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Your Homestead Tell and show others with words and pictures how you built or are building your homestead and how you keep things going day-to-day. One thread per member, please.

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  #21  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:38 AM
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Default Comfrey Oil - Next Step



Have the comfrey & olive oil draining this evening. Was surprised how solid the ground leaves became. They've been sitting "steeping" in the oil for 3 days on the counter.
The drippings seem to be separating into 2 layers, with the olive oil on top of a brownish oil on the bottom. I'm thinking the brownish oil is from the comfrey itself.
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2012, 03:58 PM
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I sure do enjoy your postings and pictures of your Tea Pot Acres. Somehow with the photos, it doesn't seem as though folks are so far away. Was wondering, your comfrey (is something new to me), please what do you use it for. Also, have to say, I thought your putting the tea pots you come across, you put in your trees, for bird houses...that's a great idea, and bet they really look whimsical in your trees. Now to see if can't find some reasonably priced tea pots here and there. Gracie
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:49 PM
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Hi Gracie,
I'm planning to use the comfrey as an ointment for healing on both humans and critters. Was thinking that it might help if the rabbits get mites in their ears. I've been using an oil to try to smother the little bliters, but often the rabbits scratch their ears raw.

The comfrey is also supposed to be a high protein addition to feed for geese. We'll see how that goes, right now I've got the new plants protected from the geese, and they are occupied with their new goslings so are not venturing to far to the other side of the pasture where the comfrey is settling in.

The comfrey oil is poured off into a bottle now, ended up with just under 2 cups.

I don't pay anything for teapots to put in the trees. Quite a few come in to our "swap shed" at the local dump, so those are free. I don't care if they have a lid or not. And now friends are starting to drop them off. Good thing I've got 35 acres, with quite a bit of brush here & there to put the teapots in. I'm trying to space them out, so it's a surprise when someone is walking and comes across them.
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:39 PM
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Default My old dog & a snoopy llama


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...exInClover.jpg

Rex was enjoying sitting in a clover patch today. He's 12 now, a lab/border collie mix. As they say "he's a good ol dog". Doesn't bother the livestock, keeps the wild critters out of the yard. Don't think he has a mean bone in his body.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...Snowy_Peek.jpg

Here's one of Snowy - she turned 1 year in June. I was feeding rabbits in the barn and she just had to see what I was doing. There's glass in that door, and she was steaming it up.

I like to carry the digital camera in my pocket when I'm out & about doing chores & projects. The critters always seem to be doing something pic-worthy or funny.
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  #25  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:40 PM
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I, too, enjoy the pictures, Karen.

I'm not well versed in medicinal plants. But I seem to have a little bit of my brain which can remember plants with medicinal properties. So when I'm buying/browsing, I can go "Oooo, that's edible and it has medicinal qualities". I don't know what to do with them but hopefully, someday, when I need them I'll have many medicines growing around our place. Yes, I have books on how to use them, just haven't crammed them into my brain, yet, or practiced making tinctures.
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  #26  
Old 07-28-2012, 11:20 PM
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Hey S2man - that's what I'm doing too...collecting the books, and the herbal/medicinal plants to get them well established. The comfrey experiment is really my first attempt at doing anything with them.

I just read in one of my books that a caragana "hedge" is a good thing to plant in the chicken run - for shade and for them to nibble on. Want to do more research on that and see if it will survive in zone 3. It grows wild in the southern part of British Columbia - but down there it is several zones warmer.

Have spent the better part of 2 days trying to get some order to the big garage. I have a really bad habit of drop & run. I find great things at the swap shed or garage sale...and drop them near where I park in the garage. I'm the world's worst for bringing home boxes of books too. My momma & Grandma are coming in less than 2 weeks. The house can be a disaster...but if the garage & workshops are a mess...my mom will give me that "do you need a hand with this?" look.

