Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easy DIY Natural TICK Repellent

Ticks are rampant in our area, especially this time of year.  Last summer our 4yr old Graycie was infected with the lyme bacteria from a tick bite.  That was some scary stuff.  You will know within a week or two if you've been infected with lyme. Graycie's body broke out in a bulls eye type rash...first it started with one bulls eye at the bite site, then it just spread.  And the rings got bigger each time I examined them.  She also had a vicious fever at night, on and off for more than a month...the fever only lasted for a few hours each night, but it had her whole body shaking, and sweating.  She would also yell in her sleep out of nowhere.  Yes, I understand most children talk in their sleep, but Graycie never had (and I know this because she has slept in bed with daddy and I since birth and still does ;)).  In the middle of the day, she would fall dead asleep on the couch for hours at a time, which is very unlike her.  We did the typical antibiotics as soon as we discovered what she had, but believe it or not, that treatment did nothing.  She was herself for a few months, then ALL the symptoms reoccurred, except for the bulls eye rash.  We decided to seek further help and sought out a holistic doctor.  After he did his testing on her, he confirmed what we already knew...the bacteria was still present in her system.  That was November. He gave a remedy to rid her body of the bacteria, which is very interesting how it works for those of you don't know anything about healing holistically.  Our bodies have been created with the capability to heal IF it has the right nutrients, for the lack of a better word, to pull from.  Her body was lacking in several, so his remedy included those.  Along with the herbal remedy we since then have had hands laid on her and had her prayed over by friends from church.  I believe, without a doubt, she has been healed!  She has not had anymore symptoms since November and has truly been herself.  We did what we could in our power by seeking out help for her physically, but ultimately... Praise God for His healing touch!  
So...this spring I want to do what I can to PREVENT anymore tick bites.  We have always done the usual check at shower time every night, but I wanted to find a way to keep those nasty disease carrying varmints off my kids!!!!  
***You really should do a daily check of yourself and your family...I have read on several different websites it takes atleast 24 hours for the tick to transmit any bacteria.  The daily checks will prevent many infectious bites for sure!  Unfortunately with Graycie, the tick that bit her was sooooo tiny I had missed it.  I still remember pulling it off.****
Enter, the tick repellent!  Herbs are powerful if used correctly.  They are God's way of helping us!  
Eucalyptus is a proven insecticide
Lavender is a sweet smelling oil that repels ticks and prevents tick eggs from hatching
Peppermint oil's strong, clear smell deters the pests
I'll take that over DEET any day!!!
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
20 drops Eucalyptus EO
20 drops Lavender EO
15 drops Peppermint EO
Make sure you give it a good shake before you spray it!!  Apply to feet, ankles, wrists and neck if you want.  You will have a sour vinegar smell, BUT I WILL TAKE THAT ANY DAY OVER ANOTHER BACTERIA INFESTED TICK BITE!!
I couldn't resist posting this picture...he was supposed to be covering his face, but as soon as that cold spray hit him he let loose!! :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Farm Update

Bright and early, April 16, the kids and I headed out to create and plant our garden.
After our neighbor, Mr. Covington, used his tractor to uproot and drag out all the thorns and brush, Nate tilled the soil to further prepare it...this part of land has never been cultivated before and it was very, very tough ground.
 After Nathan tilled the entire quarter acre all by himself (I'm sure to some of you that is nothing, but for first timers, it was A LOT to do) we had to build our rows.  The gardening method we are following has been created from a gardener by the name of Edward Smith.  He has a great book called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible.  His method is called W.O.R.D. 
W= wide rows
O= organic methods
R= raised beds
D= deep soil
We built the rows up by shoveling on the soil from where we designated our walkways.  They are 2 feet wide as well...this has proven to be fun when weeding...because the rows are so wide 2 people can be weeding the same area at the same time, facing one another and talking!
Once the rows were built, and wow did that expend a lot of energy from us all, we placed what chicken manure we had from the eggmobile on the rows to add nutrients to the soil.  Poop?? Nutrients??  Sounds gross, but it's true.  As you can see, we need a lot more!  That will come with time.
This picture here is the same shot, 7 weeks later!!!  Isn't it just amazing?  On the far left we have peppers, then green bush beans and onions.  
We have also planted...
yellow squash
tigger melon

We have been very busy constantly weeding.  There is so much to tend to with a garden, but with many young hands, the burden is light!  I have been more thankful than ever for the rain since we have no watering system out there yet...praise God for the goodness He brings through the rain!!
We have discovered a mullberry tree across the street!  The kids love to ride their bikes in the afternoon and we kept finding squished berries on the road.  I decided to eat a few and they were really good!!  We had never seen berries growing on a tree so we asked our neighbor what they were.  Delicious!!
 The goats are growing up like crazy!!  They are almost as big as their momma.  We decided, for the betterment of the herd, to sell our one goat, Latte...she was the mom of Jack and Jill, our first kids born here on the farm.  She was very mean to all the other goats and was always restless.  And when it came time to milk her in the mornings, she was a serious pain...less than a quarter cup of milk we would get from her to top it all off.  Literally the day after we got rid of her, Mocha's milk production skyrocketed!!  I believe she was stressed out from Latte!  We are getting 3-4cups from her a day!!  We have made goat milk soap with it and I use it to cook/bake with every day, and we are stocking it up in the freezer.  Our next adventure will be attempting to make goat milk fudge...yum!!
The next batch of meat birds are 3 weeks old now and have been moved to pasture.  We have 100 again and will be butchering the weekend of July 13 for those of you interested in helping/buying!!

Our bee colonies are doing magnificent!  I check on them once every 2 weeks.  Can you see the larve in the picture?!  It's fascinating to open the hives and see all the work they are doing.
After long mornings tending to the garden, feeding and caring for all our animals and doing some school, we LOVE to relax outside under the trees.  Spring is beautiful...we are so blessed to be here!!!