picnics are good for you!

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today i exalt the picnic. it seems that like many old fashioned pasttimes, deemed “dorky”, “dirty” or just plain old inconvenient, the picnic has become a rare event. eating outside is still with us, though only on “nice” days between 69 and 74 degrees. i am not talking about perching my ass on some crappy resin outdoor furniture. i am not talking about sitting in a cloud of toxic bug spray trying not to breathe. i am talking about contact with the earth, wielding my pocket knife dangerously, everything’s blowing away, birds and honeybees come over to check us out.

still life with shadow

i like full contact interactions with my picnic. i like to find things and eat them.  i like stinky cheese and a big chunk of smoked bluefish, a jar of red wine and an oyster in the parking lot. i like a juicy peach, smoked almonds, violets, pickled ramps, dandelion leaves and beef jerky.

be prepared

i like the hunger that comes from hiking 2 hours into the perfect spot. or  not…perhaps it is just the backyard.

portable meat stuff

i like going to little markets and finding little edibles to delight my friends and family with. when we think we are done, and i whip out some little squares of super dark chocolate and the air is fresh, and we wash our hands and sporks in a stream , get a little cleanup help from our dogs….now, THAT is a picnic.

lyds

outdoors really can make everything better, including food and flavor, friends and family. so throw a sausage and some cornichons in your backpack and hit the trail, buddy. see where yor footmobile takes you, properly provisioned. and don’t forget to bring a napkin.

charles finds oysters

spring is not f-ing around

honeybees

 

ah, a love buzz from spring’s forcefield has taken over my brain and heart. all senses engaged! Image

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horsetail
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crimson clova

i did not realize how much i missed the green until it reappeared. oh, so that was the source of my general malaise….winter sure does have its place, rebuilding, hibernating…rebuilding! and time to press all the tinctures and oils i’ve put up, time to make salves and put labels on and read books and do consults.  but holy crap do i love the bursting forth, the honeybees, the flowering. it just hits a primal spot, the reawakening.i spent the weekend filled with the joy of spring foraging amidst stinky  ramps, the ever-invigorating stinging nettles, battling bees for honeysuckle flowers, luscious violets, oh hello return of my friends!

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ramps
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black haw
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bleeding hearts-drama!

spring is honeybee time, liver tonic time, planting 100 onions time. dew on leaves time! peas and cilantro and lettuce and pigeons mating and compost turning and seed starting and sproutsshootscooleveningair….but don’t blink because it is gone and tomatoes are ripe. it’s gone and you are sweating and swimming and ohmygod did someone say harvest? ok, so get your ass out there.

wild geranium

no, you don’t have to engage in the vital and primal dance with plant and animal energies that is going outside right now. i hear there is a real good episode of “F YOU” on tv tonight. and folks will be talking about that in the office tomorrow. but i can think of nothing NOTHING more important than the dirt and it’s dance with seeds and plants going on all around us….let it in.

 

herbal personals

feelings. you can’t trust them, right? that is why herbalism is stupid. these freaks use stuff like “instinct” and “patterns” to determine things that should clearly be decided by scientific means.  there is a test for everything, you know. a home blood test. a pee test. and your insurance plan probably covers it! so get one. and stop asking me to look at your tongue.

spring uses standardized formulas to decide when to arrive

but wait. some people DO use instinct. some people do get a feeling. say..a hairdresser. a masseuse. a waiter. a good waiter knows what to reccomend.  a chef. a good cook at home or in a business puts food together with a recipe, perhaps, but also with feeling.  teachers. a good teacher can tell the kids who need a little help coming out of their shell, who needs a challenge and who needs remediation. this comes from experience and…observation. investing. horse training. travel agents! artists! horse trainers! people throughout time have gotten a feeling, and followed it.

why would health care be different?

 

one of my favorite aspects of herbalism is helping people take a step back. we often get so wrapped up in our own personal health dramas. the physical pain, the emotional pain. countless people have told me “i just don’t know what to do, so i do nothing!” yes, that is called a cycle. and cycles which aren’t working must be disrupted.

alchemilla

here is how it works. you step into my lair, i mean apothecary. i ask you an annoying amount of questions. you answer with a painful honesty. i observe your vitals, your eyes and hair and skin and gait. i make a match between the “personal ads” of my friends, (the herbs), and your patterns and conditions.  and perhaps you live happily ever after! okay, there can be love at first sight, or sometimes we need to keep working on it for a bit. sometimes you need to stop eating a frozen pizza for breakfast, or cut back on your consumption of marlboro lights or, even, go outside. so we can talk about that stuff–where outside is, how you get there. and what the heck do you do with a vegetable anyway? it’s cool. no judgement. i meet you where you are, ok?

nature's velcro

ideally, the herbal matchmaker brings love to the table. a love of the earth, a love of plant medicine, and a love for the people (and animals) in need, and will share that love with those in need. it can be hard to believe but using  herbal medicine, building a relationship with plants and forming a relationship with an herbalist can actually change your life for the better.

alder