Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #111

The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop

Welcome to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, this is a blog hop! If you are a blogger, please feel free to link-up and share as many posts as you would like pertaining to:

  • Urban or Rural Homesteading
  • Anything DIY
  • Frugal Recipes
  • Preparedness/Survival
  • Repurposed Projects
  • Upcycled Frugal Finds
  • Animal Care
  • Natural Gardening Tips
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Green Cleaners

The list could go on…

Basically, anything that you think will build and encourage our community.

Please Note: I share my personal favorites on my facebook page throughout the week!

It’s Time To Share Your Posts

Bloggers, use the linky tool on the bottom of this post to share your best post. Non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with any ideas or thoughts you have concerning frugal and/or sustainable living. Every week I will be featuring the most viewed posts so link-up your best ones:)

When linking your posts, there are only a couple simple guidelines I’d like for you to follow:

1. Remain sensitive to the mission of Frugally Sustainable. Frugally Sustainable exists to be a resource for all things frugal and sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain the integrity of the mission, share your best posts – old or new – on anything pertaining to frugality and/or sustainability.

2. Please link your posts back to our blog hop. Linking back here helps build our little community by sending your readers to all of the other posts shared. Grab the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways button below by installing the html into your post. Or simply create a text link somewhere:)

What will you share this week? I am so looking forward to your submissions! Remember: My favorite posts will be shared on my facebook page!!!

Here we go!


Herbs for Seasonal Allergies: Make Your Own Allergy Relief Herbal Tea

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For the seasonal allergy sufferer looking for relief outside of the realm of pharmaceuticals, be encouraged.

There are several botanical medicines such as:

  • nettle leaf — contains natural antihistamine. Nettles have been used traditionally in the treatment of respiratory problems and also bring relief from the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
  • eyebright — contains tannins. Tannins possess astringent properties that aid in strengthening and stabilizing swollen, red, and congested mucus membranes in the eyes and in nasal passages. Likewise, eyebright can reduce mucus secretion and bring relief from irritating allergens. Eyebright is a very popular solution for the treatment of a running nose and watery, itchy eyes so often associated with seasonal allergies.
  • marshmallow root — contains mucilage which aids the body in relieving irritation caused by allergens. Marshmallow root also possesses gentle decongestant properties.
  • licorice root — has anti-inflammatory properties, soothes inflamed mucus membranes, and calms irritated and sore throats.
  • elder flower & elder berries — both natural decongestants. They soothe the mucus membranes and work to dry up excess secretions.
  • rosehips — are rich in vitamin C and lend a very pleasant flavor to the tea.

Want to learn more plant-based healing for your family and friends? I highly recommend signing up for the Online Intermediate Herbal Course if you’d like to participate in formal herbalism formal training! Learn how to harness the healing power of plants!

Allergy Relief Herbal Tea

Ingredients
*Measurements in parts are by volume not weight.

  • 2 parts nettle leaf
  • 2 parts eyebright
  • 1 part licorice root
  • 1 part marshmallow root
  • 1 part elder flowers
  • 1 part elderberries
  • 1/2 part rosehips
  • 1/2 part cinnamon chips
  • 1/4 part ginger root

I buy all of my dried organic and/or wild-crafted herbs
in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Method

  1. Measure the parts of each of the herbs listed and mix in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Grab your tea accessories, tea infusers, and/or tea pots…and brew a cup! (Note: I get all of my loose leaf tea-making supplies online from Starwest Botanicals. Their selection of tea accessories can’t be beat!)
  3. This herbal tea blend will keep stored in a cool, dark place for approximately 6 months. (Note: I like to store all of my teas in glass jars with tight-fitting lids.)

Suggested use

Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 teaspoon of tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain (composting plant material). For an added punch of allergy relief enjoy this tea sweeten with organic, raw honey (Local is best for ultimate allergy relief, but if it is unavailable to you, I HIGHLY recommend this honey from Tropical Traditions…it’s my personal favorite!). Drink 3 or more cups per day.

*Consider brewing up a big batch and keeping it in the fridge to sip throughout the day.*

Note: I like to prepare large batches of this tea for ease of use (especially during allergy season). In order to do so, I make a very concentrated infusion by adding 5-6 tablespoons of tea blend to one quart of water that has been brought just to a boil. Allow tea to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain (composting plant material). Refrigerate the concentrate in a glass mason jar. When ready to serve, mix one part concentrate with three parts water. Reheat to serve hot or serve cold over ice.

Where Can I Get This Stuff?

