Friday, April 03, 2015

Breaking Hibernation - Here Comes Spring!

It has been a long, cold winter with enough precipitation for a few years; the kind of year that makes even die-hard winter lovers long for spring.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me too much to see another snowfall. 
Part of me feels like I've been in a state of suspended animation, but a bigger part is feeling like I've been running a marathon, so it's been something nagging at me - why? 
Well... we put out "Through the Seasons" in November.  That was a huge undertaking.  5 whole years of magazine issues organized, dolled up, and indexed.  Whew!  The pre-sale and aftermath coinciding with the final work and printing of the book were pretty challenging when realizing that we don't have a staff to handle the various parts of the process.  That book is amazing, though.  Possibly my favorite.
We got the Jan/Feb (of The Essential Herbal magazine) issue out, stocked up the soap shelves, and then headed off to a wholesale show for my sister's soap business.  We came home and started filling the show orders and putting together the Mar/Apr issue. 
Then the cold hit.
With a sledgehammer.
It came to stay.  It brought frozen pipes and ice slicked roads and long stretches of temperatures so low that we found ourselves pondering situations we hadn't thought too much about before.  Getting anything done was just hard.  While in town roads were clear and dry, out here they were snow-covered for most of the winter.
But we did it.  The magazine issues were released on time (we just sent the May/June issue off to the printer, right on schedule).  Soap was made and stacked on the shelves, only to be pulled and wrapped for orders, and then made and stacked again. 
Next, "Healing Herbs" came out last month.  I'm proud to say that it's been very well received, and when John Gallagher of and I did a webinar together, lots and lots of those watching ordered the book - which, if it ever gets here, will turn around and hit the mail within 24 hours.  John recorded the webinar, by the way.  You can watch it HERE.
It kind of looks like spring might be here.  Walking down to the workshop to wrap soap the other day, I took a few pictures.
Part of the path is lined on either side with hazelnut bushes (catkins above), bayberry bushes, mint, daylilies, and black raspberry canes.  There are fruit trees at the far end, too.  A good place to witness the seasons change.

Motherwort is springing up (heh heh) all along the upper path.  It makes me think that as it spreads, maybe we need to pay attention and add more of it to our "usual" herbs.  Motherwort has a lot to offer.

Seed heads from the Motherwort wave everywhere - which explains the spread of the plants.

The wild white Yarrow is very common on the farm.  In fact if we let my front yard grow, it would be mostly Yarrow (and plantain, dandelion, mustard, lambsquarters, and poke). 

Now we look forward to the spring shows.  The PA Herb Festival is in 2 weeks.  The next week we head out to Indiana Co. to speak to a group, and then in early May, Landis Valley Herb Faire.  May 15th we'll start on the Jul/Aug issue, and then THEN we get a little time off.  Well... there's soap, of course.  We want to get to the beach this year.  We say that every year, but I think we really must.

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