What’s Growing in the Woods

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What’s Growing in the Woods

It is so amazing to me that I have lived here for 24 years and there is always something new that pops up in the fields or in the woods or down by the creek. OK so the first 19 years I didn’t really care what was growing as long as there was grass for the horses and tomatoes in my garden! :D

So it’s Early September here in GA, still hot but at least we had some good rain this week. Well of course it rained – the days I watered my gardens, flower beds, mushroom logs. That is always the way.

It was fairly cool this morning and I took Luke, my cute dog, for a walk in the woods to see if anything new was growing.

Luke at the creek

Luke at the creek

I am such a plant geek, I do this every couple of days. You never know!!! There all kinds of these teeny, tiny almost clear white mushrooms everywhere – they dotted logs, the ground and they were pretty cool looking. Not sure what they were and I don’t mess with any that I am not positively sure that they aren’t going to kill me or make me hallucinate.

What I did find were 3 logs, right next to each other with fresh turkey tail mushrooms, covering them completely!!! Yee Ha!

Wanna know more about turkey tails? I am fairly new to these and have just started my first tincture with them but only had a small handful, now I can make a good bit. Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) can be found on dead logs all throught the United States. I have mistaken a few others for turkey tails but they weren’t. Luckily I know a mushroom expert – Megan Burry of My Quality Mushrooms.

The mushrooms do kind of look like the tail of a turkey with the variety of colors – but tend to stay in the buff, brown, cinnamon, and reddish brown range. The mushrooms are strikingly “zonate” with sharply contrasting concentric zones of color, and the surface of the cap is finely fuzzy or velvety. Often the zones represent contrasts in texture as well as color, so that fuzzy zones alternate with smoother ones.

The turkey tails look like they grow in a rosette pattern on the log unlike the parchment mushrooms.

4 different mushrooms found but the top right is the parchment mushroom(I think) - not a turkey tail.

4 different mushrooms found but the top right is the parchment mushroom(I think) – not a turkey tail.

turkey tails

This was the logs that I found – sweet! Before going into the id, I thought I would tell you what they are good for. Like most medicinal mushrooms turkey tails help the immune system due to the polysaccharides like beta glucans – boosting it, giving strength to a sluggish immune system and making it stronger. Also it has been used for cancer treatments in Asia. If I remember correctly this mushroom is part of Paul Stamets Mushroom Supplements.

Here is a test to determine if it is a true Turkey Tail from Mushroom Expert.com

Totally True Turkey Tail Test

1) Is the pore surface a real pore surface? Like, can you see actual pores?

Yes: Continue.

No: See Stereum ostrea and other crust fungi

    .

2) Squint real hard. Would you say there are about 1-3 pores per millimeter (which would make them fairly easy to see), or about 3-8 pores per millimeter (which would make them very tiny)?

3-8 per mm: Continue.

1-3 per mm: See several other species of Trametes

    .

3) Is the cap conspicuously fuzzy, velvety, or finely hairy (use a magnifying glass or rub it with your thumb)?

Yes: Continue.

No: See several other species of Trametes

    .

4) Is the fresh cap whitish to grayish?

Yes: See Trametes hirsuta

No:

        Continue.

 

5) Does the cap lack starkly contrasting color zones (are the zones merely textural, or do they represent subtle shades of the same color)?

Yes: See Trametes pubescens

No: 

        Continue.

 

6) Is the fresh mushroom rigid and hard, or thin and flexible?

Rigid and hard:

        See

Trametes ochracea

Thin and flexible:

    Totally True Turkey Tail.

Description:

Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods, or rarely on the wood of conifers; annual; causing a white rot of the sapwood; growing in dense, overlapping clusters or rosettes on logs and stumps; year-round; very widely distributed and common in North America.

Cap: Up to 10 cm across; only a few mm thick; flexible when fresh; circular, semicircular, bracket-shaped, or kidney-shaped; often fused with other caps; densely hairy or velvety, often with alternating zones of texture; with concentric zones of white, brown, cinnamon, and reddish brown (but highly variable in color and sometimes with other shades, including blue, green, and orange).

Pore Surface: Whitish to pale grayish; not bruising; with 4 or more tiny pores per mm; tubes up to 3 mm deep.

