This year has brought warmer days to February, and I am afraid the plants will suffer for it. Many of the trees and herbs have begun to bud only to be hit with a frost sometime before the official Spring equinox. I will; however, let my attention go to the upcoming season and pray that many of these plants adapt and survive this warming trend.
I am busy preparing to open my greenhouse for this year's crops while still keeping up with my stock of medicine inside. I have received my vegetable and herb seeds to plant and I am excited to get started! My vegetable garden contains many favorites of tomatoes, peppers, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, squash, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. I am looking to grow some new herbs this year such as Solomon's seal, and Black cohosh which I planted last fall and some Greek Mullein this spring. I am also replenishing plants that I have used such as Red root, Motherwort, Self-heal, Sweet Leaf, and Ground Ivy.
There are still many viruses making their rounds in my area and I need to replenish my medicine. Last month, I put together another batch of Fire Cider which I am getting ready to strain today. My last batch went so quickly that I had to make another. For those of you unfamiliar with Fire Cider, it is a blend of garlic, horseradish, onions, cayenne peppers, ginger, and other herbs to taste with apple cider vinegar. Cut up the herbs and place into a mason jar. Then pour the apple cider vinegar into the jar filling it to the top. Place some parchment paper or wax paper over the jar and then cap it. Label the jar and leave it on the counter shaking it daily for 4-6 weeks. Strain it, and then add honey to taste. Keep it on hand as a tonic taken daily, or drink a shot glass of it throughout the day when you are sick. Read more about this herbal tradition and the current fire cider movement at this link:
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I have also been busy putting some of my own herbal tea blends together to have on hand for clients, family, friends, and myself! My Moonlight Tea Blend is a lovely blend of Chamomile, Red Clover, Skullcap, Passionflower, Plantain, Ground ivy, Alfalfa, and Rose hips. This blend is nourishing, relaxing, and cleansing to the body. It is a great herbal companion to enjoy in the evenings.
Whether you are busy preparing your seed beds for the upcoming Spring, or busy preparing your medicine chest in your home, I hope all of you get the chance to grow your own food or medicine and enjoy the wonder of your hard work!