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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 patchesGarlic Mustard of garlic .........

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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......

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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 .........

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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 .........

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March 13, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

 March 13 ~

Last night was my first speaking engagement of the year...a lecture for my local Garden Club about what plants gardeners typically grow that can be used medicinally. Teaching herbalism is my true calling--rather than growing/crafting.....so after a several year hiatus from hosting classes and Apprenticeships, I am returning to a limited teaching schedule this Spring and to a full schedule next year. 

This summer, the bulk of my classes will be sponsored through the local DCMO BOCES. Here are the offerings:



Backyard Herbalist ~Mini-Apprenticeship Program ***NEW***

Over a three month period, budding herbalists will have access to herb and vegetable gardens, as well as ...............

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March 9, 2013 @ 8:07 PM

March 9 ~ 

I get this question all the time. The short answer is -YES...The long answer is that you can...but is it necessary? Or, my annoying response of "Yes...but....."

Spring Tonics for example, are only used in the spring. However, if you have an ongoing health issue (chronic disease, unavoidable stressors, genetic predisposition...), you  may need a tonic that specifically addresses those needs over a long period of time--or maybe, indefinitely. Tonics, by nature should be nutritious as well as medicinal, but those taken over a long course, should be mostly nutritive. So, you can drink a spring tonic (or a winter/fall or summer tonic) along with another tonic--but not all on the same day. You can mix it up and .........

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March 6, 2013 @ 8:04 AM

 March 6 ~

This is my last chance at any meaningful Spring Cleaning, because once it is warm enough...I am out of here!! For now, it is cloudy, damp and was 13 degrees overnight. All my closets are finally cleaned, so now the real cleaning begins...and the house will smell wonderful.

Too cold for at least a month to open windows---one reason many wait until it is warmer to spring clean is to be able to open windows an try to avoid the toxic smells of most household cleansers. Not here, however. I use only cleansers that I make myself--most from herbs in my gardens. For this time of year, I clean with citrus scented herbs because they are fresh smelling, but still reminiscent of the winter holidays. Using .........

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March 4, 2013 @ 6:23 PM

 March 4 ~

My oldest daughter has a job requiring hours of standing. Several days ago, her leg became sore and one place near her shin began to swell. I gave her a "drawing" salve to slather on to help deal with a possible infection and pain until she could get it checked out...but I did something else too. Over the years, I have come to respect many healing traditions for the unique aspects thay offer any given healing need, so alongside herbs, I often use a more shamanic type of medicine.

One apprentice sent me a box of Milagros she got on a trip to Mexico---these are small metal castings that are made to resemble different body parts, people, pets, homes....they are meant to aid in prayer over various .........

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March 1, 2013 @ 7:01 AM

March 1~ 

I rail about the amount of space my books take up in my house and warn others of that slowly, creeping scourge........but have I ever mentioned my love of antique flower/garden/herb books? That is an entirely different type of book addiction, tempered only by difficult searching and expense...thank goodness!!

A few books in my small collection

Thus, my personal collection is small and has only been added to recently because of my aunt's book sale finds. Anything over 60 years is considered an antique---but being 56 myself....and certainly not ready to consider BEING an antique anytime soon, I am redefining "antique" --to over 70 years. I have several "almost" antique garden/nature books from the 1950s, many in the .........

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