Raaaiiin. The seasons change with rain, April Showers, Summer Showers, Autumn Showers, Winter Showers, washing away the past. It rained so hard Tuesday night I swore all the leaves would have been washed off the trees, but “not yet” Mother said and my drive up to Rosendale was spectacular. Easily as beautiful as Spring, but instead of the energy and excitement of Spring, we look back fondly over a challenging season and all it taught us. Reflection and gratitude. We will never forget the blazing relentless July. Although I’m menopausal, I still love hot (I’ve been a hot mama all my life), but this was the first Summer I couldn’t handle the heat and had to place a fan in every room. Relentless.
Tomato and Pepper plants continue to produce here in October having survived our first glimpse of frost a week ago. Any day now can produce a frost that will take them out, but we let them do their thing for now. Frost dates are possible for our area October 22 – April 24 and certain from November 5 – April 13. We harvested Cabbage this week to open up a bed for Garlic. Cabbage was decimated by slugs. I kept Cabbage under cover for the season, because I didn’t think I would get enough for the four of us. Unfortunately, the slugs got to them. “Sigh.” Fortunately, I have extra Mustard greens that I can ferment and make up for the lack of Cabbage. Instead of mourning what I don’t have, use what I do have. Ain’t it just the way! We are planting two Garlic beds this season so I can get my seven bunches next season. Exciting to have four members in the community garden this season, but have to manage the harvest. Unfortunately, Sarah will be moving on and Celia believes she’ll be back to traveling next Summer so we will be down to two, but there was other folks interested in the garden this season so hopefully we’ll be back at five again next season. Prices may rise for food next season so we may need the garden. We hold tight for the election and 2021.
We plant in the Spring for the most part, but we have a window here in Autumn to get our perennial herbs in the ground. I’ve got Echinacea, Lavender, Pleurisy Root, Red Milkweed and Wormwood to get in the the ground. A sweet wrap up to the season. I will be planting at Hiddenbrooke, A Farm for All! and Seed Song. Spread the love! Along with agriculture, herbs, I think can provide built in healthcare for farmers, who are chronically underserved when it comes to health insurance, a cost that is often out of reach. Strong herbal knowledge can fill that need. As I learn to listen to my body, I realize the foundational aspect of my herbal knowledge. The support system it provides. It builds resilience which is what we need in our communities today.
Herbs are not predatory. They do not play on our weaknesses and instill fear. Spirit dwells within them and only wants the best for us. We are entitled to all the blessings life has to offer, by the very fact that we were born (www.abraham-hicks.com). No one has the right to take this fact away from us. Now I have to figure out if I have low self esteem or am extremely humble. Low self esteem is a challenge for many. I find myself very selfless. A community servant. Not a bad thing. I have used this quote from Abraham-Hicks as a mantra for years now and I believe I’m making headway. At the very least, I do good work.
As the season winds down we put our beds to sleep. We buy twenty hay bales to place on the beds as we clear them. It is much easier to plant in the Spring, the hay is mulch and holds back the weeds for awhile. Hay also acts as a fertilizer for the soil as it breaks down. A lovely cycle. A blanket for our beds.
As the season winds down we can move back to my Plant Family and carry on through the alphabet. Back in my post Happy Solstice/New Year January 10, 2020, I began introducing you, dear reader to my Plant Family. We got as far as Elderberry, Evening Primrose and Garlic Mustard in my post Spirit March 4, 2020 and now we move on to Goldenrod, Hemlock Tree and Hibiscus. These are my Wild Plant Family members.
Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis, Asteraceae, Perennial, Turtle Island, S. virgaurea, Europe
I harvest the flowers in Autumn for a calming tea throughout Winter mildly sedative. I use the leaves for Wild Salad throughout the season. In China Goldenrod is used for sore throat, flu, fever and indigestion. S. canadensis and S. californica compresses heal wounds and persistent sores. S. odora leaf is used for essential oil.
Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, Pinaceae, Tree, Turtle Island
Fresh leaves for tea. The inner bark can be used to make flour. Simmer the inner bark to be used as a mouthwash, toothpaste, treat swollen gums, settle stomach, clear up diarhea, skin wash as well as antiseptic for sores, abrasions, stings, sunburn, poison ivy. Use the powdered bark in shoes for sweaty, tender feet, foot odor, when stalking apply to underarms and groin to cut down on human odor.
The season draws to a close. A tough one, to be sure. From storms to heat, I shockingly, did not get Zucchini of all things, of which I always have too much. Seems it was damaged by Hurricane Isaias. Thankfully, I have pickles left over from last season, not to mention dried Tomato. One season making up for another. I’ll take it. We slip into the deep dark here. Heading down to Winter rest.