Monthly Archives: May 2017

5 Easy Steps to Keep House Plants Happy

Nothing makes a house more ‘homey’ than house plants.  They just bring an extra element into your home not to mention the health benefits they also provide.  If you are new to plants in general, here is a list of some of the most beneficial plants to have in your home.  Really play around with adding plants into different rooms.  You’ll be amazed at the balance and harmony they bring.

House plants, just like any other plant, need special attention at least twice a year. Besides the weekly watering that most of my house plants receive, twice a year I bring them outside and give them a conditioning bath.  This allows me to get all the dust off them, see if any are getting root-bound, and give them an extra layer of feeding soil.  I turn to a natural feeder that is quick and easy.  I don’t want any chemicals going into my house plants.  They have a hard enough job cleaning all the toxins out of the air as it is.  The benefits of Epsom salt for house plants.

5 easy steps to keeping those house plants happy

  1.  Give them a bath at least twice a year.  Remove any dead leaves and prune if they need it (make sure it is a nice, warm day and not windy).

2.  Check to see if any plants are root-bound.  If they are, simply transplant them into a larger pot along with Feeding soil .
3.  Give each plant a couple handfuls of feeding soil.
4.  After their bath and they’ve dried off a bit I give them a salt bath.  Mix 1 Tbsp.  Epsom salt with 1 gallon water and give each plant a drink (I continue to do this every 6 weeks).


5.  Check each plant weekly to see if they need water.  It’s best to keep the soil moist not too wet or too dry.  Most of my plants need a good drink once a week, but I live in a dry climate.
Developing these habits will pay off and you will get to enjoy your beautiful house plants for years come.


Happy bathing!

The World’s Best Homemade Ice Cream

My favorite treat growing up on the ranch was my mom’s homemade ice cream.   We didn’t get it very often which made it even more special!  It seemed like it took days for that old ice cream maker to work its magic.  My sister, dad, and I would watch my mom fish out the paddle attachment knowing that she would soon be handing it over to us to get the first lick…..heaven!

My mom very willingly shared her recipe but mine just never quite tasted the same.  I am convinced it was because she made her ice cream with absolute love.  Love is a secret ingredient, you know!

I just recently mastered her recipe.  Now my children beg for homemade ice cream as much as I did as a kid.  Of course, I use all organic ingredients now.  I have even dabbled into a couple different flavors and have found a family favorite!  I felt guilty about keeping it all to myself, so here it is.  Enjoy!



– 6 large organic eggs

– 3 cups organic sugar

– 15 drops Peppermint Vitality  EO (if you do not use Young Living EOs then DO NOT   ingest EOs.  Use an extract instead)

– 1 Tbsp vanilla

– dash of salt

– 2 quarts organic half and half

– 3 pints organic heavy whipping cream

-1 10 ounce bag organic mini chocolate chips

You will also need:

Homemade Ice Cream Maker (I highly recommend this one)

– Ice Cream Salt

– Ice



  1.  Beat eggs in mixer until fluffy.  Add sugar, flavoring, and salt.


  1.  Turn mixer on low and add cream one pint at a time.  This will fill the entire mixer  bowl.  Pour mix into ice cream container and add remaining half and half.
  2. Attach container to ice cream maker and turn on.
  3. Add layers of salt and ice until ice reaches the lid of container.
  4. Half way through the process, when you see the ice cream starting to thicken, shut off machine and carefully pull lid off (DO NOT LET ANY ICE WATER GET INTO ICE CREAM).  Pour bag of chocolate chips in and start machine back up until finished.
  5. You will know it’s finished when the motor is slowing down.
  6. When finished the ice cream will be soft.  Store in freezable containers in the fridge.



This recipe makes 6 quarts so you will need to adjust your recipe if your ice cream maker is smaller.

*RAW EGG WARNING… This recipe contains raw eggs.  Make sure you are using the freshest eggs possible.



*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.

Experiencing Metamorphosis

As a home-school mom, I am constantly trying to find new ways to bring a level of excitement into our daily routine.  I love being able to bring the classroom outdoors and let ‘life’ be their textbook.  However, it has taken a lot of time to develop this character in me.

