Back To The Beginning…..

We have five, yes FIVE chicken coops and a barn. A small barn, but it still housed ducks and chickens and needed cleaning at least 4 days a week. I tried staggering and doing three here and three there, but I was still out there E.V.E.R.Y. day. Most of the time, alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of hard work by any means, but I’m getting older and I think the summers in NC are getting hotter. Exhaustion became my normal state of mind and body.It was spreading out into my personal life as well as my Liniment business. I had lost my joy.

It was time to re-evaluate what direction we were heading. It has been four years and the successful egg production business I was working toward, was becoming a burden. I’m sure it’s because I went in blind. Not sure what to do and how to successfully accomplish the goals I had set. Before I knew it, it was out of control. I felt I was not able to fully care for and provide what I felt the hens I was raising really needed. They were fed, watered, and sheltered, not doubt about that. I spoiled them as often as I could, but it was getting the best of me. I was beginning to doubt my ability to adequately do my job. Sixty five feathered friends was a bit more than I could handle.

It was a gut wrenching decision that took weeks of ups and downs, yes’s and no’s, maybe’s and could have beens. I finally had to just make the decision and sold all but 9 of my chickens.

As difficult as it was, I know I made the right choice. Things are calmer, quieter and simply much easier, for both of us.


I will continue to work on my liniments and have expanded into selling dried herbs. My new store is called “Weedy Creek Botanicals”. More to come on this new adventure!

Thank you to those who have supported us both in spirit and financially by purchasing our eggs. You are truly a blessing!


Since moving to this little two acre slice of heaven 5 years ago, I have been blessed with an abundance of naturally occurring plants (aka: weeds) that in the past I never would have given a second look. I had ripped them from the ground, thrown them in a pile, cursed them for messing up my perfectly pristine flower beds and vegetable gardens, and relegated them to the back woods to decompose. Little did I know the value of these wonderful plants. I apologize to those I have wronged, and  pledge to do better!


This is just one small area of chickweed taking over my once landscaped front yard.

This years amazing discovery is chickweed. It’s a beautiful ground cover that blankets shady areas with rich, pH balanced soil. It can grow as a perennial or as an annual depending on the climate. It appears in early spring and spreads quickly.  It is best if harvested in the newly budded stage and aerial parts should be collected in the morning to best preserve freshness.

The edible side of chickweed is the most fascinating for me. It has a light, grassy flavor and nice little crunch. It can be added to salads or just simply grazed on as it is gathered (my preferred method). It can be made into tea or tincture and used fresh or dried. Fresh chickweed tea has a much better flavor than when using the dried weed, tho the benefits are the same. Chickweed is a nutritious diuretic. It replenishes the body with valuable trace minerals and vitamins as it flushes water weight from stored deposits. It is considered folklore, but chickweed is said to aid in weight loss. I have no proof of this, nor is it backed up in any information I researched.

Topical application in salve is also popular with this powerhouse plant. It is used to help soothe skin irritations, itching and burns. Minor burns, lesions, acne, wounds, eczema, insect bites, nettle burns, psoriasis, and gout all respond to the soothing properties of chickweed salve. I have not tried it on poison ivy (and frankly, I hope I don’t need to), but should the need arise, I will update this post with my findings. I’m sure it won’t hurt to use it as suffering from poison ivy makes one want to try just about anything to get relief.

I have made a Chickweed Salve that contains olive oil infused with chickweed, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin e, lavender and jasmine essential oils. It is available in a 2 ounce tin and can be purchased on my website at


Since there are such wonderful healing properties in chickweed, I am also using the infused oil to make a soap. That project is still in the works, but should be available soon. I’ll keep you updated on that as well.

So, make sure you know how to identify this wonderful plant, get out there, do some grazing, make some tea and buy some salve! There is a wealth of information online about more of the properties harnessed in this little weed. I just touched the surface of the many benefits it possesses.

I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be. Use this information as a starting place into the wonderful world of beneficial weeds and make sure you test it out on your skin as everyone reacts differently to certain substances. Rarely, chickweed can cause allergic skin reactions. Allergy sensitive individuals should try a small amount first before using this herb as a medicine or food. Chickweed also contains saponins, which can cause stomach upset in very large quantities. Eat chickweed in moderation.



Cooking Duck Eggs

I found a great excerpt about cooking duck eggs from “The Resilient Gardener” by Carol Deppe. It is here that the following information is from. I found it fascinating and hope you do as well. I learn something new every day.


