How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies

How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies with Fresh or Dried Elderberries
My friend, Tami, saw my comment on the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page about wanting to experiment with elderberries, and embraced the challenge with gusto.  She and her family went picking, and came home with the entire car trunk filled with elderberries.  Bless her heart, I didn’t have time to help her process them the next day, so she stuck them in the freezer overnight and tackled them herself.  In this post we’ll share how to process fresh elderberries, plus how to make elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly with those fresh elderberries, and an easy recipe for a small batch of immune boosting elderberry syrup with dried elderberries. [Read more...]

6 Easy Home Remedies for Congestion

 Try these easy to use home remedies for congestion to relieve your stuffy nose and sinus pressure so you can breathe.  Natural decongestant options.

Less daylight, cold weather and busy schedules often lead to colds and flus making the rounds.  The discomfort (and even pain) associated with nasal congestion is one of the most common symptoms.  (Not to mention that the inability to breath is just plain annoying.)  I’ve gathered together several home remedies for congestion to relieve your stuffy nose and sinus pressure so you can breathe easy.  I don’t like the side effects of over the counter decongestants (they either make me jittery, knock me out or make my head feel like it’s going to shrivel up like a raisin), so natural decongestants are my option of choice. [Read more...]

Common Plantain – Weekly Weeder #14

Common plantain - Range and identification of plantain. Plantain as food and habitat for wildlife. Medicinal uses of common plantain. Plantain folklore.

Today’s featured plant is Common Plantain, Plantago major.

Common Plantain is also known as broadleaf plantain, plantain, dooryard plantain, Ripple Grass, Waybread, Slan-lus, Waybroad, Snakeweed, Cuckoo’s Bread, soldier’s herb, Englishman’s Foot and white man’s foot. [Read more...]

Common Mullein – Weekly Weeder #13

Common Mullein - Weekly Weeder #13 - Verbascum thapsus, range and identification, Food and Habitat for Wildlife, Medicinal Uses of Common Mullein

Today’s featured plant is Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus.

Common Mullein is also known as Great Mullein, Aaron’s Rod, candlewick plant, flannel plant, flannel leaf, lungwort, feltwort, cowboy toilet paper, shepherd’s staff, velvet dock, woolly mullein, torch plant, torches, miner’s candle, big taper, blanket mullein, “Hig candlewick”, “Bullicks lungwort”, “Hare’s-beard”, “Ice-leaf”.”Beggar’s blanket”, “Moses’ blanket”, “Poor Man’s blanket”, “Our Lady’s blanket” or “Old Man’s Blanket”.

(There are more names, but this list is getting pretty long already.  Do you get the impression this thing is pretty widespread?)  Note:  This is not the same plant as Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina), which also has fuzzy leaves and grows low to the ground.) [Read more...]

New England Aster – Weekly Weeder #12

New-England-Aster

Today’s featured plant is New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae or Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.

New England Aster is also known as starwort, blue chamomile, blue daisy, New England aster, fall-rose and frostweed.

Range and Identification of New England Aster [Read more...]