Monday, September 18, 2023

Essential Herbal Magazine - September/October 2023

I've been way too preoccupied! This blog debuted in March of 2005 and in all those years I've never missed putting up a new issue.  Until this one, a couple of weeks late.  Now that the Extra is complete and almost ready to go on the 20th, I can take a quick breath before the PA Tea Fest this weekend to get caught up on a few things.  

This is a really fun issue!  Subscribers might notice that we are currently getting some really interesting and unique types of information to publish right alongside what we've all come to expect.  I'm particularly proud to introduce the young apprentice that has been helping my sister and me have some fun around here.  It's always good to see things through new eyes.  So without further ado, here is the cover and TOC.


Field Notes from the Editor
Back from a conference, we’re renewed and full of ideas!

About the Cover, Calendula Bath Herbs
Make a simple batch of bathing herbs to soak and soothe.

Pass-Along Plants, Barbara Steele
Those plants that were shared, and the ones we share with others are surprisingly meaningful.

It’s On the Menu, Alicia Allen
Hearty chicken and pork meals that include lots of those vegetables in the garden.  And dessert!

Guide to Harvesting & Drying Your Own Herbs for your Home Apothecary, Jen Sutherland Cline
How do we preserve thee?  Let us count the ways…

Looking Back, Kathy Musser
What can you learn from 25 years in business?  Kathy shares a few of those things – and her favorite plants.

Um, About that Apothecary Cupboard?  Marci Tsohonis
Reorganizing to make room for the newly grown herbs became a pretty big project, but it turned out to be a beauty!

Embracing Autumn’s Bounty, Fall Uses of Herbs, Marcy Lautanen Raleigh
There are so many different ways that we can enjoy herbs.  Marcy shares some of hers.

Interactive Jigsaw Puzzle, Summer Harvest
We haven’t tried this before.  Once you pick up the directions, it’s pretty much fun!

Mushroom Bouillon Powder and Paste + Homemade Seasoning Salt Recipe, Heidi Shayla
Versatile and flavorful additions to your cooking can also be good for you.

Music in the Garden, Susanna Reppert
What do you listen to (or sing) when you’re out in the garden working?  If you need some ideas, Susanna has got you covered.

Our Very Young Apprentice, Tina Sams
There’s nothing to remind you of the wonder of plants, like showing a young person some of that magic!

Wondrous Willow, Kristine Brown, RH (AHG)
All the amazing ways that willow offers us his many gifts.  Learn all about it.

Meet Our Contributors
Who are these generous herbfolk sharing their knowledge?  Meet them here.

Get a single issue HERE

Subscribe for a year HERE
(this gives you the six Extras, smaller tidbits to hold you over until the next issue).

Several of our advertisers offer readers discounts in this issue!

Thursday, July 06, 2023

July August 2023 Essential Herbal Magazine

 Hot fun in the summertime!
This issue is full of sunshine from cover to cover. 
As all herbies (at least in the northern hemisphere) know, this is our time!  No matter if we're out in the boonies or in the heart of the big city, summer is when we are outside.  We dine al fresco, visit bodies of water, enjoy friends, or watch the fireflies.  It's a magical time during which we grow things, make lots of memories, and work our bodies.
Here's the Cover and Table of Contents for the current issue:

This artwork is so full of life and joy that it makes us happy just to look at it!  Deb Sturdevant is the artist. 

Field Notes, Tina Sams
Sometimes it takes a moment of introspection to recognize contentment.

Agrimony Monograph, April Coburn
Have you met this wondrous plant?  You’ll want to!

Midsummer, Jackie Johnson ND
Looking for ways to celebrate Midsummer?  There are lots of traditions.

Sweet Thymes are Mint to Be, Alicia Allen
Alicia does not disappoint, with lots of delicious recipes to use some of those herbs!

Remembering Our Wild Self (Book Excerpt), Jen Frey
We got a second thought provoking excerpt because there’s so much good stuff in the book we needed two!

Summer in the Garden, Kathy Musser
Ever the organized planner, Kathy had already sent this article months ahead.  We’re not ready to let her go just yet.

Low Tide Soap, Marci Tsohonis
Marci’s recollection of low tide on the Oregon coast is one of mists and magic, starfish and seaweeds.  And so this soap is full of magic too.

