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Nikki's PEX

 
gardener
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I'm kind of doing SKIP backwards from how it's intended. I thought I was an indoor city girl, but I married into some land and absolutely love having these few acres to roam. As family that owns it gets older, we've realized we need a plan for using and maintaining it. The land comes with a half-dug pond, poor soil that's been heavily compacted, and lots of tools that I have no idea how to use. I also had a baby this year, and she's helped me see where many of my skills are lacking. I can't very well teach her things that I don't know myself. I don't expect that I'll complete PEP, as there are some things that I have no interest in, but it seems like a great starting point.

On top of PEP, here are my own goals for PEX according to Nikki. These are subject to change.

Stamina and Physical Fitness
The more I try to do, the more I realize how out of shape I am. I want to be able to play with my daughter, maintain the land, and be active well into old age, so I need to address this now.
--Run a mile
--Run/jog for 20 minutes
--Lift 50 pounds from the floor to a shelf above my waist.
--Be outside for an hour in below freezing temperatures.
--Be outside for an hour in temperatures over 90F.
--Do 10 pull-ups in a row.

Nest
--Replace at least 3 of our disposables with reusable items.
--Replace 3+ bathroom products with homemade products.
--Create a will.
--Create a home emergency binder with contacts, financial, info about heirlooms, etc.
--Clean a dirty trashcan.

Natural Medicine.
--Stock an apothecary cabinet with herbs and homemade herbal products for common complaints. Create an easily accessible materia medica that describes how to use them.
--Harvest, dry, and store yellow dock root (Rumex crispus).
--Make a cleaver succus.
--Completed - Make a tincture of usnea.
--Completed - Harvest, dry, and store Rose of Sharon and Passionflower leaves
--Completed - Incorporate 3 homegrown, gently medicinal plants into my family's foods (examples: milky oats, chamomile, passionflower) since "food is medicine." Progress: Sheet pancakes with cornsilk, lime basil bread with milky oat succus, and elderflower syrup
--The PEP Natural Medicine badge prohibits doing the Quinn list on yourself, and I also have some health concerns that aren't on those lists. As a beginner herbalist, I feel like I should try remedies on myself before recommending them to others, so PEX according to me includes making notes of my experiences with treating myself. This may include (but is not limited to) eliminating panic attacks, gaining to a healthy weight, eliminating eczema, and halting tooth decay. Progress: Insect sting and help a hurt ankle

Woodland
--Enhance diversity of an established forest by adding at least 6 species of edible and/or medicinal plants, trees, or fungi.
--Completed - Plant a guild of at least 6 species around an established fruit or nut tree.
--Graft a tree

Food Prep and Preservation
--Grow at least 12 culinary herbs and use them in meals. (Must be used with food, not just tea/drinks.) This can include different varieties of an herb, such as sweet basil, lime basil, and cinnamon basil, as long as the meals are obviously different. Progress: Lemon balm bread, lime basil bread, basil pesto with eggs, mint chocolate muffins, garlic rosemary salmon, and lemon thyme in blackberry crisp and lemonade
--Have an organizational system in place for using the preserved food and harvest (such as an inventory, calendar, etc.)
--Make pasta from scratch.
--Preserve culinary herbs in 5 different ways. Suggestions - dried, salt, vinegar, honey, frozen, oil, extract (alcohol or glycerin)

Gardening
--Use season extenders, microclimates, and plant selection to grow year-round. Harvest some food every month for a year.
--Completed - Do a soil test for minerals. If I'm going to eat mostly from my land, I need to know what needs to be supplemented.
--Propogate 3 plant varieties through cuttings, air layering, suckers, or burying stems to root.

Community
--Give only handmade, homegrown, repurposed, or secondhand gifts for Christmas. Services and nonmaterial gifts count, too.
--Completed - Meet at least 6 neighbors who I don't already know.
--Complete a local trade for an item or service worth at least $20. Can be multiple items, such as seeds, as long as the trade is with the same person.
--Pick up litter along a stretch of road in my neighborhood.
--Provide a meal for at least 4 people who are going through difficult times.

Textile
-- Repurpose a piece of clothing that we no longer wear (not into rags)

Homestead
-- Repurpose materials and/or use scraps on the homestead to make something functional for the house.

Animal Care
-- Deter deer from the main garden by using a variety of tactics, including but not limited to modified junk pole fencing, living fence, and establishing more deer food along the forest edges.
 
pollinator
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Woohoo! I love what you're planning. I've run out of apples so you'll have to make do with pie.
 
Nikki Roche
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Edward Norton wrote:Woohoo! I love what you're planning. I've run out of apples so you'll have to make do with pie.


I appreciate it! I really should learn more about apples and pie on here. I just received an email this week that my pie is about to expire.
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

This is now a wiki Nikki. If you want it to be able to accept replies please hit the report button again.

 
pollinator
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Really like your list so far, Nikki! I especially like that your Woodland section is more focused on planting trees rather than cutting them down!

What 12 culinary herbs are you thinking of using? In my garden I have only 11 (rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, garlic chives, parsley, lovage, dill, and stevia) but had never counted them until now. After some struggle, I've finally got seedlings of hyssop, Mexican tarragon and liquorice, but I'm not going to count them until they're grown!

I also think your community section is really nice, particularly about meeting neighbours and bartering (I love bartering--great way to build relationships).
 
Nikki Roche
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M Broussard wrote:Really like your list so far, Nikki! I especially like that your Woodland section is more focused on planting trees rather than cutting them down!

What 12 culinary herbs are you thinking of using? In my garden I have only 11 (rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, garlic chives, parsley, lovage, dill, and stevia) but had never counted them until now. After some struggle, I've finally got seedlings of hyssop, Mexican tarragon and liquorice, but I'm not going to count them until they're grown!

I also think your community section is really nice, particularly about meeting neighbours and bartering (I love bartering--great way to build relationships).



Thank you M Broussard! A dozen culinary herbs seemed like a nice, even number that would be achievable while still being a challenge, but I haven't actually counted my herbs, yet.
In my garden, there's rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon balm, 4 types of mint, garlic chives, onion chives, fennel, oregano, bee balm, and horehound. Annually, I also plant basil and lime basil and sometimes a couple of other basil varieties. This year, I'd like to sow lavender, dill, lemon thyme, parsley, lovage, and salad burnet.
 
Nikki Roche
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I made progress on "Incorporate 3 homegrown, gently medicinal plants into my family's foods."

Last time I grew corn, I dried the cornsilk to use in tea for bladder issues. We used very little of it, so I looked for other uses. I found a company who uses cornsilk in their high fiber flour blend. I ground mine into a powder and added a spoonful to sheet pan pancakes. The batter is pink because of beets.

Cornsilk is gently medicinal and not generally used as food, so I feel it fits well for this.

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Dried cornsilk
Dried cornsilk
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Sheet pan pancake ready to bake
Sheet pan pancake ready to bake
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Finished pancake
Finished pancake
 
Nikki Roche
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My first recipe for using a homegrown herb: Lemon balm quick bread

My lemon balm was about to flower, so I needed to harvest it quickly. I loosely followed a recipe for basic quick bread, adding in 1/2 cup of diced lemon balm leaves, a spoonful of homemade lemon balm extract (aka double strength tincture), and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. I used 3 tablespoons of sweetener instead of the 1/2 cup that most recipes called for. The overall flavor was mild. My husband doesn't like most lemon-flavored baked goods, but he enjoyed this. I would have preferred more acidity, either from more lemon juice or maybe cultured dairy. We all liked it enough that it's in my recipe book to make next time lemon balm leaves are abundant.
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Harvesting lemon balm
Harvesting lemon balm
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Lemon balm leaves, ready to dice
Lemon balm leaves, ready to dice
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Mixing the batter
Mixing the batter
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Ready to bake
Ready to bake
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The finished bread
The finished bread
 
Posts: 138
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Nikki I really like your list of PEX. A lot of those a Similar to what I'm trying to create for our PEX list. ( I'm the founder of The Mavis Institute, in a nutshell, we are kindergarten for homesteaders, back to landers, permaculturalist. )

I would really like to work out the details to turn these into badge bits, and use them here on permies, and add some of them to my courses.  The Stamina and Physical Fitness, is a great one. I think we need a Air thru Iron badge in this field. That question is ask to me a lot when it comes to some of the farming skills i have. " What kind of shape do I need to be in?"

Anyway, I'm going to work on qualification for some of these, and I'd like your feedback. ( or if you have your own set of qualification we can include those instead)

Talk with ya soon.

