Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sightings in the woods 3/25

On the level with the May Apples!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spice Bush just beginning to flower at Susquehannock State Forest, beautiful!

Trout Lilly bulbs sweet and tasty for eating

The first sign of Jewel Weed coming up

Blood Root in bloom

Day Lilys harvested for a wild meal...
The shoots, flowers and tubers are all edible and delicious!

Nothing better than eating a fine saute of day lily over a fire off the Appalachian Trail (take notice that most lilies are poisonous so make sure you know your day lilies!)

Starting the growing season

Plotting out the beds for the acre ahead...

We began to till...

Check out that awesome roto tiller of Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op! We love being a member

Nothing like working mother and daughter in the dirt in Lancaster county...restoring roots back home!

Transporting the donated straw...again. The life of transient farmers..moving from one barn, to another warehouse, to another barn...

Starting seeds in the at one of the farmer's greenhouse part of the co-op. Little seeds take lots of patience.


These are just some of the things we have been stumbling across while in the woods.

A spring peeper peepin away at Middle Creek to find a mate! peep peep peep

A rare find, a Spotted Salamander. Shortly after we spotted this spotted creature, we found it had given birth to several large milky white egg sacs. So exciting....

A spring favorite, nettle! Early nettles are delicious to eat and provide tons of calcium and beneficial properties. Those of you who have allergies should start harvesting this to make tea (don't forget it does sting so maybe gloves if you like!) We drink this all season long because its great for everything!

Scarlet Cups growing through the leaves, first of the year!

Making Chickweed Salve

A few weeks ago the chickweed started growing in abundance. We went out to one of the farmers hoop houses where it needed to be weeded and harvested this special medicinal plant used externally for skin irritations and bites. Great to eat as a salad green too full of nutrients. 

Making sure to rise the plant material off in cool water. After washing, it is important to let everything wilt and slightly dry before infusing in oil or else it is prone to mold

There are two approaches to infusing olive oil with your medicinal plants. One is the slow method using the sun filling a mason jar with equal parts plant material to oil. The other is by slow cooking on low heat in a double stainless steel pot for 3 hours. 

After the oil has been well infused, it is time to strain with cheese cloth.
Once the oil is strained, reheat on low and begin to add 1/4 part beeswax shavings

Pour into jars and add a preservative like vitamin e oil to keep the shelf life longer. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Community Supported Medicinal Herb Shares (CSM)

Spring is so close and we are getting excited to be preparing our new acre of land for planting the seeds of our vision! We are currently signing people up for our Community Supported Medicine Shares (CSM) and happy to be a new member of Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative to distribute our harvest and products. Check us out at www.lancasterfarmfresh.com/csm.asp

What is CSM?
CSM stands for Community Supported Medicine. The CSM model has been created by Lancaster Farmacy. Our goal is to work with Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative to distribute local organic herbs and herbal products for home health care. By purchasing a share, you receive harvested fresh and dried herbs and prepared herbal products from the farm. You will also receive information about medicinal usages and remedies for keeping you and your family healthy throughout the seasons. 

How much will I get?
In 2010 Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative will deliver 20 weeks of local organic herbal medicinal products to CSM members. All shareholders will receive a delivery every week and a delivery every other week for half shares. Items in shares will vary throughout the season.  In mid July shares will include several bunches of fresh herbs with recipes for making beneficial teas with herbs like chamomile for calming, lemon balm for energy, and hyssop for colds. Later in the fall when our harvest is slowing down you will receive prepared medicine products to expand your herbal medicine cabinet with things like tinctures for boosting immunity, tonics for aiding digestion, salves and oils for all purpose skin healing and herb infused bath salts for relaxing aching muscles. 


Calendula flowers are a great healer! Medicinal uses: Internally the petals or leaves can be used in a tea to induce sweating, promote menstruation, increase urination, relieve stomach cramps, indigestion and stomachaches, and for relief from flu and fevers.  Externally, Calendula flowers and leaves can be made into an ointment or powder for a variety of common skin ailments, including cuts, scrapes, abrasions, scalds, blisters, acne, rashes (including diaper rash), chicken pox outbreaks, and athlete's foot.   For bee stings, rub the fresh flowers directly on the sting to relieve the pain.