Why We Drink Raw Milk

Why We Drink Raw Milk

why we drink raw milkThe consumption of dairy products has been a mainstay for as long as mankind has been able to capture and milk animals of all kinds. Sheep, goats, cows, bison, water buffalo, donkeys and horses. All are still milked to this day. There may be others. These are the ones of which I am aware. I want to talk about this tradition that has helped our species thrive and develop over the centuries and millennia. 

But first, I want to take that blessed moment to say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to you veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the homestead every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on in our neck of the woods this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Why We Drink Raw Milk
  • Traditional Kefir Recipe

Homestead Life Updates

Oh my gosh, is it hot where you are? Whew!! We’ve been experiencing a real heat wave here. Temperatures that are normal for late July and August. Thank goodness that we will be back to normal for next week. Highs in the high 70’s and low 80’s. Today is great. The 90-degree days drained the energy right out of me. I expect that in the middle of summer. But come on, it’s still 3 weeks until the summer solstice.

Garden and Orchard

Speaking of draining energy. The garden is burning up. Well is would be if we weren’t diligently watering every day. The orchard too. And the weeds are still progressively taking over. This time of year I’m really pressed for time. Milking twice a day. Making cheese. Going to the Farmer’s Market and on and on. As I’ve said before, the garden gets pushed down the list of priorities.

This too shall change in the future. It takes a lot to get a business off the ground. Once we are more established, we can let up a little bit, I think.

Creamery

A little progress has been made on the creamery. It is still creeping along compared to the plan that Scott originally made, but it is what it is and we persevere. It’s the journey that is important. It’s the system that we are setting in place that is important. Goals come and go, but the system remains.

Animals

We still have a couple of baby bulls for sale. If you are looking to improve the beef and dairy genetics of your herd, the Normande cow is a good bet. Visit our website at www.peacefulheartfarm.com and go to the contact page and let us know of your interest. We also have a 1-year-old and a proven 2-year-old bull that are available. As we move to AI for our very small herd, we no longer need bulls. One less thing to keep up with.

We have our ground beef on sale $6.00 for one pound, $250 for 50 pounds and $500 for 100 pounds. We also have a few – very few – lambs available. Again, go to the website and let us know of your interest in a whole or half lamb. $380 for a whole lamb and $200 for a half. www.peacefulheartfarm.com

Alright that’s it for homestead updates. Let’s get on to the topic at hand.

Why We Drink Raw Milk

I’m going to talk about why we consume dairy products; the benefits. Our dairy products come straight from our grass-fed cows with no alteration from their live state. It’s all about the nutrition. Traditional foods raised using traditional methods produces that traditional robust health of days gone by. I’ll get to the specific health benefits in a moment.

If you’ve been told that drinking raw milk is dangerous, you’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been misled.  The truth about raw milk? An extensive look into research and claims made by the FDA and CDC related to raw milk being dangerous have been found to be completely unwarranted. It actually benefits your body in many ways, and although it might have earned a reputation among some for being dangerous, you shouldn’t miss out on all this amazing superfood has to offer because raw milk benefits are truly impressive.

What is “raw milk” exactly? It’s milk that comes from grass-fed cows, is unpasteurized and unhomogenized. This means raw milk contains all of its natural enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals — making it what many refer to as a “complete food.” Eggs fall into the “complete food” category also. Everything needed for growth and health is contained in the package. No need for sterilization or added sugar.

But can’t raw milk cause problems due to the risk of consuming bacteria? The risk of this happening is very, very low. In fact, according to medical researcher Dr. Ted Beals, M.D., you are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk. Reference in the show notes. You can get sick from consuming any food. Your risk of illness from raw milk is quite small. The CDC reports that there are an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses diagnosed each year. Yes, your heard that right. 48 million. Of these 48 million illnesses, only about 42 (about 0.0005 percent!) each year are due to consumption of fresh, unprocessed (raw) milk.

Dr. Chris Kesser did a thorough investigation to get the true impact of raw milk illness and death (as the CDC makes it sound inevitable). He found that your chances of becoming hospitalized from a bacterial illness caused by raw milk is three times less than your chance of dying in a plane crash.

The statistics indicate that most accusations and concerns over raw milk have been overstated, and because of that its health benefits remain underrated. Raw milk benefits are numerous and can help address a large number of nutritional deficiencies that millions of people, especially those eating the standard American diet, are currently experiencing. For instance, raw milk benefits allergies and skin, all while containing beneficial nutrients available in a living product.

Five Benefits of Raw Milk

1. Reduces Allergies

Studies now suggest that children who drink raw milk are 50 percent less likely to develop allergies and 41 percent less likely to develop asthma compared to children who don’t. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology involved 8,000 children with various diets, and one of the conclusions that researchers made was that by drinking raw milk, children experienced “naturally immunizing” effects.

As documented on the Real Milk.com website, many other studies carried out over the past century have shown that raw milk benefits and supports children’s growth and development in other ways too. Examples are: increased immunity against infections, dental health boosted and support for skeletal growth. Again, reference in the show notes.

You might be wondering: How can raw milk reduce allergies, and isn’t dairy tied to high rates of intolerance or sensitivities? Nutrients like probiotics, vitamin D and immunoglobulins (antibodies) found in raw milk naturally boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in both children and adults. Enzymes found in raw milk help with digestion but are often reduced or destroyed during pasteurization. Without those enzymes, lactose intolerance is much more likely.

2. Helps Improve Skin Health

Dairy might have a bad reputation when it comes to causing or worsening acne and skin inflammation, but this is far from the case with raw milk. As I’ve said, the benefits of raw milk are numerous, but surprisingly one of the most common reasons that people consume it is to benefit their skin. The success stories of people consuming raw milk to improve conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne are very widely reported.

Raw milk benefits the skin for the following reasons:

  • It contains healthy fats: Because raw milk contains large amounts of healthy saturated fats and omega-3 fats, it supports skin hydration. 
  • It supplies probiotics: Probiotics in raw milk can kill off or balance bad bacteria in your gut, which can dramatically affect the health of your skin. Research shows that inflammation and unbalanced gut flora contribute to skin issues such as acne and eczema.

3. Helps Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies 

According to the USDA, nearly 300 calories a day in the average American’s diet (out of a total 2,076 calories) can be attributed to added sugars or sweeteners. In comparison, nutrient-rich foods like raw dairy, fruits and vegetables only contribute about 424 calories.

One serving of raw milk contains about 400 milligrams of calcium, 50 milligrams of magnesium and 500 milligrams of potassium. These minerals are vitally important for cellular function, hydration, building bone density, blood circulation, detoxification, muscle health and metabolism.

4. Can Be Used to Make Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are microorganisms that line your gut and support nutrient absorption. They also help protect you from foreign invaders like E. coli and parasites. The best way to include probiotics in your diet is to get them in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products, such as cheese, kefir and yogurt. Real, raw and organic probiotic yogurt, cheeses and kefir have been consumed by some of the healthiest populations living around the world for thousands of years. Some disorders probiotic foods are known to help with include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infection

5. Doesn’t Contain Added Sugar or Synthetic Ingredients

In addition to pasteurization, conventional milk also usually undergoes a homogenization process. Homogenization is a high-pressure process that breaks down fat into tiny particles — however, fat subjected to high heat and pressure becomes oxidized and rancid. Many low-fat dairy products also have thickening agents added to make up for lost texture. Raw milk needs no added thickeners or shelf-stabilizers and also doesn’t contain added sugar or flavors.

Most foods have some levels of natural sugar, including raw dairy, which has the type called lactose. The natural sugar in dairy is balanced with other nutrients and therefore not a concern (even healthy for you in moderation).

Raw Milk Nutrition Facts

Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food. I understand if you’ve been cautious in the past about drinking raw milk because of all the negative media it might have earned. Let me help ease your mind. As a species we have been drinking this luscious, delectable beverage for thousands upon thousands of years. Today more and more people are drinking raw milk. We are slowly getting back to wholesome, unadulterated food that has served us for millennia. Over 10 million Americans now drink raw milk on a regular basis. They do so because of the benefits which include:

  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Stronger immune system
  • Reduced allergies
  • Increased bone density
  • Neurological support
  • Weight loss
  • Help building lean muscle mass
  • Better digestion

What exactly makes raw milk such an incredible superfood? Let’s take a look at its unique nutritional profile, and it will become clear.

Raw Milk Benefits: Nutritional Profile of Raw Milk

Fat-Soluble Vitamins A, D and K2

Because raw milk comes from cows or goats grazing on grass, research studies have shown that it contains a higher level of heart-healthy, fat-soluble vitamins than milk that comes from factory-farm cows. These vitamins support the brain and nervous system and are crucial for development, focus and brain function. Fat-soluble vitamins also support bone density and help naturally balance hormones.

Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3s

In addition to being high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, raw milk from grass-fed animals is a rich source of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that’s widely known to control health issues related to inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance. Additionally, raw, grass-fed milk is packed with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been tied to cancer prevention, healthier cholesterol levels and can even help reduce body fat.

Essential Minerals and Electrolytes: Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium

Raw milk is one of the highest sources of minerals and electrolytes, of which many people need more.

Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins

By far, the best-tasting curds and whey protein come from our raw milk. CHEESE. Also, whey protein is fantastic for anyone who’s looking to burn fat and build or retain lean muscle. Whey is high in the following enzymes: alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulin.

Probiotics: Kefir, Cheese and Yogurt

Probiotics are only found in small amounts in raw milk, but when you ferment raw milk to make foods like kefir, yogurt or cheese, the good bacteria dramatically increase. In fact, there are no other foods in the world as naturally high in probiotics as cultured dairy products.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to raw milk benefits.

Raw Milk Benefits vs. Conventional Milk

Let’s compare. Dairy products have gotten a bad rap over the years, but this is actually mostly due to the pasteurization process. When milk is pasteurized, it destroys many of the nutrients that make raw milk beneficial. Why is pasteurization even performed in the first place then? Because it exposes milk to very high temperatures, it can also kill harmful bacteria that are possibly able to make their way into the milk. However, as I mentioned before, it’s very rare for these types of bacteria to be found in milk to begin with. There are other options to ensure the bad bacteria doesn’t get into the milk in the first place.

Key nutrients and enzymes are greatly reduced during the pasteurization process. If you consider the fact that many of these nutrients are not only reduced, but altered from their original states, you can understand that some of these nutrients are completely unavailable for your body to use and can be very difficult to digest for many people.

Allergies and lactose intolerance are higher with pasteurization as well. Another major negative of pasteurization is that it destroys the digestive enzymes needed to break down and absorb certain nutrients. In the previously mentioned study, researchers found lactase (the enzyme in dairy) levels are greatly reduced with pasteurization, which is one explanation as to why so many people are lactose-intolerant. A survey conducted by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that of 700 families interviewed, amazingly about 80 percent of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance stopped having symptoms when they switched to raw milk.

Raw Milk Nutrients

To put things into perspective, according to medical studies, the following nutrients in raw milk are 100% fully active and during pasteurization they are altered or destroyed:

Vitamin A, 35% reduction; Vitamin C, 25-77% reduction; Vitamin E, 14% reduction; Iron 66% reduction; Zinc, 70% reduction; B-Complex Vitamins, 38% reduction; Calcium, 21% reduction; Enzymes, 100% destroyed; Immunoglobulins, damaged; Whey Protein, denatured.

Again, all of these nutrients are 100% active in raw, unpasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk is a lesser product. As I mentioned earlier, they end up adding stuff to a product that was perfect before pasteurization – unless contaminated by careless practices.

Our Herd Share Program

Want to have the freedom to consume raw milk? Join our herd share program. Own part of our cow herd and enjoy the benefits that we do every day. During the summer we have fresh milk, yogurt, butter and sometimes a bit of cream, while in the winter we have aged cheese and more butter.

