Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups

Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups…doesn’t that sound delicious? Last night I read a blog post from GatherVictoria.com and she had this recipe I JUST had to try!!! And you know …if you don’t do it right away, you forget all about it and it gets lost somewhere in cyberland.

I did not have every ingredient that she used so I improvised with what was growing right now!

calendula bvf

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is growing like crazy,  I had plenty to pick from. The recipe only calls for 3 Tablespoons of petals so you can have enough from 5-6 blossoms. Even though calendula is used mainly for medicinal purposes as a vulnerary herb to heal cuts, scrapes, burns and internal wounds, it is also edible and looks beautiful in a salad or in these cute egg cups. Calendula contains antioxidants in the form of flavanoids and carotenoids(beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A).

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – the leaves of dandelion are diuretic without removing precious potassium and they are very helpful for the liver removing toxins from the body. The green leaves are bitter, bitter is good, but don’t stress, they won’t be too bitter in this recipe!

Basil – Genovese (Ocimum basilicum) – add a lovely aromatic, sweet yet spicy flavor.

Tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus) – tasty herb that is used in fish dishes, bernaise sauce and it has a anise-like flavoring to it. I LOVE this herb!

Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) – relative of the beloved quinoa. Otherwise known as Wild Spinach. An excellent substitution for any green that packs a punch of nutrition: Vitamin A, B1,2,3,5,6,  C, protein, iron, manganese, magnesium and more! It does contain oxalic acid so you don’t want to eat a ton of this everyday. Oxalic acid can cause kidney stones if you are prone to these.

muffin1

Gold ole garlic and onions!

This is soooo easy and add anything else you like, be creative, invent a new egg cup!

Recipe for Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups

  • 6 eggs, beaten

  • splash of half and half

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dandelion leaves, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lambsquarters, chopped

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh calendula petals

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1/4 large onion, chopped

  • pinch himalayan sea salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella crumbled or feta

Wash you fresh eggs and beat them in a bowl with the cream.

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Saute onion on med low for a few minutes til soft, add the garlic and the greens. Cook just 1-2 minutes.

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Add fresh calendula petals and cheese to eggs. Add the greens mixture, salt and pepper. Mix up.

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Grease a muffin tin – grease it a lot, mine stuck!!!

Pour your mixture into the tin, mine filled 11 cups. Bake in a preheated oven at 350o for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or so and eat them up!

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You can freeze the leftovers for a fast breakfast, just defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven(wrap in foil or a covered dish).

They taste wonderful!!!

Enjoy,

muffin6

 

 

 

Expanding Gardens for More Herbs!

Spring, lovely Spring! We wait all winter long for this time of year, well at least I do. I was just itching to get out and dig, plant and harvest and just enjoy the sights and sounds of Springtime!

This year, we are growing more, hopefully 🙂 My neighbor came over with his tractor and tilled up a giant section in the herb garden for a few rows and my hubby helped me make the rows and get rid of giant clumps. Actually John did most of the making of the rows – he is better at it, a perfectionist I might add. Each row is about 35 feet long and 2 feet wide -woohoo!

garden john

garden john2

thunder
Thunder Pookie “helping”

new rows

My interns and I planted 40 calendula plants, 4 ashwagandha, 4 hibiscus roselle – all in the rows and huckleberries, stevia, quinoa, spilanthes(toothache plant) and echinacea in various raised beds and wild areas. I cannot wait til they grow!!!

garden

burdock
Burdock
lilly bed
Lillies and stuff
purple homestead verbena
first blooms in the butterfly garden – purple homestead verbena taking over!!!
comfrey
Faithful comfrey always keeping on giving 🙂

Seeds were started for arugula, skullcap, sage, borage, lettuce, marshmallow, nastursiums and more. I am not good at seed starting so I figured between me, Stephanie and Brooke, two of my three interns, we should have a good shot at it. They can help me remember to check on them and thin when necessary. Keep your fingers crossed!

Many of the plants I get are started by local friends – ❤ Friends that grow things very well from seeds! New plants go into the raised boxes until I know they can succeed with my sometimes neglect. Any that have to be pampered don’t get to stay. I know that’s mean but besides tending to the plants, I have to take care of critters, teach classes, prepare for classes, making product, delivering products, doing event, yada yada yada and of course take care of the family! I love plants that are naturally strong and perennials to boot.

