Way, way, way back, a long, long, time ago, practically in another world, 1992 I believe it was, My family went a lookin’ for some propane in Southern Indiana where we were living at that time. We were told we could find what we were looking for at the home of a man named Kenny Freeman. So we wound around on some country roads and came upon a cozy little farm with a wonderfully kept garden. Sure enough this was the place!
The friendly farmer came out and greeted us and quickly set us up with the propane we were looking for. But by the time he had finished we had struck up quite the conversation, and to complete it he needed to take us on a tour of his little farm. He showed us his tool shed with its immaculately cared for spades, digging forks and the like. Then he led us all around the garden, talking about varieties and methods. He was a veritable wealth of information!
Finally we came to rest in front of a trellis packed with tiny golden balls! Cherry tomatoes of a sort I had never before encountered! I was too polite back then to just pop a couple in my mouth, so I waited for he and my sweetie to stop jawing a spell and asked him what they tasted like.
He pulled three tomatoes off the vine and put them in my hand and said “Don’t eat these. Take them home and squeeze them out into a jar. Fill the jar with water and put a lid on it. Every day for the next three or four days shake the jar up, and when only the seeds sink to the bottom carefully drain off the water. Fill it again and shake to rinse off the seeds a couple of times, then drain the seeds well and lay them out on a plate. When they dry, put them someplace safe. Then next year plant those seeds and when the plants bear, you will know what those tomatoes taste like!”
This was completely unexpected, but it started me on a journey I have never turned back from! I never asked him what the varietal name was, but for our family they have always and only been known as Kenney’s Gold! We have saved them (sometimes through other folk’s plantings) for 28 years and counting! All the while we have taught countless people about seed saving and the desperate importance of using open pollinated and heirloom varieties in their gardens!
Spring is always a busy time on the farm but this year it’s even more exciting. We are getting lots of plants started in the greenhouse and the big work of this week is getting potatoes in the ground. It has been soooooo wet that we haven’t been able to get in the field but now we can and there’s no time to lose. Also this spring new for us and new for you, our Macon County neighbors, we are providing fresh baked goods on a weekly basis by home and business delivery from Groundwell Farm Baked!!!
As of last week we began “no contact delivery” for anyone who requests it. It’s simple to arrange with us, just let us know where your payment will be and which bin or box on your porch to place your baked goods in! You can even paypal us your payment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to offer our full line of baked goods at our normal prices. You can see a good sampling of what we offer on our about page. Of course, as always, there is no menu to stick to! Contact us to discuss any specialty items you might want!
In addition to our line of baked goods we have quite a few herbal remedies available for sale. Look below for the “It’ll Cure What Ails Ya!” blog post for a full listing! Consider especially the Honeysuckle Leaf Syrup which is a strong antiviral and the Mullein/Plantain Tincture which eases the respiratory tract!
Our greatest wish is that all of us come out of this challenging time happy and healthy! Stay safe everybody!
Herbal remedies available now from Groundwell Farm!
Most of these herbs have more uses than what I have listed here, I have only listed them as what I have used them for over the past thirty years. Call or text us at 615-670-8510 to order!
Elderflower Syrup – Induces sweating to help reduce fever – great for colds, flus, and fevers – $10 per half pint
Plantain Tincture – Expectorant – Helps clear the lungs – $10 per 1/2oz. dropper bottle
Echinacea Passionflower Tincture – Echinacea boosts the immune system while Passionflower calms and aids with sleep. Great for colds and flus – $10 per 1/2oz. Dropper bottle
Passionflower Tincture and Mimosa Tincture – Both of these are good for calming anxiety and relieving insomnia – I offer them singly and in a 50/50 blend (my favorite) – $10 per 1/2oz dropper bottle
Slippery Elm/Honeysuckle/Chamomile Syrup – Great for colds and viruses – Slippery Elm soothes the throat, Honeysuckle is a powerful antiviral, and Chamomile is calming and mildly diuretic – $15 per half pint – $25 per pint
Yarrow Syrup – Tastes like medicine!! Relieves chest congestion and head/body aches and brings on sweats to help reduce fevers – Research shows 12 anti-inflammatory compounds! – $15 per half pint – Limited supply
Hooflands All-Around Tonic- Contains: Elder, Honeysuckle and Yarrow Infusions combined with Echinacea, Passionflower, and Plantain Tinctures and flavored with Mint Infusion made into a syrup with Non-GMO pure cane sugar – Combines most of my remedies in one! – $15 per half-pint
Honeysuckle Leaf Syrup – Not as tasty as Honeysuckle flower syrup but just as useful against virus and there are no flowers yet! Honeysuckle leaves, flowers, and root all contain multiple antiviral compounds. – $10 per half-pint
Mullein/Plantain tincture – very powerful against respiratory issues! $10 per 1/2 ounce dropper bottle
Mullein Leaf – Smoked in small quantities or made into a tea (strained through tightly woven cotton cloth to remove leaf hairs) is a very effective expectorant – $2 per gram
This is what I have here in the beginning of January, keep your eyes open for updates!
