Herbs & Things

Herbs & Things
Herbs & Things

My Book

My Book
My Book

Devotionals

Devotionals
Devotionals

Why I Don't Use the Folk Method For Making Tinctures



Out of all the things I teach people when it comes to herbalism, this is the one thing that I teach the most. Some days I get a stank eye and get told I have no idea what I'm talking about. Other days, I see the light bulb come on, and it makes complete and total sense. And, honestly, why wouldn't it?

What am I talking about?

Glad you asked.

Let's rip the band-aid off, because there's no other way. 

I don't use the folk method for making herbal tinctures. 


That's right. Gasps everywhere. The holy grail and 90% of the internet tell us to make tinctures by using the folk method, but I simply don't find it as reliable as the method that I use. And honestly, my family isn't a guinea pig for me to guess how much, or how little, is needed in a tincture.

As I study to become a Master Herbalist, the courses I've chosen are scientific and evidence based learning structures. We go through real life clinical studies done by doctors that believe in herbalism, and even doctors that don't. Even the great James Green himself admits that the folk method isn't as reliable. And here's why...

Spicy Eggs, Bacon and Kale


Our chickens lay consistently throughout the Spring and Summer. I am so happy to have those glorious dark yellow/orange yolks back in our lives again each and every Spring. I'll admit, I'm a pretty simple soul when it comes to eggs. Give me a little seasoning and hot sauce and I'm good to go.

But sometimes I'll get a little more down in the nitty gritty and throw together some actual recipes. One of my personal favorites is spicy eggs, bacon, and kale. 

This recipe is all over the internet, but it's something that has been in my life for years. No recipe is really required, it's all by taste!

Weekly Devotion | Words & Passions




We are quick to use our words when we are annoyed, disappointed, and angered. We also use our words worse when we've lost our passion or lack goals. In today's devotional, we're going to talk about all of that! From homemaking, work, and friendships...finding your passion in Christ is the best answer!

Watch today's devotional ...

Don't Leave Your Family Behind...



I love gardening. I love my chickens and the warm egg in my pocket on a crisp fall day. I love picking tomatoes off of a dew dripping vine. I love the process of adding new and exciting animals to our homestead, hopefully soon to include a dairy cow. All in good time. We'll see.

My brain goes 100 mph each and every day.

I love this life. But you know what I love more?

my family...

I am absolutely in love with my family.

I am absolutely nothing without them. I couldn't do this without them and their support. I would literally have no real reason to want to be here without them. Homestead in one hand, family in the other....I'd choose family every single time.

I love the little boy giggles in the morning, when he crawls into my bed with just his cute little boy underwear on because, well, I just can't keep clothes on him most days. That white skin, though. It sure is bright first thing in the morning.

I love the touch of my husband, when he wraps his arms around me and kisses my shoulder while I'm washing dishes. I love how boyishly playful he can still be when he expresses his love to this woman that he married over a decade ago. I love how hard working he is, how dedicated he is, how strong he is.

But there are days when I become distracted. This or that needs to be done, or my life revolves around a farm animal or project, writing a book, researching until my heart is content. And, my family goes to the wayside.

And it's then that I remind myself of these words...don't leave your family behind for homesteading.


Easy Sourdough Starter and Bread Recipe


I would tell a lie if I told you I eat a lot of bread. I actually eat very little bread since discovering that I have a gluten intolerance. However, when I have it, and when I make it, I devour it in a heartbeat. Eat now, suffer later. You could say that bread is my weakness when it’s available. But it must be fresh, hot out of the oven bread. And when it's sourdough? Well, the gloves come off!

It’s only natural that my very first job was working in a little Mennonite store in Remington, Virginia. I’ve always said that my cooking and baking skills came from that stage in life rather than from my mother or grandmother. I never got many opportunities to cook “with” my mom or grandma, or maybe I simply wasn’t interested in it at the time.

A few years ago a friend of my mothers sent me a sourdough starter through the mail. I was terrified that the white powdery substance would be inspected as some chemical war of terror, but it made it safely to my mailbox in just a few short days — from North Carolina to good ol’ Virginia.

Sourdough was a brand new thing to me. I loved eating sourdough, but I never understood the complex science behind it. I’m a fermenting queen now, but back then? No way.

The history of sourdough is simple. People needed an option to preserve and make something on a regular basis with a yeast they could capture naturally from the air. Fermentation was one of the very first ways of preserving food for our ancestors. Yes, it came long before canning. And sourdough was born out of a need instead of a want for delicious soury bread.

The Announcement You've Been Waiting For


When I was in high school I had multiple research papers and book reports that were due. They were normally the most in depth and horrid thing for a teenager, but I absolutely loved them. Back then, you wrote your book report with a pencil and paper. You'd erase your mistakes by hand, bringing your pencil up to your chin, wondering how to replace that sentence with a better one full of imagery. Or, maybe that was just me. Maybe I was the only teenager who did that. 

None-the-less, I remember handing in a book report one day, and shortly after I'd handed it in, it had already been scored. I went to a small Christian school in high school—only about 30 kids in total. So when someone got called up to the front, you'd hear just about everything that teacher had to say. 

It was one of the very last book reports I'd ever do in high school, and I really wanted it to be done well. 

As I walked up to the front to collect my graded paper, she peered over her glasses and quietly said, "Amy, you have a gift for writing, you're going to be an author one day."

She smiled.

I had a blank stare. 

She had a way of building us kids up. The head of all teachers, the woman who would let you know you were out of line in a heartbeat, but who was gentle enough to cheer you on in love and grace.

At first I believed every word that flowed from her lips, but soon doubt crept in and the instant gratification high was gone. 

Her words have stayed with me ever since...and that brings me to that big announcement you've all been waiting for...