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.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Busy days! The weather has been fantastic! Perfect for getting things done, then falling into bed and drifting off to a cricket serenade.

I’ve been doing a lot of harvesting and drying. In the last few days I’ve harvested apples, blueberries, elderberries, tomatoes, cayenne and chile peppers, onions, garlic, pokeberries, carrots, bell peppers, mugwort, mint, wormwood, echinacea, sumac berries, oregano, melissa, spicy catnip, sage, red clover, assorted greens, black walnut leaves and more.

The apples are barnyard apples from some gracious folks (hoping to go back for more), and the blueberries were purchased. Everything else came from our gardens and property.

I cool air dry my medicinals because even a small amount of heat can cause oil loss. So bags and bundles hanging all over! And both electric dehydrators and two solar screen dehydrators going. Herbs are drying and apples, blueberries, carrots, cayenne and chiles are done drying. Taking a long break and then will start onions, bells and more apples.

From our dried foods I always make powders. I use all the little bits and pieces of dried fruit and veg, and add more if needed, to grind into powders. I have a general Winter Soup Powder that has onion, lambs quarters, spinach, cabbage, squash and other things. I add a little to stews, soups, breads etc.. What ever I want that flavor and added nutrition in.

Apple powder is wonderful in sweet bread, scones, biscuits, oatmeal, granola etc etc etc…

Fruit and vegetable powders can also be used to make nutritious broths for folk who don’t feel well and can easily be sipped from a mug.

About half of the vegetable scraps go into making vegetable broth to can. I save them up in a large freezer baggie until I have enough. I use skins (onion skins are great), roots, tops, peels etc. All rinsed well and ready. I also add leftover vegetables and try to always save a few grilled vegetables just for broth.

To make and can the broth I add a good amount to my largest pot, cover with well water and cooked down to a rich and hearty golden broth. I then strain and bring back to a boil. Pour into hot sterile jars, seal and PC at 10lbs for 75 minutes

I do the same with fruit and use the fruit broth for drinks, pies, breads, oatmeal etc etc..

When I’ve not been in the kitchen, I’ve been working on preparing the cottage, barn and stone house for winter. Lots of cleaning out and reorganizing.

This is also the time I year (Spring and Fall) that I rotate stored water and clean and check the cistern. I start early so that I can do a little at a time and use up all the old water. We have jugs just for cleaning and the like, and I refill those jugs with the water from our drinking stores.

The Autumn Equinox is just a little over 2 weeks away and I can’t wait. I love all the seasons but Fall is by far my favorite  :)

 Slicing apples for the dehydrator

 My Sept. growing old photo
Very sweaty and hot from the kitchen

 Nik's very sweet old dog, Apollo

 Apples in one of the dehydrators

 The table and chairs I recently traded for.
They're old and I love them.

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