July 5, 2023

Episode 15:

Ask an Herbalist w/ Crystal Stevens, Flourish Farmstead

Herbalist Crystal Stevens joins us to answer your questions! Before the interview, Bevin talks about our recent herb harvest and shares a recipe for a healing salve made from yarrow and comfrey!

Episode Guest

Episode Guest

Crystal Stevens is a bioregional herbalist, educator, author, and multidisciplinary artist. Stevens co-owns Flourish Farmstead with her husband Eric and their 2 children along the bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi River in Godfrey, Illinois. 

Flourish Farmstead encompasses a School of Botanicals, a folk school, a botanical sanctuary, a plant nursery, and an apothecary. They host wild foods dinners, workshops, agritourism events, and festivals. Stevens teaches classes and programs on herbalism, foraging, gardening, cooking, and earth skills.

She has taught classes at Missouri Botanical Garden, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Festival, the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference, the Herbal Entrepreneur Conference, the University Extension Agencies, and Mother Earth News Fairs across the United States. Stevens co-founded the Tend and Flourish School of Botanicals.

Learn more about Crystal and Flourish Farmstead at https://flourishfarmstead.com/

We’re so excited to have Crystal Stevens join us for ‘Ask an Herbalist.’ Crystal is an herbalist, author, educator and co-owner of Flourish Farmstead in Godfrey, Illinois. You’ve sent in your herb questions and Crystal is here to answer them! Some of the questions we talk about include:

·        What herbs would you recommend for making a salve or lotion for aging skin?

·       When is the best time to harvest herbs and what’s the best way to dry them for storage?

·       Is there a way to make a tincture without using alcohol? Is it as effective?

·       What are some of the best uses for Elderflower tincture?

Before the interview, Bevin talks about harvesting, drying, and storing herbs. He also shares a recipe for making a topical healing salve from yarrow and comfrey. This is the same healing salve that we offer online: https://www.smallhousefarm.com/herbal-body-care/

Simply combine equal parts dried comfrey and yarrow in a quart jar. Fill the jar to the top with high quality sunflower oil, then cover, label, and let steep for four to six weeks. Once the oil is ready strain out the herbs and discard.

To turn your lovely herbal oil into a salve just combine 16 fluid oz of oil (volume) with 1 ¼ ounces of beeswax (weight) in a double boiler. Heat the oil to melt the wax, then pour the mixture into a container to cool… so easy!

If you’re interested in learning more about working with medicinal herbs, check out Bevin’s book, The Artisan Herbalist, which is available here>

Bevin was recently a guest on the Pantry Chat podcast where he had the opportunity to talk about small-scale seed and nut oil production. It was a great interview! You can find it here: https://homesteadingfamily.com/growing-pressing-your-own-seed-oil/  

During the interview, Bevin talks about our Oil Pressing Kit, which comes with everything you need to get started pressing your own oils right at home! You can find the kit here: https://www.smallhousefarm.com/product/the-complete-oil-pressing-kit/

Remember, you can always support our podcast by joining our Patreon for as little as $3/month at www.patreon.com/smallhousefarm