Throughout the years of schooling our children, I’ve grown just as much as they have.  I can honestly say that through all the tears, frustration, and panic I do not regret the decision to bring our children home to teach.  I now love the challenge of finding new ways to engage with them that is personal and unique to us.  The memories that we have gained are ones that I hold closest to my heart.

I still remember the first day of ‘home-school’.  I had a child in eighth grade, fourth grade, one preschooler and one on the way!  Talk about stretching myself.  As all those little eyes looked up at me from across the table, I explained to them my very ‘detailed’ plan of action.  I couldn’t help but to think that those same little eyes knew I wasn’t fooling anyone.  I was scared out of my mind and apparently my calm, know-it-all act wasn’t fooling anyone.

We made it through our first year with great experience under our belt…..meaning, everyone survived the occasional meltdowns.  I can honestly say it took me two full years before I could calmly tackle our home-school routine without stressing about it every single day.

My philosophy on homeschooling has had its own form of metamorphosis.  I am more relaxed about checking off completed lessons and have starting caring more about how engaged my children are in their lessons.  Just ask my 6th grader now.  She often hears me say, “I don’t care if your lesson is completed.  I care if you have learned your lesson!”

With my ‘nest of children’ beginning to shrink, I feel slightly guilty for my older children that had experienced my ‘uptight teaching style’.  The kind of style that would look at the perfectly laid-out lesson plans and obsess about checking each one off….completed.  Oh, how far I’ve come!

Maybe you can relate.  If I am describing you, please don’t be discouraged.  The moment you find what works for you and your children and stop comparing yourself to every other home-teacher, is the moment you will start blessing your children.  Take time to really find your children’s interests.  Help them to grow THEIR areas of interest and hide ‘teaching’ in them.  Watching them pursue their passions and gifts gives me great contentment as a mom.  After all, we aren’t raising children to be good children.  We are raising children to be great adults!

Science is a popular subject at our house!  Both of my girls are captivated by God’s creation.  They are constantly wanting to know how things work and how things grow. Needless to say, I have endless help with my garden and animals (talk about science-in-action).

When tackling our unit study of insects, the subject of butterflies was their favorite topic.  Then again, who doesn’t love butterflies?  I asked the girls if they would like to see the process of metamorphosis live and they squealed with excitement.  I starting searching for metamorphosis kits and chose one simply for the timeline we were on.  After all, we didn’t what to raise butterflies just to drop them off in a blizzard.  We ordered this kit and waited impatiently for it to arrive (2 days later).

The kit was perfect!  The girls were a little disgusted when they saw the tiny looking caterpillars that came in the feeding tub.  Somehow they thought the entire process woulf be cute and cuddly.  My hesitant daughter did manage enough courage to pose for a picture though.


Caterpillars Have Arrived

The directions were completely ‘dummy-proof’ and allowed us to bring our textbooks alongside us each step of the way.  The entire process took 25 days and it was 25 days of pure excitement.  Each day there was something new to engage in.  Even I found myself running to the caterpillar container each morning to see how much they had grown from the previous day.


9 Days Later

Once those hungry caterpillars had their fill, they attached themselves to the paper-vented lid.  We waited two days after the last one attached itself before moving them into the new garden enclosure that came with the kit.  Make sure your enclosure is stocked before you move the chrysalides…trust me!

We gently moved the enclosure to our school office where we could keep a close eye on them.  This was a quiet week as everyone anticipated the emergence of our beautiful butterflies.  It was as if they realized we had gotten bored waiting on their appearance and then bang….butterflies!  My youngest and most observant, discovered our new little treasures first.  From there, it took 24 hours for all five to break free.

The next three days we got to enjoy them at a distance from their enclosure.  We watched as their fragile wings slowly dried.  As we watched them give their wings their first, long stretch, it made us want to stretch right along with them.  It took about one full day before they seemed to show any kind of activity.  They found the fruit slices and sugar water within the first day.   The girls envied their diet of nectar.  What a rough menu to have!

When the ‘release day’ arrived, I can honestly say everyone was excited for the little guys.  I was surprised that no ‘pet requests’ came up.  That confirmed to me that the science-in-action lesson served its purpose.

We all felt privileged to watch one of God’s mysteries unfold in front of our eyes. Stewardship is a character quality that has to be developed, especially when you live on a farm.  I was so happy to see that form of character transferred right over to these beautiful insects.