The way it works is that you buy into our herd of dairy cows. We will care for them for you and we will gather the milk benefits for you. We will even process those benefits into fermented products such as yogurt and cheese. For a full share in the herd it is $60.00. A half share is $30.00 and you can also choose multiple shares. One and a half is $90. Two is $120.00 and so on. Once you own part of the herd, you simply pay us a maintenance and service/processing fee on a monthly basis. A full share is $44.00 per month, a half is $22.00 per month, 1 and a half is $66.00 per month, 2 shares is $88.00 per month and so on.

What you can expect to receive from your cows is milk, yogurt, cheese, and sometimes butter and cream. Every week I will let you know what is available and you choose how you want to receive it. Choose 1 item from the full share list or two items from the half share list.

We milk the cows seasonally which means your cows will provide you with milk and yogurt from the first week of May through the last week of October on a weekly basis. For the other six months we will continue to store and manage your cheese and butter. You can pick up your share twice monthly at the Farmer’s Market in Wytheville or from the farm.

That’s it. For more information, go to www.peacefulheartfarm.com/virginia-herd-shares. And feel free to call or email me with your questions.

How to Make Traditional Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. These instructions will be for cow’s milk kefir.

Milk kefir is not only easy to make, it is a delicious, probiotic-rich, versatile beverage your whole family can enjoy. This recipe uses the direct starter culture. You will not have to maintain kefir grains. Perhaps you can learn that a little later.

What You Need

Equipment:

  • Glass or plastic container
  • Plastic, wood, or stainless-steel stirring utensil
  • Coffee filter or cloth
  • Rubber band to secure the cover

Ingredients:

  • 1-quart raw cow milk (Needs to be very fresh. Don’t wait as the competition between beneficial bacteria is quite fierce. 😊)
  • 1-packet of Direct-Set Kefir Starter Culture (Google it to find a source you like. Remember “starter” culture, not kefir grains.)

What To Do

  1. Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  2. If milk is refrigerated liquid, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  3. Add 1 packet kefir starter culture and stir gently until the culture is fully dissolved.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.
  6. The culturing process is complete when the milk thickens to the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream.

Notes:

RECULTURING THE KEFIR

Kefir made with a direct-set style starter culture can often be re-cultured anywhere from 2 to 7 times. The exact number of successive batches will depend on the freshness of the kefir and hygienic practices employed. Be sure to re-culture within 7 days. Longer periods between batches may not result in successful batches.

  1. Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  2. If using a refrigerated kefir, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  3. Add ¼ cup prepared kefir from the previous batch and stir gently.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.

You now have a healthy probiotic drink. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

The homestead keeps on keeping on. Things are moving so quickly these days. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the tasks that need doing. Every once in a while, we stop and “smell the roses” so-to-speak. It’s up to us to make that happen. When you have your own homestead, you are fully in charge of your life. It’s a wonderful thing.

We love our milk. It is produced from cows that have been grass-fed and raised in humane conditions. We drink our milk unpasteurized and it retains all of its natural nutrients and benefits.

Raw milk benefits include improved immunity, healthier skin, reduced allergies, healthier growth and development, lower risk for nutrient deficiencies, and much more. Your mileage may vary.

Real milk has been consumed safely for many centuries. We have a limited number of herd shares available. If you want the benefits I’ve described here, see me at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market or come to the farm during our store hours and talk with me about your needs and the needs of your family. 

You can use your wonderful milk to make that kefir and provide even more healthy benefits to your family.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Traditional Kefir

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What is A2A2 Milk

What is A2A2 Milk

what is a2a2 milkYou have heard me talk about A2A2 milk. Some of you may not know what that means. You may wonder if it really matters to you and your family. I’m going to fill you in on some of that information today.

First let me say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to you veteran homestead loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week, a little bit about A2A2 milk and a great and tasty recipe. Let’s just jump right in.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • What is A2A2 Milk?
  • Ice Cream Base Recipe – with downloadable document with flavoring ideas

Homestead Life Updates

Cows

The cows are doing great. We have a new calf and the last one for a while. There is likely one more, but that cow is way behind the others. In fact, we are getting ready to breed some of them again in a few weeks. Cloud will deliver so late that she likely will not get bred back this year.

We are selling all of our bulls. We have six. Yes six. There is 2-year-old Sam. He is 95% Normande genetics and the sire of this year’s crop of calves. Then we have 1-year-old Ray’s Rocket – mostly we call him Rocket Man. Lastly is the group of newlings born this year. All four are for sale. Some are currently being negotiated for but I’ll put a link in the show notes to the Facebook page where all of their information can be found. If you are looking to improve the genetics of your herd, this is the bull for you.

Sheep/Goats

Lambert is so fat right now. He will be receiving his bottle twice daily until nearly all of the milk replacer is gone. Then I will switch him to once a day for a week or maybe two before weaning him completely off.

If you want to get a whole or half lamb, speak up now. It will be months yet before these are ready for your freezer. We have one lamb and/or 2 half lambs currently available.  A whole lamb yields 30 to 35 pounds, sometimes more of meat. Half lambs, half that. You can see the cuts that come on a whole or half lamb on our website. www.peacefulheartfarm.com/shop/lamb-package.

Orchard and Garden

There is always so much going on around here that a lot of stuff gets pushed back. Thinks like birthing, gathering and storing milk, making cheese, taking care of animals all have the highest priority. The garden and the orchard, not so much. My garden is still overrun with weeds, though I was able to dig out my carrots and surprisingly there are lots that beat the grass. Watering the garden does have a priority or it would all simply die. Other stuff slows down or stunts growth. The bottom line is we will still get a crop, but perhaps not as large as if we had gotten the weeds out and fertilized more often.

The peas are just such a crop. They are producing like mad and I will be picking them within the week, I think. Then they will have to be processed in some way. I’m scaring myself with all of that. There are just not enough hours in the week.

I still don’t even have everything planted. The green beans need to be put in the ground. The peanuts need to be replanted; I have no idea why not a single one sprouted. And the eggplant is going to wither away to nothing if I don’t get it out there in the garden.

Everything needs to be weeded. Everything needs to be fertilized.

Scott is diligently digging out the orchard from the waist high grass. It would be great if we could graze some of the animals in there, but they all eat the trees. We are still investigating how to get the sheep in their without having them raise up on their back legs as high as they can and eating all of the leaves off the branches they can reach. The goats are a complete disaster anywhere near the orchard or the berries. They will eat the bark off of the trees, killing them. And because they like to eat woody stemmed plants, they will decimate blackberry vines and blueberry bushes. No, we don’t want them anywhere near the orchard.

On the upside, they did a really great job of clearing out the wild blackberries on the island in the big pond. It is now quite pleasant to sit out there and enjoy being surrounded by water and nature.

Quail

We are newbies with the quail. It is unbelievable how quickly those quail grew. They outgrew their brooder box a good week before we had planned. Outside they went as we were having a warm spell. There were a couple of cool nights but these are wild birds and they faired very well. They are only barely over 2 weeks old and are fully feathered. The tiny birds that were barely the size of a gold ball are now the size of a baseball – perhaps even a softball. It’s amazing. They will begin laying eggs in as little as six weeks from now. Yum, yum, we look forward to it.

Four eggs are required to equal one chicken egg. Our plan is to have about 30 laying hens and 6 roosters for breeding. We will need to continually hatch out new ones as their lives are actually quite short and they only lay for a year or two.

Creamery

The creamery – ah the creamery. So much still to do there and Scott has so little time to do it. We really need that building completed. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are priorities. First the animals, then the perishable milk and cheese, then the garden and orchard. The creamery, as an inanimate object comes in last place. There are even maintenance projects that take precedence. Fences, driveways, pathways, other infrastructure – all has to be kept up to ensure the safety of our animals.

It’s a lot but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We work long hours every day – very long hours every day. Alarm goes off at 6:00 am and though 10:00 pm is bedtime, more often it is 11 or 11:30 before that happens. And every bit of it is worth it. There is never any lack of meaning in our lives. Boredom is something very distant in the past. The constant attention to the next task makes us know that we are alive in God’s wonderful creation.

One thing that evolved through nature is the composition of milk in cows. Recently, some of the genetic content and protein structure of milk has changed.

What is A2A2 Milk?

There is a great deal of scientific gobbledygook about the proteins and how they are broken down or not. I’ll try to keep this layman friendly and skip most of the mumbo-jumbo lingo. By the way, did you know that gobbledygook is an actual word that my spell-checker knew? Who knew? Well, my spellchecker knew.

A2 milk is cow’s milk that mostly lacks a form of beta-casein proteins called A1 and instead has mostly the A2 form.

A1 and A2 beta-casein are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid. Casein is a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are commonly found in the milk of mammals, comprising about 80% of the proteins in cow’s milk and between 20% and 45% of the proteins in human milk. Sheep and buffalo milk have a higher casein content than other types of milk with human milk having a particularly low casein content. Casein has a wide variety of uses one of which is being a major component of cheese. We respect our casein.

A genetic test, developed by the a2 Milk Company, determines whether a cow produces A2 or A1 type protein in its milk. The test allows the company to certify milk producers as producing milk that does not metabolize to beta-casomorphin which is an opioid peptide or protein fragment derived from the digestion of the milk protein casein.

I know, I’m getting too scientific with the lingo there. All that means is that the chemical composition of A2A2 milk may benefit our health because it is digested without inflammation that might arise from BCM-7 produced by A1 beta-casein. Consequently, A1 proteins may be detrimental to our health. That causes great push back from the gigantic dairy industry as A2A2 genetics is rare in Europe (except France) and the US. That would really disrupt their operation if their milk was found to be harmful – while others had milk that was beneficial.

As with so many health-related topics, the science is divided on whether or not there is reason for concern regarding the A1 protein in milk – whether there are adverse health effects from its consumption. Personally, I’m erring on the side of caution, as I do with so many other foods. I’ll go with tradition as opposed to modern fads in nutrition. We are breeding our cows for the A2A2 genetic conformation.

And when I say modern fads in nutrition, I mean everything that came pouring out of the 20th century and that continues to pour out in the 21st century. I’m talking about three square meals a day, the food pyramid, and the modified food pyramid. I’m talking about low fat diets, vegan and vegetarian diets, the Mediterranean diet, the South Beach diet and so on. All of these so-called nutrition experts are literally experimenting with our health as human beings. We evolved over thousands and thousands and thousands of years eating locally grown food, whatever it was. Historically, in the tropics the diet was heavy in fruits, nuts and greens, in Alaska fat predominated. In other regions protein was the main source of dietary sustenance. You must find what works for you.

Which brings me back to A2A2 milk.

History

In the 1980s, some medical researchers began to explore whether some peptides (including peptides from casein) that are created during digestion might have negative or positive health effects.

Interest in the distinction between A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins in milk began in the early 1990s via epidemiological research and animal studies initially conducted by scientists in New Zealand. The scientists found correlations between the prevalence of milk with A1 beta-casein proteins in some countries and the prevalence of various chronic diseases. The research generated interest in the media, as well as among the scientific community and entrepreneurs. If it were indeed true that BCM-7 created by A1 beta-casein is harming humans, this would be an important public health issue.

Scientists believe the difference in genetics originated as a mutation that occurred between 5000 and 10,000 years ago—as cattle were being taken north into Europe with the mutation subsequently spreading widely throughout herds in the Western world through breeding.

The percentage of the A1 and A2 beta-casein protein varies between herds of cattle, and also between countries and provinces. While African and Asian cattle continue to produce only A2 beta-casein, the A1 version of the protein is common among cattle in the western world. The A1 beta-casein type is the most common type found in cow’s milk in Europe (excluding France where our Normandes with predominantly A2A2 genetics originate). It is also the most common type found in cow’s milk in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s talk about the possible health benefits.

Health Benefits

Symptoms of stomach discomfort, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea that occur after consuming dairy products, are typically attributed to lactose intolerance. However, some researchers believe that it is BCM-7, not lactose, that affects digestion and produces symptoms similar to lactose intolerance, in some people.

A study on Chinese adults with self-reported milk intolerance compared the effects of drinking regular milk that contained A1 and A2 proteins with A2-only milk on intestinal function, stomach discomfort, and inflammation.

The participants consumed 8 oz of milk twice a day for 2 weeks. They reported worse stomach pain after they consumed the regular milk but no change in symptoms after they drank the A2 milk.

Participants also reported more frequent and looser-consistency stools while they drank the regular milk. These symptoms did not occur after they consumed the A2 milk.

So, what MIGHT be happening on the other side of the coin?

Potentially Harmful Effects of non A2A2 Milk

Notice the words “might and “potentially” there. I’m not making any claims here. Some of the effects can include:

Inflammation

In the same study mentioned above, researchers also looked at markers of inflammation in the blood. They found the participants had higher levels of inflammatory markers after they drank the regular milk.

Brain function

The research showed that milk could impact brain function. Study participants took longer to process information and made more errors on a test after drinking regular milk compared to A2 milk.

Type 1 diabetes

The potential risks associated with milk containing A1 proteins include an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Some studies have shown that children who drink cow’s milk protein at an earlier age than others have a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes. However, other studies have not shown the same association.

The research also suggests that the amount of milk a child consumes could influence their risk of developing type 1 diabetes, with higher milk consumption observed in children who develop the condition.

At least one study showed a link between the consumption of A1 protein and incidence of type 1 diabetes, although this kind of study fails to prove that it is a direct cause.

Some animal studies have shown associations between cow’s milk consumption and a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes. One study in mice found that 47 percent of the mice that had A1 protein added to their diet developed diabetes, while none that had A2 protein added did so.

However, other research does not support the hypothesis that there is any association between milk consumption and a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes. There are links in the show notes for both sides of this discussion. Debate about the potential health effects of A1 and A2 milk is ongoing.

Research suggests that A1 beta-casein causes adverse digestive symptoms in certain individuals. But the evidence is still too weak for any solid conclusions to be made about the supposed links between A1 beta-casein and other conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and autism.

That said, A2 milk could be worth a try if you struggle to digest regular milk.

There you have it. The basics to the why of A2A2 milk. I’ll let you decide. Again, we like to err on the side of caution. We have two A2A2 certified cows and will be testing the rest of the herd as we move forward with our dairy operation. Go to the show notes for the links to the research I referenced.

Speaking of milk, how about an ice cream recipe for your A2A2 milk and cream.

Ice Cream Base Recipe (Download Flavorings)

When it’s warm outside, a cold refreshing dish of ice cream can really hit the spot. This is a basic ice cream recipe that can be used as a base for many different flavors. I’ve included a download link to the flavorings.

This silky, luscious and very classic custard can be used as the base for any ice cream flavor you can dream up. These particular proportions of milk and cream to egg yolk will give you a thick but not sticky ice cream that feels decadent but not heavy. For something a little lighter, use more milk and less cream, as long as the dairy adds up to 3 cups. You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three.

Time: 20 minutes plus several hours’ cooling, chilling and freezing

Yield: about 1 ½ pints

What You Need

  • 2cups heavy cream
  • 1cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (download here)

What To Do

  1. In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

Final Thoughts

I hope your days are filled with as much love and joy as you can stand. We love our lives here. Yes, we are busy beyond belief. Yes, it’s a little stressful sometimes. I just find it so fulfilling. From the time I was a child I was told to work hard for what I wanted. I was also told that I was too smart to not be college educated and have a career. So, no physical work. That was for those not smart enough to get out of that poor and decrepit existence. Funny isn’t it? In the end, educated to the max, I prefer the hard work. And indeed, some of it is smart brain work. But the best and most enjoyable part involves sweat.

Particularly, I love our cows and our dairy operation. Check out the references I provided for the research around A2 beta-casein. Then sign on to our herd share program with our A2A2 milk and value added products, go to www.peacefulheartfarm.com/virginia-herdshare. Read, ask questions, download the documents. We’d love to do business with you.

And as this Memorial Day weekend stretches into Monday, I hope you’ll try that ice cream recipe. There is nothing more traditional than everyone taking turns operating that crank on the ice cream machine. Well, we use the electric method. Likely you do too, but the principle is still the same. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, Subscribe and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Ice Cream Base

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Our Virginia Life

Our Virginia Life

Our Virginia LifeThis week I want to share our dream with all of you. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming the dream as well and just don’t think you can get there. Sometimes it takes time—a lot of time. But it is so worth it. I encourage you to start today.

Welcome new listeners. It’s so good to have you. And welcome back veteran homestead-loving regulars. Thank you for stopping by the farmcast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m super excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week and I’m super existed to share the history of our homestead dream with you.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Our Virginia Life
  • Greek Spiced Ground Meat with (optional) Yogurt or Sour Cream

Homestead Life Updates

Garden

Starting with the garden which seems to be at the end of our list of priorities at the moment. The strawberries are overwhelmed with wheat grass. I believe I mentioned that the straw we bought for mulch was full of seeds. I’ve never seen so much waste of wheat. Scott is working on that project today. The carrots are overrun with grass and weeds. I just looked at them. They seem to be holding their own for the moment. It will have to do until Tuesday. That is 3 days from now. Market is tomorrow. Church on Sunday and much needed rest in the afternoon. Cheesemaking on Monday. Hang in there, guys. I’ll save you. And the rest of the garden needs to be weeded and fertilized as well. I still need to get the green beans planted. The peanuts did not sprout and will need to be replanted. And the first harvests will be happening next week as well. I use flowers as pest control but I’m so far behind on my flower starts that the bugs may take over in June. Oh well, we do what we can and don’t sweat it. That’s not quite true is it? We will be sweating a lot come next week.

Cows

Cows are finally getting back into a routine. They really, really don’t like change. We added a new cow. We split up our girls and put one with Butter as a companion. Butter had a calf. All changes. The big one was we changed their feed. Once we changed their feed, all of a sudden the entire herd of Normandes no longer wanted to come into the milking shed and stick their head in the stanchion. I don’t mind so much the ones that we are not milking. But Claire and Buttercup are in milk and have to be milked twice a day. Anyway, we fooled them by putting a bit of sweet feed on top of their nutritional supplement and they are now eating it and getting better about coming into the shed without a lot of hassle. Still some work to do there, but we are making progress. We changed their dairy supplement from a garden variety from Southern States to a non-GMO, non-soy dairy supplement. It’s like a kid that is used to eating McDonald’s and then being switched to organic salad greens. They were pretty petulant. Butter is a different story. She will eat anything you put in front of her and beg for more.

Lambs and Goats

The lambs and goats are doing great. We couldn’t be more pleased with how this group of lambs is progressing. And the goats just keep on keeping on eating weeds and brush that the others won’t touch. They have cleaned up so much around here in the way of small trees that were sprouting, briars, wild blackberry bushes and so on. Good job!!

Creamery

The creamery project has been sitting idle for nearly two weeks. Scott had to fix the bush hog and then mow everything. He built the quail cages for when the little guys get out of the brooder and into their permanent digs. A load of gravel was delivered and he spent quite a bit of time spreading that in the places where erosion and mud was making our lives miserable. A day of digging a trench for drainage out of the milking shed took another day of his time. The days seems to slip by one after another. There is always so much to do and not enough hours in the day.

That update was pretty intense with listing our setbacks on timing. But you know what? We love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. Our lives are filled with purpose and meaning. The geese are strutting around with their gaggles of goslings. The trees are leafing out. The garden is full of all kinds of plants. The calves are a joy to watch as they bask in the sun or galivant around their pasture. We have taken the moment to look at the stars at night in a while. But they are there, waiting for us to enjoy their magnificence.

Our Virginia Life

That brings me to today’s topic. Have you dreamed of living the homestead life? Do you think it is impossible? I want to give you inspiration and share a bit of our journey. It all started in the last century.

The Beginning . . .

Scott and I met in 1999 in western North Carolina. We were two people following similar paths who met and become life-long friends. We apprenticed together at a spiritual training center learning how to teach a meditation technique. This is where we reconnected to our hearts and desire to be close to the land. The dream of our homestead life was born.

During our training we dreamed of a sustainable farm and communal living. We wanted to raise good food as close to nature’s intended way as possible. We knew that experiencing loving relationships with others and soaking up nourishing nature would ultimately help us remember our kinship with God and creation. Two souls had found each other.

Our dream has changed and evolved over time. It continues to evolve. We just took a step and then another and another. Each step clarified our vision. Each step led to the next and sometimes our direction needed to change. So we changed. We continue to take steps and we continue to change.

The first step began 16 years ago and we still don’t have that creamery built. But we love our homestead life and all it brings us.

Buying Land Was the First Step

In the summer of 2003, we bought our first piece of land in southwest Virginia. We rented a mobile home nearby. At this point in our lives we had a great deal of debt: credit cards, school loans, taxes, and now a mortgage. We set out to pay everything off in full. We would have our farm — but we would have it debt-free. We both took on lucrative jobs in Information Technology as the electronic medical records industry kicked off.

Our jobs required extensive travel. We traveled all over the US and to a couple of European countries as well. Every other week we flew home to Virginia to visit our beautiful piece of land.

In 2005 we bought our own mobile home and moved it onto our land. And in the fall, our wedding ceremony took place at the homestead. It was so beautiful. Even though it was November the weather had permitted the leaves to change very slowly. And with very little wind this particular fall, there were many leaves still on the trees. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect time.

Learning to Produce Food

Our first experience with livestock was raising chickens in the summer of 2006.

The contract we had been working for a couple of years was done. I moved on to a different contract and continued traveling. Scott was done with traveling. He remained on the homestead and built a couple of chicken tractors ala Joel Salatin. He raised, and we processed, around 100 chickens. We ate a lot of them ourselves and gave a lot away to relatives and neighbors. This part of the journey was just a taste to get our feet wet.

Twists and Turns and . . . Texas?

Somewhere along that two-year time period we paid all of our debts in full. The next step along the path was making the money needed for infrastructure.

February 2007 Scott went back to work . . .  in Texas.

I was now traveling to various places around the country every week instead of every other week. I lived in hotels and airports with a too quick Saturday and Sunday at home with Scott. What a far cry from the peaceful life we envisioned. We persevered and dreamed on.

In 2008 we bought an additional 40 acres adjoining our property. We were in debt again. This time for more money than ever before. It’s a good thing that I got to walk around that property occasionally or I might have forgotten exactly why we went into debt again. The “why” had to do with dreaming bigger. We were learning about raising sheep. Still very much a dream at this point . . . we’re still living in Texas. The timeline to move permanently to the homestead kept getting longer. That can happen when you’re dreaming while making good coin.

The constant travel and living out of a suitcase got really old, really fast for me. It was fine when I was traveling with my best friend and awesome life partner. Doing it alone was torture. Within a year I was insisting that Scott get a job closer to home. If I was going to fly home every weekend, I wanted it to be Virginia — not Texas. Scott made it happen.

South Carolina is Closer Than Texas

From the fall of 2008 until December 31, 2016 Scott traveled 6 hours every Sunday evening to Beaufort, South Carolina. A guy by himself doesn’t need much and a travel trailer we purchased for the task was sufficient housing. Every Friday evening, he returned to the homestead in Virginia. Six hours again. He did it alone for the first year and a half. Then I got a job offer . . . just outside of Savannah, Georgia.

We moved the travel trailer to a park halfway between Savannah and Beaufort. It was an hour drive for me and 45 minutes for him. We were completely back together again as a couple.

Then in 2010 I got a job offer at the same hospital where Scott had been working for over two years. I jumped on that like a duck on a June bug. We moved the travel trailer to Beaufort and cut our work commute down to 20 minutes. As we were still driving 6 hours each way, we were actually able to leave a little earlier on Friday as Scott no longer drive backwards 45 minutes to pick me up. We only buying gas for one vehicle. These were small but important steps on our journey.

All of this unconventional living circumstance was worth the huge amount of stress that came with it. After all, we were now back together as a couple. That was great. We were at the homestead every single weekend. That was great. And it was only going to be for a couple of years . . .

Five years later and nearly 12 years into the process, I was stressed beyond my capacity to remain sane. I needed a nest. For the final two years of working in Beaufort, we rented an apartment. Moving from 100 square feet to over 1,000 square feet of living space was just enough nesting happiness to get me through it.

In the end, even that wasn’t enough and we decided to make the leap to full-time homesteaders. That was December 31, 2016. Over 13 years of tiny steps and a couple of giant steps.

Getting that creamery built is the focus of our lives right now. We are over 2 years into that process. The dream keeps going. The dream keeps moving forward.

From Chicken Tractors to Raw Milk Artisan Cheese

Let me back up a little bit and fill in some details of how we grew the farm during this period of time. How did we go from pasture raised chickens to artisan cheese? What the heck happened there? Well, we tried a few different things over the years. In order to succeed as a small homestead farmer, diversity is important. You don’t want to have all of your eggs in one basket. However, having a central core enterprise is also important. So one big basket and lots of smaller baskets was our ideal. This also supports our ideal of living a traditional life where every farming family raised much of their own food in addition to their main crop or livestock enterprise.

The weekend life allowed us to dabble a bit in a lot of areas. And we read a lot and studied a lot about many areas of interest. We did a lot of trial and error experiments on a small scale. There is so much that can be done on a homestead. Which was going to be the best fit for us? Like a lot of folks, we tried to do too many things at once. Having that central enterprise is the only way to make it.

Early on we were clear that raising the chickens in 2006 was a great learning exercise but not where our hearts were. Having them for eggs and meat for personal use, yes. But not as our central farm enterprise. In 2009 we put in fruit trees. That’s a long-term project that continues to stretch over many years. Also, for personal use at this point, though the orchard will provide a small income at a later date. You know. The date we actually have time to give it attention. 😊

In 2010 we bought a flock of sheep and a donkey as a guardian animal for them. Twelve pregnant ewes and a pregnant donkey. We proceeded along the lines of raising sheep and selling lamb as our centerpiece. We learned a lot over several years. At one point we had over 70 sheep. However, two things happened that prompted us to change our course yet again. An issue arose around raising and marketing lamb. One, we simply didn’t have the land to raise enough livestock to make it profitable – and two, in 2011 something big changed on the homestead. Love crept in, awakened and rapidly altered the farm dream.

I wanted to make my own butter and cheese and I loved drinking raw milk. I still can’t stand the taste of cooked milk. In 2011 we bought cows. With working toward homestead sustainability as part of our mission, we also wanted beef (and pork and chicken and rabbit). And after researching every cow breed under the sun, we settled on the Normande. It’s a dual breed cow. A prolific milk producer as well as producing well-marbled muscle perfectly suited for beef. For more details on these cows, give a listen to the Peaceful Heart FarmCast episode I dedicated to them.

Suffice it to say, I fell in love with these cows. We knew the lamb was not going to produce the income we desired without adding a lot more pasture. Another alternative arose out of the dream. We could build a creamery and make artisan and farmstead cheese. It just happened to coincide with my desire to have more of these cows in my life. To pay for it, how much longer are we going to have to work for someone else? Yes, that’s the decision that drove the planned two years of living in a travel trailer to a full seven years of craziness.

It was so worth it.

Peaceful Heart Farm Creamery is Born

Finally, I’ve gotten to the part of the story where the creamery comes in. It has been a wild and varied journey getting here. But this is the one. We are investing all of our time and energy into becoming a local cheese resource for our community. We will use traditional cheese making techniques to develop our local cheeses. I have two recipes that meet my expectations regarding the product I want to sell . . .  and I have two others that are currently in development. One is failing miserably. Fear not! I will prevail. We are going to produce the best cheddar cheese that Virginia has ever seen! With a slight tweak on the salt, I’m expecting my alpine-style cheese to be a winner this year as well.

The creamery still has a long way to go before passing state inspection. I’ve got a little time to get the cheese right. In the meantime, I’m getting to know you and getting some really good traditional cooking information together for you. If you are buying local food, it pays to know how to prepare it well.

The latest change is the addition of the herdshare program. We became aware of this need some time ago for offering herdshares to our fellow Virginians. Not everyone wants to live this life but they want the benefit of the great food that it produces. One of those great foods is milk from pasture-raised cows. If you’ve been following me, you’ve heard me talk about this before. You can own a piece of a grassfed dairy herd. We provide the land, animals and labor so you don’t have to do that part.

We purchased a lovely Jersey cow from a fellow Farmer’s Market vendor. She has had her calf and is now producing wonderful A2A2 milk. We are offering milk and/or yogurt (full fat or low fat with honey) during the summer months, May through October. November through April cheese and butter will come out of the herdshare. During times of abundance in the summer you may find yourself with a little extra product. Your herd sometimes produces a LOT of milk. And at other times not so much.

What Else?

At some point we added cashmere goats to our livestock. I’m a big knitter and dream of using only 100% cashmere. More and more my skepticism that I will ever reach that goal increases. You can only do so much! For now, they keep our pastures clear of brambles and provide us with some really great nutrition. But their days are numbered. You remember what I talked about earlier? There are only so many hours in a day. So, dream big but keep in mind that at some point, likely you will have to trim it back a little.

At the present time on the homestead, the only food we don’t produce is eggs (and coffee). That situation will be rectified in the next few months. I believe I’ve mentioned before that Scott doesn’t have the time to invest in building elaborate chicken housing and protection. His priority is getting that creamery functional. Instead, we’ve opted for quail. This is 99% my project. Scott will build a couple of cages that will likely take no more than a day or two to complete. The rest is all on me.

With the addition of the quail, all of our food will now be produced on the homestead. We spend hours and hours working, sweating and loving every minute of our life.

We are meeting new people just like you at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. Come see us on Saturdays 8am to 12 noon. Taste our grass-fed beef, lamb, and goat. Talk to us about your interest in a herdshare and taste our yogurt. There are lots of other great vendors there as well. And remember, you can come directly to the farm on Tuesday mornings 10am to 12 noon or Saturday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm. Call for directions. We’d love to help you get here.

Greek Seasoned Ground Meat Medley with (optional) Yogurt or Sour Cream

This recipe is for my Keto and carnivore friends and listeners. If you have a traditional, diversified farm with all kinds of ruminant animals, this recipe is for you. Or if you are shopping at your local farmer’s market for a variety of grass-fed meats, this recipe is for you. It calls for one pound each of beef, lamb and chev or goat, but you can use any combination of these meats. Or you could divide the ingredients by three and only use 1 lb.

What You Need

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground chev (goat)
  • 3 tablespoon butter

Spice Mix

  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons salt (less is fine)
  • 3 teaspoons ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water

What To Do

  1. Brown ground meats until fully cooked
  2. Drain pan drippings and add butter (this is actually optional but worth it)
  3. Mix in spices and water
  4. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes
  5. Serve with yogurt or sour cream

Final Thoughts

I hope you found some inspiration to follow your dreams whatever they may be. By continually putting one foot in front of the other, you will get there. Keep the vision in front of you and keep plugging away. Start as small as you need to and build a little each day. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or what route you follow. It really doesn’t. It is all about the journey. You will never reach your destination because there is always another dream in the making. It’s all about the journey and living each day to the fullest. Go for it!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, we’d really love it if you shared it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Greek Seasoned Ground Meat Medley with (optional) Yogurt or Sour Cream

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Cooking on the Hearth

Cooking on the Hearth

 cooking on the hearthThis week’s topic brings back memories of days gone by and just might stir up the desire in you to cook over an open fire. Well perhaps not you. Maybe someone you know.

In any case, I thank you all for listening and hope you find this information useful. Thank you, thank you to all of you veteran homestead-loving regulars and welcome to all of you new listeners out there. Let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll see if I can come up with some compelling dialogue.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Cooking on the Hearth
  • Mint Sauce (for Lamb Roast)

Homestead Life Updates

Cows

Our newest addition, Butter, had her calf. Butter is a purebred Jersey with certified A2A2 genetics. If you are not familiar with what that means, well that’s a podcast for another time. The health benefits of raw milk from cows with A2A2 genetics are substantial. We have four calves now—with 2 more still to come.

Sheep

Finally, the last ewe had her lambs. She has a lovely set of twins. That brings our total lambs this season to 9. All are alive and well. Only one issue. But Lambert is doing well on his bottle. Every morning and afternoon I go out and call “lambikins” and he comes running. As soon as he has finished his bottle, he turns around and trots back to his mom and 2 siblings.

Quail

The quail have hatched. We have 24 baby quail in a brooder right now. They peeped a lot when they first hatched, but now they are as quiet as church mice. I’ve spent lots of time just watching them run around pecking here and there. In three weeks’ time they will be fully feathered and ready to move to their quail condo. By 8 weeks, the hens will be laying eggs and I will start the process all over again until we have the number of birds we want for breeding stock. Our goal is to raise all of the eggs we eat. Eggs and coffee are the only items I currently buy from the grocery store. Soon to be only coffee.

Steers

We have 3 steers soon to be up for grabs. If you are interested in a ¼, ½ or whole steer, please get on the list quickly. The first one will go to processing in late June and will be available for pickup around mid-July. We are always limited in the amount of grass-fed beef that we have available. Again, please get on the list early.

Garden

The tomatoes are in the garden. It was a bigger job than I thought, but I persevered and got them all in the ground. The beans are up. I still need to plant the green beans. And just today we got the sweet potato slips. Once the beans and sweet potatoes go in, I will have planted that entire garden. Oops, I almost forgot. I need to plant the sunflowers between the tomatoes.

I’m amazed at how much I accomplished on my own with this garden. Sure, Scott did a lot of the heavy work with the mulch and initial fertilizer, but the rest was all me. I’ve never done that much on my own before. Diet and exercise is working wonders for me.

Creamery

Not much to report on the creamery this week. We’ve been tied up with other tasks and another week has slipped by with only a little progress. Life on the homestead is constantly filled with meaningful, fulfilling tasks. Scott really does have a lot on his plate right now. He’s doing a great job juggling all of his responsibilities. He is so awesome.

Cooking on the Hearth

In the Cooking Through the Ages FarmCast I finished up with a recipe for cooking cornbread on the hearth. There have been so many questions about hearthside cooking, I decided to do an episode on the techniques and knowledge that our great-great-great-great grandmothers used to cook meals for their families. When the United States was founded, all cooking was done over a fire. Most often it was done in the fireplace of the home.

Knowledge of fire-building was a part of everyday life. There were specific tools and implements that assisted in the cooking process. I’ll talk about those as well.

Today we see a fireplace is a charming optional feature for a home. In yesterday’s world a fireplace was absolutely essential to living and the virtual center of family life. It was the primary heat source, was a major source of light, and provided the means by which all food was prepared.

We have a wood stove and perhaps you do too. Once the match was invented, fire building became pretty easy. We merely crumble up some newspaper, lay on some wood, then strike the match. Before this modern convenience, coals had to be carefully banked at night to ensure a ready fire was easily built for the next day’s meals. A “cold fire” meant using flint and steel to strike sparks in extremely flammable tinder, skillful application of air and carefully feeding small twigs, then larger and larger sticks into the flame.

