Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Colorful Coleus

I wanted to stop by to assure you I'm still here, just working many more than the usual hours with the shop, as well as away from here.  Which is good.  It just doesn't leave me much time to create blog posts.  I'll get by here when I can, and trust that you'll be savoring these golden fall days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Revisiting Tasha

I've been revisiting Tasha Tudor of late, reading books about her and feeling very drawn to the simple dresses and aprons she wore daily.  That's her above.  Even the sweet shawls wrapped around her shoulders are calling to me.  I'd love to find some simple patterns  for these things.  If you're aware of any, would you please share them?  This photo of her inspires me greatly; strength, grace and beauty as I age. Yes!

Days have been busy with classes, setting up a booth at the Market, working at a local shop as well as the New Earth shop.  But I've managed to finish one small project I've been wanting to do for some time.  The cabinet that holds the PC has panels on the inside, a perfect spot for a small chalkboard.  So, after taping and a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, I now have two spots to make notes.  It's the little things that make me happy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Shift of Light

The light is shifting.  The shadows in the afternoon are becoming longer, and the days are softer, with an occasional chilly night.  I am loving these days, after the record heat this summer.  The pups are enjoying being outdoors most of the day.  I so enjoy having the windows open, bringing the sweet, fresh air in.  I've already noticed hints of tangy autumn scents on the breeze.

Purple and yellow flowers take center stage now; black eyed susans, goldenrod, and obedient plant among them.  The native muscadines are ripening, and every evening I gather a pocketful on my walk.  The pups sniff out the fallen ones, and enjoy their fair share of them too.  I'm hoping I'll soon have enough grapes to make a batch of jam with them.  This Sunday will be the last Market I'll participate in this year.  It looks like it's going to be a lovely day to spend outdoors.  Wishing you the loveliest of late summer days! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Herbs Make Good Scents

The weekend was mellower than many lately, including a 50th birthday party we attended.  I hope yours was an enjoyable one.  Herbs were gathered yesterday-- first jiaogulan, which I'm drying, and will turn into a medicinal tincture.  I planted the vine two years ago, and this was the first harvest.  There are a number of claims to this herb; adaptogen, immune strengthening, cholesterol lowering, anti-aging and cancer inhibiting among them.  It is often compared to ginseng.  More info here.  I'm looking forward to trying this one.

Then shiso, both both purple and green.  Shiso is edible, as well as being a good anti-inflammatory herb.  I've begun a tincture with it.  This is one Joseph takes daily, so I wanted to replenish our supply.

Last was Sweet Annie, which are drying in bundles, and will soon be available in my shop.  I'd known this sweet-smelling plant as a strewing herb, but learned it also has medicinal value as an anti-malarial, as well as parasitic.  Another anti-malarial that is native on this land is Wild Quinine.  I've never harvested it, but admire it on my walks.   Now that the medicinal herbs are in progress, I really ought to begin making pesto out of all that basil out there!   Which herbs are you growing for food or medicine?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gelo Familia

The days have been full these past few weeks.  There was a family gathering of Mom and her brothers families over Labor Day weekend.  Eggplant and green beans from the garden have been canned.  A batch of apples were dehydrated.  I've started dehydrating pears and begun pear vinegar with the peelings and cores.

I recently found some new canister sets donated to a local thrift shop.  Enter a diamond drill bit, a carbon filter, and voila... new compost crocks in my shop

I've been wanting to ramp up my compost making for some time.  There are two compost bins chock full, so I asked Joseph to create a compost sifter for my birthday, and he obliged.  Now, which plants will get all that rich, organic bounty?  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!