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I just wanted to let you all know that I have just updated my Home and School Solutions website. Among other things I added numerous links to all the section favourite link pages, brought the various testimonial (introduction) pages up-to-date, and fixed all the broken links.

The major thing I did, though, is add a Blogs-Plus tab/page. If there is anything I want to add to the website that cannot be naturally included in any of the existing sections (Hebrew Roots, Health=Wealth, Home Schooling, Faith Matters, Desktop Publishing, Store and Services, or About Home and School Solutions) then I will put it here.

Since most of my activity and research in recent years has been in the areas of prepping and gardening, I have put material about these two areas on the Blogs-Plus page. You are invited to go there now and check out all the links I have provided for you.

Have fun!

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Simple home remedy for strep throat

Quick note. If you’ve ever thought about taking a course in herbalism this might be the time. Check out today’s post by Eric at Tactical Intelligence, where he demos a simple home remedy for strep throat which he learned in the course he’s taking. He’s worked out a deal with the instructor to give a great deal to anyone who registers for the course (for a limited time).

 Go! Check it out! I’m going to…

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Sergei Boutenko on Wild Edibles

Posted on 29th October 2011 in Wild Edibles

I hope you enjoyed the last video I posted from Sergei’s YouTube channel. Well, here are four more that I have just received via Victoria Boutenko’s e-newsletter. Her son and daughter both produce short videos on health topics–especially on greens and green smoothies.  I’m very impressed with the Boutenko family (though, as always, I must give the disclaimer that I do not agree with everything they believe or teach)!

Check out the first video in this series taught by Sergei at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3patCDVUooc&feature=related

 and then find parts 2, 3 and 4 in the column at the right side of the page.

Nostalgia alert. The videos open with a little bit of pop music that I remember from my teen years, and I cannot help but smile and bop my head. Hope you like it, too!

Connie

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Don’t eat something if you don’t know what it is

Posted on 31st August 2011 in Wild Edibles

If you like rap you might like Sergei Boutenko’s rap song about wild edibles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIaOhjIDD-8

Now there’s a great message! I wonder how often people take a chance on stuff like this?

Enjoy!

Connie

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Stalking Wild Greens: Dandelions

Posted on 31st August 2011 in Wild Edibles

Did you know there are about 300 types of dandelions? And that there are no poisonous look-alikes? How do you tell them apart? Well, one thing is that if  the back of the main stem of the dandelion leaf is smooth rather than hairy or fuzzy, it’s probably a dandelion rather than one of its look-alikes. When I get around to stalking some of my own that will make me feel a whole lot better!

Sergei Boutenko hosts this 3 minute clip about dandelions and ends it with a demonstration of making dandelion pesto. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UebH2Pb-18s

If you’re looking to educate yourself about wild edibles, Sergei has a Wild Edibles Web App that you can register for at:

 http://sergeiboutenko.com/wildediblesapp/

Enjoy!

Connie

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Three Ways to Eat Dandelions

Posted on 31st August 2011 in Wild Edibles

You’ve heard that dandelions are good to eat, but have you dared to do it yet? This 2 minute video from Boutenko Films might give you the courage you need:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jejS08m28zw

Connie (who is still preserving stuff from the garden but wanted to give you something, ’cause it’s been 5 months!)

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Wild Edibles Radio Show Links

Posted on 13th January 2011 in Wild Edibles

Whooohoooo, I just found a goldmine!

I finally made time to check out Linda Runyon’s new website and it is awesome! You can peruse the website and get a lot out of it, but if you register (free) you can get a whole lot more! So I did.

One of the things I found is a page of links to radio shows where Runyon is interviewed on a number of wild edible topics–things like: being prepared for emergencies, wild food recipes, lambsquarters and meadowsweet, essential wild foods, survival lessons for children, poisonous look-alikes, nettles, wild food to flour, how to organize becoming a wild food expert, how to eat your pine tree, rules & tools for collecting. I’m going to busy for awhile….

