Wild Blackberries and Homemade Pectin on Honey Bee Holistics Farm!

Wild Blackberries and Homemade Pectin on Honey Bee Holistics Farm!

If you have been a fan of mine for some time, you know that every so often I make WIld Blackberry Jam and make it available for purchase to my exclusive newsletter list! Well this year is one of those years! I not only have made some scrumptious SEEDLESS Jam out of the plethora of WIld Blackberries here on the farm, but I have also made my own HOMEMADE PECTIN!!

Pectin from the stores work fine, but are highly REFINED. I have found and used Pomona’s Pectin successfully, but at $5-6/box, it gets expensive quick! So I researched how to make my own pectin and VOILA! it was a success!

Our Apple Tree

There is an old apple tree in our front yard that has not produced any apples for over 8 years and is now in production mode, I couldn’t be happier! I am not sure what type of apple it is EXACTLY, but the apples are ripening well. One thing that is good with fruit trees is to prune/thin them out to make room for the OTHER apples to grow larger. Thinning it out produced a few boxes of small VERY tart apples. This is exactly what you need to make your homemade pectin as the tarter the apple, the more pectin it contains!

So after gathering up the small, green apples, I wash them, de-stem them and get them into my large stainless steel stock pot to cook down. It smells REALLY good while it is cooking down. It reminds me of making applesauce, but it is SOOO sour that it is only good for the pectin!

Apples cooking downAfter it is cooked down, I use my immersion blender to get them really broken down to extract as much pectin as possible.

Pureed Apples for pectin extractionAt this point, I keep stirring it so it will not scorch on the bottom. Believe me, it WILL scorch onthe bottom as I have done it before! Yucky burnt taste is NOT what you want in your pectin to use in your jam!

Then set up a jelly bag, or clean t-shirt covered pan to extract the pectin. I chose to use a jelly bag as that is what I had to use, and I could also tie it up to the cupboard to drip using gravity to my advantage!

jellybag with pectinNow you can let it ALL drip on its own if you want to use it to make jelly and it not be cloudy, OR you can gently squeeze it out as you can to extract as much as possible. I did the latter as I am making jam and I am not concerned about cloudiness 🙂 Plus, when I would gently squeeze it out, I ended up with almost twice as much as when I did not squeeze it out!

Here is my honemade pectinHere is one jar of it that I extracted. It reminds me of soupy jello as it is slick feeling, but still soupy, not too thick. The way I found in my research to test it is to take 1 tbsp of Rubbing Alcohol in a small bowl and drop in 1 tsp of pectin into it. Use a fork to try & pull the pectin out of the alcohol. If it gels up and is thick, you know your pectin is ready to use. If it does not, then you need to cook your pectin down some more to get it to me less watery for it to work. **OF COURSE DO NOT EAT THE PECTIN YOU TEST IN THE ALCOHOL!! IT IS ONLY FOR THE TEST, THEN DISCARD!!**

Now I have my pectin made, onto the BLACKBERRIES!!

Wild Blackberries from the farmSince this year has been abnormally hotter than in years past, EVERYTHING is ripening faster than usual. For example the blackberries! They normally wouldn’t be ready till Mid-August, BUT were ready Mid-July!! So every day, for 2-3hrs/day, I am out picking berries. There are literally millions of them, no kidding, millions of them! Each day we pick, there are so many pink and green ones that have not ripened, that I am guaranteed to return to the very same spots I picked from to see MORE ripe blackberries! So this means, naturally, that I have to make some JAM!! I actually take the time to make my Blackberry Jam Seedless, as this is the only way my husband will eat it, and I prefer it as well 🙂 It takes on a jelly like consistency with some of the pulp from the berries too. It is so delicious!

Homemade Blackberry Jam with Homemade PectinHere is the finished product with my wild blackberries and homemade pectin! For all purposes it is ORGANIC as the blackberries grow on our lower field, far away from pollution and they are not sprayed. Same thing with the apples I used to make the pectin as well. The sugar is Organic, so I would call it am Organic Jam 🙂

I am selling a few of the half pint jars I made and I will make it exclusive to my newsletter subscribers! You can sign up here if you are not already on the list. I release exclusive sales and Limited Edition Items to my newsletter subscribers 1st!