I also started new mushrooms – trying Oyster mushrooms this time around. We shall see if they grow. I did them on straw in bags and in buckets. A teeny, tiny one is growing out of the straw – hope it will become a big bunch!!!!

oyster

Sorry a bit blurry!

More thing growing coming soon!

Have a beautiful, peaceful day today,

Anne-Marie

 

 

Just Another Day On The Farm

Today was a productive day! I got a ton done, thanks to the help of my interns and good friends, Andrea and Leila. Three sets of hands definitely make light work!!!

The new Butterfly Garden - passionflower in the back
The new Butterfly Garden – passionflower in the back

 

We rotated a few mushroom logs, planted passionflower vines, planted a couple cantaloupe and squash plants, weeded , harvested a boatload of comfrey and planted the comfrey roots – well s-o-m-e of them – there are tons!

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comfrey3

 

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OH and we planted a row of sunflowers – yay!!! Hopefully the squirrels and the birds don’t get them.

Next we took all of the comfrey leaves and laid them out on the trays to dry. The flowering tops along with some of the leaves and the stems will not go to waste because I will put them in olive oil to infuse for salves.

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And a tray of some of the passionflower leaves that we cut off the tops of the vines –

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None of the scraps went to waste either – the chickens got them!!!

The gardens are really shaping up – I will post more pictures later. 🙂

Enjoy your day!

Anne-Marie

What’s Happening At The Farm

It has been awhile since I updated what is growing in the garden and the woods and any critter news so I went out and took some new pictures to SHOW you what’s happening! 🙂

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I tried a few new medicinal plants this years, some worked and some not so good. I am not the best grower, it really has to be able to survive without pampering. I mean, I can’t help it, I just FORGET to water or weed sometimes. I realized tomatoes just do ok for me so I grow just a few plants now and trade for the rest. Hot peppers, easy but I have no idea what happened to the bell pepper plants…they were there but they didn’t make it. The okra….w–e-l-l I wasn’t sure when to pick it being the first year so they got a mind of their own, overnight I might add and they grew to like 4″ long. Oh well not so good to eat at that stage. So someone gave me this fabulous idea to let them dry on the plant, paint them and make santa Christmas ornaments – woohoo!!!

dried okra pods
dried okra pods

I CAN grow lemon balm, lemon grass, oregano, sweet basil, holy basil, stevia, chamomile, butterfly bushes, anise hyssop, comfrey, sorrel, lettuce, cabbage, stinging nettle, collards, burdock and oh yeah sunflowers BUT the darn squirrels came and took ALL OF THE FLOWER HEADS when they were going to the seed stage. UGGHHHHHH.

burdock, lemon balm, holy basil
burdock, lemon balm, holy basil
butterfly bush & anise hyssop
butterfly bush & anise hyssop
lemongrass
lemongrass
lettuce and napa cabbage
lettuce and napa cabbage

This week, I will be harvesting all of the nettle, basils and lemon balm – big work a head for me.

lemon balm
lemon balm
holy basil
holy basil
stinging nettle
stinging nettle

Here are my shiitakes! LOVE them – again easy peasy to grow.

Shiitake logs
Shiitake logs
Mmmmm shiitakes!!
Mmmmm shiitakes!!

We did lose our beloved dog, Lightning earlier this month at the ripe old age of 14. It is very sad losing one of our critters especially one we have had since a pup. 20140528_063549

She was loved by all and is missed very much by us and her furry companions Luke, our boxer/lab mix and our two cats. Critters must get along on our homestead, it is the way it always was here and always will be. Not quite sure how it happens that way but it really is cool to see all of them coexist, hanging out together. Like a regular land of Dr. Doolittle. 🙂

Socks kitty, Luke and Zoey(visiting)
Socks kitty, Luke and Zoey(visiting)

Currently we have 8 chickens and none, I mean non are laying eggs. What happened? I go out everyday to check, sometimes I get one, just one and we used to get 5-6 a day. Two hens are young so they aren’t ready yet and the others went through the molting stage, when they lose feathers everywhere and I do know they don’t lay during that time. Hopefully I can get some eggs soon or they won’t get anymore pizza scraps, veggies, sourdough bread or spaghetti. You ever see chickens eat spaghetti or pizza – they go nuts!

2 of the Brady girls.
2 of the Brady girls.

