News and blog
It seems like forever since I’ve written. Having our daughter’s wedding here on the farm was wonderful and beautiful and time consuming but so very worth it. They transformed our barn into a beautiful Renaissances wedding. The work they and their friends did was truly amazing.
The wedding was the afternoon of Saturday, July 18th. I pulled in with my sister from out west and a friend at ten o’clock Thursday evening before the wedding. They took a long look at the major construction going on – asked among themselves and wondered – where is the wedding going to be? There is no way it can possibly happen here. There was still so much work to be done. But by Saturday, it was a place of pure beauty and serenity – especially with so many lovely flowers all over the property.
But it’s time to get back to work and we are now harvesting like made to make up for lost time. Today we harvested wood betony, nettle, alfalfa, mint, bee balm and red clover blossoms – and I am debating with myself if I should harvest more of the hyssop (hasn’t been a great seller lately, so if anyone is interested please let me know). Hate not to harvest it, but there are so many plants calling to me right now so I do need to be selective.
We (my husband Matthias and a friend) are putting up a new growing house. It is just enough different from our greenhouses with its roll up sides to be a little confusing. I will try and have pictures next week – it is pretty in its own way :)
The last few days we have had a young man from Germany visiting – he was here 6 years ago. He is biking and taking the train all over the USA, looking into EcoVillage and Camp Hill type places. They have had one in mind for over 8 years and will start building next year. All very interesting and exciting, so many different ways to look at living on this beautiful planet we all inhabit.
~ Green Blessings...Andrea and Matthias
Here we go again, yesterday when I wrote this it went poof!! into cyber space never to be heard from again, and its just done the same thing to me. I work much better with the plants than the computer!!!!
We have had a lot of rain here, and today is finally sunny. We like the rain, however a bit more sun to go with the rain, is always nice. It has been over 2 weeks since the sun shone brightly and we are ready for the warmth. Our plants don't seem to mind though, they have grown like crazy, its been fun to watch, you can almost hear the leaves growing, if you take the time to listen. We have been busy harvesting the largest plantain I have seen in years. The catnip, mugwort, motherwort, sage, feverfew and hyssop is calling to me, its time come and harvest us. Which I am going to do as soon as I finish writing this.
Our roses are also magifient, they are sharing with me over a pound of buds a day, and we haven't even gotten into there heavy production time. Just LOVE the roses, I sit and watch them while feeling so peaceful and know I see them waving at me!!!
This weekend we had a North East Herbal Association Council meeting here at the farm, people came from PA, MA, CT, and eastern NY. It was a drive for everyone, but all agreed it was a beautiful journey and the peacefulness of the farm made it worth the trip. We put the finishing touches to our annual conference. Dr. Ryan Drum is going to be our keynote speaker, if you are a member be sure to come, and if you aren't, now is a good time to join and come to the conference. For infomration go to www.northeastherbal.org
I am afraid to write any more as it might go into cyberspace on me again. Have a great week and enjoy the plant kingdom. Great Green Blessings, Andrea and Matthias
Last night the rains arrived and are still visiting us on and off. After weather in the 80's for two weeks the plants really need this nourishment. A neighbors' brother pulled out 4 roses bushes that where then given to us, they where suffering so much, the bushes where really too big to be pulled out of the ground and where ready to bud out. With this rain you can feel and see them coming back to life a bit more. Even though we watered them two to three times a day, its not the same as rain from the heavens. Our other roses are now blooming, the start of their glory days, they are so beautiful!! Even Zoben the cat thinks so.
With this rain we will be harvesting feverfew, sage and wood botony, its really early for them, but they seem to be very happy to be blooming early. Good health to all, Andrea and Matthias
Once all the rain stopped, and the frost decided to let go, we have had beautiful spring weather, not to hot, just perfect for planting outside. The plant babies love the wet soil and cool days to adjust to their new homes. I love that we are planting dandelion and burdock in rows, all our neighbors are trying their best to get rid of their Dandelion and burdock and we can't grow enough of them!!!
Can't remember a year when we have had so many birds, and so many differnt kinds!!We have Doves, Robins, Blue Birds, Blue Jays, Cardinials, Red Winged Black Bird, Finches, Junco, Crakles, Kildeer, and of course the Blue Herons are back fishing in the creek and a few I am sure I have forgotten. We have the same Robin back for the 3rd year, we can tell because he knocks on our window early in the morning and in the evening. I am sure he is trying to tell us something we just can't quite get the message. Other than I think someone is knocking at our door and I go and open the door and no one is there. Happy Spring Andrea and Matthias
Before all the weather turned cold on us, when it was warm sunny and we all thought we where living in the South, I made up some Voliet oil from the leaves and flowers, what a beautiful sight. Sometimes during the winter months I forget just how beautiful a jar of voliet oil can look. I think it is the blue flowers poking out through the leaves that make me smile the most. I am also making Calendula Flower oil, again the orange and yellow flowers just bring a smile to my face, I like to think they are smiling back at me also.
