Using Fresh and Dried Herbs


The Power of Fresh and Dried Herbs. Tea recipe included at the bottom.

using fresh and dried herbsAll about fresh and dried herbs is what this article is about. Here I will teach you how to take care of your herbs, when to harvest, drying and storing and finally using your herbs.

To start off we will go through when it’s best to use fresh and dried herbs.

Dried herbs will never equal fresh in providing nutritive value. That doesn’t mean dried herbs have no place in the organic world. The opposite is actually true. The need for dried herbs equals that of fresh because of time, living and availability.

When to Use of Dried Herbs:

  • When Winter covers the ground for half of the year.
  • Living in an urban setting with concrete walls and no yard to have a garden.
  • Wanting to keep your healthy diet or routine while on vacation.
  • Convenience.

Dried herbs work perfectly in these instances where fresh herbs might not be possible or available.

When to Use Fresh Herbs:

  • There is no bad time to use fresh herbs. Fresh will give you the highest quality of medicinal, aromatic, and flavor in your herbs.

Knowing Your Herbs:

different types of herbsAny experienced herbalist will tell you that getting to know your herbs is the first step to growing an herb garden. This will ensure you know what you’re doing when it comes to making your own tea, poultices or tinctures.

Tammi Hartung, an herbalist from Colorado says this, “It’s better to know many uses for one herb than one use for many herbs.” Herbs are versatile and starting with just a few a person, through imagination and experimenting, can start creating incredible tasting beverages.

Once you’re more familiar with multiple herbs, that’s when you can start making medicinal formulas. Until then I would suggest sticking to the basics.

Helpful Tips to Create an Herbal Tea:

When starting to make herbal teas, here are some things to consider.

  • Get to know how your herbs grow, smell and taste.
  • Which ones will blend well, and which ones won’t?
  • Have a plan or goal – for instance, you may want to make a tea that helps with headaches. Or, you might want to make a refreshing tea to enjoy on a hot Summer day or cold Winter night.
  • As a base, use the stronger more dominant flavors and then add a secondary but not so powerful herb. This will help create an interesting aroma and flavor.
  • Write down your blends in a journal so you don’t forget when you’ve created a tea masterpiece.

Finding the Perfect Blend:

Here is a list of herbs and spices to mix and match so you can, create basic blends.using fresh and dried herbs

Getting the Herbs:

  • Most of these herbs can be grown in your garden and would be the best way since you will get the freshest herbs.
  • Your local market or health food store.

Remember to look for the best quality herbs that are grown organically. The quality of your tea will depend on it.

Gathering or Harvesting the Herbs:

gathering herbsThe best time of day to gather herbs from your garden is in the morning when the dew has evaporated. If you’re planning to dry your herbs, make sure they are not wet on the plant. If you’re using them fresh it doesn’t matter.

While harvesting, be sure to groom any dried leaves off or cut the tips when they start to flower. This will keep your plants healthy and vibrant.

You can use a basket to gather your herbs or another container that allows ventilation. Also, use a pair of scissors making sure you get a clean cut. Be sure to leave a couple sets of leaves on each stem so your herbs can continue to produce.

If you are using herbs for their aromatic properties, the best time to cut them is right before they flower. At this point, the highest amount of oil is in the leaves.

Using your Fresh and dried herbs:

Fresh

  • After harvesting, rinse fresh herbs with cold water and air dry or pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Bruise or chop the herbs and put them in your teapot to boil.

Dried

  • Measure the number of dried herbs needed.
  • Keep them out of direct light as they will last longer and hold their properties.

How to Dry Herbs:

Using the oven

  • Once you’ve harvested them, brush the insects and dust off.
  • Heat in the oven at no more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven door open as some leaves dry faster than others.

Air drying by hanging your herbs or using a rack

    • Be sure when air drying it is in a cool non-direct sunlit place.
    • Also, make sure it is free of insects and moisture.
    • When hanging, place a small bunch of herbs together and tie with a cord or band of some kind.
    • If you have insects or dust place your bunch of herbs in a paper bag being sure to punch several holes around it to prevent moisture and mildew. You can also use a mesh bag.

When using a rack, spread your herbs out evenly and leave spaces so air can flow in between.

 

How long does it take? 

  • Depending on your climate, it can take 3-7 days to dry herbs using the hanging or rack method described above.

