Getting prepared for winter is so important, and starts now! So I will do a series of posts on what we do here to prepare :)
Sorry it is another long one...
The first things I check over are my list of herbs, waxes and oils, and containers to put remedies in once they are made.
The containers you find or need could be different than what we use, but here is our list;
Lip Balm tubes
Ointment and cream jars (4 oz ball jars work well)
Dark glass bottles, 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8 oz with extra caps, (oil drop lids and glass dropper caps for the smaller)
4 oz dark glass wide mouth containers with good lids
8 and 16 oz canning jars
Small pump spray bottles for liniments
Squeeze bottles for gels, shampoos, light creams etc...
Brown paper 'lunch bags'
Waxed paper bags
Cello bags (I use to put tea blends in for others or to sell)
Tea bags (I use the brown fold top bags for others or to sell)
Extra glass eye droppers!! trust me, they break, disappear, and I swear we have brownies who take them!
And of course stickers for labels. I tend to get bulk Avery labels and print them myself...but if you are just making things for home use then masking tape and a sharpie work just fine too.
You can find containers almost anywhere, but since I get them in bulk, I tend to find them at these places;
MountainRoseHerbs - you can get singles or bulk there
Bulk Apothecary - has bulk ingredients for many things
If you can grow your own herbs, or wildcraft, that is the best! But, there are times where we need to buy them...for us, we are full time RVers, so no garden space. We are still focused on revamping our turtle home and getting some herbs growing, and locating herbs to wildcraft...so I am buying many of the herbs again this year.
I tend to stick with mountainroseherbs because I trust their quality, and I know they will most likely have what I need in bulk.
I will give my basic list here, but herbs are just like beads. When you start a project or remedy Murphy dictates there will almost always be one herb you don't have on hand.
Echinacea (both purpurea, and angustifolia root)
Marshmallow (both leaf and root)
Dandelion (flower, leaf and root)
Rose (buds and petals)
Elder (flowers and berries)
Choke Cherries (have to be wildcrafted, but we will make a two day trip to get them if we have to)
Prairie Sage (same as choke cherries)
Cohosh root (black and blue)
Barley Grass powder
Beet Root powder
Chlorella powder (green algae, very good for chlorophyll )
Okay, well that is about 2/3 of my base list...I guess I use alot of herbs :O I don't usually write them all out, I just eyeball what we have and make a mental list and find or order what comes to mind. Then add on here and there...As I add tea and remedy recipes more will crop up I am sure :)
I also tend to group herbs, like I keep the wildfire tea herbs together, and the cold and flu tea herbs together, etc...So when I look over the herbs, I think in recipes, not lists...
Just a basic list of tools...most will last many many years
Soup pot for sterilizing bottles
Glass or Pyrex mixing bowls (safe for all herbs and oils)
Pyrex measuring cups (mini for oz, and 1, 2, 4 cup for preparations. 8 cup if you will be making bulk preps)
Stainless whisk (or hand held stainless mixer)
wooden pepper mills, or manual coffee grinder (for seeds, whole spices etc...they can also be used to powder dried berries and leaves)
Stainless mixing and measuring spoons
Stainless small funnels for oils
Did I mention Extra Glass Eyedroppers??? :)
Double Boiler (I just use a sauce pan with a pyrex bowl)
Kitchen scale that measures down to oz
A friend made my little kitchen witch cabinet for me, and I LOVE it for oils...I will just show what I have in photos. I do need Wintergreen oil. This year I mainly got my oils from mountainrose, but you will see a few other places on the labels. They are all good oils. I do like Now oils too, but don't have any at the moment.
Some of these oils will be for ointments, creams, liniments, diffusers (aroma therapy) etc...and some for adding to lip balms, candles, soaps...
...and in the drawers...
Thumb tacks, very important little tool. I use them to hang tied herbs to dry, pin up recipes, and all sorts of things...And hey, glass eye droppers :)
For preps though, a few extra boxes of thumb tacks is always a good idea.
So there you have my basic set up, hopefully it gives some ideas. Of course everyone will have different things depending on location, what they use the herbs for, and how many people they plan on making things for...