Herbal Momma's School of Domestic Arts
Herbal Momma, aka, Kristine Farley loves everything herbal, but has an infinity for all domestic and home arts.
This blog is a journal of family and domestic art activities that will be published in her forthcoming book,
Herbal Momma's School of Domestic Arts.

November 30, 2016

Gardening and the Holiday's...do they mix?

I was just out feeding the chickens and was looking at my beautiful and sorry garden.
This fall was extremely busy and I can't really tell you with what, but I didn't get the garden put to bed as I normally like.  I do have a few things that we are picking: lettuce, chard, purple cabbage and cascadia peas.

The garden is full of weeds and there's not enough mulch.  Sometime, who knows when because of a snow storm in the forecast, I'm going to sprinkle the garden with lime and maybe week.

I made an executive decision that I won't be planting garlic this year.  We have a lot and it's just not going to be done.

Now is the time to start dreaming of next years garden.  Yes, while you have vision of Sugar Plums dancing in your head.  I always start imagining how the garden will be.  I start looking forward to those Seed Catalogs coming.  Amist the Christmas activities there's always at bit of "green garden goodness" dancing around, maybe behind the main curtain on the sidelines.

I have a few links that may get your Garden juices going to:

- Jackie Clay, homesteader and writer for Backwoods Home magazine and author has her own seed company.  I have purchased from her before and been able to harvest watermelons here in Western Washington. http://seedtreasures.com/

- I'm taking Caleb Warnock Greenhouse Gardening Online Class and working through it in December and January.  My hope is to get a greenhouse built next spring.  http://www.mcssl.com/store/calebwarnock/2016-greenhouse-gardening-online-class

- For those of you interested in learning more about Square Foot Gardeing, here's a comprehensive "how to guide". http://www.loyalgardener.com/square-foot-gardening-the-ultimate-how-to-guide/

- Companion Planting may be a key to use in your planning. http://herbalmommasda.blogspot.com/2015/04/free-super-simple-companion-planting.html

- Here a post with some of my favorite seed catalogs. http://herbalmommasda.blogspot.com/2012/02/planning-forwardthe-garden.html

- This is my favorite flower dreaming site. http://www.floretflowers.com/

Enjoy this season of the Savior's Birth with hope for a beautiful and bountiful New Year!

February 12, 2016

Guest Post ~ How to Deer-Proof Your Garden

How to Deer-Proof Your Garden

Who doesn’t love observing deer as they interact with their surroundings? They’re beautiful, graceful, gentle...and incredibly destructive. Unfortunately these lovely creatures are quite capable of laying waste to your garden, particularly when they’re foraging for food in the spring and summer months. If you’d prefer to watch the deer rather than feed them the contents of your garden, try a combination of the following solutions.

Deer Resistant Plants

Making the contents of your garden less appetizing to deer is one way to keep them from devouring all of your hard work. Since deer rely heavily on their sense of smell when foraging, adding areas of aromatic herbs can mask the smell of neighboring annuals. Other deer-resistant plants rely on unpalatable textures to deter consumption. The best deer resistant plants are prickly, bitter, spicy, fuzzy, aromatic, or have a milky sap.

Regrettably, taste varies both deer to deer and year to year — even resistant plants may be nibbled periodically. However, if there is a drought or a sudden growth in deer population, they will eat even the most undesirable plants.


Proper fencing is easily the best way to keep deer out of your garden. Wooden, wire, or stone fences need to be at least 8-feet high. The more opaque the fence, the better, as deer don’t like to jump obstacles if they can’t see where they will land. Deer will also avoid getting their feet tangled in anything. Pallets or chicken wire laid flat on the ground around your garden will deter them from wandering into your vegetables.

If you choose to go electric, you’ll need a 6-foot tall, permanent high-tensile electrified fence.You will want to bait the fence in order to prompt deer to touch the wires with their nose or tongue. After a few run ins with an electric fence, they will start looking elsewhere for food.

Deterrents and Repellents

Scarecrows, wind chimes, bright lights, and other noisemakers will deter deer — but only for a short time. Deer will adapt to the presence of such items once they realize there’s no real threat.

Predator urine treatments and commercial repellants can be effective as well. However, they must be applied frequently, reapplied after heavy rainfalls, and are not practical for large areas.

Sacrificial Garden

When all else fails, a sacrificial garden may be the way to go. Place deer-favored plants at the outer edge of your yard to ensure the deer will eat to their fill before they even have reason to venture farther onto your property.

It is possible to co-exist with deer without losing your prized flowers and veggies — it just takes a little work and a lot of ingenuity. Don’t let those long legs and big eyes get the better of you.

Liz Greene is a dog loving, beard envying, pop culture geek from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. You can catch up with her latest misadventures on Instant Lo or follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene.

January 15, 2016

Gardening Dreams

With the darker days I have been thinking bright thoughts of warm, sunny times in the garden.

This resource just came across my desk A Guide to Winter Sowing.  Check it out and see what you can do.  I tried some "Winter Sowing" last year and was happy with the experiment.  But I am going to try again and hope to have better results.  This guide has the best instructions for this method that I have seen.

What are your favorite garden resources?

What are your winter time dreams?

What are your garden plans?

In the meantime, keep dreaming of more sun, productive and beautiful plants.

January 11, 2016

Upcoming Class

January 21, 21016   ~  7pm  ~ Bonney Lake, WA

Energy Healing and Aromatherapy Class

 Are you ready to improve emotional health, counteracting negative emotions, and increasing your positive mood?

You will learn how you can utilize essential oils and energy healing to support mind, mood and sleep.
  • Each attendee will get a live hands-on
  • Learn ways to lift your energy naturally

  • We will do a group energy healing session, plus you will have the opportunity to have Kristine check in on your energy, personally.
Make 2016 the year that you focus on your self-care. Thus you will be better able to help your family and others.
Refreshments and fun included!

$37 per person or bring a friend (2 for $70)

We invite you to join this empowering class with essential oils and Kristine Farley. She is a Holistic Energy Practitioner and Women’s Wellness Coach.
To reserve your spot email ~ kristine@joyfulempowerment.com

January 8, 2016

2016 Homesteading Resources

 Winter time in the northwest can be so beautiful and can have it's very dreary days.  That makes this time of year perfect for dreaming, planning and some indoor projects.

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites.

Joybilee Farm is a favorite.  Chris has lots of DYI projects for your homestead, kitchen and crafts.

Common Sense Homestead is my go-to.  Laurie there is a no non-sense, get her done gal with step-by-step directions.

Floret Flowers makes my heart sing.  Just looking at Erin's farm and arrangements inspire sweet dreams.

For seeds I love Renaissance Seeds. 
Caleb Warnock is a great example on what you can do in your own yard year-round.

Resilient Seeds is perfect for those of us in the Northwest.

 Enjoy this time of year.  Get some exercise and fresh air even if it's cold.  Yesterday I was out in the garden picking kale to add to Sausage Bean soup.  (recipe coming soon)

Here's a link to my recipe for Healthy Spicy Cocoa.

Time to make a cup and dream.
These pictures were taken January 2015 with the Bainbridge Island Ferry in the background.