April 18, 2015

Four easy ways to add Astragalus to your diet

Getting to know Astragalus {Astragalus membranaceus} has been so much fun! Did you know that this root is great as an immunomodulator, supporting respiratory functions, it's chemoprotective and calming to the CNS. Astragalus is also anti viral, anti bacterial and anti tumor... it's key constituents are polysaccharides and isoflavones. No known contraindications.

One of the best ways for me to wrap my head around herbal learning is to incorporate into my daily life as much as possible. And over the past few weeks I have playing with a couple of ways to add this herb into our diet - simply because it is that good for you.


 One of those ways is in soup and here is my new favorite version to share:

Chunky Astragalus Kale Chicken Soup

First: in a small sauce pan, place 1 ½ cups of water and 6 pieces of Astragalus root, approximately one inch in length. Over medium heat bring these to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next: in a large soup pot add the following... along with a tablespoon or two of coconut oil, and saute until semi soft.

8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 inch of grated ginger root

Then add:

1 cup of kale, chopped
4 ½ cups of Chicken Bone Broth/or Stock

Finally remove the Astragalus from the water in which is was simmered, add this water to the soup pot and heat through... about ten minutes. May serve with salt and pepper to taste once warmed to your liking.

  • I also added 1 ½ cups of chopped chicken... either way is delicious.



Astragalus bone broth is made by adding simply adding astraglaus to your bone broth recipe, or you can checkout this recipe for great details on how to make it.

You can also make Astragalus tea by taking about four pieces of root, approximately one inch long and boiling it in two cups of water for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain liquid and allow to cool to desired temp. Add a small touch of honey if needed.

Astragalus tincture is made by taking a pint jar and filling it about half way with dried Astragalus root that has been chopped or pieced as small as possible. Then add vodka or similar 80 proof plus and fill the jar with enough to cover the root by at least two inches. Lid and Label. Store in a dark cool place for about seven weeks, shaking daily.

When your time is up. Strain off your tincture and re-jar liquid. Label and Date. Store in cool dry place out of lighting. Use a teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed in juice, water, or tea. For an extra boost add 1 teaspoon to a cup of your Astragalus bone broth.

How do you like to use Astralagus?

~ blessings!

*Please note that my posts are editorial in nature and are not meant to treat or diagnose any illness. Practice personal health safety. I am currently enrolled in the course from Vintage Remedies called Advance Herbal Medicine by Jessie Hawkins, so please feel free to head over there if you are interested in what I am learning!

April 14, 2015

A Farmgirl Chronicles: meet my current total gym

Howdy Y'all! I would like for you to meet my current total gym... she isn't that old and this is her first time as momma - and to milking. Her name is Yaffa and isn't she beautiful!


These first two photos where taken the day before she gave birth...


And though she doesn't belong to me personally, I have loved working with her. Learning together if you will...


This is the day after she gave birth to that fine looking calf, whose name is Aleph... we are currently farm sitting and wouldn't you know... our family has had a lot of firsts over the last week.

Some first time's from this week:
  • Milking a cow without the original owner there.
  • Yaffa is a first time cow momma & the first time being milked - which means that it was the first time I have leaned my head against the side of a cow... and sang to her, rubbed her... talked to her. I have even shed a couple of tears because her udder was so full and we are both so new at this...
  • It was the first time we learned how to semi hobble and the first time I was swatted in the eye with a cow tail... and what ever else was on it.
  • The first time I have named a calf, watched part of the birthing process. Her whole birthing story is actually something that gives me deep shalom. It was perfect... because she did it alone, set apart from the entire farm, nestled in a little patch of trees and soft under grass... totally doing what she was designed to do!
  • It was the first time I actually blended herbs for a new momma cow, hauled alfalfa and had manure flung at me from a kick...

Yes, those are just a few of the firsts from this week. My body is aching and I am seriously in need of a nap... but I would not exchange this week for anything. My heart is full with thankfulness and I am very grateful for this opportunity. And for all the help we have had over the last couple days...

Might I mention... the next time you drink a glass of milk. Stop. And think about the process.

It doesn't matter where you get your milk from... there is a process. Milk doesn't just magically appear. For those of you who are able to get raw milk from a farmer... just give him or her an extra thank you. Please.

~ blessings!

April 9, 2015

Living large in a small Space

How much space does a person need to call a home home, an answer with many variables I know. The last house we rented was considered small by cultural and market standard... now I think to myself – the possibilities of a ten by ten room are almost endless.

Currently we are clearing our sixth month of living in this thirty foot camper, and holding on - pretty well. But I must admit there have been days when I fully understood the phrase 'cabin fever' and seriously considered pulling out my hair. Thankfully we have some wide open spaces in these neck of the woods and if you can get past the ticks then the outdoor time is available and pleasant.

Well, there is the rain... but you are never to old to play in the rain.

Anyway I say all that to say that I have some wonderful news! We are helping to set up a cabin here on the farm... a guest cabin of sorts. A 384 square foot - off grid cabin, with two lofts and a wood stove. That is roughly a hundred more square feet than what we are living in right now.

That is a lot of space!


So far we have ordered the custom built 12 by 32, Amish made 'shell'... the key word there being custom built. When the building is delivered there will be some framing already done and things like that. The windows have been ordered and should be ready for pick up within the next week... double hung, new construction – yes, I felt like I was getting a crash course in a new language, one that I have not mastered. But learning.

Why would we invest our time and energy, some cash and lots of prayer into this endeavor? My first response is why wouldn't we? Why wouldn't we assist in a tangible manifestation of something that can be used for the Body of Messiah. What else are we to do with our lives... yes, there is family, feeding and clothing yourselves but those things are being met and supplied for from our Heavenly Father.

Yes, we will have a place to lay our head and the experience in learning new skills... 

But again – this is for something much bigger than self.

~ blessings!