-Mountain Rose Herbsthey have everything you’ll need by way of Bulk Herbs and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living! It’s your one-stop-shop!

-Starwest Botanicals and The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.

I do have this herbal tea blend available for purchase
in my Etsy Shop.
See the listing by clicking this link.

Be sure not to miss a post, click this link to receive my free eBook and Frugally Sustainable tips by email.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

DIY Soothing Allergy Relief Balm

DIY Soothing Allergy Relief Balm

I don’t know about your part of the country…

…but here at the ranch, allergy season is in high gear!

I have several friends, and a few family members, experiencing congested coughs, chronic sneezing fits, itchy eyes and throats, stuffy nasal and sinus passages, and an overproduction of mucus.

Please Note :: There certainly are a plethora of pharmaceutical medications and synthetic supplements that are very effective against environmental and seasonal allergies. These should be prescribed and monitored on a individual basis by a licensed medical professional. This information is in no way a substitution for conventional wisdom.

However, with that said, medicinal herbs and pure essential oils are plant-based healers — and often times just as effective as their pharmaceutical counterparts — that most people can benefit from.

Herbs and essential oils that possess ant-inflammatory, anti-histamine, and anti-allergenic properties are extremely helpful, gentler, and generally safer alternatives for most people to use as remedies for the relief of uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

Want to learn more plant-based healing for your family and friends? I highly recommend signing up for the Online Intermediate Herbal Course if you’d like to participate in formal herbalism formal training! Learn how to harness the healing power of plants!

The Balm

Here’s a simple DIY recipe you can make and use at home to help your seasonal allergy sufferer. This balm is best applied topically to sinuses (around the nose), to the base of the neck, and to the bottoms of the feet.

It will soothe dry skin (often associated with sneezing and continuous blowing of the nose), reduce inflammation (swelling sinuses and eyes), and bring calm.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (approx. 1/2 cup) organic virgin coconut oil (this is the BEST coconut oil on the planet)
  • 0.5 ounces (approx. 1 tablespoon) raw beeswax, grated
  • 15 drops roman chamomile essential oil (if allergic to chamomile, substitute this with lavender)
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

*I love these oils

Method

  1. In a small sauce pan or double boiler, over low heat, melt coconut oil and beeswax.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Add essential oils.
  4. Pour into jars, tins, or lip balm tubes.
  5. Allow to cool and harden on a flat surface.
  6. Label and enjoy!

Where Can I Get This Stuff?

-Mountain Rose Herbsthey have everything you’ll need by way of Bulk Herbs, Organic Oils & Butters, and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living! It’s your one-stop-shop!

-For the ultimate all-natural healthcare alternatives choose dōTERRA™ Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils. Click here to purchase. Also, I find Beeyoutiful (check them out by clicking this link) offers the most cost effective, pure essential oils I’ve personal experienced. And Mountain Rose Herbs’ line of essential oils is the most complete organic line ANYWHERE!

-Starwest Botanicals and The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.

Be sure not to miss a post, click this link to receive my free eBook and Frugally Sustainable tips by email.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #110

The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop

Welcome to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, this is a blog hop! If you are a blogger, please feel free to link-up and share as many posts as you would like pertaining to:

  • Urban or Rural Homesteading
  • Anything DIY
  • Frugal Recipes
  • Preparedness/Survival
  • Repurposed Projects
  • Upcycled Frugal Finds
  • Animal Care
  • Natural Gardening Tips
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Green Cleaners

The list could go on…

Basically, anything that you think will build and encourage our community.

Please Note: I share my personal favorites on my facebook page throughout the week!

It’s Time To Share Your Posts

Bloggers, use the linky tool on the bottom of this post to share your best post. Non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with any ideas or thoughts you have concerning frugal and/or sustainable living. Every week I will be featuring the most viewed posts so link-up your best ones:)

When linking your posts, there are only a couple simple guidelines I’d like for you to follow:

1. Remain sensitive to the mission of Frugally Sustainable. Frugally Sustainable exists to be a resource for all things frugal and sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain the integrity of the mission, share your best posts – old or new – on anything pertaining to frugality and/or sustainability.

2. Please link your posts back to our blog hop. Linking back here helps build our little community by sending your readers to all of the other posts shared. Grab the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways button below by installing the html into your post. Or simply create a text link somewhere:)

What will you share this week? I am so looking forward to your submissions! Remember: My favorite posts will be shared on my facebook page!!!

Here we go!


Giveaway! The Ultimate Home Gardening Starter Kit {with High Mowing Organic Seeds} A $105 Value

The Ultimate Garden Seed Starting Giveaway from High Mowing Seeds & Frugally Sustainable

Goodness…

…am I excited about this giveaway!!!

