Thursday, April 28, 2011

Keeping a Blogger Friend Close in My Heart

I woke up this morning to the news that a tornado had touched down about a mile from a beautiful blogger friends house, during the night. Anke, of Our Little Piece of Heaven, has become a very dear friend over the last few years. Keeping Anke, her husband Greg and her lovely girls Nadia and Hannah tight in my heart, thoughts and prayers. Sending you love, supportive and healing thoughts dear Anke. Hope the phone lines are up soon and I can hear your voice!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UK Herbarium April Blog Party!

I feel so honored to host this party. I hope all of you enjoy reading these lovely blog party entries as much as I did!

from Lucinda at Whispering Earth blog, I just loved learning new things about Jack-By-The-Hedge, Alliaria petiolata, also known as garlic mustard! Also, Lucinda’s idea for a lovely spring tonic is just brilliant! Do stop by and wish her luck with her ground elder challenge.

Over at  De Kleine Tuinier- The Small Gardener blog, my sweet friend Rita shares just a lovely elderflower recipe that has me all excited for our trees to bloom out!

Danielle, of The Teacup Chronicles blog, shared a wonderful idea for how to assemble a perfect spring salad, using a bit of wild forage and new tender garden plants! Yum!

At Herbal Nature blog, Marci shares pictures and the story of her recent wild foraging adventure with cottonwood with some beautiful scenery scenes from her corner of the world.

Dana, of the Southern Herbalist blog, shares some gorgeous wild foraging photos and tells about her love affair with wild rose and dandelions:)

Shamanic Winds, of the blog, A Practical Year in Herbalism with Goldenrod, shares very deeply her spiritual and emotional journey with plants.

thank you to everyone who participated this month! Big herbal and honey hugs to each and every one of you!

Remember in my post for the party, my picture where the black cohosh, angelica, comfrey, skullcap, self heal are planted? Well, last night we had a rain of what seemed like biblical proportions and this is how that same spot looked during those rains!


I have a feeling I am going to have self heal, skullcap and cleavers are going to popping up in places I didn’t plant it, don’t you! lol Luckily the little greenhouse stood up to the winds!

Eric suggested I share the following link with you all tonight. Wild foraging expert Samuel Thayer, recently went foraging behind the National Public Radio station in Washington DC, in the US, and the pictures and the audio story is truly inspirational!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Foraging and gardening, A Family Affair!-blog party entry :)

Been a roller coaster of activity both with foraging away from home, and gardening! Whew! I apologize for not writing sooner this month, but with all the activities with children, gardening, foraging and just the usual hum drum daily chores and minor crisis, I am barely squeaking this post in by my own deadline for our UK Herbarium blog party!

The planning stage and repair of equipment  has taken a lot of time this month. Eric and I’s nephew Scott and his wife Dawn, invited us to start a vegetable, fruit garden in their sunny back yard!


(Scott and Eric)

We were so excited as both Eric and I’s yard’s are much more woodland, and so we just have a small vegetable garden at Eric’s house, and I just have to stick things in amongst the flowers and herbs and do a few pots at my home. So, this is gardening on a much bigger scale and has required a bit of planning to choose and buy plants and seeds for. I will be adding some of the herbals over in this garden, aside from the different vegetables and brambles I will contribute. Especially wanting to add burdock to a tillable and thus easier to harvest site than the wild! Adding it to our veg area will allow me to introduce it to more members of my families diet. Thinking maybe to put in there also might be a few mullein, yellow dock and other things that like some sun and room to grow. As you can see, we have the vegetable plot marked off with black paint


We are putting  brambles, peas, and other climbers along the fence, and as you can see, there is lots of room to expand for the things I mentioned above:)

Of course, starting a new patch out from scratch is time consuming, and difficult due to mechanical matters and rain. My hubby has took tiller to shop once already, and just took it back yesterday! We are hoping to really get at it this Saturday, weather and equipment permitting!


( I must make time to harvest all those lovely dandelions before dig day!)

Around Comfrey Cottages, there are all sorts of things growing! ( included in picture album, is a picture of my buddy Ron, home for a visit from Alaska, showing off a jar of his first ever violet jelly! We compared the color of a jar of my last years batch and his, and then compared flavor! Also a picture of the bees being fed last years honey combs, and my new benches, plus the bee/gardening little shed, that I desperately want to get cleaned up and put flower boxes on!)

I went all out ordering herbal seeds this spring. I got a new toy and am starting some of the seeds in there, hoping to get a head start, some in the garden amongst other things, and some I saved for Scott’s yard, (I think this makes that gardens Comfrey Cottage’s #4. See where the s at the end of cottage comes from?). And then me being me, I saved a few back just in case of failure, I can try again. This is my first time working in a greenhouse type of environment!

I still need to get tray affairs set up to put these seed trays in, and I am not finished yet, but thought to share how far I am in with it.

Eric and I managed to sneak away and forage in the woods the other day. We harvested a good bit of cleavers, and noted many other spring time things growing such as spring beauty, toothwort, wild mustard, wild roses and other brambles just starting. Still no hawthorn leaves to try.

Eric got busy chopping up the cleavers we harvested for putting in vinegar and alcohol. We want to go back and get some more to try to do other things with cleavers too, such as succus. 


We have managed to harvest some violets also. So a couple of jars of violet infusion are on the counter waiting to be made into jelly. This jelly will truly be a family affair, with Eric, granddaughters Lily and Ariana, and grandson Colin and myself, all contributing to the picking. Although Colin age 4, said to me when I asked him to help me to continue picking one day, “ Well Grammie, I have picked like a hundred!!!! How many do you need?”. This being said after he contributed two dandelions to the basket asking me to make jelly from them! lol  Lily is coming over after school to help make the jelly today and two year old Ariana is due to arrive within the hour, so I must get to it and leave you all with a few pictures. The first one is the counter full of spring herbal harvest goodness (the large white bowl in the background holds a lovely infused oil of the end of last years comfrey oil, fresh new comfrey leaves, and calendula, just waiting to be made into herbal salves and creams!)


I have enjoyed sharing with you all how someone like me, just a  daughter/wife/ mother/grandmother/ aunt/ friend/sister/ beekeeper/ and full time granny/nanny manages to weave a bit of herbal and nature into daily activities and involves all who all I interact with:)

Big herbal and honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Blog Party Announcement

I have the honor of hosting this months U K Herbarium blog party! I have chosen for a theme Spring Wild foraging/Wild crafting and Spring Herbal Gardening I am hoping that everyone who wants to be able to participate has a spot they can forage in, but if not, I think by including the herbal gardening in the theme all should definitely be able to participate who want to:)

If you have your own blog, then add your post before April 20th and email me the link at honeylover at care2 dot com– I’ll post all the links on this blog that evening. If you don’t have your own blog and want to participate, you can email your submission as a word document to Debs at the UK Herbarium , debs at herbal-haven dot co dot uk  and she will add it the UK Herbarium blog as a guest post.

I realize that not everywhere in the world is it feeling very spring like yet, and some of you might even still have snow, so if it isn’t quite time for you to garden or forage yet, still feel free to post about past adventures or ones you have plans for. The same applies to gardening. I look forward to any new tips, recipes or other ideas you come up with to share! P1010008

My foraging basket has been waiting all winter to get back at in nature! lol

Herbal and Honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx