Monday, December 21, 2009

Sauble Christmas Letter

As the Sauble family was busy decorating a tree with funny-looking lights, we took this year's newsletter into our capable hooves.

Let's see, where to begin - Jim began an addition on the house that will add much-needed bedroom and playroom space. His construction business really slowed down in the summer, but picked up this fall. Every day, as always, is a lesson in dependence on God's provision. Judy is busy about the house, homeschooling and is an Awana leader.

Daniel (21) is in his first year of graduate school and finished a college internship at Intel this summer. In between school he works on starting a 'virtual tour photography' business from home, and practicing with his new camera by creating videos starring his 'light-saber dueling' brothers.

Emily (20), our human, desires to live back in the days when life wasn't so full of electronics. She's studying to be a certified community herbalist and enjoys researching and putting into practice sustainable farming methods. We are kind of glad she's so strange - creatures like us get royal treatment around here. She also teaches ten piano students, studies privately and plays for church.

Nathan is graduating this spring from homeschool high school and earning his citation in Awana. He just turned 18 and really wants to get his drivers license and find a job off the home base. Last fall he worked on a commercial fishing boat off the OR/WA coast and brought home some freshly caught albacore (not that we care, but the family seemed pretty excited)!

Marcus (15) works hard and neighbors hire him for all kinds of tasks. We see him around at 5 am, cleaning the parlor and getting things ready for milking. He uses his creativity for studying rocks (perhaps a Geologist is in his future?), creating things like a complex game from cardboard and chicken wire, and drawing. He took up saxophone in the homeschool band in addition to his piano and xylophone.

Joshua enjoys singing bass in our church choir and learning trombone and piano (MOO-sic to our ears!). He surpasses everyone but Nathan in height at age 13. In November, he came forward to be baptised with Nathan, Marcus and Caleb. What a neat event in their lives! Josh is an avid reader and works hard alongside his dad and around the farm (you should watch him handle a tractor!).

Caleb, an active 11 year old, enjoys playing basketball with friends from church but does not like waking up early to feed us. Oh well, I guess no one is perfect. He plays clarinet and piano and is memorizing a lot of God's Word in his last year of T'n'T Awana before moving on to junior high.

Abigail (8) is our picture draw-er and letter writer. She is learning bells in band and loves playing the piano with her sister Lydia. She also knits almost as fast as Emily and is learning to read recipes. The most exciting event of her year was when she accepted Jesus as her Savior on March 3rd.

Lydia, being the youngest at age 6, has fun doing school, attending Sparks (Awana), learning piano and playing with her sister, Abigail. She is quite the 'helper', and what she lacks in stamina, she makes up in enthusiasm when she asks to 'help' with milking, baking, and cooking.

Family events: this summer, the Sauble family joined Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville and enjoy getting to know their new church family. The only (and fun) vacation of the summer was family camp near Detroit Lake in August. You can't blame them for not wanting to leave us adorable critters!

Well, back to munching on the hay. Must have been a simply delightful bed for little baby Jesus!

Moo-erry Christmas!

Miss Mattie and Miss Jani (Jersey cows)

Shiloh Knoll Farm

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Herbal Tincture Making

This post is specifically for you, Caitlyn - enjoy!

1. You begin with some 100 proof alcohol (I used Vodka) - this is called the menstruum.

2. Then you grab some fresh or dried herbs.
3. Put herbs in a glass canning jar and pour in the alcohol until the herbs are covered plus 1/4 inch headspace. I found that leafy herbs absorbed much more alcohol than did roots, berries and bark.
4. The best time to begin your tinctures is the day of the new moon, and after shaking each day for about 4 weeks, strain the herbs through cheesecloth and carefully pour the liquid that is left into dark glass bottles.
Mind you, I know there is a lot of quack stuff out there in the herbal community, but I thought this was interesting: Chinese herbal medicine teaches that "herbs gathered in the spring, in the morning, or at the waxing moon, made up of rapidly growing tissues, the leaves, green tips and other parts when green, will tend to encourage upward movement. Herbs gathered in midsommer, at noon and at the full moon, made up of the mature parts of the plant, the flowers, fruit and associated structures, would tend to encourage outward movement. One would use such remedies to disperse cold, to assist superficial defences against both cold and heat and to counteract symptoms of excessive sinking in the body or excessive penetration (i.e. disease conditions moving past primary defences to establish themselves as chronic pathologies). Rising remedies might include heating remedies, emetics and expectorants, the astringents and the peripheral vasodilators.
"Herbs gathered in the autumn, in late afternoon and during the waning moon, with drying plant tissues, stalks, fallen leaves, parts of the plant that have lost their full colour, the rhizomes and tubers that encourage downward movement while those associated with dormancy, latency, hidden potency, with the plant in winter, at night and at the new moon, with quiescent latent tissues, especially seeds, buds and rootstocks, will encourage inward movement. Both tendencies are encouraged by harvesting and storage. They would tend to be used to reduce excessive heat, encourage nourishing and eliminatory activities and counteract symptoms of excessive rising in the body, such as vomiting, coughing, headaches, convulsions, spastic conditions such as asthma and nervous dyspepsia, and neuromuscular tensions. These remedies might include the antispasmodics, sedatives, bitters, antitussives, purgatives and diuretics." - quoted from 'Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy'
Hm, I wonder what natural laws could be the reason for this thinking?

