News and blog
Roses, wonderful beautiful roses, I am in love with them. Andrea falls in love with anything that needs a home and wants to be grown. Today we planted 24, 6 are climbing Rhode Island Red roses, I have never had climbing roses before and the other 18 are Rosy Red Robin Hood roses, they are also called Mediterranean Musk Rose, now I am not sure if Robin Hood stole they from the Sheriff of Nottingham or how the roses got there name, but if your interested in the next edition of the journal I am sure I could come up with a story. This is going to be interesting I think what the story or growing roses? Two of the climbing roses we decided to plant along the chicken fence, to see what the chickens think of roses and also maybe the chickens will eat the Japanese beetles.
We (Andrea ) also last summer took cuttings of roses, about 24, put them in a raised bed in the greenhouse, which was unheated during the winter, put a quart jar over them and forgot about them. This spring as we started the greenhouse we looked under the jars, five had rooted very nicely and one even has a bud on it ready to bloom, April 25th just in time for Andreas birthday. This year if given a little TLC we might even get more!!! If any members have suggestions on different ways of propagating roses please drop us a line or do an article about it. There are so many different types of roses and what we are trying to grow are some of the more fragrant varieties no matter what type they may happen to be, climbing, hybrid tea, floribunda, or rugosa. The only one we do not want to plant is the multi-flora rose, what a menace to our hillsides and so invasive.
The past month has busy with harvesting roots, Japanese knotweed, dandelion, yellow dock, burdock, teasel and doing some barking, no not at the moon, crampbark, wild cherry and prickly ash ( no it not good for prickly as- ). With all this harvesting our drying house is also bustling with activity. We (Andrea ) has been busy seeding in the greenhouse getting our transplant ready for spring planting. We are also getting ready for a wedding here on the farm this summer, our second oldest is getting married. Besides all this we have just found out that our application for a high tunnel greenhouse has been approved through NRCS ( Natural Resource and Conservation Service ). This will put another project to our already over flowing list of projects, good thing there is more daylight in a day now so that we can work longer. Aren’t the plants amazing though, almost as amazing as the people who like to play with them. Green Blessings Andrea and Matthias
Herbal Greetings from Healing Spirits Herb Farm And Education Center
We have an invitation to the NEHA conference that we would like to pass along to you.
Hope to see you there.
Spring greetings and warm, green blessings to all!
Hi, I'm Chris, writing to you from Matthias and Andrea's, Healing Spirits Herb Farm in Avoca, NY.
I wanted to let everyone know what a wonderful experience it has been being on their farm for a little over a week now. How did I happen upon this little, slice of heaven? From a website called HelpX or HelpXchange (http://www.helpx.net/). HelpX is a place where farm owners (or anyone looking for help of any kind) can make a listing where they talk about their farm and put up some pictures. On the other end, people like me, who are looking for a wonderful experience (a vacation, I call it) can surf the website by country or state to find all help listings. If you have heard of WWOOF, World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers, it is much like this, but I believe the HelpX website is set up to be much more user-friendly and you can search help listings prior to signing up, which makes things much easier.
My experience on the Healing Spirits Herb Farm has been nothing short of what I call a "life awakening". The first day I found myself grinding Japanese Knotweed, an immune booster, preparing it to be shipped out for encapsulation. It was somewhat surreal being on the manufacturing end, since I've only been a consumer. Regardless of what is being produced, you will find being on this end for a change, brings the picture full circle and creates a sense of completion in ones-self.
In addition, I've harvested other amazing healing herbs, like Nettles and Teasel root. --add what they do-- On hands and knees, with blessings spoken, I reached into the nutrient rich, organic soil and gently pulled these amazing healers from the womb of our, Mother Earth. It is truly an amazing, even spiritual experience, which will bring you closer to the natural world that sustains all life.
Not too far from the house are a few apple trees. The sun was shining and there was a cool breeze kicking up off the creek that the trees grow next to. The trees are young and in need of some guidance. Like a good steward of the earth, Matthias showed me how to guide these trees out to the sides so that all of the tree will receive the light it needs to grow. We snipped most of the branches that were growing straight up and would eventually grow to block the rest of the tree from sunlight.
A little sore from a days work? Got a cold? Allergies got you sniffling and sneezing? Matthias and Andrea can tell you about the hundreds of herbs they use and even assist your healing like the herbalists of old.
In addition to their positive healing teachings, Andrea and Matthias have a strong connection within their local community and the national herbal community and know how to eat healthy and local. They are well known, experts in their field. Not only that, but they support their local community and friends by trading their wares for things they don't make, such as: maple syrup, milk, produce and meat. By doing so, they set a strong example for how others can sustainably and self-sufficiently live their lives.
I promise you that by the time you are done here, you will be more knowledgable about medicinal herbs and life in general, and feel a stronger sense of community and family.
Chris, Andrea, Matthias and the Healing Spirits Herb Farm Family
We welcomed the autumn season with a weekend in Rowe, MA, where the 19th Annual Green Nations Gathering took place. It was fabulous!!! Matthias and I were honored to be presenters this year. The Rowe Conference Center was very special – we have talked for years of going there and have never gone until now. I am sure we will be going there more often in the future – it has very special energy. We fell in love with the land that they care take so well. There were just over 100 people which made for a very special time of getting to know people as well as having time to visit with old friends, sitting on the rocking chair on the side porch talking to people as they walked by. It doesn't get much better than that.