Here’s how you can find your way to this goldmine. Go to: 

  1. Of The Field and register for the forum
  2. Forager’s Forum
  3. Other Resources
  4. Radio shows
  5. Links to Linda’s Radio Shows
  6. Whatever show you want to listen to. The very first one was September 5, 2007 and as I write this the most current is January 3, 2011.

If you decide to register we can be buddies in the Of The Field Forager’s Forum. I am known there as “Connies Nic”.

Happy foraging…

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Wild Foods and Herbs for Healing

Posted on 9th December 2010 in Herbs, Wild Edibles

 Did you know that what the Bible refers to as “hyssop” is oregano? And that oregano is exceptionally good for your health?

This week I watched a short YouTube series put online by Kevin Gianni who attended a retreat where Dr. Cass Ingram was the speaker. The retreat was held at God’s Lake in northern Manitoba. Go Canada!!  Yesterday’s video was about How to Find and Harvest Chaga Mushrooms and today’s was on Wild Foods and Herbs for Healing. Kevin filmed their jaunts through the woods as they hunted down these things. I thought you might find them interesting and useful, especially if you live in Canada.

Disclaimer: I do not agree 100% with anyone or any website even if I do recommend something on it. Preparedness requires gleaning useful information wherever it is available.

Oregano can be purchased through Paul Nison’s Raw Life online store. Check it out!

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Wild Food Foraging with Green Deane

Posted on 13th September 2010 in Wild Edibles

Paul Nison has come through for me again! Today he posted a 13.5 minute YouTube video of a wild edible foraging class led by Green Deane (EatTheWeeds.com) in Florida. Check out the 800 articles about plants on Deane’s website and the 119 videos on his YouTube channel! Very educational!

 I suppose this is perfectly obvious when you think about it, but I was struck by Deane’s statement that wild plants tend to be much more nutritionally valuable because they are stronger than cultivated plants by virtue of their having to constantly fight for survival (while we baby our cultivated plants). Truer words were probably never spoken because you can’t keep a good weed down! At least in my garden…

Among the interesting things Deane told Paul was that about 55-60% of wild edibles are found pretty much everwhere. That’s good to know! Now I just need to find out which ones they are…

Here’s a great tip: Deane says it’s best to team up with someone for foraging–even if neither of you know anything about foraging–because you are not likely to both make the same mistake at the same time.

Well, enough of me trying to summarize this for you. Go catch the video for yourself!

 Watch this episode of Paul’s Raw Life Health Show.

 Visit Paul’s online store.

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Green Flour?

Posted on 13th September 2010 in Food Preservation, Garden, Health & Fitness, Juice Plus, Wild Edibles

Well, as promised some time ago, I did plant my last few clover seeds in a patch of soil in my back yard that was not otherwise needed–because clover is both a great green manure (they say) and because it is edible. How can you lose with that combo? And I thought that the clover might be a good emergency food supply because most people would simply ignore it and leave my supply be.

The clover came up big and beautiful, pleasing me no end. Did you know that clover doesn’t just arrive in a 3-leaf format? I have several 4- and even 5-leaf clover plants! I harvested some a couple of times to hide in salads; however, my great plan for this summer was to harvest and dehydrate everything in sight so I didn’t take too much clover early on. I’ve pretty much kept my awesome Excalibur dehydrator going day and night (except for sabbath) preserving at any given time whatever most demanded to be harvested. The clover had to wait, but no matter–it kept growing big and beautiful, and from time to time I pulled whatever weeds were obvious in the clover patch. Obvious, I say, because I had also planted a number of  ground cherries throughout the clover patch without plotting them on a map (what was I thinking?) and couldn’t identify them for a long time. (Ground cherries are like tomatillos; ours are little yellow balls protected in a paperish husk. Quite tasty, actually.)

One week a big container of strawberries we had purchased from Costco pretty much all rotted and when I complained about the wasted money, my son reminded me that strawberries are just big masses of seeds so they should sprout if we plant them. Now we had an opportunity to try out that theory, so we stuck red craft sticks in the soil around one side of the clover and ground cherry patch and plopped a big red moldy strawberry below each one.

I diligently watered my clover and ground cherries and strawberries all spring and looked forward to the day when I could harvest and dehydrate the clover. Dehydrate the clover? Yep. Linda Runyon’s book “The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide” mentions “green flour” several times and I’ve seen “green flour” in many places on the internet as well. When I think “flour,” I think of wheat or rye–but one dictionary definition is “a fine soft powder.” The same definition also says that flour can be made from other materials, even fish! Fish flour? Hmmm… So this old brain is learning to think outside of the flour-bin, er, box and consider other options when the word “flour” is heard or read. I’ve been making almond flour this summer from the pulp left over from making almond milk. (I would really love some good recipes for using that, if you have any!)

So all spring and summer I’ve been dehydrating kale and beet greens and kohlrabi leaves and early jade chinese cabbage greens and radish greens and turnip greens and mustard greens and chard and even lettuce–and a lot more stuff! Did you know that you can eat broccoli and brussel sprout leaves, and even bean leaves? I haven’t tried the bean leaves yet, but I did decide to dehydrate broccoli and brussel sprout leaves to use in stir fry dishes and soups during the winter. Besides the leaves, I’ve also dehydrated the chopped stems of all these plants. (And, of course, “regular” produce like beans and tomatoes, as well.)

I left some of these leafy green things in their leaf or stem form but, for the sake of variety and space and most of all for winter green smoothies, I powdered quite a bit of it. That is to say, I made green flour. Lots of different kinds of green flour. I figure I could have green smoothies every day all winter and still not run out of green flour! In fact, the thought is niggling in the back of my mind that I really need to figure out or find some recipes for creamed name-the-green soup (made with nutmilk since we don’t use dairy or soy milk anymore).

I also need to experiment with substituting green flour for wheat flour in some baked recipes–so I can figure out just how far I can push the envelope ratio-wise. Of course, such recipes must be simple and cheap because I am thinking in preparedness mode here. All the stuff I’m dehydrating won’t do me a speck of good if I cannot turn them into healthy rations for my clan! If you have good recipes, bring them on! Or share websites that provide this specific type of recipe. If I come up with some unique recipes of my own I will be sure to post them in the Health=Wealth section of my website.

Okay, so baked goods aren’t always the best foods (it’s better to eat veggies and fruits raw) but when push comes to shove in the difficult days before us my family is going to eat whatever we can put together. Green biscuits, green pancakes, green soup, green drinks…

Here is something I never thought of that before! The stuff in the Juice Plus capsules is green flour! No wonder Juice Plus has been taking such good care of me all these years–the capsules are full of highly nutrient dense foods juiced, dehydrated, and powdered down so that a scant teaspoonful or two is all I need per day. But I digress…

Unfortunately, my clover never made it to the dehydrator! Just when I was getting ready to harvest it an ugly plant disease spread through my garden–white powdery mildew. The poor lilacs got coated with it! This scourge infects cucurbits–so I had to regularly cut white spotted leaves off my cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins for many weeks. In the later stages of its spread through my garden the powdery mildew infected my peas, too, so I had to discard even the sugar snap pods–though the peas themselves were still edible. Phew! Fortunately, one does not eat the leaves of these plants and the mildew does not affect the fruit.

But when I saw powdery mildew on my big beautiful clover, that was the last straw. I’m NOT eating leaves that have even the slightest chance of having powdery mildew spores on them, so the clover had to go. I started to hack off the clover and discard it through the city’s garbage system (instead of my compost) but harvesting clover turned out to be a more uncomfortable job than I thought, just because of the way I designed this bed and because clover is a small plant. Live and learn. A couple of insufferably hot days amongst the clover was all I could handle, so I just let the remaining clover grow up around the ground cherries (haven’t seen any strawberries yet) and actually it is a very pretty sight. Next year I’ll harvest my clover (if there is any) earlier–before the mildew arrives–so I can make clover-flour-whatevers the following winter.

And now I must go–kale is on the agenda today. Kale soup, anyone?

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