Hand Sanitizer

In March, I began making hand sanitizer for my husband to carry with him to work.  Initially I started out with rubbing alcohol, glycerin, witch hazel, and essential oils, but we found this combination very drying to the skin, so I made a few changes. The CDC recommends minimums of 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl…

Skullcap

  I have Skullcap growing that I started from seed indoors under lights, then moved to a place in our garden near echinacea and lovage which provide a semi-shady micro-climate from their tall stalks in summer and also keep the ground cool and moist.  The Skullcap plants have been spreading from their initial spot by…

Roots Reishi & Rose Syrup

Reishi has been dancing up and down the Eastern Hemlocks, adorning their bark, in these sylvan woods all spring right into summer. A dryad called me out one day, she knew they’d matured, and led me through the wilds. A triad of trees here with nymphs hiding in the trunk, a mossy bridge over bubbling…

Shrub

Peaches are coming in, juicy and scrumptious, so I make shrub with the skins and scraps and even some pieces plus herbs. What is a ‘shrub’ you ask?  A vinegar sipping beverage with fruits, sweetener, and herbs/spices dating back to the Babylonians, who mixed date vinegar with their water to make it safe to drink….

Plantain

Plantain is a most noble plant to be sure.  The first time we came to our abode when it was for sale twelve years ago, our son Ahmad, four at the time, was stung by a yellow jacket on the palm of his hand.  He was running and leaping on all fours and put his…

Dandelion

  Dandelion and violets were two of the first wildflowers that I worked with as allies; I love that their flowers are complementary colors too.  When we lived in town, my neighbor Josephine, a lovely elderly woman with violet tinted hair, gave me permission to pick both from her (unsprayed) lawn before Teddy, the mower…

Burdock

Burdock grows easily where I live.  Under stands of tulip poplar where woods meet grass, burdock’s right there at the edges of the hedge row.  There are clumps in corners outside our house, by doorways, near the chicken coop, under apple trees, we get caught up in burs and our dog gets clumps in her…

Knotweed and Morsels

Warm rainy days, cool nights, lilac’s blooming, spring green bright. This is the time, after forsythia has blazed golden, gone to green, and given her petals to the ground, that the first tips of nettles emerge. It is now that most of the burdock leaves have grown enormous; the smaller ones are what make for…

Violets

These were one of the first wildflowers I became familiar with and am still getting to know; the slight peppery bite of leaf, more pronounced in the blossoms, doesn’t fail to startle my taste buds.  They’re a sight for sore eyes coming out of winter into spring, and always cheer me up; I do so…