Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ginseng Season Book Sale: Our New Book on How to Grow Ginseng & Other Valuable Herbs-Signed by Both Authors


Seems like everyone has ginseng fever right now! The wild-harvest season opens on September 1st and if everyone who says they are going to hunt ginseng actually does it, there won't be any left for next year! So, please, only dig the big ones. Leave the young ones to grow, set fruit, and scatter seed. And then consider growing your own wild-simulated ginseng. It will take some time, but you can grow wild-simulated that looks just like wild.

To encourage those of you who might never have thought of growing it before, I am offering a limited time Ginseng Season Offer on our newly revised book. My coauthor, Scott Persons, is the undisputed authority on growing wild-simulated ginseng. The first 178 pages of this book are devoted to ginseng. All about its history, use, trade, and cultivation. There are plenty of resources included to help you find seed, buyers, equipment, and consultants. The rest of the 508 pages of this book are mine and devoted to growing thirteen other woodland herbs that are bought and sold about this time of year. Ramps and galax are included, too.

The special offer is:
$39.00 (plus tax for NC addresses) 
includes free shipping: 2nd Day Priority Mail (padded envelope).
The first ten copies sold will be SIGNED BY BOTH AUTHORS*.
  Once those are sold, copies with the lead author signature only will be shipped.


*As soon as the ten copies with both signatures are sold I will post it at the top of this page. But if a bunch of orders come in at once, I will process them in the order they arrive. If you purchase this special, you do so with the understanding that the copy you order might only have one signature.

Both Scott and I are frequent speakers at ginseng and herb events around the country, so if you are not the recipient of a two-signature book, there will be many opportunities to gather the second signature at another time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Daughter is a Mural Artist!

Okay, I just have to brag a little bit. My daughter, Shannon Davis, is an artist trying to figure out how to make a living from her craft. She surprised me this summer when she told me she was contracted to do a mural for Tire Country of Hendersonville. I didn't know she knew how to do murals! With her experience working on set designs for school plays, some advice from my cousin who is a mural artist, and lots of natural talent, look what she accomplished! If you are interested in talking to her about a job, please use the contact form to the right. She doesn't have her website up and running yet.

Okay. Proud momma brag is over.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Do I Ever Speak in the Piedmont of North Carolina?

Several people asked me this week if I ever come down out of the mountains and give presentations or workshops in the piedmont region of North Carolina. Well, of course I do! Actually, I will be in Winston-Salem next Thursday at the Piedmont Farm School Summit giving a hour and a half presentation in the morning on Hops, Herbs, and More. It is a fun presentation! To get more information and register for the Summit go to the EventBrite Registration Page. This event is put on by the Cooperative Extension Service.

In September I will be speaking at Duke Gardens in Durham; an evening lecture and a day long workshop. Details and registration information for those events can be found on my speaking engagements page (see tab at top of this page).

If you would like me to come speak in your area, just contact me and we will see what we can arrange. I speak on a wide range of topics and really enjoy offering hands-on workshops. Popular presentations right now are growing woodland medicinals, growing stevia-the natural sweetener, growing and using luffa sponge gourds, growing hops for fun or profit, growing heirloom tomatoes, and growing garlic. These presentations can be combined with hands-on workshops to propagate herbs, make dream pillows, make herbal tea packages, make luffa soap, or make stevia sweetened chocolate. Small-group discussion sessions are also of interest to some groups with the most popular topics being starting a small homestead and how did you get that job: doing something that is meaningful to you. Depending on the circumstances, I will be representing NC State University or Our Tiny Farm. It just depends.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Don't let the mini-donkeys get bored

Little Man, our old Tennessee Walker, this spring.
We have had an interesting time with our mini-donkeys in recent weeks. As I've explained before, these little ones want daily attention and affection and love to be played with and talked to. I was gone from the farm for eight days attending conferences in Valle Crucis, NC and Orlando, FL. My husband takes very good care of all the animals when I am gone, but he doesn't always have the time or inclination to inteact with our mini-donkeys the way I do. One morning it was raining hard and was just down right unpleasant outside. My husband went out to quickly feed our old horse (he can't get by on just grass anymmore). He did not give the donkeys much affection and he could tell they weren't happy about it. Well, several hours later my daughter's boyfriend looked out the window and asked "What happened to Little Man's tail?". Apparently, the mini-donkeys had been bored and frustrated and trimmed the horse's tail!
Little Man after the mini-donkeys dined on his tail!
Thank goodness they didn't eat the tail of the horse we board! So now I am very concerned that the donkeys get adequate attention daily and have many toys in the pasture to play with. I have also treated both horses' tails with Dawn dish soap (recommended by our vet) and may put some "No-Chew" on the boarding horse's tail. As you can see, it is always something new to keep us on our toes at Our Tiny Farm.
Meadow and Chester playing with the big Jolly Ball.
Chester and Meadow with their new mini-Jolly Ball.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Playful Steers

Fly control is a big issue on a farm with animals. Flies are not only a nuisance for all of us but they can transmit disease, cause painful bites, and adversely impact the health of the animals. So we do everything we can to control flies on Our Tiny Farm. It starts with good manure management. For the horses and donkeys, we pick up manure in the barn, paddock, and pasture almost daily and compost it. We break up any manure left in the pastures with a drag chain (see the post on this by clicking the label for "drag chain"). We use sticky fly strips in the barn. And we use fly predators; tiny wasps that destroy the pupae of flies in manure and other organic matter. The predators don't work on all flies, such as those nasty deer flies and horse flies, but they do control the most common flies that plague those of us who have livestock and horses. We buy our fly predators from Arbico Organics and have used them for many years. We receive a shipment every three to four weeks which is composed of one or two plastic bags full of sawdust and the pupae (little brown cocoons) of the predator wasps. We spread that around our farm at dusk, placing small amounts under the edge of manure piles, urine areas, and around manure and compost piles. They are a little pricey but they work for us, even though we have farms nearby that don't use them.

So, about the video. Hubby was putting the fly predators in the cattle pasture recently and the steers wanted to play. I thought it was cute, so shot the video. That said, please don't think you can come out to Our Tiny Farm and play with the steers. They don't really understand "personal space" and there is always the risk that they will knock you down or run you over in their playfulness. Usually, we only enter the cattle pasture in pairs so one person can do whatever needs to be done and the other person, armed with a stick, can keep a close eye on the steers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Independent Bookstores in WNC Selling Our New Book on Growing Ginseng and Other Woodland Medicinals

search page for our book on malaprops bookstore website
Some of my friends and work clients told me that they would like to purchase our new book in a local bookstore rather than online. So here are the two bookstores I know have it on the shelf right now. More will come on with time, and of course any of them can order it for you. The first store I'll mention is one that was very supportive after the release of the first edition of this book. Scott and I did a reading and book sighning there. That is Malaprops Bookstore & Cafe on Haywood Street in downtown Asheville, NC.
website page for City Lights bookstore
City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC is located close to my co-author, Scott Persons. They have always carried our book, too.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rainy Afternoon in the Kitchen on Our Tiny Farm

yogurt maker, stove, and pot with warming milk
This time of year it can be difficult to find time to spend in the kitchen, but it is a rainy afternoon and I am working on on the computer trying to sell my book (spent too much time on that baby not to make at least a little money from it!), so it is a good time to make some Our Tiny Farm staples. First I got a batch of yogurt fermenting. My dear daughter eats my fresh yogurt every day. This evening I'll start a batch of Greek yogurt, too.
bowl, mixer, bread pan
Commercial gluten-free bread is just too expensive to always have on hand, so I started a loaf of mine own using Pamela's Baking mix that I buy in bulk. Looking forward to smelling it baking.
new potatoes
Hubby dug some potatoes the other day, so for dinner I'm planning to make a Spanish Tortilla with them and some fresh green onions. Last night hubby made a wonderful stew using our own pasture raised beef and potatoes. It was heavenly. Few things better than cooking wholesome food for your family using fresh ingredients that you raised yourself. We are so blessed.
And this is what that Spanish Tortilla looked like. It is potatoes, onions, and sweet banana peppers sauted in oil and cooked covered until the potatoes are tender. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Then topped with eight beaten eggs and cooked covered until the eggs are set. Served with sour cream and salsa.