Back From Hiatus


Over the last few of years, a lot has been going on in our lives and we have not had as much time as we would have liked to devote to our business. Things are improving enough that we can now get back to growing Airmeith Naturals. Anna and I will be revamping our website and refining our product lines. We will be removing some items and adding in new ones.  Despite all that has happened, we have been able to expand on our Herbal and Alternative Healing knowledge and practices. Anna is continuing her research into the herbs that can benefit cardiac issues without interfering with the different medications that are used to treat those issues. Yes, we are firm believers that there is a time and place for “Western Medicine” and it can work in conjunction with alternative treatments.

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Anna’s Mom January 2017

Anna and I, along with our son Adam, have been taking care of her mother, who has had several major strokes, since the fall of 2013. While she has improved dramatically (she came home with left side paralysis, in a coma and with a life expectancy of less than a month in 2013), she still needs 24/7 care. Anna’s mom has shown us what strength of spirit can accomplish. Despite the strokes and resulting complications, including double above new amputations, she still is an active member of the family. She participates in meals, cleaning, puzzles, playing ball, reading magazines and much more.

On July 7, 2015 our home was destroyed by fire. Fortunately everyone got out safely, including Pistachio & Filbert (Adam’s turtles). After living in hotels for several weeks, we were able to rent a house to accommodate all our needs while we were having a new house built. One good thing about the fire was our ability to design and build a new house that is more wheelchair accessible allowing Anna’s mom to even more an active part of the family. One of the downsides of the fire and subsequent construction was that we lost the majority of our gardens. This experience has taught us patience and how important it is to look for the positive in everything instead of wallowing in the negatives.

 

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New House

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Front Before Fire

Back yard before fire

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Back yard after fire

In March of 2016, Anna suffered a stroke and while in the hospital, she found out that she has had two previous strokes. She is now on blood thinners to help control the AFib that the Doctor’s think was the cause of the strokes. Since that time she has had quite a lot of episodes of AFib and after the last one sent her to the emergency room for treatment, her Cardiologist discovered that Anna has a myriad of electrical impulse issues with the heart including her being ultra sensitive to the two major classes of medications used to control those issues. That being said, Anna and the cardiac surgeons have decided that it was time to schedule heart surgery. Anna continues to push forward and is not going to let this get her down. She is taking the time when she is supposed to be relaxing to do computer work. I can’t complain too much, at least she is sitting down!

All in all, 2017 is going to be year of changes. Anna and I will be working on growing Airmeith Naturals, while recreating our herb gardens. Contending with Anna’s health issues and taking care of her mother will be balanced with making new product and working in the gardens. While we may not be able to do craft fairs this year, we hope to begin again in 2018. In the meantime, we will be more active in blogging and on Facebook.

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The Battle Over Fire Cider


Old Ways Herbal

I challenge you to sign the petition, honor the boycott, and make your own fire cider: keep your family and our herbal & local food community healthy!

At the end of December, I wrote this summary of the battle between the herbal community as a whole and one selfish, short-sighted national company as a little aside in a full-length magazine article on infused vinegars.  They declined this section–it was off topic–so I’m publishing it here with some additions (anything that seems angry, because I am).

Fire cider is a spicy, immune-boosting infused vinegar that is traditionally taken in the winter as a cold and flu remedy. The concept is old, but the name “fire cider” was made up by herbal pioneer Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970’s, and published in a copyrighted book in 1994. Rosemary has been a pillar of the herbal community for decades and has taught…

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2015 Herb of the Year- Savory


SAVORY – Satureja L.

summer savory

Summer Savory

When speaking of Savory, people are most familiar with the perennial Winter Savory (Satureja montana) and the annual Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis). While more widely used as a culinary herb, Savory has also been used medicinally. Savory’s use hasbeen noted as far back as Ancient Egyptian and Roman times.