How do you know your herbs are fully dried?

  • When pinching a leaf if it crumbles easily it’s dry.
  • If the leaf still has a bend and does not crumble it needs more time.

amber colored bottlesStoring your Dried Herbs:

  • Herbs, when properly stored will last one to two years.
  • Be sure to date your jars so you know which ones to use first.
  • Glass or metal is the best way to store your herbs. Amber glass bottles are preferred because it prevents light and keeps the herbs’ vitality.
  • If you don’t have amber glass be sure to store in a dark area out of direct sunlight.
  • Double check to make sure your herbs are dried, so mold will not start.
  • Use an airtight container to keep insects and dust out.
  • Immediately after drying, your herbs should be stored. This preserves the oils, texture, flavor, and color.
  • Check your jars frequently to make sure there is no condensation.
  • Be sure to separate your herbs and label each jar.
  • Again, store in a cool, dry and preferably dark place. A cupboard or pantry work great.

Freezing your Fresh Herbs:

Freezing works well for some herbs. Lemon balm, mint, rosemary and dill to name a few.

  1. Pick the desired herbs, wash with clean water and pat dry.
  2. Chop or leave whole.
  3. Place the herbs in a Ziploc, or airtight bag. You can also put herbs in ice cubes or butter before freezing.
  4. Pull out when needed and enjoy.

With the information given to you in this article you now know enough to start your own small herb garden.

Using Flowers:

  • drying lavender and other flowersFlowers are best harvested when they are the loveliest and smelling amazing.
  • Waiting too long past their prime will give you less quality.
  • When removing, lightly shake to dust off and remove any insects.
  • To dry follow the same instructions given for herbs. If you are drying loose flowers without their stem the paper bag method is great, just be sure to shake the bag one to two times a day allowing for air flow.
  • Laying them on the rack where air can circulate around them is also ideal for rose petals and other type petals that are delicate.

Using Seeds:

  • Seeds are best gathered when they are barely ripe. This means when they are starting to look brownish.
  • Early morning is the best time to pick your seeds.
  • Cut the entire seed head and drop it into a bag or you can cut the whole plant and put it upside in the bag.
  • Put in an airy warm place but shady spot and let the seeds fall to the bottom of the bag as they dry.
  • Seeds, when stored properly, can last for years. They have a natural coating protecting the inside oils.

Using Roots:

Some roots need to reach maturity before cutting and or digging. This could be years in some cases so be sure you know your plant and or find out if you have already planted and are not sure.

  • Horseradish like other root plants is best harvested in the Fall.
  • When harvesting, gently dig up the plant.
  • Shake off the dirt.
  • Cut off only what you need. Be sure to leave enough roots to keep the plant supported and growing.
  • Place the plant back in the ground.
  • Wash your roots you plan to use in cold water, trimming off little tubers that have started on the sides of the main root.
  • Split the root in half and chop.
  • Keep them coarsely chopped while they dry. This will preserve their flavor.
  • Once dry, you can powder them in a coffee grinder or other machine and store as you would your herbs
  • Roots will last two to three years when properly stored.

To take it a step further here is a tea recipe. This will give you something to look forward to once your herbs are ready for harvest.

Languid Lemon Stress-Away Tea

Recipe by-Jeanine Pollak

This tea is delicious iced or hot and can be enjoyed daily. It’s wonderfully nourishing and supportive, toning and strengthening the whole nervous system.

*1 part means equal amounts.

  • Lemon balm leaves, 1 part.
  • Lemongrass leaves, 1 part.
  • Lemon Verbena leaves, 1 part.
  • Oat straw, 1 part.
  • Passiflora leaves, 1 part.
  • Rose hips (organic), 1 part.
  • Skullcap leaves, 1 part.
  • Orange peel (organic), 1/8 part.
  1. Combine all the herbs in a pot and cover with boiling water.
  2. Stir well, cover, and steep 15-20 minutes. Steeping the rose hips preserves the vitamin C better than decocting does.

why herbsFresh and dried herbs can be used to promote Health, for use of Culinary dishes, and for aromatic pleasure. They are natural and, in my opinion, the best way to help your body. They are not hard to grow, but they do take time and patience, especially when making remedies.

If you are new to the herb world or have now just decided to dig a little deeper, I hope this article has helped you and will be a guide for you as you learn more and take steps to becoming a gardener for your health and body.

