May 11, 2013 @ 8:49 AM
May 11 ~
It happens every year......this gut wrenching panic about how much there is to do to get the gardens ready and how little has been done and how time is running out. My deadline is always June 1st, because that is a few days before my summer classes start. Here it is the middle of May and my property looks HORRIBLE.
This is the general scenario: By mid- April, I feel somewhat in control...lots of ideas, rested from winter, the grass has not started growing yet, so everything "looks" manageable. The end of April/early May, we always go to DC to visit family. When we get back......everything has taken off, grass is several inches high, weeds everywhere (can't even keep up with them between eating and .........
April 28, 2013 @ 7:02 AM
April 28 ~
My youngest daughter is getting married next Sunday. People think I am busy making herbal nosegays and centerpieces, deciding which herbs have special meanings for the bridal bouquet...well....you WOULD think an herbalist is doing all that...but would be wrong!! My daughter, who grew up with flower and herb gardens, is having NO FLOWERS or GREENERY AT ALL!!! She is more on the practical side and feels that "occasion" flowers are wasteful. I do see her point, but...a wedding with no flowers? An herbalist's daughter's wedding with no herbs???? Not to worry. Her herbal background is going to be represented quite well....in less obvious, but more practical ways.
The chosen color scheme .........
April 22, 2013 @ 10:49 AM
April 22 ~
Yesterday was my first full day of garden work this growing season. So tired was I, that this blog entry had to wait until this morning. There is nothing as satisfying as the achiness after a good, productive day's work---it is wonderful on so many levels.
First, it makes me remember to be grateful that I am lucky enough to have this land to tend and the time to do it. I am reminded that choosing a days worth of tasks requires me to be mentally flexible and abide by what nature is giving me to work with. Each year, I get older and various garden jobs becomes a bit more difficult as they need a different sort of flexibility that diminishes with time--yet the work still needs doing.... More .........
April 18, 2013 @ 9:00 AM
April 16 ~
Having been brought up by my Grandparents, I suppose my general outlook on life and sensibilities are more theirs than those of my parent's generation. Evidence of this shows up in my inclinations to make things rather than buy them and to be fairly self sufficient. I remember, as a child, being fascinated with my grandparents medicine cabinet and with First Aid kits. I know...sort of weird. But, my adult life has been spent in focusing on health related issues.
The contents of the family medicine cabinet were as follows: Band Aids, bandages, gauze and tape, Tincture of Mercurochrome (STILL love that word "tincture"!---used for cuts/abrasions/stings), bottle of Coke syrup.........
April 12, 2013 @ 11:19 AM
April 12 ~
This time of year is full of grand, enthusiastic plans borne of a winter's rest period. Often, at least half of our plans are dashed due to a variety of reasons. How can we improve the odds of success? Proper FORMULATION.
I would much rather plan than actually do. Some are great doers, but poor planners. Either way, not a good mix. Herbalists spend a lot of time formulating recipes for elixers, teas, tinctures, medicinal foods....and it takes a lot of concentrated work and realistic assessment...which often leads to some waste, but patience eventually wins out.
This past week the "spring" weather has been abysmal for any sort of garden work, so I burrowed in and decided to make some new .........
April 3, 2013 @ 1:36 PM
April 3 ~
Hope I am not too late....but if you still have an abundance of eggs you may have overbought for Passover or Easter...or your chickens are picking up their production....her are a few tips.
We made LOTS of egg salad to get through Passover and we like to dye eggs (and egg hunts). I have not been able to have chickens for several years, so I panic and buy too many eggs so I don't run out. Eating too many eggs is never a problem around here--we like 'em any way you can fix them. But, what about all those shells?
They can come in handy in several ways. Never really great compost additions as they take too long to decompose unless you spend too much time crushing them finely ( I have better things to do!),.........
March 30, 2013 @ 3:13 PM
March 30 ~
It is often hard to tell when Spring is really here in the Northeast, but there gets to be a certain point where there is a steady march forward toward the warmth and light, instead of the snow and 10 degree days followed by a sunny day in the 50's. Having said that, it is beautiful today, but calling for rain and a bit of snow over the next few days.....so to keep myself from getting too anxious, a Spring walk was in order.
My grandson and I went out for the second day in a row, but today, was a more serious exploration of seasonal changes. We looked at swelling lilac buds, an almost open patch of crocus, our bees out furiously looking for some blossoms--with little reward. There are patches of garlic .........
March 29, 2013 @ 7:39 PM
March 29 ~
Since I did not buy regular egg dye this year, we went au natural'. Actually, knowing myself...I deliberately did not buy the commercial dye, because I knew I would give in to laziness, so.............
My grandson, Eli and I took 3 hours instead of the typical 1/2 hour to dye these eggs using herbs. The process is the same, but the eggs have to sit for up to 3 hours instead of 5 mins. Eli went to watch his favorite show-- Spongebob Squarepants and during each commercial, he went to check on and turn the eggs in their dye baths to get even coloring.
We used Nettles (green), Bluebrries-crushed (blue), Turmeric (yellow), Beet Root (pink) and Alkanet (redish brown). *For more natural, dye color ideas...............
March 22, 2013 @ 12:29 PM
March 22 ~
This time of year is dear to my heart--not because it is getting warmer, but because Hot Cross Buns are available everywhere. As with all things special, they are only in stores for a few weeks. You can make your own any time, of course ---but DON'T--they were meant for Spring!!
Pre- Christian cultures all over the world used versions of this bun--with the cross to symbolize the 4 quarters of the moon, the 4 seasons and as a protection symbol for good health. Christianity adapted the bun (after trying to eradicate them) as a symbol of the cross since it was a popular celebratory food. In those days, icing was not used....rather, a cross was cut into the dough. Some hung these buns all over their .........
March 20, 2013 @ 8:23 AM
March 20 ~
"O Spring-time sweet! The whole earth smiles, thy coming to greet"
~ James Freeman Clarke ~ 1850
It is snowy today here in Central New York.....no wait!! The sun is out!! Wait...it is sunny AND snowing!!! Regardless, Spring is here--the calendar says so, my body is telling me so and snow or not, nature is telling me so in many ways. The quality and amount of daily light is very different, many plants are peeking out, my cats are acting absolutely crazy and the sap is running. Still, spring is not here full force--this is still the gentle, transitional stage of this season. Nature .........