Both Winter and Summer Savory have a strong, slightly peppery flavor similar to thyme (probably due to the volatile oil thymol) and have various uses. They are good blenders, helping bring together the other flavors in dishes, and work well when used in conjunction with other herbs. While Winter Savory and Summer Savory are often used interchangeable, they do have their own distinct properties. Winter Savory has a stronger flavor so works best used in beef, lamb and wild game dishes. Since it mellows quite a bit over time when cooked, it works well in stews and slowly cooked dishes. Summer Savory is better suited for chicken, egg, tofu and vegetable dishes. It is also commonly used in stuffing. Either Savory can be used in bean, lentil or pea dishes. Savory is a key ingredient (combined with salt and paprika) in the Bulgarian table condiment Sharena Sol (colorful salt). Savory can be used fresh or dried. Try this site for some interesting recipes utilizing Winter and Summer Savory – http://www.herbalpedia.com/blog/?p=149

The medicinal use of Savory has been noted for over 2,000 years. The Egyptians used Summer Savory as an aphrodisiac (Winter Savory is believed to decrease sexual desire). Such use was continued when the Romans brought the herb with them to England. The whole plant has antiseptic, antimicrobial, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant and stomachic properties. Used internally, Savory is an excellent remedy for different types of gastro-intestinal problems. It has been used in treatment of colic, flatulence, gastro-enteritis, dyspepsia, nausea and diarrhea.

It is also considered helpful in cases of bronchial congestion, sore throat and menstrual disorders and cramps. It is said to relieve dry mouth associated with diabetes. As a poultice, Savory can be used to alleviate the discomfort of bee stings and bug bites. Not recommended for use if you are pregnant.

winter savory

Winter Savory

With a rich history, Savory is a versatile herb. While it does have some noted medicinal benefits, Savory is more widely used as a culinary herb. Savory adds its own distinctive flavor to dishes, but it also helps marry flavors when combined with other herbs. It is often known as the “bean herb” because it helps relieve flatulence. Savory dries well so can be readily stored.

Green Beans with Summer Savory

2 lb fresh young green beans, trimmed
Salt
4 T unsalted butter
2 T finely chopped fresh summer savory leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the beans in a large saucepan of briskly boiling water. Add salt and continue to boil beans over high heat, uncovered for 8-10 minutes, depending on the age and freshness of the beans. They should be tender but still crisp. Drain, rinse under cold running water, drain again, and return to the saucepan. Add the butter and savory. Season with pepper to taste and a little salt if necessary. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve hot.

(The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Dorling Kindersley 1992)
Apricot–Summer Savory Bread Pudding
1 loaf day-old French bread
6 extra large eggs, lightly whisked
whole milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped summer savory
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup diced dried apricots

Remove the crust from the bread. Cut the bread into pieces to fit your baking dish. Place the bread in a medium bowl. Over the eggs, add enough milk to equal 6 cups. Whisk the egg mixture in another bowl with the salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. In a small pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of the butter and sauté the onion until it is soft and golden. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the parsley, summer savory, orange zest and apricot. Let the apricot mixture cool, and stir it into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, combine gently, and let the bread mixture stand, refrigerated, for 60 minutes. Butter the baking dish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Layer the bread in the dish, making sure that the apricot and onion get tucked between the layers of bread. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours to let the bread absorb the custard. Preheat the oven to 325F. Cover the baking dish with foil. Place the baking dish in a larger one, and add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the smaller baking dish. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake another 15 minutes to crisp the top of the pudding a bit. When the pudding is done, it will pull away from the sides of the baking dish and puff up in the middle.

(My Favorite Herb, Laurel Keser, Callawind Pub, 1999; ISBN: 1-896511-12-0)

Quinoa Barley Salad

1 ½ cup water, stock, or vegetable juice
¼ cup bulgur
1 ½ cups water, stock or vegetable juice
1/3 cup barley
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water, stock, or vegetable juice
Dressing:
1 small red onion, diced
1 Tbsp finely snipped chives
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 cup olive oil
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup savory leaves
salt and pepper

To prepare the bulgur, bring the water to a boil, and add the bulgur. Let stand until all the water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. To prepare the barley, bring the water to a boil, and add the barley. Cook the barley until tender about 15 minutes. To prepare the quinoa, rinse it under cold, running water, and drain. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is transparent, about 8 minutes. To prepare the dressing, combine the onion, chives, thyme, oil, cherries, vinegar, savory and a little salt and pepper. Combine the bulgur, barley, and quinoa, and toss with the dressing.