I hope you are able to engage with your kiddos in this project.  Every time they see a beautiful butterfly dancing in the wind they will be taken back to these special times.


Happy metamorphosis-ing!

Watch our release video!

Why You Need To Be Using Rose Water

We have obsessed about skin care for centuries.  Outside of weight control, I would say this is the most sought-out product search for women today.  Everyone wants to find the ‘Fountain of Youth’.  Sadly most of the body and skin care lines on the market today also come filled with toxic chemicals.  I am here to help change that.  Technology is a very good thing but in this case, I would like to allow history to give us a lesson.

According to, roses have had a great purpose since ancient times.  They have been used medicinally, nutritionally, and as a source of perfume.  Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Phoenicians considered large rose gardens just as important as crop lands.  It is said that Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, was considered to be among the most beautiful women in the world.  She was a big fan of the healing and beautifying qualities of bathing in rose water.  Therefore, if rose water was good enough for her, it should definitely be good enough for us.

Could the majority of our skin care line really be replaced by rose water?  “Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness of irritated skin, get rid of acne, dermatitis and eczema.  It is a great cleanser and aids in removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores”, says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Skincare Expert.  Let’s take a look at other benefits of rose water….

-Rose water has been shown to have antibacterial properties that are useful in cuts and scraps
-It also helps to clean out pores and shrink them while strengthening skin cells and regenerating them
-It can be used as an anti-inflammatory and used to reduce blood pressure
-Works great as a hair conditioner and on dandruff
-Many people use it in their cooking for many different reasons

How about that for the win?  Still need more benefits?  Check this Site out to learn more on the ‘beauty’ benefits of rose water.

Today the harvest of beautiful rose petals are in high demand.  After all, it takes 10,000 roses to make one 5ml bottle of rose essential oil.  Knowing that, this might make the price of rose EO more acceptable to you.  But if you just can’t justify spending $75 on pure rose essential oil, then rose water is your next best option.

So what is rose water?  Rose water is simply a by-product of the distillation process and a more affordable one at that.  Rose water is made by steeping rose petals in water.  Simple…right?  Of course you want the best quality of rose petals.  Your best option would be to grow your own organic plants.  If this is more effort than you want to put into making your rose water, then shop for a good quality petal. I have purchased rose petals from Mountain Rose Herbs and have been pleased with their quality.

What You Need To Make Your Own Rose Water With Dried Rose Petals:

– Dried Organic Rose Petals
– Distilled Water (tap water often has bacteria in it)
– Funnel
– Glass Bowl and Glass Jars (avoid metal or plastic)
– Organic Nut Milk Bag
– Glass Spray Bottles

What you Need To Make Your Own Rose Water With Rose EO:

– Rose Essential Oil (make sure and use 100% pure EO and not scented oil.  This is the only line of EOs I trust.)
– Distilled Water
– Witch Hazel
– Glass Jars (avoid metal or plastic)
– Funnel
– Glass Spray Bottles

If you are making rose water with dried rose petals, make sure you have all your supplies sanitized and ready to go.

  1.  Place 1/4 cup of dried petals inside jar or bowl.

Double Batch Shown Here

2.  Pour 1 1/4 cups of very hot water (not boiling) over petals, cover and steep for 15 minutes.
3.  Once water has cooled down, transfer the rose water into another jar by filtering the water through a nut bag. (Make sure the water has cooled down!)

4.  Funnel water into a spray/mist bottle and store in the fridge.  You will need to use your rose water within a week.



If you are making rose water with rose EO the process is even easier.  Again, make sure all your jars, bowls, and spray bottles are sanitized.

1. Place 1 cup of distilled water in a jar.
2. Dilute 12 drops of rose EO in 2 Tbsp. of witch hazel (if you do not dilute your EO first, it will separate in the water).
3. Add rose blend to water, cover with lid and shake.
4. Funnel water into spray/mist bottle and store in fridge.  You will need to use your rose water within a week.

