How To Tincture A Pitcher Plant

How To Tincture A Pitcher Plant

I first heard about the Sarracenia Purpurea Plant a year ago when a friend shared news of possible new “virals” to be released in the coming years. She had found that this plant had once been used by the Native Americans in the aid of various pox, so I ordered it with the intention to create a Tincture for our Homestead Apothecary.

I kept it on the window sill in my Kitchen since last Summer. Despite the recommendation to place it in the refrigerator to make it go dormant over Winter, I allowed it to stay in the window and it flourished! 

These plants are a version of the Venus Fly Trap. With their cone shape and tiny hair-like tentacles inside their leaves, they attract and trap flies and other insects in order to aid in their nutrients.

As odd as that sounds, I’ve really enjoyed growing these, and intend to repot it this Spring. These plants thrive in a tight environment and must be watered from the bottom up with distilled water.

(I have published a Video all about the growing and harvesting process on our YouTube Channel that you can watch HERE.) 

You can print out a free instruction card on how to create this Tincture by clicking HERE.

Go Analog: The Power of Physical Copies

The Importance of Physical Copies in a Digital Age: Emergency Preparedness, Self-Reliance, and the Joy of Holding a Book

In our digital age, we’ve become accustomed to relying on technology for everything. But what happens when technology fails us? That’s why it’s essential to have physical copies of important information, such as emergency protocols, maps, home remedies, and self-reliance guides.

A few years ago, we decided we should throw it all out and go digital. But we accidentally cut off our lifeline in the event of a digital interruption. It didn’t feel possible then, but it sure does now…

Sure, having digital versions of these resources on our devices can be convenient, but what if you can’t access them? In an emergency situation, you might not have access to the internet, a storage cloud may fail or your device could run out of battery. Having physical copies of  the important things can help you stay prepared for any situation. You never know when you might need to refer to a first aid manual or a guide on how to purify water in a pinch.

But it’s not just emergencies that physical copies can be useful for. Self-reliance guides, such as books on homesteading, can provide you with valuable skills and knowledge that can help you live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. In our ever-changing world, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to rely on ourselves and our communities. And while you can certainly find information on self-reliance online, having physical copies of these resources can provide a more immersive and engaging learning experience.

And let’s not forget about the simple joy of holding a physical book in your hands. There’s something special about flipping through the pages of a well-worn book, underlining key passages and taking notes in the margins. Writing things down with pen and paper can also be a more intimate and personal experience than typing up a digital version.

While technology has made many aspects of our lives easier, it’s essential to remember that it can fail us. Having physical copies of references, maps, recipes, addresses and instructions  can help ensure that you’re prepared for any situation. And in addition to their practical benefits, physical books can provide a sense of comfort to living a self-reliant lifestyle, that’s becoming increasingly rare in our digital age. So why not consider investing in some physical books on these topics?

Some things you may want to convert from digital to physical:

  • Physical copies of Important Legal Documents
  • A list of your Bills, including Account Numbers & Contact Information
  • Emergency Contacts (i.e. a good old-fashioned Address Book)
  • Maps of your City, State & Country
  • Banking Information
  • Homestead Protocols
  • Insurance Records
  • A Medical Reference Handbook
  • Notebooks
  • Books on Wild Foraging, Emergency Preparedness, Animal Husbandry, Gardening, Natural Healing, Herbal Remedies, Cooking, etc.

We added this Atlas to our Emergency Kit, which makes an excellent travel companion when we’re out of service range – Click Here.

I hope that this list helps spark a change for you, and that you add to it to meet your needs!

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

We have had an Apple crisis over here, and maybe you have too. Here’s what we’re doing about it…

It’s been a rough year for many of us, especially in the garden. Not only did we have a horrible start with seeds and weather, we were also hit very badly by pests – especially out in the orchard. Organic Farming means that we are willing to put up with worms and imperfections, however this year we had more than our fair share of invaders. 

Making the most out of this situation, I’ve decided to use what I could salvage for an abundance of one of my absolute FAVORITE products, and that is Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother. 

There are so many uses for ACV. In addition to the good gut health benefits of this ferment, you can use it for animal probiotics, salad dressings, hair wash, pest control, fermenting & preserving, foot soak, homemade cleaners, and so much more!

It is SO easy to make, and you can make this with home grown, store bought or even bits and pieces of the apple… 


  • Whole Organic Apples, Cores or Scraps; Please do not use apples that are not Organic – they are FULL of pesticides.
  • Pure Cane Sugar.
  • Sterilized, clean Glass Jar. Any type or size is fine – I use a 1/2 gallon Mason Jar, but you can re-use a pickle jar or anything you have on hand as long as it’s been sterilized.
  • Fermenting Lid, Coffee Filter or Cheesecloth.
  • Rubber band or Canning Ring.
  • A weight to keep apples submerged under water.
  • Marker and/or Label to write date.


