Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Monday, October 29, 2012


I consider myself one of the lucky ones on this beautiful earth.  I was raised in a small town, my grandparents lived next door and I gleaned from them all the traditions of self-reliance passed down generation to generation.  How to grow vegetables through the winter using solar pits dug on the south side  of the house foundation, heated with manure from the barn.  Using low tunnels to extend the seasons, the art of putting by, (canning), bread baking, butchering, things you read about in newly published books, the authors' acting like they had just invented this wonderful discovery, when all along it was the way of life not many years ago.

 I have fond memories of a childhood spent learning all I could about the simplicities of life.  I knew even way back then, that living close to the earth was a blessing and privilege.

We would gather the sap from the gnarly, twisted, pinion pine trees.  Grandma would look for just the right consistency in the sap and then removing the bark and needles she would pop it into her mouth  (pine...... gum).  I would also try to chew it, if the sap wasn't just right it would fall apart in your mouth leaving a bitter taste.  More often than not I would be spitting the crumbled bitter sap on the ground.  I eventually gave up trying to chew pine gum.  It is however good for the health of your gums.

The sap would be saved.  The fresh sticky sap would go into it's own container to be use directly on wounds, sores, etc, and the hard solid clumps would be added to rendered fat and made into PINE GUM SALVE.

We doctor animals and humans when they are wounded, it draws out wood, metal, or glass splinters, it takes away the sting of bees and wasps, or fire ant bites.  Eliminates the itch and swelling of mesquito bites.  Sooths chapped lips and hands.  Draws the infection from wounds and helps them heal.   Our medicine chest is contained in one bottle.  I figure if pine gum salve won't cure it then nothing will.  I have cured gangrene and horrible infections........ disclaimer ,once again please consult your doctor for any medical needs........

RECIPE FOR PINE GUM SALVE-----old fashioned way------

1 part mutton tallow , 2 parts pine gum (use a mixture of gums, the sticky clear, the fairly stiff yellow and the hardened deep orange)

Turpentine, Lysol, champor, or carbolic acid can be added if desired-------I usually don't------

Place in a tin can and heat on your wood stove for a couple of days--stir often

The impurities, bark and dirt will settle to the bottom of the can

Pour through a couple of layers of cheese cloth into jars

I have had this salve keep 7 to 10 years in a cool, dark, dry place

MUTTON TALLOW------collect the hard fat from around the kidneys as you are doing your fall butchering.  I have also used tallow from lambs and goats.  Do not use other animals fats.  They are not of a hard enough consistency.  Freeze the fat until you are ready to render it.
To render fat:
  Place in a cast iron pan and cook over low heat.  If I am doing a large amount I place it in a large bowl or dutch oven and use the oven on a low 250-300 degree setting.

rendering fat

strain liquid fat into a large bowl

add cold water to the fat
add enough water to allow the fat to rise above the water and form a
hard gel

the cold water will cause some of the fat to harden
stir until the fat is dissolved

place in the fridge or a cool place so the fat will harden
the impurities in the fat will be on the bottom
scrape all impurities off the block with the back of a knife
dig out any spots that may be embedded in the tallow
freeze tallow until needed

rendered fat and pine gum

place in a tin can and heat for several days on the wood stove
if you are unfortunate not to have a wood burning stove use a pan filled with water
on the stove top and simmer for 6 to 8 hours.  Add water as needed.

pour warm liquid into jars

NOTE:  if the consistency doesn't seem right reheat and add more fat for a more solid salve, and if it seems to solid--reheat and add more pine gum (my preference) or try adding a little olive oil or Vaseline

if you choose not to use animal by products try this: 

Infuse pine gum sap in a pint jar filled with olive oil.  For this method the harder chunks of sap work best.  Break into small pieces.  Place in a warm spot (sunny south window) for 3 weeks shaking daily.  Pour strained oil into a tin can and either heat on a wood stove or in a hot water bath on the burner.  Add enough beeswax to make a solid salve. ( don't like this as well, I prefer salves with the sap as part of the salve, not just an infusion)

I invented this recipe after a long winter of cracked, dry hands


To 1 cup pine gum
add 1/2c.- 3/4c. tallow (or use shortening)
heat for several days on wood stove
strain through cheese cloth
return to heat
 add 1 small jar of Vaseline, about 4 oz.
2-4 tbs. honey
1/4 cup almond oil
 2-8 tbs. beeswax, ( depending on the consistency you like)
1 tsp. Castor oil (optional)
 4 capsules liquid vitamin E (drain contents from capsules)
 2 tbs. solid coconut oil
Heat all ingredients gently for several hours and pour into small jars.
use as a salve for dry hands and feet

If your hands are extremely chapped try this.  Use a liberal amount of the salve rubbing in well.  Place a large plastic bag over each hand and then a sock over the bag to keep it from falling off and leave on over night.  I don't recommend this overnight treatment for your face however:)!!!!!

1/2 c. pine gum
1/2c. honey comb with honey
Heat and pour into jars. 
 This smells wonderful.
  Use as a healing salve. 
 Honey also has beneficial healing properties.

 Melt the sap in olive oil over low heat, simmer without boiling for 4 hours.  Strain.  Add beeswax.  Pour into jars when wax is melted.

Over 30 plus years of making this salve, my experience has been that the olive oil goes rancid faster than the tallow.

Please share any recipes or experiences you have had using this wonderful natural remedy.

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FarmHer  JILL


  1. I remember the first time I saw grandpa put pine gum in his mouth, we were at pine park and I thought he was nuts! I did end up trying it but I carried the piece around for a few hours trying to get up enough courage. ha ha great memories!

    1. Where was I when all this happened!! Grandpa and Grandma chewing pine gum! Gross!! J/K I guess I was too little to remember any of that.

    2. Here we are in Oregon, visiting Alta for Christmas, and find ourselves in desperate need for one of my jars of pine gum salve (actually made by you many years ago) back at home in Utah. What can we do? Watkin's Petro Carbo Salve is the closest thing to pine gum salve you can purchase retail, but you have to know a distributor and order it BEFORE you need it. I had been describing to Alta how to make it, and I hadn't even known she'd been searching on the internet about it until I sat down at her computer and noticed all the different websites listed. And low and behold, there you were!!!! So glad to know you, and love you as I do!


  2. Jill - I love your recipes. I never could get myself to use animal fat, but then, I wasn't raised in an environment that would butcher their animals and such. (ew)
    However, I do use olive oil, pine gum, and beeswax in my salve. I put the oil and gum in the top of a double boiler for a couple of hours over simmering water and then strain out the needles, bark, and dirt. The gum has melted into the oil, so it's there, just the extras aren't.
    Also, I have found that petroleum jelly does not allow the skin to breathe. The only time I would suggest using it is with garlic, pasted on the bottom of feet, and wrapped in plastic, then socks, to help cure a cold. You can use cocoa butter or more coconut oil instead of vaseline. But, you know what works for you.
    I sure do love you - my farmer's market BFF!

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