5 Natural Recipes for When You’ve Had Too Much Sun, Heidi Shayla
It can be tough to keep our skin from sun damage, but Heidi shares some great helpers.

Flower Crowns, Jen Sutherland Cline
Who among us does not deserve a crown from time to time?  Summer is just the perfect time to indulge.

Are You the Kind of Herbie that Herb Vendors Love?  Tina Sams
Have you ever said, “My kid did that in elementary school” while a vendor smiles blandly with the thousand mile stare?  Maybe you can pick up some tips in this article I gathered from various sellers.

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs, Marcy Lautanen Raleigh
Grow and blend some herbs that will help control or diminish inflammation.

Meet Our Contributors
Who’s work is on these pages?

For the Next Issue
Just in case you’d like to share something from your herbal experiences!  If you're not sure you're ready drop us a line and we'll walk you through it.  This magazine is for all herbies.


Or just get THIS ISSUE   


Friday, May 26, 2023

Do you know about the Extra?

I don't usually post about our EXTRA! but you should know about this if you aren't a subscriber.  It might just be one of those unintended best kept secrets.

While the regular magazine comes out every other month, we send the exclusive EXTRA! in between.  That way, readers get something on the 20th of every month.

We have put some pretty special content in the Extra!, and they are not available to anyone who isn't a subscriber.  We did a  compilation of the first couple of years, but non-subscribers had to wait.  They also don't get the videos we did (for better or worse hahaha).

If you aren't a subscriber, you can SUBSCRIBE here, and also look back over some back issues to see what we do.  There are some samples to read on the website too.

In this issue, we included a crossword puzzle (that's pretty standard) about herbs, a book excerpt about plant communication from Jen Frey...

Pre-order HERE

how to blend a tea that can be used to soak in AND to drink, and a delicious way to use chickweed and garlic scapes.

The EXTRA! is always smaller than the regular issue.  Originally we thought it would be one recipe or a puzzle or a little video, but so far we haven't run out of things to say, and it's been more than we had intended.  We don't seem to run out of things to write about.

Don't miss out!  Order your subscription today.  You'll still get this Extra! up until June 19, and the Jul/Aug regular issue comes out June 20, 2023.

All the Extras - Compilation (digital)
order compilation here

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

New Eco-Printed/Dyed Items on the Site!

 The past couple of summers, I haven't kept the website up with our new work, instead holding it back for the shows we do.  Currently we're only planning on 3 more shows this season. 
I will disable the eco-print section of the website for a few days around each show because everything is one of a kind.  That means that everything will be pretty much up to date, and we don't hoard it for shows.  There should new things going up every week or so.

You'll find them listed here -

Here's some of the new stuff:

We have a few onesies up, and expect to add to them:

We just started working with socks...

We have cards, and there will be new ones soon.

We'll have tote bags shortly too!  We're having too much fun.

If you're looking for something special for someone special, we have got you covered!  The scarves have been purchased for table-coverings, wall-hangings, and various things other than "just" scarves. 
Come have a look! 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Fun and Easy Way to Try a Few Wild Plants in the Kitchen

From our FREE 4/24/23 "Just the Essentials" newsletter that you can sign up for on our website.

 Incorporating Wild Plants

We were lucky in many ways to have had the grandfather we did, but especially because of his appreciation for found food. He suddenly found himself with 6 extra mouths to feed (Mom and the 5 of us) and he wasn’t above picking up that pheasant or rabbit that just got hit in front of the house, or snagging a couple dozen ears of very young field corn for the table.  He could always find fruit and nuts.  It shouldn’t be surprising that it rubbed off on me. For some reason, Maryanne is a little more hesitant.

We’d gotten away from those things for many years until we got involved in herbs during the early 90’s and somehow found ourselves at a meeting of The Herb Nerds on a farm across the Susquehanna river. It was a potluck, and the star of the table was a salad with pansies and violets.  Shortly after that, we went to an Int’l Herb Assoc. conference in SC, and I saw a book on wild foods by Billie Jo Tatum that lit my fire.  From that moment on, foraging was my “thing.”

