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Faye Streiff

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since Oct 08, 2015
Appalachian Mountains
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Recent posts by Faye Streiff

The dried red sumac berries can be ground and used as a delightful spice for savory foods. Also the mature seed from Smartweed, which could be used as a pepper substitute.  Grandparents generation sometimes used spicebush buds, dried and ground, as a substitute for Allspice.  
5 days ago
Apple cider vinegar(or any other vinegar) should NEVER be ingested full strength.  Not only can it cause gastric upset, it can damage blood cells.  Diluted is a different story.  I use it in the stock tank for the goats, cows, horses when we have those (don’t have any now), and it keeps parasite eggs from hatching in their gut, effectively keeping them wormed.  Put a cup into bath water, and get rid of sore muscles.  I usually throw in a handful of Epsom salt along with it.  
4 weeks ago
My husband is a biodynamic ag consultant.  Says it looks like root damage from nematodes (due to insufficient beneficial microbes and minerals in the soil.)  Also looks like aphids on the stems, attacking the plant because it is weak, and a calcium/phosphate spray will get rid of that.  It makes the plant stronger too, as it will absorb through the foliage and any washing off goes into the ground and benefits the roots as well.  To make it, mix a high calcium lime with rock phosphate or just get the cal/Phos already mixed.  Add 2 tbsp. To a 5 gallon bucket, stir, let it settle out, stir again, let settle out and use the clear water on top in a sprayer.  For smaller plants just use a spray bottle.  Keep it on hand, works on pests quickly.  Also helps ailing plants.  Works even better if you can get Humate to mix a little in, tbsp or so.  It is sold under name of Foundation.  If you can’t get humate, a good, well made compost with substitute as it has active microbes in it.  
2 months ago
Our favorite is Caldo Verde, a Portuguese soup which we’ve adapted to what we grow.  Cook the peeled potatoes until very soft, mash with a potato masher and continue cooking until creamy, meanwhile adding some grated carrot to color it.  Last few minutes throw in a big handful of finely slivered kale, collards, Lamb’s Quarters greens or Bok Choi.  Slivered onion optional.  Before serving add a dash of olive oil.  Very filling and satisfying.  You don’t want to overcook the greens, bring to a simmer, simmer one minute, turn off heat and let it sit for 10 minutes covered.  

My second favorite is the traditional Southern Gumbo made with butter beans, field peas, corn, okra and tomatoes.  Just salt and a little cooking oil added.  Make sure the butter beans and peas are young, tender and well cooked so they are digestible.  I’m a southern gal, so love those southern style veggies I grew up with.  Okra, by the way, is a great lymph cleanser, and good for the gut health.  Eat more okra!
2 months ago
Cinnamon makes everything taste sweet.  It is also a matter of getting used to less or no sugar, which is healthier in the long run.  We make Ostenbrot with no sweetener, just a tiny bit of dried fruit (raisins, papaya or such).  It is a traditional holiday German bread, made with yeast, dried fruit, and anise seed.  
2 months ago
I always play with recipes and rarely use the original version.  Unfortunately,  I also rarely write it down and can never duplicate it.  My husband tells guests “enjoy it while you can, you may never get it again, at least not that version.”
When I make meatloaf I always use at least a pint of my home canned pears (no sugar added), per 2 lbs of meat.  I add in Cuban oregano, Italian seasoning, etc., and lots of grated onion, carrots, chopped peppers, etc., whatever I have on hand.  The pears keep it moist, and give a great flavor.  You could add oatmeal or another filler also.  In fact, I’ve made Meatless Loaf absent the meat, just with beans, grains and lots of other veggies. You might need to add an egg to that, or arrowroot, something to help it stick together so you can slice it without crumbling when it is baked.  

Twice in one week our power was out for at least several hours or longer (lots of bad storms and flooding here for a while).  Both times I was about to prepare dinner and once was just putting meatloaf and potatoes in the oven as it went out.  Ended up cooking on the grill.  Second time it was raining too hard to do it outside.  Husband built a small rocket stove as soon as the rain stopped, just out the back door near the kitchen and is going to put a roof over from the house, so we will have a backup.  Love those rocket stoves!  I can always cook in a Dutch oven on it if needed and put coals on top if baking.  
2 months ago
Years ago I was helping a friend can peaches from a tree in her yard.  I asked for all the scraps, peelings, pits, etc., to feed my chickens since they were organic.  Threw them in the chicken run, they scratched around and buried some of the pits.  Next spring, with chickens moved elsewhere, peach trees started coming up.  I still have some of them and they are incredible!  Another friend gave me a Cherokee white, which is unremarkable in taste compared to the yellow or orange peaches, but it has an edible pit.  I found out by accident when I saw squirrels breaking them and leaving tidbits on a concrete block under the tree.  I cracked one and was glad I did.  Another food source, and they are as good as almonds.  The two trees cross pollinated and squirrels buried their stashes here and there and now I have about 8 or more peach trees, all bearing, all slightly different in the ripening time and flavor, but all wonderful to eat.  They start bearing at one to two years old, because we put good minerals and microbes on them.  My husband does a formulation called Maury’s minerals which he grinds from various materials and it has every known mineral on the planet in it, plus added humates and mycorrhiza.  I’m amazed at what even a tiny little bit of it does.  

