Fennel seed is a common kitchen herb used in several tasty meals. It is often found in varying quantities in sausages. We use it frequently in homemade pizza sauce that we make and can for weekly pizza nights. It tastes like a bitter licorice, but the licorice part isn’t as overbearing as the bitter. Its taste is similar to anise seed and the two can often be substituted for each other in culinary dishes, and even occasionally for remedies.
Fennel seed’s main benefit is found in its carminative properties. Being a carminative makes it especially helpful for digestive issues such as flatulence, colic, and constipation. Fennel seeds help gas move down and out of the digestive system and can even be mixed with other herbs for a nausea aid.
You don’t need to make a tea to make fennel seed work for flatulence. Chewing on some seeds after a meal (especially one you know will make you gassy) can be just as effective. This is nice because I am generally in no mood to infuse a tea if my stomach is killing me–I hate gas pains!
Another neat fact is that fennel seeds can aid in minor bad breath. Even if you don’t like the taste, it does kill bad breath. You can chew it or consume it as a tea (steep in a powdered form).
That’s fennel seed! Pretty easy to use and its main use is for digestive issues, usually gassiness. I can appreciate this herb, not only for its taste, but for its ease of use when needed.
Want to see what herbs we have in our medicinal garden? Take a look here.
Interested in continuing your education or career as an herbalist? Check out the Herbal Academy.
Whether you are just getting started in herbalism or have been exploring this natural path for some time, you might realize that there are several directions to take as an herbalist! Perhaps you are interested in opening up an herb shop or selling your own natural body care products. Maybe your passion is for people, and therefore your desire is to become a community herbalist. Or maybe you wish to study herbalism to benefit your own family’s health and wellbeing.
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I recently shared a deodorant recipe with some tips to make it stronger if needed (especially during the summer months). While this recipe can be very effective for some, it may not help everyone.
I’ll admit a stinky truth: working on the farm in the Florida heat can be hell on my pits. I’m not ashamed. I stink if I’m not using something with a little extra oomph when I’m out working.
So, I work with this extra EXTRA strength recipe. I’m a little limited on scents/essential oils because the only ones I invest in are the ones with properties that help with actually killing what causes that odor. I like to use my original recipe during the one month we have cold weather here (I know I’m exaggerating–sometimes it’s 3 months), but when it’s not winter, I simply focus on not stinking.
The big trick–other than essential oil choices–here is the lacking coconut oil. When I sweat and I have coconut oil in my recipe it just spells disaster for me. My deodorant is quickly rendered useless on a scorching day if coconut oil is used in almost any amount.
This recipe has a shorter list of ingredients: shae butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, essential oil blends.
I have seen some recipes out there that also call for cocoa butter. As much as I LOVE cocoa butter, I don’t like it in this recipe. I typically have a deep appreciation for cocoa butter’s fragrance, but not for deodorant. That’s my personal preference. If you find another recipe out there with cocoa butter in it and it works for you, great.
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this whole process. It’s sad, but I use my Kitchen Aid more for natural remedies and cosmetics than I do for actual baking. The first thing I do is add 5 tablespoons of shae butter, 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl.
I insert my paddle and…
mix on the lowest setting until I get this consistency. If you don’t have a standing mixer and handheld one with a deep bowl works just as well.
Once I have the correct consistency I add 20 drops of Cypress essential oil.
I also add 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil. I mix it in evenly so I can smell the essential oils every time I apply this deodorant.
Now, you can play with this a bit, but you are limited. 30 drops total is the safest amount. If you add more, do so at your own risk. If you have sensitive skin lemongrass and many other essential oils can become irritating. If you want to do only one essential oil, I recommend the cypress as its odor killing abilities are pretty phenomenal.
Instead of lemongrass, you can do another citrus. Most citrus essential oils also kill odor. Remember, if the goal is extra EXTRA strength deodorant, you want to use only essential oils that kill the bacteria that creates the odor.
