December 31, 2014

The Most Popular Farm Fresh Adventures Posts for 2014

We are one day away from flipping our calendars to the new year. It's exciting to think about everything that might happen in 2015--kinda scary too. But it's always good to reflect back on the year before to keep it all in perspective. I thought it would be fun to share a summary of the posts that you the readers enjoyed the most for each month this past year as we say goodbye to 2014!
most popular posts for Farm Fresh Adventures 2014

January

The most popular post for this month according to my readers was a Homeschool Mother's Journal post that I wrote on January 5th. Interestingly enough it was just a post of rambling...but I guess those are quite enjoyable to a lot of you! 

The next most popular for the month was a series I did on the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials. Many of these posts are still very popular--have you read them yet?

February

My most popular post for this month was my review that I did on Science4Us.com. On how we loved this program! I look forward to getting it again when Baby Britches is in about 1st grade. It was one of our favorite things we did for the year. I laugh at the fact that the second most popular post for the month was one I did talking about my love-hate relationship with teaching science. Do you know why teaching science is my Waterloo?

March

Devoting a post to things that I was working on with Baby Britches appealed to many of you, for my Preschool: Checking in with Baby Britches was the most popular for the month of March. 

April

In April, it was the recipes that got attention! Participating in the 5 Days Of...series with my focus on Favorite Family Recipes was a big hit. So which recipe snagged the largest draw? The recipe for my favorite Beef Tacos!

May

My review of Logic of English snagged the top spot for May. It's a great program and we are using it as part of our third grade curriculum for spelling.

A Poppins Book Nook post snagged the next most popular spot...Folktales, Tall Tales and Fables {oh My!}. We really enjoyed the books we read that month!

June

This month's top post was my review of Go Science DVD's! These DVD's were full of great science experiments and we enjoyed replicating a couple of them!

Another hot post was actually another one of my reviews--this time of the Veritas Press Self-Paced History curriculum. We ADORED this program--we still do! The boys love doing it and are begging for me to get the next one for them once they complete this one.

July

July's hottest post was my Moving Beyond the Page curriculum review. This was such a hard review to write because there was SOOO much to say. I only scratched the surface of what this program offered. Definitely the most complex thing we reviewed this past year.

The second most popular post was also a review...this time a review of the awesome writing program WriteShop Primary Book A. This program was easier than my son needed, but we were able to tweak it to make it work wonderfully for us. And it inspired me to go ahead and invest in another book in the series for use later.

August

The top posts for August were all part of my Back to Homeschool Blog Hop series--with my post all about Lesson Planning snagging the top spot. In this post, I shared lesson planning ideas from a whole bunch of my homeschooling friends to show a nice spectrum of ideas.

September

September is a time for going back to school so it wasn't surprising that my post sharing our 2014-2015 Curriculum for Third Grade snagged the top spot. You can read all about our curriculum for Pre-K in another popular post.

The second most popular post was my review on the absolute phenomenal audio drama Under Drake's Flag. Little Britches loved this product and asks to listen to it whenever we are in the car...he's hoping so hard that we are chosen to review the next installment in the collection In Freedom's Cause next year!

October

Hands down, the top post for October was another Poppins Book Nook post with a collection of books, activities and crafts to help you enjoy exploring space with your children. I had fun putting that one together.

November

I explored a new type of post this month and got a great response with my post focusing on the Linden Flower with my natural remedy for a tea to help fight coughs. It was fun to see it so well received and I look forward to exploring more in this line for 2015. 

December

December isn't over yet...okay. So it is today. But it is easy to see that the most popular post this month is easily going to be my recipe for Quesadilla Casserole!  

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So there you have it. My biggest posts for each month of 2014. I think there was a nice variety and showcased what my blog is all about. Looking back over what everyone likes to read really helps me decide what direction I'm going to go each year. 

Do you have an idea for something you like me to talk about or share over the upcoming year?? Do you want to see more of something: recipes? Gardening? Natural Remedies? Book Reviews? Ramblings? Homeschooling? 

Let me know in the comments what you enjoy reading about!

Have an awesome final few hours of 2014 and get ready to welcome in 2015! It's guaranteed to be another grand adventure here on the farm!
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December 23, 2014

Fresh from the Kitchen: Quesadilla Casserole

As I have stated several times, our family adores Mexican food. We are always willing to try new recipes for Mexican dishes and many times I find keepers the whole family enjoys. One such recipe was for a Quesadilla Casserole. It was delicious, but only after I made quite a few revisions to it. I am happy to share this spicy and delicious meal with you--did I mention it's also really easy?
quesadilla casserole recipe

Almost everything you need for my Quesadilla Casserole can be found in your pantry and it is ready in under an hour--a big winner in my book! 

Go grab:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/8 to 1/2 cup Fresh (or frozen) chopped peppers (your preference!)
2 cans (15 oz ea) of tomato sauce
15 oz can of black beans
My Homemade Taco Seasoning 
(OR 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp oregano)
4-6 flour tortillas
3-4 cups of shredded cheese

Are you ready? Let's cook!


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, grease a 2.5 quart baking dish or a 13 x 9 dish and you are ready to go!
I love using my oven-to-table baking dish for this recipe! 
As expected you start by browning up your beef, onions and peppers in a skillet on medium high heat. You can drain the meat if you need to. Thankfully I never need to with my beef--but then it is our own 100% Grass Fed Black Angus. Next to NO fat on that stuff!

I love using my cast iron skillet for anything taco related. Just holds heat so well!
Add tomato sauce and beans; mix well. Some people like corn or green chiles in their taco stuff. We don't--okay, I do. But Love-Of-My-Life doesn't, so they don't get added here. But if you do, you can add a can of each at this step.
I was all out of my organic black beans, but these worked fine. 
The original recipe called for half as much tomato sauce, but that's just not enough for this recipe. I tried it and was like--seriously? This is it?  I love how the 2 cans of sauce just makes it a nice filling dish.
Yum!
Now it's time to stir in all the spices. If you are using my HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING, you can add just it. If you don't have it made (yet!), use the other spices I have listed above (cumin, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, chili powder and oregano) and it works perfectly fine! 

Bring to a boil, Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.
Yum! I also sprinkled a little more red pepper flakes for kick!

Now it's time to layer it all up! 

Let's talk cheese for a second. The original recipe called for only 2 cups of cheese. That seems like a lot, right? Well it's not. At least not for us! We like our casseroles cheesy! So I experimented and found that about 3-4 cups of cheese works best. I have used bagged shredded cheese or I just shred my own.
Tillamook Cheddar...NATURALLY! 
Get all your remaining ingredients out for quick layering and move your baking dish and taco mixture there too.
I love uncooked tortillas for this recipe--I just cook them as I'm making the taco mixture.
But any flour tortillas will work.
I always use a ladle. So much easier.
Spread 1/2 cup of the taco mixture on the bottom of your baking dish (greased!). Layer with 2-3 tortillas, overlapping as needed.

Yes, i am messy. Keeping it real. LOL!
In my 2.5 quart dish, two tortillas works fine for the layer.
 Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese.
Spread it around to cover your tortillas
I use about 2 cups of cheese per layer. We are very cheesy.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese (in that order!)
All layered up!
I love the taste of cilantro on my Mexican dishes, so I always sprinkle cilantro on the top of the cheese. It adds just a hint more flavor to tie it all together! At this point I also wiped clean all the sauce smears from my pan. LOL! 

Bake in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 15 minutes or until heated and melted through. It will be bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Cheesy and absolutely delicious!
I typically serve this dish with tortilla chips and sour cream. The chips are great for scooping up all the extra bits your fork misses! I will warn you--if you use my HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING for this recipe...it will have a bit of a kick. If you use just the spices I have listed it will be more mild. Play around with it and find your own "perfect" heat!

Ready to print off the recipe to try yourself?!

*Print Quesadilla Casserole Recipe Here*

This is a GREAT recipe to take to potlucks, or to serve a group of people! It is very filling. I can get my family of 4 at least 2 meals out of it--so that matches the approximate 8 servings it suggests. If you doubled the recipe it would be EASY to make two of them with little extra work.