Fire Safety

Another convenience of today that we may take for granted is our screened fireplaces. Together with normal precautions, fire hazards from sparks and coals hitting the floor are reduced to nearly nothing. In the past, the fear of fire meant constant vigilance. A coal of fire accidentally falling on the floor causing a fire was not uncommon in the days of large fireplaces with steadily burning fires and no protective screening. In fact, hearth injuries were second only to childbearing as the leading cause of death in women.

Certain safeguards made the difference between a pleasurable, rewarding cooking and heating experience and possible tragedy.

Some things kept on hand included having a bucket of water nearby and a woolen blanket that could smother flames. Long skirts would be tucked up and out of the way when working at the fire. Women often checked the lower hem of their skirts for smoldering cloth if their dress was dragged across live coals. Have you noticed how women wore hats in the past. Their hair was covered and no bare feet were to be found near the fire.

Carefully thought out steps also guarded against accidents. The immediate area needed to be kept clear when moving hot coals. Heavy iron pots filled with simmering liquid or food were not easy to handle. Extreme care was taken in removing them from the crane or lifting them from the coals. Frying foods and roasting meats require care to avoid burns from splattering fat. Staying continually alert was the best protection against mishaps.

Building a Fire

Everyone has his or her own theory for “correct” fire building. Here is a relatively simple method that has worked quite well for us. Sometimes we have to start with a clean fireplace. However, old ashes provide insulation and helps to maintain heat. We usually crumple several sheets of newspaper on top of the existing ashes for kindling. In the 18th century scrapwood, bark or small and dry branches would be used in lieu of paper. Next, we lay the wood on the kindling in a grid pattern, starting with soft kindling wood such as pine. On top of the kindling, we lay a mixture of hardwood and softwood in slightly larger pieces. Next follows another layer of hardwood. At that point, we would simply use a lighter to make a flame on the end of a very small piece of pine kindling and light the newspaper at the rear of the fire. Starting the fire at the rear allows the fire to start warming the chimney. After the fire is well-established, we add large pieces of wood to keep the flames burning steadily. Hardwoods for this purpose include oak and hickory. Cedar has a tendency to “pop”, creating a possible fire hazard without the door on our stove or the fire screens I mentioned earlier. So no cedar in an open hearth. You can use fruit woods, such as apple and cherry, to provide a tantalizing aroma and impart a delicious flavor to roasting meats.

Cooking on the Hearth

The fire should be started well before actual cooking begins. You might think that Hearthside cooking is all done directly over a fire. Not true. Though flames are necessary for roasting and cooking on a crane (I’ll talk more about the tools next), the quantity of coals is more important. It will be at least two hours of preparatory fire burning before a large amount of coals is ready to be raked or shoveled into individual mounds on the hearth. Moving the coals around and piling them creates cooking areas something like the burners on your modern stove. Most hearth cooking—baking, frying, simmering—was done over glowing embers. The need for a steady supply of embers necessitates a continuously burning fire.

Equipping a Fireplace Hearth for Cooking

If this topic of Hearthside cooking is of interest to you as a hobby, there are tools are available still available for purchase. Artisans are producing ironwork, pottery, woodenware and tin-ware for reasonable prices. With a few basic implements, any fireplace can be made ready for cooking. The following are essential for open hearth food prep:

  1. A swinging crane
  2. Pot hangers—S-hooks, trammel, ratchets
  3. Dutch ovens—a minimum of two
  4. Long handled tools including spoons, ladle, meat fork, and spatula
  5. Trivets
  6. An iron pot
  7. Poker, tongs, and shovel

The crane

The swinging crane, a hinged device bolted into the side of the fireplace, was a major development in kitchen furnishings. Prior to the crane, the lug pole was used. It was a fixed device suspended across the upper portion of the fireplace and fitted into the brick itself. To use the fixed lug pole you had to step on the hearth and leaning into the fireplace to suspend or remove those heavy iron pots filled with food or water. At best, this was dangerous. The swinging crane brought new flexibility and safety since it could be swung out and away from the fire for use.

Pots Hangers

Pots were suspended from the crane by a variety of hangers. The simplest is the S-hook, which can be linked together with others to raise or lower a pot over the flames and thus regulate the amount of heat for cooking. I use a version of this to raise and lower the height of the lights over my plant seedlings.

Other pot hangers included the trammel, basically a flat hanger with the hook and eye arrangement. The eye goes over the crane and there is a hook for the pot handle. The trammel is too long and cumbersome for modern fireplaces, but they were very important for the large fireplaces found in the days of colonial America.

Dutch Ovens

A Dutch oven is probably the single most important item for Hearthside cooking. It can be used to bake bread and desserts. You can use it to stew meats and vegetables or to brown foods. Standing on three short legs, the Dutch oven would be placed on a bed of coals and its contents would be covered with a tightfitting lid. Additional coals are then shoveled on top. Voila! An oven is created. The coals are replenished as needed. Generally, cooking times are equal to those given in modern recipes. With this most important piece of equipment, anything done in a modern oven can be duplicated on the hearth.

Long Handled Tools

A variety of long handled tools are needed for stirring, mixing, turning, basting, skimming, and labeling. Made of iron or wood, they include spatulas, meat forks, spoons, strainers, and ladles. You can find these today for use with outdoor grills.

Trivets

Trivets refers to a tripod used to elevate pots from the coals of an open fire. In fireplace cooking they were used to hold pots and kettles for cooking over the coals and for keeping already prepared foods warm.

Iron Pot

An iron pot, hung on the crane, is indispensable for soups, stews, and boiled puddings. Usually equipped with legs, the pot is also useful for simmering directly over the coals.

Tongs, Poker, Shovel

The same equipment used for our woodstove—tongs, poker, and shovel—are also needed and for the same purpose as times past. They are used to manipulate the wood and coals.

Additional Utensils

Hearthside tools could be supplemented with an endless array of additional utensils, especially those for roasting.

For roasting meats and fowl, a pair of andirons or firedogs, fitted with hooks to hold an iron spit, is one such accessory. Food to be cooked is skewered on the spit and then suspended between the firedogs. The simplest of these spits has a handle at one end. The meat is turned on the spit for even roasting.

A necessary adjunct to roasting is a dripping pan, generally made of iron. It is placed underneath the roasting meat to catch its juices. The juices are then used for basting and later used to make gravy.

A long handled frying pan is another helpful utensil for open hearth cooking. Set on a trivet or made with three legs to stand over the coals, the frying pan is helpful for frying or sautéing.

A griddle for baking over the fire is another useful kitchen utensil used to bake a variety of muffins, buns, and pancakes. Its handle is secured to the crane by a pot hanger. Also needed for baking are pie and cake tins and tart and biscuit pans.

We’ve come a long way baby. It’s still fun to use some of these traditional techniques. They are applicable on your camping trips or backyard firepits as well.

A colonial meal would be composed of foods dictated by the season and the weather. In a future podcast I’ll talk about the traditional seasonal cuisine of Virginia.

Eliza Leslie’s Mint Sauce Recipe

We have lots of lamb. Cruise on over to our website www.peacefulheartFarm.com, and place in order. Then stop by the farm on Tuesday mornings between 10 and 12 or Saturday afternoons between three and five and pick it up. And to go with that lamb you might want to try making this wonderful mint sauce.

This is Eliza Leslie’s mint sauce recipe in its original form.

Take a large bunch of fine fresh green mint, that has been washed well. Strip the leaves from the stems, and mince them well. Put it into a pint bowl, and mix with it gradually some of the best cider vinegar. This sauce must not be the least liquid, but as thick as horseradish sauce or thicker. Make it very sweet, with the best brown sugar. Mix it well, and transfer to a small tureen, or a little deep dish with a teaspoon in it. Serve it up always with roast lamb, putting a teaspoonful on the rim of your plate.

A quart or more of mint sauce, made as above, but with a larger portion of sugar and vinegar, will keep very well for several weeks, in a jar well corked.

As I’ve said before, early recipes can really only be followed by the best of cooks. Here’s what the recipe looks like in our modern lingo.

Makes approximately 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh mint leaves

Hearth:

  1. Combine vinegar and brown sugar in small saucepan. Set on trivet over hot coals and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add mint leaves. Stir well and set aside to cool.
  3. Pour into sauce boat and serve as accompaniment to roast lamb.

Modern:

  1. Follow hearth direction 1, heating vinegar and sugar over low heat.
  2. Complete following hearth directions 2 and 3.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this week’s traditional hearth cooking topic. The mint sauce recipe is available FREE for download at www.peacefulheartFarm.com/category/recipes/. You’ll find all of my other recipes there as well. And again, don’t forget to pop over to the online farm store to make your lamb purchase to go with that mint sauce.

Speaking of lambs, we have been extremely blessed this season with nine healthy lambs. It doesn’t always happen that way and we are grateful.

Remember to get on the list for purchasing ¼, ½ or whole beeves.

As we get ramped up for our herd share program, we will be busier than ever. But we’re never too busy to listen to your input. Stop by website and leave us your feedback. We’d loving your ideas.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Eliza Leslie’s Mint Sauce

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The Tradition of Mothering

The Tradition of Mothering

the tradition of mothers dayHappy Mother’s Day and welcome to all the new listeners and a shout out to all of the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. There is a ton of stuff going on at the homestead right now and I’m so excited to share it with you. As Mother’s Day is quickly approaching that’s what I’m going to focus on this week. It’s a particularly important topic for me and I’m going to get a little more personal this week and share the mistakes I made regarding motherhood that changed my life forever. I hope that it helps someone else out there make easier life choices.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • The Tradition of Mothering
  • Mom’s Chocolate Pie Recipe

Homestead Life Updates

Animals and creamery

I’m going to make this short because I have a lot to say and share about motherhood for the FarmCast. The creamery is steadily progressing. Lambert, the bottle-fed lamb, appears to be doing very well and will live to a ripe age.

Farmer’s Market

This weekend we start the summer season. You will find me at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 8am to 12pm. In addition to our grass-fed meats, I am offering celery starts. I have quite a few more, but they went fast last week. It’s a unique vegetable start that you don’t often find at a farmer’s market. My herdshare program is finally defined. I just need to get the paperwork done. I’ll be offering yogurt samples at the market. Stop by and taste the tradition of yogurt made from grass-fed cow’s milk. We’ve added to our cow herd. A jersey heifer made her way to our farm in the last few days. She will be giving birth soon and provide us with lots of yogurt and certified A2A2 milk for our herdshare participants during milking season. During winter market the herdshare will provide aged cheese and butter. Catch up with me at the market and I’ll give you the details. If you’re coming from south of us, you will probably want to stop by the farm instead. Our farm store hours are Tuesday’s from 10am to 12noon and Saturday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm.

The Tradition of Mothering

Since the beginning of time, Motherhood has been the bedrock of human existence and survival. Without mothers of children, the next generation simply would not have existed.
  • History of Mother’s Day including traditions observed around the world
  • The Mothering Mistakes That Altered My Life Forever
  • Why are Mothers So Important there is a Day Set Aside Just for Them?
  • How has Mothering Evolved – What Has It Evolved into?
  • How Can We Bring Back the Value of Being a Mother to Generations Convinced it is Not What They Want?

History of Mother’s Day

While the Mother’s Day that we celebrate on the second Sunday in May is a fairly recent development, the basic idea of honoring women as mothers goes back as far as ancient mythology and the Greco-Roman civilizations. The Greeks paid annual homage to Cybele (pronounced sibilee, the mother figure of their gods, and the Romans dedicated an annual spring festival to the mother of their gods.