Most people don’t know how to cook duck eggs. Even some duck raisers and authors of duck books speak of leathery or hard whites or fishy or off flavors, or of using duck eggs for baking only, or of mixing them with chicken eggs—all signs of improper feeding of laying ducks or of cooking the eggs wrong. To have great duck egg dishes we need to start with prime duck eggs, then respect their uniqueness. To get prime duck eggs we avoid feed that contains fish meal or forage areas where ducks eat too much fish. To respect the uniqueness of duck eggs, we cook duck eggs like duck eggs, not like chicken eggs. Properly cooked free-range duck eggs taste just like free-range chicken eggs, only more so. Duck eggs are a little richer and have a more intense flavor.

Duck eggs need to be cooked more gently than chicken eggs. Anything you can do with a chicken egg, you can do just as well with a duck egg once you modify the cooking methods appropriately. However, there are some things that you can do much better with duck eggs than chicken eggs. I think egg-drop soup was invented by people who had laying ducks, not chickens. Chicken eggs don’t have enough flavor to taste like much when dripped into a simmering soup. Only duck eggs have enough flavor to make a great egg-vegetable hash. And the extra richness and succulence of the duck egg makes it supreme for hard-cooked eggs served plain with just a little salt and pepper.

Correcting recipes for egg size. Unless stated otherwise, large chicken eggs are the standard in cooking. If you use an equal number of jumbo or super-jumbo eggs, you’ll have way too much egg, too much protein, and too much fluid in the recipe. Generally, I go by volume of eggs instead of number. A large chicken egg is equivalent to about 0.2 cups by volume.

Baking. Use duck eggs just like chicken eggs.

Meringues. Duck egg whites or whole eggs beat up as nicely and equivalently to their chicken egg counterparts. Duck eggs make fine meringues, sponge cakes, and angel food cakes.

Fried eggs. Use a heavy pan not much bigger than the layer the eggs form when broken into it. I start the cooking on medium-high but turn the burner to medium-low right after the eggs go into the pan. Cover the pan and take it off the heat during the last part of the cooking. The white should be tender and succulent. If your fried egg has a dry or leathery white, you’ve overcooked it. (Try a lower temperature, a shorter cooking time, a smaller pan, or covering the pan or taking it off the heat for a greater part of the cooking.)


Photos are mine. Beautiful Duck eggs.

Scrambled duck eggs. I use a heavy pan, which is covered and off the heat for the last part of the cooking. I scramble the eggs, adding a little salt, cayenne pepper, and oregano. (You can add milk if you want. I don’t.) I start the cooking on medium-high and stir the eggs with a spatula a few times initially until they start chunking up. When I have mostly big chunks of egg dispersed in some remaining liquidy egg, I turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook 2–3 minutes—until the eggs are lightly brown on the bottom. Then I use a spatula to turn the eggs over in spatula-sized sections, then cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and leave it for 3–5 minutes to finish cooking the other side of the eggs. I end up with sort of hamburger-patty-like slabs of eggs. These make great leftovers, hot or cold, and make good sandwiches or finger food. If you want the eggs classically looser, go a bit further with turning the eggs in the pan initially, until there is not enough excess liquid egg to form the slabs. Then turn the eggs and finish the cooking with the pan covered and off the heat.

Hard-cooked duck eggs. One of the most delicious things to do with a duck egg is to simply hard-cook it and eat it with a little salt and pepper. It took me more than a decade to learn how to do that—that is, to hard-cook a duck egg properly and actually separate it from the shell afterward. Duck eggs have thicker shells than chicken eggs, and the membrane in between the shell and the egg holds more firmly to both than does the membrane of chicken eggs. Most ways of shelling chicken eggs don’t work for duck eggs.

End of excerpt.

I personally find the easiest way to cook hard boiled duck eggs is to bring the eggs to room temperature. Boil enough water to cover them by at least an inch and gently place the eggs into the boiling water one at a time, allowing it to return to boil between each addition. Once all eggs are added, boil at a hard roll for 12 to 14 minutes. After boiling, immediately run them under cold water and add a couple trays of ice. Once they have fully chilled, break the large end where the air space is by hitting it on the inside of the pan. This will give you the opportunity to start peeling and hopefully have the membrane at the same time. Do not use your fingernail to peel. Use the fleshy side of your thumb and gently coax the shell with the membrane off. Eggs can be boiled fresh using this method.


So, lets get those duck eggs cooking!!!

Do I need an intervention?