And the kids love helping! They enjoy the layering and each has a job--either the tortillas or the cheese!

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December 19, 2014

Random 5 on Friday {Dec. 19}

I am happy to be back on track with this week's Random 5 on Friday. I have more plans for posts this weekend, but the last two days made my plans sort of go out the window. I am so thankful it's Friday, aren't you?! 
The Pebble Pond
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1. I had grand plans this week. We were going to be staying on task with our schooling and get a nice solid week of school done. I had plans to start my new "exercise" program. I was doing to cook quite a few things. In fact, we were doing great! Until Thursday...that's when Little Britches went "off his feed" and turned up feverish. Well so much for my week.
 
Click the picture for more info
2. I had plenty of time yesterday to use our new thermometer. I LOVE it. I seriously think it's a must for anyone with small children. It is the same style as the one our pediatrician uses where it measures the temperature through the temporal artery on the forehead/temple.

I love that it gets a temperature in about 3-5 seconds, that it has a lit up screen to read the numbers in the middle of the night, that it can be used while they are sound asleep, and that it remembers the last 7 temps you took so you can look through them to see the fever history. This was a VERY good buy earlier this year and though we haven't had to use it much since we purchased it (Thank the Lord), when I do need it, it works like a dream! I can take the whole family's temp within 1 minute! I only wish I purchased it when I was pregnant with Little Britches so I could have spared us 9+ years of underarm, under tongue and ahem..other areas checking that caused a lot of disturbance and fighting and tears! It does fluctuate about .4 between back to back readings, but that's not a big deal to me. I have checked it against the digital before and it's always within .2 of what it says.

Click on picture for more info
3. I am so thankful for my essential oils and my diffuser. The two places I get most of my essential oils are Mountain Rose Herbs and doTERRA. Lately I've been stocking up on my doTERRA oils just because I've been able to get some great deals and free oils. I love their blends--something I can't get from Mountain Rose Herbs. I truly believe that without these oils, our family would definitely have been plagued by the full blown flu by now.

4. Well, just since I started writing this, Baby Britches just vomited all over the couch. Sigh. Well, so much for hoping that Baby Britches would be spared. I've got him oiled up and I have the diffuser going with a purification oil to help clean the air and nasty smell. As well as kill those germies before they hit me and Love-Of-My-Life! Definitely oiling everyone up tonight and running BOTH of our diffusers to try to purify the air. Some of my favorite solo oils for this are oregano, lemon, and eucalyptus! Cinnamon is a great oil to add too. To purify your air with a blend, pick a purification blend like Purify from doTERRA or Purification from Young Living. Or there are the old faithfuls On Guard (DT) and Thieves (YL)--great for the air and the immune system!

5. I have cinnamon rolls ready for frosting. I love homemade cinnamon rolls with fresh made cream cheese frosting. I do love my own recipe, but truly there is something magical of the rolls from Cinnabon. Mmmmm....my mom and I used to share one whenever we would go to the mall and eagerly work our way to the middle. Because EVERYONE knows the middles ARE the best. After the days that I've had and getting puked on...I deserve a big cinnamon roll with lots of frosting.




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December 7, 2014

Serving Pancakes

You never know where you will learn a life lesson. Sometimes it comes through the simple act of making pancakes for breakfast.

A Lesson In Serving Pancakes

Love-Of-My-Life and Little Britches were hard at work in the classroom this morning. We purchased a new desk and they were working together (kind of) to take apart the old one. Baby Britches kept getting in the way. So he left the room.

I was in the kitchen making pancakes (everyone's favorite breakfast), and noticed that Baby Britches was missing. We found him up behind the new TV, currently on the coffee table since it doesn't fit in our current entertainment center (we have a new one on order). So we had him get down and then he wandered away again.

Recognizing the lack of his voice in the house, I searched for him and discovered him just sitting all alone on my jacuzzi tub steps in my bathroom. He was rather morose and not his usual perky self. So I knelt down and picked him up. As I carried him into the other room I asked him what was wrong several times. "Nuffin!" he kept insisting. But my mommy heart was pretty sure I knew what he wouldn't say or couldn't describe...he was feeling left out.

