Irma cleanup

We are cleaning up from Irma still. Not much damage but lots of water. Some people weren’t so lucky though, even some deaths.

Downtown Charleston and most coastal areas had a lot of flooding. The battery was under waste deep water. Peoples roof collapsed. Areas were unreachable causing people to be stranded. Many trees were uprooted because of waterlogged soil.

I’m just glad we’re in SC and not Florida, they took the brunt of it after it hit the continental US. Of course, the Caribbean took the worse.

Work was out of power yesterday, and cleanup today. I’ll update if anything changes.

Next time we need to get a stronger tarp to wrap the greenhouse and tie it down better. We need to buy a generator, and some hand radios. Besides that we’re mostly good.


Hurricane Irma

Sorry no time for blogging, preparing for a hurricane. Looking at the track, it shouldn’t be so bad but it all depends what happens in the next two days.

We’ve done a lot in the last two days. Today we wrapped the greenhouse in a tarp and tied it down. Tomorrow we move the potted plants to the leeward side between the greenhouse and the hedge. Everything else in the yard will be strapped down to pallets or something heavy.

Overflowing Garden

I planted some butternut squash in one raised bed but it decided to overrun that bed and 3 others then start taking up the walkways. There are 6 or so fruits and more on the way. Many of these leaves are close to 2 feet across and the flower is over 6″ across.

Thankfully, I found out that I can eat the leaves like grape leaves. Blanche them and roll up a filling inside.

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Headache Remedy

I’m doing a lesson in my DIY Herbal Apothecary class. Today is about Headache Remedies.


Here’s a quick win for headache relief.

You’ll need a 10 ml roller ball bottle.


6 drops of peppermint essential oil

6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

4 drops of rosemary essential oil

3 drops of lavender essential oil

Olive oil to fill the container


Place the drops of essential oil into the roller ball bottle. Fill with olive oil to the shoulders of the bottle. Place the roller ball in the neck of the bottle. Cap tightly. Shake the bottle gently to distribute the essential oil.

Note: If you are sensitive to lavender, sweet marjoram essential oil can be used in place of the lavender essential oil for the same effect.

To use:

Apply the roller ball applicator to the temples to relieve headache fast.


For more follow this link.  I like this class although some of the recipes I’ll have to do later when I have the time and money.

I consider this a needed preparedness skill. Herbal Remedies can be used any time

Weekend Campout

Friday afternoon I went to a friends house for the weekend. He lives next to the Edisto River Preserve. Below is an overview of what we did.

  • Friday: Setup.
    • I hung my Kammok Roo double nest hammock, mosquito net and rain-fly. The trees were a little too far apart so my rain-fly was a little too low.
    • We watched Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Saturday: We floated down the river in inner tubes. It took us between 4-5 hours to float from the landing upriver to our landing. The person in front was in a kayak and he guided us around snags in the river. I was caught on one for a little until I got untangled from the branch. I had a fun time except burning my knees.
    • We fired shotguns and pistols on his range. I’m getting better but I need more practice.
    • We watched Tucker and Dale vs Evil. It was an interesting show. A B-rated horror show with funny parts.
  • Sunday: Take-down.
    • We left early because our host had business to take care of.

It was a relaxing weekend, although it was still hot and muggy. I tested two different stoves while cooking my food. The pics are below.

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This weekend I’m testing out the Esbit and Lixada folding stoves. First, I tested the Esbit with fuel cubes and the Alpine stowaway pot. The first cube did not last as long as was listed on the box, it only lasted 4 minutes instead of the 8 minutes and did not bring the water to a boil in that time.

Next, I tested the Lixada stove with the same pot and some small branches. This stove is much sturdier, is easy to set up and has a small footprint.

Overall, I liked the Lixada Folding Stove the best. They both can use multiple fuel types and various pot.

Here are pics of the Edisto river tubing run.

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New Herbal Books

I found a new website to buy discounted books, Thrift Books. They have a variety of books both in paperback and hardback. I found these deals for $3-$4.

My order was:

  • Peterson Field Guides: Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants by Steven Foster/James A. Duke
  • Using Wild and Wayside Plants by Nelson Coon
  • Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada by Charles Francis Saunders
  • Wild Harvest: An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants in North America by Alyson Hart Knap

I’m always on the lookout for good books to add to my library. I can’t wait to read and learn from these new additions.

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Herbal Materia Medica Course

I have started taking a free Herbal Course from The Herbal Academy. It will teach me how to create my own Herbal Materia Medica Book.
–excerpt from Lesson One:
“One of our favorite ways to keep the spark of excitement for our herbal studies is by working on our materia medica. It gives us the opportunity to connect with individual herbs through in-depth study, and to organize what we are learning into plant monographs for future reference. If you haven’t started a materia medica of your own, we highly recommend it as a way to inspire and deepen your herbal knowledge. In support of this process, we have created this Herbal Materia Medica Course to help you create (or add to) your own materia medica!
Materia medica is a Latin term that means “healing materials.” More specifically, in herbalism, a materia medica is a body of knowledge that describes how plants have been used therapeutically. Materia medicas have been recorded and published throughout history, and include both ancient and modern tomes rich with information. Studying both recent and historical materia medicas can be a fascinating way to see how historical herbal traditions have informed modern ones, teasing out the link between new scientific research and modern practice and ancient knowledge and folk tradition.
This course will teach you how to create plant monographs and build your materia medica. By the end of this course:

  • You will know how to study a plant, how to find resources to support your studies, how to interact with a plant to gain first-hand experience with some of its characteristics, and how to evaluate scientific research on plants.
  • You will learn how to research a plant’s names, botany, harvesting guidelines, active constituents, actions, uses, taste and energetics, safety, and herb-drug interactions.
  • You will learn what a plant’s history, habitat, and growing requirements are, informing your understanding of what a plant needs and how you can become a caretaker, even if you aren’t growing the plant yourself.
  • You will gain an introduction to integrating a plant into your life to support wellness by learning about its properties and characteristics.
  • You will have a list of many resources—our favorite books and websites—for your further study of plants and development of your materia medica.
  • You will have several pages completed in your materia medica using our beautiful downloadable pages or our bound Materia Medica Journal!”

I am going to start mine by learning about some plants already growing in my garden. The class said to pick 5 to start with. Mine are:

  • plantain/dock (narrow leaf)
  • marshmallow
  • st john’s wort
  • lamb’s ear
  • florida betony

I will keep you up to date on my weekly learning here. The logo below is a link to this course and others offered.

Herbal AcademyWebsite Link