I thank God for these wonderful healing plants!

Yes! I am done with module 1 of the Naturally Healthy Community Herbalist course by Shonda Parker. What a fabulous overview of healing foods, how to avoid excessive toxic exposure, understand medical terms and lab tests, how to practice Christian hospitality and organize your pantry and kitchen.

P.S. My 'Immune Defense' and 'Winter Health' concoctions seem to be helpful along with the vitamin C, zinc, garlic and echinacea for keeping the immune system strong this winter. Since I'm around little kids from different families a lot because of my music teaching, I usually bring in the big guns (tincture of oregano and elderberry) if I feel slightly iffy. That, a positive outlook, friends, sleep, and eating well are all just as helpful for staying healthy!

My Ashford :)

I can't wait for my first lesson on the wheel!

Preparing a Hole

How to prepare a hole for planting a tree:

1. Dig a hole about 3' x 3'.

2. Add some leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, or all three.
3. Then some strawy manure.
4. Mix together soft rock phosphate, lime...
brewer's yeast...
baker's yeast...
copper sulfate...
ferrous sulfate...
and pour some of that mix into the hole.
5. Add some good ol' molasses to get things working.
6. I like to mix in some of the original dirt as well.
7. Whoops - can't forget the fresh dairy manure! Chicken or horse is great, too.
8. Repeat the layers, then cover it all with a thick layer of straw and black plastic and mix as often as possible until spring.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Summer Memories

Some pictures of summer to brighten these cold winter days...

I couldn't ask for cuter little sisters :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Anyone else struggling with tact these days?

Maria von Trapp said...

"I can't seem to stop saying things.
Everything I think and feel."

"Some people call that honesty."

"Oh, but it's terrible, reverend mother!"

Thanks, Christi, for that humorous reminder. :)

Some day I may realize that people do not usually want their way of life challenged by an upstart who thinks she knows how to do things differently. Constantly, my words need to be tempered with humility. My dad and I are alike - we want so badly to 'fix' things. 'Fix' our neighbor's poor apple management, 'fix' a child's cough, 'fix' a friend's idea that vaccinations are actually beneficial... you get the picture.

There are people out there genuinely interested in learning what you have to offer, but it matters just as much how and when you present it to them, as what your advice actually entails.

People skills.


Though by no means extensive, here is a list of books that I have enjoyed and learned from this past year, and hope that this will help other people in their studies. I do not agree with any of the authors completely, but there is much to glean from their knowledge:

Practical knowledge for small-time farmers:

Homesteading - Gene Logsdon
You Can Farm - Joel Salatin
Successful Berry Growing - Joel Salatin
Nourishment Home Grown - Dr. A. F. Beddoe
All Flesh is Grass - Gene Logsdon

Consumer information:

Holy Cows and Hog Heaven - Joel Salatin

Herbs, nutrition awareness:

What's In This Stuff? - Patricia Thompson
The Autoimmune Epidemic - Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Cancer: Step Outside the Box - Ty F. Bollinger
Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy - Simon Mills
Common Herbs for Natural Health - Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Untold Story of Milk - Ron Schmid
Mommy Diagnostics - Shonda Parker

Books on my list to read:

The Raw Truth About Milk - William Campbell Douglass II
The Raw Milk Revolution - David E. Gumpert and Joel Salatin
The Herbal Medicine-maker's Handbook - James Green
What the Bible Says about Healthy Living - Rex Russell
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health - Rosemary Gladstart
Salad Bar Beef - Joel Salatin
Pastured Poultry Profits - Joel Salatin


I thought I'd share this beautiful folk hymn with y'all.

" Ye fleeting charms of earth, farewell, your springs of joy are dry;
My soul now seeks another home, a brighter world on high.

Farewell, my friends, whose tender care has long engaged my love;
Your fond embrace I now exchange for better friends above.

I'm a long time trav'ling here below,
I'm a long time trav'ling away from home,
I'm a long time trav'ling here below to lay this body down."

- The Sacred Harp
Come quickly, Lord Jesus...