Balance Due Upon Completion


Someone asked us for the recipe to the wound salve Penny makes, so in the spirit of actually doing what I say I’ll do, here it is. This is real good stuff, perfect for all the nicks and scrapes that come of working with your hands.

The herbs we put in our salve vary but the constants are calendula, yarrow and comfrey.  Others may include St. John’s Wort, plantain, echinacea and chickweed. It just sorta depends on what we have lying around, or what’s in season. 

Stuff a jar with dried herbs and cover with olive oil. Put on lid and leave on a sunny warm window sill.  Shake once daily, precisely at 4:52 a.m. If you don’t wake up in time, toss the entire batch and start over. Six weeks later, strain out the plant matter.

Heat oil in a pot on the stove until warm enough to melt bees wax into it.  We use about ½ -3/4 cup beeswax chunks per pint of infused oil.  You can check the consistency by dropping a little bit onto a cold spoon and letting it set up.  Add more wax if you want your salve harder, such as for lip balm. Less wax makes it softer for slathering on the tender skin of wounds. If there’s any skin left, of course. 

Pour into containers and let cool. Now go cut yourself and apply liberally. 


Someone else asked for the recipe to the chokecherry “energy balls” above. They’re wicked simple – we just throw a bunch of sorta-dried chokecherries into our grain mill (we do NOT use our good mill for stuff like this – we have an older mill for this sort of abuse), then roll them into balls. They have just enough moisture to hold together. We eat a lot of chokecherries, which grow wild around here. If you want to know more about how we make them into all sorts of other delicacies, you might consider buying our book. Just sayin’. And if you want one of the super-cool, one-off spruce burl bowls as pictured above, send along $1,000 in small, unmarked bills.

That’s the down payment. Balance due upon completion;)

15 thoughts on “Balance Due Upon Completion”

  1. The sarcasm oozes like the salve! Love it.
    Those chokecherries… Folks around here call regular old fencerow wild cherry trees, with slightly sweet 1/4″ cherries chokecherries. You mean those? And grind up the pits too?

    1. sounds like the same thing, but I’m leery of saying so for sure. If you try some and die, they’re probably not the same.

      Yes, pits and all. After they’ve been dried.

      1. Oh, no, I made jam out of them several years ago, and it turned out so delicious I gave it as gifts. But I avoided including pits in the jam.

  2. I’ve had my copy of Nourishing Homestead since it was released and still get it out at least once a week for inspiration. Hope all who read this and do not have their own copy get one soon! No chokecherries here but we can’t wait for wild blackberries. With this crazy Winter we’ve had, they are already showing tiny beginnings of leaves in the sunny spots of the forest edge. Peace!

  3. I’m anxious to try the salve. For those that are a little more OCD, the salve recipe in the book is much more detailed. (Penny’s doing?) It recommends a two week period for infusion and starting with a quarter cup of beeswax, adding more if too soft. Pg. 281. Like ncfarmchick suggests, get a copy of the book soon!

    1. Thanks, Karen. Did we leave out mention of the 4:52 a.m. agitation in the book?? Damn. Not sure how we missed that.

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  5. Thanks, Ben, for the recipe (can’t order the book since there is no postal service where I live, stuff that is shipped usually gets stolen at the port). So thanks and good vibes sent your way, Our hands and lips are always scraped or dry! Sounds like good stuff!!

  6. Penny’s salve looks like lemon jello. Did she create the recipe when she was digging ditches by hand on MV?

    Did your boys enjoy their wilderness adventure?

  7. Not sure when she concocted that one… we’ve been using it for years.

    Yeah, they did, but had to come in a day early b/c Rye came down with a puking stomach bug. They’re back out in the woods this w-e, though.

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