MOUNTAIN SPRING HERBALS
April 26, 2012 @ 1:00 AM

 

   I am often asked how to get kids to take herbs...or how to cook with herbs and weeds so the family will try it. My first joking comment is to not mention anything until after thay have tasted something!! Really, though, all you need to do is make it fun. Too often, we are too serious/judgemental/sanctimonious when it comes to health issues and foods. It turns skeptics off immediately and makes those who are willing to investigate just a little less enthused.

  Begin where people are--curious. For kids, play plant/flower games with them. For adults, make ice creams, jellies, beer, pies and cakes--keep it light and they will think it's pretty cool....and then more questions and before you know it, they.........

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April 18, 2012 @ 9:35 AM

 

 Over the years, my Apprentices have taught me a lot. One of the first things I tell them after signing up for my program is that I do not expect them to practice herbalism the way I do...that we each approach plants and life with our own unique perspective and skills--no cookie cutter herbalists!! What a reward I have received. I have watched a good percentage of them go on to open their own herb related businesses, learned unexpected things by researching answers to their excellent questions, gained some lifelong friends, felt tremendous pride when watching them gain confidence.......and then, there are the gifts!! Apprentices have given me some pretty cool presents, but my favorites are when they say &.........

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April 17, 2012 @ 12:08 PM

 

"Gathering...to gather" has so many meanings--especially for an herbalist in the Spring & Summer. I have been gathering early spring greens for several weeks already---before which, I had to gather together my multitude of baskets used for picking fresh plants for eating, some for tincturing and some for drying.....not to mention all the items needed for those tasks (clippers, jars, menstrums, chop sticks, cheese cloth, string, labels....the list goes on!) Soon, I will be gathering all my gardening tools/accessories for a quick cleaning and organizing for tasks. After I get the gardens planted, tended and finally looking beautiful, I will have people over for a gathering of like minded foodies and ............

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April 11, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

 

A few folks that know me well read my blog post on Composting and  asked about my compost bin--because they well remember my constant complaints about composting. For me, it was sort of ridiculous to gather weeds/old dry stalks, etc. from the garden and then tote them to a compost pile, take care of them and then have to tote them back to the garden.  I preferred to do my composting "in situ"--meaning, to pull the weeds and lay them on the ground near my plants  and let them rot on their own. It refertilized the soil and acted as weed control and moisture conservation......and...it is a fantastic lazy gardener trick. I really still do prefer this method. But---that was when I had goats and chickens.

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April 9, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

 

My compost pile beckons!! There are so many instances of magic in the garden....and the compost pile is surely one! All that natural trash turning itself into black gold!!! If I help it along, it will work its wonders more quickly, but left to its own devices, will still eventually transform. But, since I am outside every day, I do choose to help it along---a labor of love. So, after the sticks, grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps and manure have been added, stirred and dampened...what more can you do?

   Biodynamic gardeners have an herbal preparations they add to compost piles to use as "accelerants". They work--I have tried it. But simply adding some specific herbs to the pile will work as .........

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April 5, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

  So yesterday's blog post was about eating your weeds....which leads me to another observation. If you made that famous New Year's rsolution about losing weight, but haven't even begun to meet your goal...relax!!...now is the perfect time of year to try and actually be able to accomplish something. Starting diets in the winter is rather futile. Our bodies WANT to retain fat to keep us warm and we are more sedentary and crave foods that make us sleepy and content. It is mother nature's way of making sure we slow down. Now that spring is here and Summer around the corner, we already crave lighter food, want to get out there and be active and that anxious "Spring Fever" feeling is our liver telling us to follow ............

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April 4, 2012 @ 1:56 PM

  

I have never had to mow in April until a few years ago, nor do much weeding, either. But, the weather slowly is changing and my gardening year is extended...so when given more weeds, make salad! Today, I had to use my weed whacker in my Labyrinth--a violent act I hate to do. However, I took a long look before starting to work and since I never am outside without my gathering basket and garden scissors, I was all set when I spied a great crop of chickeed and fresh, young dandelion greens. Then, I moved on to the weeds around my grandson's play area, where tons of garlic mustard, violas and galium (lady's bedstraw) are shooting up. Were they in an out of the way place, I always let my weeds go .........

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April 1, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

 

    To start off the month with April Fools Day is a stroke of genius! This is the month that we can be outside more than inside and all those juices get flowing for new ideas, projects......and we have a fresh load of energy to accomplish anything!........at least that's what we think. The Fool reminds us of the folly of our wild ambitions, but in a fun way....so those of us who are accused of being the most "foolish" of all...we gardeners, who carry on again and again after fantastic failures, losses of money, aching backs, neglected housework, are in all our glory in April...planting things we HOPE, but know won't survive, adding one too many gardens to take care of and encouraging .........

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