Would you like to learn information that could help you identify any new plant that you encounter? You don't have to be a botany expert to enjoy using wild plants. The folks at the Herbal Academy have created another awesome herbal study called the Botany & Wildcrafting Course. It's my pleasure to introduce it to you. [Read more…]
Brewing with wild yeast is an idea that's fascinated me ever since I read the original Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. In it, he described how simple it could be to make wild yeast “hooch”. With liquid and sugar, and some sort of flavor base (fruit, honey, flowers, grains, veggies), alcohol fermentation happens.
If you're looking for an identical product every time to you brew a batch of wine, beer or mead, wild yeast is probably not the best option for you. If you're ready to experiment with new flavors and a wide array of ingredients, wild yeast can expand your brewing world. You can brew for years and never make the same drink twice. Some brews are ready in days, others are best after years. You can use a wild yeast starter, or work with a spontaneous ferment. Some wild yeast brews are just for fun, others are good medicine. [Read more…]
In this post we'll share how to make elderberry syrup with fresh or dried elderberries or elderberry juice. I noticed years ago that the ingredient lists on most commercial elderberry syrups for kids doesn't contain much elderberry. Now we make our own so we know it's the real deal. Studies have shown that elderberry syrup helps treat the flu virus. (See more information on those studies at the end of the post.)
Note: If you're looking for the elderberry jelly recipes, those have been moved to their own post at Elderberry Jelly Recipes – Low Sugar and Sure-Jell Options.
Scroll down the post for print friendly versions of the elderberry syrup recipes.
Today's featured weed is Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus Carota
Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) is a biennial and is also known as Wild Carrot, Bird's Nest Weed, Bee's Nest, Devils Plague, garden carrot, Bird's Nest Root, Lace Flower, Rantipole, Herbe a dinde and Yarkuki. In some states it is designated as a noxious weed. Known as 野胡萝卜 in china.
The World Carrot Museum states that the name “‘Herbe a dinde' derives from its use as a feed for young turkeys – dinde.” (Personally, I'd never heard of that name before. Maybe it's a UK thing?) The Woodrow Wilson Foundation Leadership Programs for Teachers cites the origin of the name as follows: “Queen Anne’s Lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, an expert lace maker. When she pricked her finger with a needle, a single drop of blood fell into the lace, thus the dark purple floret in the center of the flower.”
I tried to grow lavender as one of the first herbs I planted in my garden – and promptly killed it. Since then I learned to pay attention to what the plants need instead of where they'd look nice in the yard. In this post I'll share easy tips for helping your lavender plants to thrive, and some of my favorite lavender uses. It's a great garden plant for bees, and has a rich history of use as food and medicine. [Read more…]