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Friday, July 25, 2008

Spring/Summer List of Medicine Making

This year is the first year in many that I have been able to devote so much time to herbal studies. As a result I've made the most oils, vinegars, tinctures, and dried plants than ever before. Here's a list of this year's activities:

Bee Balm
Lemon Balm
St. John’s Wort
Red Clover
Mullein Flower

Alcohol Extracts: (95% unless otherwise noted)
Bee Balm
Lemon Balm
St. John’s Wort
Red clover
Wood Betony (Brandy)
Shepherd’s Purse
Nettle (40% vodka)

Lady’s Mantle
Red Clover
Dandelion root

Cottonwood Salve
Trauma and Pain Salve (arnica, st. John’s wort, Cottonwood, Comfrey)
Healing Salve (plantain, calendula, dandelion, cottonwood)

Lip Balm:
Cottonwood and Coconut
Soothing lip balm (calendula, dandelion, cottonwood)
Cold Sore Care (St. John’s Wort oil and tincture in a beeswax base)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Herb Fest in Oregon

We are at John Gallagher’s home getting ready to hit the road for Pleasant Hill, Oregon, home of Wise Acres Farm and the annual Herb Fest. (You should see the size of the plantain in his front yard - incredible!)

I’ll be vending Wildcraft! for John and while also attending classes by Christopher Hobbs, Jill Stansbury, Paul Bergner and Michael Tierra.

Will I be seeing any of you there?

I haven’t been to an herbal faire since the 2005 Northwest Herbal Faire where I met the Gallagher family and found out they were renting a room in their house…

Three years later I am thrilled to be a part of and doing really rough work for John (like going to the NW Herb Fest while he is on vacation to visit family in the East Coast).

Besides enjoying the herbal fair I’ll also be heading over to Mountain Rose Herbs to check things out there as well as Heather’s Herb Shop in Eugene.

I know I have been a llttle sparse in my blogging. I had been hoping to do more, but summer is so incredibly busy. I’ll probably be doing a lot of back logging when things settle down – and I assure you notes from my classes this weekend will be included. ☺

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What's up in the Methow

July is already here! With such a busy spring I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and take time to enjoy the summer.

With that said here's a listing of what's up in the Methow (otherwise known as my to do list).

Elderflowers have been beckoning from the roadsides starting a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday while out picking a second round of flowers I noticed several bunches are making the turn to green berries. In a couple more weeks they'll be ready for making "capers". Hawthorne berries are a good size with a slight twinge of red to them.

Also in roadside bloom is fireweed and yarrow is blanketing the hillsides and forests. Mullein is starting to flower and plantain is well on it's way to seed. Even the dock's seed heads are already a rusty brown.

Saskatoons are ripe on the valley floor and I ate my first handful yesterday, followed by my second third and fourth today. (Does anyone use these shrubs medicinally?)

I finally found a small patch of St. John' Wort. I am not sure if it's big enough for all my St. John's Wort needs however. If you are in the valley and know of a good patch - please let me know!

Not only are the plants in this community rich and diverse the community of people is awesome as well. I spent the last three days harvesting many baskets of lavender from a neighbor's garden. She and her husband planted a long row, but seldom use it, so she offered it to me. As a result my husband and I spent the 4th of July making Lavender Faery Wands which we sold at the Farmer's Market the next day.

Being the 4th with many people in town we sold a lot of salves, lip balms, and other herbal products at the market. A fabulous herbalist in the valley stopped by to say that my lib balm is the best she's had and ordered a wholesale lot to sell herself. (Truly flattered.) Also, one of the local proprieters of the health food store in town came by to buy more of my herbal all purpose cleaner and said if I made up a bunch she would carry it at the store as it is her favorite cleaner at home.

Which is all to say this week will be busy in the herbal apothecary. I have fresh arnica oil to make into salve as well as some fresh plantain, comfrey, cottonwood, calendula salve to make as well.

I picked my first calendula flower of the season today and last week from I received fresh red clover flowers, coltsfoot leaves, wood betony, and feverfew. This coming week I have meadowsweet, hyssop, and rue on the way.