We are all getting ready for the Northeast Herbal Association (NEHA) meeting that is happening in western New York in November on the 13th and 14th. Ryan Drum, PHD is going to be the keynote speaker. We all feel very pleased that such a reversible herbalist is going to grace us with his knowledge. It promises to be a fun filled weekend! If you are interested in learning more go to www.northeastherbal.org
We are busy getting in roots, roots, and more roots. It is that time of the year! Today we dug Dandelion, Burdock, Yellow Dock, Valerian, Comfrey, and Elecampane root. Tomorrow will be more of the same. It is glorious to be out enjoying the land this time of the year and we hope you are too!
Just wanted to let you know we still have some beautiful Red Clover Blossoms available and we won't be able to pick much longer as the season is coming to an end. The weather here has been just gorgeous and it is one of the most wonderful crops we've ever had, with the deepest purple I've seen. Very Happy Clover.
We also have wonderful elderberries, just in time for the cold and flu season. Elderberries are very good for boosting the immune system. We eat them every morning on our oatmeal. Delicious!!
P.S. - The elderberries are dried.
7-Songs and his students from the North East School of Botanical Studies, visited our farm this past week. How wonderful to be around so many young people excited about the green world, just makes you feel alive with the promise of the next generation.
This weekend we will be teaching at the Green Nations Gathering in Rowe, MA. We have been going to this gathering on and off for about 20 years. Pam Montgomery has such a nice way of honoring all of the green world, and its an honor to be part of this celebration.
Our website and email are finally back up and running!!! I am sure you all know how we feel having run the gauntlet of trying to understand why things aren't happening the way they should in your head but not with the computers. Thank you all for everyone that helped us out!!!
We are busy getting ready for our open house on the 18th of this month. Please check the calendar for more details about that. It should be a nice time for all of us.
We have the extended growing house up and about half full – we hope to finish filling it this week. It’s so nice and big! We are planning on getting more yarrow, nettle and lemon balm – the ones we run out of so often. It’s so much fun thinking of how it will look come spring…a lush garden inside while their brothers and sisters outside are just beginning to poke their heads out.
For everyone that is going to Green Nation's Gathering in Mass., we will see you there! It always proves to be a good time by all. Come join us if you can.
Our two granddaughters that live here on the farm just started school today. Olivia was so excited to start 1st grade this year. Last night I "unwrinkled" her skirt she was wearing – unwrinkled does sound better than ironed. Kaylee is going to nursery school, and is very happy to be going out the door with her sister. Her parents will pick her up and bring her home before lunch and I am sure she will be ready for a long nap. Our grandson in TN started school last month – it seems so early, but then they get out early too. Our other granddaughter is getting her learners permit – now that’s amazing to me! Where did that time go to?
~ Andrea & Matthias
Green Nations are communities of people who love Earth, respect all her beings, and honor the interdependent diversity needed for peaceful, sustainable life. It includes herbalists, gardeners, farmers, environmentalists, healthcare providers, spiritual ecologists, and earth stewards. They extend a warm invitation to all to gather “to learn, inspire each other, network for the planet, play, and renew our commitment to live in beauty and walk in harmony on Earth, our partner. Ours is a revolution of the heart, taking action to make the world a better place for life.”
Organizers say they are “delighted to bring the 19th Green Nations Gathering to Rowe, a spiritual center that supports our visions, dreams, and goals. After doing some large conferences, we’ve found the intimate container that Rowe provides enhances our ability to make deep connections with each other, the plants, and Earth.” In turn, Rowe is delighted to have Green Nations back again.
Teachers will gather from near and far to bring participants a full schedule of plant walks, plant spirit, herbal, health, and food topics, as well as ceremony, an herbal emporium, and lots of fun. There will be an opportunity to interact with a panel of herbalists covering a live case study.
Beginning with an opening circle on Friday afternoon, the gathering will continue throughout the weekend with three concurrently held classes in each of the six sessions. There will be classes for both beginners and experienced practitioners. For those who want even greater depth, there are intensives that last four hours and cost an additional $35. Throughout the gathering, there will be a reverence for all life and its diversity and an emphasis on renewal and sustainability.
Special guest, fondly referred to as the Mother of Herbalism, is Rosemary Gladstar from Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center and Botanical Sanctuary. She will give the keynote address as well as teach an intensive and a class. Other well-known teachers include Susun Weed of the Wise Woman Center; Karyn Sanders of Blue Otter Herb School; 7Song of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine; Chris Marano of Clear Path Herbals;
Pam Montgomery of Partner Earth Education Center; Kate Gilday and Don Babineau of Woodland Essence; Matthiasand Andrea Reisen of Healing Spirits, Margi Flint of Earth Song Herbals, Bevin Clare of Tai Sophia Herbal Medicine School, Leslie Silver of Lifeline Botanicals, Lesley Wooler of the Herb Wyfe and Bonnie Kavanagh of the Herbal Nurse. Mark Carlin of Sweetwater Sanctuary will lead a prayer lodge ceremony. We’ll dance and sing around an Equinox Fire Circle.
Please visit www.greennations.org or call 802-293-5996
You can feel a change in the weather – even though it is still hot and muggy it feels different in the evening and morning. Summer is thinking about slipping back away… doesn’t have quite the force it had a month ago.
We are busy harvesting red clover, with all this cool night weather and rain it is so beautiful. If you are thinking about wanting any now is the time to let us know, as it is gone about as fast as we can pick it. We are also into Elderberry season and picking faster than the birds we hope!
Next month on the 18th we are having an open house here from 10 to 3, if you are in the area please stop in. If you wish to make it a weekend in the Finger Lakes area, my neighbor down the road has a wonderful B&B that is in an old church – in fact both of us met there when our families where much younger. Another neighbor up the road has a wonderful B&B at their farm as well - like us, they used to have dairy cows but now they have cute sheep!
~ Green Blessings to all of us this week ~ Andrea and Matthias