We've been keeping our noses to the grindstone lately around The Essential Herbal, so this weekend it was time to get away and have a little fun.
Original plans for Saturday fell through, so we found ourselves preparing to head out to the Bead Fest in Valley Forge. Before we left, I checked Facebook and saw that there was an herb and rare plant sale on Route 23, posted by Sugarbush Nursery of Mohnton, PA. We decided we could swing by there on the way home.
Bead Fest was interesting - although there are only so many tables full of beads I can stand to look at before starting to get terminally bored. Finally we veered to the back of the building and found one of the glass companies that my sister was looking for - something about "double helix glass". Can't wait to see what she comes up with using them. Hopefully we'll be seeing it soon over at TorchSong Studio! The guys at the booth were pretty much fun to kid around with, and I wound up with several Elvis stickers (some art glass promotion) that I promised to plaster inside donut shops. The conference center was filling up, we had pretty much what we came for, so we were out of there inside an hour.
A quick few miles down the road, and we found the plant sale. Interestingly, both of our cameras cut out during the plant sale. Neither of us were able to take any pictures. There were some really nice plants there! Lots of woodland natives, shrubs, hostas, unusual evergreens, and then we got to Sugarbush. She had some gorgeous stuff, and I immediately scooped up some bottle gentian, and a pleurisy root/butterfly weed. As I was preparing to pay, I saw a pot holding just a small mat of green with a tag that said "bluets, Houstonia" and grabbed it! Spending a spring in VA one year, I awoke one morning to find that the entire yard had been transformed into a carpet of tiny blue stars - it was bluets. Later, Betsy May (a friend, and one of our writers) and I spent some time searching for these. I sent her the information immediately upon returning home!
Back on the road, we drove on past Susan Hess' Farm at Coventry - but the driveway was filled with cars, so we knew she was having a class and drove on.
Right up the road a few miles we saw a sign for St. Peter's Village to the right. It was well past lunch time, so we decided to see if we could grab a bite there. We had a really nice time sitting on the patio of The Inn at St Peter's, looking down over the granite boulders with a spring running through them. So well fed were we that we stopped in the village bakery and managed to leave without making a purchase. Looking back, it's hard to believe we could resist those magnificent confections!
Later at home, I cleaned a big basket full of elderberries to dry and gathered lots of lime basil.
Just hanging out for the evening with the guinea fowl....Molly went off to work at the Renaissance Faire this morning, but returned home at noon because of the weather and lack of a crowd. I told her to jump in the shower, and she could go along to The Gem Miner's Jubilee in Lebanon.
I enjoy this show more than a typical bead show because they have lots of nice specimens of rocks. Big geodes, unusual crystal formations, rare minerals, fossils, and some pretty cool stuff. I almost always find something that makes me feel like I discovered treasure. Today that treasure was strands of myrrh beads from Sumatra. They are beautiful, handstrung, smoothed by hand, and very fragrant. I bought all the dealer had - and it wasn't very much! They will be going on the website tomorrow. Molly got a nice green amber ring, Maryanne found a stone she's been looking for, and I also picked up some nice leopard jasper and a couple of tiny carved figurines that will go into a special little bag.
Tomorrow we'll get back to work on By the Hearth. Just one or two more articles to type in, and then it's going to get put into chapters, we'll insert pictures - and do a good bit of editing. Late September release date is breathing down our necks!