So I brought him in the kitchen with me. I usually don't like help while I am cooking because...well, I can get it done faster without it. LOL. But I knew that this little one of mine has an inner NEED to be helpful. So I asked him if he'd like to help me cook the pancakes.

And with that one question, I lit a spark. He instantly perked up and was eager to do anything I asked. Yes I was working with things that were messy. Yes he was going to be working by a hot skillet. But this little boy of mine NEEDED to feel useful.

And so the two of us finished the pancakes and I imparted mommy wisdom about using utensils, stove safety, and how to tell when pancakes are ready to turn.

He did touch the handle of the cast iron skillet with his hand, but he was so into helping me, he insisted it didn't hurt. (later he decided it did a little bit and I put some Lavender Essential Oil on it) Perhaps he was worried he'd have to stop helping me.

Never was a little boy so eager to announce that breakfast was ready than when he placed the big pile of pancakes on the table. How excited he was to announce that he had helped mommy and that we even were going to have strawberries and "whooped cream".

We had a delightful breakfast and Baby Britches left the table full physically and emotionally. I had fed his belly AND his inner need to be wanted and helpful.

This taught me a valuable lesson. Even as little children, we crave the need to be useful. Can you think of times when you really wanted to help but were brushed off with a "we got this, no thanks"? What about you? Have you ever quenched someone's need to help--perhaps not even recognizing it was there?

I am absolutely guilty in this.

Perhaps I am the most guilty when it comes to the boys. I am working on making sure that I include them in things that allows them to spend time with me, even when I know it might get done slower, or done in a way that isn't "quite right". They need to feel useful, and they need the mommy time.

So many people have serving hearts--my littlest has a serving heart the size of Texas. Today taught me how badly I need to recognize it and help it to grow. And how much I need to check the status of my own, for to serve is what I as a Christian am called to do.

"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." 
Galatians 5:13 (NKJV)
The next time I am busy doing something--whether decorating at a gathering, putting food out for a potluck, folding clean clothes, or even making pancakes, I will try to remember to look for and feed the serving heart of someone in need.

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November 27, 2014

It is Good to Give Thanks

This year is disappearing so quickly and we'll be changing over to 2015 calendars very soon. It is hard to believe that we have already reached Thanksgiving 2014. Thanksgiving is a day set aside long ago by great leaders of our country--the Pilgrims in 1623, George Washington in 1789, James Madison after the war of 1812, and Abraham Lincoln in 1863--as a day to thank God for freedom, safety and abundance

No matter what craziness is happening around us, we are abundantly blessed beyond measure when compared to the rest of the world. Freedom alone is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Our family always thanks God for our blessings and for the privilege of living in the United States. We are thankful for the founders of this country who recognized the importance of freedom and justice. 

May you and yours have a most blessed and reflective Thanksgiving 2014. Enjoy the time with your loved ones--cherish every moment and make beautiful memories! 


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November 24, 2014

Baking + Books = Kitchen Adventures! {Poppins Book Nook}

Here we are at the end of November. Can you even believe that 2014 is almost gone? Since it is November, it's also the last month of the year for Poppins Book Nook. We finished off a great year with the theme IN THE KITCHEN. This theme is a great one for this time of year, as I know I am in the kitchen much more often. This month we read some great books revolving around the kitchen and I had helpers assisting me bake some yummy things!
in the kitchen with books poppins book nook

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At first I was a bit befuddled as to what books related to the kitchen. But as I started thinking about it, I decided that if the book was about food or the making of it played a dominate role, then it worked. I went to the library and just started browsing titles...there are quite a lot about food in the children's section, did you know that?! LOL! I stayed away from the obvious ones (Green Eggs and Ham and Stone Soup for example) and tried to venture into some new ones. 

Here are the books that we read over the course of the month:
by Patricia Polacco

Grandma consoles her frightened granddaughter by telling her that the dark clouds of the impending storm are nothing more than the ingredients for a Thunder Cake. 

This is a great book to use with a day in the kitchen! The colors of the illustrations are fun and the story is interesting. My boys enjoyed it very much and laughed at some of the unusual ingredients. There is a recipe in the back for making your own Thunder Cake, and there is a great lapbook available for you to use with it.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
by Marjorie Priceman

An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. 