If you have any questions about fresh and dried herbs, please send me a comment or message me at any time.

Keep growing in knowledge -Heather Earles 

A Tutorial on How to Make Sicilian Bread

a loaf of Sicilian BreadSicilian bread is easy to make but because it is a yeast bread, it will take a little time.

Don’t worry though, with this detailed tutorial, you will be a pro and will have a new recipe to include in your recipe box.

Sicilian Bread is a go-to bread in our house. I make it quite often for the family and when we are expecting company. Pair it with a hearty supper such as pasta, stews or soups for a complete meal. It also makes a nice breakfast bread that you can toast and then add some of your favorite toppings.

To start, look at the list of ingredients needed to make Sicilian Bread, so you will have everything you need before beginning.

Sicilian Bread

Recipe By- Heather Earles

This recipe makes two loaves.

Prep Time: 4 hours

Oven Temperature: 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Cooking Time: 40 plus minutes depending on stove type

Ingredients:

  1. Active Dry Yeast, 1 Tablespoon or 1 packet.
  2. Warm water, 2 1/2 cups.
  3. Salt, 1 Tablespoon (I use a little less)
  4. Unbleached all-purpose Flour, 5 + cups.
  5. Olive oil, 1-2 Tablespoons.
  6. Lard/shortening, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  7. Cornmeal, enough to sprinkle on the bottom of a pan.

Items Needed:

  1. loaf pan, 2 or cookie sheet, 1
  2. Large bowl, 1
  3. Measuring cups
  4. Measuring spoons
  5. Kitchen towel
  6. Cooling Rack

Directions:

  • Take your large bowl and measure 4 1/2 cups of flour into it. Now make a well in the center. flour
  • In your glass measuring container, add 2 1/2 cups of warm water. If you do not have a measuring container that can hold 2 1/2 cups, use a small glass bowl. Once the water is in the bowl, add your packet or 1 Tablespoon of yeast. Let sit for five minutes.pouring yeast into water
  • Now add your 1 Tablespoon of salt. If you prefer less salt use the desired amount. Stir into the yeast mixture until dissolved.pouring salt in yeast and water mixture
  • When the salt is dissolved, pour the mixture into the center of your flour well.yeast mixture in flour
  • Cover and let sit for fifteen minutes. This is called sponging.letting sicilian bread rise
  • When your twenty minutes is up, remove the towel. You should see little bubbles on the top.stirring yeast mixture into flour
  • Start stirring with a fork from the center of the flour and work your way toward the outside until you have a sticky dough.bread dough
  • From here keep adding flour and knead your dough until you have a spongy, not sticky, consistency. In other words, when you press on the dough slightly after kneading it, the dough should spring slightly back. dough after kneading
  • Add your olive oil on top and roll dough around in it so the olive oil covers all sides.
  • Place a towel over the top and let rise until dough is double in size.letting sicilian bread rise
  • Once it has risen, make a fist and press down in the middle of dough to deflate it.deflating dough
  • Place the cover back over the top and let the dough rise again.
  • While the dough is rising, you can prepare your pans or cookie sheet. With your fingers or a paper towel, rub lard or shortening on the bottom, and if using loaf pans rub a little up the sides also. Now, sprinkle your cornmeal or flour on the bottom and tip over pans or cookie sheet to remove any excess.dusting a pan with flour
  • Next, split the dough in half and shape each piece into an oblong form to fit into two loaf pans or on your cookie sheet.dough ready to put in loaf pansbread rising in loaf pans
  • Cover one more time and let rise.
  • Once desired height is reached, place into your already heated oven.
  • Set a cup of water or bowl in the oven if you want a chewy crust.
  • Cook for 40 minutes depending on your type of oven or until the bottom is golden and the bread sounds hollow when you flick the top of a loaf with your finger.

 

  • In the picture, you will see two loaves of finished Sicilian Bread. The first one has nothing on it while the second I have rubbed a little more olive oil on the top.two loaves of Sicilian Bread
  • Let finished bread cool on a wire rack and serve with a homemade soup or just fresh with a little butter and honey to your family or guests.

Enjoy your new recipe and remember to share it with a friend.