“Hi. My name is Christine and I’m a…….SOAP-A-HOLIC.” Tis true. I have started making soap, and I cannot stop.

I’m not really sure WHY I decided to make soap. I love handcrafted soap and found it quite a luxury for me. Once I started using it though, I had to have it. In my quest to live a more natural, chemical free life, soap seemed like a perfectly good direction to go. I had already started using my healing balms and salves, made my own deodorant, sugar scrub and body butters. I’m working on my moisturizer as we speak. Powdered make up is on the drawing board next. I have eliminated a lot of chemicals in my home and I’m down to one homemade counter cleaner and just yesterday I made a new laundry soap recipe.

My newest bar of soap is what I’m calling “Bentonite Clay Blemish Bar”. I love this bar! It produces a great lather and cleanses well without drying. Let’s look at what makes this bar so good for your face.

First: Bentonite clay is an effective healing clay, with a fine velveteen feel. Odorless.  Absorbs and removes toxins and impurities.

Second: Tea Tree essential oil is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal oil that has the awesome ability to kill the bacteria that cause acne development.

Third: Orange essential oil  is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, helps promote healthy, smooth skin as well as helps with acne and dermatitis. Improves skin tone and texture. Vitamin C is great for your skin.

The Oils: Olive oil is a mild and gentle oil
Palm Oil is very moisturizing                                                                                             Coconut oil is moisturizing and in this recipe it boosts lather                                         Castor oil is a  fabulous skin conditioner and it boosts bubbles
Beeswax: antioxidant, antibacterial, holds in moisture, protects and softens skin
Grapeseed oil is a nice conditioner, has the ability to absorb quickly pulling other oils under the skin.


So there you have it. A wonderful bar for blemish prone skin (teens and adults) that contains no chemical additives. Just natural healing ingredients.

These bars are in limited quantity and will be available thru my Etsy Store and at





Not meant to diagnose or treat any skin ailment

Why Should I Pay THAT When the Big Box Store is HALF THAT

So often we hear people complain about the cost of hand made items. Well, let me break it down for you…

First, I peruse the internet, for hours, looking for the best products at the best prices to not only bring quality to my customers, but at the most reasonable a price I can.  This includes shopping for the best prices on oils, waxes, essential oils, containers and labeling, not to mention the items needed to actually make the products like, pans, bowls, spoons, measuring utensils, scales, etc. The list is endless……


Second, I spend hours researching, studying and understand the benefits of every item I use to create my products. It is a painstaking process than never ceases. There is always something more, something new, something better and I’m on the look out. Constantly.

Third, there are many, many steps to create just one type of product.

For example:  Growing the herbs, harvesting, cleaning, drying, each and every one. Processing and storing the herbs until time to use them. When you consider I use well over a dozen different herbs, this is time consuming in and of itself. Preparing the oil/s by weighing, measuring and combining. Infusing the oils. This process uses low heat to draw the oils out of the plant and can take several hours to several days to complete.  Combining oils and waxes in specific amounts, adding the essential oils and packaging in the containers.

Trial and error. Most every product has gone thru the “fail” phase until it was made to my standards. I am also thankful to those “guinea pig” friends of mine for trying things out for me, not knowing how it will turn out. They are priceless.

After the product is complete, it’s time for labeling and photographing. This takes many hours since each product needs to be done separately and labels individually customized. There are requirements for what needs to be on a product label so standards are met. I make sure to meet those standards.


Next, getting it out there. A lot of time was also spent creating my online store at Etsy. I also, with the help of my wonderful daughter-in-law, Shannon, created a website. I had no idea how much was involved in all this work I call “non-productive”. I call it that simply because if I’m not in my office creating I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. I know if I don’t do the marketing the stuff goes nowhere, so on I go.

I had a very successful season during the holidays on Etsy as well as my space in a local merchant. Unfortunately, the local merchant will be closing the store due to health reasons. I am sad, but life happens and we move on. I know there’s something better out there that I wouldn’t find if I wasn’t made to do so by the gentle push of the universe guiding me on to bigger things. I am so grateful. My heart is full.

Finally, in between all this I am creating new products. The latest is soap. Who knew soap could be so…..scientific……and mathematic. Wish I’d paid more attention in school. :/  Whipped Shaving oil, exfoliating body scrubs, hand sanitizer, perfumes and a few others are in the works.


So, next time you get the chance to make a purchase from a cottage industry, please remember this. We not only put the best ingredients together for you, we add the love and care that the assembly line, cookie cutter companies cannot.