Herbal classes each month with Herb Walks and Making Medicines –

Backyard Medicinal Workshop June
Backyard Medicinal Workshop June
Backyard Medicinal Workshop September
Backyard Medicinal Workshop September

Well that’s what is happening on the farm!

Have a wonderful day,

Anne-Marie

Day 12: Grow Your Own Herbs

Day 12 – Grow Your Own Herbs –

How many of your grow your own herbs? You can save a TON of money by growing your own culinary and medicinal herbs even if all your grow is Basil, Parley, Mint and Lemon Balm – in my opinion – the four easiest herbs to grow!

Each year I have been growing more herbs so that I can dry them and enjoy them year round. I am NOT paying $3 for a teeney weeney jar of basil this year – no way.

Enjoy the following post from Frugally Sustainable and Growing Herbs For Beginners. 🙂

At the end of the post there is a link to Grow Your Own Herbs archives. I do believe the blog is inactive but there are some great articles for herbs.


“Will growing your own herbs save money? Absolutely!

I wondered about writing a blog post on growing herbs and saving money for two reasons.

  1. I have grown herbs for a very long time so it does not seem new or remarkable.
  2. I have not checked the price of fresh and dried herbs at the grocery store in a long time. Yowza! Talk about sticker shock.

After getting all gussied up (clean jeans and shirt) we went to town on our mission to check out herb prices. We visited three grocery stores and a small health food store. At all four stores I looked at fresh and dried packaged herbs and checked the prices of medicinal herbal teas. The fresh herbs at the grocery stores were small packages- each contained a mere .75 ounce of ‘fresh’ herbs. The least expensive store priced each package at $1.99 and the most expensive at $2.79.

The teas ranged in price from $4.59 (on sale) to nearly $7.00 for a single BOX of teabags and most only had 16 teabags per box. Ouch.

Honestly, I was stunned by the prices. Even a lone container of mint or Lemon Verbena can provide you with a lot of herb. Dry it yourself and you will have fresher tasting tea than anything you can buy in a box… and you’ll have a lot more of it.

Grow Your Own

If you purchase your plants in the Springtime you can expect to pay $3 or $4 per live started plant. Starting your own plants from seed will save you even more, especially if you have a place to start seedlings. You may have an initial investment for things like pots and soil, but being frugalites we know that so many objects can be re-purposed and used as containers.

Growing and harvesting your plants over the summer will make your investment money back quickly. After all, those little grocery store herb packages each contained just a few snippings, so regularly pruning your herbs would provide as much, or more than those packages.

Things to Consider

In most areas perennial herb plants don’t need replacing yearly and most annuals will set seed for you. This means you won’t have to replace plants and buy seeds every year. A biennial like parsley will provide seeds every other year and edible leaves all of the first year. That’s a heck of a deal!

We often have people ask about garden space and herbs. Many people believe you need a lot of space for an herb garden and don’t realize that many herbs are happily grown in containers. You absolutely don’t need a huge herb garden to grow teas, medicines and gourmet herbs for your family. Many of the larger herbs like fennel, bee balm and marshmallow are perfectly content in big tubs or even 5 gallon buckets. If you only have room for a few herbs, think about what herbs you might use the most. Many herbs can be used both in the kitchen and medicinally. A few dual purpose favorites are mint, thyme and sage. All are helpful medicinals and wonderful for cooking.

Anything you grow and dry for yourself will help keep the family budget in check and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing where those herbs came from.

So, do I grow all of my own herbs? No. There are somethings that just cannot or do not grow well here and so I buy what I can’t grow. Do I save money growing my own herbs? Evidently much more than I thought!”

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
 Give one great tip for growing herbs and start some fall seeds.

Download: The-23-Day-Frugal-Living-Challenge-report-sheet3

Connect With The Community: Take a few minutes and head over to the facebook group – 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. Share your “Frugal Living Daily Goal“, encourage, and support one another.

Subscribe: Be sure not to miss a day of the Challenge! Click this link to receive the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge by email.

Rhonda is a Midwestern Organic Master gardener, farm gal, homeschool mom of six, artist, and commercial herb grower turned teacher. Besides her garden she raises poultry, Angora rabbits, and livestock for milk, meat,eggs and fiber (spinning, weaving, crochet). Learn from her through her website and join the facebook community.

Enjoy your day today!