-Justyn 'Doc'
 
Nikki Roche
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Justyn Mavis wrote:Nikki I really like your list of PEX. A lot of those a Similar to what I'm trying to create for our PEX list. ( I'm the founder of The Mavis Institute, in a nutshell, we are kindergarten for homesteaders, back to landers, permaculturalist. )

I would really like to work out the details to turn these into badge bits, and use them here on permies, and add some of them to my courses.  The Stamina and Physical Fitness, is a great one. I think we need a Air thru Iron badge in this field. That question is ask to me a lot when it comes to some of the farming skills i have. " What kind of shape do I need to be in?"

Anyway, I'm going to work on qualification for some of these, and I'd like your feedback. ( or if you have your own set of qualification we can include those instead)

Talk with ya soon.

-Justyn 'Doc'



I'd be glad to talk it out with you or offer feedback. I just read your thread about The Mavis Institute, and I think it's awesome what you're doing! I'm not sure what a physical fitness badge would look like when trying to accommodate many people. Maybe a "pick your own adventure" where they need to accomplish a couple from a longer list? We all have such different abilities, and there are so many tools and technologies to work around many of our limitations. One idea is to word it like "figure out how to move a 50 lb bag" rather than saying they have to lift the whole thing. Help people think outside the box instead of setting a standard of physical fitness. Just a thought, as I don't know anything about the people you work with.
 
Nikki Roche
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I harvested and air-dried passionflower leaves. I've bought tea blends with it in the past to help me calm down and sleep, so I'm glad to have my own growing now.

The deer got a big share of leaves, too, since it's growing on my garden's fence. I transplanted some to the forest edge and plan to transplant more next spring, so maybe the deer will leave the garden alone. I'm hoping the passionflower and greenbriar will displace the invasive Japanese honeysuckle if I help by cutting it back. The honeysuckle is choking and stunting some of the trees. Greenbriar and passionflower can become invasive in my area, but they don't seem to have a detrimental effect on the trees.
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Cutting the passionflower vine
Cutting the passionflower vine
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Fresh leaves
Fresh leaves
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Dried leaves
Dried leaves
 
Nikki Roche
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Something stung my foot. It immediately started throbbing, my big toe went numb, and the sting site started swelling. I soaked a rag in plantain tincture and wrapped tape around it to hold it onto my foot, applying an ice pack whenever I had a few minutes to sit down.

After applying the tincture, the swelling immediately stopped and feeling returned to my toe. Within a half hour, the rest of my foot stopped throbbing. I removed the tincture after a couple of hours. The site of the sting was tender and hurt to touch, but the rest of my foot felt much better. By morning, my foot felt completely fine, and I couldn't even tell where I had been stung.

When I've gotten stung in the past and just beared the consequences, the swelling and pain usually lasted for a couple of days. I'd say the tincture helped tremendously. It's one I made awhile back with fresh plantain leaves and a combo of vodka and gem clear.
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Something stung my foot
Something stung my foot
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What's left of my plantain tincture after using it
What's left of my plantain tincture after using it
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My foot is good as new
My foot is good as new
 
Nikki Roche
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I made usnea tincture this week.

Late frost got one of our peach trees this year, and it never fully recovered. Instead of providing fruit, the tree has been an incredible host for usnea. I picked some, cut it into tiny pieces, and used a crockpot for heat extraction with water and everclear.

Usnea is a fantastic antibacterial. I plan to dilute the tincture in water and use it as a mouthwash for help with cavities. The rest will be stored in my apothecary cabinet for general first aid.
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Usnea on the peach tree
Usnea on the peach tree
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Picking usnea
Picking usnea
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My jar of harvested usnea
My jar of harvested usnea
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Usnea in the crockpot with everclear
Usnea in the crockpot with everclear
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The finished usnea tincture
The finished usnea tincture
 
Nikki Roche
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I harvested and dried Rose of Sharon flowers. These are beautiful when they bloom! I add the petals to teas for their mild mucilagenous effect and sometimes just because the purple is pretty in a tea blend.
PXL_20220731_150839450.PORTRAIT.jpg
Rose of Sharon flower
Rose of Sharon flower
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Drying the Rose of Sharon petals
Drying the Rose of Sharon petals
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Dried petals are ready for storage
Dried petals are ready for storage
 
Nikki Roche
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2 for the price of 1 -- I baked a quick bread using a homegrown culinary herb AND a gently medicinal herb. I just forgot to take photos along the way...