Traditions Around the World

India: 10-Day Festival Each October, Hindus honor Durga, the goddess of mothers, during the 10-day festival known as Durga Puja. The celebration is thought to date back to the sixteenth century and is considered both a religious ceremony and a time for family reunions. One story tells of Durga returning to her parents’ home to show off her own children. Families spend weeks preparing food, gathering gifts, and decorating their homes for the festival. Japan: The Right Flowers Following World War II, a version of Mother’s Day grew popular as a way of comforting mothers who had lost sons to the war. You’ll see carnations presented during this holiday. The carnations symbolize the sweetness and endurance of motherhood in Japanese culture. Ethiopia: Sing Along! The Antrosht festival, which comes after the rains stop in early fall, is dedicated to moms. After the weather clears for good, family members from all over flock to their homes for a large meal and celebration. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables and cheese, while sons supply meat. Together, they prepare a meat hash and sing and perform dances that tell stories of family heroes. United Kingdom: Mothering Sunday England and Ireland observed the mid-Lent holiday and honored and decorated their “Mother Church,” the church where they were baptized. The church eventually extended the observation to honor all mothers. The English called this Mothering Sunday and, in the 1700’s they observed it by taking a break from the fasting and penitence of Lent and having a family feast. France: Medals For Mom In 1920, the government of France began awarding medals to mothers of large families in gratitude for helping rebuild the population after so many lives were lost in World War I. After the second World War, the government declared the last Sunday in May to be the Day of Mothers. The traditional gift is now a flower-shaped cake. USA: Mother’s Day The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in the US was first conceptualized by Julia Ward Howe (famous lyricist of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”).  In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation”. Julia Howe was distressed over what she saw as the unnecessary deaths of young men during the Civil War. She called upon mothers to come together and protest the senselessness of “sons killing the sons of other Mothers”, and to unite and celebrate an international Mother’s Day that would celebrate both peace and motherhood. She originally proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day as a way to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. By 1873, eighteen North American cities observed the new Mother’s Day holiday.  However, Howe was the principal financier of these celebrations, and as she stopped contributing, many cities and states ceased observing the holiday. The idea for a day set aside to honor Mother’s lost momentum until the early 1900s. When Anna Reeves Jarvis died on May 5, 1905, her daughter Anna Jarvis was determined to honor her. She asked the minister at her church in West Virginia to give a sermon in her mother’s memory. She began writing to congressmen, asking them to set aside a day to honor mothers. In 1910, the governor of West Virginia proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and in 1914 the bill passed in Congress.  President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day – forever establishing Mother’s Day as an official holiday in the U.S. These are only a few. There are many other celebrations around the world all honoring motherhood and the glorious gift of mothering.

The Mistakes That Altered My Life Forever

When I was a child, all I wanted was to be a wife and mother when I grew up. I wanted to have a wonderful loving and attentive husband and lots of children. This was my dream life. I was raised by a good Catholic turned Episcopalian mother. She instilled in me the virtues of loving one man, raising children with purpose and serving the community at large via volunteering. She grew much of our food. She made our clothes. She insisted all six of us were at least exposed to the sophistication and culture of music and dance. We were required to take one year of music and dance. I had two brothers that continued with music. I continued with both music and dance for many, many years. My point here is that my mother took her job seriously. She educated herself in whatever she needed to in order to develop our character. Her basis for determination was based on her understanding of what a citizen contributing to society would need. I vividly remember her dedication to us. Often, we did not like what she required of us. But there was no doubt why she did it as she was repeating her reasons often. The vision she had of her role as our mother was crystal clear. Unfortunately, mine was never sharply defined. As I described earlier, I wanted this great husband and lots of kids. That’s it. That was the extent of my vision. I do remember her telling me what I needed to do in order to ensure those things happened, but for whatever reason, they did not stick. And she was unaware that they did not stick or I believe she would have done something about it. She followed her playbook and expected a good result. She constantly encouraged me to go to college. I was very good in school and loved learning. Shoving me toward college was one of her biggest mistakes, though I do not think I could have ever convinced her of that. I certainly had the brain for it and might have done well had I stayed on the straight and narrow path for which I was shaped. It was the modern mantra. Your kids had to go to college. This was back when a college education meant something. It was a mark of your intelligence and potential for success beyond the middle class. My first 4 years would have been dedicated to expanding on what she began with a broad base of knowledge in English literature, foreign languages, world history, art appreciation and culture and so on. And then I would move on to focusing on a particular area of expertise where I could have a career if I chose. This was her vision. But the 60’s arrived. I grew up in the 60’s as the 2nd wave of feminism took off. It was all about free love and peace and women burning their bras and getting out of the prison of housewifery and childrearing. We would use our brains for more than those simple tasks. Well, I still wanted to be a wife and mother even in the midst of all that. I was still following my ideal script. Then I became a teenager. In the late 60’s things began to change more dramatically. There was civil unrest all over. After 12 years of a stable household in the same town, we moved a few miles away, then we moved from Michigan to Florida, then we moved to Georgia. My parents were going through some trials in their relationship and this was very bad timing for me. And I think for my older brothers as well. The foundation we were raised on was shaken and we all found out how weak and fragile it was. I still can’t put my finger on why it was weak. My memories of my childhood upbringing tell me I was secure and safe. And then all of a sudden things changed and I did not adapt well to that change. I’m getting too far off the beaten path here. The bottom line is that I made choices that were in direct opposition to what I was taught as a Christian. No sex before marriage. Choose a “good man” who would support me and with whom I would live forever. Divorce was not an option. And then the little aside that my mother threw in there was “go to college because you never know what will happen”.  And then “No Fault Divorce” came around. My dream life was forever altered because I got pregnant at 17, had my first child 10 days before I turned 18 and my second a month before I turned 19. I had married a man with no concept of hard work and determination and building a better life for his family. He had no real concept of the responsibility of being a father. Well, that being said, I had only vague concepts of what it really meant to be a wife and mother. I could see that my mother was doing it very well but I did not really understand what I needed to do. And after my superb fall from grace with my mother and especially my father by becoming pregnant out of wedlock, I was too ashamed to asked for their advice. Would I have taken it? I certainly hadn’t taken it so far. Who knows? This is all so far in the past. The “no fault divorce” option made it easy for me to make yet another life-altering decision that put my vision and dream of what it would be like to be a wife and mother even farther from my fingertips. It slipped away in the space of 3 years. By the time I was 20, that dream was dead. I was a divorced mother of two. The idyllic dream of living happily ever after with the man of my dreams and a dozen children surrounding us with their gales of laughter was dead. My life became one of simply surviving. I know that popular rhetoric is that divorce is not an issue, but I beg to differ. Not only was my deepest heart-felt dream shattered, but the lives of my children were irreparably altered because of my poor choices. No child ever wants their parents to be divorced. Every child wants safety and stability. They want the original bond with their mother and father to be there forever – not simply on weekends and two weeks in the summer. I can see your comments flowing into this post already. But Melanie, everyone makes bad choices sometimes. And I agree with that. But the choice of a mate and the choice to have children are the two most important decisions a woman can make. You mess either one of those up and your life will never be what you imagined. And with the focus today on women having careers, they are even less likely than I to make informed, educated, carefully thought-out decisions regarding their choice of a life partner. Their idea of building a family revolves around their own ability to make money rather than finding the man dedicated to providing the resources necessary. And before everyone jumps in there and says that it requires two incomes, let me just jump ahead of you and say that is a myth. It depends on what physical circumstances you require. How large will your house be? How many cars will you have? How attached are you to designer labels? And are you willing to be the principal provider of food from a garden or must it be purchased? There are many choices that can be made. Unfortunately, so many of our choices today are based on what everybody else is doing rather than what our heart is telling us. I get it. It’s hard to go against the current and swim upstream. But I contend that the rewards are worth the effort. Being a dedicated mother to the next generation is the most important job in the world. It requires your full attention. It requires much more than an hour in the morning while rushing your children off to the school bus and a couple of hours in the evening having let God knows who have charge of their precious minds for the other 9 or 10 hours of daylight. In order to be the best mother, you need to choose a mate that will provide financial security for you and your children. It means making your career “household manager in chief”. You are a partner in a small business where you manage and someone else brings the required finances. You are dependent on someone else to bring you the resources you need to make that happen for your children. That takes a great deal of self-respect and trust in yourself. Those just may be the most important missing pieces of character that led me down the wrong fork in the road.

Mothers So Important there is a Day Set Aside Just for Them

Mothers hold the future of civilization in their hands – or should I say in their wombs. Since the dawn of time, it is mothers who have born the children, cared for them, fed them, nurtured them, educated them and ensured that the genetic line would continue. Those that had the most children, did the best job of protecting them, and were able to provide sufficient nourishment, clothing and shelter ensured the continuation of the human species. Until the 20th century, the odds of living to a ripe old age were dicey. Many women died in childbirth. Children died of exposure, pneumonia, and any number of infections often before the age of 1 or 2. If they made it to 5 or 6, things began to look better. Last week I talked about traditional healing wisdom and how it was the educated mother and community healer that helped the human race get to where we are today. And while that is true, perhaps I did not stress enough the value of modern emergency rooms. Technology has brought us light years into the future of survivability. Emergencies are things that a traditional herbalist cannot address. The merging of the traditional and the modern is the ultimate combination. The world is fraught with danger for a child – well adults as well. But today we are speaking of motherhood and children. Broken bones, deep cuts and wounds, burns, head injuries – you know the kind of things that we still have today with our children of all ages – these were often fatal before our modern medical emergency rooms were established. Even as adults an infection could kill. Even with the care of a truly great and wise herbalist, infection could kill – and kill quickly. Today, we can get quick transportation and immediate medical care when a life-threatening condition arises. Sure, leave the common cold, mild fever, and mild diarrhea to a local healer. But the big stuff that keeps us alive in an emergency is modern medicine. They go hand in hand. Keep the small stuff close to home and keep those ER rooms free for true emergencies. In the end, it is most often the mother that is making that decision. It is the mother that employs here best healing skill, or calls the local healer when it is beyond her knowledge. And ultimately it is usually the mother that makes the decision to rush to the hospital. She makes sure her child gets the best care available according to his or her needs at the time.

How has Mothering Evolved – What Has It Evolved into?

So often today, being a mother takes second place to a so-called career. I say so-called because this is a fallacy that our daughters are fed from a very early age. They are going to have a career. They need to have a career because this is how they will define themselves. But most don’t have careers. Many do have these great careers, but most have jobs. And those that do have these so-called great careers, have little time for children. They either forego children altogether of someone else raises them. A true career is very demanding of a person’s time. Long hours. Evenings and weekends along with the daily grind. Lots of stress. Lots of mental resources being used in the process. Is there anything left for kids? It is up to the mother to educate herself in nutrition, exercise, cleanliness, education and so on. I know, I know. You are saying that the man should be there to help. You know why you say that? Usually it’s because you are working and need that help. So you take away from your husband’s work hours and ability to provide a greater sense of financial security because you chose to work. You ask him to do more so you can work outside the home. Truly, you wouldn’t need or demand that help if only the traditional value of motherhood and your responsibility to your children had not been usurped by the few so-called modern women of the 60s bashing you for wanting to be the best wife and mother possible. As a gender, we abdicated our inner urge for the mothering role because we were shamed by the 2nd wave feminists. We were fooled by popular media into believing that we were the minority if we only desired to be a wife and mother. If all we wanted was to manage our household, our children and our loving spouses with passion and expertise, we were ridiculed by those that would tell us we were not living up to our full potential. This from women who did not have a husband and children. This from women who literally had no knowledge of what they professed to have expertise. And, in the end, it has evolved into women working even harder because now they try to do both and end up doing neither as well as they are done individually. I realize that some of my bitterness for my own mistakes in listening to the drivel of these childish females pretending to be adult women is coming through. There is still a part of me that wants to blame them for advising me incorrectly. But in the end, my choices are my own. And I live with them. I adapted to them and did the best I would with what I created for myself and my children. It was a wonderful journey – just not the one I had originally planned.