  1. Chop your apples and pieces, filling your jar 3/4 full. It is okay to keep cores, stems and seeds intact, but you may desire to remove them – it is entirely up to you.
  2. Fill with good, filtered water (it’s important not to use tap water, because the chlorine will kill your good yeast). Leave room for 1 extra cup of water.
  3. In a separate container, add one tablespoon of sugar per cup of water into a 1 cup of water (i.e. 4 cups of water + 4 Tbsp sugar). Stir well so that your sugar dissolves completely.
  4. Pour in remaining sugar water, making sure to cover your apples at least by 1″.
  5. With a tight-fitting lid, shake well to incorporate evenly. Make sure they are packed down tight and to get all bubbles out from below.
  6. Place a weight on top to ensure your fruit does not get exposed to air, which will create mold.
  7. Cover with a breathable linen or fermenting lid.
  8. Write the date you made this with a sharpie or dry-erase so that you do not forget! Trust me – you will not remember.
  9. Place in a cool spot, away from sunlight and where you will remember to check it frequently. It will froth and ferment during this time. You want to keep an eye on it and watch for mold. A white film on top is good, however if it turns a pink color or if you begin to see fuzz, you may have a problem. As long as the water is covering the fruit & your jar is properly sealed, you shouldn’t have to worry. 
  10. Your apples will begin to smell like cider at first, and then a bitter vinegar scent will take over. Leave for 2-3 weeks, depending on how warm your storage is. Typically around 70 degrees is ideal. 
  11. After your desired wait, strain out the fruit and set back in your storage to continue fermenting for another 2-3 weeks. In warmer climates, you may need to strain after just one week, and in cooler temperatures, allow to sit longer. The only way to tell is to give it a taste test every once in a while & adjust your time accordingly. 
  12. After about 6-8weeks, you should have a good Apple Cider Vinegar  ready to use. Store in a cool place away from sunlight. At this point, it will develop “The Mother” at the top and you can use this to start another batch which will ferment much faster.


 How do you use ACV in your home? Will you be trying out this recipe and making your own? Share your masterpiece with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #MagnoliaHillFarmCreation and we will give you a big shout-out!

3 Creative Ways To Use Up Zucchini and Summer Squash

It’s that time of year that gardeners everywhere are loaded down with all of that Summer Bounty, so diligently cultivated weeks ago. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the volume of Zucchini, Squash and Cucumbers like we are, here are 3 creative ways we’re cooking them up.

3 Creative Ways To Use Up Zucchini and Summer Squash

We love to grill outside during the Summer, so we’ve been piling  those veggies onto Shish Kabobs! Layering up Onion, Bell Pepper, Mushroom, Cherry Tomato, Pineapple and chunky Zucchini to make a delicious Hawaiian style meal. Paint on some tangy Teriyaki sauce, add to a bed of rice and it’s an instant crowd pleaser!

3 Creative Ways To Use Up Zucchini and Summer Squash

Cucumbers have been coming out of our ears this year, and I can only make so many pickles… This next idea has been so popular at our house, we eat it almost every single day for lunch!

I use the FLAT BLADE of my Spiralizer to create this fun and ultra-thin string of cucumber slices. Mixed with sliced onion, black olives and topped with fresh basil and dill. I finish it off with a splash of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. – Yum!

3 Creative Ways To Use Up Zucchini and Summer Squash

The biggest win has been creating these fun tendrils of Squash,  sautéed in rich butter with garlic and onions. Adding in a handful of cooked pasta (reserve 1/4 cup of the water to add to pan), halved cherry tomatoes, basil and lemon zest. Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, THIS is a weekly staple at our house.

The Spiralizer has been an asset to the Homestead, as we’ve used it for so many different meals, from squash to fruit to many other tuber vegetables. As a plant-based family, we need as many tools as we can find to be creative with our recipes.

We have gotten such an overwhelming response to our Instagram Stories every time I post these meals, I thought this would be a good time to share on the Blog.

I hope you try these out & please let us know which one is your favorite. Bon Appetit!

Homemade Fly Repellent Recipe

Homemade Fly Repellent Recipe

Now that we’ve added goats to our little Farm Sanctuary, I needed to create a Homemade Fly Repellent Recipe, pronto! We’re seeing more pests, hence the need for a safe & effective deterrent. I refuse to use toxic chemicals around our plants and livestock, so I scoured the internet in search of a safer, alternative to bug spray.

I alter everyday household products in order to make them organic and non-toxic, so here’s my version…


First of all, find a good MISTING Spray Bottle that can hold at least a cup so that you only have to make it occasionally. THIS is a good one that mists well which I found on Amazon. I also use one for a Homemade Room Freshener recipe I’ll share later.

You’ll also want a small colander to pour in your liquids without creating a mess.


  • Fill your container up half-way with White Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Soap (We use Doctor Bronner’s Peppermint Soap)
  • 10 drops each of Eucalyptus & Peppermint Essential Oil (you can substitute with your choice of EO’s but I found this combination to be pungent enough to keep the bugs away)
  • If you have it, add fresh Mint Leaves or Lemon Balm Leaves
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with Filtered Water


Shake well before using. I spray about 6 pumps on Hind quarters and around Ears. I also spray down Chicken Nesting Boxes and all Sleeping Areas before bed.

What I’ve found is that it keeps the flies, mosquitoes and gnats away for a couple of hours. It’s all natural, smells good, affordable and can be used on animals and people. The type of soap we use is a trusted brand that can be safely used for body wash, hair, hands, dishes, etc. Safe around animals & people, also a good alternative to heavily scented soaps.

Watch our Instagram Stories today (will be saved to highlights) to see this in use around the Homestead!