Welcome all to the first blog i have done in a while...things have been quite hectic here, im not complaining though, Our Nettlefest was a fabulous event and really had an air of community, fun and sharing about it as did the Skill Share gathering we held at The Old Print Works in conjunction with Food Forest Brum.
Thankyou to all who came, helped and supported us with both days. These events would be nothing without the wonderful individuals who share the vision of what we are trying to achieve and who are also working hard themselves on their respective projects. During the Nettle Workshop we all made Nettle Soap which came out beautifully, it is just finishing its curing process and we shall be posting it out to participants in August.
(for more pictures please see our photographs page)
Im just in the planning stage of putting on some more Nettle Workshops....more news on that soon!
Please note...i do not pick anything from these areas they should be left how you find them!
Zenith Point in the Garden
I have been harvesting quite a lot of other herbal material as well as fruits and Seeds. So i will have plenty to work with in coming months and i will also have plenty of Seed to put into the Community Seedbank. I have lavender drying as well as Lemon balm and Plantain leaf. I was also able to collect a last batch of Nettle as we have a patch that we were treating as a cut and come again crop but am now looking at collecting the Seed to work with also.
I have been talking to lots of moms from the school who have children that suffer with Eczema and so have been making up some salves for people to try - the last batch i made was with Chickweed, Nettle and lavender.
I have got quite interested in Common Knapweed as i have a big patch in the garden and always loved it for its late Summer splash of Purple flowers and its benefits as a late pollinator but on investigation i was interested to discover it is a plant that was used for healing during the seventeenth century so i am currently doing a bit of research on that, as well as having a little commune with the Common Knapweed Fairy!
It is a similar story with my herbal ally...Calendula i do have a fairly good supply here and at the allotment but you need a to collect a large amount to work with this too. I have been observing the plants and admiring the variance of the blooms but also picking what i can to dry out till i have a big enough supply. We have also been eating them and i have made a flower essence with the petals too....when i sat with the plant earlier in the year it spoke to me of resilience, adaptability and fun but it also spoke to me of looking after yourself and taking time to rest. So if the essence embodies those traits it should serve very well indeed!
Observing and working with this space is interesting, you can see how different things come up at different times of year and depending on how often/short you cut it. Species and insects come, spread and go depending on conditions and what is growing around it.
I had let the front grass grow as it has a lot of Plantain in it, i not only wanted the leaf but also the Seed for my Wild flour experiment (see below) I have also had swathes of Bee Balm which i have been collecting and also an abundance of Rough Hawks Beard which has no herbal use as far as i know but make for fabulous decoration indoors along with some Buddleia prunings.
There is also a profusion of Clover in the lawn White and Red the later having herbal use but also beneficial in the garden not only do the insects love it but it is also a Nitrogen fixer.
So there may be more to the eye if you are a bit more intuitive and let your grassed areas regain a bit of its Wildness and diversity rather than having a constant battle to retain a flat mono-cultured perfect lawn.
So far i have collected Plantain and Cleavers Seed, i am also planning to have a go with Nettle and Amaranth Seed, Poa Anna - Annual meadow grass, Acorn and Hazel. Im also planning to extend this into using Sunflower, Poppy and Nigella Seed. Then maybe incorporating some dried berries also, if i can find a supply i also think it may be worth experimenting with Monkey Puzzle Trees Seed too.
I will update my progress in later blogs, if anyone has any suggestions or experience with Wild Flour please let me know!
Finally just before i head off back to the garden id like to share a short bit of footage i took at the end of my journey through the Woods where i just sat to relax and ground myself before heading off back into fray.
The Woods are a place i go to step out of linear time....it all melts away and helps me remember the true value of my existence.....
Open your heart to the things that make you joyful,
Be the shepherd of Duality,
We are connected by the healing grace of companionship,
Continue through the Fire and stay grounded,
But reject the mundane,
Sift the insubstantial desires from the true ones,
Find your Hearts treasure,
Engage with Primal Happiness
Now i am ready to Purify...........
So if you have a minute to watch, please relax, enjoy and breathe!