Archive for the ‘Homestead’ Category

Growing Tobacco

I don’t smoke, but my gardening neighbor David had extra seedlings of tobacco.  How could I say no?  Here at Piety Hill Homestead, we are always trying out new plants for their usefulness.

Last summer I grew the common Burley type, used in commercial cigarette manufacturing, and this year he gave me a Hopi tobacco plant. This shorter,  more “rustic” type is used by various cultures in ritual practice, and I read it has about a 9% nicotene content as opposed to Burley’s 1- 3%.  Wow!  That oughta light up a pipe!

To use, I simply air-cured my tobacco leaves indoors last summer after they started turning yellow. Throughout the year, they made an excellent gift for visiting smoking friends.  Because it is a smoke mixture free of the 4,000 odd chemicals that going into store bought cigarettes, I feel happy to offer it as an alternative to my loved ones.

I also use it as a fabulous pesticide.  Dried or fresh, I steep it in water and spray it on plants that host bugs. If you walk by Piety Hill Bakery on 4th St., please pause and become acquainted with this beautiful and useful plant.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of seed of both types so feel free to email for a freebie!

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Making Dandelion Wine

I have always thought dandelions were pretty.  I do dig them out of my flower beds when I feel motivated,  but I don’t ever use herbicides on my lawn,  so there are  dandelions galore to use from there.

Step one:  picked about 2 quarts, cleaned, used mostly just the blossomsgathered dandelionsStep two:  boiled for one hour with 4 Qts. water, 1 C. orange juice and zest, lemon juice, grated ginger, 4 C sugar and clovesboiling dandelions

Step three:  strained, cooled to 100 degrees and added 1 pk. of baking yeast.  Let sit overnight.

Step four:  bottled, and covered with balloons that have pin holes in themwine drained

Step five:  wait IMPATIENTLY at least 6 months before drinking! bottled wine2

Foraging

Piety Hill Bakery was born out of need, but has grown out of a kind of love.  Back in 2009 when many of us were losing jobs we loved, to keep going, to pay the mortgage, we had to invent new ways of surviving.  I always thought Greenville was a wonderful town, but it lacked real bagels!  so I started making my own and offering them for sale.  This has turned into a humble but necessary avocation.  Another survival skill that I have been learning is to forage for food, and I am loving this simple way to find food for FREE!

Here is a pan of greens gathered from around my yard.  Since I am a beginner I am very careful to only eat plants that I know very well.  Included are dandelions, lambs-quarters, plantain leaves, nasturtium and violet leaves.  I sauted them in olive oil, and then rolled an egg around them.  A little pepper, garlic powder, and voila!  Or blacken them with some green tomatoes, bell pepper and serve on a fresh Piety Hill Baguette!Recommended reading for food foragers:  “Feasting Free on Wild Edibles” by Bradford Angier
“The Wild Vegan Cookbook” by “Wildman” Steve Brill