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Fight Back Against Winter’s Dreary Grip

Backyard Edible Gardening

seed saver exchange catalog, 2014, seeds 2014 Seed Savers Exchange Catalog Cover

The seed catalogs are coming! Thumbing through the pages of these vibrant catalogs of cheer is a great way to push back against the cold, grey clutches of Old Man Winter.

Don’t forget our very own Edible Garden Planning Guide to help get your garden planning off on the right path. It includes garden planning worksheets for sketching out garden planting diagrams. Plan your garden, garden your plan!

book cover Book Front Cover

What are you planning to grow in 2015?

Stay tuned for The DIY Backyard Farm’s top seed picks for gardening with kids.

raspberries part of the daily golden raspberry harvest

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Winter is Coming

The Brouwer Family

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We have a fresh herb garden that we pick from for our daily meals. Sadly, winter is coming and soon all of our plants will succumb to the frost. 😦
Today we harvested our little garden and prepped for the cold months ahead. I bought these silicone trays for 99 cents. Each mold holds exactly 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs. I pack the herbs into each mold with just a bit of water to fill to the top. Freeze. Pop out each mold and put into a freezer bag. If a recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs, just drop one in! Homegrown herbs year round!

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Something important to think about…

Please read this really thought provoking article by Joshua Becker at http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

9 Lies that Keep Our Schedules Overwhelmed

overwhelmed

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

The speed of our world is increasing.

Technology and communication continue to improve. Information moves faster. And social media rewards those who never turn it off.

Expectations, demands, and accessibility continue to expand, but the number of hours in a week do not. As a result, our lives get busier and busier.

This approach to life rarely benefits us in the long-run because a busy life is an unreflective life. In fact, often times, we are so busy scurrying from one thing to another we don’t even have the space to realize our schedules have become overwhelmed. We don’t recognize how our overcommitted lives are harming us.

Even worse, we are unable to identify the hidden mistruths in our heart that are contributing to the problem. Consider these:

9 Hidden Lies that Keep Our Schedules Overwhelmed

1. Accolades will bring fulfillment. The thinking goes like this: The busier we are, the more we can accomplish and the more respect we can earn. And the more respect and accolades we receive, the more we can surely prove our worth and value to others. Unfortunately, if you are trying to find fulfillment in someone else’s opinion of you, you will never find it. You will always be left searching (and working) for more.

2. Money will bring happiness. We often get caught up in needless busyness because of our desire to earn and secure more money. Ever notice how often we are offered money (or the chance to win money) for our time? While it is important to work hard and provide for the needs of your family, it is foolish to think money is the quickest shortcut to better living.

3. I don’t have a choice. Many of us live over-busy lives because of the expectations and demands of others. In these cases, it is important to remember you always have a choice. Sure, there are seasons of life that require more of you and your time than others, but seasons always change. If yours hasn’t changed recently, you may need to revisit who is making the decisions in your life and where you can regain some of your control.

4. I’m more productive if I’m busy. Maybe you can be more productive for a short while, but human beings are not designed to work relentlessly without periods of rest. Countless studies confirm the importance of rest for productivity. Eventually, a lifestyle of busyness will detract from our productivity. And more importantly, your health and well-being. There are no exceptions.

5. I am needed. Pride is defined as holding an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance. And it leads to overwhelmed schedules because of the foolish thinking that follows it: “Nobody else can do what I do.” This pride affects the way we view our business, our work, our family, and our personal relationships. Left unchecked, it leads to a busy life and in the end, a fall.

6. Everything is important. Our world has a tendency to make everything appear urgent, important, and beneficial to our lives. As the speed of information increases, our minds are seemingly less equipped to filter all the information and opportunities. But the most productive among us realize nobody can accomplish everything. They are relentless in their understanding of mission and the reality that very few things are truly important. And they never sacrifice the important for the trivial.

7. I need to be busy to keep up with everyone else. It may seem, at times, the only way to get ahead in life is to outwork everyone else. But just because everyone else appears busy does not mean they are busy about the right things. Nor does it mean they are finding joy in their pursuits. Frank Clark perhaps said it best, “Modern man is frantically trying to earn enough to buy things he’s too busy to enjoy.”

8. Busy makes me look more important. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, being busy doing the wrong things is actually quite unattractive. Just remember, in a society rushing to keep up with everyone else, those who find peace, contentment, and rest are the ones admired…and envied.

9. Quietness is laziness. Often times, people avoid dealing with life’s deeper issues by packing their schedule tight. Someone who is discontent with their life’s choices can escape the difficult work of addressing them by masking them with busyness. Quietness is not laziness. Quietness is hard, but always worth the effort.

Many of the lies we have been told since birth crowd out the things in life that matter most. Instead of enjoying the benefit of calm, intentional living, we hurry from one needless triviality to another.

