Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Eclipse, Solstice and New Year Wishes

The Total eclipse last night was so amazing last night. I was able to see the moon go to shadow, then the clouds came into my view. WOW- it must have looked amazing from the high mountains.
Solstice is a time of reflection and inner contemplation for me. I spend more time indoors and inevitably end up doing deep cleaning and organizing projects. This year is no different, and especially when it comes to my own emotional and physical project that is my body. I have been working with several massage therapists in trade for lanscape design and maintenance projects, and i am getting ready to start practicing feldencrist for the first time, and yoga again after a year off due to injuries and excuses. I am going to do a few day and fast this week and again in January to give my system a break. And finally, I am going to start working with flower essences to help me get rid of some emotional stuff that I need to learn some lessons from.
My sister Terri has used flower essences with her midwifery practice for years, and treats women with emotional blocks to motherhood and empowerment successfully. She has suggested that I start with the Bach essences. This fall I took a class with Jane Bothwell at the Breitenbush Herbal Conference and we made our own flower essence from a beautiful bright red hollyhock that was standing so tall and overlooking the river. It was such a cool experience to listen to the flower and receive it's message. Later she used the pendulum to choose a couple more for me- Wild Ginger and Blood Root. I have been enjoying them so far.

I spent yesterday with one of my interns making more salves; and strained more infused oils of arnica, calendula, lavender, lemon balm, and even violet. Later my 9 year old friend Sadie came over and she helped me to label some random glycerine mixtures that I plan on giving as gifts this year. She also illustrated some cards about the mixtures and what they are used for.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Astragalus Yum!

This year we finally dug up the Astragalus Plants at the farm, washed and dried the roots. I started them from seed, and I definately will grow them again. The only problem is that they take 3 years until they are potent and large enough to harvest!
The yellow flowers are from Astragalus- I saved the seeds!
I have not done anything as far as processing since then, but I have been snapping off pieces of the roots to chew on through the day lately.  Marc was feeling run down, so I made some teas last night, and it was really tasty! I have been cooking some stronger tea on the wood stove, and I will add glycerine to that to preserve it for a great immunity boost. He has been hitting the echinacea/ propolis / honey mixture for the a few days so, adding this for another week, then easing off the echinacea for a few weeks will be the protocol.
The astragalus is more of a tonic, and helps extend endurance which is exactly what we all need at this time of the year. I was thinking of laying off the coffee, because I keep drinking it but  never fully feel alert or awake. I am starting to feel strung out and also, my skin is so dry right now since we use the wood stove every evening. Astragalus will help support my adrenals and give me endurance instead of the quick fix of caffeine; and getting back into yoga this winter will help me nourish my body inside and out.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Piggies Plowed my field!



This is absolutely amazing! The pigs ate all of the grass and weeds from my field in just one month, and the sorrel is coming back- You just can not stop the french sorrel! These are the "before & after" photos of the field, and a close up of the sorrel.

Sorrel
Piggies' metal hoop House
Freshly pig plowed field
Mowed field in the Summer
The pigs are pretty awesome neighbors so far, and they are on their way to the toughest field on the Roseballen Farm land with two years worth of Scotchbroom to root up. They will eat any plant I dump over the fence, and are really cute playing with each other like puppies do. They also have plenty more quackgrass and old raspberry plants to go through before spring, and we will see how it goes; but I think it will be very helpful to use these farm animals to help us prepare the land for cover cropping in the spring. I have lots of oats and some rye to sow, but it might need another pass with pigs or chickens to get the soil ready in spring (which may start here as late as June!). Chances are there will be plenty of chickweed to turn in and harvest from anyway. They love fresh nitrogen! I will keep posting the pigs' location and how it effects the fertility as the year goes by.

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