Ever since our family made the move out of the city into the country, life here at the ranch has been in constant growth and change.

Chickens, dairy goats, and meat birds came quickly. But our gardening efforts were slow and challenging (as I shared with you here last summer).

That was until, we planted a fall garden (Arizona’s best growing season) using High Mowing Organic Seeds.

WOW I tell you…just WOW!

We had the ::

  • highest germination rate,
  • best disease resistance, and
  • largest yields EVER!

And the more I learned about the company, the more I fell in love!

High Mowing Organic Seeds

I was super impressed to learn that The Safe Seed Pledge was created in 1999 when High Mowing Organic Seeds guided a coalition of 9 other seed companies in drafting a statement about the signers’ stance on genetic engineering.

They were the pioneers of GMO-free home garden seeds!

To describe it best, here’s a portion of High Mowing’s Philosophy:

At High Mowing Organic Seeds, we believe in re-imagining what our world can be like. We believe in a deeper understanding of how re-built food systems can support health on all levels – healthy environments, healthy economies, healthy communities and healthy bodies. We believe in a hopeful and inspired view of the future based on better stewardship for our planet. Everyday that we are in business, we are growing; working to provide an essential component in the re-building of our healthy food systems: the seeds.

High Mowing Organic Seeds are the ONLY seeds that my garden will ever see!

They have an AWESOME selection of:

…and much, much more!

The Prize

So…you can imagine how honored I was when High Mowing contacted me for blog sponsorship and a giveaway for Frugally Sustainable readers!

I am just beyond excited to offer this prize!

Entering the giveaway will give you the chance at winning:

How to Enter The Giveaway

It’s super easy to enter the giveaway.

Simply follow the three steps below:

1. Click on the following links:

(Doing so will redirect you to read about the company and products. After that just head back this way and complete the last two steps.)

2. Click this link to subscribe and get Frugally Sustainable tips delivered to your email fresh off the press AND click this link to sign up to receive High Mowing’s monthly e-newsletter, The Seed Bin! The Seed Bin contains articles and advice on organic gardening and farming from an experienced staff of growers and farmers, as well as information about current High Mowing specials and sales. Also included every month are delicious, season-relevant, recipes!

Note: In order to be eligible to win you must be subscribed at the time the winner is drawn.

3. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.

Note: The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. I will announce the winner within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. No purchase necessary to win.

Good luck everyone!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #109

The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop

Welcome to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, this is a blog hop! If you are a blogger, please feel free to link-up and share as many posts as you would like pertaining to:

  • Urban or Rural Homesteading
  • Anything DIY
  • Frugal Recipes
  • Preparedness/Survival
  • Repurposed Projects
  • Upcycled Frugal Finds
  • Animal Care
  • Natural Gardening Tips
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Green Cleaners

The list could go on…

Basically, anything that you think will build and encourage our community.

Please Note: I share my personal favorites on my facebook page throughout the week!

It’s Time To Share Your Posts

Bloggers, use the linky tool on the bottom of this post to share your best post. Non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with any ideas or thoughts you have concerning frugal and/or sustainable living. Every week I will be featuring the most viewed posts so link-up your best ones:)

When linking your posts, there are only a couple simple guidelines I’d like for you to follow:

1. Remain sensitive to the mission of Frugally Sustainable. Frugally Sustainable exists to be a resource for all things frugal and sustainable. Therefore, in order to maintain the integrity of the mission, share your best posts – old or new – on anything pertaining to frugality and/or sustainability.

2. Please link your posts back to our blog hop. Linking back here helps build our little community by sending your readers to all of the other posts shared. Grab the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways button below by installing the html into your post. Or simply create a text link somewhere:)

What will you share this week? I am so looking forward to your submissions! Remember: My favorite posts will be shared on my facebook page!!!

Here we go!


Backyard Gardening: How to Choose the Right Organic Vegetable Varieties for Your Region

Great gardening tips to help you choose the right organic veggie varieties for your region

Written & Contributed by Blog Sponsor: High Mowing Organic Seeds

How do I choose the right organic vegetable plants for my region of the country? A question asked by many backyard gardeners and answered today by the organic seed experts of High Mowing Organic Seeds

There are so many different varieties out there – how do I decide what to plant based on what region of the country I am in?

Growing organic vegetables is a rewarding experience when the correct varieties are chosen for your specific area.

