Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Land's Bounty

               DISCAIMER!  I am not a professional on plant identifcation!  These are simply my experiences and I can not be responsible for your choices.   Please make informed choices and do your research before eating any thing from the wild.   Be sure of what you are doing!

        No the garden is not producing yet, ours still has a couple weeks before we get any produce from it.  This year our garden is very slim. But next year we will have a much bigger garden that I’m sure will grow each year.  But even though we haven’t planted much the land has provided us with an abundance of good food.  We have been eating nettle, poke, sassafras, fish, elk, goat and blackberries.  We have had several meals that consisted of food we gathered or Super D hunted.   One such meal consisted of ground elk, boiled poke, and sassafras tea.  Everything we’ve gathered from the land we did our research for to know how to pick it, how to prepare it, and the benefits of it. 

Poke is a plant that grows in this part of the country, most consider it a weed.  It is NOT safe to eat raw.  It will make you sick.   Some do not consider is a safe plant to eat at all.  You will want to do your own research to make your own choices.  Here’s how we prepare and eat it.  We pick the smaller leaves as this plant can grow very tall.  It cooks down to almost half it’s original amount like spinach so pick twice as much as  you think you need.  Then get out a big pot fill with water and get it boiling.  Add the poke and cook for about 5 mins.  Make sure you drain off the water.  From all I read the poison that can make you sick is boiled out of the plant when you cook it. Most sites even say to drain the water and boil it twice.  We haven’t been boiling it twice and no one has gotten sick from it.  When it is full grown it has berries that are not edible!  The stem and berries turn a reddish purple color.  Poke pictured below.

Sassafras is a tree that at one time was used for tea and to make root beer.  The FDA has since outlawed it’s use for root beer.  They claim it contains a dangerous compound but upon further investigation they tested this compound alone on rats in extordinary amounts and found it did harm.  We decided that it was not a threat to us. We have picked the leaves to make tea.  Super D calls it root beer tea and really likes it.  (This man has never drank tea willingly until we moved here)  It does slightly have a root beer taste but not as sweet.  We even dug up some of the root and made our own homemade root beer.  It is very good!    We have Sassafras trees growing all over the border of our property. 

Small seedling trees that pop up close to bigger trees.

Roots I dug up.

Root shavings that we boiled to make our homemade root beer.

               Stinging Nettle is also considered a weed by some.  It is also an herb.  From what I’ve learned it is more nutritional than spinach!   This grows so very plentiful in by the rivers here.  It seems to like sandy areas to grow.  It is a plant that the locals and most avoid as when you brush up against it it has tiny little needles that stick to you and sting like crazy!  It’s also been called fire weed for this reason.  It has a powerful sting.  But if you pick it with gloves very carefully and boil it the chemical that causes the sting is broken down.  Nettle can be added to soups and cooked to other recipes.  I also pick it to dry and use as an herb in teas and infusions.  Sorry I don't have any pictures of Nettle yet.  Will work on that to add. :)
          There are many other herbs that grow around here but these are the ones I’ve learned about so far.  As I learn more I’ll share it!              We just got a book on mushrooms for a new adventure. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Branson FUN

    So we went to Branson to pick up Sassafras. What a blast. We met up with family, Grammy, Grandma S, Aunt M, and Uncle U.  Super D took us all out to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.  We've never been there and it was delicious! We all had a great laugh over the bib's we had to wear!
Grandma S was Crabby Pants, while Sugarbug was the Princess!

I'm so glad Sassafras is here.  She was away the last few months!  Much too Long!

Aunt and Uncle, Came out a little blurry on the next couple photos I think the camra person was laughing too much.

Got a huge laugh at my mom's I break legs bib.  So far from the truth of this sweet woman!
Time to Dig in!

We only spent one night in Branson but I'm sure we'll be back.  It is a beautiful town with so much to do it'd be hard to do it all in a lifetime.  There are a variety of shows, shopping, and amusment parks all next door to beautiful lakes.  We spent this trip just checking out all the shops and swimming in the hotel pool.  It was a great time to connect with family and relax for a couple days.  A good meeting place for all of us as my mom, Grammy, had the longest drive being 3 hours away.  Can't wait to do it again!

 Watching the water show on "the Strip"
Maybe we shouldn't have taken the short cut ;) We made it without falling!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


       We have our garden in! Well, mostly.  We decided that since we didn’t have our rotitiller up and running yet that we would spot plant.  We dug holes about the size of a five gallon bucket and filled it with a rich soil we got from the river bank to plant in.  We have 11 tomato plants and a couple cucumber plants in.  We still have a few more to plant but have got a good start.  By next year we will continue to add holes and some raised beds.  The advantage of these holes is no weeding or at least very little.  We will just mow around our plants and only need to pull weeds right next to plants.  Every year we will add to our garden and should have a nice large one in a year or two. 

Plumbing (kinda)

       No we didn't get a working toilet or running water but Super D fixed the sinks so that they drain outside into a bucket where we can use our grey water to water the garden.  I know this is a little thing but it has made washing dishes so much easier!  I am really loving it. 


        We have AC.  Well, we have a room AC that really cannot keep up with the insane heat we've been having but it is helping us survive.  It cools us when we are on the couch doing nothing because it is too hot to move.  Some days it really feels that way!  Hopefully we will get some rain soon. Our poor field that was so beautiful and green is brown it's been so hot.  Even some of the trees are starting to turn colors as we have such high heat and no rain. 
This was taken several weeks ago it's even more brown now! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Birthday Fun!

We have had several birthdays to celebrate since arriving. The first was our neice's who turned 3. Next our nephew. His we celebrated at our place. 
For our nephews birthday he want nothing more than to come out and drive our 4 wheeler.  What 11 y. old boy doesn’t?  But we only have one 4 wheeler and 4 kids.  Yes they can take turns but of course no wants to wait.  So Super D to the rescue.  He ingenuously found a use for the canoe with a hole in it. 

What I don't need the paddle??

Aunt S andSuper D. Brother and sister at it again.

 Hold on! We're going over!

And the Birthday boy dance!

This kept the kids busy for several hours!  Then we went to the river where they had more fun.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such tired kids at the end of the day. Since then we have added more fun outside games. We are looking forward to having many fun times with family and friends here. So don’t be strangers. Come by for a visit.
For Sugarbug's birthday we went to the river.  Two day's even.  We went to Blue spings as a family on her actual birthday and another river with everyone for her party.  Sugarbug got her cowboy hat from Grammy and was so excited.  She's gotten many compliments on it! It was so HOT that the candles on the cake were melting and my cake never did cool after being baked. 

Blue Springs, Very cold water!

See all my poor candles. We could only light a couple of them.