to make in the fall when it cools down and my energy returns. So, join me in a glass of iced herb tea, grab a pencil and paper and lets get to “work”.

Harvesting Summer Herbs

Summer Basil


Well, it’s hot & humid now in mid-July…just like every summer. My herbs are looking a bit overgrown and ragged due to the heat and summer rains and I’m guessing yours may be too. So what can an herb gardener do?

I recommend harvesting as much as you can this time of year with out killing off the plant. I trim off about 1/3 of the plant, hopefully, just before it starts to flower but if it’s already flowering like most BASILS, well, just do it anyway. You should be getting a second crop shortly as fast as everything is growing!

What other herbs to harvest beside basil? OREGANO, SAGES including PINEAPPLE SAGE..what?…you don’t have Pineapple Sage?? You’re missing a beautiful thing! …pineapple-flavored leaves for fruit salads, beautiful fire-cracker red tubular flowers that taste like honeysuckle (and the hummingbirds and butterflies love them too!). MINTS of all kinds need trimming back to keep them in bounds, thin out the ROSEMARY a bit to promote air circulation in the plant (helps keep the fungus away), GARLIC CHIVES can always use a trim…or just take part of the plant each time if you don’t need a lot for a recipe…cut them about an inch from the surface of the ground…they’ll be right back up in no time.

Herb Harvest

SO now you’ve harvested them, what’s next? Well, go ahead and use what you can fresh tonight for dinner! If you can’t use them all, tie the stems together in small bunches and put them in glasses of water on the counter for a couple of days and use as you need them. Still have more left? Now it’s time to dry them. Most herbs air-dry well…just turn those bunches upside down and hang them in a dark place (cabinet, closet…out of the way), wait for 4 or 5 days and check to see if they’re crispy-dry. Anything less than that gets you moldy herbs and you’ll just be throwing them out.

An easy way to quick-dry the herbs is to lay the branches or leaves out on paper towels on baking sheets and put the sheets in your car out in the sun for a day…a cheap solar dryer that leaves your car smelling great! Again, make sure they are crispy-dry before you go on to the next step…stripping the leaves off the stems. The easiest way to do that is to hold the top of the branch and gently run your fingers DOWN the stem. They should come right off. At that point, you are ready to store your own custom dried herbs for up to a year in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Then you can use them dry when you are in a hurry or give them as pretty, useful gifts when the holidays roll around.

If, however, your plants have not survived the heat, humidity & rain…don’t despair! Just replant for a fall crop.

5 Top Medicinal Herbs

The following is strictly informational and not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor, I am merely relaying experiences I have had using herbs.

Being asked to choose 5 favorite medicinal herbs is like asking which of my children I like best! So I’ve chosen 5 of the medicinal herbs I’ve used the most on myself and my family. These herbs are generally easy to use and grow well in Central Florida so you can truly grow your own “medicine” if you are so inclined.

Aloe


ALOE vera
~ An easy to grow herb in the ground or in a pot
~Use fresh- Apply the split leaf directly to burns, sunburn, wounds, fungal infections such as ringworm, and insect bites
~Useful applied to dry skin conditions, especially exzema around the eyes and sensitive facial skin
~Take up to 2 tsp. of fresh gel in a glass of water or fruit juice 3X a day as a tonic to stimulate bile flow for digestion
CAUTION: Avoid in pregnancy- high doses can cause vomiting

Echinacea


ECHINACEA spp.( Purple Coneflower)
~Can be grown in the ground or a pot
~Dried root generally used in tincture form for inflammation or infections
~Useful for recurring kidney infections as well as the common cold
~Harvest root after flowering; wash, chop and dry
~An infusion (tea) can be made from the flowers
CAUTION: high doses can occasionally cause nausea & dizziness

Plantain


PLANTAGO spp. (Plantain)
~Can be grown in a pot or the ground in Central Florida
~Apply crushed, fresh leaves to bee stings, infections and slow healing wounds
~Press the juice from the fresh leaves, dilute and use for sore throats and mouth or gum inflammations
~Make an ointment using the leaves and apply to wounds, burns and hemorrhoids

Cayenne


CAPSICUM frutescens (Cayenne)
~Can be grown in the ground or a pot in Central Florida
~An infusion of the dried herb can be taken for colds, chills, cold hands and feet, shock or depression
~Soak a pad in an infusion and use as a compress for rheumatic pains, sprains and bruising
~Dilute 5 to 10 drops of cayenne tincture in half a glass of warm water for throat problems. Honey and lemon juice may be added
CAUTION: Avoid touching the eyes after handling fresh chilies. Seeds can be toxic. Excessive consumption of cayenne can lead to gastroenteritis and liver damage. Avoid theraputic doses while pregnant or breastfeeding

Comfrey


SYMPHYTUM officinale (Comfrey)
~ Better grown in the ground rather than a pot in Central Florida
~Country name is “knitbone” as comfrey readily heals fractures. Apply a puree of leaves to minor fractures, broken toes, ribs or hairline cracks in larger bones.
~Make a cream and use for bone or muscle damage including osteoarthritis
~Make a paste of powdered root with a little water and use on varicose ulcers and other stubborn wounds
CAUTION: Avoid using on dirty wounds because rapid healing can trap dirt or pus. Comfrey is not recommended to be taken internally due to possible liver damage

Resource: “The Complete Medicinal Herbal” by Penelope Ody

I encourage you to do your own research into herbal medicine and see if there might be easy to use applications for you and your family.

