Friday, September 23, 2011

September blow soft,-Till the fruits’ in the loft…



(art and title from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden)



That quote seemed appropriate with so many of us canning, freezing, drying, and storing food by for the coming winter


(Earl of Sixth Avenue, inspecting the harvest)


(Peppermint wondering if it is for her)

erics picture 405

(the old pear tree Eric and I found a few years ago, in the woods)


(my forager basket was full! How blessed I am to live in our beautiful world, eat of her fruits and hang with my bro!?)

We spent a whole afternoon peeling and chopping up those pears. (All while watching the first season of the Walking Dead! lol! Myths and lore of all flavors fascinate me, and when mixed with survival type situations, I can’t resist! Even if I do have to cover my eyes occasionally). We then canned these pears in a water bath canner. We spiced ours with a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, crushed spiced bush berries, (you could use allspice), and tiny pinch of cloves, into each jar before processing.

We are pleased to even have our modest amount of homemade preserving to help nourish us this winter.


Do you see Comfrey Fairy watching over all? Some of this years harvest. Top shelf is herbal honeys, and oils. Then we have violet jelly, spiced pears, peaches, jams, tomatoes, green beans and others. I love to give specialty preserves and jellies for special occasion gifts.

We made peach vinegar from the trimmings this year. Peach pit tincture, and my favorite, I can tell all ready…Mrs. Reppert’s  recipe for fruited Peach Vinegar!


Note the sassafras roots we  managed to harvest, when transplanting some sassafras saplings from my stepsons hedgerow, to the hedgerow we are planting.

Our Mother Earth sent me another gift, just yesterday. One of her own, who passes between the worlds, came and danced for me :) She seemed to be trying to lead me down this ravine…. I was on my way to our beekeeping meeting and it was near dark… so thought best to go back and look, with Eric in tow this weekend. I do not know if there was anything physical she was trying to show me, but I do know what she means as a totem animal when she addresses you. I have recently found friends who enjoy discussing the same things I am into, and amongst other topics, we talk about our dreamland experiences. Today I explore what it might mean for Groundhog/Woodchuck to choose to invite your attention. I am ready to follow….


See how she looks over her shoulder? She would dance, then go a few feet, look over her shoulder at me, dance and go a few feet, all the while heading down the ravine…

Marmota monax, travels between the worlds of burrows dug into the earth, water, and land. She will be entering true hibernation and trance dreaming when winter comes. When I see her I think of her messages and reflect she is a powerful creature, often the totem animal of Mystics and Shamans. She symbolizes altered states, like lucid dreaming, Shamanic journeying, and trances. She reminds me to mark my boundaries, store for winter, build my home, be prepared, manage my metabolism, know when to go to ground and to burrow deep into my journeys… I will embrace her presence, now when I enter dreamland and allow the experiences there to develop and be learned from…I feel very honored that she has come forward to be my guide as I explore these others realms..they have been calling to me and I have held back from the whole experience…I was waiting for my guide..

How appropriate she appears on the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Harvest Home. Which reminds me of one of Eric and I’s favorite book, Harvest Home! lol! I am Widow Fortune and he is Worthy:) See? Otter still is with me as I had to lighten up a bit before I entirely lost those of you who aren’t into Woodchuck’s message!

And I wanted to share with you all a very nice video on Edwardian Herbs. I love this whole series, so explore around enjoy the other videos also

And in case you have not read this series, by Susan Wittig Albert, and enjoy Victorian and Edwardian books, I highly recommend Bill and Susan’s mystery series, The Robin Paige Victorian- Edwardian Mysteries!

I will hopefully get permission to post the spiced peach vinegar recipe soon! I will explain my steps for making peach scrap vinegar, and why in the world I would make peach pit tincture then. Those of you interested in trying some of this tincture or vinegar for yourself, stick around, I will be having a fall giveaway:)

Big hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drift Watch -- Register your Pesticide Sensitive Area Here!

This tool is for US beekeepers, and others with pesticide sensitive crops and habitats, (things like apiaries, fruits, grapes, nursery crops, vegetables, pumpkins, melons, certified organic livestock and crops, fish farms, floriculture and greenhouses, christmas trees, hardwood plantations, mints and herbs, and others), to help protect them from pesticide spray drift . Driftwatch registry is fully up in running in several states, and from the info I can gather on the site, other states are in the process of joining in. It only takes a moment to register and I was pleased with the ease of it all when I registered at my states Driftwatch site.