Homesteading – Herbs

I’ve always loved the out of doors.  I remember the home we lived in in Connecticut.  It was on the outskirts of town and across the street from woods, my woods!  I remember sneaking off so my younger siblings wouldn’t follow me.  I’d find my hide away by a pine tree whose limbs hung over a gently babbling brook.  I loved sitting there…listening to all the sounds, daydreaming.  I would dream of living in the wilderness of Colorado and living off the land, making it on my own and the animals were my friends!  I was about 9/10 years old and even then my heart yearned for the outdoors.

It’s no wonder to me, that when I had children, that desire found it’s way to the surface again.  I couldn’t wait to have my children discover the wonders and awesomeness of nature.  Of course, living in  a sub-division in Seattle had its limitations, so I did all I could to bring nature to them.

I think one of my most significant decisions was making a choice to grow herbs and to use them.  I’d had a friend who had her baby at home and her mid-wife used all kinds of herbs during the pregnancy and delivery.  I was fascinated with this initial introduction to herbs!

Chives

Chives

Dave made the decision to start his own recording studio, which meant we were going to be self-employed.  I was pregnant with #4.  We didn’t have any medical insurance and I realized how critical it was for me to be proactive in keeping my kids healthy and out of the Drs. office.  (I’m not fond of doctors on the whole, so this was an easy decision.)

 

I’d been reading and studying about herbs.  One day, Dave came down with an ailment (a rather embarrassing one – kept running to the bathroom!)  I looked for a remedy in my handy-dandy herb book.  Lucky for him, I had what they suggested!  I brought it to Dave and he kept kidding me about the voodoo medicine.  I said, “Just try it and let’s see what happens!”  Finally he consented…. and it worked!  I was a believer and Dave?  Well, let’s just say he was  a little less skeptical!  To this day, however, he still refers to it all as the voodoo medicine 🙂

Pansies - they're edible and adorable!

Pansies - they're edible and adorable!

 

 

 I incorporated herbs into my gardens all around the house. I began making teas from the herbs I grew. I used the herbs to make gifts (a start-up business does not a millionaire make!), I used them in my cooking, I used them for medicinal purposes.  I never worried about my kids “tasting” them.  I also didn’t grow the ones that could be dangerous, like Foxglove.  I read books on herbs and loved the fact that so many varieties were perennials – they came back year after year.  Let’s face it, I was hooked!

Sage

Sage

 

 

When we lived in CA, we had Miner’s Lettuce growing all over.  We learned that the miners would make salads from this wild herb so we did too!  It was great and the kids really like it.  And yep, my kids have been known to eat flowers.  I’ve served flowers in salads, on desserts, and in punch.  Makes for a great conversation piece.

Lavender

Lavender

 

 

At a time when Health Care Insurance seems so unreliable and outrageously expensive, I’m still a huge proponent of herbs and their use.  They’re so multi-faceted and easy to grow!  By learning to use herbs and being proactive in taking care of my family’s health, I’m less dependent on the medical system of this country.  And right now, that seems like a very good “homestead” decision!

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