I have spent the week producing product for market. Salve, Tea, Tincture.
I started on a Sunday a couple of hours a day and finished by Thursday. Making product is fun of course and time consuming, it becomes meditative. I could do nothing else, writing, reading, no blog last week, barely any communication. A labor of love. I want to go to market from October - March until I sell out. A small batch operation. Should give me money for seeds, supplies, etc. It is also an opportunity to get out into the community and share herbal information. I’m looking forward to it as much as making money.
I have gone to market at Stone Barns and with Honey Locust in the past, but last summer I had the opportunity to vend and present at Neetopk Keetopk’s Medicine Pauwau (www.neetopkkeetopk.org). It was exciting and fun and the first time I had my own booth.
iEach vendor shared their work in forty minute sessions. A Medicine Pauwau is a community gathering to discuss a hypothetical situation we may face in the future. It consists of four councils - children, women, young men and elders (men). Each council discusses the situation separately and when the councils have reached a decision, the four councils come together and share. It is a wonderful community process.
Two weeks have passed since Flora Jones Garden ended. I have to assimilate the extra energy. It’s weird. I am constantly lit. I have moved SDG to Thursdays so now I have Wednesday open. It is welcome right now because Twuck is still in the shop - now a month - and I have been taking public transportation to A Farm for All! on Tuesdays, a three and a half hour trip. The first week the bus had tire trouble! Beacon has a free Loop Bus that I can catch right in front of the house to get to the train. There is an hour and a half wait for the bus when I reach Poughkeepsie, though. I take my iPad and manage my communication, but I think I want to carry something to read as well. I got sooo bored last Tuesday, but upon gazing out of the window of the bus, I was met with Autumn hue and filled with joy! The boredom was sooo discombooberating I had to take Motherwort to straighten me out. (Leonarus cardiaca, Labiatae, Perennial, Europe), Leonarus cardiaca means Lionheart and Motherwort works wonders for anything heart related. A dropperful of Tincture (whole plant in flower) every five minutes for anxiety, two dropperfuls three times a day for high blood pressure (results in about a month) and three dropperfuls for sleep. Mum told me about the three dropperfuls for sleep. I had given it to her because HER INSULIN GAVE HER HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE and she called me up to tell me how good Motherwort is for sleep. It was perfect timing because I had insomnia at the time. Puts one right out in about thirty minutes. Motherwort can be habit forming.
I continue to make Zucchini bread and Tomato sauce. This week I have harvested Cabbage and begin to make sauerkraut. I look back fondly on the time I discovered the joy of processing the harvest. I remember how daunting working land seemed to be and then “Oh no, I have to harvest and process this stuff!” Now it is a wonderful meditative sensual experience. Warm tomato squishing between my fingers to remove the seed for Tomato sauce. The scent of drying tomatoes in the oven. Licking the bowl like a child after making Zucchini bread and now squishing the Cabbage with salt to start the fermentation process to make sauerkraut! What a failure the first time I tried to make sauerkraut! Now I realize, there’s no trying at all. I simply have to get the fermentation going and it makes itself. I have some Zucchini left after making eight loaves of bread so I am going to try my hand at Zucchini fritters.
I’ve gotten in Sage bed at Hiddenbrooke. Looking forward to those gorgeous flowers next season. Salvia officinalis, Labiatae, Perennial, Mediterranean, North Africa. Sage is used culinarily as well as in ceremony. I burn Sage at the Winter Solstice to clear the space for the fresh new energy of the new year. I have made Sage Honey and had Sage tea over the last few Winters. I also like to smoke her in a blend with Catnip and Mullein. Many Mint family plants are good for colds mainly the aromatic ones. Sage leaf tea is an antiseptic, nerve and blood tonic. White Sage (Salvia apiana, Labiatae, Perennial, Southwest Turtle Island and North Western Mexico) is the traditional Sage burned in ceremony by the indigenous of our Turtle Island.
Hiddenbrooke takes shape - very exciting. I was wrapped up weeding beds this season, but I’m going to use hay for weed control from now on. I did manage to lay black plastic in Summer to kill the grass so, Sage bed was a piece of cake. I did not have to pull grass, just lay Compost. I finished Valerian bed with plants from Flora Jones Garden. I redid Valerian bed and laid Compost (Valeriana officinalis, Valerianaceae, Perennial, Europe, West Asia). I had forgotten I laid Compost for Valerian at Flora Jones. Some plants do just fine without Compost, but Valerian has struggled. Valerian is a well know sleep aid available in health food stores. Usually the root is used, but if it’s too strong, the flowers can be used. Also good for headache, muscle cramps and irritable bowel syndrome. And can be used topically for wounds, ulcers and eczema.
The adventure continues closing out the gardens. There is a lovely sense of accomplishment at the end of the season. Removing the plants and laying down hay putting beds to sleep. It’s life itself, the great cycle of life dwelling with Earth through the seasons. Harmony.