Cheers- Heather Earles

 

Spring on the Farm

Spring on the FarmSpring on the farm is one of my favorite times of the year.  The first reason is the cold and snow are leaving, and the second is because of the new life that springs. Everything from the blooming of snow crocuses, daffodils, tulips, to the birth of the different animals. If you or your child have never seen a baby pig, lamb, chick or calf, then you are missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Something about the innocence of a baby animal is what draws the attention of so many and makes Spring what it is.

baby pig in springOnce Spring approaches, the kids wait and wait for the milk cows to calve. Being ever so diligent to check on them all throughout the day.  Once the calf is born, then it’s the big question of, “Is it a boy or girl?”  They have several names picked out, but the rule is they have to agree.  Our farm usually holds themes with each new year.  Last year it was Archie, Reggie, Jug Head, and so on. One year the pigs were named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Apparently, the kids thought they would turn out with mad ninja skills and do flips in their pen.

new born calf born in the SpringAfter the baby is born, they patiently wait, watching as the newborn tries to stand on unstable legs. The calf falls many times before finally making it.  When it’s about a week old we ween it from the mother.  This way we can milk her and feed the calf with a bottle.  The kids are allowed to feed the calf and run around in the pen as it chases and races with them up and down the barn.  This is so funny, especially when the kids were really little, and they thought the calf was after them.  They’d giggle in nervousness as they ran for their lives.  Free and fun entertainment is worth a thousand words :).

There is something exciting about watching new life, inhale its first breath and take those first steps of independence.  Much the same way as when a human infant is born.  Every life is a miracle. In these moments when watching that miracle take their first steps and grow it gives you pride and pleasure that doesn’t end after that first day.  From the calves to the adorable little pigs, lambs and the chick chatter that happens when your Chicks arrive in the mail. This time of year is filled with all sorts of innocent pleasures.

The ground is full of moisture and ready to be tilled.  Seeds of every fruit and vegetable appear as you open your container from last year. Going through it you determine what new seeds you need to buy before planting.  The till runs through the ground preparing the dark brown soil and leaves rows of turned dirt that smells like fresh rain and earth.  Your compost of food scraps, ashes from the wood stove and manure have done their job.  The chickens scratch behind you as you till, in search of bugs that have been hiding all Winter.  The whole scene is rather picturesque.

baby lambsAt the house, the windows are opened to let a warm breeze pass through.  Everywhere the invisible fingers of the fresh air touch, brings a part of Spring. Rugs and bedding are washed and lay draped on the clothesline with the sunshine cleansing and drying the much-used items.  It’s like a new house, new farm and new beginning have all come as the days grow longer and temperatures rise.

The hope of warmth and a new tomorrow are compiled in the one word, Spring.  The sound of birds, wind, animals, and joy that didn’t come from electronics or from a busy crowd, but from life on the Farm.  This is happiness and a life I wouldn’t change.  Simple, satisfying, hard work and a tired that lets you rest easy at night.

It’s not for Everyone, but it’s definitely for me.  Here I can think and live the way I was brought up.  My kids can also enjoy the pleasures and learn what hard work actually looks like.  I say work, but honestly, it’s a labor of love and one I hope never to take for granted.  Modeling is fun and being an author is amazing, but nothing compares to Spring, and life on my farm.

Happy Spring Friends -Heather Earles

 

Cinnamon & the Benefits it has For Your Health.


cinnamonBefore beginning my articles, I like to explain from a reliable source, what something is and where it comes from.  Thus, leading to Merriam Webster’s definition below.

The Definition of cinnamon

1athe aromatic, dried bark of any of several tropical trees (genus Cinnamomum) yielding a culinary spice, oil, and flavoring; especiallya small roll or quill of cinnamon bark

bthe tan to dark brown spice that is prepared from cinnamon bark by powdering and has a somewhat sweet and spicy taste

NOTE: Ceylon cinnamon comes from a tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) of Sri Lanka and southern India and is usually considered to be true cinnamon. Chinese cinnamon, Indonesian cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon come from several related trees and typically comprise most of the less expensive cinnamon spice sold in stores. This spice, also known as cassia, tends to have a stronger, spicier character than true cinnamon.

