Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deer Resistant Plants

  It is getting to the time of year when we are thinking of new plants for the garden. Deer can be a problem for us, so we've been researching plants that deer will usually avoid. Here is a list we have compiled. We are going to try some as border plants around the garden and some of the smaller ones around our small fruit trees. Hopefully they will help keep the little buggers out of the garden this year!


Acacia
Allium
Aster
Bamboo
Bay Tree
Bearberry
Begonia
Bleeding Heart
Bottle Brush
Boxwood
Butterfly Bush
Catmint
Chinese Flowering Dogwood
Cleome
Columbine
Coneflower
Creeping Phlox
Crocus
Currant
Daffodil
Dusty Miller
Eucalyptus
Fern
Fig
Freesia
Geranium
Gloriosa Daisy
Gooseberry
Heelbore
Highbush Cranberry
Hyacinth
Iris
Japanese Maple
Jasmine
Lamb's Ear
Lilac
Lily-Of-The-Valley
Lobelia
Magnolia
Marigold
Morning Glory
Nasturtium
Oleander
Olive
Pawpaw
Periwinkle
Pomegranate
Potato Vine
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Scilla
Siberian Squill
Smoke Tree
Snapdragon
Snowdrop
Spirea
St. John's Wort
Sumac
Sweet Alyssum
Tea Tree
Thyme
Verbena
Viburnum
Wisteria
Yarrow
Yucca

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bandsaw Mill

Saw Mill

A saw mill can be a huge asset to a small farm; there’s lumber for building, edgings for firewood, saw dust for gardens and the ability to earn some extra money by sawing lumber for other people.

We’ve spent the past few years researching sawmills and even started to build our own. But with projects piling up and trees falling in the woods we decided now was the time to purchase one. We bought ours from Thomas Bandsaw Mills because we like how their mills are made, and it’s a local company, only about an hour from our home.

Already word has gotten out and we are making a little extra money sawing lumber for a local farm.

My list of projects keeps growing --- now to only find the time to get them done!

Cutting the First Log

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Making Powdered Sugar

We do not use a lot of sugar here, it’s mostly honey or maple syrup, however we do keep some on hand for certain recipes. At Christmas time my husband wanted to make some fudge that called for powdered sugar (which we never buy) so we decided to make our own.

One pound of granulated sugar (about 2 ¼ cups) will yield  about 3 cups of powdered sugar.

We found it best to process the sugar in about ½ cup batches in the blender. Start at slow speed for a few seconds, and then go to high speed for about 20 seconds. Stop the blender, scrape down the sides and blend on high for an additional 20 seconds.

This gave us a nice powdered sugar. We noticed that after a few batches the blender started to feel hot, so we let it rest for a bit to cool down.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Herbal Tea Blends



Herbal teas have many health benefits and are very tasty. Here are a few of our favorites. I can not remember where I got the recipes from, they have been written on a piece of note paper for years. Roots are best steeped in boiling water for about 15 minutes, leaves and other parts are steeped for 3 to 5 minutes. Honey can be added for a bit of sweetness.

For Upset Stomach:

Equal parts:
Rose hips
Peppermint leaves
Lemon-balm leaves

Equal parts:
Dandelion root
Dandelion leaves/stems
Peppermint

Equal parts:
Fennel seeds
Peppermint
Lemon-balm

Equal parts:
Raspberry leaf
Peppermint

2 part catnip
1 part fennel
1 part lemon-balm

To Help With Arthritis:


2 parts nettle leaves
1 part each willow bark and peppermint

As a Gargle for Sore Throats:

Equal parts:
Sage
Fennel seeds

Sleep Aid:

Skullcap. Drink before going to bed.

Blood Cleanser:

Equal parts:
Red clover
Rose hips
Dandelion leaves

For Coughs:

2 parts marsh-mallow root
1 part lemon-balm
1 part plantain leaves
1 part thyme
1 part calendula flowers

To Calm Nerves:

2 parts hops
1 part hawthorn leaves
1 part lemon-balm
1 part valerian