almost like a farmer…….

Herbgarden

 

Almost a year ago I decided to convert my vegetable garden to medicinal herbs. I spent the spring scouring every nursery for plants, visited local farms, and slowly planted beds a few plants at a time.

My goal was to start a Community Supported Herbalism project: a seasonal apothecary share of freshly made herbal products with herbs grown on our homestead or sustainably wildcrafted from nature. I had a very limited amount of members and spent the season tending to the herbs and making fresh plant remedies. My love of herbs and the earth deepened. My ties with my community grew. Somewhere in July with my whole face buried deep in a bed of tulsi, I knew I had truly fallen into a place I was meant to be. It just felt right.

 

Oregeno

 

Spilanthes

 

This winter I sat and looked over my notes, at what worked and what didn't. What was popular with my members and what they were unsure about. I read wonderful books. I learned and grew as a herbalist and new (dare I say) herb farmer. I chose new plants to add this year – thinking of both my needs as a herbalist and the pollinators I share my growing space with. I'll be adding at least one more raised bed, perhaps two as my plant heart and growing space usually do not communicate with one another well. Our program will expand to include 24 members for 2017. Slow & steady growth.

 

Coneflower

 

I have big dreams for the future. Within the next year, I will be digging up the bulk of these herbs (mostly perennials) and moving them north to the farm in New York. In five years I hope to be settled in our new farmhouse, selling my herbs & products at the tiny local farmer's market and teaching in our new community. I see my dream unfolding, little by little. As a person who struggles to keep herself in the moment – always caught up in planning for the next move – these plants are literally grounding me. With every weed to pull. Seedling to care for. Flower and leaf to harvest. Medicine to make. Knowledge to share. They grab hold of my wanderlust and keep it from carrying me away.

And this time of year I sketch maps for bed plans, recipes for products and make list after list, almost like a farmer……

xo,

s

 

ps – if you are interested in our CSH program (herbal apothecary share), click on the link to read more about it. we ship in the US & Canada and have 10 spaces left for the 2017 season – we are also hosting a giveaway of one share on Instagram this week!

 

CSH Sign-ups

CshNettle

 

It's here!

Sign-ups are open for the 2016 CSH Season!

. . . . . . . . . .

 

Shares are extremely limited and we expect the Full Shares to sell out by the end of the week. We have 10 full shares and 8 partial shares available for the 2016 season.

Full shares include the entire 2016 season, three shipments, and a $15 discount. They are only available until mid-June.

Partial shares are one shipment and will be available each season.

You can read all the details about our Community Supported Herbalism project here.

Thank you for supporting small locally made goods. We look forward to sharing our plant magic with you! 

xoxo,

stephinie

if you can’t find it, make it…….

I spent a good deal of time this winter trying to find a fresh herb CSA in our area. There is a lovely one in Western Massachusetts, but their drop offs were all in locations over an hour away from us. On Fridays. Which can get pretty crazy in the summer vacation traffic surge we see around here.

My goal this summer was to start a Community Supported Herbalism project. I want to create access for others to fresh organic herbal products. While I do have access to some wonderful land for wildcrafting….. there are also so many lovely cultivated plants I wanted to work with.

Then I had an idea. If I couldn't find a grower, I would become the grower….

Herb seedlings

Herb bed

Herb bed 2

Herb bed 3

Chive flowers

This year in our garden, aside from 4 cherry tomato plants and a row of peas…… the rest is ALL herbs. (we're fortunate to have a wonderful csa that provides us with fresh vegetables all year!) A good handful were perennials that came back from last summer, but the bulk was sourced throughout my area from small farms and friends. And the weeds were free…. goodness I have a lot of weeding to do this week!

This is what we currently grow on our little one-acre plot (wild & cultivated):

Chamomile, comfrey, catnip, echinacea, nettle, goldenrod, lemon balm, jewelweed, red clover, tobacco, yarrow, teasel, horseradish, lavender, calendula, poke, dandelion, violet, elderberry, valerian, st. john's wort, holy basil (tulsi), rue, spilanthes, peppermint, spearmint, white sage, bee balm, mugwort, marshmallow, plus some culinary favorites : cilantro, chocolate mint, pineapple sage, culinary sage, dill, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, chives & basil.

I spent the weekend tucking the new ones into the garden with a little prayer, feeling so grateful to have this bounty to teach me over the next few months. I always learn so much more about a plant when I am able to see it and touch it. I feel grateful to have found such an incredible selection of herbs all grown within an hour of our homestead and can't wait to make fresh herbal products all summer right from my backyard.

I look forward to sharing garden walks and recipes with you as we go along.

xo,

stephinie

PS – Signups for the CSH begin tomorrow. We have very limited membership this year, so if you are interested act quickly!

 

something new………

CshNettle

 

This is the pre-launch teaser for the project we have going on. We're starting a CSH : Community Supported Herbalism! Much like a vegetable CSA – Our CSH members will receive shares of handcrafted herbal goods at each change of the season to nourish and support them through the next one. We're already crafting up exclusive apothecary items made from locally wildcrafted plants for our summer delivery. Sign ups will be limited to only 18 members. Be sure to join our newsletter as we'll be announcing registration there first.

More details in a few weeks…. 

xo,

stephinie