This week I experimented for the first time with salt dough. Some of you may remember this interesting artistic medium from grade school (either your own or your children’s). Salt dough consists only of flour, salt and water and with it you can produce quite remarkable things. Baskets, wreaths, dolls, picture frames and so much more! With this being my first time I kept it pretty simple and seasonal, borrowing some from techniques I’ve used in the past (and hope to use in the near future) decorating cakes with fondant and marzipan!
At long last we have begun constructing the walls of the Craftshack! It feels so good to have my great grandfather’s tools in my hand once again! Here are a few quick pics of the erector set and a bit of the work, updates will be forthcoming!
I feel better already! Since I made the decision yesterday to leave Facebook next week, space has already opened up in my brain! I’m making more plans and accomplishing more. I can think clearly enough to actually write a little something!
So here’s a little helpful hint for anyone who has the occasional back spasm. Make Sriracha!
It’s too early in the year to be this far behind! The one thing I am really glad of is that last fall we got a good cover crop of winter rye planted in the nick of time! That cover crop is of great value to us for a number of reasons: Continue reading “Undercover”→
This is how I feel. Like a flower just aching to burst into bloom. It’s been a while since I’ve written, I guess I’ve been in hibernation. But, though it is only February, the world is coming back to life, and I’m coming right along with it!
I finally had the opportunity to spend some time in my central medicinal herb garden this afternoon and it was such a profoundly refreshing experience that I had to share it. I thought a good many thoughts and here are just a few of them.
My primary purpose was to clear out at least the edges so that last year’s perennials (and hopefully some self seeding annuals as well) could begin to recover from their own long winter’s nap. As I cleared, I came up against a typical quandary for a “natural” gardener like myself. many of the “weeds” that I was clearing away with their intensely netted webs of roots, are actually medicinal herbs themselves! There was chickweed (highly nutritious and useful for healing skin conditions and easing bronchial distress), and yellow dock (a wonderful liver tonic) in the way of my Valerian (calms anxiety and gives rest to insomniacs) and my hyssop (immune system booster). So how do we choose? Why is one herb more deserving of the space than another? Mostly, I’d say it is a matter of effort. I intentionally planted the Valerian and hyssop, while the other plants (not really weeds at all) volunteered to come up there. Also, the Valerian and Hyssop will never choke out the chickweed and yellow dock, but the reverse is not necessarily true. So weed I did, and ruthlessly at that.
My secondary purpose was to get this aging body moving! Pulling out the strawberry hoe and using my muscles to achieve a goal just plain feels good, and without the fusty aroma of a gym!
The strawberry hoe is one of the farm’s best friends!
And last but certainly not least, there was the silence. Oh the blessed silence. Of course there were sounds, there were songbirds singing, Guinea fowl “potracked” nearby, neighbors conversed, and naturally there was the sound of that hoe breaking through to the precious soil. It was more of a spiritual silence, away from the distractions of this computerized world.
I hope you have a piece of soil for yourself. Whether it be a garden, a small square of land in front of a walk up apartment, or even a five gallon pail full of purchased soil, plunge your hands in and see what you find. You may just discover that you’ve been more asleep than you thought. Let that piece of soil bring you back to life too!