We love this book! It is so much fun to travel the globe and seek the different ingredients in this book. The illustrations are so beautiful! We like using our globe and finding the different places that she travels. The favorite though is Sri Lanka. The boys loved learning about cinnamon. It's one of our favorite spices in general. We examined some cinnamon sticks and tried to think of it as bark on trees.

This book is also part of the Five In A Row program which we have done in the past. This means there are a LOT of resources for it, including various lapbooks and activities which you can easily find with a search on Pinterest.

The Gingerbread Man
by Karen Schmidt

Run Run Run, Fast As you Can...Can't Catch Me, I'm the gingerbread man!

Everyone knows this book! But it was a fun one to read to Baby Britches for the first time. He loved being able to sing the chorus with me. We are going to be making some gingerbread men once I have found a good recipe. I really want to have one that works like sugar cookies, but tastes like ginger or molasses. I'm still looking around. If you happen to know of a great one to use, please link it up in the comments for me!

A Tangle of Knots
by Lisa Graff

In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born and it might end in peanut butter cupcakes.

I included this great chapter book because the main character is a hard core baker and spends a lot of the time planning out cakes and cake flavors for people. There is also a secret recipe for the worlds best peanut butter on the loose. I desperately wanted to eat cake after reading this book! There are even cake recipes in the back of the book for some of the fun flavors mentioned in the book.

Cranberry Thanksgiving
by Wendy Devlin

Every year Grandmother invited a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and allowed Maggie to do the same. "Ask someone poor or lonely," she always said. Thanksgiving was Grandmother's favorite day of the year. The cooking was done and her famous cranberry bread was cooling on a wooden board. But she wasn't happy to find out Maggie had invited the unsavory Mr. Whiskers to dinner. Would her secret cranberry bread recipe be safe with him in the house? 

This book is a tradition for us for this time of year. It's just such a fun story and the boys love it while I read it out loud. We did a great cranberry themed unit using the Cranberry Thanksgiving lapbook unit from homeschoolshare.com. One of the funnest things is doing bouncing cranberry tests. Have you done those before? We also tasted them. We discovered we aren't huge fans. Reading this book was a great time to re-watch our cranberry farm videos from Curiosity Quest. I think that this week, we will try making some cranberry bread like the book.

We had fun in the kitchen this month making various goodies...Baby Britches helps me more than Little Britches in the kitchen.
biscuits with mommy

baking and books
My best homemade biscuits recipe

The first three layer cake I ever made began here...

And it ended beautifully here
I was tickled to death to have adventures in baking this month. This three layer cake was the best and tasted so incredibly good. It was my biggest baking adventure yet! This cake recipe is the BEST--and I mean THE BEST and very old fashioned in taste.

It's fun to mix books with the kitchen. There are SO many books out there all about food or baking or spending time in the kitchen! I hope you will check out a few of these!

Feed Our Small World:A Cookbook for Kids Giveaway! 

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the book Feed Our Small World: A Cookbook for Kids for the theme of To The Kitchen!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms and conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.

Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


The wonderful bloggers that participate in the Poppins Book Nook are:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A Peace of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Have you written about ways you used books and cooking? Maybe you enjoyed exploring a cookbook with your family? Please feel free to link up this month:

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Thanks for joining us this month! We will be taking December off to enjoy more time with our families, but don't forget to join us again in January for a new year and another book club theme!
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November 23, 2014

Linden Flowers and the Cough Kicker Tea {Fresh from the Cabinet}

Plants. They are all around us. They provide us beauty, fresh air, and a lot of natural remedies for every day issues. I have really enjoyed diving into the world of herbal remedies and discovering new and exciting ways to use the many herbs and flowers that grow on our earth.  One of the plants that I have had fun exploring recently is the Linden tree--also known as the common lime or basswood-- a native tree to most of the middle and eastern United States. Known throughout folk medicine for its fever reducing properties as well as a long list of other health benefits, the flowers (also called lime blossoms) from this tree  are a valuable everyday remedy for any home.
Learn more about Linden flowers and Cough Kicker Tea

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Let me start with a HUGE disclaimer: I am not a botanist. I am not a medical provider. I am not an herbalist. I am {just} Doctor Mom with an unquenchable thirst for trying to find ways to keep my family healthy, without relying on many of the side effect filled over-the-counter drugs being used to treat everyday problems. As always, please use common sense and wisdom. Consult your health care professional before undertaking the advice shared here, to best assess your individual needs, symptoms and treatment. This information is intended to just provide you ideas about more natural ways you could deal with everyday issues in your health and home. I have included all sources that I have studied for this article at the bottom of this blog post for further reference.