Unique Mother’s Day Gifts

Shadehouse Welcome

Seems like Valentines, Easter & now Mother’s Day have come quickly this spring…..

So you’ve done the cut flowers and chocolates etc……and you’re out of ideas….

Well, I’m a mom, wife, daughter, grandma & great grandma & I have a few thoughts on the subject. How about climbing out of the box and considering something delicious & healthy with no expiration date!

Of course I’m talkin’ HONEY! I’ve just finished whipping up some amazing infused LAVENDER & ORGANIC ROSE PETAL HONEYS for you favorite “Honey”. Why not give Mom, Wife etc. a jar of each variety- Lavender & Rose Petal in a cute, 10 oz. jelly jar for a scrumptious gift that will cost you less than $15. (I’m just being practical here- most of us are looking for ways to save money these days.)

Bee Pollen and Honey


I still have a few jars of local Orange Blossom Honey in the honeycomb….local honey in local honeycomb….hard to get a
hold of! I also have Local Wildflower and Orange Blossom Honey in pint & quart jars. Add a half-pint jar of Bee Pollen to a pint of local honey and, again, a delicious, healthy gift for $15.

And there’s still plenty of time to buy her some herb plants. We have a great selection of culinary herbs to plant in the garden…or group a few favorites in a pretty pot. (Mom won’t mind if you buy the materials and leave the planting to her!)
I have plenty of suggestions for you regarding what goes with what & where they like to grow- sun, part shade etc.

Basil plants


With food prices climbing, it just makes sense to grow as much as you can!

There’s still time to come out to the farm and find the PERFECT GIFT for Mother’s Day!

We also have a pretty good supply of FARM FRESH EGGS right now along with an assortment of medicinal herbs. It’s worth a quick trip to the country! SEE YOU SOON!

April Newsletter

Seems like April is rushing by. There’s so much to do in the garden this time of year and this warm spring season has made things grow like crazy! I’ve been shoveling wheelbarrow loads of rich dirt out of the chicken pen and spreading it on the gardens and WOW…I’ve never seen herbs and veggies grow so fast!

SPRING HERBS AND VEGETABLE PLANTS
We have a great selection of herb and vegetable plants available this spring. Visit the herb page to view the current list.

Herbs in the Shadehouse

The Cinnamon Basil is one of my personal favorites. I love to infuse cinnamon basil leaves into honey for a spicy sweet treat.

Basils

HONEY COMB AND BEE POLLEN
JUST IN! We have some very beautiful Orange Blossom Honey with the Honey Comb. The comb contains bits of pollen along with other good things from the hive which may promote good health. This will go fast so you might want to give us a call at 941-322-2446 before you come out for the Honeycomb and Orange Blossom Honey.

Orange Blossom Comb Honey


We also have a good supply of bee pollen which is chocked full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and good carbs plus more. I take a teaspoon a day & it gives me energy. I’ve packaged the bee pollen in 1/2 pint jelly jars which hold 1/4 lb..

NATURAL FERTILIZER
A local grower has just developed an easy to use fertilizer made of worm castings and other natural ingredients necessary for good growth. It comes in “tea bags” and will make up 10 gallons of solution. We are offering this product and hope you decide to give it a try.

REAL LIFE NATURAL HEALTH
Please visit the new link for Real Life Natural Health. There is much to learn from our friend Angie Anderson & we hope to schedule a talk by her here at the farm in the near future.

Emergency Food Storage, Bee Pollen, Eggs, Herbs and More

If you haven’t already done so, maybe it’s time to consider storing up some food for emergency use for your family & loved ones. With the news of late, it makes you really think hard about the way food is shipped to stores and how easy it is to suffer a disruption. Honey is an ideal food for long term storage. It never goes bad (if it crystalizes you just warm it up and it returns to a liquid state…good as new), it’s really good for you and even has medicinal properties as a healing agent inside and outside the body. Sounds like the perfect food to me!

Of course, we are partial to our local honeys: Saw Palmetto, Orange Blossom, Wildflower & Brazilian Pepper. We carry all of these at our farm & we also have Michigan Blueberry at the moment…really yummy. So, as you’re thinking of ways to protect your family in an uncertain future, remember to include HONEY.

We also have a good supply of BEE POLLEN. We’ve found it to be a super nutritious way to give us energy and help with those annoying allergies this time of year. Start out with a couple of grains for a day or two and if you don’t have a reaction, increase your intake of pollen grains to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day. Sprinkle it on yogurt, in your salad or any way you would like it.

At last, we have found a local source for organically grown EGGS to help out when our chickens don’t meet production so we have more eggs on hand than before. If you have your heart set on farm fresh eggs, give us a call before you come out and we’ll save a dozen for you. This same farm also has a VERY limited supply of organically-grown, pastured poultry, butchered and wrapped for the freezer. Call us for details.

Last but not least, come on out for your spring HERB PLANTS! T
I’ll post an updated list this week.

SEE YOU SOON!!