Monday, December 3, 2018

December Farm

Hello, farm friends. Not much happening on the farm these days. December is such a perfect, quiet time in the South. Today was on the warm side -- 72 degrees for a high. It was lovely being outside. Adam is hauling beautiful composted soil to put on my herb beds, fortifying them for the year to come.

He also raked and hauled piles of decayed pine straw for the shade beds beside the house.
Later he'll cover that with fresh pine straw too, and that bed will be tidy for winter too.

I went hunting for plantain.

The warm weather and the hurricane caused many plants to have a resurgence this fall. I picked plantain, dandelion, and yarrow.

 This was early, and they were wet with dew. I dried them on towels.
plantain (left and top), yarrow (center bottom), dandelion (right)

 A blogging friend who is most kind and generous peaked my interest in making tinctures, a natural progression from all the other things I enjoy making. Tinctures are liquors (usually) infused with herbs for weeks and taken in small doses for many ailments. Here, my morning herbs are beginning their close relationship with a quart of vodka. Plantain and dandelion are good for the gut, and yarrow helps prevent cold and flu.
 My friend sent me some tincture herbs, which I used last week to make a tincture of passion flower, kava kava, and skullcap. It's good for anxiety. I turn them each day.
I strolled the farm, the garden. I realized that if you have land, you always have food, if you know where to look. We have greens in abundance on the farm, although they look like weeds. Sorrel, for instance, is a fine edible plant. I chewed on a pretty plantain leaf today to sooth a toothache.
volunteer sorrel in the garden

 All the herbs in my bed could be eaten in a salad. It's a comfort to know that we're not really dependent on WalMart for our sustenance.
I've only seen thoroughly black wooly bears this year, and our squirrels are stealing every available pecan and stripping the pine cones down to their spines. They must be stocking up for a cold winter. Today, it feels so mild. I should've pulled my Christmas decorations from the garage ... I really should've, rather than waiting for a freezing cold day. But I haven't decorated yet. It's a pensive time of year for me still, that autumnal pensiveness, rather than the December feeling of festivity. None of the children are coming here for Christmas this year, and I'm finding it hard to decorate. Well, that ... and the fact that all the stuff is in the garage. I need two Christmas boxes instead of ten, and I need to keep them handy :)
Lady Grey, a silkie
 The hens say hello!
Brownie, Penny, Sylvie, Sheena, and Arthur's tail feathers.


  1. I loved seeing your chickens, you have a nice flock and a lovely coop. I'm intrigued by your herb-picking and tinctures. I didn't know that plant was called plantain, nor that it had herbal uses. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 72? Sure... ;) Enjoy that weather and all the herby goodness! :)

  3. Wow - none of my children is coming to me this year, either, nor I to them. It makes for less pressure, so I also have not decorated much. I am not a decorator by nature, so it will be minimal this year, as I spend time on things that are more satisfying to me.

    I am, as *always*, impressed with your projects -- now tinctures!! And I love to see what's growing on the farm. The Walmart I know doesn't have any greens such as you can get outside your door! But I wish the critters would leave you a bit of the more substantial, i.e. rich in fat and protein, food to go with your greens.

    XO GJ

  4. Love the pictures of your farm.

    Please visit:

  5. I'd love to know more about tinctures.
    Is there a book or website you use? I've used plantain leaves plain and chewed on wounds. Lady Grey is beautiful! What a great of my fav kind of teas, too. I'm betting that's where you got her name?

  6. We're still not sure where Daughter and her boyfriend are spending Christmas Day. I haven't decorated yet, and we might just go out for a long walk and donate what we would have spent on food to a charity. Then again, it might be a mad rush to shop and decorate if we hear Daughter is coming here. I've told her we need some notice. That probably means 2 hours to her!

  7. I've been composting and mulching too. It's a good time of year to do that! So glad to see you tincturing too. :)


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