Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.10.10 Cottages & Lemon Balm

It's a bit warm today, not bad at all but warm to be sure. It seems a bit humid as well and that could mean rain soon. I hope so, we need it terribly.

I may have found us a place, we'll see but it's looking good. It needs a lot done but there's a tiny cottage and 1.5 acres. And it's in my price and payment range, no Big Brother involvement. It's completely off-grid no water, no septic system, no electric, no phone. But it is wired for electricity and does have an outhouse and things can be done once we're there. I'm trying to find out what needs to be done for electric right away because Nik does lessons on his computer, I sell online and we need the fridge. Otherwise we can make do with everything else and work it out as we go.

I'm currently look at generators to at least run the fridge and computer until we gets things more sorted out. They're so terribly loud tho. Another option, at least for a few things, is propane. There are so many things to think, consider, do ... it's a bit overwhelming at times.

I'm also looking for a new fridge *~* ours isn't going to last much longer. It only keeps food good on the side next to the freezer and in the freezer. And yesterday the rubber seal tore away from the door. I've fixed that part for now but I'll need to replace it soon. I've actually been looking at propane refrigerators but they're very hard to find used.

I'm not harvesting at all like usual. Most things I will just cut back to prepare for moving. But there is still plenty being used. I'm harvesting every speck of echinacea, wormwood, feverfew and a few others. The two things I always have the most of are Melissa (Lemon Balm) and Mugwort. And today has been a lemon Balm day :)

I drink Melissa tea all summer long but recently I've been drinking even more. Melissa tea is easy to make, I just pick a couple of handfuls of leaves, rinse them well, crumple them a bit and add them to the tea jug. Fill with water and wait. I rarely use heat to brew teas intended to be iced teas. You can also add a handful of Melissa leaves to regular black, green or white tea.

Lemon Balm Butter is wonderful and very easy to make. I just soften the butter and mix in the finely chopped Melissa. Or mix the Melissa and freshly cracked pepper to make Lemon Pepper butter. It's very good stuff! The average ratio of most fresh green herbs to butter is 1 teaspoon herb to 1 tablespoon butter. Adjust according to your taste and there's no "right" way or ratio, that's just an idea to start with.

I make a lot of herb butters and they keep just like any butter, in the fridge or in a butter bell and can be frozen.

I use lemon balm in rice, in breads and cakes, in several tea blends -both medicinal and just for the enjoyment ...

Internally Melissa is very gentle and can be used by most people. It's calming and helps relieve stress, a mild sedative and can aid sleep, it can help with upset stomach and digestion, it's a mild antibacterial and makes a great addition to an antibiotic tea because it also improves flavor making the tea easier to take.

Externally it makes a very soothing balm for tired aching muscles and even the scent is soothing and calming.

And now back to packing, cleaning, sorting ....


Peggy said...

I am so happy and excited for your new cottage. Have you checked on Craigs list for old campers. They have propane fridges. I have a gas stove out of a camper sitting on a old grill stand to do my canning and such on the back porch when its hot.

dilli and the manthing said...

try looking at an old RV sales place or look for a broken down RV or camper ... often times the main appliances still work and you can scrap the rest that you do not need. We scrapped out railer n pulled the hot water tank, fridge, stove and all the 12 v lights out of it for use in the shack for use with propane or solar power.. .. would be a great project for Nic as well

Juli said...

great idea, thank you both!

Crystal Calliope said...

What a lovely idea, Melissa Butter! I am trying to use the herbs I consider medicinal in more of my cooking and this is just the ticket. I'm on my way out to harvest some Mugwort this morning, though I'm not sure that'd make too nice of a butter. I smoke it- call it hippie menthol which makes my man laugh. Lovely blog. Blessings.

angbethea said...

well, I'm glad you found something, but I still worry for you. Whether it feels like it or not right now, winter is coming on and without any power etc. what will you do? Will there be time for getting shelter for the animals ready for winter? How long before you know something? I know I sound like a nosey Nelda, but I am just concerned for you. I've been there, done that and it ain't easy. But if anyone can do it and somehow manage to make it work, I figure it will be you. Good luck and keep us posted.