Okay you’ve made your rose water, now how do you use it?  Just some of the ways I like to use rose water are:

– Use it as a toner right after I cleanse my face.  You can either mist it or use with organic cotton and dab gently on face.  The process will leave your face feeling clean and tightened.  It really helps in the shrinking of those nasty pores!
– Use 1 cup in your bath water for an intoxicating experience.  The aroma encourages feelings of positive self-reflection and can create an uplifted feeling when inhaled.  I know that’s just what I need at the end of a long day!
– Use as a natural perfume.  NO MORE TOXIC PERFUMES!
– Use as a makeup setter.  Just mist over your finished makeup and set that face.
– Use as a wonderful linen spray.
– Set a bottle in the guest bathroom for those *stinky* moments.


I hope this encourages you to make your own rose water!  Now you know what to do with all those beautiful flowers.

Happy Spritzing!!


All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.*




Homemade Mouthwash

Dental hygiene….the very habit that can make or break a date.  So many people go to extreme measures to cover up offensive mouth odor instead of fixing the problem. After all, minty-chewing gum and breath mints are in high demand.

What about knowing how to eliminate the bacteria that is growing inside your mouth? Two great solutions you can utilize are:  using a bacteria-killing mouthwash and oil pulling (we will get to oil pulling in another blog).

Give your mouth six months and you will be amazed at the improvement in your oral hygiene.  By eliminating the growing bacteria, you eliminate most of your hygiene issues.

First let’s talk about a good, alcohol-free mouthwash.  Better yet, let’s talk about making your own for merely pennies.  By making your own, you are in complete control of what goes into your mouthwash.  I have eliminated all toxic home and body care products in  the past year.  I can feel my body responding positively and my hair and skin have never been so soft!  When choosing a mouthwash, it is very important to me that I am not putting anything harmful into my body for the sake of ‘covering up oder’.  There is no alcohol or any other toxic ingredients that you will need to worry about in this recipe.

The supplies you need to make your own mouthwash are:

1.  1 pint Mason jar with lid
2.  Distilled water
3.  Colloidal Silver (Research Colloidal Silver)
4.  Stevia
5.  6 EOs (we will talk about later)

Using colloidal silver has so many benefits.  According to the Global Healing Center, “Silver kills harmful organisms and this is why colloidal silver is used to disinfect water. Historically, silver was used to preserve milk.  Settlers would drop a silver dollar in the milk jug to keep it from spoiling.  Babies were fed with silver spoons because those that did were generally perceived to be healthier.”  Read more on the specifics of how colloidal silver combats harmful organisms.  Needless to say, if you don’t have colloidal silver in your home, you need to!

The 6 essential oils you will use are:

1.  2 drops Peppermint (Vitality)
2.  2 drops  Lemon (Vitality)
3.  2 drops Cinnamon Bark (Vitality)
4.  1 drop Clove (Vitality)
5.  1 drop Spearmint (Vitality)
6.  1 drop Eucalyptus Radiata
(Click on each oil to learn about the benefits) Not all essential oils are the same so be aware of using oils that have synthetic ingredients or are anything less than 100%  unadulterated essential oils.  It’s critical to your health.  These are the only brand of Essential Oils I trust!

Let’s make some mouthwash!

Fill mason jar with:
-1 cup distilled water
-3 Tbsp Colloidal Silver
-2 Tbsp Stevia
-Add essential oils

Shake well each time you use and use within 10 days.


You can adjust the ingredients to your own tasting.  Make sure to use the mouthwash after you brush and floss your teeth (at least twice and day).  Swoosh your mouth for 60 seconds each time.  DO NOT SWALLOW!  Remember we are combating bacteria so we do not want any of it to go back into our system.

Let me know if you made your own mouthwash and if you adjusted the ingredients in any way.
Happy Swooshing!


All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

Preparing Your Garden Soil

My gardening journey began when I was just a kid. Having a garden was just as normal as having a house or a car. I thought everyone got their food from the large plot of land that was behind their house… Boy, was I wrong.

Putting up a garden was never a hobby for my family. It was a necessity. As a kid, I didn’t fully understand the amount work that went into that enormous garden that kept our family fed. I just knew it as a place that I could steal a few snacks from and occasionally hide out when a certain chore was expected of me.

I grew up on a very large cattle ranch. My parents we hired on as ranch hands and their main responsibilities were to oversee the cattle operation and the hay and wheat harvest. In my opinion, that was the best way to grow up. It was a very humble life, but I thought we were the richest people on earth!

