Today

It’s been a frosty weekend. Heavy rain Saturday and barely above freezing yesterday with a brisk wind, not at all nice for putting in a garden or working on the house. Yesterday morning a white skiff of snow was visible on the trees up in the Highlands and the frost we had last night was so hard it decimated many of the bedding plants in the greenhouse. The nasturtiums were hit the hardest, killing most of them.

buds

In the woods and around the yard everything is budding and ready to explode. The maples, elderberry and service-berry trees are in bloom. The fiddle-heads are unfurling slowly and the large leaf  buds on the Mountain Ash have unfolded.

nettle

It’s time to start harvesting wild herbs again. The first to be picked is Stinging Nettle which is already several inches tall. I have to remember my gloves next time, it was a bit itchy picking this first batch without gloves or cutters. Yarrow is also ready and is next on the list to be picked.

steampunkIn the herb bed at home the Chives and Soap-wort are growing well. The kitchen herb patch has a “Steam-punk” theme to it this year, I hauled old cast iron stove parts out of the embankment and made them into plant pots. I think it works great but Tracey thinks I’m losing it.

chives

Silas and I have been watching a nesting pair of geese at the beaver-dam. The gander watches us and tries to lead us away from the nest. Silas gets so excited each time we see the geese. He tries to imitate all the bird calls we hear and so far he does the goose call the best. It will be exciting to see the little geese when they hatch in about a week or so.

goose

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Oma’s Ointment

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is one of natures wonder plants and has become an important ingredient as a cure for both Hanna and Silas. During the dry winter months Hanna tends to break out with spots of eczema that are difficult to treat. Prescribed  hydro-cortizone cream keeps the affected areas in check but is not a cure, our preferred treatment is a cream that Oma makes and it works wonders. Silas developed an eczema rash on his cheek, we weren’t to concerned since it was only superficial but when he scratched at it the other day it inflamed. I applied a bit of Oma’s cream in the evening and by the next morning the rash had practically disappeared.  Made with natural home grown calendula and tons of love we rely on this wonderful ointment.

Calendula has many uses besides being an easy to grow and pretty flower garden plant. Grown within  rows of cabbage plants their bright yellow/orange flowers distract the Cabbage White butterfly and prevent  them from laying eggs on the cabbages. As a medicinal plant it is a well known for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral affects thus being an excellent ingredient for creams and soaps. Another well known property is the high Lutein content in the flower petals. Lutein is an important compound for healthy eye maintenance.

Besides all these benefits this pretty flower can also be thrown into salads for color and flavor. And for the fiber artist in the group it is also extensively used as a dye plant. If you come up to visit us this summer you are sure to find an abundance of these growing and blooming here on the mountain.

Organic Wool /Hemp Nursing pads gift set

Our Wool/Hemp fleece nursing pads are very popular and most new moms need care info for these due to the wool backing.

I  include care instruction for washing my wool products with every purchase of  wool diaper covers, puddle pads or wool backed nursing pads. After purchasing any of these items many buyers return to buy some wool wash and Lanolin.

Now you can get a complete nursing package in this Recycled Kraft box set.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • 3 sets of wool/hemp fleece nursing pads.
  • 1 tin of our silky Lanolin balm.
  • Free Wool wash soap flakes.

Get more info on our gift box set in my Esty shop.

Makes a wonderful gift for your next baby shower.

Alchemists Kitchen

Some of the most exciting moments in our daily lives are those spent apprehensively waiting for packages to arrive in the mail. Everything we need comes by mail or in some instances courier, soap making essentials, wool or fabrics for Tracey’s work or many of the materials, supplies or tools I need.  Ordering and sourcing supplies has always been fun but when a tag shows up in the mailbox proclaiming a pending package our excitement peaks. Many times we will be expecting more than one package to arrive. In these instances it is always a guessing game which package it may be. We could of course follow the tracking number provided with most shipments but this would spoil the fun and excitement of a surprise, much like knowing the gender of your child before they are  born.

Today a box arrived with some basic raw materials for making our soaps and for my natural furniture finish. Once unpacked our kitchen turned into somewhat of an Alchemists workshop. Tracey scraping out remnants of lanolin into a beaker to melt. The scale comes out to weigh oils and other ingredients while tins are prepared for the finished product. In the meantime I’m weighing out ingredients of my own and heating them on the stove. As we create our mixtures we both indulge in the fragrances emanating from the natural raw materials spread out on the counter and table. It was the smell of the Carnauba Wax flakes that produced the overwhelming mmmm’s and yumm’s from us today.