Fall Gourds

Good Witches Homestead

Storage containers, bowls, utensils, tools, masks, musical instruments, jewelry, dolls, flotation devices, toys, wheels, sieves, food, birdhouses – the list goes on and on for the many functional, spiritual, and decorative uses of the humble gourd. At this time of year, gourds abound at farmer’s markets, the grocery store, and even the backyard for some dedicated growers. This oddly shaped fruit has a colorful history – and deserves a bit of spotlight.

Origin

While not a common backyard plant today, it’s believed that gourds may be the earliest domesticated plant in North America. A previous theory held that the bottle gourd originated in Africa, carried over to the Americas via the Atlantic Ocean. But as the American Gourd Society reports, archeological and DNA evidence shows them coming from Asia more than 10,000 years ago via the Bering Strait – either by boat, by floating across the water, or carried by…

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August (and Blackberry Jam)

Wylde and Green

Isn’t August the strangest of months? One day you are in the middle of summer and then the next the edges of the Autumn are creeping all around. It is a wonderfully golden month…so full of life with fruit and vegetables ripening on every branch and the fields still blazing in the late summer sunshine.

Nature has shifted from growth to ripening, and everything feels ‘full’.

If you look at the trees, you can just see the little hints of gold creeping in, it is a beautiful month, but it reminds us that we cannot keep the summer, or indeed the fruits ripe on the trees – I love the below Seamus Heaney Poem. It’s perfect for August.

What we can keep though, is as much of Augusts harvests as we are able. So, here is a simple recipe for Blackberry Jam and a hope you find the time to…

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Medicine Chest: Herbal First Aid Kit

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Topical Herbal First Aid Kit

As you delve into the world of herbal medicine, at some point or another you take a look at your medicine cabinet and think, “What kinds of natural remedies should I stock in my first aid kit?” Many herbs offer topical applications for a variety of everyday woes, including aches and bruises, cuts and scrapes, bug bites and rashes. And conveniently, you can cultivate or wildcraft most of these herbs or find them easily at natural food stores and online herb shops. Here are a few basics to consider stocking:

Plantain {Plantago major} leaf, a ubiquitous and easily recognizable weed, is readily available in most lawns, woodland path edges, and pavement cracks. You can apply the freshly chewed or mashed leaves directly to bug bites, bee stings, poison ivy, rashes, and splinters to quickly draw out inflammation, irritation, venom, and foreign objects. How…

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Tonic Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

Written by Ricky Bratz
Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor (except where noted)

Tonic Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

The types of stress we experience these days are very different from the stress that our ancestors lived with throughout history. Perhaps our stress responses aren’t being triggered by fending off a wild animal to survive, but we have a slew of modern-day stressors to process: trauma around school shootings, worry of impending climate catastrophe, violence in our homes or neighborhoods, life demands, deadlines, our health status, or caring for kids or aging parents, to name a few examples. These events can set in motion that same stress response system in the body that was historically activated by that hungry predator.

Remainder of article via: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Tonic Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

Caring With Calendula

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

This vibrant orange blossom pops in the garden add a burst of color to cuisine and is a powerhouse in the medicine cabinet. Learn more about this amazing, autumn-loving species.

Brilliantly striking, calendula’s gorgeous yellow and deep-orange blossoms bring a smile to both gardener and herbalist alike. In the fall, you’ll find this plant gracing many doorways, a staple among other autumn harbingers that herald the colder weather to come. But this dazzling ornamental’s long, storied history and powerful medicine make it a must-have for the home.

Sunshine in the Yard

Visually delightful, sun-loving Calendula officinalis is also commonly called marigold, but don’t confuse it with Mexican marigold {Tagetes erecta}, which is another species entirely. A member of the Asteraceae family along with chamomile, dandelion, and Echinacea, calendula is native to southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, but now grows in temperate climates throughout the world…

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Old-fashioned Escalloped Squash — A Hundred Years Ago

August means a plethora of zucchini, so I’m always looking for new ideas (hmmm. . . I think that I really mean old ideas) for using zucchini and other summer squash. And, I lucked out. I found a nice hundred-year-old recipe for Escalloped Squash that is made with mashed squash, egg, and milk – and […]

via Old-fashioned Escalloped Squash — A Hundred Years Ago

Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME: sunflower GENUS: Helianthus SPECIES: H. annuus-grown for seed and flower FAMILY: Compositae BLOOMS: summer TYPE: annual DESCRIPTION: Characterized by its height and size of the flower, the sunflower has earned a welcome place in the summer garden. Many varieties on the market now offer diversity in color {even a white sunflower!}, size of the flower, and plant […]

via Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead

Raspberry Patties en Surprise — A Hundred Years Ago

I’m always intrigued by hundred-year-old recipes that include drawings of the finished product since such recipes are few and far between. So when I recently came across a drawing of a beautifully presented recipe for a raspberry dessert called Patties en Surprise in a 1919 advertisement for Minute Tapioca, I decided to give it a […]

via Raspberry Patties en Surprise — A Hundred Years Ago

A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

With our non-stop, busy lives, it’s hard to find a quiet moment to relax and recharge. But even the practice of pouring a cup of tea can bring peace of mind – especially with the right herbs. Whether you take your tea at high noon or prefer a bedtime brew, these garden herbs provide the […]

via A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

Rosemary ‘to remember’ Infused Oil — Wylde and Green

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and it has a lore stretching back to the ancients, so maybe it is fitting, that more than any other this is the herb of ‘remembrance’. It is such an attractive plant, with long, slender limbs of the darkest green, and delicate, pale blue flowers that the bees […]

via Rosemary ‘to remember’ Infused Oil — Wylde and Green