Tumeric Berry Lemonade Recipe


I forgot about this recipe – MUCH needed this time of year! :)
I have blue berries, raspberries and blackberries to make this now.

Originally posted on Bella Vista Farm:

Sometimes I just make up recipes! It may have been inspired from someone else’s recipe or I just see what is around in the kitchen that I can use. Really this may have been inspired from a Trim Healthy Mama drink.

I had a headache from being out in the heat, was thirsty and wanted something refreshing with an anti-inflammatory bonus.  Refreshing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and electrolyte drink. Water, ice, lemons, lime, celtic sea salt, raspberries, coconut oil, tumeric, ginger and stevia. Mmmmm good! So the “Tumeric Berry Lemonade” was born!


I shared it on face book and everyone loved it so here is the recipe! ENJOY :)

Tumeric Berry Lemonade

8-10 oz water – needed for rehydration
Pinch sea salt – electrolyte
Healthy pinch powdered ginger(was too lazy to grate fresh) – anti-inflammatory
About 1/8 tsp tumeric (cucurmin – powerful anti-inflammatory)
1/4 of a lemon 
Wedge of lime
1 tsp…

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How To Make A Calendula Oil Infusion

Don’t you just love the Spring? Actually it will be officially Summer in a couple week – wow! I love Spring because I can start picking flowers and herbs to use in my infusions, tinctures and all the beautiful other creations. One of my absolute favorite flowers is calendula – beautiful, sunny calendula!

meander basket 2

This year I am growing two full raised beds with calendula – only one is producing flowers right now. Did you know the more you pick the blossoms, the more they grow? Really. At first I would have 2-3 to pick, then 5-6, then 10, now I am up to about 30 per day on average.

Most of the blossoms come inside to be laid upside down on a clean tray to dry. I do it this way so they don’t shrivel up into a little unidentifiable nothing!


So before I get to the recipe and tutorial, here is a little something for your herbal notebook on Calendula!

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

calendula flower

Calendula is part of the Asteraceae family of plants. It is a ray flower with many petals in orange and yellow with muted green leaves that are about 4-6″ long and rounded at the tip., It is a self seeding annual that can grow to 2′ tall.

Herbal Actions: Vulnerary, Lymphatic, Anti-bacterial, Antiviral, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory and Emmenagogue

Internally, calendula is used for chronic colitis, surgical wounds, ulcers, chronic sores, varicose veins, candida, lymphadema, rinse after tooth extractions, fungal infections.

Externally it is used  for wounds, cuts, rashes, burns, cracked nipples after breast feeding.

Basically Calendula promotes all kinds of wound healing. :)

**As always, check with your medical/herbal practitioner before starting any herbal remedy or do more research to make sure it is right for you.**


Calendula Infused Oil

Take a few cups of calendula blossoms, fresh or dried and add enough coconut and olive oil to cover all the blossoms completely in a crock pot. For 3 cups blossoms, you would need about 4 cups total of oil. I uses half coconut and half olive oil.

Put a thermometer in the pot, do not cover. Heat on low to warm, depending on your personal crock pot since some run very hot. Keep temperature between 110-150o, ideally and definitely below 160o so you don’t get crispy fried calendula!

Heat for about 3 hours, turn off and let cool until you can strain it. Sometimes I will cover the pot with a cooling rack and towel while it is cooling down.

Strain through a muslin or cheesecloth lined mesh strainer into a clean glass bowl. Let this bowl sit covered on your counter overnight and then decant the oil into another bowl or jar. This allows the sediment to go to the bottom of the first bowl(if there is any water or particles) and you will have clear pretty oil.



Now you can use your oil in herbal recipes or put it in the refrigerator(LABELED) where it will keep for up to a year.

So what will you make? Let me know! Please share this post with your friends – thank you :D

Enjoy your lovely day,


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How To Keep Snakes Away

Snakes, some people love them and some people hate them. I am one of the latter.

Seriously, I cannot even think about being anywhere near a snake. I don’t like the looks of them, the feel of them, their slithery way of getting around, none of it!

How do you keep snakes away? I know they NEED to be around to get the mice, rats and the bad snakes but even black snakes have to go when they start eating my chicks and my eggs. Those critters cannot share and co-habitate with my hens – no freaking way!

A few days ago, I purchased some Snake-Be-Gon which is all natural and made with essential oils of clove, geranium and a couple other ingredients. I sprinkled it around the baby house and again after the rain and then part way around the big hen house, especially  under the front where critters can hide.

evidentially, it did not work at keeping them out or it worked too well and kept them in where they could not get. I don’t believe that last part but I have been noticing the last three days we had no eggs in the house and one or two outside in the hen’s yard.

Hmmmmm…. Tonight I go out to close up the trap door on the house and I saw two of the hens looking up to the roof. I look up and lo and behold a big, fat snake!!! Of course I ran to the house and got my hubby. He and the kid came out with a bucket, something to catch the snake(the fireplace tong thingies), a machete(just in case) and a flash light since it was getting dark. Sorry I have no pictures – my phone was in the house!!!

John got them out and in the bucket with a lid(with holes) and tomorrow they will be relocated far, far away from here like in the next town. Ha!

So I go online just to check what else keeps snakes away and I find out that planting lemongrass keeps them away because they don’t like the smell. I do love lemongrass but remember the fiasco from the harvest and digging out the lemongrass? Click here if you want to read it. Just in case you don’t know, lemongrass is an annual here in GA and digging up is a bear to say the least BUT I will take it!


Lemongrass (Cymopogon citratus) from two years ago.

What else keeps snakes away? Wormwood, Garlic, Cinnamon & Clove oil and Andrographis(although I do not know if that can grow here).


Wormwood (Artemisia)

snake be gon

Snake B Gon

Well folks, enough excitement for me tonight! Enjoy your eve, time for night, night. Zzzzzzz


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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!





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.


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



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!


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Beeswax – the block or the pastilles?

One day I will have my own bees – so I can have honey and BEESWAX! Until then I have to buy beeswax in either a giant block or in a more processed pastilles(fancy word for pellets).

Dealing with the pastilles is easy, peasy – you just open the bag and scoop em out. Yeah real convenient….but it does go through extra processing and it costs a bit more. If you want some just go here. So I get the block or should I say the brick because that is exactly what it feels like especially when cutting it up. Yep you gotta cut it up using every muscle in your body and no way can you grate this giant thing. Beeswax is not cooperative. Soooo I could melt the giant brick in a pot that may or may not take a few hours and then pour it into little molds or ice cube trays. Did I do that this time? Nope.

The beeswax brick

The beeswax brick

Here goes – if you want a bit of a workout, you can do it this way or enlist your hubby or your kids, the neighbors kids, well maybe not the kids – not with a big knife like I have.

I took out all of my kitchen tools: the cutting board, the crinkle cutter, the chefs knife, a sledge hammer(no just kidding :D ) –


First I tried using the crinkle cutter, rocking it back and forth and all I got was like an 1/8th of the way through it – using muscle. Whoa baby this – is – hard! So I went to the big chefs knife as I have done before, and tried cutting right where the crinkle cut left off. It took an extreme effort, breaking a sweat and my hands hurt but I did it.




Next I had the cut the hunk it itty bitty pieces – way easier than the chunk.



I swear though, this chore took at least 30 minutes and I only cut 1 pound of the 2 pound block – hahahaha!

Wrapped the rest up!

Wrapped the rest up!

Do you think Pampered Chef realized someone would be using their tools for chopping beeswax instead of veggies? Maybe I should send a picture to them. :D


So to clean these tools, uhhh throw away….no really they can be cleaned! Use a scraper, wet the tools and scrape off all excess before using soap and water.


Next time – I really will melt it down to make it easier. Silly me!!!

Hope you had some laughs on this one. Have a beautiful day!


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Stinging Nettle, Amazing Benefits and Spanakopita!

What do you think of Stinging Nettle? I am always amazed at how much this plant can do for you. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is chock full of medicinal and nutritional benefits. It is called “stinging” for a reason – fine, stinging hairs filled with formic acid, just like fire ant bites, cover the entire plant. So you thinking, why in the heck do I want this plant if it is going to hurt me? Trust me, you will love this plant once you hear about all the good stuff!


Let’s start with the medicinal benefits:

Herbal Actions – Blood Tonic, astringent, diuretic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, mild styptic, UT tonic.

Those stinging hairs also contain histamine and when the leaves and stems are freeze dried, the histamines are contained  and capsulized. The nettle then acts like an anti-histamine in your body. These capsules may help your allergy symptoms when taken daily.

A tincture or tea of nettle helps chronic skin and hair dryness, blood deficiency, hair loss and the immune system. I frequently add nettle to just about every client’s formula because it works well with many symptoms and boosts the immune system, which all of us could use a little boosting!

The root is used for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia(BPH), poor urinary output and urinary incontinence.

Contraindications: Avoid using with hemochromotosis(excess iron levels) or hyperkalemia(elevated potassium in the blood).

Nutritional Benefits: Iron, High Protein, Chlorophyll, Vitamins A, B, C, Calcium, Magnesium, Serotonin, Amino Acids.

Just plain good stuff!!

Here is a tonic recipe that is used by many and I believe the original recipe goes to Susun Weed.

1 ounce by weight of dried nettle leaf

32 ounces by volume of water(I use cold)

Pour water over herb in a quart canning jar. Cover and let steep 4 hours or overnight. Strain and drink within 2 days.

OH and while I was cleaning the thick stems away from the leaves and thin stems, I didn’t want to just compost them so I made an infusion of he stems! While it did not become as rich as using the leaves too, it still was quite good and I am sure, beneficial.


I LOVE Spanakopita but have never made it before. I found a recipe using the nettles instead of the traditional spinach. Well I gave it a try and holy, moly, totally, freaking amazing!!! Here is my recipe and don’t be afraid of the phyllo dough – you will just curse the first few sheets. :D


Stinging Nettle Spanakopita

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

12 cups of fresh nettles(I think I only had 10)

3 eggs

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups feta cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tsp. fresh dill

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

12 sheets phyllo dough. (TAKE 1 roll out of freezer 1 hour before using to thaw or as per instructions on the box.)

