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.
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!

Gardening

Adventures in the Woods

Only recently I began thinking of this place as a forest. Previously it seemed to be just a forgotten corner of the farm where we are caretakers.

Now as I walk the trails we maintain I see that so many other animals benefit from them too. Our cats, of course, love to run around on the trials but so do wild (& rare) wild deer that I have only been able to catch glimpses of, guinea pigs, snakes and birds too.

Today I went out foraging for plants for my garden project – aloe vera and an ornamental purple plant called wandering dude.

Sitting on the ground and digging around I see that this “forgotten” corner of the land is full of life.

Between the invasive plants and fruit trees planted by generations past has become a natural nursery for wild herbs and native saplings – a forest of diversity for the future.

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

E-journal

Garden Journal :: herbs of autumn + reading list

The autumn equinox has passed and was celebrated during many days along with my partner’s birthday on the 25th. In the garden the summer fruits like cucumber and tomato are in their last weeks while the leafy greens are being seeded for fall and winter to come.

Basil, lemon balm, and marigolds are all going strong and keeping the garden landscape beautiful during this transitional time. All around the garden in the surrounding hedge rows the trees are turning yellow and loosing their leaves. The sun has changed course and every day is at more of an angle which makes for interesting lighting and photography opportunities.

Reading List ::

As the morning sun is slowly making his way over the mountains, I am spending these chilly first hours each day with a cup of tea, often a cat (or two, or three) nearby, and a book as I continue on in my studies. I wanted to share my herbalist reading list with you all::

– Planetary Herbalism by Michael Tierra — my fav. herbal reference book ever! I go to this book again & again to check out remedies for symptoms as well as research new herbs. There are no pictures in this book, so it isnt for identifying. But what I do love about it is that this book ties western herbalism in with Traditional Chinese herbalism as well as Ayurveda. I found it via thrift books.

– del Cuerpos a las Raíces by Pabla Perez & others — this book is a bit eclectic and was originally published as a zine years ago. It contains stories, interviews, and herbal profiles about medicinal plants common all over & local to Chile. In some ways it is an ethnographical study of herbalism in rural Chile, in other ways it is quite a radical perspective of rural ladies using their herbs and their powers to heal themselves.

– Botànica Oculta : Las Plantas Mágicas — my honey gifted me this book for the New Year and it is quite fascinating. Both magical and medicinal properties are listed for each herb as well as a bit of theory about plant alchemy which is a subject I am just starting to dive into. This book is available in English & many other languages too!!

Gardening

Garden Journal :: Late Summer Bouquets

Zinnias for happiness, Dahlias for beauty & mystery, Goldenrod to bring inside the brightness or the sun and blue sage foliage for grounding & protection.

Call it a bouquet or a sculpture made of flowers, anytime one makes art there is the possibility to infuse life with meaning 💐🌻🌼

For drying, for salads, for indoor decoration 🌿🌼 these are just some of the gifts for the garden in the magical time when summer transforms into fall.

And speaking of fall which is quickly approaching, these past few days I have been spending time each morning harvest & processing. I am drying herbs, making tomatoe sauce, and medicinals jams – trying my best to save and savor the abundance.

These hours in the morning become my own little rituals. A way to connect with the place where I live and be in the now moment, while simultaneously preparing for colder months ahead when flowers and fruit will be scarce.

Vara de Oro – Golden Rod flowers
Gardening

Garden Journal :: milpa // the three sisters 🌽🥒☀️

Since forever diverse plants have grow together and that is the way they thrive. Humans picked up on this long ago and began planting in association – some crops grow together better than others and this might change depending on where you live.

Over the years we have experimented with different combinations. First we went with the classic milpa/sisters trio of beans, squash, and corn but the beans always got lost in the under growth. This year beans were planted in the vegetable beds and here in this garden we have red corn, wild quinoa, and cayote – a kind of squash/melon native to Argentina.

It also seems important to mention that there is a lot of a plant called Spanish Needles (a “weed”) growing all around and we mostly just let it be. Spanish Needles, aka Farmer’s Friend, Bidens pilosa is an edible weed also considered a pioneer plant and builder of healthy soil. The leaves and flowers are edible too 🌿🌼

Most likely this combination will evolved and maybe next year we will try to add a few other plants, maybe amaranth and sunflowers to this plant association 🌻🌽🌱

Gardening

Weaving with Willow 🌿

Basket making is a future goal though during the herb-drying season, woven trays are super useful! I really have to thank this instagram and tumblr for filling my feed with endless inspiration for artistic and useful projects using materials made directly from nature. It is a funny thing, that social media reminded me of something so ancestral: making use and making useful things with the resources that grow naturally around us. 🌳

Online you can find all kinds of tutorials for making baskets but I always go with this wild weave – this one is new and needs to dry but the ones I made last summer are holding up just fine. All you need is lots of fresh willow and time.

Gardening

Garden Journal :: Summer to Fall

Looking forward to the fall garden because, to be honest, our summer garden was not very productive.

In years past we harvested more tomatoes & cucumbers than we knew what to do with but this year only the basil did well, sadly.

But I want to be honest, gardening is hard and sometimes things go wrong without any clear reason as to why. I think, in this case, we haven’t had a good summer season because we tried to take on too much: we extended the garden beds, tried out new crops in addition to work and all the other responsibilities of our work-trade for living here.

And another reason might be that this is just a sign (one of many) that we aren’t meant to live here permanently, that the time to move on from this farm is coming.

So, this upcoming fall I’m committing to doing less and focusing on what I know grows well: leafy greens and herbs as well as scaling back to just a few, intensive garden beds and potted plants.

Wherever you are, and whatever season it is , I wish you luck in your gardening efforts.

Gardening

New Horizons : Libra Gardener Seeds

This project has been several years in the making and started by a simple desire to produce something in my garden that can be shared with the world. Over the years I mulled over several business plans and even considered selling dried herbs which I grow. But that didnt really work and there doesn’t seem to actually be a need for more herbal products.

As the world changes, more and more folks are wondering how they can be positive influences on their local environments. Of course there are many, many ways to help Earth return to an ecological equilibrium. One such way is by planting a garden for pollinators & other beneficial insects – and this is a topic I am particularly passionate about, so it seemed like a good ideally on which to center my sustainable biz around.

Here in our garden we grow flowers of all kinds, perennial native plants alongside herbs and non-native animal flowers. Over the years I have been saving seed and planting successive generations and now I am at a point of wanting to share some of my favorite and easiest to grow from seed flowers: calendula, marigold, and culinary poppy.

On my Etsy page I posted a listing with those three seed packets and an accompanying zine with info about planting for pollinators and some articles about herbalism too.

A couple of pages from the zine featuring some of the most common butterflies of North & South America.

All together this is a perfect little starting point for growing a beautiful flower garden in almost any climate of the world and would be a great gift for yourself or some other aspiring gardener this spring.

In a future post I will go more in depth about each of these three flowers and in previous posts have talked about the butterflies in greater detail as well. So, expect more flower-goodness soon, until then I will leave you with the link to the listing if you are interested in supporting the world I do with this blog & in real life as well, thanks!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1146665036/plant-your-pollinator-garden-kit-3?ref=shop_home_active_1