Happy New Year. More work (play) ahead….

It has been a whirlwind few months. I am thinking it’s finally catching up with me. Between the holidays, the product orders, making, shipping, creating, ordering supplies, cleaning coops, building and fencing in a habitat for the new ducks, and generally trying to keep this place running smoothly, I’m spent. For the first time in a few months, I actually took a nap. I know, right? What a luxury!


Third batch. This is Orange Patchouli Hot Process Soap with a pretty little handmade bag.

I’ve been dabbling in the art of soap making. It’s quickly becoming an addiction.  It’s an amazing process to witness. What starts out as a simple viscous bowl of oil, can be turned into something as cleansing and nourishing as soap, by adding a caustic substance that could burn your skin off if you spill it. Makes one feel like a mad scientist. I love it.

Then there are the different “qualities” of oil. One cannot simply throw a bunch of oils together willy nilly. No. One will produce something that, well, let’s just say, will not resemble soap. A thick Vaseline-like outcome that is basically useless.

I am also learning that I should have paid more attention in math and science classes. Grams vs. ounces, vs. pounds, vs. percents. Re-configuring and recalculating has become my nemesis. I wake up early just running numbers thru my head. “Did I actually calculate that right?” “What was the amount of water it called for?” Were my lye to liquid calculations even remotely correct?” My ciphering skilz are sorely lacking. So is my ability to get a good night sleep.

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First attempt at Cold Process soaping. Added some French green clay to some of it. Reminds me of frosted ice cream. I think that’s it’s name! It is Lemongrass and Lavender scented.

Those who soap will tell you, it is an obsession. There are hundreds of books, youtube videos, blogs, facebook groups and probably even some support groups for “Soapers”. They are a  passionate group of folks. Creative too. Some of the soaps I’ve seen look good enough to eat. I cannot figure out HOW they do the intricate things they do with a loaf of soap. I doubt that I will reach that level. I’m not sure I want to. I’m simple folk and just want to create a natural product, produce it with love and positive energy ,and put it out there for others to enjoy.

Word of the day. “Saponification”. The process of oil and lye turning into soap.





New Store!




have really dug myself into the Liniment business! My new website is up and running.

Much kudos to my dear, sweet, patient daughter in law for her steadfast work getting it set up. Her genius saved my life. If not for her, I’d still be looking blankly at the computer screen, drooling and drinking until I fell over. She is my hero!

So, check it out at this link and place your order! Don’t forget, VALENTINE’S DAY is right around the corner. The stores are already gearing up. Skip the crazy lines and order from!

Thanks for your support!

The Full List….so far….

I think I should give you a “menu” of items, so to speak. It will take me weeks to do the detailed list like it did in my previous post. I will continue to elaborate, but for now will just give you a quick list to check out.

COMFREY PLANTAIN SALVE – 2 oz tin, safety sealed. $6.95 Ingredients: coconut oil, grapeseed oil, comfrey, plantain, vitamin e, beeswax, lavender essential oil. USES: Apply to cuts, scrapes, bug bites, rashes and other skin irritations.


ARNICA MUSCLE RUB – 2 oz tin, safety sealed.  $6.95 Ingredients: coconut oil, almond kernal oil, beeswax, vitamin e, arnica, calendula, blend of basil, camphor, cassia, eucalyptus, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, peppermint and rosemary essential oils. USES: Massage into sore muscles and joints. Can be used pre-workout. Also helps heal bruises.


LAVENDER MINT HEADACHE REMEDY – 1 oz. tin, safety sealed. $3.95 Ingredients: Olive, coconut and almond oil, beeswax, vitamin e, lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, fresh mint leaves. USE: Apply to temples, forehead or hair line on back on neck. Works great for a foot rub too.


COMFORTING VAPOR RUB – 2 oz. tin, safety sealed. $6.95. Ingredients: grapeseed oil, coconut oil, lavender petals, beeswax, vitamin e, eucalyptus, mint, lavender, rosemary and camphor essential oils. USE: For congestion, rub on chest and under nose. Great for sore noses from tissue burn. Won’t burn.


LIP BALMS – 15mL (1/2 oz. tins), safety sealed. $1.50. Ingredients: coconut oil,  vitamin e, shea butter, beeswax. Min has mint leaves and peppermint essential oil. Lemon – comfrey, plantain, calendula, rosemary, yarrow and lemon essential oil. Chamomile – chamomile flowers and chamomile essential oil.