Linden Tree--aka common lime---aka basswood


linden flowers
The Linden tree (also known as the common lime or basswood) is a native species to a most of the eastern United States. It is a deciduous tree with soft, green, heart shaped leaves and clusters of tiny drooping lemon colored flowers. The flowers show up starting about June and will give way to a small velvety green fruit during the fall. These flowers are very pleasing (and strong!) to smell and bees love them. The flowers (also called lime blossoms) hang down from the tree in clusters. 

The tree is said to be able to grow up to 130 feet tall and can live up to 500 years. It has dull gray bark when young, which browns up slightly as it matures.

I asked Love-Of-My-Life about them...he knows them by their name Basswood, but says he only knows of one in the area at his uncles property--there aren't as many around here any more, though they are native to this area (Kentucky).

The tree is very pleasing to the eye and is used in decorative landscaping (and as a shade tree) frequently. It's wood--more familiarly called basswood--is used in making models and for carving due to its light density. Did you know it's used for making musical instruments and for artist's charcoal? Even the inner bark can be used for things like rope, baskets, mats and other woven crafts. 

The tree is amazing...and we aren't even to it's homeopathic uses yet!
Linden Flower Tea

It is commonly known in the homeopathic world that the linden flowers (aka lime flowers) have many medicinal uses.  The flowers are best known for containing a high amount of the curative plant fiber mucilage--great for dealing with respiratory complaints. Natural healers have been taking advantage of the warming properties of the trees blossoms for years in making fever reducing tea. Drinking a hot linden-flower tea is known to induce sweating--which as you know is the body's way of cooling itself...thus linden-flower tea is known throughout folk medicine as "fever tea".

But that's not all! 

Remember when I said that it was a must have in your house for everyday remedies? Here is a "short" list of what linden-flower tea is also known for:

*alleviates respiratory ailments including coughs and the byproducts of the common cold
*stimulates the appetite, promotes healthy digestion, and soothes intestinal disorders
*helps calm the nervous system, thus reducing symptoms of anxiety
*to help promote natural sleeping
*eases painful cramps
*skin health and regeneration
*swelling reduction
*a mild diuretic and good for easing the symptoms of gout and rheumatism.

I think you can see the benefit of having linden flowers at your disposal! I have also read that linden flower honey is delicious! I'm a big fan of honey in general, so I would love to try some!

You aren't limited to using it medicinally! The fresh tender leaves of the linden (lime) tree can be added to green salads. You can even remove the stalk from the leaves and add them to your next sandwich. 

Obviously, you have to make sure you are really harvesting a linden tree before you ever consume anything from it...and if you find one, make sure it's not anywhere near a place sprayed with pesticides/herbicides. You don't want those added to your diet!

But if you are like me...you probably just want it already harvested for you. If so, you can buy the linden flowers from most herbal suppliers. My personal favorite is Mountain Rose Herbs. They have excellent prices and are careful to make sure they only provide you herbs that are either organic or cultivated without chemicals or synthetic products--and aim for ethically harvested plants in the wild when available. But, if they can grow it themselves, they do!  Here is the link to purchase dried Linden Leaf and Flower like what I use in our home.

How can you use it to benefit your health?


If you do a search on Pinterest, you can find all sorts of herbal recipes with Linden Flowers in it. I have found many in the books I have read. Linden flowers can be used on their own or mixed with complementary herbs. They are definitely a common denominator of ingredients in the herbal recipes I have checked out.

To use the Linden Flowers as a tea, the most basic recipe is this:
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of linden flowers, and then steep for 10 minutes. Be careful not to steep too long or the flavor will be lost.

