Gumbo File Powder from organic powdered Sassafras leaves

sassafras leaves

Many aeons before the use of file (fee-lay) powder for Creole and Cajun cooking, Native Americans pounded young, dried sassafras leaves into a powder and added them to soups and stews. This was actually invented by the Choctaw Indians. The powder acts as a thickener when added to liquid but there is a slight taste pleasant taste that the leaves add. That file is what gives gumbo its popular slippery texture. The file powder is necessary for cooking traditional Creole or Cajun dishes.

Very cool that gumbo file powder is made from the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree. Where my family and I homestead, our property is just loaded with sassafras trees. When the leaves are ground, they have a rich, cooling scent, a lot like eucalyptus leaves mixed with juicy fruit chewing gum. During the spring, when the new leaves emerge, this is the time to gather the young leaves for drying and pounding or grinding into a fine powder.

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For those of you that cook a lot of home cooked meals and make a lot of old-fashioned meals, you can use this file to replace cornstarch which more often than not is genetically modified, these days. Organic cornstarch and arrowroot powder are great alternatives to the genetically modified cornstarch, now we can add this sassafras file to the recipe box. How many times have you been in a wooded area and been looking up through the trees and had the ability to point out to a friend what you can and can not eat for survival?

To use your natural file, add several teaspoons to your soup after you have taken the soup off of the heat. Do not add it while cooking. Be easy in your first use as often people add too much the first time. Because there are often folks that will say, well safrole oil is bad for you. I say this: Parts of the sassafras plant contains safrole, which may be carcinogenic according to the FDA. This is the same organization that tells you that eating genetically modified foods is safe for you after private studies have seen rats develop grotesquely large body tumours!

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In the 1960’s, researchers separated the safrole oil compound and fed it to rats in ridiculously high concentrations (not found in nature) and they came down with cancer (go figure, keep in mind that they had not even faced the fact that cigarettes caused cancer at this time so my faith in this warning is weak at best). You can also find safrole in more popular herbs such as black pepper, basil and nutmeg. However, just to be sheepishly correct, the leaves of the Sassafras tree does not contain safrole so they are safe for making Filé!

This information gives us an insight through an open door to the distant past where nature provided all the food that humanity consumed. There were no big food corporations and large monopolies controlling every morsel you ate, as it is now. Nature provided and those that lived then knew what they could use for what. How do you think they learned about sassafras leaves and this use? Just as we can today, asking those that are much older than us with hopes their wisdom can provide or just simply trial and error which would be considered, in those times, research.

To learn more about our homestead and what is available to the public in terms of what we offer as part of our existence, check out our off-gridHipcamp.

To learn more about the off-grid way of life in general, check out my book here:

To learn more about our natural way of life focusing on Using Herbal Remedies, check out my newest print book here.

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A Warning To Get and Remain Prepared To Survive What Is Happening

prepping

With all the continued annual vegetable and fruit loses, what is your back up source, do you have a plan B? Dogwood Hollow Homestead will be growing the Moringa tree again this year, we successfully grew 3 trees in 2017. We are always trying to be more and more prepared. So with the grand solar minimum/mini ice age taking place and supposed to last for 15 years, we have to roll with the punches and change what we do if we are to survive this and what the intensity will be bringing. Moringa is a superfood, used for 1000’s of years for nutrition, antioxidants and supporting your immune system. It grows into a short tree and can be grown in a greenhouse here in the Ozarks of Missouri.

However, with the North American continent drifting southward, as is part of the pole shift, our growing season has drastically changed and people here in southern MO. are able to grow tropical trees/plants, like the Moringa plant, outside through most of the season. With the continued massive crop losses across the entire globe, not only the food is lost…but the seeds as well! So what will the farmers do? What will you do when you can not afford the prices of food this year, the next year? You need to have a plan B folks! This is not a joke, we are seeing all the blocks fall into place right now for the pole shift/bringing a mini ice age and a grand solar minimum is the new “norm”.

heat-wave

When this does continue to happen, as it is supposed to intensify, you will need to be able to eat because, as we can see more each year, food will become scarce and a lot of foods no longer available. Across Europe constantly people are seeing all their grocery stores covered with signs. These signs tell consumers that the vegetables are not available due to such extremes in weather. They are not even mentioning that this happens every certain number of 1000 years. And they are not calling it what it is, the next mini ice age is just one name, the grand solar minimum is another, and the pole shift is ultimately responsible for that event. But what is responsible for the pole shift, and why have the poles shifted on this planet every so many 1000’s of years? Well, that is a whole other conversation…Research “Nibiru Ascending” if you really are interested.

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But I really wanted to introduce the Moringa plant to you.

To learn more about our homestead and what is available to the public in terms of what we offer as part of our existence, check out our off-gridHipcamp.

To learn more about the off-grid way of life in general, check out my book here:

To learn more about our natural way of life focusing on Using Herbal Remedies, check out my newest print book here.