I store this in dark tinted glass containers because of the essential oils. This keeps forever. I have tripled this batch and never had anything go bad. Don’t store it anywhere it could melt though.
5 tablespoons shae butter
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons baking powder
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
20 drops cypress essential oil
Mix firs three ingredients in a standing mixer or in a deep bowl using a hand mixer until you have a smooth, well mixed consistency (it will be gooey).
Add essential oils and mix evenly.
Store in dark tinted glass containers at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
If you want to use my favorite supplies and ingredients, check out the links below.
I recently walked the realm of meat processing with my husband. Although it’s definitely a process he dominates more than I do, it was still an interesting process to watch and document (yes, I did assist as well).
You would not believe how both incredible and gross working the grinder is. I’m not a squeamish person. I can handle most gruesome scenarios visually. Very little gets under my skin and if something does get to me, it’s normally attributed to any sense but vision. There’s nothing gross about watching the grinder do its job. I would imagine most people can watch this without issue. The sound is a constant squishing though. It was very, very cool to watch but the sound did make me remind my husband it was “ewwwww!”
We used fresh bell peppers and onions for this particular recipe. Look how pretty they are.
And I PULVERIZED them! This was fun, but the onions got to me. As soon as I start peeling any onion during any time of the year, my face promptly protests; it’s not a pretty sight.
Seasoned for yumminess.
Then they’re encased.
These are the same sausages we sell at the Port Orange Pavilion Market. We process everything on site on our property and we bring it fresh to Port Orange on Saturdays from 8-1 (we also provide yummy samples). We have several varieties available, and even some seasonal varieties depending on the time of year.
If you are in the area, come visit us. We also do farm tours so contact us if you would like to see our site.
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Christian Cavalry Academy in Ormond Beach took a field trip this summer semester to visit our farm. We’ve never been a field trip destination so we were naturally excited.
Upon arrival, students and staff were able to view our animals while we cooked and served breakfast casserole and chicken sausages. The kids seemed to enjoy the food greatly and some even expressed surprise at the meat coming from a chicken.
As food was being eaten, students were brought into the back to view the processing and packaging rooms. My husband led that mini tour while I spoke with students and staff about the farm.
We made sure everyone had enough to eat and we quickly ran out of sausage.
After eating, students were given the opportunity to meet with some of our hens. The students were very gentle and compliant when shown how to hold a hen without scaring them.
After meeting the hen, my husband took groups of students to view our hydroponic garden. I stayed behind to show other groups of students our goats. We talked about how the plants use water to grow and how we take care of our goats. We discussed milking and cheesemaking briefly.
The students got to meet Willow, my classroom bunny. I was helping handle the rabbit so I was unable to get photographs since I was playing photographer that day.
We discussed how donkeys are sentry animals and help protect and alert the other animals of intruders.
We want to extend our thanks top Cavalry Christian Academy to visiting our farm. We greatly enjoyed getting to share how we live with everyone and educate young minds, at least a little bit, about where food comes from.
I never claim to be all-knowing in the realm of natural healing–or anything I dive into. As a result, I am constantly seeking new information. It is never enough for me. I get a true high from grasping new information and storing it away for later use. I am just as happy learning alone as I am in a group of people. In fact, I hate crowds, but it is very easy for me to tolerate a crowd if learning is involved.
Even better than learning is actually using what I have learned, especially if I’m passionate about it. Many people we have become acquainted with or work with ask, at least once, how I know as much as I do about natural remedies and using herbs as an appropriate means of being healthy or solving ailments. My answer, for a very long time in my youth, was either “We have a garden…” or somewhere along the lines of “That’s just what we use.” It wasn’t until around middle school that I realized my love and appreciation of nature and its partnership with us wasn’t the norm. My easygoing nature probably saved me from a lot of bullying because no one knew what I was talking about in this department–ever. It wasn’t important for preteens or teenagers. Most friends were either minutely intrigued or just brushed what knowledge I did carry off.