I harvested fresh lime basil leaves, and I had milky oat succus in the freezer from when I grew oats. To make the succus, I harvested the oat tops during their milky stage and processed them in a blender with a bit of water. I strained the milky juice and froze it in ice cube trays. I use a few cubes in place of water, milk, or other liquid. They do have a bright green tint, so I keep that in mind when deciding when to use them. Milky oats are known to be a gentle yet effective nervine, calming when you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, among other benefits. They're also considered to be highly nutritious.

I loosely followedthis recipe of brown butter cardamom banana bread. Its ratios are my base recipe for nearly all fruity quick breads.

I used my homeground gluten-free flour blend, a couple of big handfuls of lime basil, lime juice, milky oat succus, hemp seeds, and sucanat sugar. Since I was using sour instead of sweet fruit, I didn't reduce the sugar like I normally do.

It came out of the oven as I was cooking dinner. My daughter and I ate so much that we weren't hungry for dinner. I harvested the lime basil rather late this year, so I won't be able to make this again this season, but it will definitely be on the menu next summer.
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Harvesting lime basil
Harvesting lime basil
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Lime basil quick bread with milky oat succus
Lime basil quick bread with milky oat succus
 
Nikki Roche
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Working on "Use 12 homegrown herbs in meals" by harvesting basil, making pesto, and eating some with eggs. No one else in my household likes much basil, so I spread pesto on my portion of the frittata.

I'm intolerant to dairy and had no pine nuts on hand, so my ingredients were basil leaves, a garlic clove, hemp seeds, olive oil, and salt. I like chunky pesto where all of the ingredients meld yet shine separately. Since I only needed a small amount for myself, I used a mortar and pestle to mash and grind it.
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Harvesting basil
Harvesting basil
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Pesto ingredients
Pesto ingredients
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Making pesto with the mortar and pestle
Making pesto with the mortar and pestle
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The finished pesto
The finished pesto
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Frittata with pesto
Frittata with pesto
 
Nikki Roche
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2 things accomplished:
I did a basic soil test through the local extension office. My soil isn't as bad off as I had feared. It's a little acidic and needs more organic matter.

I've also met 6 neighbors who I didn't already know. My toddler and I go for walks through the neighborhood a few times per week, and she's great for helping me meet people. She's active and outgoing and at the age where nearly everything she does is cute. She yells "Hey!" to anyone she sees. When someone is sitting on their porch, we approach and I give the excuse of "my daughter wanted to meet you."

It's a small world. It turns out I graduated high school with one of our neighbors. We didn't recognize each other at first, but the quality of local schools came up in our conversation so we learned of our former connection. Another neighbor we met used to work with my dad. We know each other's families but had never officially met. The neighborhood feels different as we're meeting people -- more comforting I guess, like home extends beyond the walls of my actual house. We'll continue our walks, and I hope to meet many more next year.
 
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Nikki Roche wrote:
I've also met 6 neighbors who I didn't already know. My toddler and I go for walks through the neighborhood a few times per week, and she's great for helping me meet people. She's active and outgoing and at the age where nearly everything she does is cute. She yells "Hey!" to anyone she sees. When someone is sitting on their porch, we approach and I give the excuse of "my daughter wanted to meet you."



Cute kids really help in making friends and meeting neighbors! I would take my kids for walks a lot, largely just to get them out of the house, but also so I could meet new people and maybe--just maybe!--my kids would be tired enough for a long nap! For a lot of my kids' young years, lots of construction was happening in our neighborhood. Now, normally, it's kind of awkward to walk up and stare at construction for a long time. Not so when you have a 3 year old son! Everyone kind of understands that little kids LOVE watching dump trucks and other large machinery at work! We met a lot of our neighbors before they moved in, simply because we came to "watch the construction" and stuck around helping where we could with things.

I've also found that there's certain times of day that it's better to go for a walk to meet neighbors. Usually around 3-4:30, lots of people are heading home. On our little private drive, this means we get to wave to lots of our neighbors, and many of them stop and chat for a minute.
 