Flesh: Insubstantial; whitish; tough and leathery.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to yellowish on flesh.

Spore Print: Whitish.

Now I am no mushroom expert so some of the questions above are still beyond my realm. I did attempt my first spore print today from a mushroom I was not sure of but still can’t id it – hee hee! For now I will stick with Chanterelles, Shiitakes and Turkey Tails.

So I will be clipping away to fill a jar of turkey tails for my tincture. Also mushroom tinctures are a bit different from regular herbal tinctures because they require two processes.

The Double Extraction Process – from Goldroot Botanical Medicine – a couple good recipes on there too.

Tincturing Medicinal Mushrooms: The Double Extraction Process

Mushroom tinctures are made using a double-extraction technique. First, the alcohol extracts the constituents that are not soluble in water, like sterols & terpenes. After the mushrooms have been extracted in alcohol, it goes through a hot water extraction or decoction process to extract the beta-glucans, proteoglycans, and other immune-supporting polysaccharides. The below steps outline the double extraction process using the folk method of tincturing. (For more detailed recipes and ratios, see references below.)

Part 1: Alcohol extraction

Break the fruitbodies up into the smallest pieces possible. This makes for a larger surface area and thorough extraction. It’s easier to do this while they’re still fresh before drying.

  1. Fill a quart or half-gallon canning jar halfway with the dried mushroom.
  2. Add the vodka, filling the jar to the top. Label it!
  3. Cap the jar and keep it in a warm, dark place. Agitate daily.
  4. After about a month, strain.

Part 2: Hot water extraction

  1. Take the alcohol-soaked mushroom pieces that are left over after straining (called the marc) and put them in a pot. Cover them with water.
  2. Simmer for 2 hours. The water will evaporate throughout this time.
  3. Allow the tea to cool before you strain it. Discard all the solids but save the water.
  4. Add this water to an equal amount of the alcohol extract. This gives you an extract that’s 25% alcohol, as the vodka was 100 proof to begin with (50% water/50% alcohol).

You may need to do some measuring before you boil the water to make sure you have enough. Gauge the amount of liquid used in your first alcohol tincture and boil at least triple that amount of water for the hot water extraction. It may seem like a lot but it will reduce (you can always keep boiling if it doesn’t).

Suggested use varies depending on the size of the person and the strength of the tincture. A good standard amount is 1/2 of a teaspoon taken 2–3x a day. It should keep for about 2 years. And as always, store in a cool place in dark-colored bottles away from direct sunlight.

I will continue on this in the next couple days and let you know what else is growing in the woods.

Nighty, night ya’ll,

Anne-Marie

 

Herbs For Healthy Hair

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Sometimes I just come across something really wonderful and think, “I have to share that on the blog!!!” Well I was scanning through my emails and came across a newsletter from Herbal Academy of New England. They have boocoos of herbal info on there!

It brought to this post  – Herbs For Healthy Hair which you can find the full article here.

5 Herbs for Healthy Hair

Grace Sutherland and her six sisters were famous for their long hair. Date ca. 1890. -

Grace Sutherland and her six sisters were famous for their long hair. Date ca. 1890. -

Ok now while most of us do not have that long of hair, I still thought it was the epitome of healthy beautiful hair.

If you purchase your herbs, make sure they come from a sustainable, organic, and ethical source. ***From AM – I like Mountain Rose Herbs , also check out their blog – tons of recipes. I like this one – 

Homemade shampoo is not as thick or lathering as store-bought varieties, but it will effectively clean hair with nourishing ingredients and botanicals. Because this shampoo is so much gentler, you can expect that your hair will not feel as squeaky-clean after washing. This is because it will not be stripped of its natural oils!

8 oz water
3 oz Liquid Castille Soap
1-2 TBSP dried organic herbs of choice (see list on link above)
20-60 drops essential oil (see list on link above)
1/4 tsp organic Jojoba or Olive oil (adjust as needed – use more for dry hair or may omit for oily hair)

Make an herbal infusion by pouring boiling water over the herbs, cover, and allow them to steep for at least 4 hours. Strain the herbs out and pour the reserved liquid into a bottle, then add Castille soap and oils. Your herbal shampoo is now ready to use! Always shake well before use since the contents will naturally separate.