While Mom is here (she's a carpenter from way back) we are going to extend the roof on the cattle shed to barn conversion. Going to add 30" of roof at the back the whole length. Having a problem in the winter with the snow curling off and dropping right up against the building, where it melts in the spring and seeps under the wall. Adding the 30" ought to move it further out to where the land naturally slopes away. Mom found the green steel down at her swap shed and is precutting it to the 30" (plus a extra to slide under the existing roof). I've got enough lumber scrounged to extend the rafters.

Going to make use of that extra 30" of space to build some lumber storage racks under the extended roof at the back, keep the lumber dry and there's no sun at the back of the building.

A friend gave me a whole LOT of wire shelving from a video store that closed. I don't know if it's quite wide enough to hold a gallon jar. It's in 2 different lengths, so going to ponder on what to use it for. We went down to her place to pick it up this morning. Thought I'd show you the road. It has a 14% grade and is one vehicle wide. The one side has high banks, much higher than shown in this picture...the road has been known to sluff (read...slide) when there has been a lot of rain (which we've had!). This is a gear down at the top of the road, or have very hot brakes at the bottom. They live along a river, but high enough above it that they have a great view, but no chance of the house flooding.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...nBC/RoadTo.jpg
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  #27  
Old 07-28-2012, 11:43 PM
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Karen and S2man, Would like to ask you both, what herbalist books, would you recommend. As, I too, would like to grow herbs, and such, like comfrey, but, also learn of their medicinal properties, and as S2man said, learn how to make tinctures, ointments and salves. Just as in canning, you would know how they were grown, and prepared accordingly. Any suggestions, you both would have would be appreciated.

Karen, oh my, you are expanding, good for you. You and your mother with your Granny's overseeing the building...am happy for you! Please, won't you post photos, of your accomplishments. You comment on making a gallon jar holder reminds me. I found what looked to be a compact, 250 quart canning jar shelving system, built from of all things pallets. Have told my dh of it, and he is interested. If either of you, or others, would want the info. on build it, would surely share.
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  #28  
Old 07-29-2012, 02:57 AM
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Yes please Gracie do share the how to for the pallet jar holder.
I've used pallets to build 2 tier lumber racks...they are a bit rickety and definitely not pretty but have cleaned up the lumber and it's better organized.
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2012, 11:49 AM
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I'm sorry, Gracie, I am totally unqualified to review herbal medicine books, as I am not practicing it, yet. That sounds like a good question for the Medicinal Plants/Wild Edibles forum. Or search that forum for books, I'm sure the question has been raised before. You could also look on Amazon and check the user reviews.
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  #30  
Old 07-29-2012, 01:12 PM
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I've been collecting herbal books at 2nd hand stores, garage sales, that type of thing. I don't know that there is one that I'd recommend over the other. I like the ones that have real photos as well as drawings, makes identification a bit easier.

Having several books is a good idea I think, you can compare what each says. One of the newer ones I was reading last evening had recipes for comfrey, but current "experts" say not to take it internally.
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  #31  
Old 07-29-2012, 01:30 PM
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Dog gone it, i mis-worded (if there is such a word) the question, I should have asked you the titles of the herb books you all have found. Though don't have any growing now, or be able to read any about them now, as our garden's produce is picking up, and am trying to get everything put by. Was hoping for the title of a starting off book, to begin to learn some about them, during the winter months. I surely do appreciate your responses, and hope you both have a great ol' day.
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  #32  
Old 07-29-2012, 02:22 PM
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Default My stack of herbal books

Herbal Remedies In Pots by Effie Romain & Sue Hawkey isbn 0316755796

The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature's Medicines
Remedies for over 200 conditions & diseases
by Michael Castleman isbn 0878579346

Modern Encyclopedia of Herbs by Joseph M. Kadans isbn 0135937981

Herb Gardening for Dummies by Karan Davis Cutler, Kathleen Fisher isbn 0764552007

The Herbal Yearbook by Gillian Haslam isbn 1858330106

The Harrowsmith Illustrated Book of Herbs by Patrick Lima isbn 0920656455

An Illustrated Guide to Herbs, Their Medicine and Magic by Anna Kruger isbn 1850281505

These are the ones that I've collected (so far!)...never did meet a book sale I could walk by without coming out with several boxes of books.
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  #33  
Old 07-29-2012, 03:32 PM
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Oh, Karen, many thanks, will look to see if can't find some of these books...surely can find one or 2, to get started with!
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  #34  
Old 07-29-2012, 04:58 PM
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Gracie, I like to check out everything the library has when I want to learn about a new subject. I can weed out the books which I don't like, see what writing styles I like, etc. ThenI have a better idea what to look for when I go to purchase.

