Produce and Pretties For Sale

Medley Acres Homestead has a few things for sale right now by request or at our farm stand by the road. Let me know if you’re interested in any of our items and we’ll make it happen 🙂 We also have fresh mint and nettles in limited quantities. Cucumbers and tomatoes coming soon; apples and pumpkins in the fall.

Switchel

Right now we have a few summertime drinks brewing in various locations in our kitchen: Ginger Switchel, Kombucha and Nettle Mint Tea.

In this post I will share the recipe I like to use for making switchel, and will share my kombucha and nettle tea making techniques in upcoming posts.


Switchel is a delicious, refreshing and good for you summertime beverage that you can easily make! I have a batch in my refrigerator right now. I utilized this recipe below from Wellness Mama, using honey from Wolf Honey Farm who houses some of his bees on our property. We have enjoyed learning more about honey bees and being a part of this process! (especially since I don’t have to don a bee suit myself!)

Dale Wolf setting up his hives on our property

Ginger Honey Switchel Recipe

A fermented drink that combines the benefits of apple cider vinegar, raw honey (or molasses), and ginger for a refreshing and electrolyte drink.

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “the mother”
  • 3 TBSP  raw honey or blackstrap molasses
  • 2- inch piece of fresh ginger root peeled and finely minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 of a fresh lime juiced and zested

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a large jar, cover, and shake well.
  • Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To serve, pour over ice or add seltzer water if desired.

Benefits of Switchel

Wellness Mama says… Like other fermented foods and drinks, switchel has its share of benefits, depending on the ingredients. There are endless ways to make this tasty drink and all of the ingredients offer their own benefits. In my favorite recipe, I use:

  • Apple cider vinegar: A great natural source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as beneficial bacteria and acids. While many people don’t love the strong flavor of vinegar by itself, it is perfect in this recipe when balanced with ginger, honey, and lime.
  • Honey: A versatile natural remedy in our house that I use as a face wash, to help speed healing of cuts and burns, and even as a natural sleep aid. Raw honey is a source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that makes it a nutrient powerhouse with antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is often recommended for digestive health and there is some evidence that it may benefit the skin when taken internally.
  • Ginger: A powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant due to the presence of an oil called gingerol. It has a long history of use as a remedy for digestive problems, nausea, and illness. In this recipe, it adds both flavor and a slight spicy balance to the sweetness of the honey. Ginger root is found in most grocery stores and its skin can be peeled off easily with the edge of a spoon.
  • Lime: I add some fresh lime juice purely for flavor but it is also a good source of vitamin C.

Above and additional information found at Wellness Mama HERE.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

I keep going back to this recipe from Wellness Mama when I want to make Elderberry Syrup for our family. I’ve used this recipe many times, and just this past fall I purchased some tiny silicone ice tray/muffin pans to pour the syrup in, then froze them into little mini elderberry ice cubes. After they froze, I popped them out and put them in freezer bags, in the freezer. When we are ill or I think we might become ill, I pull out the bag, pop a few cubes in our tea pot, add hot water and we sip on it as elderberry tea.

We got the elderberries from our friends last year who grow them. I dried them in our dehydrator and put them in a jar for storage. This year we are planting our own bushes to give it a try here at Medley Acres. Thankfully all our kids seem to enjoy drinking the syrup or tea, as elderberries are very beneficial at helping to ward off and fight colds and flu.

See the full blog post with link to the recipe here, via Elderberry Syrup Recipe

I also found a helpful and informative poster about elderberries online that I thought I’d share:

Developing Medley Acres

This year we decided to try planting a pumpkin patch for pick your own pumpkins this fall, along with a zinnia patch, sunflower patch and sweet corn. We also planted a large number of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and perennials from seed that we hope to be able to sell later in the summer as well.

Dan invested in a few more tractor/farm implements, including a planter and a plow, and has prepared and planted the 5+ acres we had previously leased to a local farmer… we now have fields of timothy, clover, and switchgrass for cover crops/habitat, and we’re adding our garden fields of pumpkins, sunflowers, and raspberries. Its finally dry enough in the fields to be able to get out and do some planting! We’re hoping for a long fall to make the growing season long enough to make all farmers’ plantings worthwhile this year…

Here are some pictures from the homestead over the past couple of weeks (including today!). Many of the photos are courtesy of our daughter Eva.