 

herbalshampoo

or you can check in with a fantastic Organic Farm in NC for some fresh and dried herbs – Gentle Harmony Farm.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) – This wonderful herb not only is chock full of protein, vitamins, and minerals but may also help to stimulate blood flow within the scalp, aiding in hair growth and shine. Nettle is used to prevent dandruff as well as to stimulate blood flow to the scalp.

 *** I personally have been growing and harvesting my own nettle. It is so exciting when you can grow something yourself AND make your medicine, tea and salves from it. From what I understand, Nettle is also beneficial to hair loss in promoting growth. We shall see!!! Also in Ga it is super easy to grow , just wear your gloves – no joke and long sleeves when harvesting unless you want some nasty stings***

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) – High in antioxidants as well as containing some trace vitamins and minerals, green tea is another popular stimulant for the scalp.

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) – Horsetail, a grassy smelling and astringent herb, has been used in many traditions for hair health and maintenance. There are some claims that this benefit is due to the herb’s silica content, but in fact, most forms of silica are not water soluble. The benefits of this herb for your hair are likely due to its ability as a vulnerary, which when used externally, helps to heal skin wounds and inflammation.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa) – Just like horsetail, oatstraw contains B vitamins and minerals. Oatstraw, the dried milky tops from oats, has all of the anti-inflammatory properties that oats do, helping to aid in healing itchy or raw scalps, and even dandruff. Oatstraw adds softness and shine to your hair due to its rich silica content and soothing properties.

***I LOVE Oatstraw since it is so nourishing and soothing to the whole body.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) – This tasty herb, used frequently in our kitchens, is very good at helping to stimulate the scalp which may potentially aid in growth. Rinsing with rosemary can also help to relieve the scalp of product buildup and close the hair follicles making your hair appear softer and shinier. 

Hair care: Rosemary oil and rosemary teas are widely used for hair care in shampoos and lotions. Regular use of rosemary oil helps to stimulate follicles, making hair grow longer and stronger. It is also believed that rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and graying of the hair. Therefore, it is an excellent tonic for bald people or those who are beginning to show signs on male pattern baldness.

Rosemary essential oil is also beneficial for dry and flaky scalps. Regular massaging of the scalp with rosemary oil nourishes the scalp and removes dandruff. Furthermore, it is often mixed with tea tree oil and basil oil to alternately treat scalp problems. For many years, rosemary has been combined with olive oil as a way to darken and strengthen hair by using hot oil treatments.

Coconut Oil – OK not an herb but natural as it gets and as good outside as it for you inside! Use it for dry, damaged hair and flaky scalp. Wet your hair and coat it in coconut oil, wrap in a towel for 15 minutes or if you are in the shower, do all your other business and then wash out the coconut oil with shampoo. Silky soft!!!

Calendula – If you have light hair, use calendula petals infused in water as a hair rinse or added to your castille soap/shampoo.  Use the strong tea as a hair rinse to bring out blonde and brunette highlights. It also makes your hair soft and shiny. Recipe – How to make calendula tea -
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons dried calendula petals. (double for fresh petals) Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. To make a strong infusion, let the calendula steep for an hour or even overnight.

Sage – Known for its darkening effect on hair so for those of you that are naturally brunnette or black headed and are getting to that age…ahem…distinguished look…try this to cover those greys. :) Use same recipe above replacing calendula with sage.

The old Apple Cider Vinegar rinse – for soft and shiny hair. Diluted with water, it also invigorates the scalp and helps to eliminate dandruff. 

Here  is a cool recipe from Herbal Academy of NE – I HAVE to make this tomorrow!!!! If you try it let me know what ya think or if you have any favorite herbal recipes that work for you.

Healthy Hair Tea & Rinse

 

Ingredients

2 parts green tea
1 parts nettle leaf
1 part horsetail
1 part oatstraw
1 part rosemary (optional for hair rinse tea)

Directions

Tea

  • In a bowl, gently mix tea ingredients together with a spoon and keep in an air-tight container.
  • Steep 1-3 tablespoons of loose leaf tea in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes.
  • Strain tea and  enjoy! You can make this in bulk and keep it in the fridge to drink all week.

