All posts filed under: Inspiration

Gardening Roots

I’ve been wondering lately how I’ve got to where I am now. At times it seems like life throws random people, events or places at you with no regard to your plans or wishes. But upon closer inspection, I found that those “random” events that “happened to me” more closely resemble an orchestra finding its harmony than a lottery. This is most apparent when I think about how got into gardening in the first place. At first thought, I began gardening in college my then boyfriend (now husband) and I started a garden in the back yard our the house we rented. We borrowed a tiller, dug up the lawn, and planted squash, beans, kohlrabi, mustard greens, beets, carrots, tomatoes and hot peppers. Occasionally we watered and weeded, but mostly it kind of grew on its own. It was actually one of our better gardens. Each summer after that, our gardens evolved and grew. I wish I could say they got progressively better, too, but we had bad years and good years in no particular …

Longer days and already dreaming of gardening…

I hope you are all enjoying the increasing daylight and the mild weather! This time of the year my mailbox overflows with gardening catalogs and I start to dream about all the plants I want to add to my garden. Late winter is the perfect time to plan a new plot, window box, landscaping or accents. While you’re at it, why not make some of those new additions medicinal plants? Here are some places I like to get medicinal herbs: Horizon Herbs – a huge variety of medicinal, organic, at-risk seeds, root stock and plants. horizonherbs.com Jung Seed co. – a Wisconsin seed and plant company with a large variety of annuals, including at-risk         woodland plants like black cohosh, wild ginger and bloodroot. jungseed.com United Plant Savers – check out this fabulous organization dedicated to preserving at-risk plants. Members receive bi-yearly deals on live rootstock or plants that are endangered, like American gingseng, lady slipper,   blue cohosh, butterfly weed and more. United Plant Savers’ mission is to protect native medicinal plants of …

Birth and Baby Fair

The Northland’s Birth and Baby Fair is coming up! This is such a warm and informative event. Check it out even if you’re not expecting to see all that our area has for health, support and empowerment. I’ll be tabling there, selling pregnancy, women and child herbs – what inspired me to start making herbs in the first place two years ago.

Restorers

As I was walking on a stretch of the Superior hiking trail, I marveled at the sight of an abandoned basketball court being “eaten alive” by plants. Plants, whether they be vines, trees, shrubs or herbaceous, are incredible restorers of their environments. Slowly yet surely, their roots reach deep and bring minerals and nutrients to the surface, their leaves create shade and increase moisture where bacteria and fungi (the ultimate detrovoires) can live, and their growing stems and bodies breaks down man-made surfaces. I suppose that is what they do in our body, too. Over time, plants work to restore the original environment, to promote balance and harmony when presented with roadblocks of dis-ease. For some amazing photos, view sweet juniper’s work on feral houses. Talk about bio-remediation!

Savoring the Summer

It has been an interesting summer. Things are behind; the linden trees just bloomed two weeks ago–usually they peak in mid-June. In May I started marigolds, spilanthes, hearts-ease and bacial scullcap to give as favors for Rob and I’s big party last weekend, but they weren’t even close to flowering. It has been so cool, too, mid 60’s as average. Actually it is pretty nice; I haven’t even brought up the fan from the basement, let alone turn it on! Currently, berries of all sort are ripe and ready for the picking. Raspberries, wild and cultivated, strawberries, blueberries, June berries, thimble berries are just screaming to be picked. Echinacea, Queen Anne’s lace, teasel with it’s wild band of lavender blooms, valerian spread wide and far, and roses lingering on are just a few of the plants in bloom. Time seem to be standing still. I often don’t know what day or time it is, and I know I am not the only one. I get lost in the moment, and find myself enchanted over nothing, …

Growing Power!

I am so excited I can hardly sit still. This past weekend, through the generosity of the Duluth Community Garden Program, I attended the amazing workshop “Growing Your Community Food System from the Ground Up” at Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI. If you haven’t heard of the radicle things that Growing Power is doing then check out their site. In particular, scroll down the webpage and click on the “Good Food Manifesto For America” link to read about their philosophy and mission. Their greenhouses are spacious and packed to the brim, with five levels of production (starting five feet below the ground with perch and tilapia aquaponics to pots hanging from the rafters) and compost and worms everywhere. Outside are have goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys and of course, bees. Growing Power is successful at producing food for their community members as well as retailers. Half of money brought in is from what they make from production (year round microgreens, salad greens, compost, worms and worm castings). Less reliance on grants/endowments = sustainable economics. Just about …

Herb Album: St. Joseph, MN

Sure, the calender says it is spring, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Spring must want to be fashionably late this year. True, there are a few things growing (catnip, motherwort, elecampane), and about 30% of the trees have started to think about budding (sweet little pussy willows). Perhaps the robins came back from their winter retreats last week, and there is more hours of daylight (hallelujah!), but it doesn’t really seem like spring. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one to complain about the weather, but I am just simply anxious for things to start growing again! Not to mention that freezing temps and snow of this weekend. I kind of feel the same way; kind of in-and-out about what is waking up and growing, what is about to wake up and grow, and what has yet to wake up. Spring embodies all of these phases but does so with patience and in accordance with environmental cues. There is a bit of drama and teasing going on too, as if spring just …

What is a Healer?

There are as many varieties of healers as there are areas of life. One can heal relationships, finances, bodies, the earth, broken social structures, or attitudes that on longer serve. No matter what realm of healing they are engaged in, a healer applies their art with detached compassion and deep respect. In the same manner, a healer is still a healer even if removed from their healing practice; it follows them into other areas of life. The healer’s art manifests through a unique combination of inherent ability, earned and practiced skill, and self-esteem. It is essential for the healer to seek out teachers, formal training, and a have a supportive community in preparation to practice their healing art. In this way being schooled plays a role in the healer’s own personal development, especially as one excavates out and identifies that which creates illness. Being healthy and harmonious has been twisted into meaning “being 100% flawless” and “always being good” about your body, diet and lifestyle. Healers know that turning health into a battle of good …

Holiday Eagles

Rob and I saw five eagles in three days; two in our back yard on Christmas day, one while driving outside of Danbury, WI, and two feasting on a deer carcass south of Franconia in Minnesota. The latter was especially awesome, as we could really close while they were eating.        

Create a Garden

Fall is a perfect time to prepare a garden bed for next year’s season. Over the winter, the prepared bed will decompose, leaving you with fertile soil ready for planting in the spring. Using this “lasagna” method will eliminate the need to dig up turf, fertilize, or pull weeds like mad next year. Cardboard is much more beneficial than the typically chosen black plastic, as it decomposes while eliminating weeds and turf. Comfrey is chosen because of its superb nutrient content and decomposability. The soil will be fertile with minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, and more. The first step is to place carefully cleaned (no packing tape pr staples) and cut cardboard directly onthe surface you wish to transform into a bed. Cover this with over an inch or compost (unfinished works just fine). Add some leaves over the prepared dirt. Gather more than a few handfuls of comfrey from your local source (Duluth has three that I know of) and layer over the leaves. If you cannot find comfrey, use another source …