Short Thoughts and an Update

in Natural Medicine8 months ago

My work has been heavy on me lately. Moreso as I'm changing jobs again into something where I get my hands soaked in diesel fuel all night. Refined, concentrated remains of a bygone era, created by the sun and used to fuel our modern world.

I am the literal and figurative fuel in the engine of the industrial model.

My labor, my energy, my time, the fabric that my life is literally comprised of, is fueling the system that I need to leave. That I need every person that reads this to leave behind. My life is starkly severed between a life that embraces nature and one that fuels the industrial paradigm.

Unending encouragement comes from many individual actions and how much of an effect can be made with even the smallest effort. You people keep rocking, you are my fuel.

Before thinking I'm terribly depressed, listen to that song. It's a good inspiration lately, and you can play it (maybe a few times) as you read this post. It's almost as empowering by itself as the seed order I just put in. Let's talk about that and do a quick little garden talk rather than focusing on my dumb job.

We believe in warriors and we don't believe in war
And we'll arm ourselves in liberty
Arms out stretched at your door
And, we believe in the righteous and the sacred
Holy Stone,
In the howl of 'howl'ellujah
In the gathering of the bones
If I could fight it, I'd ride it
I'd have it all up in this corner
Oh no, It's not scary it's hairy
I'm bearing oh, oh, staking it
I'm bearing everything I got
All that magic in my cookpot
I'm photosynthesising with me all up in the wheel lot

Rising Appalachia, Make Magic


The garden this year is shaping up to be much more focused than the last two growing seasons. Seed and grain crops from corn, amaranth, and sunflowers make up the bulk by weight for good reason. I'm trying to grow some of my own grains rather than rely on industrial sources. Also, those three native grain crops are easy to save seed for next year. I'll be needing a grain mill at some point if the crops are successful.

Not on this list are tomato seeds from @bobydimitrov, a pound and a half of red clover seeds, okra and melons from last year's saved seed, and cucumber seeds I ordered earlier from SeedsNow (affiliate link below).

You'll also recognize a lot of medicinals in there. Part of my mission in 2020 is to grow more medicine in order to manifest physical health through the gift of creation. They'll all get their own posts later, but @minismallholding wrote an excellent post on adaptogens which mentions a few of them.

In the garden, things are preparing for spring. I planted our newest hugel bed with greens that are popping up already. Spinach, chard, and lettuce. I've never eaten chard before, but it's always a good time to try something new.


Comfrey is coming up again after the chickens had eaten every leaf to the ground. As soon as I can find my two biggest crowns, I'll be splitting them for more cuttings. With the new work, I'm going to be getting cuts a lot, as well as some pretty serious joint pains from repetitive pulling and banging. Comfrey will help.


Yesterday I finished pruning all the fruit trees. After summer pruning, it's really no chore at all. Except the plum trees. Those things are supremely lively, and I don't think the big mama plum had ever been pruned, so I took about half of that one tree. I'll be thinking of fun projects to do with those branches. I'll probably take to whittling small sculptures as gifts and decorations.

Big mama plum before pruning.

Big mama plum after pruning. Two days later, there's buds on the tree.

The Farmer's Almanac is calling for a cool, wet summer. I'm told they're more often right than not, which is pretty exciting. Part of me can't help but anticipate a pretty severe drought after that though. Good thing there's swales.

We tore down the chicken coop and run a week ago. The yard is very different without it, but not in a bad way. The place where we had the run has very fertile soil on account of the composting chicken machine. I'll be planting a corn patch there with crimson clover in between the rows to give the hungry corn some nitrogen and to make medicine for us and the bees.


I wonder if I can weave some rough baskets with the smaller plum branches.

Two new medicines finished up this week! I finally got the water decoction on the lion's mane tincture completed, and the poke root tincture finished up it's six week soak. I'm looking forward to working with these plants. My friends are too, and I gave some of them a bottle of some medicines after Sophia's birthday party yesterday. Chickweed tincture will be ready in two or three weeks. I feel like I should be tincturing or otherwise preparing something else soon.




I'm anxious to get started on our well house. It'll probably be the next thing to get torn down. And new chickens too. A homestead isn't the same without chickens.

So that's what's going on here at Foxfire Homestead. A little pensive Sunday morning post with plans, updates, and music. More thoughts to come this week, as I contemplate my place in the nature/industry dichotomy. Y'all have a good one.

All action for the good of all.


Recent projects:
Sustainable Volunteering
The Holistic Church
Permaculture Chickens Fundition

In the words of Joel Salatin, "do something!" Order seeds from SeedsNow using my affiliate link!

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Looks like things are shaping up pretty good there (except the job situation)! Isn't it exciting to see the first greens of spring! We are a couple of months away from that! Love how your medicine cabinet is filling up - nice one!
Here's to more natural living! Happy growing!


Moon favorable dates for most of our seeds are shown late March to early April by the almanac, so we'll be planting before we know it!

Ooh, chard! It is abundant here at the market, and we've managed to grow a few plants on occasion. I very much enjoy it. It's one green I never ate until I started shopping at the farmers market, and of course it is so much better grown fresh and local than what you can get in the store. The one that I'm still not on board with is collards. Oh boy do southerners cook a lot of those, but perhaps the New Jersey girl in my still hasn't gotten on board with those greens yet.

I ordered lots of heirloom veggie seeds a month ago, but still need to work on learning more on the medicinal side of gardening. Always fun to see what you are "tincturing" with. ;)

We call chard silverbeet here. I love it.

I wondered about that! I think I was going to ask one time, then I forgot. Now it's added to the list with some of my other faves. ;)

Good to hear, I bet it'll be yum! I've never been a huge fan of collards myself, but mom made some kale collards style (bacon, grease, boiled) and it was amazing. I'm going to have to get some kale seeds.

Whoa this yard looks suspiciously tidy! Something must be done urgently!

I know! We had company this weekend so Melissa threatened me with unspeakable things if I didn't pick up the 28 buckets that were laying around full of screws and electric fencing and muddy leaf water.

Ah! Company! My old nemesis!

BOBBY!!! Company brought a soil specialist!!!!! I know a holistic soil guy now!

I must have missed when you named your place Foxfire Homestead. That's an excellent name!

Yeah! I did that a little while back when I started my @homesteadeescoop shop :) I like it a lot, but I'm biased lol

Looking good, lots of productivity. Need to get more organized to get that amount of stuff done lol!


Thank you! Yeah, it'll be crucial to get organized. Last year was total chaos, but it was a super fun learning experience lol

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Looks nice and neat and ready for Spring madness . Amazing what you have achieved in last 2 years.

I'll have to do a two year update post. That'll be fun. I often feel utterly unaccomplished when I'm not making constant daily progress, so that'll be a good way to bring on a bit of inner contentment.

Throwing some fuel on your fire. You said you weren’t posting when we met so I’m glad you are again! Nice to get to know you :-)

Wow, thanks! Yeah, work is a beast right now so I'm only able to post once or twice a week, but I'm getting back into it. Maybe this spring I'll be able to post daily again. We'll see how it works out. :)

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