We’re BACK!

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

It’s been forever. So much has happened in the past three months that has prevented me from writing. First, it’s the end of the school year. I teach special needs and this time of year is pretty paperwork heavy for me. This year is particularly busy because over half of my caseload is graduating. Which means more paperwork and more meetings than normal.

On top of that, we moved the WHOLE farm. ALL OF IT. I cannot believe we did it. We knew that our long term goal was to one day own more land, but that goal became a reality much sooner than we had originally anticipated. Everything happened so quickly and it demanded all of our attention.

My husband got a zillow notification of a property that was on sale a few months back. It was a nice looking house on about 10 acres. We knew we wanted to build but decided to look at this house on a whim. It’s not often than we instantly fall in love with a home, but we did upon looking at this house.

The stars were definitely lined up for us because we hit the ground running as soon as we made the offer. Before we knew it we were packing up the entire house we were living in and getting it ready to be shown to be sold.

Moving a whole farm is far from easy. I enjoyed 0% of the whole moving process. Our animals shared the same feelings with me. On the day we had to move the animals, I rode a donkey.

It wasn’t an experience I would brag about. It provided much comedic relief and thankfully didn’t end in harm to anyone. We had both donkeys in the trailer. The younger one decided she didn’t want to be on the railer anymore and was able to leave before we could shut the trailer. I was thinking, since she’s my buddy and all, that if I stood in her path and redirected her she would comply. I also knew that plan might not work. It didn’t work.

Merida, our younger donkey, trotted up to me. I tried to kind of nudge her back, but she somehow got her head under my armpit and lifted. That’s when a trot turned into a gallop. Next thing I know, I’m further up on this donkey. I had to lift my leg to get off of her. I was riding her backwards and didn’t realize she was about to turn. As she turned, we both kind of–fell. I fell on my back and as she started to lean down towards me I was able to push her back up to her feet with my hands to make sure she didn’t actually fall on me.

We looked at each other after I stood up. I swear the look on her face said And we will never speak of this. To anyone. Ever. But it was too late. My husband was dying from laughter. And you know what she did later? Simply walked on the trailer by herself.

We got all the animals moved on Cinco de Mayo. Hours after the move, Lyris had her first kidding. She brought two baby boys into the world and she couldn’t have been more terrified. She just didn’t know what to do with them. Three days in a pen with her babies and me encouraging her to nurse and now she’s an attentive mother. Her boys are gorgeous and I’m hoping to sell them for breeding as they’re just simply stunning.

The property itself is breath-taking. I will be posting more about the property next week. Now that we’ve moved and mostly settled I’m hoping to be writing a bit more routinely again. I don’t have my camera unpacked yet, so you’ll have to settle for my pictures off my phone.

Looking forward to writing about our crazy adventures on the farm again. Thank you everyone who waited so patiently for us to return. Have a great week!

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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

Online Herbalism Courses for all levels

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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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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