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July 2015

June 2015

instagram ate my blog, and i'm really becoming an herbalist......

First (I feel kinda bad about this, but it's the truth) instagram ate my blog. I'm not alone in this. It has eaten several. It's so ridiculously easy to stay connected over there, and I've turned into the worst blogger ever. Such a bad blogger that in this post I am sharing all instagram photos in this post of the last month's herbal on-goings. (you can fire me, I totally understand! or better yet, join me!)     

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Now to the fun part. The herbalist journey is in full swing my friends.

This weekend is my second apprenticeship month with Boston School of Herbal Studies. Last month we talked about digestion and herbs to balance/nourish it. We made some delicious teas and I came home to rummage through my herbal pantry to make my first bitters tonic loosely based on one we tasted in class by our teacher Madelon. (first photo up there)

I've been playing around with small batches of tea blends. Both to see how I feel drinking them and how they taste. Some combinations have been very yummy. Others, while having wonderful medicinal properties, were not as fun to drink. Easy on the dandelion leaves, lessoned learned.

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the International Herb Symposium a few weeks ago (opening ceremony in that beautiful church photo above & most photos above from my weekend there). I really had no idea what I was signing up for back in March, I only knew everyone was raving about it in the herbal community. Oh. My. Goodness. It was total magic. I met some very inspiring herbalists, even got my books signed by several (Rosemary Gladstar, Holly Bellebuono, Mindy Green, & David Winston!) I took several classes :  aromatherapy, women's health, FDA regulations for small herbal businesses, palm reading, soap making, spirit & rituals of herbs, stress & herbs/aromatherapy, herbal formulas, free fire cider, and plant walks (phew!). This was the first herb event I have ever attended, and all I can tell you is : wow. I have never been received into a community with such kind, welcome, open arms. Herbalists have a family and they all love welcoming newcomers, they readily share they're wealth and knowledge. I walked around all weekend thinking, this is it, this is my tribe. I finally found them.

My heart feels like it has found a friend it has known for ages. Which of course, it has. As David Winston shared in his class on the spirituality of herbalism : Somewhere many generations ago there was a healer in my family, and in yours too, in everyones. And some bits of her DNA have been passed down and down just waiting for someone to find them again, waiting for someone to remember. Doesn't that just sound completely amazing? I can't even begin to tell you how this resonated with my soul.

It has been, and will continue to be, a lot of hard work. Learning the names of plants. Anatomy. Medicine making. Taking notes and having real homework for the first time in years. It feels a bit like magic, and the beginning of something right.

xo,

s

 

P.S. - super cool teapot "steeped" tshirt in that last photo can be found here. I bought two shirts AND a skirt from her at the Symposium - her prints are fabulous!! and she's having a sale right now!

 


in the workshop......

The last two weeks have been incredible and busy.

I wanted to share some of what we've been working on in The Workshop. My students are wonderful! I am truly enjoying this bit of time with them. I have two classes divided into age groups that run an hour and a half each week. So far we've mostly worked with clay in the younger group. In the older group we've worked with clay and watercolor........

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This week was sort of dark and gloomy on Monday and I really loved turning on the lights, and setting out materials for art, and supplies for tea making before they arrived. My older group is all girls and I'm seeing new friendships forge while they're making art. My hope is that they form their own little tribe of creative souls. Start 'em young, right?

One of my girls this week told me, "I'm just not very good at watercolor." I told her, "don't say I'm not good. Say, I'm experimenting." She laughed at me and then looked at her painting and said, "I'm experimenting with watercolor." And then she laughed again, and started painting.

We're halfway through our first session. I offered a mini four week camp to kickstart this new venture. We'll take a little break for summer in July and then start again in August with longer sessions throughout the school year and I'm dreaming of some monthly day sessions for crafting holiday give-ables and a mama's night out. 

It feels pretty magical to see this new venture take shape.

xo~

s

 


Garden notes : June 10

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You'd never guess by these photos we're in need of rain. I feel guilty looking at the trees around me as I water the garden. We've had such a dry spring, with SO MANY caterpillars. It's been really hard on all the big trees. Some of them have almost no leaves at all..... I've been collecting the caterpillars as I water and feeding them to the chickens. I don't think I'm making a dent in the population, but I must be helping my poor fruit trees and bushes a little.

Inside the garden everything is dark green and lush and growing, growing, growing. The beans and squash and melon have popped up. I'm hoping to trellis them. I did better with spacing this year (I really struggle with that) so things appear to have more room for growing...

And the blossoms! Tomato, peas, chive, blackberry, arugula. I let the arugula go to flower just to see what they looked like. Then I cut it all down and pureed it up with a bit of olive oil, lemon, and salt. I froze it into ice cubes, it will be delicious on pizzas or in soups & sauces. Arugula was the only salad-like green I planted this year as we get so many delicious greens in our CSA. I'm learning what we need extra of and planting my garden to compliment our farm share. The chive flowers have been sprinkled over our salads and some chive aioli dipping sauce I made for artichokes. I am in love with those tiny purple flowers!

Even though the garden is small, it's the biggest I've ever tended to. I've been making a list of "to do's" at the beginning of the week and then try to get just one task done each day during the week. This has been helpful as my weekends have been so full the last month or so. (Herb School and a conference this weekend!) 

Tell me, what's going on in your gardens? Leave a link if you're keeping notes.

xo,

s