I planted seeds from an Anjou pear hoping to get good fruit.  Took 12 years before it bloomed and the pears were horrible, hard and lumpy and misshapen and the tree grew over 20 feet tall, so I can’t even reach them.  Ok for pear sauce (like applesauce), or baking, but very hard to peel due to the hardness of the fruit and it never seeming to get ripe and softer.  Then husband gave me a new grafting tool for my birthday (guess that was a hint), so grafting some of my good Honeysweet or Moonglow pears onto it.  It does have wonderful, strong rootstock so a good choice for grafting.  Nothing yet, but next year should tell.  

4 months ago
I still have COPD from second hand smoke from childhood.  Had a chronic cough since then and lots of respiratory distress.  Wish it was easier for everyone to quit if they want to, as it is very damaging to the body.  Niacin is a mirror image molecule to nicotine and if you take it (yes it does cause flushing like you are having a lot flash, as it clears the arteries), it can replace the nicotine, stopping the craving.  Good luck to all of you former smokers and I salute you for having the courage to quit.  I know it is a tough road.  
1 year ago

Annie Collins wrote:So glad that Mirabella and her calf are well! Happy, too, that Bongo is okay! I found myself holding my breath while reading both stories, worried about the outcome... you should write a book! They are wonderful stories, well written, and worthy of sharing!

I do write books, but haven't written one about the farm.  Currently working on my fourth book, which is my family's history of civil war days, when they lost the plantation, barely survived, and learned the only thing that really matters is their love for each other.  Three years in the works, and hope to have it finished this winter.  Name of it is Secret in the Well, because one of my ancestors hid her son there in a cavern, when he deserted near the end of the war, so the marauders would not kill him.  
1 year ago
I've been writing books and short stories since I was a young child.  I can't not write.  And when I hear something, sometimes it jogs something in me, and an idea is spawned so I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down ideas or book/article titles.  Then when I have time I can run with that.  What I do write seriously is pretty diverse, from a book on health and nutrition called Body Beautiful, Weight Loss & Rejuvenation, Surviving Grid Down, to Out of the Fast lane, Into the Flow (getting in touch with your soul's purpose).  For years now I've been working on my family history of the civil war, which is about the philosophy of how not having war works best, as all war really accomplishes is a lot of blood spilled, lives and businesses ruined and sets us back for generations.  This one has a lot of emphasis on how people survived, foraged for food and medicine and relied on nature and each other when they had nothing else.  It was civilization stripped down to bare bones survival skills.  Hope to have that one out by next spring, and have done several rewrites.  Will be my best work yet, but required a tremendous amount of research to make sure it was historically accurate and all the herbs I wanted to include for healing were actually written into the contents of the book, plus a chart at the end.  For cover pictures I get a real picture somewhere, usually on my digital camera,  and edit it to make it more or less hazy, higher pixels, etc., and just download.  This is where the computer comes in handy, although I dislike most high tech.  It is much easier to write on the computer and edit as I go rather than laboriously take hand written notes.  I usually do the outline and a synopsis before the actual meat of the story.  In other words, work out the focus, the timelines, the plot, before filling in all the gaps.  I can type (140 WPM when I was younger), than I can write.  

One thing I've learned is that to make it highly desirable and readable for the masses, is to make it passionate, about life, living and make them want to turn the page to get to the next part.  The kind of book you can't put down because you just have to know what comes next.  If you write about those things you love, it will come through into the writing/reading of it.  The first chapter should be something in the middle of an exciting action, and movement.  Don't start at the beginning, it will be boring.  A crisis played out, a looming danger, something that will hook the reader and get them into a hurried quick read and then into flipping the pages to get to the next exciting part.  Always end on a finale that wraps up the story, solves the riddle or gives closure and completeness.  This of course, is for fiction or historical event books or articles.  A how-to book is a bird of another feather, of course, and same rules don't apply.  Do make your outline, of course, and follow through so you don't leave out any important parts.  Write what you know about, too much research required otherwise and it can bog you down too much.  Although some research may be required anyway.  

So what are you waiting for?  Get to writing!
1 year ago