So leave me a comment below and let me know………………..

Have you ever heard of homemade pectin? Will you try it our for yourself? How about jam making? Tell me your stories!

Extremely Dry Weather in the Pacific Northwest Effects the Wild Herbs too!

Extremely Dry Weather in the Pacific Northwest Effects the Wild Herbs too!

It has been unusually hot here in the Pacific Northwest this Summer. Summer officially started on June 20th, but around here, it normally doesn’t get hot till late July!  So when the temperatures are hot and the rain is nowhere to be seen, it also effects all of my herbs that grow here on the farm, cultivated and Wild.

Todays Harvest of Wild Red Clover!

Todays Harvest of Wild Red Clover!

The season is on for harvesting wild blackberries, wild blueberries, mints: peppermint & spearmint, as well as some other beneficial herbs such as Wild Red Clover! I use the Wild Red Clover in my teas, as well as sell it in bulk.

It is helpful for the following reasons:

♦It helps the body get rid of excess fluid, in turn clearing the lungs of mucous. This may be helpful for allergies associated with runny noses and congestion!

♦it improves circulation and helps clear toxins from the liver. This can in turn provide extra energy as the liver is the workhorse of the body that needs all the help it can get!

♦It is also helpful for women who are needing additional estrogen in their body, as it acts this way in the body.

♦In the ways it helps, please consult your Dr. if you are already taking a diuretic or Estrogen replacement.

redclover (2)

So today, I was excited to get some of the Wild Red Clover picked for drying! You can purchase some already dried in bulk here on my website. You can make the tea in large quantities in a mason jar or get a stainless steel tea ball here on my website to use on a cup-per-cup basis.

Please leave a comment answering the question………………..

HAVE YOU TRIED WILD RED CLOVER TEA BEFORE?

Mint is the refreshing savior during the HOT months of Summer!

It truly IS a savior to a HOT summers day! The mint I grow here on our farm is : Spearmint, Peppermint & Lemon Balm. Which the latter is not a TRUE mint, but of the mint family.

Peppermint from the Garden

Combining these beauties has created a wonderfully refreshing beverage I encourage EVERYONE to drink, especially during the hot summertime! I have made it available in BULK here on my website if you would like to try some for yourself!

Here are some of the great benefits of Mint!

♦It helps clear up congestion of nose, throat & lungs. This would be a helpful addition if you have allergies!

♦It helps inhibit the release of histamines that produce an allergic response from allergies.

♦It is a great remedy for indigestion! That is why when you go to a restaurant they offer you a “mint” after dinner:)

♦It is a natural stimulant that relieves stress and fatigue!

So get some water boiling to make up a brew! You CAN make it in a quart jar, steep, then put in the fridge to cool down, OR add ice to enjoy cold!

What would YOU use my Trio Mint tea for? Do you like mint? Why or why not?

You have heard of Lavender, but do you know about these benefits this violet herb has?

Yes, we all have heard of Lavender, or I thought everyone has! This is the time of year that my Lavender starts to finish up and needs to be harvested for use!

Lavenders First Harvest

Lavenders First Harvest

I have written some posts on how I use Lavender in my Lavender Chamomile Tea, and how the essential Oil can help you with a highlight on my products that I use the essential oil in!

So you probably have a good idea about it with the information I have provided. A few that may have been missed is the additional uses that I have not mentioned!

It is a GREAT anti-inflammatory and is one of the very FEW essential oils that is safe for ALL members of the family, babies included! You can rub some of my Organic Lavender lotion on your babies belly if it is upset. It also helps to encourage hair growth and seal split ends, which is a great feature in my Organic Hair Gel! I have found this to be true as the summertime winds wreck havoc on my long hair!

It has also helped me to relax when things get stressful. A little rub of some Organic Lavender Lotion helps ease my mood and calm my nerves! I also rub the lotion on my husband’s back after a long day at work to help relieve inflammation!

I look forward to sharing more of my herbs with you as they become harvestable and matching these up with the products I offer with them in it!