Fertilizing your garden naturally

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One of the reasons folks move off the grid is to grow their own food. Part of that decision means growing their own food naturally, in the dirt as God intended it to be done. Another part of that means learning to fertilize your crops using natural methods. If you plant heirloom or organic seeds just to throw on some chemical-based fertilizer then what good are you doing to support your cause? Organic food has to be grown using 100% organic methods or it’s not organic.

At my homestead, we grow only heirloom crops and we do so organically. If I was to throw on a chemical fertilizer, the fact the seed I planted was original wouldn’t matter. Many farmers will swear by chicken or cow manure as a means of fertilizing naturally. That is only good if what you fed your chickens or cows was natural as well. What goes in, comes out. Chemicals or GMO’s in, that’s what you get in the animal’s manure.

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Another issue with that manure is it will burn your seeds and crops. It has to be allowed to sit for a week or more to be safe to plant in. Most of it would be too strong to plant directly in as well. So what is a homesteader to do? Raise rabbits of course! Have you any knowledge as to the amount of manure one rabbit produces in a year?

It’s impressive, let me tell you. Now take that and multiply it by a large rabbit raising operation. At my off-grid homestead, I have been raising rabbits for almost 9 years. Every year I have grown gardens and every year I have fertilized them solely with rabbit manure.

20 lbs Kennebec potatoes

Here are a few key points to fertilizing with rabbit manure:

  • Rabbit manure is “sweet” manure. That means it will not burn your seeds or crops. It requires no sitting period and is safe to plant in immediately.
  • Rabbit manure is safe and effective at growing crops planted directly, and solely, in the manure.
  • Rabbit manure sells for $10 per 5 gallons, (in Texas County, MO. as of 2017).
  • Rabbit manure does not stink like other animals manure, making it more comfortable to work with.
  • Rabbit manure does not harbour the diseases that can be found in cow and chicken manures.
  • One rabbit, alone, can produce 5 gallons of manure in a week. If you raise rabbits, it’s safe to say you will never run out of fertilizer.

 

Anyone who has raised rabbits knows what they are worth. Every part of raising rabbits is profitable in some way. They can be fed solely off the land making them cheap to feed. They can be sold for profit, their offspring can be sold, they are a sustainable source of food, even their manure is worth money. Rabbits are a worthwhile investment for any homestead.

To learn more about our homestead and what is available to the public in terms of what we offer as part of our existence, check out our off-gridHipcamp.

To learn more about the off-grid way of life in general, check out my book here:

To learn more about our natural way of life focusing on Using Herbal Remedies, check out my newest print book here.

Off grid medicine- Plant a medicinal garden

Willow bark

Every year people contact me via all methods available to ask questions about my medicine. “How do I do this, what do I use to treat this problem, is there a natural remedy for my problem, what herbs should I keep on hand?” etc. I love answering those questions, I love getting your emails and I love it that more and more people are turning to natural medicine to treat themselves.

Wild Echinacea drying

We are at the end of March 2018. Here on the homestead, we have already and still are planting cool weather crops. Cool weather crops also mean those herbs that thrive in cool weather. Many medicinal herbs can be started indoors right now and later, once it warms more, can be moved to your medicinal garden for planting. I like to plant whatever I can out in the soil in March but also like to start what can be planted in April and May, indoors, now.

Peppermint

Here is a non-conclusive list of some herbs you can start indoors, now, for your medicinal garden, later: Basil, Peppermint, oregano, rosemary, echinacea, sage, valerian, skullcap, lavender, chamomile, catnip, elderberry, parsley, cayenne. Now someone is going to ask me what all those herbs can be used for, ha! No problem, just drop me an email and I will answer that in depth question for you.

Mullein

For those of you that want to plant a medicine garden this year, those are some strong and easy to grow herbs, that you will want to grow. Outdoors, it would be wise to go ahead and plant onions and garlic (if you missed last fall’s planting time). Those two herbs are an indispensable part of any medicinal garden and they will thrive in cool weather as long as you mulch heavy when you plant, I like to use straw for these two.

Plantain

For the future harvest of your medicine garden, there are some things you might want to start investing in. You will need a drying rack. As long as the sun is hot and the wind not so strong, these are the times you can dry your medicinal herbs in the sun. I like to use an old window screen. You can make a drying screen with four 1×2 inch by 3’ long pine pieces, some finishing nails, staples and some rolled screen, too.

Off grid garden

After the herbs dry you will want to store them in some quart jars with lids. Canning jars are perfect. For your dried roots, you will need a way to grind the root after it’s cut into pieces. A have found a good coffee grinder to work great for this. Living off grid offers a great time in your life to learn some lost arts. Arts such as healing yourself through natural medicine that your ancestors knew all about.

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Along with being prepared to harvest and store your medicinal herbs, continued research will go a long way in your success.

 

To learn more about our homestead and what is available to the public in terms of what we offer as part of our existence, check out our off-gridHipcamp.

