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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.
These late winter months often tease us with spring like sunshine but mostly consist of snowstorms, freezing temps, and gray skies. Our moods tend to be a little all over the place, too, leaving our bodies in confusing states. As we await the arrival of spring,
Many of us are very lucky: we feel safe in our homes, have access to a reliable food supply (in some cases even delicious, locally-produced fare), and can count on friends and family to provide support and companionship.
You can notice the change from the humid, vegetal smells of summer mornings to the crisp richness of autumn, at least here in Vermont. The dawn is much later too: now we step outside as the last stars fade, and the air has a trace of wood smoke from the first fires of the season.
In the uncertain times that we live in, it is empowering and gratifying to know how to care for yourself and your community. As herbalists, our role has always been to empower people so that they feel confident in how to take care of their bodies...
February, observed as the month of love, should actually be an excuse to dive into self-care and self-love. Treating ourselves with kindness, new respect, and little indulgences make us better humans, and more able to be in conscious relationships with our partners, families, kids, and friends.
Embedded now in the colder months, our thoughts turn to comfort and wellness: during this time of year, that can often mean seeking out immune support. And if you look around at apothecaries and supplement shelves, you often see two plants featured prominently (and for good reason): elderberry (Sambucus species, we turn to the native S. canadensis) and echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, for the most part, though other species can be used as well).
Welcome to a dew decade! It's been a healthy start, and we are enjoying the cozy nights, and setting new intentions for the year to come. With anxiety about the state of our world, we have been turning to some simple routines to nourish ourselves...
’Tis the season for all things cozy. The holidays offer an excuse to indulge a little, as we should during these dark days of winter. Treating yourself is one of the many pleasures of life that make it sweet and joyful.
It's the time of year when many of the simple joys of life become the heart and center of this season; spending time with family and friends, the coziness of winter, warm fires, mugs of mulled wine, and lovingly prepared meals.
As fall moves on, some folks complain that the days get short. But think about the longer nights! You can feel them now. When the moon is full, the arc it traces lasts from sunset to sunrise, instead of getting drowned out early by the insistent, enthusiastic July sun. We get the full harvest moon, shining over the fields with its gift of extra light to gather the grain.