Remembering Father’s Day & Celebrating Dad with a Limited Edition Gift Set!

Each year around Father’s day I feel excited and proud to have had the Dad I had growing up! He taught me to work hard, never sleep past 8am, have great work ethic and how to market my talents!

He woke up at 4am every day and drove 1.5 hrs to his job in the city. This showed me how to be on time and “SHOW UP” for life! He also had a knack for finding old cars and restoring them to their original beauty, seeing the possibility in an item when the outside looked hopeless. My imagination and ingenuity I garnered from him rang true when we were out in the countryside, or fishing in the summer.

Although our relationship has not turned out as I truly WANTED it to, I can still take a hard look at what he taught me good AND bad! We all have people in our life that we learn something from, all of our life events help shape our character.

I wanted to celebrate Father’s from all walks of life, and all of the positive traits we can find in ourselves that we were taught from them!

For a LIMITED TIME ONLY, I am offering a special Father’s Day Gift Set for $24.99

fathersdaygiftsetcollage with prices and descriptions

This includes all in the photo with a FREE LIP BALM! All orders placed on or BEFORE 6/15 will receive this in time to gift it to your Father, or other man you are celebrating this Father’s Day!

It would still make a great gift AFTER the holiday, as I am considering it as a Men’s Gift Set to have all year round!

Visit HERE if you would like to order one now!

Happy Father’s Day Dad & all of the other Dad’s in the world♥

A New Baby Bee on the way and NEW products for Expecting Mamas!

5 month belly pic

I have been waiting to announce to you all about our NEW Arrival coming September 15th! So here it is officially, we are expecting our 2nd child in September. Here is a picture of me earlier in the month, 5 months along!

Most of you know about my journey through my business and the reason why I started my business in the first place…….to be a Work-At-Home-Mom! It was my plan BEFORE I had my daughter to not be away from home. It was SOO important to me that I prepared years in advance so I was ready. More on that story soon!

Now it is a different road I will be taking. My business is more established than before and I have a 5 year old who I am also homeschooling, running my business, running a household…… Somehow I believe it will all come together and work out! It just has to, there is no other option!!

I am doing my best to get prepared for my time off with the baby when HE arrives! Yes, we are having a BOY!! So excited 🙂

So there will be some time where I will be putting my shop on vacation and orders will be on hold for a while. I predict a few weeks as I am bringing in some helpers to make the transition as smooth as possible. One thing that has been on my mind is that I need to share with you all the products I have been using since I have been pregnant!

There are only a few essential oils that are safe for expectant Mamas. I of course use my own products I make and some are not fit for use during pregnancy. So I have re-formulated some of my daily favorites to accommodate my new needs!

♦Organic Hair Rinse> I have replaced the Rosemary & Rosewood with Ylang-Ylang & Lavender Essential Oil. Still good for Brunettes!

lavender pic

♦Organic Hair Gel>I have replaced the Rosemary with Ylang-Ylang, and have kept the Lavender Essential Oil.

ylang_ylang

♦For muscle aches>I have been using Organic Ginger Lemon Lotion. It is safe during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester, but should be avoided during the 1st Trimester due to the strong circulation action of the Ginger Essential Oil.

Great for muscle aches and safe for expectant Mamas during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester!

Great for muscle aches and safe for expectant Mamas during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester!

I chose Lavender for its healing properties and gentle scent! Safe for expectant Mamas and children, it is one of the safest essential oils available!

I also chose Ylang-Ylang as it is safe for expectant Mamas plus these other benefits! It helps to lift moods, plus using ylang ylang essential oil as a hair treatment will promote the growth of hair and reduce hair loss.

I am packaging these 3 favorites plus a small bar of my Organic Jasmine Soap for shampooing into a special “Expectant Mama Beauty Set”!

expectantmamahaircareset

You can find it in my Etsy shop, or on my website! Ordering from my website will save you on your favorites EVERY TIME!

 

Do you know someone who is expecting that would benefit from my new products? Do you have a favorite product that YOU would like to see reformulated for Expectant Mamas?

Leave your comments below! I love to hear from my readers!