New Toy on the Farm

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy We’re getting ready to expand our farm! We began to design and plot out a new location on our property to build a greenhouse and expand pasture for our animals. We realized that we need to move a pond, take down some large trees, build a pad, and construct 250′ of road and place a parking lot. Our current BX25 would not be up to the task. We found ourselves faced with two difficult choices: rent a larger piece of equipment during our expansion or replace our small, but reliable Kubota BX25 TLB.
Photographed by Amanda Harman
We began where we always do: calculating project costs. After many weeks of projections, we found that renting would be wasteful; so, we decided to upgrade. We found ourselves asking: What do we get? What do we need? How much will we grow? The search was on.  After having a Kubota there was no question that we wanted another Kubota. There are so many models. We looked at the B series, L-series, and the B26 TLB Series. The research was completed after combing through all the specifications. The Keyboard Warrior was done. We progressed to the next step: obtaining trade in values on our current BX25 and purchase price of the required equipment. We sent out several requests to separate dealers and–to our delight–most responded promptly. The dealership that sold us our original BX25 was even among the many who responded to our request. The quotes were all in, the purchase price and trade in values were all comparable between dealers; however, there was one individual that stood out: Roy at Futch’s Power Depot. His sincerity on the phone was unmatched.  One statement that was made created quite an impression; Futch’s Power Depot stated that they will earn our business if we give him the chance, no matter what. Roy was confident that their service, price, and staff were the best. Roy worked with me over a two-day period to finish the paperwork, complete the financing, and get the tractor built. Roy constantly communicated with me until delivery day. Roy and staff personally delivered our tractor and the trailer we ended up buying as part of a package. They also picked up the trade which made it easy for us to begin our projects.
Photographed by Amanda Harman
The test: the new Kubota l-Series has power, speed, and performance.  I performed a few minor tasks and one thing became apparent: the loader had an issue. I was initially uneasy with a million thoughts running through my head. I wondered to myself, Is this the beginning of a nightmare?  I prepped myself and called Roy to let him know the issue.  Roy was more than accommodating and scheduled pick up. Roy went out of his way to ease my mind and make sure I was at ease and not upset.  I told Roy that I do not judge a business by a single issue that arises. It happens. I reserve judgement for how the issue is dealt with.  A few days went by with Roy consistently communicating with me and asked that I come to the service shop to go over options with them. I traveled to the Futch’s and met Lonnie and Steve. Both were understanding and just wanted me to be able use the new equipment. They were straightforward and honest and by the time I left the dealership I knew that the issue would be resolved one way or another.  Futch’s delivered a loner to use until we get this issue figured out. Lonnie and Steve communicated with me regularly and within a few days the issue was resolved, with the tractor back on the farm so that we can continue our work.
Photographed by Amanda Harman
Now, there are no issues left. Now it’s time for us to get to work on our expansion this year.  Our experience with Futch’s Power Depot was–by far–one of the easiest and best that we have had with a major purchase.  Harman Farms highly recommends visiting Futch’s Power Depot and talking with Roy for your future purchases.  Roy was correct from the beginning that he would earn our business and he also earned our respect. We will definitely be purchasing from them in the future. Follow our blog to stay updated. We’re also on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Come check us out. Affiliate Disclosure

Cascara Sagrada Bark

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Cascara sagrada is a cooling drying stimulating laxative. Cascara sagrada is very–very–strong. Much stronger than yellow dock. This should be avoided unless the need is dire. And, of course, as long as you’re not leaving the house.

Because this herb is so strong, it is advised to use on a situational basis rather than an ongoing one. This is not a herb to use for the longterm. It is advised to take cascara sagrada with a carminative like cardamom or fennel. This can help prevent griping.

The bark needs to cure for 1-3 years. Fresh bark is dangerously potent.

The active constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Cascarosides induce peristalsis, which promotes a bowel movement.

Cascara sagrada improves the flow of secretions from the pancreas, stomach, and liver to promote digestion and aid in elimination.

Cascara sagrada also increases bile secretion from the gallbladder. This can be helpful if you have gallstones, or as a preventative from gallstones.

The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons of dried bark per 8 ounces of water. Decoct for 20 minutes. If you’re using a tincture, use .5-2 mL once a day. Again, this stuff is dangerously strong. You really need to be sure this is what you need before using it.

I have never had a need to use this powerful herb, but heard it is very effective. Have you ever used cascara sagrada?

 

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Yellow Dock Root

The Herbarium by the Herbal Academy

This herb is easy to grow if you’re growing it and is pretty easy to find while wildcrafting, too. Yellow dock root is cooling, bitter, laxative, and cholagogue.

Bitter

Herbs and food with a bitter taste stimulate the vagus nerve. This helps kick-start digestion.

Laxative

Herbs that have a laxative property help aid in expelling your guts. Great to use if you’re constipated.

Diuretic

Yellow dock has diuretic properties. This means it can increase urine flow. Both the laxative and diuretic properties make it a great cleanser.Toxins can be flushed out of the system through urine and stool.

Cholagogue

Yellow dock root’s cholagogue property promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum.

 

Photo by Saif Selim on Pexels.com

Osteoarthritis

Yellow dock root may be helpful for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Iron and Anemia

Yellow dock contains high amounts of iron and can aid in cases of anemia.

Use as a Poultice

Yellow dock, used as a poultice, can be a natural remedy for boils and burns on the skin.

Rumicin

Rumicin is an antibacterial compound found in yellow dock. This can potentially help with bacterial infections such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.

