Today was all about nurturing relationship with mycelium. We inoculated oak logs with shitake mycelium and made a stack in our little forest.
We inoculated maple with golden oyster mycelium for our totems.
And I noticed some little blanketityblanker dug at least one of the jerusalem artichoke tubers up from a recent planting. I discovered these little prints by the little creek that runs through our little forest. Very incriminating, don't you think?
Today I harvested a respectable bucket of spring nettles. Here they are enjoying their first (and likely only) rinse. I've been looking forward to this day... to my first spring tonic miso soup with nettles. And, as the generosity of the universe would have it, I'll be adding ramps as well, thanks to a dear friend who shared her abundant, wild patches of ramps this afternoon.
As is typical for me, no recipe, but I have chicken stock that I'm watering down and when the time comes ripe for super I'll bring that to the boil, lovingly stir in the nettles, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and let the minerals release for 20-minutes or so, tossing in the chopped ramps in the last 5 minutes or so. Once it's off the heat I stir in some light, mellow miso (which resonates in spring for me) and serve.
Miso soup with nettles is a springtime tonic staple for me. Chickweed, too, and I spotted a patch of chickweed that I might leverage for a lunchtime soup tomorrow. Possibly with an egg drop variation.
So, yeah ... that's what I made today. Wild friendship soup.
If this Green, herby stuff interests you, click over to When Weeds Whisper for some more Green Medicine!
This morning, despite externally driven (and, dare I say, unnecessary) rework, I managed to finally label my last batch of my ugly soap, as I lovingly call it. This batch is a wisdom batch, made with oils infused with fresh white sage (and calendula flowers, violet and comfrey leaf) and embellished with an essential oil of clary sage (among other things). Not only is this batch labeled, but it's packed away in the back of my soap drawer, where it will likely cure for close to a year before I get to using it. The drawer is filled ... with my own soaps, and those that I purchase from other soapy artisans.
The rest of my day will be filled with other assorted catch-up activities ... laundry, cleaning, reorganizing, garden and greenhouse tasks, and putting in the rest of the fruit trees from "this batch" (with the spouse) before the next delivery arrives. So, it's a full day ahead of me ... a day of making headway.
The Art of Instinct continues its evolution. Who knows where it will go from here, how it will "turn out," or if it turns out at all! I'm in the studio less and less, outdoors more and more, so such evolutions slow down as collaborations with Nature pick up. If your curious about my Nature relationships you can take a peek at the recent goings on at When Weeds Whisper.
Once upon a time I dreamt of a life of "leisure." A life with time to do all the things I love... and love the things I do.
Who knew it would be so damned busy!?
I live a charmed life. I'm aware of, grateful for, and humbled by this reality. I feel the blessings. Deeply. And daily. Yet ... like most (dare I say, all) blessings, they are not without their challenges (which, you know, I welcome) and I have been feeling taxed by the many charms that mantle me and my life.
So this year I've declared three months as TaB months: Take a Break months. And the first one is this month, April. I scaled back on classes, workshops, events, even studio and planning time. Today I witnessed ~ for the first time in the gods only know how long ~ a day in my planner with nothing ~ No Thing ~ on it. It took nine days to achieve that and by all that is sacred, it feels divine.
It's chilly and rainy again, so getting outdoors with Nona Nature is tabled for today. Or so it seems. I have a brisket from a local farm that will be braised with some vegetables for supper, but that's all I have on my plate at the moment. I sit here, at 7-ish in the AM and wonder ... what shall I dream, do and make manifest today?
The snow is receding. The spaces I want to plant my early spring vegetable seeds have (finally) thawed. Today I got "dirt" on my knees, on my butt and under my nails. More seedlings were started indoors, under the grow lights. A few transplants where started in the greenhouse. I wandered about and could see so many more of my green allies springing to wakefulness. Among them, my wily ally, Hypericum perforatum. It's taken me years of nurturing relationship with this plant, but now ... she's growing here 'n' there around the sunny side of my little acre!
And the chooks can wander farther and wider, and they're happier for it, too!
I also made a batch of soap, labeled and stored away a batch I made last month. I made a chocolate cake too. It's the dirt ... in all the right places ... that motivates me silly!
April arrives with The Fool, a steadfast ally of mine, and I welcome the verve with arms and heart wide open! Along with The Fool, Nona E and the spirit of Wolf usher me into this bit of linear measure that we share called April.
I have a number of projects in the works at home, in the studio and out on my little acre. My goal is to tie up many of them this month. I have a list. It includes this work in process, another animal spirit, and I share it with my creative friends at What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. If you feel a need for some creative inspiration, click over and visit a site or two, or more ... perhaps share something of yours!