How Can We Bring Back the Value of Being a Full Time Mother?

Is there a way to bring back the tradition of motherhood? And I mean in every sense of the word. Dedicating your life to educating yourself every day in the care and education of our children. I can’t put my finger on how it happened that while we were bombarded with the idea that being a full-time wife and mother was beneath us, the first thing I often hear from those not comfortable with homeschooling their children is “I don’t know enough to teach my children”. So, does that mean we are too dumb to learn how to teach our children. But by the same token we are too smart for the task and we must have a career. Which is it? Until we recognize these diametrically opposed thoughts, we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over. And yet not. Have you noticed the jobs that most women choose? A publication called ThoughtCo.com published an article titled, “Top 10 Occupations That Employ the Largest Percentage of Women”. Here’s what they are, along with my comments on why women choose these jobs. And please don’t misunderstand. These are all very valuable occupations in the whole scheme of the world. Someone needs to do them.

Here they are:

  1. Registered Nurses – 92% are women. Caring for others. These 2.5 million women in the US are caring for others. What if that desire was spent on their children? Obviously they are able to learn a lot about healthcare. That desire and ability would serve the family very well.
  2. Meeting and Convention Planner – 83.3% are women. Well, I can certainly see that. If you are genetically wired to be a woman you would need excellent planning skills. But apparently those are only valuable if you make a lot of money doing it. You know, it’s about the money. It not about the nurturing, education, health and security of your own children and figuring out how to make all that happen. It’s so much better to do it for others so you can get money.
  3. Elementary and Middle School Teachers – 81.9% are women. Are we beginning to see a pattern here? Women are dedicating their lives to the children of other women who are dedicating their lives to the children of other women. Someone else is educating their children while they educate the children of others. Does it sound craze to you? It sure does to me.
  4. Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents – 73.8% are women. I love this one. Before women began filling these jobs and were still lowly homemakers, a primary responsibility was to choose a husband who was fiscally responsible. One who provided the resources to be collected and spent appropriately and responsibly for the household.
  5. Medical and Health Services Manager – 69.5% are women. I won’t belabor this one as it is the same industry as nursing which is, again, the number one employer of women.
  6. Social and Community Service Managers – 69.4% are women. This is an interesting one. Again, before women ventured out into the world for a better life that was more suited to their needs, they were the social and community managers in the volunteer industry. Women literally abdicated this responsibility to government agencies that now perform these functions so they could go and do the same thing for money. But does anyone believe the government agencies are doing the same level of service that volunteers used to provide? Perhaps, they are mostly women after all.
  7. Psychologist – 68.8% are women. This one makes a great deal of sense. Any mother knows that some level of psychology is necessary to raise their children. I consulted one several times when I ran into issues with my children. These people are invaluable in that regard. However, with today’s technology, instead of spending so much time in school I think on line education and support groups would provide most of what we need as mothers. There will be exceptions of course.
  8. Business Operations Specialists (other) – 68.4% are women. Other, really? That’s the category many of you mothers out there will recognize as doing whatever it takes to manage the family. Administrative analyst (making everybody and everything is where it is supposed to be), claim agent (mediating disagreements between siblings), labor contract analyst (clean your room and your get X), energy control officer (please turn off the light in the bathroom when you are done), import/export specialist (what should we buy and sell), lease buyer (you know it’s the mom that makes the decision about which house to rent or buy), police inspector (is everyone following the household rules) and tariff publishing agent (this trade will get you that new bicycle but will cost you a trip to the lake).
  9. Human Resources Manager – 66.8% are women. I don’t know if I even need to explain this one. How are household responsibilities divided? Mom decides who is responsible for what and when to keep the household in order.
  10. Financial Specialists (other) – 66.6% are women. Oh yeah, mom manages all the money. I think we talked about this one earlier. You learn how to stretch a dollar, save a dollar and make dollars grow.
There you have it. All of the things that women were too oppressed by their husbands to abide are exactly what they are doing outside the home. The downside is you are working on someone else’s schedule. You march to someone else’s tune when you could be the top banana in your fiefdom. With a valiant effort to listen to our hearts we can bring back respect to the greatest office in the world. The office of wife and mother. And occupation where you decide how your children are nourished, how they are educated, how they are brought forth as morally, upright citizens as they enter their adult lives. You can have the greatest responsibility in the world as a mother. All it takes is recognizing the internal beating of your heart leading you forevermore into that blissful existence as chief nurturer of your clan. Happy Mother’s Day. Make it a good one.

Mom’s Chocolate Pie Recipe

It’s a basic custard. The recipe is over 100 years old – well sort of. I altered it a little for my own tastes. 😊

What you Need

  • 9″ deep dish pie shell
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered cocoa
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

What to Do

  1. Brown the pie shell per instructions on the package or in the recipe you used to make yours from scratch. (Congrats to you on that accomplishment!!)
  2. In a cast iron skillet (or sauce pan) mix dry ingredients and milk until steaming.
  3. Beat egg yolks, add a small amount of milk and whisk it in. This is called tempering. You want to bring the temperature up a little without cooking the yolks.
  4. Add tempered egg yolks to hot mixture.
  5. Add vanilla and butter and stir in. Continue stirring and allow to thicken.
  6. Pour into pie shell.

Meringue

What you Need

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

What to Do

  1. In chilled mixing bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
  2. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.
  3. Top pie with meringue, bake until just slightly browned.
  4. Cool before serving

Final Thoughts

I did the best I could with the choices I made. My children are doing well, though they too were infected with divorce. I love them dearly and have never regretted my decision to give them birth. In my older age, I now have part of the life I dreamed of. I have the best mate that anyone could ask for. I love him with all my heart. It took me many years to understand how to be a good wife. He stood by me through all of it. And I’m still a work in progress. We love our farm life. We love it when the kids and grandkids come to visit. Who could ask for more? Give that chocolate pie a try. And while you are savoring the lovely texture and flavor of your creation, you might contemplate the awesome power of motherhood from a new perspective. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content. As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.” Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Top 10 Occupations That Employ the Largest Percentage of Women

Recipe Link

Mom’s Chocolate Pie

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Traditional Healing Wisdom

Traditional Healing Wisdom

Traditional Healing WisdomTraditional Healing Wisdom has been with us since the beginning of time. Exploring where we are with that today is my main topic for this edition of the Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to all of the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Traditional Healing Wisdom
  • Stinging Nettles Infusion

Homestead Life Updates

Wytheville Farmer’s Market

Life is moving along at a rapid pace here at the homestead. The Wytheville Farmer’s Market is having the last winter market this Saturday. We will be there from 10 – 12 noon. The following week the market opens up for the summer season. We will be there each and every week from 8 am to 12 noon.

I have decided to let go of a lot of the celery starts I planted a couple of months ago. Celery is hard to get started but pretty easy once you get it going. Stop by and pick up a plant or two. Celery grown in your own garden is nothing like what you would buy in the store. 110 days and you will have wonderful celery.  Fresh celery is so different from store bought.  It has an intense flavor and smell that is almost peppery.  I planted Utah Tall. It is the standard for green celery.

Dairy Cows

Yesterday Claire’s udder was so big and tight it looked like it was about to burst. We thought, “surely tomorrow it will happen.” And . . . It did. She had trouble last year and I wasvery anxious at this point for her to deliver without issue. Shortly after I got to the Farmer’s Market to set up, I got a call from Scott. Claire had her calf without issue. Yet another bull calf. Two more to go. Will we get a heifer? That’s a girl calf for those who are not farm animal savvy.

Katahdin Sheep

We are still waiting on one ewe to have her lambs. Oh, and the triplets are a unique situation. A couple of days ago I noticed one of the triplets was hunched over. He was also much less bulky than the other two. I’m sure he got colostrum in the first day or he wouldn’t have made it as long as this. It is absolutely required for any young ruminant animal to survive more than a few days. But his mom was definitely not standing still for him at this point, or perhaps the others were pushing him out.

Lambert

That brings me to the interesting situation. We started giving him a bottle to supplement his nutrition. However, we left him to run with his mom and siblings. She doesn’t let him nurse but she let him hang out. He is very fast and keeps up with her very well. He stays closer to her than the other two. We were hoping to get him to come running to us so we didn’t have to chase him down to give him his bottle. Our sheep are not wild, but they are not tame to our touch either. We can get to about 10 feet from them before they all run off. We have a Shepard’s hook to catch him up. We get close to them and then I get a little closer and kind of force them to a point where they will run past Scott. He reaches out and snags the little guy as he runs by. Once we have him, he eagerly drinks that bottle. He knows where his food is coming from. 

This morning we had to alter that plan a little. He is just not thriving. He is still very small compared to all the other lambs. We decided to keep him close and feed him more often. Scott caught him up again and put him in a dog cage that we have for just this situation. Lambert has straw bedding and is keeping Scott company while he lays blocks for the creamery.

The Garden

The strawberries are now all planted in the garden. We bought straw to use as mulch. Bad purchase. It was full of seeds. We have all kinds of wheat grass growing in the strawberry bed and also in the potatoes where I piled it high to cover the potatoes. Using straw mulch on potatoes is normally a great idea. Using straw instead of dirt is much lighter cover where the potatoes will form. There is less resistance for those potatoes so they can grow really big. That is if we can keep the wheat grass pulled out.

As far as the Herd share status, we are working with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Organization to get our contracts in order. They are a great group of people that help small farmers all over the country with legal issues. As soon as the contract is ready, I will let you know so you can purchase your part of the herd and get going on having your own milk products available for weekly pickup. I’m experimenting with yogurt and I must say it is the best yogurt I have ever had. And I eat a lot of yogurt.

Another plug for the Farmer’s Market. I will have samples for tasting each week. These cows truly are unique and your yogurt, butter and cheese will reflect that.

Traditional Healing Wisdom

Today I want to talk a little bit about traditional healing wisdom from days gone past. Much of the issues with health care up until the later part of the 20th century revolved around access to care. I know it seems like people died from all sorts of things that we can treat easily today, and there is truth in that. But I want to point out that much of the problem in the past was how spread out people were and how little access most people had to anyone who had any knowledge at all about medicine. It was all herbal medicine back in the day and a lot of it worked pretty well. But again, if you weren’t at least an herbalist, your chances of getting medical care in a timely manner were greatly diminished.

I want to take a moment here and point you in the direction of a resource that I have used for many years. Herb Mentor and Learning Herbs.com. I started with them shortly after they started their mission to see an herbalist in every community. There is so much valuable information on their website, I couldn’t begin to fully describe it here. There are courses from the vary basics all the way to advanced courses for full-time herbal medicine practitioners. 

The Village Herbalist

Village or community herbalists are the mainstay of herbalism, the nurturers and protectors of good health. Their ideal to have someone educated and experienced in the use of herbs for general health and minor illness and injury is a very noble one. The role of the herbalist complements the work of other holistic care providers and even modern medical providers. A community herbalist can be invaluable in educating people about good health practices and in helping them recover from common family ailments. They are first in line to give people answers about how plants can assist in their basic care.

When I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a mother who was not afraid of practicing some home care medicine. While she wasn’t a village herbalist, she was educated in what to do for cuts, bruises, colds, diarrhea and so on. She even knew exactly what to do when, at 12-years-old, I burned by left hand very badly. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital healing from that. But her quick thinking, calmness is the face of disaster, early action with cold water and ice, and a methodical but hair-raising drive to the local clinic were invaluable to my healing process. The hospital treatment was an age-old one. Silver nitrate. It forms a crust on the burned surface where skin used to be. Leaking fluids due to no skin to hold it in runs neck-and-neck with infection as the leading cause of complications and death in extensive burns.

