Gardening


Creative Co-distillations

This warm weather has been such a gift to gardens.  I’m not used to such a long growing season and it has allowed me to harvest and process so much more than usual.  The shelves are full with many infused oils, dried herbs and family medicines; many are available at the Almonte Farmer’s Market and If you are looking for something particular please feel free to contact me via email.  The seasonal abundance has given me the opportunity to be creative with the co-distillations for hydrosols.  Last week I distilled a version of the the 4 Thieves blend, based on folklore that thieves who robbed the dead during the black plague protected themselves with these 4 essential oils. To make my new “5 Thieves” hydrosol,  I added lemon balm (anti-viral, and aromatically pleasant) to the traditional recipe of sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano to create a room spray to steal away the germs in the air.  The hydrosol is safer than the very concentrated essential oils, yet very effective.

tulsi and spearmint distillation

tulsi and spearmint in the 5 ltr bubble

Today’s co-distillation will be spearmint and tulsi!  I was sure of it as soon as the harvesting began.  The two plants will compliment each other and become a cooling and uplifting mist, perfect for waking up or after meals.  This one will be a bit astringent for the skin and so may be good for acne or a midday freshen up.  The oil content halfway through this distillation is higher than normal and that is due to the summer’s heat and the lack of rainfall (I have not been watering the mint!).  The oil will be nice in a diffuser this winter.

3 levels of separation

3 levels of separation. Oil and Water do not mix.


Helpers in the Garden

I’ve been delighted to discover all of these beneficial Insects working away in the garden beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am amazed at the complexities of their life cycles and how they work synergistically to control the sometimes overwhelming numbers of leaf-hungry herbivores.

Gardening is a lot of work but It has become a very mindful activity for me while I watch how I use and move my body.  Some of the plants I grow, like Tulsi, require a mindful and nearly daily tending, and this is where I get to witness many things over time that might be overlooked, such as nymphs and larvae growing into bugs and flying things, and seeing who is eating who.  The four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus) tried to make a breakthrough in our garden this year but we were sure not to harm the beneficials by immediately overreacting, i.e. by using organic approved pesticides.  Instead we mindfully picked off the adults for about a week or two and then their own life cycles were interrupted by the multitude of predatory beneficials who lay their own eggs and who effectively end the outbreak.

I am not an expert in this area but it is a very important part of permaculture and sustainable practices in agriculture.  I am excited to be able to learn in this hands on, eyes on way.

 

 


Almonte Farmers Market – June 9th

We have been putting in this year’s crops and I feel good it is before June 1st.  This work for me is one step at a time with an occasional flurry rush of team work.  The result is abundance to share.  That’s how it seems to work anyway.

I’ll be back at the Almonte Market on Saturday July 9th and I plan to have  several new things to offer.  One is a yoga mat cleaner and the other is lots of Tulsi plants.  I’ll have instructions and growing tips.  In addition, I will have potted Peppermint, Skullcap, and a few Arnica if you want to try for your own sun infused oil!  As the season progresses I will begin distilling again and have new co-distillations for your pleasures, parched skin, and individual needs.  And as always I will provide the few high quality aromatherapy blends to touch your senses and enliven the awareness that these plants are much more than roots and greens.

I’m still getting to know my new environment and always have my eyes open for plants and animals.  Today I came across this beauty.

native yellow lady slipper

today’s gift
native yellow lady slipper

 

 

 

Here are a couple of the plants that will meet you at the market:

Arnica Montana

One or two Arnicas give enough beautiful fragrant yellow flowers to infuse 1/2 liter of oil. I’ll give you all the secrets.

Tulsi

This Tulsi seedling has been pinched back in order to help it to fill out at the bottom. This allows it to remain sturdy while producing abundantly.


Almonte Farmer’s Market and New Arnica Planting

I am very happy to be a part of this season’s Almonte Farmer’s Market!  I will be there every other Saturday with a few extra Saturdays fitted in  when needed.  Please note that you can pick up any online orders placed on the website at the market on any and every week.

I make my products to relieve pain, discomfort, and stress.  My primary goal is to spread happiness, peace, and joy, and support the health of people and the environment. Before the product comes the plants; it is the healing botanicals that are the key ingredients of all my preparations. So, first I have to grow, grow, grow!  As always, this is what keeps us busy during the Spring. Along with many other projects, this is one I started back in February indoors.

I have doubled the arnica patch with plants grown from my own seeds in order to meet the demand for my Arnica Oil.

Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana grown from my own seed.

Please learn more about our arnica plants and preparations here.