Hair Rinse

  • In a bowl, gently mix tea ingredients together with a spoon and keep in an air-tight container.
  • Steep 1/4 cup of loose leaf tea in 2 cups water for 20+ minutes. You can leave tea steeping overnight for an even stronger infusion.
  • Strain tea and let cool.
  • After cleansing your hair, rinse with your healthy hair tea. You can simply pour over your head or put cooled tea in a spray bottle and spray onto hair and comb through. There is no need to rinse your hair after using this herbal tea hair rinse.
  • For more recipes, check out this fabulous book by Dina Falconi – Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair

Have a great night – 

Anne-Marie

Recipe For Kudzu Flower Jelly

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I really thought I had posted the kudzu flower jelly in an earlier post but didn’t. I have now made 6 jars a couple weeks ago and about to can 10 more. MMMMMmmmmm good! Everyone loves it!!!

I can’t take credit for the recipe, it did come from Greene Dean over at Eat The Weeds. But enjoy my tutorial on it and let me know how it turns out for you. :)

First find a good patch of kudzu – :D OK not hard at all to do here in Georgia!!!!

BUT you must find some that have the vertical growing vines – they have the flowers, the beautiful purple flowers that smell like grape lollipops.

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Then as you pick off the purple blossoms, flick the flower with your finger to get the kudzu beetles to leave. YES this is a labor of love people!!!!

 

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Pretty up close blossom

Fill a bucket full of flowers -

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Bring them inside or in a porch and spread them out because there will inevitably be more critters lurking inside the flowers.

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Then after an hour or so put them in a bucket of cold water to rinse and drain after about 10 minutes.

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Next trim your flowers to get rid of the green stem, don’t go crazy on this part, just remove any long pieces beyond the blossom.

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Measure in cups, how many blossoms you have. Add back to the bucket(Make sure it is heat proof because you will be pouring boiling water in it!). Boil water equal to the amount of flowers you have. I had 10 cups of flowers so I boiled 10 cups of water.

Pour water over the flowers and place a lid on it. Let it sit on the counter or table for about 30 minutes. THEN move it to the refrigerator to steep for 8 hours.

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Later or the next morning….

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Notice how dark the water now is. Strain it out. Don’t get scared at the color, it is DARK!

Now put your kudzu infusion in a large pot, I mean a really large pot because when it boils, it BOILS UP THE TOP! Add your pectin and lemon juice according to the recipe below. Bring to a full, rolling boil on med high to high that cannot be stirred down. Now add all of your sugar at once. Stir quickly and bring it up to a hard boil again.

After 1 minute – check your consistency – either scoop out a bit onto a plate and put in freezer for a moment or use a spoon that was placed in a cup of ice water to chill and scoop alittle onto the spoon. Does it gel up or run off? If it is still runny, keep boiling another minute or two or three. Mine took a total of three minutes but you must keep checking it.

I apologize for not having the camera in hand for those pics but here is a good description of checking your jelly consistency if you need it.

Next have your clean jars ready with canning pot boiling or simmering. Skim off any foam from the pot of jelly and scoop jelly into half pint jars to within 1/4″ from the top. Wipe rims, place lids and bands on, only tighten lightly. Put into the canner and bring to boil. Process 5 minutes. Remove from canner and let cool on towel – do not touch for a couple hours, better yet until the next day.

Recipe:

4 cups flowers

4 cups boiling water

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 box of pectin (1 3/4 ounce)

4 cups sugar

Easy peasy!

kudzu jelly

Oh yeah, when you add the lemon juice it changes the color to the beautiful color above! How pretty and delicious!!!

Have a great day!

Anne-Marie

 

 

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Stop And Smell The Kudzu

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bellavistafarm:

As I am harvesting Kudzu Flowers once again, I thought about the following post I did a couple of years ago. Enjoy it! AM :)

Originally posted on Bella Vista Farm:

How come I have never really noticed the kudzu flowers? Or the persimmons ripening in the fall to an orange glow? Or the beautiful purple passion flowers that the carpenter bees love so much?