Don’t ever get so busy chasing the wrong things that you miss enjoying the right things. (tweet that)


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Glorious Goldenrod by Susun Weed

goldenrod

 

Hello!  As fall rushes towards us, I find my yard filled with the gorgeous golden color goldenrod, and I can’t wait to store some for winter!  Here is a great article by Susun Weed about it!  You can find the article on Susun’s website at:  http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Glorious-Goldenrod.htm

 

Glorious Goldenrod
c. 2006, Susun Weed

As seen printed in Mystic Pop Magazine

 

I love autumn; don’t you? The days shorten and fall colors thrill my senses. Perennial roots get busy storing nourishment that will last them through the winter. And the meadows bloom with purple asters and riotous goldenrod flowers.

Goldenrod (the Solidago genus, Asteracea family) is one of my favorite plants, and hopefully, soon it will be one of your favorites too.

Before you complain that goldenrod is a pest and you’re allergic to it, let me set the record straight: You aren’t. No one is, no one can be, allergic to goldenrod pollen. Why? It has virtually none. What little pollen it makes is sticky, all the better to stick onto insects who pollinate the goldenrod. Only wind-pollinated plants — like ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia), which blooms at the same time as goldenrod, and has an especially irritating pollen — make enough pollen, and spread it widely enough, to cause allergic reactions.

Set aside your mistaken bad thoughts about lovely goldenrod, and, if you can, visit a patch. Goldenrod is a wide-spread wild plant in North America (found from Florida to New Hampshire and west into Texas), Europe, and Asia. Goldenrod is also treasured as a garden plant from New Zealand to Germany, and has become a highly-successful weed in Japan. So, no matter where you live as you read this article, it is likely that you can find a patch of goldenrod.

It is rare to see one goldenrod plant growing alone; it multiplies by sending out root runners, so there are usually dozens of plants growing densely together. Notice all the bees and insects happily crawling about on goldenrod’s numerous small yellow flowers.

There are many types of goldenrod, and you are likely to find several kinds if you look around. The species Solidago canadensis and S. odora are considered the most medicinal (and the tastiest), but all species of goldenrod are safe and beneficial and can be used to help the immune system get ready for winter.

Goldenrod tonics are easy to make. Harvest any goldenrod by cutting the top third of the plant in full flower on a sunny fall day. Or, respectfully pull the entire plant, roots and all, in the late autumn or early winter. Then follow the simple directions below. Note: You can use any size jar when making a vinegar or a tincture, so long as you fill it full.

To dry flowering goldenrod: Bundle 2-3 stalks together and hang upside down in a cool, shady room until thoroughly dry. When the stalks snap crisply, store the dried herb in brown paper bags. One or two large handfuls of crushed leaves and flowers, steeped in a quart of boiling water for thirty minutes makes a tea that can be used hot, with honey, to counter allergies (especially pollen allergies), fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds and the flu; or taken cold to relieve colic in babies, and gas in adults. Dried mint and/or yarrow are tasty, and useful, additions when making goldenrod flower tea.

To dry goldenrod roots: Rinse dirt off the roots, then cut away all th estalks, leaves and dead flowers. If possible, hang your roots over a woodstove to dry; if not, place them on racks and put them in a warm place to dry until brittle. Store in glass jars. Depending on the difficulty you are addressing, goldenrod root tea may be made with large or small amounts of the roots brewed or decocted in boiling water. Or the roots may be powdered, alone or mixed with flowers, and applied to hard-to-heal wounds and sore joints.

To make a goldenrod vinegar: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then fill the jar to the top with room-temperature, pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. Cap it tightly with a plastic lid. (Metal lids will be eroded by the action of the vinegar. If you must use one, protect it with several layers of plastic between it and the vinegar.) Be sure to label your vinegar with the date and contents. Your goldenrod vinegar will be ready to use in six weeks to improve mineral balance, help prevent kidney stones, eliminate flatulance, and improve immune functioning.

To make a goldenrod tincture: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the very top. Cap tightly and label. Your goldenrod tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, by the dropperful, as an anti-inflammatory, a sweat-inducing cold cure, and an astringent digestive aid. Medical herbalists use large doses (up to 4 dropperfuls at a time) of goldenrod tincture several times daily to treat kidney problems — including nephritis, hemorrhage, kidney stones, and inability to void — and prostate problems, including frequent urination.

The colonists called goldenrod tea “Liberty Tea,” for they drank it instead of black tea after the Boston Tea Party. In fact, Liberty Tea proved so popular, it was exported to China! Let goldenrod liberate you, too. Herbal medicine is people’s medicine, a gift from Mama Earth to us.

Green Blessings.

 

Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081


 

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America’s best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women’s health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at www.susunweed.com

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com

Susun Weed – PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498 (fax) 1-845-246-8081

Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.wisewomanbookshop.com