Monday, May 19, 2014

Balm of Gilead and work on the farm

We work our kids hard here on the farm. There’s not much time to just sit around as everyone has to pitch in. During the spring thaw we like to get out and pick poplar buds that have sap flowing through them and we put them in oil to make a healing remedy for everything from cuts and bruises to headaches and hemorrhoids.

It takes a long time but with everyone involved it doesn’t take that long.

pretty girl 011

The buds are put in olive oil and left for weeks at a time.

pretty girl 010

We picked buds on different days and put them in bottles.You can kind of see the red oil bottles which have been soaking longer.pretty girl 018

When the kids aren’t picking poplar buds we have them clearing the land of sticks and overgrowth.

pretty girl 019

Little Polly is a trooper. She loves to help even when she’s dressed up in her fairy costume.

pretty girl 016

I guess we do have some time just to sit around. It looks like we worked Ringo too hard on this day. It’s actually the day after a father and son campout. I don’t remember him taking more than a hand full of naps on his own in his life but we found him out sleeping on a bunch of wood slabs. Not sure how comfortable it was but he was there for all of 20 minutes.


  1. Poplar buds? You've got my interest. What variety of poplar? Probably not one that grows this far south!

  2. We've done it with all kinds of poplar buds. Sargent, Assinaboin, etc. Cottonwood is great which we have in abundance in our riverbottom. Here is a write up I found describing the process. After the oil is ready which can be from a month to a year depending on how cured you want the oil to be you can melt a bit of bees wax in with the oil and it will make a nice salve.