Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maple Leaf Rag

This weekend - oops, no, that's not until November 7 (!!!) the clocks will turn back an hour. By 6pm, it will be dark, so for people who work during the day, whether we have frost or not, the gardens will be over unless they're willing to toil by firelight.I'm hearing from friends who are so glad to be finished for the season. Growing and gathering our own herbs means that we need to always be thinking about when different things will be ready to find. Is it too late for another batch of jewelweed? Are the persimmons starting to drop? Did I miss the spicebush berries (again)? The garden is relatively easy to keep after, but the wild herbs are always in the back of the mind.
This particular summer was a hard one to keep up with! It started 6 weeks early because we never got a frost after late March, and then mid-summer turned into a solar oven that had me cowering inside. There are plants that will signal when it is time to harvest others if you've been wild-crafting long enough. A good example is the highly visible Joe Pye weed, that always blooms in conjunction with blue vervain. Sweet violets in the spring tell me that if I haven't gotten into the woods, I'd better hurry if I don't want to miss the ramps, trout lilies, and blooms of skunk cabbage that hug the earth.
Now herbies can relax a little bit. Maryanne and Kathy (from Cloverleaf Herb Farm) chat, in no rush, while I wandered the gardens checking out the display plantings.
If we didn't get what we wanted this year, we'll just have to come up with alternatives. We can play in the kitchen and whip up concoctions and blends.
Unless you happen to live in the hive that is Frog Hollow, that is. Well, in honesty, most of the herbies I know have just switched to another, quieter form of busy. Here we are gearing up for the tree farm activities. Here, we are buzzing!
I woke up this morning with the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Yesterday we delivered all but one (ok...two - lol) of the soap orders that rained down this month. There are surfaces!!! Work tables are clear and ready for more.
We had a chance to visit Sharon Magee (of Herbal Pottery) and see her gardens lit with candles and twinkling lights.
By the Hearth is at the printer, and all of the pre-orders that have arrived so far are organized and the envelopes are ready to be labeled, stuffed, and shipped.
We're putting some thought into the little holiday shop we put in for the months of November and December, and are actually in a good place to be ready for the first time in several years.
We have 2 weeks before the next deadline for The Essential Herbal.
Seriously.... I must be missing something. Could we actually be caught up?

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