August is all about slowing down to be present and savor the fleeting summer. Produce is at its peak, and the garden has become a bit wilder as we tend to weed less to try and keep up with the never-ending supply of vegetables. We’ve been busy preserving food, processing herbs, and indulging in outdoor meals.
Go into the garden every day, no matter what. That's the promise I made at the start of the season. It will be a daily ritual, a practice to keep me in tune with the growth and health of the garden, and a sure way not to miss a bit of garden gossip.
There is nothing like these long days when every delicious, summery minute counts. This time of year embodies abundance, energy, and fullness. July brings daily joy, feeling the sunshine and warmth that we Northerners miss so much throughout our long winter.
The summer season is upon us, and while we are still coming to terms with the fact that it will look a bit different this year, we are also looking forward to spending more time in our backyards and getting creative in our summer kitchens.
Guest blog – by Mercedes Miles Mack
Working with my ancestors feels like being in the sun. It feels like being in alignment with the person I have always dreamed of being. Plugged into mystery, magic and play; the real allure of being alive.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) loves the sun and reaches across wide sections of the meadow during the peak days of summer... the herb’s yellow flowers, small and clustered into intense bursts of color, signal that transition from the growth of spring to the fullness of the hot months. Here we are! The time of thunderstorms and cicadas, hot nights and fireflies.
When it's hot, we can't think of anything better than ice cream! And as herbalists, we are always thinking of creative ways to get herbs into our everyday life. Herbal ice cream seemed like the perfect way, especially when made with adaptogenic herbs to support our nervous system.*
It's summertime, and as herbalists, it's our favorite time of year. Everyone moves at a slower, more relaxed pace, and we spend more time outside being active, enjoying the lush paradise of the outdoors. We're eating fresh food straight from our gardens, and local farms, and our favorites herbs, and flowers are blooming.
The seeds plants make encapsulate the future: a new generation, a whole world of potential. While starting seeds indoors, or scattering them over bare ground, or pushing them into furrows and feeling the cool soil on our fingers, we hope that this potential will turn into reality through the process of germination: maybe, if we're lucky, in a few days or weeks seedlings will sprout and we can watch new life unfold.
If you are looking to spend more time outside connecting to nature--growing herbs is a great place to start, and the benefits of gardening are plenty! The health of our bodies not only come from what we put into them, but also from what we experience around us.
Connecting sun, plants and water by making sun tea is one of the easiest ways to bring herbalism into your life during the summer months.
Summertime is perhaps the best time to get started with herbal medicine. For one, it's when the plants we love are in their prime: they're easy to find, identify, and observe in their native environments.