Nikki Roche
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Nicole Alderman wrote:
Cute kids really help in making friends and meeting neighbors! I would take my kids for walks a lot, largely just to get them out of the house, but also so I could meet new people and maybe--just maybe!--my kids would be tired enough for a long nap! For a lot of my kids' young years, lots of construction was happening in our neighborhood. Now, normally, it's kind of awkward to walk up and stare at construction for a long time. Not so when you have a 3 year old son! Everyone kind of understands that little kids LOVE watching dump trucks and other large machinery at work! We met a lot of our neighbors before they moved in, simply because we came to "watch the construction" and stuck around helping where we could with things.



It's no wonder that it's taken me this long to meet my neighbors! So many ways that I meet them would be awkward or creepy without Roo. But who can say no when a 2 year old wants to know your name? It's fun to see her fascination with construction crews, too.

Recently, Roo was cranky and the only thing that settled her was going for a walk. We walked or pushed her stroller down her favorite street 3 times that day. On the last walk, a man caught up to us and asked if we needed help. He said he sees us walking frequently, and I'm pretty sure Roo's earlier meltdown was right in front of his house. I'm sure by the third walk, I looked tired and maybe lost! So that was an unexpected way to meet a neighbor, and it was nice to know that he was ready to help if needed.
 
Nikki Roche
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I planted a guild of at least 6 species around an established fruit or nut tree.

A couple of years before I met my husband, his dad put a bunch of pecan nuts in the ground. Only one sprouted and survived, and it happened to be right next to the driveway. It hasn't produced any pecans, yet, and I imagine some of the slow growth is because it's surrounded by grass and compacted earth. I've slowly added a few trees nearby, much to my husband's dismay since he mows around them. Last year, I mulched and started planting around that lone pecan tree.

I'm using mostly aggressive herbs and am planning to let them battle it out or move themselves to where they want.
I transplanted these from other places in the yard: soapwort, yarrow, lamb's ear, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, and apple mint. Bee balm looks straggly but is spreading and holding its own. Soapwort and yarrow have really taken off, and the rest look good, too.

I transplanted jonquil tulips along the edge by the driveway, figuring they're hardy and I have so many, it won't matter if they accidentally get run over. I still need to plant something behind the jonquils, but for this season, I'm going to see how the other plants grow and spread. Maybe one will migrate to that spot.

While weeding and mulching, I left clover, dandelion, and chickweed and added more clover seeds. I also planted comfrey and borage from seed.
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Yarrow, soapwort, and others around the pecan tree
Yarrow, soapwort, and others around the pecan tree
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The line of jonquil tulips by the driveway
The line of jonquil tulips by the driveway
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Apple mint among the bee balm, with chickweed on the left
Apple mint among the bee balm, with chickweed on the left
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Lamb's ear
Lamb
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Borage and clover
Borage and clover
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Work in progress, before I finished mulching
Work in progress, before I finished mulching
 
Nikki Roche
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For "use 12 culinary herbs," I can add chocolate mint to my list. I baked mint chocolate muffins with "help" from my toddler. She wasn't impressed with the final result, but I detested anything chocolate mint as a kid, too. My husband and I thought the muffins were good. I couldn't find a recipe that uses fresh mint leaves, so I figured I would need to piece one together. On a whim, I tried ChatGPT first (artificial intelligence), and it put together a recipe that looked close to what I would have come up with, with the exception of the baking powder amount. I feel like 1 tbsp is too much, so I greatly reduced it and used a bit of baking soda, too. The recipe is attached below.

I halved the recipe, just in case we didn't like it. Other changes that I made to the recipe:
Almond milk instead of cow milk
Doubled the vanilla (an accident, but it worked well)
Cacao powder (raw cocoa) instead of cocoa powder
Omitted the chocolate chips
1.4 oz ghee and .4 oz cocoa butter in place of the butter
Homeground gluten-free flour blend of millet and sorghum with a bit of amaranth and buckwheat
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Chocolate mint is spreading far and wide
Chocolate mint is spreading far and wide
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Chocolate mint leaves
Chocolate mint leaves
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Mini mint chocolate muffins
Mini mint chocolate muffins
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Recipe from ChatGPT
Recipe from ChatGPT
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Recipe from ChatGPT, part 2
Recipe from ChatGPT, part 2
 
Nicole Alderman
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One TABLESPOON of baking powder That's a lot for muffins! I'm glad you reduced it, and glad they turned out good (at least for adult taste buds!). I haven't tried cooking with mint leaves, but we munch on them outside, and my husband puts a lot in his tea.

