Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garden check-in, Earth Day '14

We've been keeping a blog for 9 years now.  One of the things I love best about it is how it functions as a garden journal.  It is easy to look back over the 7 seasons of work here and see what's worked, what has gotten out of control (!!!) and just how much things have changed.  Each year we've added perennial food and medicine plants, while encouraging or transplanting others to make them more accessible.  Where there was once unimaginable space, now we're starting to take over the lawn.  I like that.  Sort of how the pictures in this post shove over too far into the side border.  Nature is like that.  She pays no attention to the rules we try to impose upon her :-)
Black currants went in last year.  First bloom.

Wild black raspberries dug and transplanted along the garden fence.  They'll be a challenge to contain.

Colors!  I didn't realize how much I missed them until they returned.

Comfrey - so far behaving.

We've got daylily patches everywhere because we love the flavor of the flower buds.

The elderberries are looking to give it another go this year.  Fruitflies be gone!

Fennel surprised me by coming back, nestled against the hyssop.

Horseradish spreading vigorously.

Today we'll plant the new fig tree and put the blue cohosh into the woods.

The new little orchard.

Soon the brilliant chartreuse of the maple will flood the morning light of the kitchen and packing room.

St John's wort volunteered just where I might have planted it!

Hard to see, but the thyme has left the garden, spreading across the so-called path.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Old Herbs and Patent Medicines

Up until about a dozen years ago, I never really thought about these things.  I'd never seen the little boxes of herbs or the little packages of pills and oils.  It all started with a visit to a friend's house and seeing her collection.  That was it.  Now whenever I'm at a flea market or antique store, I have to look around. 
This past weekend, The Rosemary House was selling off a good portion of Bertha Reppert's collection, and I was all over that stuff!  Here's what I got (along with a few things I had before):
All of these packages are full.

American Saffron = Carthamus tinctorious (safflower), although true saffron is grown here in Lanc. PA

Bottle of Lydia Pinkham's Tonic.

Diverse, simple packages - all full.  Bet the orris is more fragrant than ever.

I love the turmeric tin, and the instructions inside the laxative box.  Lots of laxatives...

Helps are still available, but not in the tin.  The eye cup was my grandmother's.

I'm not sure what this was for, but the packaging sure made it look important.

And we thought Flintstones were the first candy-like vitamin...
It's pretty interesting to see these old things, and I'm looking forward to placing them behind the glass front on the shelves. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Essential Herbal May/June '14 issue

We are so excited about this issue!  It's so full of wonderful information and sharing, and for the second issue in a row, we added extra pages.  It is stunning.  Beautiful, lush, and full of spring and early summer.  You're going to love it!  Subscribe today
 The cover is from Carolina Gonzalez
Field Notes, Tina Sams
Finding the rhythm in the seasons and life in general.
Bees in Peril, Heddy Johannesen
What’s happening to the bees and how can we help?
Rosacea, Michele Pfaff
Natural solutions.
Companion Planting with Herbs, Sandy Michelsen
Helping plants to prosper with good neighbors.
Cooking with Lavender, Cherylann McFetridge
Learn about using lavender in a lot of new ways.
Losing Your Nerve: Lion’s Mane and Medicinal Mushrooms, Adrian White
Wild mushrooms have a lot to offer us.
Spring Cleaning That’s Good for You, Gale LaScala
Clearing the clutter from the inside out.
Growing Edible Marigolds, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh
Those tasty little gems do more than keep rabbits out of the garden.
Ginseng Companions, Madison Woods
Do you know the indicator plants that grow near ginseng?
Havin’ a Dandy Day! Jessica Morgan
Dig those crazy dandelions!
Elders & Herbs—Herbal Support for Sexy Seniors, Janice Masters
Can the best really be yet to come?
Medicinal Roots, Marita Orr
The beginning of a great new series from Marita.
Passionflower, Kristine Brown
These strange, otherworldly flowers might be just the thing for you.
Herbal Canine Shampoo Bar (or Human Deep Woods Outdoor Soap), Marci Tsohonis
It started out as a dog shampoo, but like so much of what we do, went in a completely different direction!
The Chakra Garden, Jackie Johnson
Such an inspiring garden idea!
Ready for My Big Girl Boots, Elizabeth Weaver-Krieder
She’s ready to take on the Spring.
Rita’s Pitas, Rita Richardson
Simple and versatile snack.
Natural Ant Deterrent, Michele Pfaff
When the ants come marching one by one, be ready.
How to Sell at Craft Fairs and Festivals, Jamie Jackson
Lots of insider information to help you learn the ropes.
“Gutsy” Herbs, Suzan T Scholl
Some say that all disease begins in the gut. Learn how to support a healthy gut.