When I first left home, at 18, it was to live in a housebus with my boyfriend and travel around the country. When we finally settled down it to live in a house we built out of nothing in the back of beyond. It was one kilometre to our letterbox over hills and valleys.
We had no electricity and I cooked on a wood stove year round.( I still miss that wood stove) I baked our bread from scratch, no bread makers back then. And I was, literally, barefoot and pregnant.
Jump forward 30 odd years and here I am again living in rural NZ. This time I have a lovely house and a five minute drive to the closest town.
I am still barefoot but now all my kids have grown up and left home and two of my boys have kids of their own.
We have solar power to heat our water and a wetback in the fireplace to heat it in the winter. We are ,quietly, thinking of getting a wood stove to replace the fire place so we can cook on it . ( told you I missed the wood stove).
We have a flock of chickens and a rooster that never stops crowing. We also have fruit trees galore and a little patch of wild, regenerating native bush. Our property is our orchardist neighbors nightmare, it is all overgrown and wild and we love it.
Ugli fruit from our tree
Now that I am spending my time at home writing I get to see all the wonders of nature up close and personal. I get to look out at the ever changing view; our little patch of sea view that gleams brightly on sunny days and disappears into the mist on rainy days. I can watch the tuis singing in the flax bush while they sip greedily on the nectar. I can see the hawks swooping in the sky or rising , gently on the thermals.
I also have all sorts of things brewing on my bench. Kefir is always on the go and we now have a source of beautiful raw, organic milk - just like the good old stuff, straight from the cow.
Kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables brewing on the bench
We have finally perfected making kombucha, in fact one of our bottles exploded the other day because it got so fizzy. We have been trying all sorts of flavors and mixes and have even started adding in various herbs to give it more of a tonic value.
Nothing beats a cold glass of kombucha on a hot day, nothing!
And now I am making smudge sticks out of various herbs we have growing. Oh my God these smell so delicious
Master Tonic brewing
The plan this year is to grow a bigger herb garden and create lots of tonics and home remedies. Nothing beats having a storehouse of herbal remedies at your fingertips. Herbal teas, herbal cream oh yes I am totally kicking my Hippi,Witchy - ness into high gear and it feels so good.
The beauty of all this is a deeper connection with Mother Earth and my own innate Goddessness. I am harvesting by the moon. I am infusing my herbal blends with Reiki and crystal energy.
More than that I am taking back my power.
I am taking it back from the supermarket chains who are exhorting me to buy this product to clean this thing.
I am taking it back from the beauty industry that is telling me I need to shave here, moisturize that, dye this. Um, No thanks. I like my own smells. I don't need to smell like some chemical conception. I would much rather use some essential oil blend, create my own personalised, fragrance and cleansing potions for my skin at a fraction of the price.
I am taking it back from the pharmaceutical companies who are creating a pill for every ill that is making us sicker and needing yet another pill to counterbalance the side effects of the first pill until people are taking a handful of pills every day. I also realize that I am blessed with good health so I am working every day to keep that true for me and mine and the longer I can stave off the need for any drugs the happier I am.
I am also not reckless and if we needed medication I would be the first one to hop in the car and head to the doctor. In the meantime I am creating tonics and herbal teas and stocking my house with all the goodness that I can
What is your favorite herbal remedy? Or do you have a cleaning product or beauty product that you make?