I can't find my herb books to give you titles, they must still be packed.
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  #35  
Old 07-29-2012, 08:17 PM
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S2man, Also, appreciate your reply. That's a good idea, to check what the library has to offer first...haven't been to the library for so long, dang, hope can find my way there Gracie
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  #36  
Old 07-29-2012, 10:18 PM
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Just wonderful---enjoy your thread immensley.

Thank you--For Tea Pot Acres

annie
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  #37  
Old 07-30-2012, 04:39 AM
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Thank you TxAnne..I wasn't sure if I was just blathering, or if people could learn from my progress.

Today was..I don't know what word to describe it. Gut wrenching I think. I always say that d*mn telephone can change your life. And a part of mine was certainly changed today. A man I consider one of my mentors in this lifestyle died accidently over the weekend. He was about 50, but seemed older in his wisdom. I don't think I ever told him how much I appreciated his advice and patience in teaching. I learned to butcher rabbits and chickens under his guidance, and he never minded to "come out" from the bush if I was butchering and give a hand, and I'd give him a couple of the birds or animals.

He was one of those people who should have lived about 150 years back. His bush knowledge was just incredible, and he had definite views on how the wildlife should be managed. He never did get why there would be a moose-cow season - "they're taking out the breeders!" was a favorite observation.

He didn't like most folks to much and stayed out in the bush with his wife most of the time. They live off grid on an old homestead, quite a ways off public road. It's to soon to know what her plans are going to be.

One of the best stories about him was about 20 years back. My friend & his wife were having coffee, and my son (then 5) brought a book to show him, my boy was shocked when he realized that my late pal could read, and said "You can read?!" I've not heard my pal chuckle that deeply very many times over the years.

It's been an odd day as I work through it. This afternoon & evening I just couldn't settle, so went out to the workshop and just puttered for several hours. Tore down a shelving unit that wasn't working, it had been set up for tobacco cans on a tipped angle. Without lids you couldn't fill them all the way up. And with lids - it's difficult to tell what was in the cans. Writing on them didn't help - as the contents would get changed, or the lids mixed up. Felt good to "wreck" something this evening, it was put together with screws so wasn't that hard to wreck it, and then rebuild.
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  #38  
Old 07-30-2012, 12:46 PM
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Karen,

Am so sorry for the loss of your friend and mentor. Do believe if one meets someone of his integrity and knowledge; they are truly blessed beyond measure. Though they are no longer with us, they live on in our hearts and memories. I felt (and continue to feel) much as you do now, when Mz.Grizzy, a long time member and contributor here on the BWH forum passed. Will offer up prayers for him, his family and friends.

Would like to chime in with Anne, thank you for Teapot Acres. You have such a way with wording, and the photo's go glove in hand with your commentary (I just loved the photo of your dog and your curious llama, so close to your window, you could see the condensation of their breath!). When I come to the forum, I do so enjoy reading the 'happenings', on Teapot Acres.


Thank You, and may God Bless You and Yours,
Gracie
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  #39  
Old 07-30-2012, 05:27 PM
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Condolences on the loss of your friend, Karen. I find that anything else I could say would be wholly inadequate, so I'll just leave it at that. But know that you have my sympathies.

Count me also among those who follow and enjoy your chronicle. It's always interesting to me to compare how folks do what they do and try to figure out what I can borrow from to help us do what we do. Keep up the good work and thanks for taking time to share it!
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  #40  
Old 07-30-2012, 07:48 PM
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Our condolences, also.
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