Summer Cold

It has been quite a while since I have written anything. As soon as I got back from Portland my daughter got this nasty cold and of course being three we’re still working on the whole “cover your mouth while you cough” thing. That being said my husband and I came down with it as well. Needless to say the last few weeks have not been as productive as I’ve liked. Side note… it has actually taken me two weeks to write this. My son just got over a three day 104 fever. Mom life am I right?

did have quite a bit of fun learning how to treat colds as naturally as possible though. Thank goodness for essential oils and herbs from my garden. Mint tea, lemon, and raw honey was the BEST for my sore throat. I also diffused On Guard and lemon almost constantly and made a cleaning spray with them as well that I put on EVERYTHING trying to kill whatever it was we had. There was this drink called the “cold bomb” that I found in my essential oils book. It has 2 drops each of rosemary, lemon, lavender, and peppermint. That did WONDERS for me. If you’re not quite sold on essential oils I can not stress enough how amazing these “magic oils” (as my husband calls them) are. I was super skeptical at first but I will never go back. It’s so empowering to take your health into your own hands.

I digress though (I get so excited about my oils, haha). Even through my summer cold haze I did learn how to make two new things…kombucha and beer.

The kombucha was so easy. I’m not sure why I didn’t try making my own sooner. We didn’t add any flavoring to it this time which to be honest I was a little nervous about. I’ve only ever had the flavored ones so I thought it was going to be gross. It wasn’t. It was delicious. You just make black tea, add some sugar, and then add the scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). That’s it. You let it sit for about a week, taste it, and if it’s still too sweet for you let it sit a bit longer. Keep tasting it every few days until you like it then, bottle it and put it in the fridge. Now in regards to the scoby you do have to keep it “alive” which you can do by putting it a sterilized jar and cover it with black tea. Keep it covered and in the dark until you are ready to use it again. I’m thinking of making strawberry “booch” next time since strawberry season is in full bloom right now. I’m excited to experiment with flavors.

Now for the beer. I had gotten stinging nettles in my CSA box and had found a recipe for stinging nettle beer so I thought… why not? It was also super easy, I boiled the nettles for fifteen minutes. Strained them into a gallon glass jar, added fresh lemon juice, sugar, and brewers yeast. Let that sit for three days then transferred it to mason jars. I was skeptical at first because the boiled nettles smelled like spinach and I was pretty sure spinach beer would not be a hit… BUT it turned out great. You tasted more of the lemon than anything. It was very refreshing and actually had 5% alcohol in it! I was surprised I liked it really since I’m more of a wine person but it was really good!

I’m hoping no one in my family gets sick for a while now so I can get some stuff done that’s not laundry or dishes. With everyone being sick I’m a bit behind on those. Diffusing On Guard and Lemon as we speak to keep all the “bad stuff” away! Hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July!

 

Container Garden

Today marks the first warm AND non rainy day in our part of Washington this year. As I sit here and write this it is actually 70 degrees out! Being an all ginger family that means lots and lots of sunscreen. I’m hoping all this sun finally helps the tiny amount of plants I have on my back deck to actually grow. As of May this year Olympia has had only thirteen days of sun. THIRTEEN. Makes it hard to grow things when it’s super cloudy and rainy all the time.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried gardening and it’s definitely not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I mean, I knew gardening took work but for some reason I thought container gardening would be easier.

My house has a fairly big yard but it’s also surrounded by trees and does not get much sun. So we decided to have a few pots of veggies on our back deck which gets quite a bit of sun.

I started my few plants from seedlings in February which went great! They were growing like weeds so I thought I had this magical green thumb… so not the case. Once I transferred my seedlings to bigger pots I lost almost all of them. Luckily I had a few back up seedlings. I put them outside WAY too early and lost quite a few from that. Lastly we had a HUGE windstorm on May 4th that killed a couple… needless to say my gardening experience has been less than fruitful. Or in this case, vegetableful.

I was having a really hard time with it at first and felt like a complete failure. How was I ever going to homestead if I can’t even keep a few plants alive? But I told myself this is my first year and I’m going to make mistakes.

So now I only have a few plants out there, a tomato that I just bought, a couple of brussels sprouts, three lettuce plants, two strawberries, and six onions. It’s definitely not going to keep us alive through the winter, but I had to start somewhere.

   

To make up for what is lacking in my veggie garden I signed up for a CSA through one of the local farms. I get to pick up my first box on Saturday at our farmers market and I am SO excited. I will let you guys know how that goes next week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!