I became an herbalist becasue, well it wasn’t a choice really, I think this chose me. Yet, if asked why, what drives me to make tea out of green leaves of this and that I would have to say its gardening at the core.
In this age of modern, EVERYTHING, who stops any more to “smell the roses”, other than me?
I know I am not alone in this, and if I am you might really consider trying it!
Modern society has become increasingly aware of mediation, and our breathing, the mind-body connection, the importance of connecting to everything around us and even how we think, what our inner chatter is.
GREAT! KEEP IT UP. Nothing pleases me more than to see conversations in all manor of settings come back to basically how we chose to think matters. BRAVO.
So today I want to bring up a topic that is near and dear to my heart; GARDENING.
When was the last time you played in a little patch of dirt? Pulled some weeds, watered a plant? Other than your lawn and landscaping, do you grow anything purposefully? Did you grow anything to eat?
If not, WHY? Its one of the easiest forms of therapy, with heaps of value and rewards. I have been playing in dirt most all of my life and I couldn’t imagine a life without it. The older I get the more I realize how valuable it is, and how much more I want.
I have a little (modest size… 5×12 patch I think) garden in my front yard. My property has most of the yard in the front and even thought its a busy, suburban neighborhood, and I feel like its very traffic prone, I love it. Its what I have, so I am making the most of it. I try and grow the bulk of our vegetable base, or at least our favorites: peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, right now cabbage is in there, and broccoli.
I decided it was time to add a separate herb garden in the back yard becasue I like them being separate. The back yard is closer to the kitchen so it makes sense to me to put the kitchen herbs out there and save the bigger garden for the vegetables, where a lot of these plants like to take up space.
I’m SO HAPPY!
It gives me a reason to go hang outside for a little while, inspect the plants, pick off any invaders, pull a weed or two, water, say hello. Garden snacking is also one of the best rewards. Always coming to a friends house with a bag of fresh picked Serranos or Lemongrass, a rose or two is the best way to greet a friend or family member.
It provides fresh air, connection to the earth, the ground, the dirt, bugs, energy, LIFE.
Every morning, now that our back yard is getting an upgrade, I LOVE to grab my coffee, go barefoot outside in the cool air and ground and greet the day, the birds, the basil, the hibiscus, search for that missing caterpillar, see what the sunrise has in store for us and just soak in a few minutes of gratitude infusing air.
Hard to have a crummy morning when that is your wake up routine I’d say!
I am working on sharing with you all the ways you can actually USE the plants you grow (or will be right !?) soon, becasue my hope is to inspire you to try it! Get a beautiful pot, put some good quality soil in it and plant just ONE thing that makes you smile. It doesn’t have to be edible. Plant an indoor plant that makes your room a bit greener or something at your work space to give your day a few fresh breaths.
Herbalism at the heart is gardening. You don’t have to grow one darn thing to be an herbalist, there are PLENTY of other farmers and growers our there to do if for you and you can always buy your plant material.
However I truly believe you cannot really connect and understand and appreciate what Mother Earth is capable of unless you get your hands dirty.
Grow one rose bush for instance. Chose one you like for it’s color and shape and aroma. Purchase your bare root and plant it in good soil and a hearty pot. Water it for a season, and before long you will see leaves sprouting out and flowers budding up. When they open up and you see what came of your attention to it you will feel so proud. But wait! Enjoy that flower! Smell it a few times a day! As it starts to fade collect the petals (and hip if you feel it) and wash them and let them air dry and a sunny space. Store those petals in an air tight container and keep them in a dark cupboard. (Remember Potpourri?) LOL
The next time you want a luxurious bath throw a few petals in there, inhale the aroma! OR better yet make a tea with your petals and use it as a facial toner, rinse your hair with it. COOK WITH IT. As long as you grow your rose bush organically and do not treat it with any chemicals you have yourself a never ending source of rose tea and I assure you, there are countless uses and after a season of blooms you will have collected and dried enough rose petals to last you until the next growing season!
That is just ONE example of ONE plant you can grow and a few ways you can use your gifts of nature! Currently I love to cut my just bloomed roses on Monday mornings and take them to my office desk. I feel so spoiled with my fresh grown flower arrangement. By the week’s end (or two) they have begun to fade and fall and I collect them, bring them home and begin to dry them to add to my collection of rose tea petals.
Herbalism is a life style. Its one that shows me every day the miraculous intelligence of nature and its ability to please the senses, and heal, restore and nurture our bodies.
If you have never grown anything in dirt in a pot or in your back yard, I challenge you to give it a whirl. What do you have to lose? NOTHING and everything to gain, even some dirt under your nails and if you have dry hands….. I have a recipe for that!