*Sip it (as hot as you can stand it) three times a day to reduce fever and to promote perspiration.
*Drink a cup or two of the tea each day to help break up mucus buildup and congestion, relieving bronchial problems and to help eliminate painful cramps.

I will throw out this note that as I was reading I learned there are contrary arguments regarding drinking large amounts of linden-flower teas. Some sources believe it might damage the heart, while others claim it's safe. Those with heart disease may want to limit their intake to be safe. 

How about a great facial?
Clean your skin and pat dry gently. Place 4 tbsp of linden flowers in a bowl and add 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) of boiling water. Lean over the bowl and cover the head with a towel to trap in steam. Remain in this position for a least 10 minutes to allow the steam to open and cleanse the pores. Then wipe your skin with a cool damp cloth. Pat dry and allow the skin to cool down naturally for about 30 minutes before heading outside.

Simple and oh so effective for a great deep cleaning feel. I like to do this when my skin is at its oiliest. It makes my face feel so good!

Have puffy eyes?
To decrease swelling, simply soak cotton balls in the tea (cooled down of course) and place them on the eyelids for about 20 minutes. The flowers are said to reduce swelling, so this a simple and quick remedy.

How about dealing with sleep issues?
Make a tea by boiling 2-3 handfuls of linden flowers in 1 quart of water. Strain this mixture and pour it into the bathwater (or put the handfuls in a muslin bag and toss into your bathwater). Bathing in this will help calm nervous tensions, fight insomnia and is effective for calming children and babies before bed.

I'd even throw in some lavender blossoms (or a couple drops of lavender essential oil) for a truly delightful and soothing bathtime soak.

As I did my searching, the ultimate goal was to find a great recipe to help my boys with the nasty wet cough they have thanks to this nasty warm-cold-warm-frigidly cold-warm bipolar weather we are having this year. A sign of the month of November it seems. I know we aren't the only ones dealing with it this month.

Once I learned that linden flowers had such a great amount of mucilage (great for breaking up mucus and treating respiratory issues)--similar to one of my favorite herbs Slipper Elm Bark-- I knew I wanted them in a tea. I looked at a lot of recipes and came up with the following recipe--I used it today and the boys not only liked the taste, but it I could hear the coughing ease as they drank their tea. I would say that they got a good 2 hrs free from coughing thanks to the tea--and it prepped them for a great night of sleep too.

This recipe is great for boosting the immune system and for alleviating all those annoying bronchial issues--especially the never ending cough! Only want one cup of tea? Just remember it's a 1:1 ratio on the herbs--with a smidge extra for the linden flower. You can adapt it to fill just a tea ball or a tea infuser mug. I don't really measure--I really do pinch! LOL!
cough kicker tea
What my herbal pile looked like before putting it in my tea pot. It's so pretty! 

*When I am giving the boys (age 4 and 8) herbal tea, I make one mug of tea and split it between them giving them about 3-4 oz each. This has always worked well and I would recommend a similar dosage of herbal teas for any child 4-10 years old.  

I get all my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and everything in this recipe can be purchased from them. This makes a delightfully rosy colored up of tea which just looks pretty too. And as always, LIBERALLY lace it with raw honey for extra flavor and help kicking the cough.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about the amazing Linden flower. You can see why it is so valued in herbal medicine and I hope that you will consider adding it to your natural remedy "medicine" cabinet in your own home!

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SOURCES:
*Ageless (website)
Botanical Encyclopedia entry for Linden Flowers (http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-linden-flowers.htm)

*The Illustrated Book of Herbs (book)
by Gilda Daisley
Illustrated by Ingrid Jacob
Copyright 1989
"Lime" pg 86-87

*The Complete Guide to Natural Healing (book)
Copyright 1999
Therapeutic Teas (Group 2 Card 9)
Linden-Flower Tea

*LIVESTRONG.COM (website)
"Benefits of Linden Flower Tea" by Joanne Marie
http://www.livestrong.com/article/401394-benefits-of-linden-flower-tea/
May 17, 2014

*Linden Tea (website)
http://lindentea.net/