Perslane and Sweet Basil

My sweet organic basil and organic purslane is growing wonderfully. πŸ™‚

Perslane, has more Omega-3 fatty acids then fish oil. Purslane also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. All in all, edible purslane is a very healthy plant to add to your diet. If you ever go to an organic health grocery store of sorts in the summer months, you are likely to find perslane. πŸ™‚
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The cuttings of perslane can be planted in wet soil. Make sure to snip the ends of your cuttings, and remove access leaves and branches within two to three inches from the stem’s cut.

*Place the perslane in a room temperature glass of water, for a couple of minutes before planting into well draining soil.
Perslane likes poor soil. So no need to purchase high-end expensive organic soil for this herb. πŸ™‚
Keep moist and it shall take root within a few days.

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Butterfly Forests Homestead model concept/prototype 1

As apart of the planning process to create our future cob home; it’s always a great idea to get those “creative juices going.” Imagine what it would be like if you designed a future home the way you always wanted. And building your future home without cubicle forms to boot! πŸ™‚

Of course, since we have not purchased our land yet in New Zealand – these concepts could be easily changed with the landscape’s natural geography [building site]. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ Even so, I absolutely adore making anything by hand and this also sparks the many loves I have in the entertainment world.

When I was growing up, I watched several Jim Henson films. I loved the puppetry, movie magic, costume design, creature make-up, the painstakingly handmade sets painted in grand passionate detail from Jim Henson’s movies [The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth for example]. For many years, I even thought about seeing if I could become one of Jim Henson’s students and make my own theatrical movies. πŸ™‚
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First Sunflower’s Bloom 2

As a part two of the original post entitled: “First Sunflower’s Bloom” – here is an update of my sunflower’s newly developed ‘flower-to-seed’ status. πŸ™‚
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How to harvest a Sunflower is rather simple:

1.) Once the leaves of the sunflower begin to turn brown and the petals begin to wither; it is time to harvest. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

2.) Make sure to check the face of the flower before cutting the head of the flower off. How to do this is by gently rubbing the disk-and-ray flowers. If the disk-and-ray flowers release, they will reveal the developed sunflower seeds. Do not worry if the seeds you rubbed back are still white. The seeds are still quite usable [they will turn back and white while drying]. πŸ™‚

The bloom of the sunflower is known as a composite flower, composed of up to two-thousand individual disk-and-ray flowers. Situated on a receptacle, each disk floret is a perfect flower, containing a stamen and pistil. The ray florets are sterile and do not produce seed. Pollination begins at the outer rim of the disk and moves toward the center. It takes fifteen to thirty days after pollination is completed for the inflorescence to reach maturity. My Sunflowers only took fifteen days to mature into seeds. πŸ™‚

3.) Cut off the entire flower’s head with a pair of scissors.
4.) Remove remaining petals; compost flower petals or chop petals to sow into soil.
5.) Place sunflower heads in a sterile-dry bucket without lid. Allow to air dry overtime. Keep in a cool, dry place.
Check on the sunflowers once a day to make sure moisture is not taking place. Moisture can create mold on your sunflowers.

6.) Once completely dry remove seeds [sunflower will not surrender the seeds if still moist]. Using your thumb rub the sunflower seeds over a large bowl.
7.) Toast in the oven with a pinch of salt and pepper for a tasty treat, or create into sunflower seed oil later. πŸ™‚

Do not be surprised if your sunflowers are different sizes. They are all equally good in sunflower nutrients, etc. :)

Do not be surprised if your sunflowers are different sizes. They are all equally good in sunflower nutrients, etc. πŸ™‚

Beginning to harvest the Sunflower seeds. :D

Beginning to harvest the Sunflower seeds. πŸ˜€

Calendula Seedlings

Calendula [Pot Marigold: not a true Marigold plant] is a lovely full headed flower used in salves, soap, lotions, creams, mouthwashes [gum and tooth infections] and teas [help treat bladder infections and ulcers of the stomach]. The leaves are also used for it’s medicinal properties in helping heal wounds and a skin soothing botanical. πŸ™‚ It’s also great to treat those with chapped lips. ❀

I’ll be using the Calendula flowers in future salads, egg dishes, soups and stews. The dried petal form will be used in coloring-up tea cake loaves and Cinnamon/oat bread. πŸ™‚

Germination of seeds to emerging takes five to fifteen days.
*Full sun lover. ❀

The Calendula seeds remind me of inch worms or Pillbugs. :)

The Calendula seeds remind me of inch worms or Pillbugs. πŸ™‚

It only took five days to germinate. :D I am very thankful, due of how late in the season. If the herbs do not mature before the fall, that's okay. I can continue developing the herbs indoors with lighting and heat lamps. :)

It only took five days to germinate. πŸ˜€ I am very thankful, due of how late in the season. If the herbs do not mature before the fall, that’s okay. I can continue developing the herbs indoors with lighting and heat lamps. πŸ™‚

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Summer~time Infusions

Another Iris first: Making simple and easy cold infusions. πŸ™‚

It’s amazing how many healthy foods and beverages are out there in your local grocery stores you can make at home; and for the fraction of the price. πŸ™‚ For example, one of my favorite drinks is from a delightful beverage line called: ‘hint.’ At the age of seventeen, I recall in the tiny rural city I grew up in – there was a small health food store. I was just a beginner in understanding smarter food choices.

