Greyden working hard_blog
Greyden Working

Harvesting Jewelweed

We try to keep everything we do as natural as possible here on the farm.  That includes the food we (and all of our animals) eat as well as all of the items we make.  One of our most popular specialty items is our jewelweed soap and jewelweed salve.  These are used to both help prevent and help treat poison ivy.  And if you’ve ever suffered from a poison ivy rash, you know that anything that offers relief quickly becomes a favorite!

Jewelweed is a plant that grows naturally in (usually) damp soil.  When we lived at our old farm, we didn’t have any jewelweed on the property, so we harvested the jewelweed from a friend’s property.  But their home and property were destroyed in the tornado that hit our area in 2012.  The family was all safe and unharmed, which is the important thing, but I did need to look for a new source for my jewelweed.

We were super surprised and excited to find that our new Scottsburg farm has an abundant supply of jewelweed.  So now it is super easy to harvest!

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We did have to fence the goats out of it though so that it can grow undisturbed.

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Emery and Greyden are responsible for harvesting the jewelweed.

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They’ve learned to identify it by the orange flowers which usually appear in July or August.

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The family doesn’t usually get many poison ivy rashes because we’re pretty good about washing with the jewelweed soap and identifying poison ivy so we can avoid it.  (The children learned a healthy fear of poison ivy from Jim who is highly allergic.)

Do you have any experience with jewelweed?



Our garden has been yelding a lot of produce this year! Yesterday Indigo harvested more carrots.

Our garden has been yielding a lot of produce this year! Yesterday Indigo harvested more carrots. We love eating them fresh out of the garden, but there have been too many to eat fresh this year! These will probably get chopped up and frozen so we’ll have veggies over the winter. What do you do with your extra vegetables?

Why We Don’t Like Johnson Grass

Here at Goat Milk Stuff we try very hard to feed our goats the best food available. This is the main reason we grow our own hay. Although many people erroneously believe that goats can (and will) eat almost anything, one thing they shouldn’t eat is Johnson Grass.

If consumed in large quantities, it can kill the goats, but another problem is that it is super-invasive.  It grows rapidly, and can overtake a field quickly, leaving no room for the nutritious grasses that we have in our hayfield. Once established, about the only way to get rid of it is spraying herbicide, which we will not do, so we must be vigilant to harass and distress or remove any unwanted plants before they can become established. We monitor our hay field closely for dangerous weeds, such as Johnson Grass. This spring we didn’t notice anything in the fields, but when it came time for the second cutting, Greyden and Emery found it:

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Yep, Johnson Grass!

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So they went through the fields a couple times a week, removing every piece they found.  They carefully collected all of the tops before they could go to seed.

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So that when it came time to harvest, we had healthy hay for the goats!




The hay is all cut and will be ready to bail in a few days_blog

Looks like it’s time to make hay again! The farmer is cutting it today. This makes 2 cuttings this year, which should fill our hay loft. That gives us lots of healthy hay for the goats!

John Boy Mary Ellen trying to climb garden kittens_blog

My silly kittens won’t stop climbing my kiwi vine trellis!! It’s a shame they’re so cute doing it because it’s really making me frustrated with them.