Tag Archives: Midwest

Herb Blurb – Wormwood

Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood, Absinthe)

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Native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa, it is grown as an ornamental plant and is used as an ingredient in the spirit absinthe as well as some other alcoholic drinks.Wormwood is traditionally used medicinally in Europe, and is believed to stimulate the appetite and relieve indigestion. Wormwood is mentioned several times in the Bible in the different versions as well as the Jewish Bible, and usually refers to bitterness, or bitter.

Suggested uses

Wormwood has been used for various digestion problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, gall bladder disease, and intestinal spasms. Wormwood has also been used to treat fever, liver disease, and worm infections; to increase sexual desire; as a tonic; and to stimulate sweating.Some people apply wormwood directly to theskin for healing wounds andinsect bites. Wormwood oil is used as a counterirritant to reduce pain. In manufacturing, wormwood oil is used as a fragrance component in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes and it is also used as an insecticide. Wormwood extract is used in many alcoholic beverages such as vermouth and absinth which is illegal in many countries including the US due to the chemical compound thujone which is poisonous in large quantities. It is also said that the thujone is what gives absinth the hallucinogenic properties. Wormwood is said to counteract the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the seadragon. Wormwood is the bitterest herb known, but it is very wholesome and used to be in much request by brewers for use instead of hops.

Parts to use

Everything that grows above the ground.

How to use

Raw – Placed in homes and among stuffs and furs to keep away moths and insects

Tea – Wormwood Tea, made from 1 OZ. of the herb, infused for 10 to 12 minutes in 1 pint of boiling water, and taken in wineglassful doses, will relieve melancholia and help to dispel the yellow hue of jaundice from the skin, as well as being a good stomachic, and with the addition of fixed alkaline salt, produced from the burnt plant, is a powerful diuretic in some dropsical cases.

Infusion – The essential oil of the herb is used as a worm-expeller, the spirituous extract being preferable to that distilled in water. The leaves give out nearly the whole of their smell and taste both to alcohol and water, but the cold water infusions are the least bitter.

Growing

Wormwood likes a shady situation, and is easily propagated by division of roots in the autumn, by cuttings, or by seeds sown in the autumn soon after they are ripe. No further care is needed than to keep free from weeds. Plant about 2 feet apart each way.

Storage

Light is the enemy of medicinal herbs. Dried leaves and flowers should be stored in an air tight bag/jar protected from light. Sunlight is the worst as the UV will break down the compounds that are beneficial. Teas and tonics should be prepared fresh and discard any unused portions. Once dried wormwood should be sealed into the storage container as it will reabsorb moisture when left in the open.

wormwood

Herb Blurb – Yarrow

Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow)

Yarrow Diagram
Click for larger view

 

Yarrow, also called Soldiers Wound Wort has been in use since ancient Greece. Its name derives from Achilles who was rumored to use it on his soldiers to stop bleeding on the battlefield.  Yarrow was also used on the battlefield during the Civil War especially when supplies were sparse. Yarrow comes in a variety of colors including, white, yellow, red, pink and orange. Yarrow was used by Native Americans for a variety of issues all across the US.

Suggested uses

A tea made with yarrow is good to tread common colds and is said to help expel wastes through the pores. Mainly given as a blood purifier. Macerated and applied to wounds it can stop bleeding, and act as an antibacterial agent. Yarrow has been used for fever, common cold, hay fever, absence of menstruation, dysentery, diarrhea, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal (GI) tract discomfort, and to induce sweating.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/y/yarrow02.html

Parts to use

Stems, leaves and flowers, collected in the wild state, in August, when in flower.

yarrow
Click for larger view

How to use

Raw – Some people have found chewing the leaves will help alleviate a toothache. The flowers and young leaves can be added to salads.

Tea – Yarrow as a tea can help purify the blood and expel wastes through the pores.

Salve -Ointment – Highlanders of Scotland use a yarrow ointment on sheep for wound care

Macerated – taken in the field, macerate (chew, crush, grind) the leaves and apply directly on wounds to stop bleeding and reduce infection.

Bath – To stop bleeding of hemorrhoids, wounds, to alleviate cramps a bath using the macerated leaves or tincture from leaves.

Flavor additive – prior to using hops, yarrow was used to flavor beer. It was said that yarrow made the beer more potent.

Tincture – Alcohol (vodka) a tincture can be made to extract essential oils rather than drying the herb for later use.

Growing

Yarrow is a perennial here in the Midwest. It will self seed if allowed to. It prefers full sun and well drained soil but does well in many unfavorable conditions. It is a drought tolerant plant. Yarrow is a good companion plant as it attracts predatory wasps who prey on other pest insects as well as it attracts ladybugs and hoverflies.

Storage

Light is the enemy of medicinal herbs. Dried leaves, stems, and flowers should be stored in paper bag out of light. Tinctures should be stored in a dark glass container away from light. Sunlight is the worst as the UV will break down the compounds that are beneficial

Want to learn more come check out our herb class on August 23

Learn about more herbs

 

 

Projects and Opportunities

Throughout my travels and networking I learn of opportunities and various projects that some may find interesting or a right fit for their skills or situation. This will be an ever-changing page as new opportunities are found and existing ones are filled.