 

Medicinal Benefits Of Passionflower

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), a discreet little vine that weaves in and around low bushes, trees, ditches or in the middle of a big field. Nobody pays it much attention, it gets mowed over most of the time but if you knew the herbal benefits of passionflower, you would nurture that little vine so it can grow into more and more vines!!! 🙂

passionflowers AM

 

The bumble bees love this plant! I used to have a vine but somehow it has disappeared this year.

Our herbal class has been studying passionflower this past month and last week our instructor, Patricia found the mother load of passionflower!! She brought a BIG trash bag full of it for us to make tea and each take home a jar of freshly made tincture. Making medicine is fun. But it is even more fun when you have 14 people working together, garbling through this bag of leaves and flowers, cleaning, measuring, chatting, laughing, filling jars and just looking in awe at these beautiful flowers.

Look at all of it!!!!
Look at all of it!!!!
The Herb Gang!
The Herb Gang!

What is is good for? Thought you’d never ask. 😀

Passiflora incarnata is a fantastic nervine relaxant that helps you fall asleep for a good night, sound sleep. It also helps with nervousness, anxiety and muscle spasms. We all drank some for a taste and an experiment. The majority slept better than the night before and stayed asleep throughout the night. One person has really bad muscle tension in her shoulder, the tea helped it relax. It smells a little like boiled peanuts -weird but the taste was light and floraly.

Recipe for tea before bed- 2 teaspoons fresh leaf and flower to 8 ounces boiling water, steep covered 20 minutes.

If you don’t have any growing you can order some dried from Mountain Rose Herbs here,for your teas.

***Don’t forget those little green fruits on the passionflower vine – wait until they are turning pale green, pick them and let them turn yellow. Enjoy the fruity pulp inside. 🙂

Anne-Marie

 

****Disclaimer – remember I am not a practioner, any advice or information that I present to you I do so to help teach others about the benefits of medicinal plants. It is up to you to further study each herb to see if it may be right for you.****

Shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday!!!

Eat The Peppergrass!

Peppergrass? As the name implied – the seed pods or disks or whatever they are called taste spicy and peppery. I never really paid any attention to this plant. It always seemed insignificant, tiny and I kind of didn’t notice it much. Today, on the other hand, it seemed to just jump out at me in the horses side pasture, it was EVERYWHERE. Yep one of those invasives and usually it gets mowed over but now that I know a bit more about it, we can eat it!

Some people call it peppergrass and some call it pepper weed, actually virginia pepper weed. Botanical name is Lepidium viginicum. Fromwhat I have gathered, many of the Lepidium species are peppery and edible.

Here is the picture of my plant that I picked. Below the picture is the link to Greene Dean’s article on peppergrass. Love his stuff!!!

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Peppergrass: Potent Pipsqueak

by GREEN DEANE

in EDIBLE RAW,GREENS/POT HERB,MEDICINAL,PLANTS,ROOTS/TUBERS/CORMS,SALAD,SPICE/SEASONING

Lepidium Virginicum: Bottlebrush Peppergrass

There are two ways of thinking about peppergrass, either as a real neat wild treat, or an obnoxious, noxious weed. Regardless of your world view — or weed view — peppergrass is a survivor and part of man’s diet for many thousands of years. As far back as 300 BC Pliny was writing about the Lepidium, and more than a thousand years before that the Incas were cultivating it. Read more…

Enjoy,

Anne-Marie

Harvesting Feverfew

So what is feverfew? Up until 4 years ago, I never heard of it! Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is used mainly for headaches – migraines to be more specific. I USED to get migraines, yep USED to until I stated taking feverfew capsules and have not had a migraine in years. It was probably the start of my road to herbalism.

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My patch!!!

After purchasing the capsules and taking them for each day for 90 days, I realized I needed to get more or find my own feverfew to make some capsules. At the time, I was afraid to stop taking them and wasn’t even sure how long I could be on them but until knowing more, I was not stopping. I looked all over my property, neighbors property and no feverfew…sigh so I planted my very first medicinal seeds and a few months later I had my very own patch of feverfew that keeps reseeding itself and coming back each spring. Of course I still needed to do something to either make my own capsules or buy another bottle so I found a reliable source of organic dried feverfew from Mountain Rose Herbs, ordered a pound(yeah why the heck did I need a pound? Rookie mistake), ordered the capsule making machine and gel capsules and I was on my way to making medicine!