Some of my earliest memories are of my family’s HALF ACRE garden and working along side my mother in it. The rows of green beans and corn seemed to go on forever… especially when it came to weeding. The conversations that I listened in on while I helped my mom and aunts snap peas were the kind that made a girl daydream of the future.  THIS is where I developed my love for gardening.  I am still convinced that any problem can be sorted out over a bowl of snap peas.

Today, so many people hobby-garden (which is AWESOME), but the success of our family’s garden determined how well we would eat throughout the winter.  My mom worked endless hours prepping veggies to be frozen or canned.  I remember my parents praying for the hail storms to pass and for much-needed moisture to drench our land in time of drought.  One thing is for sure…I don’t ever remember missing a meal.  God is GOOD!

I now have the luxury of purchasing fresh, organic produce, however my roots simply fight against this option.  I want to be in control of my produce and know, without a doubt, that I am getting nutrient-rich greens.  I want to know that the occasional little nibble on my lettuce is there because there weren’t harmful chemicals sprayed on my produce.  I love the satisfaction of sowing the seed, reaping the harvest, and seeing the excitement in my family’s face when our hard work pays off!

I now know all the work that is involved in putting up a garden. This isn’t for the faint of heart and trust me, I have made several mistakes.

One of those mistakes…. not knowing that the soil is the most important component to a successful garden. That was not something I paid attention to as a kid.  When I started out with my own small garden I became frustrated because it was not yielding the crop I had hoped for.  What the heck?  I have soil… I sowed the seed… I watered…. AND nothing!  This led me to research out what my plants were needing and found out that I had nutrient-deficient soil.

As a holistic practitioner, one of the main health foundations I focus on is balancing digestion pH. Having a balanced digestive pH is crucial for the absorption of essential minerals our bodies need to function. If our body is not absorbing the essential minerals it needs to grow and sustain life, it becomes malnourished. Understanding this principle helped me to bridge that same thought process into my garden. Do my plants need a certain soil pH? Does the acidity, or there lack of, affect the nutrients? The short answer… YES!

Most vegetables do better in slightly acidic soil, a pH of around 6.5. Make sure and do the research for the crops you want to grow. This will save you so much time in the field. Also, you need to understand that plants have different needs throughout their life cycle.

Critical nutrients that plants need are divided up into three categories: primary, secondary, and micronutrients. The heavy hitters, the primary nutrients are: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Larger quantity of these nutrients are needed for healthy plant growth. Next, the secondary nutrients are: Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Don’t let the “secondary” notation fool you. These nutrients are just as important as the primary nutrients. The difference is the quantity needed. The secondary nutrients are equally as important, just in smaller amounts. The micronutrients are: Zinc, and manganese which are required as well but in small amounts. All these nutrients are very important, but if the soil pH is wrong, the plant will not be absorbing them.

Just like our body, if the plant is not able to absorb the minerals, it becomes malnourished. What’s the point of eating “healthy” and putting in all that work if the food we are eating is malnourished? The plant gets its nourishment from the soil, so that is where we start.

It is very important that you adjust your soil pH BEFORE you start sowing seed or planting transplants. The adjustments made to raise/lower pH could stress the newly planted seeds or seedlings out and cause them to die.

Here are a few ways I maintain a perfect pH balance in my soil.

If my soil is too acidic, I add:

  1. Manure
  2. Garden Lime (always read instructions prior to use)
  3. Wood ash (Read the benefits of adding wood ash into your gardens)
  4. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)

Let’s begin at the end…. harvest time….

When I harvest my garden in the fall, I leave some stalks behind to decompose through the winter and I leave it completely alone until the spring thaw.  I’ll even throw in some grass clippings and dead leaves for extra compost.  Once the ground is workable in the spring (for my location, it’s in March) I work the ground and check the soil’s pH (Soil pH tester) before I adjust the soil. My garden soil is generally too acidic because of our heavy rainfall. Rain generally drains through the soil, stealing those important minerals, calcium and magnesium, and leaving behind extremely acidic elements, aluminum and iron instead.