 One of the easiest ways to get started is to ADD one or many wild edibles to a regular salad.  If you try something and don’t like it, you can easily eat around that.  I think they make a salad just beautiful, and full of flavor and nutrition.  The leaves that are young are most tender and flavorful. Flowers are a great addition.  If you decide to try maple seeds, you can use them raw, or roast them first.  The ones shown here are a little bitter because they’re large, but in a salad, sometimes a little bitter is good!
Mild but pleasant tastes:
    violet flowers and leaves
    garlic mustard
    young dandelion leaves (try flowers in fritters)
    redbud flowers
    maple seeds
Note:  If you grow horseradish, the leaves are good to eat before they're too big.
6" is perfect.  Fresh or in cooked dishes - don't miss out on them!

You could also try plantain, daylilies (wild), forsythia, strawberry leaves, wild mustard, pine or spruce tips, Jerusalem artichokes, wild onions, dead nettle, and other well-known greens/plants that may grow where you are (miner’s lettuce comes to mind). The list is pretty long and changes as the growing season progresses.

Here is a bed of various spring lettuces and some carrots with the foraged "weeds" topped with a scrumptious goat cheese a friend made with preserved lemons. It could also include radish, cucumber, tomato - etc.!


Want to make a special oil and vinegar dressing? Start with this vinegar. Use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  In this case we use chives, but you can use any herbs or spices.  Mustards and wild onions are good addition!

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Last but not least, we have a few seasonal items in the SPECIALS category that are 10% off through Sunday, April 30, 2023. Only items in that category apply.
Outdoor Survival Kit
Gardener's Kit
Printed Cotton Totes
Hiker's Releaf
Teas (Snuffles is great for hayfever)
Wild Foods for Every Table book pdf

Sorry, we don't ship physical goods outside the US.

The newest issue went out last week. If you are not a subscriber, you're missing some pretty great stuff!
Have a great spring. It's here.

Monday, April 24, 2023

May/June 2023 Essential Herbal Magazine

The magazine went out to subscribers last week.
You can get a single issue OR

May/June is always an interesting issue.  Either our teeth are still chattering and we're searching for glimpses of green, or spring is breathing down our necks.  This year, both of these situations are true, depending on location.  That's a little unusual, but c'est la vie.  The new normal.

The cover was chosen to honor an article in the magazine, and depicts my front garden.  It will look this way by the end of June, I'm sure.  At the rate things are going here, it could be by the end of May!

Here is what's in this issue:
Table of Contents

Crossword Puzzle 
Here comes summer in the garden! 

Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
What’s going on around here?  Considering the seasonal changes.

Comfrey - My Lifelong Friend, Clara Lee
An herbal alliance can begin in early life.

Non-traditional Breakfasts, Alicia Allen
Caution:  Do not read on an empty stomach!  Delicious options to kick it up a notch. 

The Wizard’s Herb - Blue Vervain, Jackie Johnson
Blue vervain is a well-storied herb.  Read about the lore, magic and wisdom, and beautiful healing properties, as well as growing information. 

Take Your Pick, Kathy Musser 
Why choose one plant over another?  Catnip or catmint?  It all depends on a factors like purpose, space, and preference.

Book Excerpt: The Beginners Guide to Growing Cannabis, Tammi Sweet, MS 
We got a few great cuttings from Tammi Sweet’s newest book!  How to make Cannabis Honey, why growing your own is superior to processed, and also contraindications are inside this issue!

Herbs I Miss, Molly Sams
It’s hard to leave behind friends and family, but it’s a surprise to find that you also miss the plants you’ve known all your life.

Vending at Festivals, Tina Sams
Some hard-won tips for choosing successful events, as well as some thoughts on etiquette – or how to avoid being the vendor that everyone else is giving the side-eye.

An Herbal - What is it? Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh
The books that have led the way for all of us! 

What is Cold Infusion? Elise Stillwell 
Why would we use room temperature water rather than hot to make an infusion?  What are the benefits and which herbs?

Peppermint Can Really Perk You Up, Kristine Brown, RH(AHG)
All about peppermint’s properties and habits, as well as a few remedies to prepare.

Puzzle Key
About the Contributors

We're already at work on the EXTRA that will come out May 20.  Don't miss out - Subscribe now!