E-journal

⚡🌱a welcome to spring🌿⭐

What marks the changing of seasons? The equinoxes & solstices? Or the cues from nature that something has shifted?

For me – spring starts when the stone fruit trees are in bloom. Pictured here are pink flowers of nectarine and white flowers of the pear trees. And the last picture is of a magical tonic or spring, inspired by wild fermentation and flower essences 🧚🏻‍♀️🌼

Made with filtered water, local honey, and the blooms of these two trees, I am going to let the tea infuse in the sun & all night beneath the tree. I am hoping this will make a wild soda of spring, infused with the power of these flowers.

Adventures in los Talas 🌼💛

As a western herbalist I tend to feature plants native to Eurasia and my natal suite of plants from the northern hemisphere. These are also the plants that grow on the farm where my partner & I are working and living. The farm is situated in the middle of a heavily forested area. Recently I learned that this forest is called los Talas have been exploring the region almost daily.

And something very exciting has happened. An opportunity to relocate to another part of this forest has arisen. Unlike the farm, this section of forest is dominated by native trees such as this Espinillo tree and, of course, many tala trees too. I cannot say anything more at the moment, just what I have written in a recent post alongside a photograph of a Espinillo tree in bloom:


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Analog Log

Reunited With My Old Bookshelf – the reading list.

For the past few days I have been looking through this old bookshelf and re-reading a few that stand out to me now and were informative on my past. And here they are!

Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson — you have probably heard of this book before as so many ecologists have been inspired by the research presented here. The book covers many ethnographical studies and direct interviews with native people of the diverse landscapes of California. What i love most about Tending the Wild is how it inspires via example of how ecosystems were and are taken care of by human inhabitants.
Jungle People by Jules Henry — a fun and insightful ethnography I found in a free pile in the Anthropology section of the University of Oregon.
Star Names ; their lore and meaning found on Thrift Books.
Secrets of the Oak Woodland — a recommendation by my mom and I think a great book for homeschooling courses of all ages.

As you can see, these are a collections of both old and new books, mostly about ecology with a bit of mythology in the mix as well.

What books on your reading list these days ?

E-journal · Herbalism

Just Journaling … yarrow flowers & working on the land.

I collected a bouquet from the garden in the mountains, a place we have worked on collectively for a while now.

This place is a collaborative project and the work is on going. Here is one day, a family work day, with the help of my sister & dad collecting rocks, my mom using power tools, and myself enjoying the scent of these medicinal flowers.

In this tarot deck, Yarrow, which represents the Ace of Air also stands for affirming limits & boundaries.

From the Herbcrafter’s Tarot.
Crafts · Travel Log

Around the World

Navigating the obstacles of internationl travel wasn’t too difficult. The process went smoothly as planned and was much aided by the books I aquired along the way.

As my way of giving back to the universe I left some of my own art/books for future travelers in need of something to read:

Once in California, surrounded by people and suburbs, i searched for the plants and quickly found them in backyard sanctuaries …

and in a neighborhood plant nursery. Here are some moments in the nursery:

As usual I will be updating this post as the adventure continues. This blog and all my online projects are always a continuous work in progress.

Herbalism

Learning from the Herbs

What was the first plant you connected with?

Personally, I am super grateful for the common herbs for being my introduction to gardening.

Especially I thank the “gateway” herb – Marijuana who opened my eyes to the plant path and widen my conciousness to include all life as beings.

Even the most common herbs: basil, rosemary, and sage (as pictured here) have much wisdom to share.

The best way to learn is by interacting with the plants themselves: harvesting, drying, and using them in meals. Luckily these three herbs are easy to grow & found in nurseries and gardens just about everywhere.

Other tools, like books, classes (both in person & online) and walks with an herbalist friend are also important to the practice of learning. Here are three of my favorite and most used books:

So, let me know, what plants introduced you to gardening and/or herbalism. Leave a 💚 of it was cannabis too 🌿… Here are a few of the responses I got over on my Instagram page:

E-journal

Firewood

Leaving the forest for a little while, a trip to my homelands called me away — But I’ll be back.