We just went and planted a BUNCH all around our wellhouse to keep the mice away. Mint is super handy!
 
Nikki Roche
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Nicole Alderman wrote:One TABLESPOON of baking powder That's a lot for muffins! I'm glad you reduced it, and glad they turned out good (at least for adult taste buds!). I haven't tried cooking with mint leaves, but we munch on them outside, and my husband puts a lot in his tea.

We just went and planted a BUNCH all around our wellhouse to keep the mice away. Mint is super handy!



This was my first time cooking or baking with mint leaves, too. I've been wanting to use them for years, but it just wasn't a flavor that I grew up with in my foods.

I've heard that mint will keep ants away, and then ants built a mound in one of the mint patches! Lol so that didn't work. Knowing it deters mice might be enough to convince my husband that we need more growing around the house. Not much will grow in the packed red clay at our foundation, but I have a small section of apple mint there that is well-established.
 
Nikki Roche
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Progress on "Grow at least 12 culinary herbs and use them in meals." I cooked garlic rosemary salmon with freshly harvested rosemary.

I minced garlic and rosemary, added some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread the mixture over salmon before baking it in the oven. We enjoyed it, and I plan to make it again.
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The mix of garlic and rosemary
The mix of garlic and rosemary
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Raw salmon with seasonings
Raw salmon with seasonings
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The finished salmon
One piece of leftover salmon after dinner
 
Nikki Roche
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homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
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I made progress with using 12 culinary herbs in foods -- lemon thyme. This plant smells so good and is one that I need to find more uses for!
I started with a decoction of lemon thyme and then added sugar to make a syrup. I used the syrup as the sweetener in blackberry crisp, but the subtle flavor of the lemon thyme was lost amongst the stronger blackberries. (The photos are misnamed, as I accidentally put cobbler on the originals instead of crisp.)

I also used the syrup to sweeten lemonade. The lemon thyme flavor was mild, but you could taste it a little in the background of the sour lemon. I plan to experiment with this herb more, as I'm sure there are plenty of ways to make it shine.
Lemon-Thyme-Blackberry-Cobbler1.jpg
Frozen blackberries
Frozen blackberries
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The finished blackberry crisp with lemon thyme
The finished blackberry crisp with lemon thyme
Lemon-Thyme-Lemonade.jpg
Lemonade with lemon thyme
Lemonade with lemon thyme
 
Nikki Roche
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There is a Natural Medicine BB about helping with a sprain. However, I hurt my own ankle, and Quinn BB's cannot be submitted for yourself. So I'm trying herbs on myself to see what helps before I use them on someone else. And honestly, I don't know the difference between a sprain and other injuries, so I may be incorrectly calling this a sprain. I just know it hurt, and now it doesn't.

I hurt my ankle while avoiding an aggressive dog. My concern was about the dog, not in how I was stepping, so I stepped wrong. My ankle throbbed, and pain shot down my foot and up my calf if I tried to bend my ankle. It quickly swelled. I elevated my foot and covered it with a cold compress of apple cider vinegar, alternated with a warm comfrey leaf poultice. I walked/hobbled short distances occasionally to prevent stiffness. The swelling was still there on the second day, but I was able to hobble around and put some weight on it as long as I walked flat-footed. I continued to elevate and use the apple cider vinegar compress. I also used a bit of infused rosemary oil above my ankle, as other areas were hurting from walking differently.

By day 3, swelling had begun to decrease but not quite disappear, and I could bend my ankle with only mild discomfort. No over-the-counter pain meds nor anti-inflammatories needed through it all.
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Swelling right after I stepped wrong
Swelling right after I stepped wrong
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Making a comfrey poultice from dried leaves
Making a comfrey poultice from dried leaves
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My foot wrapped with the comfrey poultice
My foot wrapped with the comfrey poultice
 
Nikki Roche
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Location: South Carolina
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Last of the "incorporate 3 homegrown gentle, medicinal herbs into food that aren't normally used as food." I made elderflower syrup with equal parts sugar and water, part of a vanilla pod, and a few handfuls of fresh elderflowers. We used the syrup as the sweetener in muffins and drizzled over waffles. The flavor is mildly floral, and I can't say the flavor was noticed in the muffins. However, it was delicious over the waffles.
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What's left of the elderflower syrup after muffins and waffles
What's left of the elderflower syrup after muffins and waffles
 
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