Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Herbal Homesteading

Elderberry Growing at Possum Creek Herb Farm

Frugally Sustainable Blog Hop! 
Here on the farm thoughts turn to how will we manage during the winter, whether that's financially, emotionally or physically. There are three of us. I have two strapping boys that are growing so tall that the eight foot ceilings are becoming boundaries when these two stretch out. I, on the other hand, am not getting any taller and I wasn't strapping to start with. Health issues in our house fortunately are few. We've had a few scrapes and broken bones, but (knock wood) so far that seems to be it.

I spend a great deal of the late summer and early fall preparing for winter health issues. Colds, flu and just general malaise can run a family down very quickly. In our herbal first aid kit are my "go to" herbs of elderberry, echinacea, ginger, goldenseal, holy basil and spearmint. There are others but like I said, I reach for these herbs first. Most of the time I have a little platoon of tincture soldiers all lined up shoulder to shoulder in the cabinet. They are easy to make and quick to take. The kids have been raised on them and don't find the fact that there may be a cloudy substance in the morning juice very odd at all. Elderberry tincture is well known for its attack on the germs that cause flu. Science is proving what we already knew for years that it will knock down the flu and colds faster than any chemical prescription could.  Echinacea and Goldenseal are often used in tinctures or in capsules because their taste is pretty rooty (tastes like dirt). Again, here we use tinctures. Both of these herbs can be used when the flu and cold is upon you and you just have to get out to do your day's work. I can promise that in a couple of days with those tinctures you won't taste the rooty flavor anymore. Ginger and spearmint are our herbs of choice for stomach issues. Tea is the best way to get these into your system and a nice way to comfort the symptoms.

This year, after much thought and planning, I wanted to share some of what we use here ourselves. While yes the main portion of the farm is devoted to growing herb plants for wholesale and retail many have asked "what else do you do?"  I thought that creating an Herbal CSA (community supported agriculture) was the perfect answer. I am already making what we need for the seasons so why not just make a little more. It is becoming apparent that it was a good idea by the amount of response I am receiving. If you want to see what it is all about please click on the link above and scroll down a little on the page for all the details. Please don't hesitate to email me if you have questions.

We just came through a very long election season and the country has chosen. I feel the need to keep working hard taking care of my family and running my business to the best of my ability. Praying for the best to happen to this country but preparing for whatever comes.  Possum Creek hosts a farm page and its sister page Herbal Homesteading on Facebook. We talk about herbs, of course, but I think delving into preparedness even lightly has become a hot topic.

Michele Brown is the owner of Possum Creek Herb Farm located in southeast TN. She has been in the herb growing business for fifteen years.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Love of hop!

The Love of hop!
We're on a roll now!  Possum Creek Herb Farm is hosting a Blog Hop all day today. Please feel free to link up with us. It's easy. Just visit Possum Creek's Facebook page often during the day. As each blog hopper writes his or her blog entry for the day, they will put the link on our Facebook page and link back up here with my blog post as well.

The love of herbs started out pretty simply for me over twenty years ago. A small backyard garden (and I mean small) was filled in with whatever herbs I could find locally. Back then it was chive, parsley, sage and maybe a lavender or two. Once I found the few herb companies that were even on the internet back then I would save up a little money and place an order. When we moved from that house in 1996 I dug up over 100 herb plants out of that garden and brought them with us to Soddy Daisy where they lived on the front porch for several months until beds could be built.

What those first few years of growing and playing with the herbs did was give me time to really learn what each herb offered. Back in the early nineties information was found in books and those books were often scarce. The best to learn was to actually find an herbalist, an herb grower, or an herb business owner which around our part of the country was severely lacking. We often travelled to North Carolina stopping at little herb farms along the way. No one was shy in sharing info so notebooks were filled and gardens grew larger. That really was how the farm came into being. The gardens were so full that I had to take cuttings and start sharing (hubby thought it best to be SELLING not sharing) and Possum Creek Herb Farm was born in 1998.

Fast forward (incredibly fast actually) and Possum Creek is an operation that my family can be proud of. We help other herb businesses by providing many of their stock via wholesale, we ship all over the United States through our retail site and here just recently we have started an Herbal CSA (community suuported agriculture) which offers shares of the farm's bounty for either a half of year or an entire year. Please visit our website and click on the Herbal CSA link for more info. This is an important project for us here and we hope you will join us on that journey.

There are many more plans for the farm in the years ahead. There doesn't seem to be a lack of ideas and I often find myself going back to those notebooks from the early nineties and bringing that idea up to date. I guess the sky really is the limit.  

Remember, if you are a blog writer, link this post to your blog and drop the link to your blog on our farm's Facebook page. Keep it rolling.....