Up until the past year or two, I never thought to stop and smell the kudzu flowers with their delightful, grape jelly-like fragrance. This week, I will harvest those beauties and make kudzu flower jelly!

But why don’t we slow down more? Around us, there is so much beauty to reveal in if we actually take the time to see it. Maybe some don’t want to see it, maybe they like the concrete, the roads, metal cars, glass and brick buildings, the air conditioning, a small cubicle in an office, enough said. Me? My eyes are wide open to the beauty that God has put before us and I will continue to stop and smell the…

View original 41 more words

How To Make a Ginger Glycerite

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Have you ever made a glycerite? Do you know what a glycerite is?

In case you don’t know, a glycerite is a tincture made with vegetable glycerine instead of alcohol.100% Pure Vegetable Glycerine has a long shelf life and does not easily oxidize. It is an all-natural product derived from Non-GMO palm oil or vegetable oil.I usually use NOW Solutions Glycerine Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces or one from Mountain Rose. Those are the only two I have ever tried.

Why would I use vegetable glycerine? Well, if someone was sensitive to alcohol or you wanted to make it for children, you would use a glycerine rather than an alcohol and it tastes sweet so getting the kids to take their medicine is a whole lot easier! Some adults too. ;)

I made an Echinacea glycerite the other day but forgot to take pictures of the whole process, just this one:

 

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

I had some fresh ginger so I figured I would make a Ginger Glycerite. A fellow student in Herb class made one and oh my goodness – unbelieveable!! I could just take a spoonful or two and put it in tea or in some club soda.

What is ginger good for?

Herbal Actions: 

Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-emetic (anti-nausea), circulatory stimulant, aromatic, expectorant, rubifacient(A rubefacient is a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin e.g. by causing dialation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation), diaphoretic, emmenagogue(stimulates blood flow) and an antioxidant.

Indications:

In other words, ginger stimulates digestion, helps nausea during chemotherapy – motion sickness – morning sickness(small amounts), indigestion, poor appetite, dizziness, delayed menses, menstrual cramps, joint pain and inflammation, cold symptoms, poor circulation, congestion and may help prevent heart attacks and TIA’s but since it can inhibit blood coagulation – precautions must be taken with any medications or prexisting problems with blood coagulation.

Ginger anything, to me, is just good to eat! I put it in smoothies, in coffee, in water, tumeric berry lemonade, crystallized ginger recipe. What are your favorite ways to enjoy ginger?

Alrighty then, down to the procedure of making the glycerite!

Ginger Glycerite Recipe

Ingredients: Fresh ginger root

                   bottle of vegetable glycerine

                  a glass jar

                  a scale

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First, slice up your ginger – peel it if it is not organic otherwise leave the skin on. Weigh the sliced ginger -

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I got 3.5 ounces. I left the ginger in slices rather than mince them because I may eat them after they have been soaking in the glycerine – delish!!! So since I have 3.5 ounces of FRESH ginger, I need 7 ounces of straight, 100% glycerine. The ratio is 1:2 for fresh and 1:5 for dried. With glycerites, you want the glycerine content to be around 60-70% so with the fresh(since fresh herbs always contain water), we do not dilute it with water. If it was dried root then we would dilute the glycerine with 30% water. Does that make sense?

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Glycerine is a syrupy consistency.

Next pour the glycerine over your ginger, that you first put in a glass jar.

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Use a chopstick or spatula and stir it up good, pushing the ginger down so none is exposed to the air. Put a lid on it and a label with the following information:

Date, batch # ( you can use the first 3 letter of the botanical name – both parts and the date and a number), botanical name, part used, ratio, dried or fresh, what was your menstruum(liquid used for tincture). Here is a sheet that I use from the www.herbalista.org (one of my teachers) – Maceration Worksheet FRESH

My Maceration worksheet - filled out

My Maceration worksheet – filled out

Keep your tincture where you can see it everyday and shake it at least once daily. If the herb is poking up through the menstruum, push it back down and if necessary add a wee bit more glycerine. It will be ready to strain in 3 weeks. Strain through cheescloth lined strainer into a jar and bottle it into smaller amber jars – LABEL!

Dosage – 20-40 drops up to 3X/day.