To adjust, I will add in my compost and then Garden Lime. This is generally about a month before I start planting. I will then add in wood ash and Epsom salt a couple weeks before I start sowing seed.  I will check my pH balance again one last time a few days before sowing or transplanting.  I also put about 1 tsp. of Epsom salt in each hole then cover with a layer of soil when planting tomatoes and peppers.  They LOVE magnesium sulfate along with roses!

Note…. make sure and water the soil. The soil needs these adjustments PLUS water to change the soil pH.


If you live in an area where you need to decrease your soil pH or your crop (like blueberries) is needing an acidic soil, add manure, and then aluminum sulfate and/or sulfur.

Since adjusting my soil’s pH, my crops not only produce a great harvest, but they just look happier.  Depending on your pH test results, you might need to give your garden a salty bath about once a month, along with a sprinkle of compost/manure mix.   This will give you a happy, perfectly-fed garden all summer long.  Mulching will help tremendously in dry climates to help retain the moisture.

Knowing what different plants need will help with your harvest.  This is a great read for understanding the importance of your soil’s pH level and why certain plants need more acidic soil and why others need more alkaline soil.

Here’s to a blessed harvest and thoughtful conversations while snapping peas.

Happy planting!

How to Help a Sore Throat

It never fails.  The little voice coming from the bedroom exclaiming, “Mommy!  I have a sore throat!”  What’s a mom to do?  I don’t know about your kids, but mine can milk a sore throat for all it’s worth.  Luckily, I have found a method that works wonders on those hurting throats in my household.

I have a cabinet in my house that is just for ‘cold’ emergencies and my kids know the routine.  At the first sign of a sore throat, we immediately put in action a salt-water gargle routine.  They will do this 3x a day for as long as their throats are hurting.

Sore Throat Gargle

-4 oz. water
-2 drops of Thieves Vitality EO
-2 tsp. of sea salt

(Lavender lip balm applied first will help with chapped, cracked lips)


Stir well and gargle right away.  I ask them to count to 10 in their head each time.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still don’t think there is anything better than a spoonful of organic honey to smooth that throat.  After they have finished gargling, they get a spoonful of nature’s candy.

I also keep a 10ml Roller bottle filled with a blend that warms and soothes the throat.  We rub this right below their ears and down their throat.  As with any EO, if you get it in your eye, DO NOT WASH OUT WITH WATER.  Use a carrier oil like olive oil and flush the eye out.

-20 drops Frankincense
-20 drops Peppermint
-20 drops Lavender
-15 drops Wintergreen
-15 drops Eucalyptus Globulus

– 15 drops Copaiba

-Then fill bottle with equal parts of a carrier oil.  I prefer organic jojoba oil, or grape-seed oil.


Diffuse Purification  morning and night, especially as they are going to bed.



Boosting the immune system is critical here.  Whenever there seems to be a ‘bug’ in the house I give them extra Liposomal Vitamin C and Nano-Silver (energetic form) to help boost immunities.

To learn even more on how to boost your family’s immunities naturally and how to help drive sickness out of their bodies:

Book a family health consultation.

A few topics I cover during a session:

  • Immune Support
  • Colds/Flus
  • Nausea/Vomitting
  • Fever
  • Throat Discomfort
  • Cuts and Scrapes
  • Burns
  • Joint and Muscle Pain
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Insect Bites
  • Mineral and Vitamin Deficiency



Wonderful Tips for EOs

With the Seed to Seal  process, I know the oils I use are 100% pure and nothing harmful is going into our bodies.  Please do not be fooled by synthetic oils that smell amazing.  The whole reason EOs are attractive to people is because they want to eliminate toxins in their bodies.  Make sure you know what’s in your EO.  Learn more about our Seed to Seal commitment.

Do not let the world of EOs scare you.  They are simple amazing tools to have in our holistic tool belt.  At any time you may join my team and learn from some of the best holistic dietitians.


All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

Why Grow Your Own Barley Fodder

Recently my family and I had a field trip to a large, organic farm.  I honestly do not know who was more excited…me or the kids!  With a fresh litter of 13 Great Pyrenees puppies greeting us as soon as we walked into the yard, it was hard to find any motivation to play with any of the other animals.

