Sage Hill Farms

  (Petersburg, Tennessee)
Sustainable Living~EatWell-BeWell~
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From Summer Gardens To Winter Tables~

Now that our gardens are in full swing, over abundant in produce

and demanding attention every day to keep it that way....what can we do with all the fruits of our labor.....allowing it to waste away is not an option at Sage, the work and the fun begins.

Today we are utilizing all the extra cucumbers, about a half bushel...we have shared, sold, and eaten many...well, actually a lot.

Pickle relish is one of those items that must be carefully scrutinized when purchasing at the super-market...most have High Fructose Corn Syrup, and very high Sodium content...mine will have neither.
Mothers Pickle Relish~no doubt my grandmother's too~
( I've adjusted the amount to a smaller batch )
5 pounds-small to medium size cucumbers
1 large sweet onion
1 Tbsp Pickling Salt
3 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups cider vinegar-5% acidity
1 Tbsp whole Allspice
1 Tbsp whole Cloves
1-3" cinnamon stick
Wash cucumbers and remove the darkest end of the cucumber( blossom end ) this is usually bitter.
Chop cucumbers and onion by hand or in a food processor-combine in a large -non reactive bowl-Sprinkle with pickling salt-mix well-cover and let stand overnight. ( refrigerate )

Next day...Drain well, tie all spices in a cheesecloth bag
In a 6/8 quart saucepan combine vegetable mix, spice bag, and all other ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat-stirring occasionally.

Boil for 10 minutes-stirring often to avoid sticking.
Remove from heat and remove spices.

Fill hot jars with mixture leaving 1/2 inch space between jar rim and lid.
Carefully run a non-reactive spatula around the inside of jar to release air bubbles.wipe jar tops and threads clean.

Place hot lids on jars and screw bands on firmly.

Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.


I use pint size jars and an open top jars in canner-cover with boiling water to just over the lids...this will assure sealing and the proper action to avoid spoilage....

TIP: Jars that do not seal in a few hours should be left in the frig to eat or thrown out...never store unsealed jars. The content will spoil.


Autumn, Gardens, and Gratitude~All Good Things~

Seems that autumn this year was a long time arriving. Living in the south-east has many wonderful advantages.....long hot humid summers can be an advantage if one is a gardener:) We have a climate that allows for 2 and sometimes 3 seperate crops. This is a good thing :)

The raised beds at Sage Hill Farms are all cleaned from the summer bounty and are now filling up fast with bright green -greens....turnip, mustard, collards, kale and a late lettuce.

Much of this crop will go to the farmers market, the local food distribution program, and serve as a cover-crop for the winters soil protection.

Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons, I adore the holiday's, the colors, and the connection that it all seems to bring among the people around us.

If you are a local reader or if you find yourself in our part of the country...we would be delighted to have you visit Sage Hill Farms...sit and chat, enjoy a cup of tea/coffee/autumn brew of your choice.:)

I hope you are eating as local as possible, as healthy as possible, and above all else...enjoying the journey~

Have a special Autumn season and be well~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz

Sage Hill Farms




Herbs In The Home~

Herbs In The Home.......

Herbs are much more than good smelling green things to add to your soup-pot.

From the kitchen to the bath, herbs can fill many needs and add pleasure and health benefits to almost every aspect of daily life.

We all know that basil, dill, chives, oregano, sage, thyme,  and a host of other culinary herbs can make the difference in good to delicious with a pot of just about anything .

But, do you know that herbs can also be just as useful and rewarding in the bath, the medicine cabinet, and  even for your pet needs.

During the cold and damp days of winter nothing serves to relax and rejuvinate the bones and muscles like an herb infused bath.

One method is this:

In a large pot over high heat bring to boil about 1/2 gallon of water, add a large bunch of sage leaves, some thyme, and rosemary sprigs-boil for a good 5 minutes, reduce heat and let sit-covered-for 5 minutes. Strain into your bath water and simply be still and soak in the pleasures and the comfort of the natural benefits from the plants.

Another warming and comfort method is a small pot on the stove top with your favorite herb, a few orange peels, lemon,  cinnamon sticks  and clove buds...not only will your home smell good, you will be breathing in all the good from the bounty.

Try rubbing a clove of garlic over the bottom of your feet when you have the makings of a sinus problem or a bit of a can do this many times during the course of the day.....

Only good things come from herb usage, and the more we know, the better we can apply.

A subject worthy of study, is it not.


Bea Kunz

Sage Hill Farms


Some Christmas History~

The middle of winter has always been a time of celebrations.

Even Pagan celebrations were a ritual born of beliefs that followed the only spiritual guideline available.

Long before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, (the winter solstice,) through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, large logs were set on fire and people would feast until they burned out-sometimes lasting 12 days.

In the early days of Christianity-Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced.

By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion.

In the early 17Th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

The Best of the Season from Sage Hill Farms to your home~


Bea and Mike Kunz


Thanksgiving-A time to reflect and be grateful.

We at Sage Hill Farms love this time of year for many reasons.

Slowing down a bit in the day to day going, the gardens are at rest for the most part, the weather is colder and the anticipation of all the special holidays are upon us.

Thanksgiving is my favorite of them all. It brings to focus who I am, how I came to be, and where my loyality and responsibility lies with future generations.

My ancestry goes back to Old Wales and England, I can only imagin the effort that went into leaving a homeland ,  making a new life in an unknown land, and putting down and nourishing roots that have survived into 2008.

To be less than dedicated to those same ideas of roots, family, fellowman and the right thing would make me less than worthy of the space I claim on this earth.

To all my fellow members at Local Harvest,  this blog, and the devoted team that makes it all possible......Thank you and A Gracious Thanksgiving Day~

Bea and Mike Kunz

Sage Hill Farms/Tennessee

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