Enjoy your medicine-making!

Anne-Marie

Disclaimer and affiliate links: Even though I study herbalism and make medicines, my advice, experiences and recipes are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

I do not promote anything that is inconsistent with my ideology. However, I do accept sponsorships, affiliate programs and other forms of compensation from companies I believe in. Please visit my friends and affiliate links within the post or on my sidebar. :)
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Wildcrafting Wednesday

Day 23: Finding Freedom in Frugality

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cute barter

“I buy my freedom with my frugality.”~Vicki Robins

With all that we have learned this past month, how do you feel? Hopefully quite a bit better than when we started the challenge. There is so much community within this Frugal Living Challenge group even though we don’t know every person, although there are many from the Ladies Homestead Gathering –  I love the sharing of ideas!!!

My hope is this: That you come away from this challenge with more arrows in your quiver, to conquer any obstacle that may cross your path and even if it appears as a gigantic boulder, know that you can break it down into tiny pebbles. I hope that many of you will cook from scratch, continue to recycle and reuse, to save resources and not waste and most of all enjoy doing what you are doing! While it is great to be frugal when you WANT to be, it is even better to be able to do it when you HAVE to be frugal.

I don’t know if I mentioned Mavis Butterfield from One Hundred Dollars a Month, I think I did. Mavis chooses to be frugal especially with her grocery budget of, you guessed it $100 a Month for a family of four. She barters for many items and finds free food sources but it is the reason behind that I think she does it. Mavis travels all over the world with her family, mostly I read it is her daughter that goes with her, and because of her frugality, she can jump on a plane anytime she feels like it! That to me is incredibly cool!!!

Here is a post from One Hundred Dollars a Month from yesterday regarding Free National Park Admissions -

 

“You know I love to travel, and while I’d hop a flight to London every month if I could swing it, there are so many cool places in the US I love exploring too. Some of our national parks top my list of awesome places to vacation to. I might not be much of a camper, but I love to hike. And I’ve seen some pretty amazing views while hiking through some of our national parks.

Did you know there are over 400 national parks in the US? Wowzas. Some of the best ones charge admission fees, so you’ll want to pay attention to the list of 2014 fee-free days below if you’re planning on visiting one of the fee-based national parks anytime soon:

Free National Park Admission Dates:

  • January 20- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17- Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20- opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25- National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27- National Public Lands Day
  • November 11- Veterans Day

Other agencies participate in fee-free days as well. See the full list and participating agency below:

Dates Event Participating Agency
Jan. 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Feb. 15-17 President’s Day Weekend Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
April 19-20 National Park Week’s opening weekend National Park Service
June 14 National Get Outdoors Day U.S. Forest Service
Aug. 25 National Park Service’s 98th Birthday National Park Service
Sept. 27 National Public Lands Day Army Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Oct. 12 National Wildlife Refuge Day U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nov. 8-11 Veteran’s Day Weekend Army Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day National Park Service

 

End of Mavis’ post!

I am going to print that out and save it somewhere so I can check out some more parks!!!

So I must say goodbye to all of you for the end of the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge!!! I have had a wonderful time with it and will be continuing the regular blogging of saving money, herbal adventures, cooking, farm life and all that fabulous stuff.

Please, please share my blog with your friends if you enjoyed this past month and we will do more in the near future. Don’t forget if you are on the facebook group to make sure your name is in Thursdays(Day 21) post that was pinned to the top. I will be giving away a prize and announce the winner Monday morning. :)

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
Take time to evaluate all that you have learned over the past 23 days and answer this question…”Where do I go from here?”

Have a beautiful day!

Anne-Marie

Day 22: Tips That Are Guaranteed To Save You Money!

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                                                   stretched-dollar-bill-0907-mdn

                              “You cannot bring about prosperity

                                         by discouraging thrift.

                                 You cannot establish sound security

                                       on borrowed money.

                                 You cannot keep out of trouble

                           by spending more than you earn.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Love that quote! So sad, second to last day of our 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. I know many of you want to keep the facebook group going and that is totally fine with me. I may change the name but there are now so many resources on it for us to keep and share and pin and print out and HOPEFULLY do!

