Monday, December 1, 2014

Health Journal - Winter Prep

This time of year, I am often asked what I do to prepare my family for cold and flu season.  While there are some herbal treatments that I do stock up on (make), herbal treatments are not what you should be looking to for good health.  Yes, whole food herbal medicines will help you recover without the risk of harmful side effects, but you should give your body more than that.

While I would prefer herbal remedies over drugs any day, they are not the key to maintaining good health - and neither are vitamins!  You must start at the foundation - food!  Food is the daily medicine that will keep your body functioning well and your immune system strong.  Yes, your food is your medicine!!  Without a good diet, you will not be able to avoid illness.  It will haunt you all winter long, week after week. 

Really you have two options.  You can spend time getting sick, running to doctors, and trying to get well or you can spend time preparing healthy food for your family.  Either way you will spend time!  You just need to decide which you prefer. :) 

I try to keep my meals healthy but simple.  I spend enough time growing, harvesting and preserving my food, I am not going spend time preparing gourmet meals too - although somehow my family thinks I feed them gourmet meals. :)  I am not into recipe hunting. I just keep it simple.

One very simple thing you can do is start making breakfast for your family.  Feed them eggs. They are SO nutritious and simple to make.  You can get creative and make a different style of eggs every day if you want.  One day make egg sandwiches, the next scramble them and put cheese on top or try an egg bake.

Just start with breakfast!  Get off the cold cereal and give your body a nutritious, health building meal first thing in the morning!

More on winter prep to come...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Puppy Review

Here is an email we recently got from a family who got a puppy from us earlier this year.

"Here is Beschutzer at 10 months old. He is a very happy dog. He loves to ride in the backseat of the truck and especially loves going to the cabin up north, where he can play outside all day.
During the week, he gets very excited when we come home after work and always greets us at the door very enthusiastically! If he hears a strange noise, he will sit quietly and listen and pay attention until he knows all is well. We can't go on any walks without someone commenting on what a beautiful, well behaved dog he is. They can't believe that he is still a puppy!
He has been a great addition to our family.
Thank you!

Larry and Denise"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Growing Fast!!

Our sweet puppies are growing so fast! The black pigment on their noses is slowly coming in.  It usually take a few weeks to get to full color. Their eyes are still closed, as you can see, but they should be opening soon.  Before long they will be getting around really well, and their personalities will start to bloom. :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weighing Puppies

In the evenings, we gather the puppies into this bin and take them to get weighed.  The weights are recorded and each puppy is inspected before it goes back into the whelping box.  With large litters, it's important to make sure that they are each getting enough to eat.
Puppy pile!

It's hard to get a clear picture of a puppy getting weighed.  They wiggle a lot - especially when you take them away from their cozy, warm siblings! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Farmwife's Journal - October 27th

I can't remember the last time I wrote a "Farmwife's Journal"! But in case you are wondering, I am still a farm wife and here's my journal entry for today. :)

After finishing school with Ben and Jonny, I was ready to tackle my list of things to do.  One thing
I 've had on my list for weeks is to make Fire Cider, both for our family and for my parents.  I got the recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs and altered it a little.  It's an apple cider vinegar tincture that you use for treatment of just about any illness.  It's potent stuff!  I have not made this exact recipe before, but have made some similar recipes. All I did was combine the following:

1 cup of grated ginger
1 cup of grated horseradish root
1 large onion
20 cloves of garlic (I grated them skins and all with my electric grater)
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 lemon  (I keep lemons whole in the freezer, and then I just grated the whole thing while still frozen)
4 tablespoons of rosemary
2 tablespoons of thyme
and 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder all in a half-gallon jar.  Then I covered the whole works with apple cider vinegar and mixed it up well. (All of the ingredients should be organic.) I put a lid on the jar and put it in a dark place for one month.  When it's done, I'll stain out the pulp using a cloth (squeezing well) and will add as much honey as needed.  Then we'll take it by the tablespoon when we feel we are coming down with something.  I will store it in my refrigerator. It will keep years. 
My Fire Water tincture.
I dug my horseradish, for the above recipe, from my herb garden this afternoon - boy is that potent stuff.  One whiff and your whole head is cleaned out!  Since I had some left over from my Fire Water recipe, I went ahead and made a tincture with that too.  I simply covered the grated horseradish with brandy, capped and labeled the jar, and put in the cupboard.  It will be there for six weeks, and then I will strain it and use it for any head congestion that shows up.  I store my alcohol tinctures in dark bottles (that I usually buy from Mountain Rose Herbs), and keep them in my cupboard.

Along with my kitchen work today, I made a fun treat for Emily and I - pumpkin spice coffee!  A friend brought us a pumpkin pie this past weekend (thank you, Lori!), so we needed some pumpkin coffee to go with it. :) 
Coffee break with my girl.:)

This recipe was inspired by an email I received from the Bulk Herb Store.  I looked at the ingredients and then came up with my own way to make it.  Here's what I did...

Put 8 cups of water in a sauce pan.  Add 2 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of ginger root (chopped up), 1 teaspoon of cloves, and 1 teaspoon of organic orange flavoring.  Bring this to a boil, reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Then put 4 tablespoons of ground coffee in a French press.  Once the tea is done, pour it over the grounds, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Push down the press and let it sit for 4 minutes and then add cream and enjoy.

Beauty and her puppies are doing really well!  They are beautiful, and she is an amazing mom.  When one group of puppies has been nursing long enough, she will readjust so the puppies fall off the spigots and that way the other group can latch on. :)  God has given these animals amazing instincts, and it is fascinating to watch!  :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 2014 Litter

Beauty has labored for about 12 hours and has had a dozen gorgeous puppies!  I was able to be with her when puppies number 11 and 12 were born.  It was pretty exciting!  I sat there and massaged Beauty's head while she had them. So far we have seven boys and five girls - wondering if there is one more yet to come. She's a great mom!  Here are a few pictures.