For the past six years, I have had the honor to help coordinate the Herbal Hoedown. It’s a wonderful herbal conference in the Finger Lakes, which brings together a whole spectrum of people, from herbalists to the phyto-curious ~ those who want to dip their toe into the world of our green allies. The day is filled with classes and walks; we even have classes for kids and an herbal market, where you can buy a whole range of products and plants. This allows everyone to fully immerse themselves and broaden their knowledge base. I am always impressed with the class proposals, as we always receive an excellent assortment of diverse topics for all levels.
Mike is even getting into the herbal swing and will be teaching at his second Herbal Hoedown. I guess the herb loving bug is catching on. He is approaching the topic from a cultivator’s point of view and will be teaching, “Building Biodiversity Through Biodynamics,” where he’ll be discussing the use of the biodynamic principle that our land is a living organism and will look at practical ways to build a stronger, more resilient farm & orchard. For example how to invite greater insect and animal diversity at all trophic levels, which awakens the seen and unseen life forces all around us.
I’ll be teaching “Soothe Thy Skin,” since everyone’s skin needs attention. We’ll be discussing how to make herb infused oils and salves that can heal the roughest of skins. The class will focus on the magical healing properties of calendula, comfrey, and plantain.
I hope you will be able to join us for the 7th Annual Herbal Hoedown on June 3, 2017 at the beautiful Six Circles Farm on the shores of Seneca Lake in Lodi, NY. Space is limited so you better pre-register today.
Bring the whole family, I am! Mathew will be selling Know Your Roots products throughout the day.
After my brother died of cancer, a close friend who had suddenly lost his mother told me that the first year was going to difficult, but it was nothing like the second year. I thought I understood but I really didn’t get it until I entered the second year. The second year after the loss of my brother I experienced the heart wrenching pain of permanence. Sure, in the first year, there’s pain but you are preoccupied with settling and taking care of business for at least six months or even a year. So, the emotions jump around between loss, pain, anger and the empty void that the person used to fill in your life. But you are still super busy trying to figure things out and managing everything. There are so many firsts too. The first birthday you don’t hear their voice wishing you a happy birthday, the first holiday, the first time you did something new and couldn’t share….yes, there are tons of firsts.
Then, you experience the anniversary of their passing and that is when it gets real. They are gone and those moments you shared are done, cemented in the past. I had one of those heartbreaking moments when I recently arrived in Florida to visit my Mom. I’ve been traveling to Florida at least once a year since I was six months old, so for over 50 years ~ that’s a lot of arriving. When I was little, I visited my Grandparents yearly. Then I lived there from the age of 15 until I left for college in New York at 18 years old. And I continued traveling there at least once a year to visit my folks. Until about five years ago, my Dad & Mom would pick me up at the airport, greeting me with hugs and smiles. Before 9/11 they would be waiting at the gate as I got off the plane, afterwards at security, and then in the baggage area. After a long trip, it was always a warm and welcoming sight to see my Dad’s loving and relieved face that I made it there in one piece. Sure, my Mom was relieved and happy too, but there was something so deep and loving in my Dad’s eyes that I can see right them now as I am writing this. And even though he hasn’t been at the airport to pick me up in a while, this last trip just ripped my heart apart with the realization that I will NEVER see his warm, relieved smile again. And it was more than I could bear. This year I arrived 22 days after the anniversary of his death; April 2, 2016, the day he took his last breath. That day, I arrived and hour and half after he passed. I missed that one last smile then and forever.
Yes indeed, the second year is definitely harder than the first.
For over thirty years, my favorite thing to do on my birthday has been to go on a hike in the woods with loved ones. I started this ritual years ago to get family who didn’t seem share my intense enthusiasm for the great outdoors. Hey, it’s my birthday and no one could refuse my simple request. Quite frankly, I have been blessed with a fabulous day to be born ~ May 4th. There is nothing better than having a birthday in May, when everything is breaking out of its winter slumber and painting the woods with a rainbow of colors. Years ago, I commented how lovely the day was and a friend said, “It’s always beautiful on your birthday.” And folks, 95% of the time it really is; ever so often there are more clouds than sunshine, but I really cannot remember it ever raining.
This year, we visited one of my favorite trails, Upper Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, NY. Although, a few of flowers had already bloomed, we caught just about all my favorites.
Check out all the lovelies along the trail.
Bloodroot sans flowers
Wild Ginger with flower
Bird’s eye view of Wild Ginger
What do you like to do on your birthday?