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!)
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.
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
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.
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.
This year I think a lot of people are looking at a very different, unique Easter time. On a church related blog that I run, we’re sharing items that some of us ladies make and sell in an effort to not only connect with each other in support but also to provide some “pretty things” made locally to fill those Easter baskets or bring some cheer to someone. Below are some images of the chalk painted jars with flowers and lotion bars I’ve been making over this past year, as well as botanical print cards from drawings I did. If you are “local” and are interested in either of these items, please fill out the contact form and let me know 🙂
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.
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.
grasses in the field
sunlight and field
zach and miriam in dad’s clover field
nibbling on clover
eva hanging out in the dirt
dan roto tiling the pumpkin row
team work getting the seeds planted
miriam putting in the seed
pumpkin seed – grow!
dad and zach getting the technique down
getting rocks out of field
checking out what is growing
raspberries – wild
snowy river the rooster
gretel who needs a hoof trim
heidi the goat
lane of grapes
dan’s planter coming home
our wild asparagus
wild asparagus – kids LOVE it
local second hand shop find – pottery bird feeder
jen harvesting nettle
basket of nettle
only half a jar to go
mr wolf “the bee guy” at his hives on our property
bee guy – putting up solar fence to keep the BEAR out
I got really attracted to these chalk painted mason jars I’ve seen around… Dan bought me a couple for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I really like how they look. We seem to have collected a large amount of canning jars recently so I thought this would be a perfect way to “declutter” … by making something out of them to give as gifts or sell as gifts.
Ideally, I would have had these ready for a little pre-Mother’s Day sale, but I wound up actually making 32 of them to use as table decorations for a conference I’m helping with, which is taking place the 2 days before Mother’s Day… I was happy to do it because it was fun and it was motivational to make a certain amount, by a certain time.
Here are some pics of my mason jar crafts which are adorning tables at Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin for a conference on Living in the Divine Will being held there this weekend. We plan to offer them for sale at the end of the conference, in case anyone needs a last minute Mother’s Day gift 🙂
Last year I ran across some really nice recipes for making lotion bars. Well, what I ran across first were some super cute lotion/soap bar molds that I fell in love with! So I ordered the molds, then decided to try making lotion bars. Someday I will try soap, but for now, I’m enjoying using beeswax from local honey bee keepers and experimenting with different combinations of essential oils.
I someday hope to have a little shop set up on our “homestead” where I can sell things like this and other crafts, but for now, I’m going to just spread the word and likely add these to my Etsy store.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these lotion bars and live locally, I’d be happy to prepare one for your wife, sister or mom for this upcoming Mother’s Day 🙂 I have them in the form of larger 4oz size flowers, which come with/on an antique (or antique-ish) saucer for $8 or in a smaller 2oz size in tin for $6.
Lotion bars are made with beeswax from local beekeeper, shea butter or mango butter, coconut oil and an essential oil. They have a very light fragrance – I have used a mixture of lavender and orange with some, and peppermint and orange for others. They work great for rubbing onto really dry spots on your skin, for travel, and for sitting next to your kitchen/bathroom sink or on a night stand… having it rest on the little saucer makes it handy to keep anywhere! And it looks cute! (if I do say so myself!)
Since the flowers are all in various designs and the saucers have been collected from second hand shops, there’s no guarantee that you will get exactly what you see online… please allow me to pick the right flower and saucer combo for you 🙂 Your purchase will come in a little bag with tissue paper and a tag, ready to give 🙂
Please fill out the contact form or send an email to jennifer at turningleafstudio.com if you would like to place an order 🙂 Thanks!
Two 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!
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… !
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!)
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: