Wild Ozark

Ginseng, Nature, and Life in the Ozarks

Transplanting Ginseng Seedlings

In preparation for next month’s talk at the Fayetteville Public Library’s Try FPL Series, I’ll be transplanting ginseng seedlings to pots. Each member of the audience will get to take one home. That event is on Wed, June 8 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fayetteville Public Library in downtown Fayetteville, AR. This event is free and open to the public.

nature journal workshop flierComing up before the ginseng event is a Nature Journaling workshop at The Place on the Square in Kingston, AR. Each participant of that event will be guided through a journal entry with a nature sketch and they’ll get one of my Nature Journals to take home with them. I’ll also bring several copies of the ginseng color page outline to send home with them. I’ll have the full package (outline and printed step-by-step guide) available to purchase and will leave plenty of sets of those behind to sell alongside my books and artwork at the shop. Seating for this event is limited, so be sure to call if you want to attend.

Transplanting Ginseng Seedlings

First year ginseng seedlings are fragile and difficult to ship bare-root. They transplant well into pots, though, so this is how we usually sell our plants.

This year we had bad luck with the seeds going dormant again, but we found that all the seeds we planted year before last, that had also gone dormant before we planted them, were sprouting this year. So at least I can get busy transplanting ginseng seedlings from seeds sown two years back.

American ginseng seedling soon after sprouting.

American ginseng seedling soon after sprouting.

I just dig them up with a ball of their own native soil surrounding them and transplant to small pots with commercial soil-less potting mix. To ship them this way, because of regulations, I’d have to knock all the native soil off of them and I’m not sure how well they’d do without a little of the native soil.

Just as mature ginseng has lookalike plants, there are lookalikes for ginseng seedlings. Click To Tweet
I'm transplanting ginseng seedlings. Here's a pic of not ginseng and ginseng.

Not ginseng and ginseng

Ginseng Seedling Lookalikes

Usually it’s the same culprits, like Virginia Creeper and wild strawberry, but one lookalike in particular gets pretty tricky. Elm seedlings look more like ginseng seedlings to me than any other look-alike. Sometimes the elm seedlings only have three leaves showing, making it even more similar to the ginseng. In the photo above, the ginseng seedling is at the top, nearly out of the photo. The elm seedling is the one with four leaves in the center. There is a poison ivy plant at the top left, nearly out of the frame.

I’ll be trying to get at least 50 seedlings potted today.

Update 5/22

I did manage to get more than 50 seedlings transplanted.

Ginseng seedlings transplanted to pots. I keep them in the shade with a light cover of dead leaves.

Ginseng seedlings transplanted to pots. I keep them in the shade with a light cover of dead leaves.

One of the seedlings had grown up through a skeletal leaf. I liked the way that looked and left it there, potting it leaf skeleton and all:

Lacy skeleton leaf of ginseng seedling.

Lacy skeleton leaf on ginseng seedling.

While I was at it, I made a very short video clip (terrible quality, sorry) to show the ginseng seedlings versus the elm seedling lookalikes:

Most positive ID possible

If the seedling still has a seed attached to the stem and root, it’s the most positive way I know to be certain of the identity:

Ginseng seedling with the seed still attached.

Ginseng seedling with the seed still attached.

 

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Busy Burning Coffee Days at Wild Ozark

My efforts at multitasking yesterday ended with flames, billowing smoke and the awful scent of burnt coffee beans. Surprisingly, I did not stop to get a picture of this event to document it for this post. At first there weren’t any flames. That didn’t happen until I opened the roaster door.

What to do?

After unplugging it and unsuccessfully trying to dump the roasting barrel out, I thought about just grabbing the barrel and throwing the whole flaming thing over the porch.

What not to do?

Um, yeah, canned air isn’t a good idea even if it *is* cold air. I use that to blow chaff out of the roaster between batches and it was handy… but not. Don’t do that.

What to do?

Finally it dawned on me that just closing the door might be the best option.

It was. The flames went out but that’s when the billowing smoke really got going good.

Burning Coffee Beans

So when it cooled down I threw the extremely roasted beans over the rails and even the chickens won’t touch them now. They’re beyond Vienna roast, which is pretty oily and black. So I did make a point to take a picture now…

I've been busy... busy burning coffee beans!

I’ve been busy… busy burning coffee beans!

Multitasking

I’ve been working on getting the ginseng color page uploaded to all the various outlets, and roasting coffee in between. Good thing for my timer or I am sure I would have burned more of the coffee! It was only the very last batch that I burned, and that’s only because it was a smaller batch and I didn’t reduce the time.

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Mired in mud.

Mired in mud.

Rob’s been working on the driveway. Wow, that is a big job. We hired in for help from a backhoe operator-friend. Finally it just got too muddy even for the big machine and they decided keeping the cut-around driveway (the one we had to have cut when the flood and landslide wiped out the old driveway last summer) might be the best option for now.

The hill just has too many springs seeping through it and it never dries completely.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

A Wild Roast Coupon for Mother’s Day

Let the Wild Roast begin!

Oh yeah 🙂 I’m getting ready this morning for a full day of aromatic and sumptuous coffee roasting. Mmmmmm-Mmmmmmmm all the locals will soon get to try some of our delicious Wild Roast.

Our "Wild Roast Blend", Ginseng Coffee from Wild OzarkWe’ll have these Wild Roasts on Saturday:

  • Peru Aprocassi
  • Congo Kivu
  • Guatemala Ceylan
  • Tanzania Peaberry

You can get whole bean or ground, with and without ginseng leaf added at the Kingston Fair on the Square! It won’t be “ready to drink” but I’ll have samples of the grinds there to smell-taste.

Organic and/or Fair Trade

With the exception of the Tanzania Peaberry, all of our coffee is either organic or Fair Trade and most of the time both. Some, like the Guatemala Ceylon, is also Rainforest Alliance Certified as well.

Add a Little Pep

We love ginseng leaf in our morning brew. The leaf has all the same properties as ginseng root (American) but the harvest doesn’t kill the plant. That’s why I like using leaf more than root whenever possible. There will be ginseng & coffee blend available on Saturday.

The stimulating, balancing & restorative ginsenosides in ginseng are a great complement to the energizing caffeine in coffee, but ginseng is a medicinal herb and you should ask your doctor or do some research to make sure it’s safe for you.

Just the Coffee Please

We’ll have blends available with ginseng leaf and plenty of Wild Roast without it for those who just want the coffee.

Save a Buck

Bring in your Wild Roast coupon and get your Mom some delicious coffee roasted right here at Wild Ozark. Print-n-Clip or save the coupon to your iPhone and bring it by to get a dollar off of any of the coffees:

Mother's Day coupon for a Wild Roast from Wild Ozark

Clip or save to your phone!

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Cedar-Apple Rust : Invasion of Alien-looking Fruiting Bodies

The fruiting body of the Cedar-Apple Rust.

The fruiting body of the Cedar-Apple Rust.

Cedar-Apple Rust

Yesterday we went out to check on ginseng seedlings and found the cedar trees blooming with Cedar-Apple Rust fruiting bodies. It’s caused by a fungus and alternates each year on cedars or apple trees. If there aren’t any apple trees around, or maybe even if there are apple trees, it also chooses hawthorne or crab-apple trees here in the Ozarks for hosting the alternate years.

On the alternate years it appears as small round rust colored circles on the leaves of the host plants. When it gets to the cedar year, it “blooms” with the otherworldly things you see in the photo above.

If you’re growing apples, it pays to grow varieties resistant to this fungus because controlling it or eliminating it is an exercise in futility. The second link is from the University of Arkansas Extension and it lists a whole lot of varieties and their corresponding resistance ability. “VR” means “very resistant”.

More Info

Here’s some links to learn more:

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Photos of Plants – Medicinal & Useful plants down the Wild Ozark Driveway

I’m still mostly stuck in the house because of my knee (dislocated it a little over a week ago) but I took the four-wheeler and camera down the driveway to get a few photos of plants unfurling or coming into bloom.

Doll’s Eyes versus Black Cohosh

Late last year, after the flood in summer, I divided and planted what I was pretty sure was black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) on one side of a rock and what I was pretty sure was Doll’s Eyes (Actaea pachypoda) on the other side of the same rock.

Photos of plants : black cohosh

Black cohosh, not sure if they’ll make flowers this year or not, but I hope so. That way I’ll have an absolute positive ID on them.

Photos of plants: Doll's Eyes (White Baneberry).

On the other side of the rock is Doll’s Eyes (White Baneberry).

I planted them near each other so I could watch them side by side as they grew. These two plants are the hardest two plants for me to tell apart. But I’m beginning to see the differences between the two and today one of them bloomed which gives me a positive identification at least on the one. I’ll make a blog post about the differences I’m seeing later on this week. I made a post last year about my difficulty telling them apart.

The reason learning the difference is so important to me is because I want to harvest the roots of black cohosh to have on hand for medicinal uses.  The roots are antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and are useful for menopausal or PMS symptoms. The best time to harvest a plant for the roots is after they’ve finished flowering and the leaves are beginning to die back. Mistaking the doll’s eyes for cohosh would be a bad mistake, possibly deadly. To make certain I’m digging the right plant once there isn’t a flower to judge by, I’m going to tie a ribbon around the base of the cohosh plants.

More Photos of Plants

The mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) are blooming in profusion. Maybe this year I’ll get to try the fruit. I always miss them when it’s time to harvest. Mayapple roots and the whole plant except for the ripe fruit are poisonous, but were used medicinally by native Americans. The roots are used to make cancer medicines.

A plant medicinal in very small quantities can be very toxic in too large a quantity. I read a story somewhere a while back about campers who had confused this plant with goldenseal. They thought that they’d make a tea with “goldenseal” to improve their odds of passing a drug screening (apparently they had smoked some weed while camping). The mistake was fatal for one of them because the mayapple tea caused liver failure.

photos of plants-Mayapple in bloom

Mayapple in bloom

Mayapple flower

Mayapple flower

The red honeysuckle was blooming. This is one of our native honeysuckles and isn’t invasive like the sweetly scented Japanese honeysuckle that chokes out everything it grows on. The red one is a valued nectar source for hummingbirds and certain bumble bees with long tongues. Not all bumbles have long tongues.

Native red honeysuckle.

Native red honeysuckle.

The Ohio buckeyes are blooming. When this tree is very young and only about a foot tall, it looks very much like ginseng. Aside from Virginia creeper, t’s one of the look-alikes most often mistaken for more valuable plant. I don’t use the buckeyes for anything. They’re a relative to horse chestnut which is useful for strengthening capillaries, but I don’t think our native variety has the same properties. Butterflies seem to enjoy the flowers, though.

Ohio Buckeye

Ohio Buckeye

I usually take photos of plants, not so often of animals. The main reason why is because the animals move too quickly or are too far away for my lens. But I got a decent one of a hawk in a tree. Rob is the raptor expert in our household. So I’m always trying to get pictures of the hawks so he can tell me what kind they are.

Broad-winged Hawk against a very blue sky.

Broad-winged Hawk against a very blue sky.

The southern black haw is blooming, too.  Viburnum root is a component in one of my favorite antispasmodic recipes.  The variety that grows here is V. rufidulum and may have similar properties. I haven’t tried it yet to see if it is as effective as V. prunifolium. The berries on our native are edible and I’ve tasted one before but haven’t tried using them to make anything yet. The flavor was sweet but the fruits weren’t real juicy or as pleasant to eat as wild raspberries.

Southern Black Haw in flower.

Southern Black Haw in flower.

Rob has been working on the landslide since he’s been home. There’s a lot to do on this particular project, and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those never-ending sort of jobs. But he has to get it opened up so concrete trucks can get up to the house where he wants to build his shop, so it’s the top priority in our list of homestead chores right now. We need the shop to make working on all of the other things easier.

Getting started on clearing the driveway after the landslide last year.

Getting started on clearing the driveway after the landslide last year.

After day one of working on clearing the landslide.

After day one of working on clearing the landslide.

And by the end of day 2, new earth moved into the work area.

And by the end of day 2, new earth moved into the work area.

 

It felt good to get out and look at plants again and to get over to the driveway worksite. The four-wheeler had been in the shop for repairs so until we got it back the other day I was limited to walking inside the house or to and from the truck. While stuck in bed for the first few days after hurting my knee, I worked on a drawing of ginseng.

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Ginseng in May – A Nature Sketch

I’m recording the process of my “Ginseng in May” sketch that I’m doing for the first Kingston, AR art show. And it’s the first art show I’ve ever entered. This sketch is the first I’ve ever done that took so long, lol, so this is a first on many levels.

Follow along at my Wild Ozark Nature Journal website: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com/ginseng-in-may/

Here’s how it started out:

color outline of my sketch of Ginseng in May

color outline

“Ginseng in May” – the finished sketch:

"Ginseng in May" by Madison Woods, colored pencil on paper

“Ginseng in May” by Madison Woods, colored pencil on paper

 

At the Wild Ozark Nature Journal Blog I go into explanations of how, why and what I did. Here’s a link to all of the ginseng-related posts at this blog. Under the “Ginseng” tab on the menu at the top of this page, you’ll find other pages on ginseng that don’t show up as posts.

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I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Update from Wild Ozark

Lots of things going on – or rather, NOT going on lately.

If you’re a subscriber to my monthly newsletter, you’ve probably already seen the update that I won’t be doing the farmer’s market this year. I forgot to add some of the items below to the newsletter, so this post is not a complete repeat of the email.

I dislocated my knee on Thursday this past week, the day after we got home from our Texas – Louisiana trip. Although nothing is broken, that was a pretty traumatic event to my knee and I’m not sure it’s going to be good for much for a while yet. I can’t work on potting my plants, or work in the garden, or roast coffee. All activities vital to the market so I’ll have something to sell. Then there’s the work of setting up and taking down the booth, which is asking a lot of the knee. So I won’t be doing it this year. I’d rather put it off than risk further injury which would increase the odds of needing surgery on the thing.

I’ve been using my ointments on my knee and they seem to be helping. Today I’m almost able to walk normally, but there is still some pain on the top of my kneecap and I can tell it’s not strong enough yet to go without the brace. The ointments were the Ginseng & Lobelia (out of it now), Ginseng, Chilpetine, Coffee & Wild Comfrey Balm, and Sesame & Arnica balm. When I get a chance I’m going to make a profile page of what I used and how it’s helped to add under my “Herbalism” category. It’s hard to say whether what I’m doing helps or not because I’ve never had this happen before, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. All I know is that on day 3, the swelling is down, stiffness down, very little bruising or pain. To me, that’s terrific after what seems like should have been a pretty bad thing for my knee.

There are things still on the list that I DO intend to do:

nature journal workshop flier

Spring Unfurling Update

update on blue cohosh

One of the blue cohosh transplants that miraculously survived last year’s flood.

The only ginseng unfurling are the ones that were already there or seedlings from the mature plants. Very few of the seedlings are showing up from the from the seeds we planted. I’ve heard feedback from a few others on the list who are seeing the same thing.

I was very happy to see the blue cohosh, black cohosh, and doll’s eyes that I’d transplanted last year have all come up! Send me your ginseng habitat updates, particularly your ginseng seed germination if you planted any last fall.

 

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Chasing Windmills and Wildflowers in South Texas

My past week has been filled with family and friends in Louisiana and Texas. While in Texas I got the notion to gather a collection of photos of the old windmills that are out there. Most of these are in Goliad county near Goliad, TX but a few are from other counties in the vicinity. The wildflowers are ones that caught my eye while we were out chasing windmills.

I’ll be turning this into a Kindle picture book eventually, and maybe make a calendar, but in the meantime, here’s the photos I have so far. There is one other wooden windmill that we saw on the way home but I haven’t gotten it downloaded yet. I’d like to go back and collect all the painted windmills I’ve heard about, too. People paint the blades to look like sunflowers or other flowers.

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I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) Unfurling

The blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is awake early this spring. I found some the other day, in three different stages of unfurl.

The one completely unfurled is in a pot in the nursery area, the other two are in the ground in the same area. I missed the initial unfurling of the stem this year. I’m excited to see this plant because it is a native with “threatened” status in the state of AR and I only find it, like the ginseng, in certain little spots out here.

The one in the pot came up from a berry (I didn’t separate out the seed), so that’s exciting too. I’ll gather more and spread them to some of the other areas that look right for it this year.

Blue Cohosh

 

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves just beginning to unfurl.

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves just beginning to unfurl.

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves still unfurling.

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves still unfurling.

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves finished unfurling.

Blue cohosh in early spring with leaves finished unfurling.

Where does it grow?

It is an American ginseng companion plant and enjoys the same kind of habitat ginseng prefers – mixed hardwood forests in eastern/southeastern North America with deep, cool shade, loamy soil, and good leaf-litter/ ground cover to keep the soil moist and cool.

What is it good for?

I don’t think anyone uses this herb medicinally often anymore, but it was part of the pharmacy for Native Americans. Parts used are roots and rhizomes.

This is an herb that shouldn’t be used as an ordinary part of self-care. It is useful in very specific circumstances.

I’ve used it in conjunction with black cohosh by alternating between tinctures of the two every three hours to bring on labor when my middle child was due. Not only did this regimen bring on the labor by the appointed hour when I would have undergone induction at the hospital, but it made the labor easier.

Other uses include easing the cramps of menstruation or to bring on menstruation. Keep in mind that anything useful for starting a period or to bring on labor is likely also to be an abortifacient. Blue cohosh as a medicinal plant comes with some very serious warnings attached (see link below).

Links for more information

Comprehensive: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/dmna/caulophyllum.html

Warnings: http://www.drugs.com/npp/blue-cohosh.html

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

Sketch Your Own Ginseng!

.

 

Need a little help to make your own nature sketch? Get my new ginseng color page! An outline to start with and a step-by-step visual guide to help you complete it.