The page is here that list current and future opportunities

If you are interested use the Contact Us page.

Medicinal Herb class this Saturday July 12th

Don’t forget the medicinal herb class this Saturday July 12th. We will be having our medicinal herb class and talk about the various plants and herbs you can grow here in Indiana as well as some preparations, storage techniques, and uses. Come join us. PLEASE RSVP at the link below so we know how many packets to print. As part of the tour you will receive a 60 page packet of the information covered.

 

Medicinal herbs you can grow here in the Midwest

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014, 10:00 AM

Wolf-Beach Farms
8418 Chickasaw Ct

3 Gardener/Homesteader Attending

During the last tour people asked for a medicinal herb class and now we are ready. 57 herbs will be discussed that we have growing currently or are in the process of growing, and can be cultivated here in Indiana. The majority of herbs will be discussed are also available to see on the property, some we have grown in the past and we will discuss (O…

Check out this Meetup →

Medicinal Herb Class Preview

I wanted people to get a feel for what to expect in the Medicinal Herb Class Preview, with handouts from the class. This is just one page, and is only the text. There are 56 other plants and bonus materials. We will be discussing in more details during the tour. What we have experienced, and touring through all what is growing while on site.  We will also have live plants for sale, fresh you pick cuttings, dried plants,  and more. Touch,  and smell some different preparations, ask questions, get answers. Disclaimer, we are not medical practitioners, and we are only conveying information we have learned, and have been using as a family.  Seek your own information before using any medicinal herbs.

Calendula– We will also have a chart in the handout of actual pictures of plants from out place.

RSVP – please use this link to RSVP so we know how many packets to put together. You can also prepay online.

Part 2 of Trees in the Midwest is live

Part two of the trees special with Nathan Hill is now live. We will definitely be having Nathan back on in the future to talk about more topics like grafting trees, root-stock, genetics, when is it time to cut the tree down,  and more.

Part 2 Trees in the Midwest

New Podcast about trees in the Midwest

The latest show for 2 Midwest guys is up. This episode we talk with Nathan Hill from Natural Pattern Systems. We discuss trees of the Midwest and various aspects including trees of permaculture, pruning fruit trees, and places to get more information. Check out the latest podcast.

Nathan Hill and Trees

New podcast available – Permaculture

We just published our 3rd podcast. It is available on our 2 Midwest Guys site. It should be available on ITunes shortly. This podcast is a two part series on permaculture here in the Midwest. The more podcasts we do the better we feel they are starting to sound, and the easier they are to produce. This is an introduction to permaculture but you may pick up on a few things as we talk about not only permaculture but how we are applying it.

2Midwestguys_Itunes_1400_x_1400

Aquaponic pictures

Here are some pictures from our current aquaponic configurations. The greenhouse system has been 60% scrapped.  Once redesigned I hope to make into a Chinampa similar to the pic below.

Chinampa

Current designs.

Grow Beds are fed from the pond though the radial filter

Grow Beds

Pond (approximately 5000 gal)

Pond

Creek adds oxygen and will have filter plants along the path

Creek

Return from grow beds (Recycled PVC pipe from Aquaponics V1.5)

Return from Grow beds

Radial filter (with bottom drain not shown)

Radial Filter

Indoor System (Stocked with 40 tilapia from BlueNote Farms)

Indoor System

Soft launch of new Podcast 2MidwestGuys

podcast

The podcast is finally here. I have been giving hints and updates well it is finally live. We are having a soft launch of the 1st introduction podcast. We are still waiting on logo and intro/exit music but we wanted to get something out there. It will be refined as we go along and we hope to have 2-3 podcasts a week on various topics. There will be some humorous segments such as Rick’s Rules where I explain the lengthy amount of rules my wife has set in place for me and why. There is always a reason for a rule. We would really like feedback for anyone listening as to what you want to hear, the good the bad and the ugly. The website is www.2midwestguys.com and you can download or listen to the 1st episode there. It is about 40 min long. We are going to try and keep them about that length. It is waiting on I-Tunes to approve for publication, but you can download from the site now. The site is a little empty at the moment, but we are working to get it filled up.

You can listen directly at the site, right click on the “Download” link and save to your computer, mp3 player, or other podcast device, and once I-Tunes is up there will be another option.

We are looking for advertisers for not only the website but also the podcast. We want to feature locally own businesses we know or have worked with. Both of us have been in the area for a while and there are so many to choose from. Lots of different options to choose from, 15 sec to 2 min spots are available and at the beginning and the end of the show. We also want to have feature interviews with our businesses as well. So look forward to great things to come. People ask “Do you know where to get….” or, “Who do you know that does….” We want to be able to fill in the gaps for people.

Take a listen and come take a ride with us. It may be bumpy at first as neither one of us have ever done a podcast before, but both have the “gift of gab” as our spouses tell us.