Knowing now what it is and where it comes from, we can peel back the benefits layer, by layer.  Starting with the basics, we’ll identify the benefits and which part of the cinnamon bark they come from.


cinnamon bark The Bark-Sticks

Cinnamon bark is used for gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, and gas. It’s also used for stimulating appetite; for infections caused by bacteria and parasitic worms; and for menstrual cramps, the common cold, and the flu (influenza).
Cinnamon Sticks – 1 three-inch Stick Per Day (6g/0.2 oz) – The best way is to boil it into a cinnamon stick tea. That method will ensure good levels of cinnamon as the brewing process with extract all that is good in Cinnamon, especially the essential oils. You can incorporate Cinnamon in other recipes too. Keep it to one stick per day. Each Cinnamon sticks weighs about 5g which is within the daily limit.

cinnamon oil The Oil

Cinnamon oil is highly concentrated with antioxidants, which makes it effective as a natural digestive aid, blood sugar stabilizer, and circulation booster. It’s also commonly used to combat cardiovascular diseases and fight infections.

Ceylon Cinnamon Bark Oil  1-3 drops Per Day. If you want the purest of Cinnamon distilled into an oil with high levels of cinnamaldehyde, then this is what you take. Start with just one drop mixed in 8 oz. of hot water, tea and brewed ginger. Then increase to 2 drops and then 3 drops only if necessary. At just 1 drop it adds a lovely flavor. Anything more depends on your personal needs. This oil is very powerful, hot, spicy and a little sweet. Too much and your blood sugar levels may drop leaving you light-headed and weak.


 The Powder

cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon powderCinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the Cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted, and the woody parts removed from it.  When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form a powder, Sri Lanka Real Cinnamon.

One tablespoon of ground cinnamon contains:

  • 19 calories
  • 0 grams of fat, sugar, or protein
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 68% manganese
  • 8% calcium
  • 4% iron
  • 3% Vitamin K

A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and its antioxidant abilities are what makes it especially beneficial to include in your diet. As little as 1/2 a teaspoon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity, and more. However, stronger doses are also extremely beneficial for improving heart disease and cutting your risk for diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Whether it’s the holidays or just a normal day, you can add cinnamon to your diet.  Put it in drink form when you have a sore throat or just as a healthy start to your day.  See below for a variety of recipes.


cinnamon soar throat tea Cinnamon Sore Throat Tea

  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

Heat milk on low until hot but not boiling. Stir in the cinnamon and ginger. Add honey to sweeten it.

Recipe from Lavender, Parsley, Peppermint and Sage by Shea Zukowski.

Cinnamon Sore Throat Tea is particularly soothing right before you go to bed at night when your throat hurts so much that you wonder how you’ll sleep through the night.


persimmon turmeric SPICED PERSIMMON TURMERIC TEA

Ingredients

  • 8 cups/64oz filtered water
  • One 3-inch piece peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • One 3-inch piece peeled and thinly sliced fresh turmeric root
  • 1 teaspoon fresh good quality peppercorns
  • 6 good quality cinnamon sticks, preferably Ceylon cinnamon
  • 2 small or 1 large Fuyu persimmon, thinly sliced (save a few slices for serving)
  • Sweetener of choice (ex. honey or stevia) to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the water, ginger, turmeric, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and persimmon slices in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Strain tea through a fine mesh strainer (or pour through a coffee filter to catch sediment).
  3. Pour into cups or bowls. Add a few fresh slices of softened persimmons for garnish (optional) and serve.  Add preferred sweetener to taste.
  4. Alternatively, you can cool the tea to room temperature and refrigerate for a couple of days and reheat as desired.

Recipe by Gourmande in the kitchen.


healthy cinnamon recipesBanana and Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 small banana, sliced

 Preparation

  • Prep 5 minutes

  • Ready In 5 minutes

  1. Spread toast with peanut butter and top with banana slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

pear and cinnamon Pear with Cinnamon

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pear

Directions:

Slice medium pear in half, scoop out seeds and sprinkle cinnamon over the top.  For an extra treat, add a dollop of whipped cream.

Now that you have recipes to get you started, there is no excuse left for not adding this wonder spice to your diet. I will be posting more articles later that focus on certain areas so check for those.