In my late teens and early twenties I hit a wall. And it was unexpectantly devastating. I had what I learned growing up in a household that valued and respected nature–but that was it. And it actually bothered me because I knew there had to be more. I ventured into the world of Google and learned there was a whole world I was missing, beyond the common culinary herbs of the kitchen. By mid twenties, I was mostly properly making tea infusions, oil infusions, and salves. Then I hit a wall again. I needed to know more, but Google wasn’t cutting it. I now know it was a combination of not really knowing what else to research for deeper understanding and technique and of not having a mentor or group to communicate with. So, I did what most of us do and I stalked forums and joined a few groups on Facebook later on when groups on Facebook first became a big deal.
Although it was very encouraging to communicate with like-minded individuals, the wall was still there. I realized it was time to do some research into education being offered to further my own studies.
I traveled back into the Google realm and found numerous online schools. After much consideration and research, I fell in love with the Herbal Academy. They offer numerous courses ranging from introductory to advanced with other courses in between. The natural starting point is their introductory course.
In the introductory course, the student has little to no herbal experience upon enrollment and is immersed in a world full of infusions and other handmade body care products. Don’t let the fact that it’s an introductory course turn you away; there is a lot of information on herbs (some found in the kitchen and some found with wildcrafting). There are recipes, plant identification tips, and much more content you can access online or download to print and keep a hardcopy of. And you’ll find that with every course available, all content is able to be downloaded and printed (minus the informative videos).
I have been really happy furthering my herbalist education with the Herbal Academy. When you’re done with the courses you’re taking, it is such an invaluable resource to have at your fingertips for future referencing.
Along with being a student at the Herbal Academy, you have access to their student-only Facebook community. There, you interact with students in various courses as well as the teachers.
If you are looking to receive a more formal education in the world of herbs, I highly recommend this school. It’s self paced, online, and interactive. Students and teachers are always sharing something, there are quizzes embedded into each course, and you do recieve a certificate of completion at the end of your courses.
I do recommend starting at the beginning, even if you’re on the fence between introduction and intermediate levels. Dosing is discussed even in the introductory course, as well as herbs for children, women, and men. Various body systems are discussed and what herbs are used to promote good health in regards to those body systems. So, even though it is an introductory course, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. There’s a very balanced combination of what I would label “newbie” stuff with very enlightening details as to why everything works the way it does, which is what I found to be lacking in my independent research before enrolling into this school. When you finish any course, you really get the sense of knowing what to do or use, but what I find to be most satisfying is that you begin to understand the why, which is most important because that why knowledge is what will help you make independent decisions if a scenario calls for it. Having a recipe is great and many are provided, but that why is going to help you change–in a responsible way–anything that needs to be changed in a formula based on the more unique needs of an individual and/or case, even for something as minor as a cold.
Many of you have enjoyed discussing our natural world with me and if you’re looking to further your own independent studies, check the Herbal Academy out. Knowledge is power. There are different courses and if you’re very certain you’re serious about it, check the different packages out below because it can save you money if you’re just going to take more than one course in the long run.
I know some of you are probably tired of hearing this, but I am going to say it again. The family at Harman Farms does NOT discredit the practice of medicine and we do not ignore its place and need in society. Although we do believe much of medicine (the biggest topic being antibiotic overuse) is blindly overused by society as a whole, we do know that doctors of varying degrees are important and actually helpful (we LOVE our kids’ pediatrician and gladly overlook his lacking bedside manners in exchange for his brutal honesty); and although using herbs just as responsibly as you do pharmaceuticals is a BIG bonus to overall health, you’re going to AT LEAST need a diagnoses from a medical professional to make the proper lifestyle changes to benefit your unique needs the most. If you are unsure or concerned of something, there is nothing wrong with consulting a doctor and there is nothing wrong with also consulting a professional herbalist as well. Again: knowledge is power and the more of it you have, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your family.