LAVENDER BALM – 1 oz. tin, safety sealed. $3.95. Ingredients: coconut and palm kernel oil, lavender vitamin e, beeswax, lavender essential oil. USE; great healing balm and can be used to aid in relaxation.


CALENDULA BALM – 1 oz. tin, safety sealed. $3.95. Ingredients: coconut oil, palm kernel oil, calendula flower, vitamin e, beeswax,  lavender essential oil . USE: Also a good healing balm. Wonderful moisturizing balm too.

BEARD OIL – 2 oz. dropper bottle. $9.95. Ingredients: Hemp oil, grapeseed oil, blend of lavenin, geranium, patchouli and vetiver essential oils. USE: Conditions and prevents fly aways. Hydrates the whiskers and conditions the skin underneath. Two fragrances so far. “Brisk Morning Blend”. “Citrus Mint Invigoration” contains hemp oil, almond oil, peppermint, tea tree and orange essential oils. A beard balm (wax) is also in the works.


HYDROSOLS – 2 oz sprays. $4.95. CATNIP to aid in sleep and can be used as a natural insect repellent. NETTLE: great to alleviate itching due to insect bites.

Message me with any questions.

Here it is! Gentle Feather Farm Natural Liniments!



Using natural products has become an obsession for me in the past few years. I started researching more and more into the benefits of herbs and weeds in making  healthy products.

It all began with the humble Plantain. Not the banana kind. The herb kind. I have a previous post that talks about the benefits of plantain. Topically it is great for healing wounds, drawing out splinters, has a natural antibacterial property as well as anti-inflammatory. It helps with pain and itching associated with rashes and other skin irritations. A ‘tea’ of plantain can be used to spray on insect bites to help alleviate itching.

From Mountain Rose Herbs:

“Plantain has been used as a panacea in some Native American cultures and with some very good reasons. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. The leaves, shredded or chewed, are a traditional treatment for insect and animal bites and the antibacterial action helps prevent infection and the anti-inflammatory helps to relieve pain, burning, and itching. There is some investigation ongoing to study its affects on lowering blood sugar.”

I use plantain in several of my liniment creations. There  are so many benefits, I didn’t want to leave it out!

Next is, COMFREY.  Comfrey Leaf is hailed f for its use in healing wounds and broken bones. It is high in Calcium and Vitamin C and simulates healing activity. In folk medicine it is sometimes referred to as “knitbone” for its ability to speed wound healing. (Comfrey is not recommended internally. Not recommended for use in pregnant women, even externally. As always, consult a doctor and/or qualified herbalist before using this or any herb!)

Introducing….COMFREY PLANTAIN SALVE   06-IMG_9498

It is made with coconut and grapeseed oil that has been infused with comfrey and plantain leaves. I grow my own comfrey in a raised bed, and the plantain grows wild all over my yard. We do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers on our lawn or in our gardens. I also add Vitamin E (fights off free-radicals and and helps keep skin youthful looking), beeswax and lavender essential oil.

This salve comes in a 1 oz. tin for $3.95.

Use to help in healing rashes, bug bites, cuts, abrasions, and other skin irritations. Use as often as desired.




This lovely smelling balm will soothe your aching head as well as help you obtain a feeling of calm. A blend of olive, coconut and almond oils are infused with fresh, natural mint leaves. Lavender and Peppermint essential oils are beneficial in helping alleviate your headache. It also contains beeswax, and vitamin E.

Lavender oil benefits your body in the following ways:

  • Reduces anxiety and emotional stress
  • Heals burns and wounds
  • Improves sleep
  • Restores skin complexion and reduces acne
  • Slows aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Improves eczema and psoriasis
  • Alleviates headaches

Peppermint is beneficial in addressing pain. It can be used to relieve sore muscles when used with massage or added to bath water. Dabbing a few drops on your wrist or inhaling the aroma can reduce headache pain. Like with sore muscles, it can be massaged onto your temples.

The combination of these two powerful oils along with the benefits of the carrier oils make a great combination full of pain relieving power. The mint used in the product is grown here on the farm.

Lavender Mint Headache Remedy comes in a 1 oz tin and sells for only $3.95.

Massage on temples, across forehead, at hairline on the back of your neck or get someone to give you a good foot massage using this remedy.

I’m still here…..

Just wanting to touch base with all of you and let you know, I’m still here. Just in the middle of a little family stuff that has taken me out of town for a few days.

I’m working on a post about the little duckling that thinks I’m the mama.


I’ll be back with more next week!


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