For now, Eat, Drink, and be Merry♥

-Heather Earles

Mustard-Turmeric and what they have in common

A Story of Sodbuster’s and Living a Simple Life

sobusterHave you ever wondered what it was like to live a simple life?  Granted, simple doesn’t mean easy, it just means less in so many wonderful ways.

a sodbusterLast weekend my family and I took a day trip to Fort Ransom, North Dakota.  It is here among other places that we get to experience what it was like to live when horses still plowed the land and people’s lives consisted of hard work, but fruitful work.  It’s from this generation that the, Sodbuster (a farmer or farm worker who plows the land) lived and set the example of labor.

horse drawn wagonAs the horse-drawn wagon picks visitors up in the vehicle parking lot, transporting you into the historical, Sunne Farm, the experience and journey begins.  We exit the wagon and look around at all the different and amazing things to take in.  A horse-drawn potato digger turns up the rich black soil as people from all over fill their bags to the brim with right from the earth potatoes.  The joy of such a simple task is evident on their faces and brings us back to a time where simple living was full of hard work but also joy.

It’s September and just beyond the Sodbuster’s the ash trees are turning colors on the side of the hill.  The majestic oak still retains its perfect shade of green, at least for a little while longer.  The day is absolutely perfect to sit and watch, as each task is performed to show us what it was like years ago.

One, no two, now three Sodbusters’ till the corn as the spectators watch or sit by the wooden fence.  My youngest daughter is one who sits and watches as they plow.  Around and around they go, but there is no boredom here.  The horses are magnificent as their muscles flex with the weight of the plow.  They respond kindly to their master’s care and move according to the reins he holds and the commands he gives.

lifting hay into the loftThe September sun warming the workers and visitors, but a blessed slight breeze comes along keeping them refreshed.  The wheat is also being harvested and old threshers are being used.  The crowd watches as they bind the hay from a wagon right below the loft of a barn, then using a horse, lift the pile high into the air where a trigger sends the bundle into the loft and its new home for the Winter months.

As the Sodbusters demonstrate.  The smell of pies being cooked in Dutch ovens, underneath coals and set in the earth reach our nose.  Making our way to where the pies are, we hear the sound of old-time music as it fills the air.  Couples dance and others join in singing as an old-fashioned shindig takes place.

Next an apple press with a smiling family manning it, demonstrate how fresh apple juice is made and draws the appetite of the people, along with the making of apple strudel and sauerkraut next door. The bellies start to rumble and test tasting commences.  Homemade ice-cream and fresh brewed coffee add finishing touches to an already sweet belly.

chair weaverWalking around after our hunger has been rewarded with mouth-watering treasures, a weaver catches my eye.  Her task is slow but rewarding as she repairs and makes woven seats, high chairs, wicker chairs and more.

The Woolly Women spin on their spindles and create animals by felting.  Their chatter reminds us of a time where conversation took place over texting and phones.  A simpler but extremely rewarding time where fellowship, tears and encouragement was shared.

black smithA blacksmith can be heard in his shed just down the hill.  Entering we see the sweat pouring down his face as a wagon wheel is being sealed with iron.  People watch in awe as the different hammers, heat and cold work and form at his will.  The end result producing a masterpiece and skill long-lost.

frontier campTents and Tepees display a frontier camp.  The Frontiers men take an afternoon nap as the people pass by.  They’re not bothered with anything but the occasional fly and a crying baby who has just displayed her dislike for something.  A lady in an old-fashioned dress offers fresh peach and apple pie, we except and thank her before continuing on our way.

Now that are appetites have once again been teased, we head to where the lefse is being made.  The line of people extends out the door.  On our way, the wood carvers and the history of Fort Ransom are being demonstrated and displayed.  We pause to appreciate the workmanship and history.  Once again, a simple life, but one that demanded hard work and attention to detail.

plow horsesFamily owed mills, horses, Sodbusters, food and everything else you can imagine has been seen here today.  It was a day worth taking time for; a day to be remembered.

In a world of cubicles, internet, iPhones, job pressure and 9-5 jobs.  At the end of the day we often look back and say, “What did I actually accomplish?”  To the Sodbuster this wasn’t an issue.  They worked hard and could physically see their accomplishments min by min, hour by hour, day by day.  Potatoes, corn, fields plowed and canned goods piled high.  They reaped what they sowed and put enough food and supplies away to sustain themselves through the long Dakota Winter.

To this I end my tail of our wonderful day experiencing the Sodbuster and what their life was like.

-Heather Earles

Visit: Sodbuster Days if you would like more information and to see the dates when you too can experience this special day.