From: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz
Timeframe: 7-10 days
Ingredients (for about 1 quarts/1 liter):
1 quart/liter water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon loose black tea or 2 tea bags
1/2 cup mature acidic kombucha
kombucha mother [SCOBY (Symbiotic Community Of Bacteria & Yeast)]
Mix water and sugar and bring to a boil in small cooking pot.
Turn off heat; add tea, cover, and steep about 15 minutes.
Strain the tea into a glass container. it’s best to use something wide; kombucha needs adequate surface area and works best if the diameter of the container is greater than the depth of the liquid. allow the tea to cool to body temperature.
add the mature acidic kombucha. when you obtain a culture, it will be stored in this liquid. Save a portion of subsequent batches for this purpose.
Place the kombucha mother in the liquid, with the firm, opaque side up. [The shiny and lighter in color side is the top.]
Cover with a cloth and store in a warm spot, ideally 70° to 85°F.
After a few days to 1 week, depending on the temperature, you will notice a skin forming on the surface of the kombucha [doing as best you can to NOT disturb the newly-forming SCOBY (“skin”)]. Taste the liquid. It will probably still be sweet. The longer it sits, the more acidic it will become.
Once it reaches the acidity you like, start a new batch and store your mature kombuchas in the refrigerator. You now have two mothers [SCOBYs], the original one you started with, and a new one, the skin that formed on your first batch. Use either the new or old mother in your new batch, and pass the other one on to a friend (or the compost). Each generation will give birth to a new mother, and the old mother will thicken.
Note: If you don’t have access to a SCOBY to begin your kombucha, you can also use the liquid from a store-bought bottle. Just brew the tea as described above and add at least half the bottle of store-bought kombucha. You should see a SCOBY forming in a few days.
Chanterelles have a meaty texture, with a mildly peppery taste and smell a little of apricots or peaches when freshly gathered. They grow under not on trees so if you go foraging for chanterelles (and they are well worth the effort) remember this point as they resemble other fungi which are poisonous. This is true of the False Chanterelle (Hygrophropsis arantiaca) which has orange gills and a darker cap than a true chanterelle. Traditionally mushrooms particularly chanterelles have been assumed to be aphrodisiacs, with the 11th century Normans in Britain feeding them to grooms at their wedding feasts. The minerals they contain along with the amino acids and vitamins, probably make them good for the libido, especially for men with erectile dysfunctions.Chanterelles have an affinity with certain trees and particularly birch, beech, oak, and pine in descending order, as they seem to like birch trees best, but they also seem to quite like larch and sweet chestnut trees too. They grow in soil which is damp.Like other mushrooms they contain vitamins A and D as well as some of the B-complex ones. They contain all the essential amino acids and glutamic acid is believed to boost the immune system and may help fight cancer, infections and rheumatoid arthritis. There is evidence that it inhibits blood clotting, which is valuable in the fight against heart disease. As for minerals, they contain potassium which regulates blood pressure and the contractions of the heart muscle; copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium which is good for the mood and the brain. They also contain fibre in the form of cellulose, which helps with the disposal of wastes from the body and so helps to prevent constipation and piles.
They are great added to soups and stews and go well with eggs, but can be used to accompany any meat dish. Treat them as you would any other mushroom as far as cooking goes.
Gotu kola stimulates the central nervous system, aids in the elimination of fluids, shrinks tissues, decreasess fatigue and depression and can also stimulate sexual appetite. Gotu kola has also been recommended for rheumatism, blood disease, mental disorder, high blood pressure, a sore throat, tonsillitis, cystitis, venereal disease (hopefully you wont need it for this), insomnia, and to relieve stress.
Gotu Kola can be used in a variety of forms in order to benefit from its healing properties. It can be used as massage oil, a shampoo, a poultice, a tea, and a skin cream. It is often combine with sandalwood and lemon when used in one of the previous forms.
Gotu kola has a balancing effect on all three doshas, which are the bio-energies of Ayurveda, and so the plant can be beneficial to just about anyone. Gotu kola infusions, taken as a beverage, will improve circulation in the legs and can also treat varicose veins. The plant will also act as a soporific in cases of insomnia. When used as a compress, the infusion will relieve psoriasis. To make such an infusion, pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the herb and let steep for 10 minutes. Drink up to 2 cups a day, adding lemon or honey to taste if desired. If the results of a compress are disappointing, try strengthening the infusion used.
According to tradition, the natives of Sri Lanka were probably the first people to use gotu kola for its medicinal properties. They noticed that elephants, which are the species of animal that is most renowned for their longevity, loved to eat the rounded gotu kola leaves. Hence the proverb ‘Two leaves a day keeps old age away”
Stinging Nettles is a common plant that has been used medicinally throughout history. Caesar’s Roman troops are thought to have brought nettle from England and used the spines for warmth. Touching the stingers on the nettle plant causes an allergic reaction, probably due to the formic acid found in the stingers which initiates a localized histamine release, thus producing a burning sensation.
