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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More of the Same Only Different - for the Season

 I'm still harvesting and preserving Food and Medicine. Here we have some of the last of the rue and prairie sage...
 ... and here is a bundle of passionflower vine... hanging from the mechanical clock my dad made... because I'm out of room in all the reasonable hang-to-dry spaces.

 The color is shifting in the landscape, and the leaves are beginning their fall... and I'm wearing socks and sleeves most every day now.

 I've introduced some of my Whiting Mills brick 'n' mortar seasonal and limited edition options to my ArtFire and Zibbet online shops. And expect more to be listed in the days ahead.

And I've introduced a few new retail items to the ol' brick 'n' mortar at Whiting Mills for the coming fall-to-winter season. These and a few others. If your'e in the region, stop by some weekend!

But for today... it's sunny and lovely and I'm home on my little acre so I have more harvesting and preserving to manage. I'll peruse the main garden for more tomatoes, squash, collards, kale, calendula, broccoli, black beans... I'll start another ferment or two, I'll dehydrate, I'll strain infused oils and possibly start more... and who knows what else. Maybe some relaxing and reading in the afternoon sun.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Ties

September's almost spent, and don't I know it. It's been a month of cutting, lopping and digging... in oh so many ways.

It's been a month consumed with daily daily harvests and preparations for future Food and Craft and Healing.

There's still canning, drying and fermenting on the horizon and I foresee many a soup, stew and such made with a tomato base.

Amid the busyness, I've made time and space to sit with Nature, who is likewise engaged in making brisk and noticeable changes in her behavior and her appearance. 

And through it all I observe the Nature around me making ready for the months ahead.

I've prepared some of my typical herb bundles and made a few extra to have for sale at the studio. I have more to massage and tie, so some may end up online at Zibbet or ArtFire as well. If you're interested, let me know!

And September ushered in the inspiration to introduce my handcrafted Soft Salve NonScents available at my brick-n-motor at Whiting Mills in sunny Winsted, Connecticut as well as my ArtFire and Zibbet shops.

There's a few loose September threads to tie up, and I feel blessed to have a couple days left to manage them. And as I tie them I'm sure to be wondering ... what will October bring?


Friday, September 9, 2016

A Web of Holistic Harvests and Preserves

 This week's been another filled to overflow with harvesting and preserving, not the least being these gorgeous quarts of Illini Gold heirloom purée.

 Goldenrod is our Herb of the Month and I've been harvesting it for weeks now, creating tincture, infused vinegar, honey and oils, to dry and jar up for teas and other uses in the months ahead, and to make this single-stalk Spirit Wand.

Today I take my cue from the lovely yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia, who's been busy harvesting amid the Chinese leeks and who has a respectable pantry built up. So today I shall make time to harvest and put-by, holistically, with some writing, some soap making, some herb harvesting, preparations for tomorrow's Spirit Wand workshop, a visit to the Winsted Farmers' Market and a big dose of Friday evening R&R on the deck this evening.


Monday, September 5, 2016

More Room for Less

September arrived with a touch of autumn in the air. The days have been less humid and the evenings darken earlier and beg for an extra layer. It's quite kind of Nature to offer this, given the waxing of boiling pots in my kitchen. The canning continues every few days, mostly just to keep up with the tomatoes this year. And I must say that The Spouse has been a huge help this year. We already have several jars of purée nestled in with leftovers from last season, plus several jars of dried tomatoes... squash, green beans, beets, collards, kales, a variety of herbs. Next up will be more of the same plus the tomatillos, winter squashes, autumn beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, daikons, and other assorted abundance for which I'm so grateful. Admittedly, even as my pantry fills to overflow I find myself longing for the first frost and the autumn-to-winter downshift. ::nods:: Soon my dining table will have room again for actual dining.

Despite the frantic busyness of this aspect of the garden-to-pantry season, I do make time for the Mystery, for the spiritual side of life that nurtures and sustains me as much as any Ordinary "food."

I make time in my studio for making messes with students (and alone) and tidying up afterward. I make time for plotting and planning the year ahead in broad, holistic strokes and in focused, precise ways.

Making time for my heART journals has been spiking, as the Ordinary makes renewed and new connections with the Mystery and makes more room for exploring and evolving. It would seem that all things in these first few days of September are leading me to make more room for less. We shall see.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preparations for Restoration and Renewal

If you know me at all, you know how full my summers can be... filled to overflow with gathering, harvesting, preserving and making all manner of holistic Wellness to nourish and sustain mySelf and others over the coming months. And then some.

