First tomato! First pepper! Some Red Clover and Anise Hyssop for a cooling summer tea. I started picking blueberries, and the rain renewed. We have enough for today.
I’ve got some family stuff going on. So, at the end of this day, despite the humidity, I took a walk to the beach. I’m so grateful to live close to the beach… Of course, I took off my shoes and waded in. I gathered a few rocks and said a prayer over each one and tossed them into the Sound. A tern flew by me, gliding low, mouth open, catching insects just above the waterline. Looking up, the moon was coming out — still hazy — above the cloud bank. Water so still. Air so thick. All was fading blue.
Walking back, I skirted a couple of rabbits; some stood still and others lifted their little white tails and fled into the shrubby grass. One hungry woodchuck ignored me. I saw long canes of wineberries and gathered the darkest red berries I could find. There was a blackberry neighbor who offered more foraging tastes.
For a while, the Earth fed me with water and sand and sky and animal and plant friends. Such a gentle night. I am so grateful for these many gentle gifts.
It took a couple of years, but we’re getting an amazing blueberry harvest this year!! Sun-warmed and sweet. I’m going to add more dry pine needles, also called “pine straw,” to the bed to keep up the acidity and keep down the weeds. This bed is underplayed with thyme, which is just beginning to flower with tiny pink flowers. I’m just so happy right now!
I love to let plants go to seed in my garden! These days, I have Chamomile, Arugula, Tomato, Holy Basil, Ground Cherries, and Dill all reseeded from last year. Today, I am stripping Bok Choy seeds from their dried pods to save for next Spring. Even if I don’t harvest everything in time to eat, I can always harvest the seeds! Then the plants surprise me in the garden later on in the season, and in my small seed pots next spring. The cycle of Life continues. I feel so grateful to witness at all!
Savory, also called “Bean Herb”
I love to eat plain ole’ rice and beans! I never make them the same way twice. And I used to feel a secret twinge of shame that I used canned beans(!). I’ve gotten over that now.
But I haven’t gotten over my love of winter savory!! A gentle looking herb that’s a perennial (coming back every year), savory goes with beans… Like beans go with rice!
Savory is in the family of culinary herbs like rosemary, oregano, and thyme — peppery and strong.
Today’s bean recipe includes red and yellow onions, an orange bell pepper, one jalapeño, 4 cloves of garlic, several sprigs of savory, sauteed in olive oil. Added some grinds of salt and dashes of Cholula hot sauce. Served over brown rice (I make a big batch of rice every week).
Homey and yummy.
By the way, savory is a digestive aid (reduces flatulence caused by beans!), and supports the respiratory system. Savory has loads of vitamins and minerals too. Savory is a bee and pollinator favorite, and fresh savory leaves can relieve the sting of a bee or wasp.
“Marked safe from Corona Beer”
|Have you seen these social media posts? I have. And, while I’m in no way ready to self-isolate for months with my stockpile of paper goods and burlap bags of split peas (oh my word!), I do think we can all take some moderate precautions. As an herbalist, my contribution to the commentary is a DIY hand sanitizer, since many stores are running empty. |
Here we go:
▪ 2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
▪ 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
▪ 8 to 10 drops of the following essential oils: thyme, cinnamon LEAF, lavender, or tea tree (more is not better, more may be liver compromising)
A friend was talking about using Tito’s vodka! Whatever you have handy is fine, just make sure that the final result has at least 60% alcohol in order to be an effective disinfectant. Isopropyl alcohol (99%) works best because you’ll have a good ratio of aloe vera gel to soothe your skin. Easy directions: mix all ingredients together, place in a bottle, tuck into a bag or backpack, and use before eating and after social gatherings.
Be kind. Find ways to be generous. Community immunity is the way we all stay happy and healthy.
2019-2020 Herbal Friends workshop series
Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. @ Unitarian Universalist Society, Whitney Ave., New Haven.
Song to a Green Ally
I breathe the air, I swim the sea
I love the sky, my Father
I love the Earth, sweet Gaia
The fire within, the sun and moon.
Hello, my Dear, I am still here
I see your way as Elder
I know you now in name alone
Your true nature, you may reveal.
Oh, still and still, I calm my heart.
A loving way I cultivate
I breathe you out, I breathe you in
My breath, my song, my gift today
With gratitude, I honor you
How may I help you grow this day?
And how might you support me too?
Reweaving now the Web of Life
O waly, waly, up the bank
And waly, waly, doon the brae
And waly, waly, yon burnside
I send Earth prayers both far and wide
“Waly,” expression of grief or sorry
“doon the brae,” down the hillside
“yon burn side,” the riverside
Still receiving, still thankful
Between the raindrops, I went again to the garden today. Harvesting arugula, ground cherries, tomatoes, strawberries (!), and a bit of fresh peppermint for tea, while offering thanks to the garden. I am amazed by my good fortune. The last few harvest days of the season humble me. I have been befriended by this garden and nourished at every turn.