Gardening


Spring Ice Storm with the New Moon in Aries in April 2018

I follow a lot of different growers, herbalists and nature websites and it has been hard to see all these baskets of lovely wild greens being harvested and eaten and even flowers blooming while this is my yard – ice so thick on the bird feeder it is weighting it, activating the squirrel proof mechanism that keeps it closed. I keep chipping away at it and am putting extra out on the table.
Everyone is desperate.

The spark of spring only exists in the wood stove just now but the one in my heart is smoldering as I stand in amazement at the variety of life and am beyond thankful that I don’t have to live outside all the time.  Thankful for my family, my warm bed and for my many aromatherapy blends and salves which carry me through while I wait for better weather.

Ice covering everything

Various Finches

Red Wing Blackbirds

Even the fox is hungry enough to come closer before the storm

finches

Arnica, crowded and ready to be outside.

All babies potted up now and much happier but leaves little room for anything else until Spring comes around.

I was looking forward to this sorrel I found last week but……..

And definitely some of the Nettles coming up all around

 


Marshmallow, Calendula, & Tea Tree Salve

This salve is inspired by this post on marshmallow by Rosalee de la Foret.
I love marshmallow; it’s a moon herb, and helpful in so many ways. It makes the absolute best lip salves too, that will be coming up soon!  It has been so wonderful to learn the different ways to utilize the healing potentials of the plants and to learn this method of infusing the properties of marshmallow into oil.

I have 3 first season Althaea officinalis plants and one is very crowded so I decided to use it.  First I dug up the root, then scrubbed it clean, and shredded it.  Then patience and attention, just what I need.

grated and chopped into the oil over a double burner, on low for 2 hours.

first year marshmallow root

Cooling

cleaning it up to be chopped and grated, then partially dried before infusing it into oil.

After the first hour of simmering I added 1/3 ratio of warm infused plantain and self heal into safflower oil and jojoba.  At the end, I always blend my essential oils into a small amount of jojoba oil before I mix them in to the final batch.  Then I test the ratios and consistency and pour into prepared jars.

With each step, comes another

Just taking it one step at a time and harvesting as much as we can,  processing everything and finding joy anywhere we can.

Walking stick

Walking stick 2

walking stick on sage

Calendula with bee.

Lemon Verbena

tulsi in the basket

The last clary sage distillation.

Cedar

Cedar essential oil and hydrosol

gotu kola for tincture and a co-oxymel with bacopa

lemon verbena and rosemary for co-distillation

Weeds or a resting place for tools? It’s a judgment call.


Fall return

After being away for 3 weeks I returned to an amazing abundance and fantastic weather!  Thanks to all those who helped and attended the garden the 1st week and to Ian and the kids for the last 2.  Everything is wonderful.

First to do was a Tulsi distillation!

Masses of Tulsi for distillation. This hydrosol is one of the most diverse and effective. Excellent for the Fall season.

Tulsi in the basket

large purple asters

Calendula

The yard, wild and unmowable for most of this year, suddenly exploded with gifts of flowers