.

 

Each month I send out a newsletter to share links, herbal and other stories, tips on American ginseng, snippets of life in the wild Ozarks, and announcements of new books and products.

How to move a round bale without a hay spike by using the front-end loader instead.

I’ve been using a chain with the tractor and front end loader to move round bales to the horses. We don’t have a hay spike or fork attachment.

This how-to assumes you have a tractor with a front end loader attachment. Before we had a tractor, I used to fork hay each day to the horses, or carry flakes from square bales out to them.

Buying a tractor was a huge investment but it is one we have thoroughly appreciated making every time we use it. And we use it a lot for a variety of farm and homestead chores.

We move round bales without a hay spike with our tractor's front end loader.

We move round bales without a hay spike with our tractor’s front end loader.

While Rob was working an overseas contract, I had to learn how to do some things on it myself. Before he left, he taught me how to go front and backwards on it and then my dad showed me how to use the bucket and supervised a little more learning of the frontwards and backwards skills, ha. I’d never used a tractor before, so I was a little bit intimidated at the beginning.

During very cold spells, the horses need a lot more hay throughout the day and night than they do when there’s grass to be had in the fields. Learning to use the tractor meant I could do this chore only once a week instead of day and night.

We don’t have a hay spike or fork attachment for the tractor, so we use chains to move a round bale with the front-end loader instead.

 

We keep the chains in a tool box mounted to the tractor fender.

We keep the chains in a tool box mounted to the tractor fender.

The chain is a logging chain with hooks on both ends. Rob welded hooks to the top of the bucket and this makes using chains easy for lots of things. I use them for moving the hay and we’ve used them for lifting fence posts, trees, implements, anything at all that needs a chain and lift or pull.

You can do it without the hooks, but it’s more tedious because you’ll have to wrap the chain around the bucket and use the chain hooks to secure it or shackles.

 

The hooks Rob welded onto the front end loader bucket have many uses. I use them for moving round bales without a hay spike.

The hooks Rob welded onto the front end loader bucket have many uses. I use them for moving round bales without a hay spike.

First of all, pull the tractor in front of the bale to be moved and drop the bucket. Tilt it so the blade is downward (in dumping position) and on the ground. You should be flush with the bale at the top of the bucket.

Put the first end of the chain in the hook.

Put the first end of the chain in the hook.

After hooking the chain to the bucket, bring the other end of the chain around to hang low on the hay bale. There’s a sweet spot for placement. Too low and the bale will tip out when you lift the bucket. Too high and the bale will droop too low once lifted.

To lift the bale wrap the chain around the lower half but not too low or it will tip when you lift.

To lift the bale wrap the chain around the lower half but not too low or it will tip when you lift.

After wrapping the chain around the bale attach the other end to the other hooks if you have them, or wrap and secure the chain on the other end. Then tilt the bucket back before lifting to tighten the chain.

When the bucket is tilted up, the chain tightens and then the bale can be lifted.

When the bucket is tilted up, the chain tightens and then the bale can be lifted.

Once the chain is tight you can lift the bale high enough to clear the ground but not so high to put your tractor off balance. I have a long trip through the creek, up the hill and through a few mud holes from springs to go with it, so I have to raise it higher at times, but then I lower it to keep the center of gravity as low as possible without dragging it on the ground.

When I’m ready to set it down I’ll tilt the bucket again to relieve the tension on the chain so I can take it off.

Set the bale and tilt the bucket so the chain becomes slack.

Set the bale and tilt the bucket so the chain becomes slack.

The horses get excited when they see me in their field. They run around, kicking and bucking.

Comanche waiting for Shasta to catch up with him after he ran ahead of her.

Comanche waiting for Shasta to catch up with him after he ran ahead of her.

 

Shasta finally catching up with Comanche.

Shasta finally catching up with Comanche.

 

Comanche playing by jumping and twisting while I'm setting the hay bale in place.

Comanche playing by jumping and twisting while I’m setting the hay bale in place.

Once the hay bale is in place and the chain is put away in the toolbox, I head back to the house.

Heading back to the house now that the job is done.

Heading back to the house now that the job is done.

Have any homestead hacks of your own to share? If you move the round bales without a tractor or hay spike, let me know how you’re doing it. I love using the tractor, but that might not always be an option for everyone and it might not even be an option for us always.

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I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks. Visit my Amazon page to see all of my books about ginseng and nature:

Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

To get free copies of my short stories and read excerpts from my novel-in-progress: http://fiction.wildozark.com.

For nature sketching and fantasy art, visit my online journal: http://www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.


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