I thought I would compile a list of money saving tips that I have gotten from various blogs and from YOU, the readers!

1. DIY – because that is what we are all striving for. Do what you can for yourself and your family. Many things can be handmade, homemade or created by you. If not find a friend that has a hobby that you don’t and barter. Win,win for all!

2. Don’t Shop – stay home as much as possible, you will enjoy your life better and keep money in your pocket. If you can’t go out, you can’t really spend or I should say impulse spend. If you still are addicted to shopping stay off Amazon – :)

3. LIST – Keep a list going of things you are about to run out of on the refrigerator – this way when you do go to the store, you can get it instead of waiting until the last minute and hopefully you will have a coupon for it. While we are on that subject, if you don’t already – train the whole family to write on the list anything that is finished and in need like using the last of the toothpaste or the last of the mayo.

4. The 30 Day List – remember that one? Did any of you put something on it this month? Do you still NEED or WANT it?

5. Buy Used whenever possible or if you must buy new, appliances or computers, definitely put it on the 30 Day List and shop around until you have the absolute best price you can get. Sometimes waiting just a few weeks results in a super deal.

6. Put the debit card and credit cards away! Use cash or if you must – get a reloadable card and put small amounts on them. When you are done, you are done. You will be less likely to spend $100 when all you have is $50 in cash.

7. Stay Healthy! This will definitely save you the big bucks in the long run. Eat good, healthy, local, organic if possible, exercise and lead a stress free life. OK so no one is going to be completely stress-free but realistically you can alleviate some of the stress in your life and enjoy it more.

8. Eat those leftovers! Many of you have posted that one.

9. Barter and Share 

10. Visit flylady for some helpful time saving household tips – saving time saves you money!

11. Have a budget and try your best to stick to it. Slip ups are normal, no one is perfect.

12. Clean out the closets! Clean, give away and sell – make some cash!

13. Make Gifts – and that kind of fits in with #1 but making gifts is more personal and saves bucks. Have a party or a class and make gifts together – way more fun! I actually have a class here once a year before Christmas and I get all the supplies to make Herbal Gifts. Last year was incredibly fun.

14. Rent instead of buying. I have done this for textbooks and for electronic. I don’t always need a camcorder but when I do, I go rent one for about $15 for the week.

15. Cook from Scratch

16. Take care of all of your possessions. Maintain cars, house filters, ac units, fences etc… The more you take care of stuff, the longer it lasts. The longer it lasts, the less you have to replace.

17. Save on utilities. We talked a bit about this one. Did anyone lower one of their bills this month? I was more observant with lights, ac, stove, dryer usage. We will see when the bill comes in!!!

18. Read from the library or online instead of buying books or magazines. Oh I forgot to tell you, the other day I had an impulse buy and bought a magazine for $5.99 – yikes!!!!

19. Stay Home – Using the car less means using less gas. If you absolutely need something from the store ask someone else to bring it to you on the way home or do without until you go out the next day.

20. Go for a walk. Now why would that save you money? Well because sometimes I get my best ideas when I go for a walk and I may create a new herbal product or bread recipe or think about some other way to make or save money.

21. Find a buddy to be frugal with. Or better yet, find a bunch of buddies!! ;) With frugal friends you will never find yourself ordering a Starbuck’s coffee, go shopping at the mall AND eat lunch at PF Changs. (Shuddering)

22. Find a better bank – one that actually pays interest on your money. If not then invest in something with a better return.

23. Join Walmart’s Saving Catcher – I am not a fan of Walmart either but this is a good one according to one of the readers. If you join and purchase something from Walmart then find a less expensive price, you scan the receipt and the ad for the other store and they put money in your account for later. Sounds wonderful, especially for sale shoppers!!

So there you go, 23 savings tips for our 23 Day Challenge!

Don’t forget if you are on our facebook group you must comment in the thread from yesterday about converting your husband. It can be any comment even one word just so you are entered in the drawing for the prize box at the end of the week. Sorry no new folks please, just the 87 that are on the challenge page. :)

Now it is Your Turn – What is your favorite money saving tip, even if you have said it before AND which tip would you like to implement now?

Have a fabulous day people!

Anne-Marie