so–what the heck is fellow workers farm blog about, anyway?

I originally started this blog to promote the herb farm I was beginning in Pine Plains, NY a few years ago. If you read the whole darn thing and follow it from there to here you might notice it is about waaaaay more than that. I haven’t exactly stuck to a theme. It is NOT about lists of what herb is “good  for” what illness. It is about my vision-expressed in photos. And my personal approach to holistic health-which includes herbs, food, my love of making plant medicine, movement, play, growing plants, foraging, dogs, and my opinions… some of which are a little prickly.

Humor,  sarcasm and bombastic exaggeration join poor grammar, little editing and a complete lack of knowledge about how computers and blogs work to confuse people. (including me!) Oh, and sorry about that whole “i don’t capitalize” phase…I am trying to update this now.

Lists abound. I do love lists.

I get so excited and in the zone I rarely remember to capitalize, indent  or reread. As a proofreader, this is slightly embarrassing.

And I am an herbalist, but I am not writing this blog simply so that people will buy my stuff. I don’t do this blog for money-even if I wanted to. I am an herbalist because of a deep and unexplainable calling that follows me around, that won’t leave me alone. Though there is a link to my Local Harvest store, that is a small trade-off. If you want product without politics, try WalMart.

This blog is not for everyone, but if you take your herbs straight up–bitter-with a few F-bombs thrown in for luck  and you’re willing to  take the time to hunt through the madness for gems it just may keep you coming back for more.

et voila!

making friends with fungi

“i have learned that there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusion between moments of valid inspiration”-steve martin

flava

my name is traci, and i am a forage-a-holic. i think i was born foraging, but i still remember my 2 biggest pushers. the first was roseanne, a tiny elderly lady with the biggest fluffiest ragmop of black hair you can imagine. she probably weighed 90 pounds and dwelled amongst piles of gowns and woolens in the basement of her lavender-shuttered suburban ranch house. basically, you could go into the basement and rifle through the bags, boxes and hangers to find vintage  treasure and she would bag it up, name a ridiculously low price, and throw in free nude  nylons and polka-dotty scarves to make sure you could bring it all together. i still cherish a ridiculous rhinestone-studded mother-in-law number i found there 20 years ago. she has passed the mantle on to her daughters who run it as a thrift store combined with a head shop and wigs….it’s not the same. she taught me to look under, over, around and through.

i was born to forage. the knowledge that one will, eventually, uncover buried treasure-it is very tempting. i love bottle dumps. i love library book sales. beachcombing. free boxes.

horsetail

one day this proclivity of mine met an edible mushroom. i still remember the day. 6 years ago this fall.  i was at a communal farm and 2 foragers presented me with a pan of fungi. rafter and andy, they had boxes of extraterrestrial grifola frondosa. i was coaxed into trying a bite of the buttery bits…and something clicked in my brain. oh, yeah. angels trumpeted, suns rose, moons spun stars into silver drops of dust.

i became a mushroom forager.

a love of foraging can be encouraged, but not taught. it is innate. all 3 of my kids forage, but one is really really good. we all have a basic foraging ability. we are animals. but we are wasting our ability on freaking bejeweled blitz and wheel of fortune. the desire must be activated! i find foraging satisfying to my primal side, which i didn’t realize existed until i ate that bite of fungi.

sweetfern

 

and activation is really what i am talking about here. i am an herbalist, and what that means to me is i match people and plants. i introduce people to plant medicines and get the hell out of the way. because it is not about me, it is about YOU forming a relationship of your own with plants.  a lot of what i do is help you awaken with my flava. whether it is awakening your spirit with rose or awakening your gall bladder with turmeric or awakening your saliva with bitters the taste of my  plant medicines, made with love,  say more than this blog ever will. (thank goodness, really.) this is why i offer apothecary tastings, maintain a large bag of testers and always offer to  taste tinctures and plant materials at my classes.

smell and taste access places in our brain and history that no written or spoken word have the ability to go, and may not be understood until later. tasting medicinal herbs/foods/fungi is like putting money in the bank of emotional  knowledge to withdraw later when you need it.

it is exciting to have another voice with which to communicate with. and flavor  is that voice.

girdles

 

it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…the county fair!

sausage, anyone?
here, the flavor doesn’t just exist, it bursts!
yes, that says vibrating tongue rings. tongues are boring. now they can vibrate.

dear america, welcome to the spectacle that is the county fair. enter here through this rabbit hole. please be dressed to hook up!

dem! o! lish! on!…..derby
hey mama hey mama hey mama! step right up.
my milkshake brings all the cows to the fair
barred rock
who won the blue ribbon in knot-tying?
lights! lights! lights!
hey, kids! who wants some blue lake?

nutrient dense meals for people.

so, time to share a few ideas for nutrient dense meals.  get rid of the filler, get rid of the crap. avoid sugar as much as possible, especially in liquid form. i hesitate to embrace any “ism” in my eating, i am an omnivore and rules don’t seem to reflect the variety life offers us, such as an occasional shot of tequila, blooming onion or white flour baguette.   however, “mostly healthy” is a slogan to live by! anyway, how about some examples?

kale salad

my favorite way to eat kale. it is dino kale, cut into ribbons, with toasted nuts, sharp/hard cheese, raisins or cranberries, raw onion of some type and an oil/vinegar or oil/lemon dressing.

i also like kale sauteed with bacon or mashed with avocado and cilantro and lime juice. do not fear kale. just eat it.

happy meal

this meal is sardines, halved tomatoes, sweet potatoes cooked in butter, and sauteed wild mushrooms. no filler. no crap.

dinnah

here we have meatballs, whole wheat linguini with a black trumpet cream sauce, kale salad and fresh tomatoes from the garden.

snacky lunch

this meal was boiled eggs, green salad, roasted fingerling potatoes, french lentils, chicken sausage and more tmatoes! with a side of stinky cheese and flax crackers.

salmon!

this one is smoked salmon bits, fresh red raspberries, a zucchini muffin made with almond flour, and baby carrots.

yes, we eat like this most of the time, yes, my kids eat it. this is how i deal with my pcos and insulin resistance as well as keep my energy up, and i truly believe this method reduces whining. yes, it is more expensive than macaroni and cheese every day. in winter i make a lot more stews and braises. we grow some of our own and enjoy all aspects of growing, foraging, tasting, and preparing food.  food  is not an afterthought. it is medicine. it is a gift. it is life.

don’t hate me because i’m beautiful!

postscript: yes, i ate some of this blooming onion and didn’t die. don’t be a martyr!

live nude girls!

just kidding, welcome to my nerdy photo gallery of late summer fungi! i am going to avoid naming the fungi because i do not think using some random person’s blog to identify mushrooms is reasonable and i do not want to be responsible if you snort a destroying angel and your liver implodes. get a book, or a stack of books, or go ask a slug.

trippy santa fungi
brightly colored fungi
my personal favorite fungi
spooky fungi
modest fungi
unidentified fungal object
her worshipfulness
lil’ fruity friend
birch buddy