I was told yesterday by a good friend that I should write another blog post, and I knew she was right even though my mind was a blank. But then came Cutie Pie. Continue reading
This is how I feel. Like a flower just aching to burst into bloom. It’s been a while since I’ve written, I guess I’ve been in hibernation. But, though it is only February, the world is coming back to life, and I’m coming right along with it!
I finally had the opportunity to spend some time in my central medicinal herb garden this afternoon and it was such a profoundly refreshing experience that I had to share it. I thought a good many thoughts and here are just a few of them.
My primary purpose was to clear out at least the edges so that last year’s perennials (and hopefully some self seeding annuals as well) could begin to recover from their own long winter’s nap. As I cleared, I came up against a typical quandary for a “natural” gardener like myself. many of the “weeds” that I was clearing away with their intensely netted webs of roots, are actually medicinal herbs themselves! There was chickweed (highly nutritious and useful for healing skin conditions and easing bronchial distress), and yellow dock (a wonderful liver tonic) in the way of my Valerian (calms anxiety and gives rest to insomniacs) and my hyssop (immune system booster). So how do we choose? Why is one herb more deserving of the space than another? Mostly, I’d say it is a matter of effort. I intentionally planted the Valerian and hyssop, while the other plants (not really weeds at all) volunteered to come up there. Also, the Valerian and Hyssop will never choke out the chickweed and yellow dock, but the reverse is not necessarily true. So weed I did, and ruthlessly at that.
My secondary purpose was to get this aging body moving! Pulling out the strawberry hoe and using my muscles to achieve a goal just plain feels good, and without the fusty aroma of a gym!
And last but certainly not least, there was the silence. Oh the blessed silence. Of course there were sounds, there were songbirds singing, Guinea fowl “potracked” nearby, neighbors conversed, and naturally there was the sound of that hoe breaking through to the precious soil. It was more of a spiritual silence, away from the distractions of this computerized world.
I hope you have a piece of soil for yourself. Whether it be a garden, a small square of land in front of a walk up apartment, or even a five gallon pail full of purchased soil, plunge your hands in and see what you find. You may just discover that you’ve been more asleep than you thought. Let that piece of soil bring you back to life too!
Peppers are annuals. Everybody knows that right? The funny thing is, we’ve all been taught that by our seed catalogs and gardening magazines, but it isn’t really true. A number of times, Joe and I have kept pet pepper plants—or tomatoes or eggplants—over winter. Continue reading
My husband and I bought our first piece of land in Freedom, Indiana back in 1992, when our oldest boys were three and one. I will never forget the moment we signed that contract or the words of the elderly farm couple who served as the land agents, as we shook their hands, “We think you’ll like Freedom.” Continue reading
Oh! What went wrong?!? I’ve made so many Parmesean style cheeses over the past year. Why did this one not knit? Number one culprit in my estimation?: freeze dried thermophilic culture that’s too old and hydrated to be functional.
Lesson learned? Take the bad with the good.
Now for the next week or so we have cheese crumbles to adorn our soups and breads!
Joe and Eric have been hard at it now that the weather is cooperating! Soon and very soon our blacksmith shop, Groundwell Forgery, will be up and running. Come on by and see us!
Plantain is popping up everywhere! Check your front lawn, check next to the sidewalk, check … well … almost anywhere in the great outdoors. And when you find it please don’t kill it. It may look like a weed, but in reality it is a whole medicine cabinet! Not only do its leaves fight infections and rashes; but its seeds, when they arrive in mid to late summer, promote the healing of the digestive system, much the same way Mucinex would! Love your plantain, cherish it, and learn all of the wonderful properties of this most humble of spring “weeds”!