Stepping into the lovely store, known as the ‘Red Hen’ [no longer in business at my hometown, sadly] -I saw the ‘hint’ beverages for the first time. Curious, I chose the flavor: Cucumber. After tasting it, I found it more refreshing than the commoner tap water I drank at summertime. πŸ™‚ Years later, I learned of water infusions and didn’t want to spend so much on a product that I could easily make at home. Plus, a larger quantity to boot with the small cost of a few mere dollars. πŸ˜€

Cucumbers help lower body heat on a hot summer’s day. The chemical in the cucumber which assists in cooling the body temperature is cucurbitin. The fatty oils of the cucumber’s seeds provide a calming effect on the body when used topically.
Combining mint in a cucumber infusion, brings out a longer stabilizing cool bodily effect.

*Cucumbers are also anti-inflammatory, cooling [both internal and external] and moisture regulating. Cucumber seed oil extracts are great for adding to salves and skin cremes.*
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How to make a cold infusion drink:
You can use berries, bananas; any sort of fruit will do nicely. This also includes various veggies as well. πŸ™‚

1.) Chop or thinly slice one whole large cucumber into an eight cup holding pitcher.
[Your aim is to fill the glass flask at least half way full of any size]. Berries and other strong pungent fruits/vegetables only need to be filled a quarter of the way full of any water holding vessel. Adding a table spoons worth of fresh mint or spearmint leaves helps bring out the flavor, and cooling effect to fruit or veggie infusions.

2.) Fill the glass pitcher or flask with cold water to the neckline.

3.) Allow to chill in your refrigerator overnight; So then one does not have to wait during the smoldering day for this beverage treat. πŸ˜‰ Start the infusion just before you head off to bed. Please Note: It’s best to have the flask sealed or covered with a lid/plastic wrap while the infusion process takes place. Infusions tend to be sensitive with picking up any neighboring items odors/scents you might have in your fridge.

4.) Drain or choose not to drain [it’s up to your liking]. If you leave the fruit in or vegetables in the fusion, it also becomes a fresh fruit/vegetable water salad. ❀
~Enjoy! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
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First Sunflower’s Bloom

The first time I have grown organic Sunflowers from seed, is this lovely season. πŸ™‚
The plan, is to harvest the Sunflowers in late August and collect the Black Sunflower seeds for a larger plot next year.

As apart of the goals for the “Butterfly Forests Homestead” in New Zealand, is to be one hundred percent self sufficient and Eco-friendlily [tiny carbon footprint; in harmony with Nature]. πŸ™‚ Purchasing a Seed Oil Extractor, we shall be able to produce organic Sunflower Seed Oil for years to come. Sunflower Seed Oil is expensive. Organic Sunflower Seed Oil is even more expensive to purchase in various health foods stores.

Also, Daniel and I can sell very reasonable priced Organic Sunflower Oil and various other Organic Seed/Nut Oils to the public, in our future CSA/Small Store. ❀ πŸ™‚

Keeping this in mind, there are many pluses of producing your own food:

1.) In-depth information of what is in my food [all ingredients].
2.) Obtaining the pleasure of independence to create my own food/condiments, without relying on a grocery store.
3.) Not having to spend an arm and a leg for clean, organic-food in order to maintain good health.
4.) Knowing where my food comes from [not left in the dark].
5.) Full firsthand knowledge of the environmental conditions in producing my foods, and the relationship of garden, earth, natural resources and nature/wildlife.
6.) Knowing anything I grow and eat will be organic and have a respective “life cycle” of safely going back into the garden as organic compost, to create a continuous loop of healthy food.
7.) Feeling awesome that I have an ever-growing list of life skills. πŸ™‚
8.) Peace of mind and security: Avoid the worries/stress of the extra cost for organic food. I also have various important costs/bills to pay for.

Cheers to the future, and a better connection to Mother Earth! πŸ˜€

The many benefits of growing your own foods.

The many benefits of growing your own foods.

Ten more beautiful Sunflowers are just about to bloom! <3 :D

Ten more beautiful Sunflowers are just about to bloom!

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Growing Echinacea Seedlings: First time

As of two days ago, my Echinacea [Purple Coneflower] seeds started to sprout. πŸ˜€
This is my first time growing the seeds from the start. What a thrill and happiness it brings knowing that I am witnessing new life unfold before me. πŸ™‚ Witnessing first hand the process, and on a well-informed “high” of these tiny seeds/seedlings depend on me in order to become strong and healthy plants. πŸ™‚

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My maternal instincts, oddly come into play in personally feeling these are “my children.” I see plants as equals.

Just as animals,
beasts of all kinds;
humans and insects,
every living thing is precious and beautiful to me. ❀ πŸ™‚
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I shall take further photographs of the later stages of my Echinacea plants when they are about to bloom. πŸ™‚

On a side note:
I just tried out this years organic German Chamomile in tea form, and it was a lovely success! πŸ˜€

First two of the season. :) Seventy more to go! :D

First two of the season. πŸ™‚
Seventy more to go! πŸ˜€

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The German Chamomille Tea was heavenly aromatic, with a gentle floral taste. :)

The German Chamomile Tea: heavenly aromatic, with a gentle floral taste. πŸ™‚