To learn more about the off-grid way of life in general, check out my book here:

To learn more about our natural way of life focusing on Using Herbal Remedies, check out my newest print book here.

Living off the grid with your spouse

drama free

Let me first be honest with you. Any path, in this life, you choose to follow, which takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you, will be met by those who do not share your same zeal, with contempt. If you and your partner are not 100% in this together, off-grid living will challenge your relationship. I know this all to well and send out a warning- off-grid living/homesteading is a hard life. It might seem, to some, like all fun and learning but it is far from that alone.

Live free or die

Off-grid homesteading, if done traditionally, is a lot of very hard work and will take some time to get comfortable with. Those that would enter into this way of life with a partner, that feels they are just in it for the fun of it or who may just be following their partner to remain loyal, I would caution you. Here is the problem. First, off no matter what the path or way of life is, there will be issues if the two of you are not on the same page!

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You can not expect one partner to follow one way of life and their partner to follow a separate way, especially IF that separate way is in direct opposition to the first partner’s way of living. To put it bluntly, if you and your spouse do not fully agree with off-grid living then expect to have relationship problems. The demands of the homestead are many. Firstly, someone has to be at the homestead almost constantly taking care of all the animals and gardens, along with all the odds and ends that come with a self-reliant way of life.

Self sufficient

Secondly, modern day life does not fit into an off-grid OR homesteading way of life. Now I know there will be those that will challenge me and say, “well I and my wife or husband have made it work.” I would say, well good for you, you are the exception. But I speak from eyewitness experience of this, not just of the off-grid path, but even many spiritual paths. I am also a spiritual adviser/teacher, I have led many people down certain spiritual paths, that they were all about.

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However, their wife or husband wasn’t 100%, or sometimes, at all. Even after my warning, their relationships started seeing turmoil and eventually came to an end. Whether its some spiritual path you are walking, a belief you are standing firm on or even the off-grid life, your partner needs to be 100% committed to the same lifestyle. It is my hope and prayer for all those couples moving off-grid, that they would both be 100% committed, for the long haul.

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Life will be hard, at first. Things will seem to be working against you and you will need to be strong. Work together, not separate and you will taste success.

To learn more about our homestead and what is available to the public in terms of what we offer as part of our existence, check out our off-gridHipcamp.

To learn more about the off-grid way of life in general, check out my book here:

To learn more about our natural way of life focusing on Using Herbal Remedies, check out my newest print book here.

All is well on the homefront!

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Well, that was a close call! This is basically a blog post to say to all those that have been following our progress towards saving the homestead from foreclosure, that God has shined down on us and we are now in the safe zone!

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Thanks to a work trade, I was able to set up, funds were given to me to be able to make the land payment as well as the back payment that has been hanging over our heads for years and the current land taxes for 2018!

First garden pictures of 2018 (Mar. 2018) (3)

So as of 3-28-18 Dogwood Hollow Homestead is back on track and just in time for opening season 2018! April 1 is officially our opening date, although things are already fully running at the homestead. That is gardens are planted, mostly, the new fruit orchard is already blooming (5 peach trees, 1 pear tree, 2 cherry trees, 3 elderberry bushes and a collection of wild and domesticate blueberry bushes).

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We have just endured our first camping family, which stayed for a bit over a week. Now we are awaiting the next brave soul to come check out what it is like to live off the grid in an intentional “forest” community. Camping is abundant on the property, so contact us via Dogwoodhollow17@gmail.com and let us know when yo expect you! Camping fees are just $12 a night. If you are interested in getting that true off-grid living experience, we still do that too! You may book your off-grid camping adventure/learning experience here.

First garden pictures of 2018 (Mar. 2018) (8)

WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW COMMUNITY MEMBERS. COMMUNITY FEES ARE $100 A MONTH FOR CAMPERS AND $300 A MONTH TO USE A COMMUNITY CABIN OR PARK YOUR RV, BUS, MOTORHOME OR PORTABLE CABIN ONSITE FOR SHELTER.

DHH homestead community facing possible foreclosure?

UPDATE: FUNDS HAVE BEEN MADE AND THE COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SAVED! 3-29-18 

 

off grid cabin 2

Hello Family, Dogwood Hollow Homestead IC, here in Texas County MO. (Houston area), is looking for people to join us in the community. For camping ($100 a month) and land space for tiny homes, small RV’s or portable cabins ($400 a month). We also have a cabin, on sight, for rent ($400 a month). NOTE: As we gather community members for 2018, the price of membership/rent goes down for all members except camping members. $100 a month is the minimum everyone can expect to pay.

We are an intentional off-grid community who raises loads of organic food and have been at it for over 8 years now. Building space, land lots and cabins available on a first come first serve basis, hurry it is the first day of spring, our opening day, we will fill up fast now. Contact me by message or commenting or Dogwoodhollow17@gmail.com ASAP! We need folks fast or lose the homestead! 😦

UPDATE: FUNDS HAVE BEEN MADE AND THE COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SAVED! 3-29-18