Glycosidic

Glycosides are found in yellow dock. Glycosides help stimulate the liver, which helps with the poor absorption of nutrients.

I have not had the pleasure of actually using yellow dock personally, but it is a herb I would love to keep handy to aid in digestive blends in the future. Have you ever used yellow dock? How do you like to use it?

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Marshmallow Root

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Marshmallow root is a great addition to blends to aid in digestive needs. The root actually supports the flora found in the gut, making it a wonderful prebiotic. The prebiotic content of the root is highest during the fall and should be harvested after its second year of growth.

Demulcent

Marshmallow is a cooling demulcent. This property aids in the irritation and inflammation of the GI tract. This means you can add marshmallow root for aid in gastric ulcers, reflux, colitis, and IBS. Even though marshmallow root is well known for its digestive properties, being a demulcent also makes this herb helpful for irritation in the bladder and lungs.

Diarrhea and Constipation

Marshmallow has such a modulating effect on the gut that it is useful for both diarrhea and constipation. If using marshmallow to aid in diarrhea, soak powdered marshmallow root in a small amount of water. The soaking can last an hour, or even overnight. It’s going to look, taste, and feel gross. Gobble–er–drink? it up after soaking. When marshmallow is soaked in a small amount of water it still has the capacity to absorb more water once it reaches the gut. For constipation, soak about a teaspoon of marshmallow powder in 8 ounces of water then drink. The bulking fiber in marshmallow will help you expel that which has taken up residence for too long in your gut.

Marshmallow is an overall safe herb to use, but always do your own independent research. In this world, you never know what new things can be found about any herb after this post is written. Do realize, like with many other herbs, marshmallow root can inhibit other drugs and herbs you may be taking. Consult your physician or professional herbalist if you’re taking other medications.

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Taz

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I’ve been neglectful. Since the viewing we attended in Pennsylvania, I’ve caught a bad case of bronchitis and our eldest dog, Taz, developed megaesophagus. So, I have not been writing much. If the cause of the enlarged esophagus is obstruction, sometimes removal of the obstruction can help the condition. If the cause isn’t obstruction, then the cause is of little importance; the prognosis is the same. X-rays indicated no obstruction.

When eating, your esophagus contracts and enlarges. Taz’s was stuck in enlarged mode. So, a lot of food and water was entering his lungs. He would regurgitate food and water immediately upon eating or drinking. He predictably developed pneumonia. The lack of eating created nausea. We fed Taz a diet the vet recommended. We made him eat standing straight up, as that could aid in food actually getting to his stomach and the vet gave him antibiotics to fight the pneumonia.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

We were told this is what will kill him. I took the news knowing my job was to keep this old boy as comfortable and full as possible. We were told that if he gets over the pneumonia and can keep some food down, he could live a few more months or longer. Looking at Taz’s pained face and tired eyes, I was wondering how much fight he truly had left in him.

Right after we were married,my husband and I had planned on trying to conceive with the hopes of a summer baby (my first year teaching). The very first pregnancy test I took was positive. We were very excited. The excitement only lasted a moment it seemed. I went to see the doctor because of a possible miscarriage. Seeing my empty uterus on the screen was the most devastating feeling of loss and hopelessness I had ever felt at that time in my life.

I’m the type of person who goes to work or keeps moving no matter what. Today, I’m up at 4 AM to start my day and the earliest I’m normally to bed is almost 11 at night. After confirming the miscarriage, I really didn’t want to do anything except sleep. My husband would often tell me he didn’t care what I felt like doing, but to just do it and not stay on the couch. It was difficult to really want to do anything.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

We found ourselves taking a trip to Georgia. My in-laws had property there and it was nice to get away from home as it had become a sad place for me. We went to an animal shelter and played with some weimaraner cross puppies. We left and I decided I really actually wanted a puppy. So we went back and learned that all the puppies were spoken for. We did find a weimaraner breeder later that day though. They had two males left. One was a chubby little thing who had little interest in me. The other was the runt of the entire litter that no one wanted. He was so tiny. All he wanted to do was be held by me. He would get very excited and chase his own tail like a nut. So, I named him Taz and brought him home.

I experienced another miscarriage, but the third pregnancy took. Taz was attached for both miscarriage and pregnancy. Zach was working night shifts at the hospital at the time. I’d often fall asleep on the couch with Taz. Zach would come home and Taz wouldn’t be able to see him. Taz would cause a lot of havoc barking and growling. As soon as Zach would speak, Taz would calm down recognizing his voice. Taz was very protective of me and up my ass to the point of really being annoying at times.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

He had the worst separation anxiety. Novi, our husky, joined us a couple of months later and that solved all issues with us leaving for work. After Fiona was born we moved out into the country onto our homestead. Taz took the change of scenery with grace. He brought me home baby softshell turtles two separate seasons. He accompanied me to the water to save them from the high husky prey drive.

Last summer, he brought me a baby mockingbird he stole from a nest. He never hurt the bird though. I love all living things and he did, too.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

Taz never got over the pneumonia. Even with the changed eating technique, he still couldn’t get food in his stomach. When the vet came to our farm to put him down, he had quit entirely on his own. He isolated himself from all of the dogs. He hid under the hydroponic deck and would only let Zach or myself handle him. I held him as he died. We were given his pawprint. Zach made him a coffin and we buried him on property.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

It’s never easy to lose an animal and I miss him very dearly. He was special to me and very responsive to the feelings of those around him. He never hurt anything in his entire life. And I still cannot believe that he’s gone.

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