Have a great week, stay warm, spring has to be here soon. Green Blessings Andrea and Matthias
This weeks special 1 oz Dandelion Flower Essence with any order.
What a week, the plants are all talking to us like crazy, all wanting our attention at the same time, way to much to do in to little time, its Spring and its Wonderful!!! We have dug over 100 pounds of Dandelion Roots this week, planted 100 elderberry bushes, 100 strawberry plants, onions, lettuce, carrots and beets. We are also re planting echinacea out of the seed bed into rows, they look so healthly and beautiful this year. They really liked being outside over the winter, I think they thrive in the hot and cold weather. I know I am forgetting someone in that line up, but you get the idea. We used a new seeder in the greenhouse this year, guess I wasn't good with it, because our germation rate is awful. We are going to reseed again, the old way that works well for us, by hand.
Matthias and other men folk put up a few 16 foot locus poles for the hops to grow up on. The all looked like they where having fun with the tractor, bucket and chains, saying this way, no a little more this way and using all kinds of strange hand signs, they where HAPPY.
The weatherman is calling for rain that we are all hoping to recieve, and by the curles in my granddaughters hair there is a fair change we will be lucky!!
I haven't found the spell check on this program yet, hope I did okay. Have a wonderful week Andrea and Matthias and the plants here at Healing Spirits
We are busy still harvesting japanese knotweed and teasel root, we hope to finish up by the end of the week. We are also harvesting dandelions and burdock as we come across them, but the big harvesting hasn't started yet, maybe in another week or so.
Our granddaughter, who is 3 took this picture of us harvesting Teasel Root.
This is from my friend Ellen Zimmerman in Austin Texas,
she is a wonderful Herbalist and Teacher.
Benefits of Mullein
Mullein, Verbascum thapsus, has been used as a complementarymedicine for centuries, and in many countries throughout the world. The value of Mullein as a proven medicinal herb is now backed by scientific evidence. Some valuable constituents contained in Mullein are Coumarin and Hesperidin as they exhibit many healing abilities. Research indicates some of the uses as analgesic, antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antiviral. An infusion (medicinal herbal tea), is taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints, including asthma and bronchitis. The leaves, root, and flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, nervine, and vulnerary.
Mullein oil is a medicinal and valuable destroyer of disease germs. The yellow flowers, which are formed in the plant’s second year, are soaked in olive oil and used as earache drops (the flowers are often combined with Garlic for optimum effectiveness). The oil is also useful as a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This infusion is a strong antibacterial. The oil used to treat gum and mouth ulcers is very effective. A decoction of the roots is used to alleviate toothache and is helpful in relieving cramps and diarrhea. The whole plant possesses slightly sedative and narcotic properties. The seeds are mostly used as a narcotic and also contain saponins. The dried leaves are sometimes smoked to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes, and for hacking coughs. The inhaled smoke is mild, but quite effective as an Expectorant. Externally, a medicinal poultice of the leaves is applied to sunburn, ulcers and hemorrhoids.
Finally, the leaves of Grandfather Mullein may be used as “Cowboy toilet paper” when you may be hiking in a remote area.
This entire herb is useful, easy to grow and can be found in fields, often growing near its synergistic comrade, Horehound, Marrubium vulgare.
This weeks special ....... 1 oz Gum & Mouth Rinse free with any purchase.
April weather has been lovely, warm weather that just begs for you to get your hands in the soil, and start to plant. Tho we know from years past it is to early to plant to much outside as we will get more frost in the next few weeks, even tho we like to think it will not happen this year. We have been planting more in the greenhouse, and harvesting roots. We are also helping our duaghter and Eric build a play gum for the girls. Eric is a wonderful builder, this play area will last for his grandchildren. Green Blessings Matthias and Andrea
What a glorious spring day, even tho March isn't over and I am sure there is still cooler weather ahead, today was a good day to pretend it would be spring forever. Matthias and I harvest crampbark (Viburum opulus) this morning. We had an order for fresh bark, I love doing the crambark each spring, always makes me feel like winter is over and its time to kick up our heels a little bit.
We also started more seeds in the greenhouse, dandelion, peppers, tomatoes, we already have started Pulstilla, Siberian Ginseng and Pleurisy Root. Tomorrow I am planting lots of Ashwagandha, one of my many favorite herbs. In another greenhouse that the chickens where running in all winter Matthias seeded spinach, lettuce (miners) and carrots right in the ground. The chickens are happy to be running outside again.