Just before leaving we began dreaming up plans: little projects of sharing this space and transforming the forest we caretake, us & others.

So here I am, collecting wood and taking walks along with my best friends in these Sierras, cats & kids included on the bestie list, of course!

More than simply collecting wood and appreciating the scenery, we are learning to actively participate in the ecosystem that surrounds us.
We are also planting seeds for future projects.

Mystery seeds that we aren’t sure exactly what they will grow into, yet 🌱

Gardening

Garden Journal :: in the greenhouse

This little world of abundance is only really possible under the cover of hoops & plastic during late fall/winter.

As much as I love the birds and other wildlife it really is a bummer to go out into the garden to see everything all eaten and destroyed.

In other garden beds we have some lentils, calendula, swiss chard & mustard greens too, but not quite as photogenic. As much as I enjoy each moment of the wheel of the year I am really looking forward to spring

Be it spring of fall I wish you all happy gardening!

Travel Log

Natural Building

Flashback to Mexico, 2016 when I was had first contact with buidling with natural materials.

The mediums was cob, a mix of sand, clay and straw and remains my favorite building technique to this day.

I documented the experience in a zine I had at the time which was my collage-travel-log of woofing in central America.

Soon after I met Jona who taught me a lot more about building with Earth & many other things. Together we embarked on a long long journey which ever continues!

Photographs taken by Jona // Huertos Presentes of our last big bioconstruccion project in Argentina ~2019
~2019 — installing windows and using recycled bottles in cob walls.

After a few year break we began again to build with cob to improve the wood stove we use to heat our house – it is still a work in progress but you can see how it is going::

Have you ever built with cob? Let me know about your experiences in the comments 💛☀️

DIY Health

Grateful for the Sun

A few years ago I began to learn of about the benefits of vitamin D and the necessity of sun exposure for all humans. That was when I lived in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, in the cloudy, rainy state of Oregon. Having grown up in California where most days are sunny, moving to Oregon and living through the nearly sun-less winter affected me & my moods very profoundly. Most winters I was mildly depressed and every year got a cough or cold. Eventually I learned to cope by spending winter in sunnier locations and eventually moved away. I love Oregon and all the greenery of the PNW but, I just need sun!

Oregon winter – cold & grey. & me, cold but still being active and outdoors ~ 2012

At first it was an intuitive thing, I didnt know the specifics of vitamin D or that I was deficient. But with time I got more information about vitamin D deficiency and learned that it is very common – many natural doctors attribute low vitamin D to a variety of ailments from depression to the likelihood of illness from exposure to pathogens. Modern naturopathic research is suggesting that people with sufficient levels of vitamin D are unlikely to become seriously ill from this current pandemic as well as the common cold & flu.

So, yeah, vitamin d is important and the very best way to accumulate vitamin D is by being out in the sun without sunscreen. Sunshine is free and available (almost) all year depending on where you live. And in the depths of winter eating vitamin D rich foods or taking supplements if necessary is recommended.

Ideally we would all be able to travel a bit to catch more sun for a while during the darkest months of the year – solar pilgramages! For me, living in a place with more sunny days was the solution. For those who love where they live or don’t want to move, consider adding foods with more vitamin D to the diet and just taking time every day for sun exposure, even when it’s cold out.

Me, on a fall day, catching the last rays of sun & doing some yard chores. Spending time outdoors, in the sun and in little or no clothing is essential to a healthy and happy life, for me at least.

I’m so grateful that the sun shines, what about you?

E-journal

Garden Journal :: and some personal notes too

In the search for land of our own …

… we have discover new places & landscapes.

One such place is a magical trail to another little village.

Previously we thought you could only get there by the highway but it turns out the longer we live here the more alternative, bike-friendly routes we find.

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Walking through the woods with a friend plus her hija & hijo. She is also on the search for land so we sometimes search together.

In the garden ::

I have been poting plants to prepare for fall – repotting herbs that have outgrown their original pot and planting greens that do well during the colder months.

Garlic, calendula, lentils, and other random plants of the season are going into the ground with compost and a thick layer of leaves as mulch.

happy gardening – chloe calendula