Hand Poured Soy Candles

Forestville Candle Company LogoTwo teenage daughters of a good friend of mine have started a business for themselves, hand pouring soy candles. Their business is called Forestville Candle Company and they have an Etsy store that I would like to share here: ForestvilleCandles.

I’ve been a “regular” candle buyer from them since they started selling their candles before Christmas because I LOVE the glow of candles, and the fact that these candles do not emit toxins in the air.

Their scents are delicious! Some smell so good, I could eat them! (but not quite…). In the winter, I really liked their Balsam scent, and Peppermint. This spring, they have a huge selection and a variety of sizes to choose from… I have been burning Lemon in the house recently and it has helped my mood immensely on the more dreary spring days. My other current favorites are Cucumber Melon and Lily of the Valley…. none of their scents are overpowering, but they fill the house with a warm, comforting aroma. I just love them! forestvilleCandle2

If you need yet one more reason to purchase non-toxic candles from an entrepreneurial pair of teens, part of their proceeds go toward Feed My Starving Children, an organization that is dedicated to providing nutritious meals to children worldwide. So not only do you get beautiful aroma and wonderful ambiance, you also help support a couple of good kids in their efforts to build their savings accounts, & you also help other children around the world… !

Check out Forestville Candle Company and tell them Jennifer sent you 🙂

 

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine” –Hippocrates

My husband Dan gets these emails periodically from the USDA about farming practices and farms across the US who are doing interesting things. One of the more interesting ones came in the other day about a farm in New Jersey, which is run by a doctor. He and his family bought a large acreage and now runs a farm in conjunction with his practice…

From the USDA article: “Two farmers help Dr. Weiss with the farm and run the Doctor’s Farm Market, with ‘doctor’s tips’ and ‘doctor’s recipes’ next to each fruit and vegetable…” Read the article Healing Patients on the Farm here. You can visit the doctor’s website at www.myethoshealth.com.

Ethos Farm in the Early morning Autumn light and frost covering the land

Image and info credit to Dr. Weiss/Ethos Health/Farmers.gov

 

Natural Tick & Lyme Disease Prevention

As yucky of a topic as this is, I thought this was a very good and informational article by Whole-Fed Homestead about ticks, how they work, and how to use natural products, and common sense, to help prevent being bitten by the little buggers… it is so hard to decide between using something chemical that has proven nasty side effects, but is effective, and some natural options which require more effort and applications, and may be less effective. Either way, there are pros and cons. Every year, we weigh it out and often use both methods. But I felt this article covered a lot about how ticks work, which helps me decide what to do to protect myself and my children. Good luck!!

 

Homemade Honey Lip Balm

Best-Homemade-Lip-Balm-Whole-Fed-Homestead

Recently, I purchased some beeswax from friends of ours who used to have bees (Cindi and Pete from Rush River Fiber). I had intended to use it to make lotion, and when I was looking for recipes online, I ran across all kinds of interesting and fun looking lotion and lip balm recipes. I tried my hand at it and while I think overall it was a success, the beeswax had a very high honey content and it wound up quite soft for the little twist tubes I had purchased to put it in. BUT… it tastes DELICIOUS! 🙂

So when I ran across this post by Whole-Fed Homestead, I thought – hey, this is the route to go!!! I have not used their method/recipe yet, but the next time I make a batch, I’m going to follow their method. Thanks to Crystal from Whole-Fed Homestead for letting me repost her recipe here to share with you! (her recipe even made it into Mother Earth News Magazine!)

 

 

 

Who Has Time for a Sick Day?

Good reminders!

A Homeschool Mom

Who_Has_Time_for_a_Sick_Day?It got me. I’ve been skillfully avoiding it for the last few weeks, and lacking all subtlety the dreaded virus finally caught up with me. I am now under the weather. Strictly speaking, sick. Doesn’t this ill-timed disease understand I don’t have time for this? I’m a mom. I’m a homeschooling mom. I’m a mom with way too much on my plate to become even the slightest bit tired much less down for the count. I can’t take a sick day. Who has time for a sick day?

Dramatics aside, how does being sick affect our learning routine? It’s one thing for one of my children to be sick. Mom can attend to their needs while keeping the remainder of our household intact. But when I get sick almost everything stops. As we can’t afford to keep this up for too long, I need a plan of attack:

Just How…

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