1/3 cup melted butter.

First – rinse your nettles in a colander. Don’t dry. I used the leaves and the thin stems. Be careful working with them until they are cooked! Heat a large pan on medium and add the rinsed nettles. Cook until wilted like spinach, you may have to add a couple spoons of water just to keep the nettles from sticking. Once wilted and cooked the nettle will no longer sting you.


Remove from pan, drain if needed. Cook onion and garlic in a tablespoon of butter until tender.


In a large bowl: add cheeses, eggs and spices. Add the nettles, garlic and onion mixture.




Mix well. Have butter melted. Lay everything you need out next to each other including a wet paper towel to cover the phyllo dough.

Preheat oven to 350o.

Butter the bottom of a 9×13 pan, I only had a larger sheet pan. Carefully, butter one sheet of phyllo and place it on the pan. The first few are trick so you can practice on a couple until you get the hang of it without tearing them. Continue doing this to a total of 6 sheets, laying them on top of the previous one.

By the way – I do not have pics of this step because I was so afraid I would let the dough dry out!!!

Then spread your nettle mixture across the dough. Butter 6 more sheets of phyllo laying each one over the top. LIGHTLY score the top of the pastry with a knife into portions. Doing this makes it easier to cut when they come out of the oven without having a crumbly mess. :D


Bake for about 30-35 minutes until lightly brown. Eat as many as you want!!!

I found a whole bunch of other nettle recipes here.

Also visit Herbal Living at Mother Earth Living – I contributed part of this post there.

Enjoy your day today!


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Recap of Mother Earth News Fair

I don’t know what happened to April, it just came and went in the blink of an eye!! So I must apologize to my readers for not blogging much the last two weeks.

Many cool things happened this month. We had the launch of our Herbal CSA with 10 shareholders and the distribution of the Spring Herbal Basket –

Spring CSA

A couple weeks ago, at a last minute decision, I drove to Asheville, NC to the Mother Earth News Fair just to meet Rosemary Gladstar – the most famous, amazing, inspiring herbalist of all!!! Of course I did some of fun stuff too, I was there anyway. :)

If you ever get the chance to go to one of these fairs, I think the next one is in Pennsylvania, you MUST! Holy Moly homesteading/farming/herbal classes galore and the shopping – ahhhhhhh!

I met a few folks from Mountain Rose Herbs – here is Josh in the booth. They gave out samples of herbs and lots of stickers!!! I even got a stack of stickers for the Herbal Notebook Class – of course with their permission. :) You can buy some of these sticker on their web site for about a buck – awesome.

fair mrh

The first class was on Herbal Beauty Products – loved it! It was with Sue Goetz, author of Herb Lover’s Spa book. She gave a bunch of fabulous recipes out. Here is one –

Bathing Blend Recipe

Whole organic oats – my guess would be 1/2 cup

Lavender – 1 T

Lemon Verbena – 1 T

Rose Petals – 1-2 T

Add to a muslin bag or a cotton sock. Tie to the faucet and let very hot water run over it. Then add cool water to the temperature you prefer. Sit and enjoy a relaxing soak!

Next I went to a Wild Foods class – yep right on target! The guy’s name was Alan and I can’t for the life of me remember his company…..oh wait No Taste Like Home. Here is his website. I want to go on one of his amazing adventures!

fair wildfood

He gave us a list of the top 100 wild foods – ramps, acorns, ants(hell no!), puffballs, purslane, apples, beautyberry, hawthorn berry, sassafrass leaf….the rest in the link.

here ya go! FOODS

I learned about mushrooms from Mushroom Mountain and purchased some Reishi(Ganoderma) spawn to innoculate some logs. Yippee!

I saw Dr. Christopher’s son from the School of Natural Healing.

fair dr c

David Christopher did an entire talk on comfrey. It was eye opening to learn all the different ways comfrey(Symphytum officinale) can be used and to not be so afraid of the the PA’s(Pyrrolizadine Alkaloids). It is used for bruising, broken bones, slipped discs, sprains, muscle pains, severed fingers etc…He explained that the Symphytum officinale is lowest in PA’s, especially the larger older leaves and how it can be taken internally on a short term basis without negative effects unless someone was also taking many pharmaceuticals in which case could affect the liver. Soooo I think I will use Comfrey internally but probably just for my family until further investigation. :D

Oh and if you wanted books – mega amounts of homesteading books.

fair books

fair books too

And one I need to save for –

fair book

My HIGHLIGHT of the day? Meeting Rosemary Gladstar of course, and getting one of my books signed!!! Oh my was I ever excited – you can see it in my face! rosemary was as sweet as she looks, so friendly and chatted with me as if she already knew me. Sigh…oh to go study with her one day. I can dream can’t I?

fair rose

Snapped a pic of her talking to someone else



signing my book

signing my book

Happy Faces!

Happy Faces!

She even asked if we have met before – ahhhhhhh. Well maybe she saw my face as one of the new contributor on Herbal Living for Mother Earth Living?

Well off to do errands and gardening!

Enjoy the rest of your day, folks,


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