Friday, November 29, 2019

Looking for something unusual?


Years ago, we were two sisters running an herb shop, and we really enjoyed making or finding things that were different and interesting for our customers.  It came in a close second to talking herbs with all of the people who came through our doors.
The first year or two of the magazine, that was the only thing on the website.  Then we started putting some books together, and there's Maryanne's soap company, and then all the things we love to mess around with...
Gradually, we've gathered some things that we love.  This is just a smattering.  There are tons of incenses, soaps, potions, and more.  We used to post every time we put something new in the shop, but haven't been doing that lately. 
OH!  And until midnight Tuesday (Dec 3, 2019) on the west coast, 3 am Weds on the east coast, there's an automatic 10% discount.  Sorry, we only ship physical goods within the U.S.   
Let me show you around a little!
   We made these as a special request.  After spending an inordinate amount of time running around gathering everything needed for the production, and realizing how cool they were, we decided to put a few up on the website.  They are Gelatinous Cubes with sets of Polyhedron dice inside.  For that D & D player on your list (or you)
LINK            


We have 8 different sets that contain things like a bar of soap, a spritz, a lotion bar/solid perfume, and they're packaged in these cool jute bags.  On the site, there are pictures of the contents of each set.  There's something for almost everyone, and the price is right.   LINK
Blue Butterfly Pea tea is a very interesting brew.  It tastes a lot like green tea.  It is deep blue, and that color signals anthocyanins and antioxidants.  When lemon or lime is added to the tea, it turns vivid (!!!) purple.  It's beautiful, fun to drink, and just may have some health benefits.     LINK
This tea blend is something I created one day when I was just miserable.  Sad and frustrated, I couldn't get started.  Everything seemed like too much.  The Yerba Mate has a good bit of caffeine, and the other ingredients are thought to help soothe the heart and send anxiety and the black clouds away.             LINK
This process always fascinated me, to be able to use the sun to create negative prints of things like leaves and flowers.  It is just as cool as it seemed it would be.  We have some notecards, and some 8" x 8" pieces of cloth, but the t-shirts are really different.  Be an artist, conspiring with nature!              LINK
We have quite a few varieties of earrings that are made from very lightweight recycled wood.  They are so weightless, it's easy to forget they're even there - if it weren't for everyone commenting on them.            
                                                                    LINK                                                                    



This gorgeous lama bag is roomy!  It can be an everyday purse, or an overnight/weekend bag. 
LINK
We grow white sage in order to distill it here on the farm.  Some of the resulting essential oil was made into these solid anointing balms in beautiful carved soapstone jars.
LINK

These two pretty and unusual statement pieces are really interesting.  The lids are hinged, and they open, revealing a place to put some herbs, a secret note, a small picture, or whatever you'd like. 
LINK


These three books are sold separately or together (big savings) and they represent 10 years of the magazine.  Those magazines were pulled apart, made into chapters that are more like books themselves, and then carefully indexed. For someone looking for a thousand or so ways to enjoy herbs on the daily, this is the perfect threesome.
LINK

Gift Subscriptions are a breeze!  Put your name in the billing section, and the giftee's name and address in the shipping section.  We'll send them a card in the mail - so if you'd like us to include any message, put that in the notes.  They'll get a delicious buffet of herbal articles, crafts, medicine, and recipes every other month.  Heck, get one for yourself!
LINK
Hopefully you've gotten an idea of what kinds of things we gather (I think the current word is "curate") for you.  Have a look around!  Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Lavender Distillation Video

Last spring, we made this video as part of a teaching module on lavender for The Science and Art of Herbalism, Rosemary Gladstar's online course.  Hope you enjoy!





Saturday, November 02, 2019

Dried Persimmon Slices

Native persimmons are easy.  The pulp gets frozen in 1 cup portions and added into various recipes like this persimmon cake or added into any recipe instead of banana or applesauce.  But I have a good sized fuyu persimmon tree out back, and had no clue what to do with them, other than eat them like apples.
The tree is planted beside the deck so that I can pick the fruit right out the back door.  It is a fast grower, and within just a few years that's exactly what happened. 
They're a whole different fruit from the native persimmons, and now that I have close to 50 of them it was a stroke of luck when Bartosh, over on the TEH facebook page, mentioned that he loved dried persimmon slices.  We're deep in apple schnitz country and I grew up eating dried apple slices, so it sounded like a good idea.
Off to the google I went, finding several (very) slightly different instructions.  They all included washing, thin-slicing, wire racks on a cookie sheet, and 200 - 250 degrees in the oven for 2 hours.
I tried a few things.  One was a dehydrator.  It might have worked, but the heating element wasn't working, so... ALL of the instructions talk about oven-drying, so maybe there's a reason for that. The first batch was sliced at about 1/4" as instructed.  They were good, but by the time my oven dried them, they were a little too brown and still too pliable.  The taste though!  These are really a very mild flavored fruit, so it's a surprise how the fruit sugar concentrates and deepens.  They are delicious.  Do use the rack though.  I tried one without, and they burned and stuck to the pan, surrounded by tiny pools of exquisite syrup.
I like them much better sliced very thin and dried to more of a chip-like texture.  So good!

Here's what I've found to work for me.
  • Oven at 200 degrees F
  • 1/8" thickness
  • Arranged closely on wire rack on top of cookie sheets
  • Bake for 3 hours
  • When they are curly and almost completely dry, they're done.
  • Those that you don't cram into your mouth while taking them off the rack should go into an airtight container, and be refrigerated.
I was going to send some to the kids, but there probably won't be any here long enough to get them packed up to ship. If you've got these and wondered what to do with all of those fruits (currently $2.99 each at the store), give this a try.  If you don't love them, someone you know will.

These prolific fruits also bring health benefits along with them.  They're loaded with fiber and all kinds of vitamins and nutrients.  That orange color tells us that it's got carotene and lots of vitamin A and C.  There's a good bit of lutein and lycopene bringing antioxident action and supporting eye health.  That's just scratching the surface, so you can feel good about eating them.

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