In Europe, it was used as a spring tonic, a treatment for scurvy, as a diuretic, and a treatment for joint pain. Nettle is rich in Vitamin C and the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E. It is also high in chlorophyll, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, and zinc.
Other possible health benefits for nettle include anti-inflammatory effects, relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia and urinary tract infections, and the lowering of blood pressure and blood sugar. Nettle tea also has a mild laxative effect, which could be useful for the treatment of constipation.
Stinging nettle is available as a dried leaf, extract, capsules and as a root tincture. Typical dosage is 600 mg dried herb or 2-4 ml per day of fluid extract in divided doses. To make a tea, prepare 2/3 cup of boiling water over 3 to 4 teaspoons of dried leaves or root and steep for 3-5 minutes.
As a side effect, it may occasionally cause mild gastrointestinal irritation when taken internally. It may also cause a rash with topical use. It is not recommended for use in pregnancy, as studies have indicated that it may alter the menstrual cycle and contribute to miscarriage. It has also not been established as safe for children to use.
1. It is used as an antiseptic, antiviral and antibiotic.
2. It is used in cough and cold with Kali mirch, Ginger juice and honey.
3. Face pack prepared from the juice of Tulsi and honey clears the oily skin and improves the skin glow.
4. External appliaction of juice of Tulsi, lime Juice eradicates pimples with softness of skin.
5. It is very useful in chronic fever.
6. Keeping a Tulsi plant in the house will prevent all types of insects and mosquitoes, so that Malaria and Dengue etc. can be prevented.
We are happy to be enrolled in Edible Forest Gardens Design Intensive
Advanced Permaculture Design with Eric Toensmeier on May 31- June 5 2013. In this advanced Permaculture class we will learn how to design and plant a food forest. If you want to attend this class or need more information check out this link :
Join us on this two-hour workshop to introduce Homesteading on your land. This course will include basics techniques used in all settings from urban homesteading to a fully sustainable farm. The class will be held at the Wind Horse and demonstrate hands-on homesteading principles. You will learn: Organic gardening, water collection, and alternative energy storage and production. It doesn’t matter if you live in a condo or on a farm; this class is a great place to get the tools you need to start producing your own food, energy, and water right in your own backyard or patio.Where: Windhorse Wellness Center351 Plaza Drive, Eustis, Florida 32726352-255-1969
Check out this short documentary and tour of the Econ Farm and how to inoculate mulch beds with edible mushrooms. Thanks to Kinesis Films for providing the footage. Our next Permaculture Design Course will be held in October 2013. Click Here for more information on the class. Everything keeps growing on the farm.
Permaculture is a way to consciously design landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature and yield an abundance of food, fiber, and energy for local needs.”
~ David Holmgren, Co-Founder of Permaculture
Interested in growing nutritious, organic veggies? Want to care for chickens in your backyard? Want to reduce your power and water bills? Need to know how to build healthy soils? Want to be a part of a more connected community?
Then a short one day Introduction to Permaculture Course is for you.
Permaculture design – the ethics, principles and design process – is based on living systems. This workshop contains a mixture of theory and hands-on exercises that will prepare you with the fundamentals of permaculture.
This course will support you with methods and strategies to have a positive impact on the environment, boost food productivity in your own yard, designing to maximize water efficiency, and reducing energy usage and costs at home.
Patterns in nature
Zones and sectors
Design process overview, mini design exercise
Forest gardens, plant guilds, polycultures, sheet mulching, chop and drop
Organic garden hands-on and seed starting
Grey Water Systems
Soil Building and Composting
Growing Fruit Trees and Orchards
How can you use Permaculture practically in your life, home, garden, land or community, whatever your situation
Plus Practical tips, including; reading your land, saving energy, year round food from your garden and how to use your weeds….
The hours and cost can be applied as credit towards the full Permaculture Design Course offered by the Green Education Center in October 2013.
Come learn ecologically sound ways to grow mushrooms in your garden and homestead!
This is a hands-on workshop for integrating fungi into your world, no prior mushroom knowledge required, this class is all about getting to know Fungi and learning to interact with them.
Mushroom Ecology: As a group we will start by exploring the landscape of the Econ Farm gardens to examine and discuss some of the natural patterns of life for Fungi.
Mushroom Gardening: Constructing our own mushroom patches can serve a multitude of purposes including food production, erosion control, and wastewater filtration. We will plan out and build-up native edible mushroom patches in appropriate locations on the grounds for plant companionship.
Composting and Mulching for Mushrooms: Many mushrooms live directly in contact with a diverse array of soil organisms, and often they can be encouraged to grow in more passive ways through developing specific composts and mulches. We will construct and inoculate these in class.
We are exited to host this workshop with guest instructor Ja Schindler.
Ja Schindler hails from Eugene, Oregon and brings with him over a decade of mushroom cultivation experience. He focuses on developing and teaching approachable methods for food sovergnity, soil health, and mycoremediation through his organization Fungi For the People. Later this year he will be releasing his first book on the subject, titled Fungi For the People Simplified Mushroom Cultivation for Food, Medicine, and MycoRemediation. For more on his work go to www.FungiForThePeople.org