What keeps us Vermonters sane through the dark days of winter, freezing temperatures and piles of snow? Dreaming about planting our gardens in the spring. In January my dad starts the countdown ‘128 days until we will be fighting off the blackflies weeding the garden’. By early February the seed catalogs start flooding the mailbox. Fantasizing is the mind's way of manifesting the future. Mine is filled with zinnias, sunflowers, basil and ripe tomatoes.
Sewing, knitting, weaving, crocheting and all kinds of handicrafts are having their day. Ask people to stay home for months on end in cold snowy Vermont? We will be emerging from our homes with newly made woolen goods. I have been loving the gorgeous yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery. Buying high quality, naturally dyed yarn is a way to show your support for local sheep farmers, natural dyers and spinning operations that have managed to stay in business through many ups and downs. Plus, if you haven't noticed, it's officially a pandemic baby boom, in the next few months be prepared to be sending gifts to welcome new babies, why not make something by hand?
Many of us with children at home are struggling with too much screen time and too little outdoor playtime. Meeting up with friends is often a good motivator to do something outdoors, a hike, ski or ice skating. But with COVID it’s more challenging. If I have to work to convince my kids to join me in an outdoor adventure I’ll bring along something to add in a little extra dose of FUN. A thermos of Apotheker's Herbal Mocha, marshmallows and whip cream trekked into a snowy wilderness location greatly improves the fun ratio of an adventure.
Jade egg meets the 21st century. The Elvie Trainer is my favorite new toy. We have all heard that doing Kegels for pelvic floor health is crucial for women but I find that it can be elusive. You don't know if you're doing it right, can't tell if you're improving or you just forget about it after a few days even with the best intentions. Not anymore, this smart pelvic floor exerciser is used with an app on your phone, gauges your strength and gives you a workout to meet your body needs. You can also set a notification to remind you to get to work.
This beautiful breast massage oil from my friend's awesome business Ula makes it easy. Good health means our hygiene practices should go beyond just brushing our teeth and taking a shower. It’s important to love and care for all our bits and pieces on a regular basis. Make a ritual out of caring for your breasts. Maybe every Sunday morning you can carve out a little extra time to observe your beauty and show a little more affection for your gorgeous breasts.
For many of us in the business of herbal medicine sourcing, high-quality organic herbs is a priority. When we buy a few pounds of one herb or another we might imagine the beautiful garden that it was harvested from. But in reality, the herbal supply chain is a global force with mixed impacts on people and the planet. In this brand new book, Ann Armbrecht travels to herb farms near and far and interviews the titans of the herbal world to shed light on the industry. An excellent piece of investigative journalism that is a must-read for those involved in the herb trade.
Amanda David of Rootwork Herbals is a bright light in the herbal community. Her gorgeous BIPOC community garden grown in memory of her grandmother is an inspiration of color and beauty as described on their website: “The garden is a sanctuary for BIPOC folks to come together to connect with the Earth, the Plants, the Community, and with themselves. The garden has communal beds for all to freely enjoy, tend and harvest, as well as individual beds for folks to steward as they like. The garden also has a community herb drying shed, as well as a lending library of herb books and tools”
Rootwork Herbals is currently raising money for their Reclamation Fund to contribute to Black, Indigenous and People of Color to reclaim their access to herbal medicine. Now is a great time to contribute to farmers, herbalists and social activists planning to create transformational change by increasing access to food and herbal medicine this spring.
Cheers to creating a more just, equitable and green future together.
—Jovial King, founder of Urban Moonshine
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