Sumac Lemonade

     We have lots of staghorn sumac around us. It's actually invasive around my garden, but, we let it grow because of it's brilliant red color in the fall. A perk is the sumac berries to make sumac lemonade.

 I put the grandkids to kept them busy for a while :-)

     We soaked the berries for about 20 minutes in cold water. A cold water infusion helps to preserve the vitamin c content. These berries were a bit young yet. A little older and there would be more vitamin c in them.

     I then strained the juice in a fine mesh strainer to make sure I got out all the little sumac hairs. I sweetened it with stevia.

     I think they were quite apprehensive with the first sip.   ....and then I heard "mmmm this is good!" It is good! Try it.

(Please make sure it is smooth or staghorn sumac. If you don't know for sure, get help identifying it.)

.....dr momi


First Gooseberry Crop

My first crop of gooseberries after 4 years of the bugs eating
the bush down to nothing. Why they didn't eat it this year I have no idea.
I didn't do anything to prevent them.

This is a very small bowl....not enough to do anything with, except eat fresh.
My 5 year old grandson said they tasted like grapes.
At least he didn't spit them out :-) They are quite tasty.

I do believe I will be planting a couple more bushes!

.....dr momi


Mulberry Fun


    I planted a 4 foot tall mulberry tree by the chicken coop 5 years ago.  It was a tree planted by the birds in the old fenceline.  I knew they grew fast.  I never imagined it would grow this big in such a short time.

  It is loaded with fruit this year.  My husband calls it a "bear dinner bell".  The chickens think the fruit is a great substitute for a worm. But, the grandkids thought it was a mulberry piƱata!  They had a grand time gobbling up the fruit as it fell.

                              ......and they all had purple mustaches!

     A mulberry tree is a great addition to a homestead.  Planting it by the chicken coop was perfect for shade and chicken food.  All my grown children were saying "I want a mulberry tree!".  I reminded them it would be a pretty messy tree in town.
    Mulberry wine....mulberry pie......mulberry jam....just thinking out loud :-)

.....dr momi

Linked to: Homestead Barn Hop #118


Bunny Chore Helper

      I've been babysitting for two of my grandchildren this summer.  While big brother is in summer school, three year old Zoe is my helper.  We feed the rabbits at 9:00 every morning.  Can we say "non-stop talking"?  ........I love it.  She knows each bunny's name.  This grass was destined for "Sharemon" (Sherman).

.....Grandma Jean


A Medicinal Walk To The Mailbox

     I was babysitting and puppy tending, grabbed my camera, and we took a walk down the driveway to get the mail.  The driveway is 20 acres long.  The deep woods are on it's north side and open field on the south side.  My main reason for the camera was to get a shot of the horsetail growing by the mailbox, but lots of things were blooming.....

 The dandelions were thick.
......dandelion wine (medicinal of course :-)
......leaves and roots are diuretic
......a great source of potassium

The dogwood was in full bloom.
I do not use this medicinally, but
 show it to compare with elderberry.
Anything blooming right now in northern
Wisconsin is NOT elderberry....they will be the next set of blooms.

The red elderberry was in full bloom also.
This is NOT the elderberry you pick medicinally.
These blossoms and berries will give you one upset stomach.
Again, the medicinal elderberry will bloom in about 2 weeks.

.....I could have eaten the fiddleheads
of these ferns a few weeks earlier.
Just pretty now.

Here's the horsetail.
I always pick a new crop every year.
......excellent source of silica.
......any broken bones over the year,
I will be drinking horsetail tea.
......drinking the tea will grow strong fingernails too!
......dry it in bunches hanging upside down.

I also picked some comfrey from my (planted) patch.
......if I break a bone over this next year I will be drinking
comfrey tea and using it as a plaster.
.....also a great source of protein  to feed chickens over the winter.
......dry it in bunches hanging upside down.

     There are more medicinal plants coming down my driveway....a future post :-)