I've been harvesting herbs to make tinctures, infused oils, vinegars and other crafts (like my Botanical Spirit Wands), and revisiting some old brewing skills as well.

I've been teaching classes and facilitating workshops as much as time and space allows. And throwing a little paint into journals and onto canvases too.

I've been enJOYing the mounting abundance that keeps me frantic in my doings, knowing that these doings afford me deep, complex and holistic rest in the months ahead, not to mention many dollars "saved." And then some. 

And I do make moments for stillness in and with Nature... to witness and observe the Wisdom within and without.

And speaking of Wisdom, I'm taking a bit of a break - of sorts - in the days ahead as I head north with a dear friend and Syster of the Green, along with her daughter, to attend The 29th Annual New England Women's Herbal Conference, where we will meet up with others Systers of like mind and heart. We will celebrate reunions and make new friends, we will learn and share, restore and renew and bring home much to share with others. And with our Selves.

So for today, I make final preparations for this healing time of restoration and renewal that takes me away from my little acre, with last minute harvests to manage, coaching for The Spouse, for packing, and for glorious anticipation.

With that: Catch ya on the flip side.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Ritual of Witnessing

Some days, like today... I wait with the buds and blossoms for the sun to arrive and for the dew to lift. And as I wait...

 I witness unripe fruit.
I witness fruit ready to pick.
I witness blossoms just opening.
I witness blooms spread wide.
I witness growth already harvested, ready to harvest, and growth still growing.
I witness birth.
 I witness death.
I witness beauty.
I witness promise.

I witness Peace.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Time and Space for Summer's Entrance

Welcome summer, to my little corner of the northern hemisphere. Even the night sky lights your way with a glorious full moon.
I read Shakespeare to the trees, as I do every year, and to anyone else who will listen (like The Spouse, bless his heart), sometimes choking on the beauty, and pausing to wipe tears from my eyes.
I've been called to work with grasses, and to learn more about them. As I learn I create, and as I create, I learn. It's a perfect relationship. A spiraling dance. Anyway... I often create healing tools on the solar holy days, and so is born this Spirit Wand, created intuitively with a mystery grass from my own little backyard. The sweetest surprise is the music it makes.
Along with my red-handled Spirit Wand, I continued the creative verve, with the healing music of the grasses. I have other bundles harvested, drying and waiting in my creative queue.
As for this morning, I made a batch of full moon solstice soap. And started this emerald magic: Tincture of Nepeta cataria.

This afternoon/evening I head to the studio for a bit ~ with The Spouse, no less ~ to paint another hub cap (or two) for a charity fundraising event coming up this weekend, hosted by The Hive in New Hartford, Connecticut.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Time for Communion, Time for Sharing

This morning I wandered my little acre with eyes and heart open to the offerings around me. Abundant offerings. I still witness so, so, so many rooted friends that I know little or nothing of, while others, so familiar, clamor for my attention - yet again. It's a humbling and inspiring experience, if not a bit overwhelming too. 
Sambucus canadensis pending flora.
Ribes nigrum, fuctus ripening and herba awaiting harvest.
A front yard patch of happy, smiling meadow.
What the neighbors must think.
And I hope they're thinking.
Fragaria virginiana herba waiting for harvest. And so patiently.
Beloved Trifolium pretense, my long-time friend and ally. 
Achillea millifolium, again. More to be harvested. More LoVe for the taking. And for the giving. In all directions. Ashe, sweet yarrow. Ashe.
The mighty Phytolacca americana. She thinks of buds, them flowers, then fruits. As we all do.
Ruta graveolens... the Herb of Grace. 

"Here in this place
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace;
Rue, even for ruth, shall shortly here be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen."
~The Bard 
Schisandra chinensis ponders ripening fruit that startles and delight with vibrant hue. 
Actea racemosa (though I *do* still call her Cimicifuga racemosa, privately, a love and honor shared between us). 
Even the pollinators dance about these buds, conjuring their spikes of sweetness, light in the shadow.
The wild Vitis species. The wild Vitis. There's some wisdom to consider. To embrace. To act upon.

And I look forward to her flora, fructus and herba. 
In Vitas veritas!
Inula helenium, conjuring her flower stalk, the sentry blooms that watch over a damp and patch of sacred earth on this little acre. 
Today, among other things, and while doing them, I'll be making note of the Green and Rooted wisdom that I've asked to be shared with me, gently, one-at-a-time-please, throughout this lovely, lovely day. So that I may share the wise and abundant blessings with you.