Traditional village herbalists can and do provide education and healing techniques to their local communities. I want to stress the importance of education. Again, because I had a wonderfully educated mother when it came to basic first aid, I benefited and also learned much of the basic medical knowledge that I believe every woman in the world should have. Teaching basic first-aid for everyday use and using herbs for specific therapeutic purpose has long been the province of the village herbalist. However, many people today either never had it or have lost this traditional link with basic survival skills developed over millennia.

Return to Our Roots

The desire for a return to this basic understanding—moving away from conveyor belt apparatus that is our modern healthcare service—to a simpler and more natural lifestyle grows ever stronger as human experience becomes more complex and the further removed from our connection with the Earth. Western culture pushes incessantly for more modern access to medical care, but how much of those costs would be reduced if we were simply educated in what to do for a fever, a cough, diarrhea. More will always be balanced by less somewhere else. Today’s “less” is less knowledge of how to take care of ourselves and our families during the simplest of illnesses. And don’t let me forget to mention that a HUGE part of that education is knowing when you need that specialized medical care that can only be obtained from someone with far more education. Context matters. Looking at our medicine—how we care for ourselves—reveals the need for greater knowledge and more personal responsibility for the health of ourselves and our families.

A functional health care system, first and foremost, takes place nearby. Caring begins with people who know us. This is where you or someone you know can be that village herbalist. Certainly, conventional medical care serves a good purpose in apt situations. We definitely want that 7 to 9 minutes with a doctor should the need arise. Yet somewhere between our body’s innate ability to heal itself with a little knowledgeable support and conventional medicine’s high-dollar attempt at a cure lie many situations that can be bridged by common sense and a compassionate connection to the community we serve.

Alternative Medicine

Is it truly “alternative” or is it simply a return to the basics of what has worked throughout our time here on earth?

More than 83 million Americans reported using what is termed “alternative medicine” in 1998, according to a nationwide survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The therapies most commonly used were chiropractic, herbs, massage, and relaxation techniques. Yet the numbers are not the telling consideration here. People are turning to healing modalities that work effectively, cost less, and do the desired good with fewer side effects than mainstream medicine. The term alternative medicine is revealing, for it completely overlooks the fact that from the perspective of someone born in the 1800’s it might seem as though the medical profession threw out the baby with the bath water as each modern technique became the new miracle, the connection to the simpler forms of health eroded. History shapes all cultural destiny, and medicine is no exception. Shall we examine the thousands of years of herbal knowledge garnered from plant-based experience that preceded the allopathic doctoring to which many now turn to in times of illness or injury?

Doctors have been quoted as saying that a good three quarters of the people coming to see them have come to the wrong place. Patients often come at the first sign of discomfort or irregularity, expecting a quick fix for obvious symptoms. Over-the-counter medications possess all the glitter that advertising can muster, yet a pill prescribed by a doctor carries a heavier stick. Naturally people want assurance, and to understand the current predicament of their bodies. We are fearful, inconvenienced, and downright whiny. We place our responsibilities at the feet of professionals and pay for expensive services rather than take it upon ourselves to learn a little bit about the human body and how to work in harmony with it.

To Doctor or Not to Doctor

It has been estimated that 70 to 80% of the people who go to doctors have nothing wrong with them that couldn’t be cleared up by a vacation, a pay raise, or relief from everyday emotional stress. This is the education and support that a local herbalists could easily provide. Education and coaching. Only 10% of patients visiting their doctor for that 9 minutes—that required half a day off from work—require drugs or surgery to get well, and approximately 10% have diseases for which there is no known cure. Most illnesses run a benign course if left to what the Hippocratic physicians called the healing power of nature. The natural healing mechanisms of the body build in an 80% recovery rate from all illnesses regardless of medical intervention. . . . But the mothers and other caretakers would need to know how to treat at home and when it is beyond their knowledge. It’s a scary thing, I know. It’s so much easier to just go to the doctor and be done with it.

We are thankful for good doctors. Medical intervention proves itself whenever the surgeon repairs bones or remove stones, the internist uses antibiotics or insulin appropriately, or the pediatrician spots a problem and nips it in the bud before it can cause greater damage. Yet many situations call for more personal involvement and homegrown understanding.

Interfering in the natural processes of the body can cause trouble. Iatrogenic (treatment-caused) harm is every doctor’s worst nightmare. The listed side effects of pharmaceutical drugs often gives us pause to consider the additional health risks incurred to obtain a predicted benefit. Working humbly within these limitations makes physicians good at what they do. I do want to point out however, that doctors are as human as the rest of us. They are not infallible. They do not know your child the way that you know your child. Educate yourself or find a local herbalist to help you understand. It will be well worth it.

Responsibility for Ourselves, Our Families, Our Communities

Taking care of yourself and your family for the majority of everyday health needs is both plausible and sensible. Empowerment begins with knowledge. Herbalists can help people use plant remedies respectfully and intelligently. Going to medical school is not essential to be able to help people feel better. We have deeded the legal practice of medicine to an elite group on the basis of one type of training.

Interest in an herbal approach to health is growing rapidly. However, this high regard for natural living is often accompanied by an allopathic perception of illness we’ve been raised to view as routine. We now take this herb for that condition. Modern medicine insists upon a physical explanation for each cause and effect. Symptoms are treated accordingly. Yet the whole of the matter often goes unresolved. Holistic plant medicine goes well beyond this kind of narrowminded, simplistic thinking. Each individual has a different Constitution. Different therapeutic strategies for seemingly similar conditions must take into account the biological, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of each individual. A good herbalist not only helps people become medically self-sufficient but also shares the journey into the big picture of who we are. There is no one-size-fits-all in good health care.

Traditional Healing Wisdom

Using plants as medicine predates written history. Anthropologists believe that people learned how to use plants for healing by trial and error and by watching birds and animals. Many wild animals possess an instinct to seek out plants that are good to eat and filled with vital nutrition, while avoiding those that might be poisonous.

Plant by plant, humans have added to a collective knowledge that is been handed down through the ages by word-of-mouth and later in written documents. Regardless of a given cultural understanding of plants, where blood flowed, Yarrow stanched it. When influenza raised its head, garlic was universally applied. Plantain for bee stings is another treatment that spanned continents. Such plant remedies showed their effectiveness time and time again.

Western Herbalism

Here in North America, the aboriginal people had a multitude of uses for the plants of this continent. The Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and other tribes on the planes were the first to discover and use Echinacea for its immune-stimulating ability. You saw the Eastern Woodland tribes boil wild mint and inhale the steam to help relieve congested lungs and sinuses. The Apache, Hopi, and Navajo rubbed powdered cayenne on arthritic joints to help block pain and reduce swelling. The Chippewa and other Great Lakes tribes boiled willow bark and drank the tea to reduce fevers and headaches. Modern science has identified many of the plant components that validate the use of each of these treatments exactly as they were prescribed.

As the European population of the US grew, many learned the Indian ways of using the local herbs. These treatments were passed along to eager settlers and pharmaceutical entrepreneurs needing knowledge of native botanical medicine. European herbal lore and Native American plant wisdom joined together. They united many traditions under one banner and Western herbalism was born.

Modern Medicine

Today much of the world population continues to use herbs as their primary source of medicine. The world health organization (WHO) estimates that 80% of the world’s people rely on herbs for their health. An unbroken chain of herbal knowledge has continued to be passed down in many, many cultures around the world. Take for instance, the long-standing teachings of Chinese and Ayurvedic health practitioners. Unfortunately, for many of us in the Western world this chain has been broken. We have fooled ourselves into believing that synthetic medicine made in a lab by people wearing white coats has more worth than the humble dandelion in our backyards.

We still need the perception and conscious intelligence of our ancestors to be embodied anew in every generation by women and men who are called to be healers. They include the country doctor who is well-versed in spending time with patients; the village herbalist who uses plant medicines for treating an array of disease; a midwife who assists with home births in the home. We don’t have to go back very far in time to find such these healers who diligently cared for their communities to the best of their ability.

For many of us it was our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers that taught us the basics but we dropped the ball. We dropped the ball for the quick trip to the doctor’s office instead of the continuing education that is readily available in our modern society. The internet offers any amount of education in the body and its systems. Books galore on your kindle can provide the basics that a mother needs to know about how to treat a fever and when to abandon home remedies and get to the ER immediately. What better way to pass the time during pregnancy than educating yourself in the care of your children? Too often I see that women have been convinced that attention to a career is so much more important. I just can’t see it. Caring for my family seems a much better choice. 

Women: Traditional Keepers of the Hearth

Traditionally women are the keepers of the hearth. The responsibilities of cooking, tending the herb garden, drying the herbs, making medicines, and brewing the brews traditionally have been met by their loving hands. Women tended to the birth of babies and care of the sick in the homes of their families and friends. The unique ones heeded a call to serve the wider communities. Are you one of those? Is it brewing inside of you and you haven’t responded to the call? I urge you to reconsider.

People will always need good medicine. Accordingly, a process of trial and error has been going on for thousands of years, always directed at the same goal of making us well. Therapies that worked were passed down to subsequent generations; those that did not were forgotten. Plant remedies that survived this test of time, and especially those shared by different cultures from around the world, have tremendous validity. Coming to understand how these remedies work—the job of objective science—will never alter the fact that they do work. Let’s bring back these traditions. Why don’t we get away from the cold, impersonal medical office and return to the native community support provided by your village herbalist.

Nettles Infusion

This is an energizing infusion. It works on the adrenals to build energy and stamina. Conversely, with strengthened adrenal function you can expect to rest better and to experience less anxiety. Four to five quarts of nettle infusion weekly can yield results in 3 to 6 weeks. That’s right. Three to six weeks. True health is not a pill that you take. You didn’t run yourself down in one day. It takes time to return your body to balance. But return it will.

Nourishing infusions ensure that your body stays in tip-top shape. Once you’ve achieved a balance, a quart a week should be sufficient. Using nourishing infusions becomes part of your daily lifestyle.

As far as I know there are no contraindications to stinging nettle infusion. However, you may experience side effects such as thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, an uptick in your enjoyment of life.

What You Need

  • 1 oz of dried nettle herb
  • 1-quart boiling water
  • Salt (optional)

What To Do

  1. Place the herbs in a glass quart jar. Fill the jar with boiling water.
  2. Steep for at least four hours; More is fine. Overnight is fine.
  3. Strain herb from the water with a cheesecloth. (You can use an old white T-shirt as well.) Add salt if desired.
  4. Compost the herbs and drink the infusion. Refrigerating and then drinking cold is great but finish it within a day or two lest it ferment.

Final Thoughts

No matter how stressed fast life goes for Scott and myself, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Our life together here on the homestead is everything we could have ever dreamed of and more. We are blessed each spring with the gift of life in your animal offspring and the plants in the orchard and gardens. I invite you all to go to our website and sign up on our mailing list. We’ll let you know when our farm tours kick off. We’d love to meet you in person and hear your stories, your hopes and your dreams.

In the meantime, you can come to the farm and shop our grass-fed meats on Tuesday mornings from 10 am to 12 noon and on Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 pm.

I hope you incorporate nourishing infusions into your daily routine. You might consider replacing your infusion of coffee with an infusion of nettles. Well, that may be too far for some of you, but at least give it some consideration.

I have not spoken before about my herbal formulas. As I continue to grow the website, I will be adding listings and information about the herbs I use. You can join our mailing list at www.peacefulheartfarm.com to stay up to date. Currently, there are 3 formulas that I use regularly. Echinacea and goldenseal, a formula I call Sleepwell, and a heart tonic I call Heart Health. I’d love to talk with you about what they contain, when I use them and why.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to iTunes and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Stinging Nettles Infusion

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