Looking through a seed catalog can be a beautiful, exciting, and overwhelming experience for the beginner gardener. There are so many varieties to choose from! Everything looks so interesting and mouth-watering and you can just imagine yourself harvesting baskets of amazing tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, corn…

However, before you get carried away, there are a few things you’ll need to know about choosing varieties that will grow successfully in your area:

  • what your growing season is,
  • what days to maturity are, and
  • special weather considerations for your specific area.

I hear about Zones and plants all the time – Don’t I need to know my Zone?

Zones are useful to know when you are dealing with perennials – plants that grow back every year and do not need to be re-seeded.

When dealing with perennials, gardeners use zone maps to learn where permanent plants can grow. Perennial plants must tolerate year-round conditions, such as the lowest and highest temperatures and the amount and distribution of rainfall.

Since the majority of vegetables we sell — at High Mowing Organic Seeds — are annuals (they only grow for one season), we don’t use Zone information too often in our vegetable descriptions.

Instead, we recommend using information called the growing season and days to maturity.

What is my “Growing Season?”

Your growing season refers to the average amount of frost-free days that you have to garden in each year.

To determine this, the first thing you’ll need to do is find out the predicted last frost date in the spring and the predicted first frost date in the fall for your region.

With this information you can establish:

  • when you can start planting outdoors,
  • when you can no longer plant outdoors, and
  • how many frost free dates you have in your growing season.

To discover your growing season and frost dates, you can use this tool:

Dave’s Garden Frost Dates By Zip

For example, using that tool, we discover that here in Wolcott, Vermont, our first frost in the fall can be as early as September 22nd, and our last frost in spring can be around May 22nd. That gives us, on average, a growing season of 124 days.

Using Days to Maturity to Choose Appropriate Varieties

When choosing varieties that will do well in your area, one of the first things to look for is the number listed for “days to maturity”.

Days to maturity refers to the number of days it takes from planting the seeds in the ground to harvest. You want this number to fall somewhere in the middle-to-late middle of your growing season (frost free days).

Many gardeners shorten the “days to maturity” number by starting their seeds indoors, and planting the seedlings outside. In fact, many vegetables must be started this way for them to grow in your area, especially if you have a short growing season.

Days to Maturity

Remember to check the Planting Informaiton to see if the “days to maturity” are from seeds or transplants.

Be sure to read your catalog and variety descriptions carefully – in many cases the number listed as “days to maturity” are actually in fact “days to maturity from transplants”. Your catalog should make this clear. In our catalogs we include this information in our “Planting Info”, which is located on the left hand side at the beginning of every variety category.

So, for example, if I wanted to grow red field tomatoes, I would go to the tomato section of the catalog, and first check out the Planting Info for tomatoes, located on the left hand side of the page. Here I discover that “Days to Maturity are from transplants.” So now I know that given my short growing season, I should be starting my seeds inside.

Days to Maturity for Moskovich

For this tomato variety, days to maturity from transplants are 60 days.

I then go check out the different red field tomato varieties. I choose Moskovich because I can see that it has a relatively short number for “days to maturity”, 60 days, which will fit my growing season nicely. That means that 60 days from when I put my transplants into the ground, I can expect to start harvesting tomatoes. The description also states that this is an “early-season” variety – always a good choice when your growing season is short!

(How and when to start your seeds indoors is a whole other issue that we will explain in a future article. For now we are focusing on how to choose an appropriate variety for your area.)

Taking into account weather patterns in different regions

Different regions have different weather patterns.

Northern growers have short seasons. In the Northeast our summers also tend to be wet, so hardy short season varieties are more appropriate. In the Northwest summers tend to be dryer and warmer, so most varieties will do well there.

Southern growers should look for heat tolerant varieties that can stand long days of sun and minimal water.

Variety descriptions can give you great insight to which ones will work best for you. Your seed catalog can be your best source of information.

To help you out, we’ve put together recommendations for our varieties that are:

Gardening does take some time to master, so start out with a few of your favorite crops.

As you get the basics down you can start incorporating new items that may be harder to grow.

The idea is to be successful, so don’t overdue it.

Where can I get more information about growing conditions in my area?

For specific growing information on your particular area, your best choice for advice is always to contact your local Master Gardener program.

The Master Gardener program is staffed by experienced gardeners who can provide you with free information, answers and resources.

If you’re looking for the BEST organic, GMO-free seeds for your vegetable garden this year…choose High Mowing Organic Seeds! I had the most amazing garden of my life using their seeds last summer/fall and will ALWAYS choose High Mowing. I’m honored to recommend such a great company!

Stay tuned for a pretty amazing giveaway from High Mowing Organic Seeds later in the week!!!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.