Our tour was simply fabulous.  We played for a couple hours with puppies, goats, ducks, chickens, and mini donkeys.  As fun as all the new babies were, our trip wasn’t just about seeing the animals.  It was equally about learning  more about organic-farm nutrition.

On one stop of our tour, we were guided into their fodder room.  A well insulated, larger room that had layers of shelves with a very thought-out irrigation system.  I was taken back!  I had never seen the process of sprouting barley before so I was instantly intrigued.  Our host then explained to me the process, and more importantly, why they have decided to supplement fodder into their organic feed routine.

Well, our tour was wrapped up and it was time to say goodbye.  Needless to say, our girls were ready to start their own zoo (as if they don’t have enough critters).  I loved the ride home and listening to their favorite parts of the day.  I was just as excited as they were, but for different reasons.

As soon as I got home, my research on sprouting organic barley began.  WOW! I just loved the information I was finding.  Just a few of the advantages I found were:

Feed Savings-  by sprouting grain, your grain portion quadruples!  That is a win-win for everyone.  Fodder does not need any special lighting to sprout as it is very economical to grow.  You just need some space and time.  Check out this barley fact sheet for more nutritional value, cost breakdown, and nutrient comparison.

Nutritional Value-  as soon as the grains sprout, the nutrient level grows extremely high. When the seed is spouted, it releases many vitamins and minerals that would have been lost if seed stayed intact.  Over time, you should see an improvement in the condition of the hoof and coat in the animals.  For dairy animals, it can show an improvement in milk production as well.  Many studies have shown that barley grass improves the digestion and immunity of the animals which is so important when raising any herd.

Greens All Year-  even in the dead of winter, your critters can enjoy the crunchy nibble of greens.  And the best part, no need for any special soil conditions.  If you’re in a drought or flooding season, you are in control of your crop.

Good For Us-  sprouts, when given to farm animals, have shown an improvement in our overall health too.  Especially in the increase of Omega-3 levels.  When consuming the meats, eggs, or milk, that nutrition is carried right over to us.

Fodder is not just for chickens and goats.  Horses, cattle, rabbits and sheep all benefit from those crunchy grains!!  You will have to do your own figuring on the exact amount of grains you need to sprout for your critters depending on the size of your flock/herd.

With my mind made up that growing my own fodder was the way to go, it was now time to put my plan to action.  I couldn’t wait until I could begin sprouting my own barley. Of course, I ran into a few hitches….First word of advise, do not buy hulled barley.  Buy whole barley grains (husk intact).  I tried to sprout hulled grains and….. nothing.  Second, draining is critical.  You do not want any mold to develop on you roots.  Third, keep moist.  You will need to find a balance in keeping your grains not too dry or not too wet.

What you need to grow your own fodder:

-Bucket or Large Bowl
-Organic Barley Seeds (husk intact)
Growing Trays (with drain holes)
Growing Trays (with NO drain holes)
Drinking Straws
Spray Bottle
-Temperature between 63*-75*

That’s it!  How simple is that?  Now, obviously there are full-growing systems available. But for starters, this is a great way to go.
Step 1-  Pre-soak your seed.  This is a very important step.  Some people like to use a bucket for this but with smaller quantities, a large bowl will work just fine.  Place your dry seed into a bowl/bucket and fill with water at least 2″ above seed line.  Soak seeds between 12-24 hours.  Some people like to add 1-2 drops of bleach into the bucket to discourage any bacterial growth.


Step 2-  Drain the seeds and place them into the growing tray with drain holes.  If your seeds are deeper than 1/2″ you have too many seeds for your tray.  We do not want mold in the fodder.


Step 3-  Place (3) straws into the tray that has no holes in it.  This will act as a platform for the fodder tray to drain into.  Place the fodder tray inside the solid tray.


Step 4-  Mist several times a day.  For the first 2 days, I cover the tray with a clear germination lid.  This helps the moisture stay in better.  If you are getting too much water into the drain tray, simply dump it out.


This is such a fun process and it is exciting to wake up every day to see how much your sprouts have grown.  Around days 7-9 (when sprouts are about 6″ tall) you may start harvesting (remember, when first introducing any new feed to animals, start out slowly).


Now time to feed!  Rip apart desired amount a give the entire mass (roots, seeds, and sprout) to your critters.

Happy sprouting!