(My Favorite Herb, Laurel Keser, Callawind Pub, 1999; ISBN: 1-896511-12-0)

~The Good Herb by Judith Benn Hurley, William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1995
~Culpeper’s Color Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper, M.D., Sterling Publishing Co., Inc
~My Favorite Herb, Laurel Keser, Callawind Pub, 1999; ISBN: 1-896511-120

~The  Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Dorling Kindersley 1992

Posted in Cooking, Gardening, herbalism, Herbs, Home & Garden, Materia medica, Natural Health, western Mass | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s New: Views from the Garden

This gallery contains 37 photos.


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Just some of what is blooming at Airmeith Naturals’ gardens


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Calender of Events for 2014


 JUNE
 
Saturday & Sunday – June 28 & 29
Lavender Days Festival
10 AM – 4 PM
Johnson Hill Farm
51 Hog Hollow Road
Shelburne Falls, MA
 
AUGUST
 
Saturday & Sunday – August 16 & 17 
Stockbridge Summer Arts & Crafts Show
10 AM – 5 PM
Bidwell Park & Town Offices
50 Main Street
Stockbridge, MA  
 
SEPTEMBER

Saturday – September 6 
Codman Estate Fine Arts and Crafts Fair
10 AM – 4 PM
Codman Estate
34 Codman Road
Lincoln, MA
 
Saturday & Sunday – September 13 & 14 
Simsbury Woman’s Club Inc, Arts & Crafts Festival
10 AM – 5 PM
Iron Horse Boulevard
Simsbury, CT
 
Saturday & Sunday – September 29 & 30 
Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair
 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic St.
Pittsfield MA, 01201
 
OCTOBER
 
Saturday & Sunday – October 11 & 12 
Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival
10 AM – 5 PM
Berkshire Botanical Garden
Junction of Rtes 102 & 183
Stockbridge, MA
  
Saturday & Sunday – October 18 & 19 
Roseland Cottage Fine Arts & Crafts Festival
10 AM – 4:30 PM
Roseland Cottage
556 Route 169
Woodstock, CT
 
NOVEMBER
 
Saturday & Sunday – November 29 & 30 
Dutchess County Community College Holiday Craft Fair
10 AM – 4 PM
Falcon and Drumlin Halls
Dutchess County Community College
53 Pendell Road
Poughkeepsie, New York
 
* Pending Acceptance 
 
 
 
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Herb of the Week: Red Clover


RED CLOVER

Species: Trifolium pratense

Common names: Red clover, Cow clover, Meadow clover, Trefoil, bee-bread, wild clover.

History/Folklore: Red clover has been used for centuries as part of herbal medicine. It has been used to treat liver disease, cancer, respiratory problems and joint issues. Externally it was used to treat skin problems and speed healing. Traditionally, Red clover is used to improve circulation, increase production of urine, purify the blood and relieve symptoms of menopause.

Another benefit of Red Clover is its use as fodder for grazing animals. It is also used as a green manure and helps if nitrogen fixation. Red Clover is the state flower of Vermont as well as the official flower of Denmark.

Appearance:
Leaves are oblong, green with a white crescent. Flower heads have around 15 magenta/purple tubular flowers. Red clover reaches a height of up to 2 feet.

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems

Collection: When in flower before completely open. April through November

Actions:  depurative, diuretic, tonic, estrogenic, antispasmodic, antfungal
Indications:  Helps to purify the blood as well as increase urine output. Supports health by nourishing the body. Contains isoflavones which act like estrogen in the body. Has been used to alleviate symptoms of Menopause and PMS. Can be used topically for eczema and other skin conditions.

Contraindications: Avoid when pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Cultivation: Seeds

Light: Full sun to part shade

Zones: 4-8

Plant Type: short lived
perennial herb


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