Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Your Apothecary Kitchen: 3rd Class in our Herbal Series at The Vass Farmstead!

This is the third class in our four-part series.

In Part One, we uncovered our forefathers’ basic outdoor medicine cabinet using local weeds.
In Part Two, we explored a fuller expanse of medicinal botanicals available in our backyards and neighborhoods, effectively tripling the size of Part One’s medicine cabinet.
In this third session, we take to the kitchen to transfer the medicine of these botanicals into ingestible or topical remedies for our families. We will learn about the several different mediums that can be infused with the medicine of the botanicals in our yards, and even from some of the more common food items in our pantries.
Come join us as we play in the Vass Farmstead’s kitchen with the likes of honey, garlic, ginger, vinegar, onions, peppers, horseradish, etc. Depending on time and class size, we may also take a sneak peek into homemade cultured kefir, homemade liniment and an herb-infused honey.
*Those who sign up to these introductory classes and want to learn more will be better prepared and considered for our Herbal Apprentice Program.
Class fee schedule:
$45 for each individual class
Register now through these options:

*PayPal: OR sent payment through PayPal to this email:
*Venmo: @Tanya-Grgas
Class is held at the Vass Farmstead, Stillwater Road (County Route 521), Hardwick, NJ 07825
"Nature makes the cure. The (healer's) job is to aid nature."
Register now for the last class in this 4-part series!
Using Your Spice Rack as a Medicine Cabinet, Oct 28, 2023

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Making Chive Blossom Vinegar!


WOW!  What an abundance of colors as wild and cultivated plants show off their intense flowers!  With all that nature is offering us right now, in addition to a feast for the eyes, have you considered making a feast for your taste buds?  Never tried this before?  Chive blossoms can be an easy place to start.  Not growing your own?  Have no fear:  friends, neighbors and farm markets are good places to find them, usually through May and June here in the northwest corner of New Jersey.

If you are new to making herbal remedies and kitchen medicine, creating chive blossom vinegar is a wonderful way to dip your toe into this fascinating world.  And you don't need any exotic equipment.  You'll enjoy this vinegar all summer on salads and grilled veggies, and it is a unique gift to bring to that summer BBQ as a hostess gift.

Chive Blossom Vinegar Recipe:

(1-1/2) Cups Chive blossoms (approximately 20-25)
(1-1/2) Cups organic vinegar (rice wine, champagne, or white wine)
(1) 1-pint (16 oz) mason jar or other with tight fitting lid, washed and sterilized.

  1. Rinse the chive blossoms in cold water by submerging and swishing them around.  This will help remove and dislodge any remaining soil and bugs.  Rinse them several times, then pat dry with paper towels or even use a salad spinner to remove excess water.
  2. Clip off the chive blossoms right under the flowerhead at the top of the stem.  
  3. Using the Wise Woman simpler's method, we're going to fill the jar twice.
  4. Fill the jar by placing all the chive blossoms into the jar, packing slightly.
  5. Warm the vinegar slightly, but not to boiling for about 2 - 4 minutes on the stovetop.  Fill the jar a second time by pouring the heated vinegar over the chive blossoms right up to the top, wipe the rim of the jar and fit the lid tightly. It's ok if a little seeps out because you don't want any air in the jar.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or until the flavor intensity is to your taste.
  7. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove any remaining sediment, and store in a cool, dry place.  Herbal vinegars can last for 6 - 10 months.

Return the used blossoms back to the earth in gratitude to Nature for her endless bounty!

Use your new flavored vinegar in your favorite vinaigrette recipe with flavored mustard, olive oil and fresh herbs, or in a marinade for grilled vegetables!  The possibilities are endless. 

If you try this recipe, please comment below and let us know how you used it!

Green Blessings,

Friday, January 15, 2021


In our most recent YT video, we share the time-honored practice of Ho'oponopono, it's origins, and far reaching message of Unity.
In these unsettled times, please take a few minutes with us to ground, go within, and espouse the principles of Ho'oponopono.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Sunflower Affirmations


Check out our most recent video about Sunflowers! [Do you see a theme here today? 🙂 ]
Please Like, Share and Subscribe!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Fall Harvest: Motherwort Tincture


Fall harvest! Soon to be motherwort tincture: (Leonurus cardiaca) this 'lion-hearted' medicinal botanical from the mint family may be helpful for calming, for reducing anxiety, (who can't use that these days?🤔) can help relieve palpitations, and is useful for PMS irritability. She can also be used as a mild diuretic and bitter tonic for digestive health. She was a volunteer this year, and a welcome addition to my medicinal backyard.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Our YT Sunflower Meditation


Enjoy one of our YouTube summer meditations. Here is our tribute to Sunflowers:

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) are in a genus that contains about 70 different species, and it is in the Asteracea family, which is the ragweed family of plants. Its botanical name, Helianthus, comes from the Greek word, helios, meaning the sun. SPIRITUALLY, Sunflowers represent spiritual knowledge and a worshiper's devotion to seeking the light of truth. It symbolizes faith and adoration for All-That-Is, the true faith and loyalty to something that is much bigger and brighter than themselves. For thousands of years, they've been held in high regard by many cultures to give protection and enlightenment. Its yellow petals represent the sun, the solar plexus and happiness. Who does not derive happiness when passing a field of sunflowers with their happy faces following the sun throughout the sky? TRADITIONAL and THERAPEUTIC uses for sunflowers range from the seeds for food, flour and oil (they contain Vitamins A and E and some from the B group, iron, sodium, phosphorus and calcium), and the petals contain anthocyanicglycosides, betaine and carotenoids (for eye health). Due to its deep roots and ability to soak up water and harmful substances, thousands and thousands of hectares were planted around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to help remediate the radioisotopes from the soil! ENERGETICALLY, sunflowers are the ones to call on when you need to live like a superhero, and they are a powerful reminder or our Divinity. Who doesn't need both of those in 2020? Please Like, Subscribe and Share!

Thursday, May 28, 2020



Feeling humbled and honored to contribute to this endeavor for our First Nations' brothers and sisters. Thank you, Elizabeth Scopio Neary for inviting me to collaborate with you. I look forward to assisting again, and would ask folks to consider contributing to the support of this work if it resonates with you.

(From original post):

Heather and I are honored and humbled to have been asked to participate in this project. Our Master Tonic is being sent out west in an effort to bring some relief to the Native folk during this virus. They have been hard hit! We also had a request for herbal tea, so I asked my teacher and friend, Donna (Dee), from Willow Moon Herbals to help. We created a blend specifically for this time called Deep Immune Reserve.
Please take a look at this video it is beautiful. Consider supporting this work if it feels right for you.
With much love. 💜

Saturday, May 2, 2020

What gorgeous weather to be out in the yard gathering wild spring greens!


WAIT! Don't toss those weeds you just yanked, instead, make pesto with those greens! While we're all still on quarantine, use what you have around:

Wild carrot, yarrow, plantain, ground ivy, purple dead nettle, artemisia, dandelion leaves, garlic mustard, heal all, violet flowers. Toss in food processor with olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, garlic. This time I also used some walnuts and a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese. Freeze some to add to soups, chili or stews, or just another simple meal packed with nutrients. Partner with gluten-free sweet potato crackers, and sit outside to enjoy! I am. 🥰🌱🌿