Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Monday, October 8, 2012


I have always had an herb garden.  Culinary herbs that flavor the bounty from the garden.   Sage, thyme, oregano, tarragon, savory, dill......... Fresh scented, aromatic herbs to tuck in between the linens,............... lemon balm, mint, lavender,..... or make a tea to calm or rejuvenate you,........... but my favorite herbs are the medicinal ones that can cure a headache, draw the infection from a wound, and allow you better, over-all health.  This will be the year I begin my certification to become a Master Herbalist.  Something I have always wanted to do, but I  threw all my energy into producing acres of vegetables and living a sustainable life that took up all my time and effort so I never accomplished my desire to become a herbalist.   Everything and everyone has a season.  It is my season now to slow down a bit,  paint more , wander more, create more, breath deeper, enjoy the late summer of my life.  Yes I will still garden, I am rooted in the soil, but it will be a smaller garden only two or three acres.

Comfrey is one of my favorite herbs.
Every house needs comfrey at the door.  Knitbone as it was referred to in Culpepper's time is an herb that we can't live without here at the farm.  We use it for wounds, bruises, cracked hands and feet, and to sooth an itchy rash.  We feed it to chickens and rabbits in small helpings. 

HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR EXPERIENCES USING COMFREY:   Years ago when we first bought the farm  moving my comfrey to our new home was the first priority.  Being a farmer's daughter and spending all day under the sun year after year, and now year after year growing vegetables has taken it's toll on my skin.  I had a particularly large, deep, pre-cancer dug out of the front of  my cheek.  The doctor informed me that I would have a big hole in my face.  I let it scab up a day or two and then applied comfrey salve and covered it with a band aid for a couple of weeks, applying salve and changing the bandage  daily.  At my next visit 6 months later to have more from a different area removed the doctor was AMAZED that no scaring had occurred and asked what I had done to prevent it.   Just said, " hummmmmm", and semi-rolled his eyes when I told him what I had used----- some home-made comfrey salve.  I have even cleared up small patches of the pre cancer sores using just the salve.--------DISCLAIMER-------I am not giving out medical advice, please contact your physician for any medical attention.

My oldest daughter gashed her leg wide open on a nail.  It was a 4 or 5 inch long 1/2 deep cut.  I know, I know , it was something that we should of had stitched up, but we cleaned it well and applied comfrey salve and butterfly taped it together the best we could.  Kept a clean dressing and salve on for a couple of weeks.  She doesn't even have a scar.

Glen,  the boys and I were building a green house onto the front of the barn.  Glen is a big, strong, burly man and was  on a ladder, holding a roofing beam on his shoulder, wrapping his left arm around the beam to keep it in place and then hammering the nails in with his right hand.  Needless to say the awkwardness of the angle caused him to miss swing and hit his finger.  The force of the blow blew  the end of his finger off , (it looked like the back of a pop-can that had been shot, how it splits in several places and rolls back) it split his nail clear down past the cuticle length-wise in 3 places.  It was not a pretty sight.  I got down off my ladder and ran to the comfrey patch.  Grabbed a large handful of comfrey and chewed it up and  carefully placed it on his finger.  Then I wrapped it in gauze and tape.  We placed chewed comfrey on several times  a day for 3 or 4 days then switched to the comfrey salve I make.

Usually when extensive damage is done to a fingernail, the nail does not grow back in normally.  Can you tell which finger was smashed?

comfrey in bloom

Now is a good time to plant comfrey.  If getting some from a friend or neighbor, cut the leaves off at soil level.  Harvest the leaves by bundling and hanging up to dry.  Dig out the entire root ball and shake off the excess soil.  Carefully divide the roots.  Plant each root separately.  I usually divide in the early spring, but fall plantings generally take hold and grow well.  Don't wait to long, you want the root to establish itself before winter.

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