I made lots and lots and lots of capsules and shared them with everyone!!! Anyone that had ever had a migraine was going to try them – with precautions, I might add. Not being too over zealous here because feverfew does have some contraindications and may not be for everyone.

Here is the good and the bad:

Helps headaches by controlling the inflammation that causes blood vessel constriction in the head which may contribute to headaches. It works to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins, both believed to contribute to the onset of migraines.

Pain relief for arthritis

Reduces fevers, hence the name. 🙂

Can use as a flea rinse for pets

Warnings: Since it opens the blood vessels vs. constriction – it may bring on menses- heavier than normal too. I would usually back off a few days during my cycle.

Do not use while pregnant.

Do not use if allergic to plants in the ragweed family. ***If you are allergic, taking the freeze dried capsules may be a good choice but definitely not fresh!

Ok back to the harvest. There is bunches and bunches outside and I only harvested a small amount although it looks like a giant amount at first.

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I left it in the basket for two days to start drying before I garbled. Ahhh new word? Well it was to me! Garbling is removing all the unwanted plant parts, debris and any insects to leave you with all the good stuff!!

I stripped the leaves off the thick stems, clipped the flowers off the small stems and this is what I have left to allow to dry completely. I will weigh it after it is completely dried and work on another pile of feverfew.

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By the way, you don’t have to make those capsules, here are a couple of easier ways to make your medicine 😉

Tea – 2-3 tsp. dried feverfew to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. I like to combine this with either holy basil or a touch of lavender.

Lavender-Feverfew Migraine Tincture – Recipe from Rosemary Gladstar

1 part California poppy(seed, flower & leaf)

1 part feverfew leaf

1 part lavender bud

80 proof vodka, brandy or vegetable glycerin if you don’t want the alcohol. Not as strong but still effective

Chop herbs fine. Place them in a clean, dry glass jar. Pour enough alcohol over the herbs to completely cover them by 2″. Seal jar and label with the date. Shake your jar daily and you can strain it after two weeks. I usually do mine between the 3rd and 4th week. Some say after two weeks, others 4-6 weeks. Dosage – for long term use – take 1/2 tsp. 2x/day for up to 3 months. Discontinue for 3-4 weeks, then repeat the cycle as needed. For acute symptoms, take 1/4 tsp. every 20-30 minutes for up to 2 hours.

PS: Here is a botanical of feverfew to compare to other plants that may resemble it. The leaves are what you need to know to distinguish them from chamomile or may weed or daisy etc…

 koeh-036-feverfewFeverfew Botanical illustration – note the flowers appear to have 10 petals but actually there are 5 pairs of petals. The petals are blunted on the edges.

small white asters
small white asters

Hope you enjoyed today’s post!
Wildcrafting Wednesday

Leave me a comment if you have used feverfew or if you have any other headache/migraine remedies –

Thanks,

Anne-Marie

 

 

 

 

Spring Garden & Chickweed Recipe

How is your garden doing so far this spring? Here are a few pictures of ours in progress. 🙂

I must go out and take more pics of the tomatoes and blackberries. We have had a crazy cool spring week and nothing seems to be growing much. I am READY for red tomatoes!!!!!

The Blood Root is from our woods. I did not get the flower pictures because the flowers are only around for a very short time, must have missed it. The leaves are so cool looking aren’t they? Nothing else like them!

Blood Root
Blood Root

My friend Andrea gave me a million, ok 40ish garlic plants so I dug a ditch and planted them(really seemed like a million!!). The garlic will not be ready for this year but I do have 5 or 6 that will be ready in a month or so.

40 garlic plants were planted last month
40 garlic plants were planted last month

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Beautiful chickweed ready for salve making!!!

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My stinging nettle is growing like CRAZY!!

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Kale and lettuce growing nicely and brussel sprouts growing in the middle

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Gobo Burdock, Motherwort, Borage and ???

Knockout roses in full bloom
Knockout roses in full bloom

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My little friends peeking out of the endless patch of mint. 🙂

Here is a yummy recipe for you –

Chickweed Pesto

2 cups fresh chickweed

2 cloves garlic

3 T sunflower seeds

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

Add everything to a food processor and let it rip! You can stop it when it is really smooth or leave a bit chunky.

I can eat a whole bowl of this with chips and it keeps well in the fridge for a few days without browning. ENJOY!

 

Anne-Marie

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