A Witches Garden | Why You Need One and How to Make it

Happy Full Moon!

Spirit de la Lune Seed Moon A Witches Garden | Why You Need One and How to Make it

This full moon takes place in the earthy sign of Virgo. We can feel the earth begin to wake up as we shift from the colder, darker months into the warmer season of spring.

You might feel yourself beginning to wake up from your own winter season too. Move your body and stretch often. Drink plenty of water (especially during the full moon) to help facilitate movement for changes that are surfacing at this time.

The Full Seed Moon falling in the sign of Virgo this cycle can be beneficial towards the transformation you’ve been yearning for.

Virgo is the healer of the zodiac. Her eye is sharp and she is able to see the things others may miss. Virgo sharpens our eye as well and makes us more detail oriented. This full moon helps shine light on the areas in our lives that are going well, and on the areas that may need some cleansing or weeding.

Virgo is an earth sign, making this full moon the perfect time for working with the element of earth. As the earth wakes up, we wanted to do a Full Moon Ritual that helps honor the rebirth of Spring…

Read full article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ A Witches Garden | Why You Need One and How to Make it

BIG NEWS: Our newest course is officially here!

Good Witches Homestead

Do you dream of creating your own herbal recipe book? One that’s full ofeffective, original, well-balanced formulasinspired by your unique herbal journey and expertise, and the needs of the people for whom they are intended?Our herbal recipe book would be something environmentally friendly, maybe a wax canvas-bound cover and handwritten interior, with oil stains on the pages and pressed flowers tucked into the spine. Part recipe book, part diary, part scrapbook – it would smell of the garden and be bursting with tried-and-true herbal recipes.
Crafting your own herbal formulations is a beautiful way to develop and share your herbal legacy – a tome of time-tested formulas that your family and clients will treasure for years to come. It’s also how you can start creating personalized formulas based on unique wants, needs, and energetics.  If you’re ready to progress from following other peoples’ herbal formulations to developing your own…

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Florida Herbal Conference

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Though winter snows continue to fall here in the Northeast, we are daring to dream of Spring, flowers, and new gardens filled with beauty and fragrant, healing herbs! For more inspiration, exciting workshops, deepening your understanding of the green world, great music and marvelous fun connecting with herbalists around the world ~ head on over to the Florida Herbal Conference site! Emily Ruff and her amazing team are making this conference available to EVERYONE with the pay-what-you-are-able registration fee.   I so hope you have the time to show up and be a part of this Herbal Celebration!! Enjoy!

Source: Florida Herbal Conference

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Exploring Vanilla in the Rainforest and in the Kitchen: Part I

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

(Adapted from her article, “Exploring Rainforest Spices at Villa Vanilla,” featured in the 2019 issue of The Herbarist, the annual journal of The Herb Society of America.)

Vanilla in the Rainforest

P1110204Before going to Costa Rica, I researched gardens, restaurants, herbs, spices, botanicals and the rainforest—places where I wanted to go, see, and experience. Once I visited Villa Vanilla’s website, https://www.rainforestspices.com/, I knew that I had to go there. I made reservations for the farm tour in advance. It was one of my favorite things in Costa Rica—I loved seeing the tropical spice plants up close and personal—and I got to smell and taste so many things, which was a memorable sensory experience!

During the half day Spice Plantation Tour, visitors experience the sights, tastes, and aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, and other tropical spices, essential oil plants, and a wide variety of…

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Happy Valentine’s: Turkish Rose: A Review of the History, Ethnobotany, and Modern Uses of Rose Petals, Rose Oil, Rose Water, and Other Rose Products

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rose is a common name given to the thorny shrubs and climbing vines of the genusRosain the Rosaceae family. More than 100Rosaspecies have been recorded throughout the world. Because rose is a popular garden plant, it is virtually impossible to determine the number of currently existing cultivars. TheFlora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islandsidentifies 24 Rosa species growing in this region of the world.1

Fossil records indicate that Rosa species have existed on the planet for at least 40 million years.2The earliest historical records on Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets indicate that rose became known to humans about 5,000 years ago. A clay tablet about Sargon I, King of Akkadia (2684-2630 BCE), records that the king brought rose saplings during his military campaign to the countries across the Tigris River. Because he formerly lived in the ancient city of Ur near Babylon…

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The Magic of the Understory

The Druid's Garden

A path of evergreen mountain laurel at Laurel Hill State Park. Amazing to hike through in the winter, when the understory sings!

As you may have noticed, in the last month or so I’ve been working diligently on my “Sacred Trees in the Americas” series.  The truth is, I’ve worked through most of the trees that are well known and form the overstory of most of the forests in the US East Coast.  Trees like White Pine, Oak, Hickory, Sugar Maple, Ash, Beech, and Birch are dominant trees.  And when you do research on these trees, you find a rich tradition and lore from both the Americas and the Old World.  Recently, I’ve moved my attention to lesser-known trees like Ironwood and Devil’s Walking Stick, and have covered others like Witch Hazel (distinct and different from American Hazel) and Spicebush. There is a striking difference between the first group and…

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Magickal Properties and Uses of Viola, Violet Magic

Good Witches Homestead

Viola is a quiet, little magic. She springs up in fields, lawns, and at the edges of forests. Before her companions begin to bud, she’s blooming away, gathering in the cool, damp spring days. In spring’s quiet while everyone else has yet to awaken, Viola works her magic.

Violas come in a variety of colors and shapes. The ones herbalists are most sweet on are a species called Viola odorata, although we may well fall in love with some of her close cousins, too. Viola odorata sports blue blossoms. Viola tricolor, like the ones in my garden, bloom in deep purples, sometimes sporting a few yellow or white petals. Sometimes they’re called Johnny Jump-ups, Hearts-ease Violets, Sweet Violets, or Pansies by garden centers, sometimes just plain violets. Part of what makes V. odorata and her medicinal cousins particularly special is her scent.

Viola odorata or Violet is a…

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HSA Webinar: Weird Herbs

The Herb Society of America Blog

Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Unit
by Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

lambs earGardening has long been a popular pastime. The pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, has only increased gardening’s popularity. Planting perennials and annuals for beauty, texture, and joy, while rewarding, is tame. It is when you cross into the herb gardening world that things get a little weird. 

The Herb Society of America identifies herbs as any plant or fungi that has a use beyond purely ornamental. This includes plants used for botanical dyeing, culinary,yellow skunk cabbage economic, and medicine, among other uses. This is where things can get strange. For example, lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) has been and can be used as a natural bandage or even toilet paper! Still stranger are the leaves of the Western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), which can be used like parchment paper for wrapping meat and fish prior to cooking. Surprisingly…

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Herbs are expensive – Grow your own

Town & Country Gardening

Herbs Fresh or Dried purchased from your local Supermarket or Farmers Market are exceeding expensive.

These are sample prices taken from Walmart

The best solution is to grow your own Herbs. Herbs take up little space and are very forgiving if neglected.
Most herbs will do well in containers, window boxes and planted directly in your garden soil.
If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them when cooking and serving meals.

Herbs Make Common Foods Taste Special

Sage is a herb that does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted about every 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier…

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Join This Thursday’s Free Ethnobotany Webinar on The Development of Crofelemer – American Botanical Council

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We are happy to announce the next webinar in the Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) Toolkit Webinar Series: The Development of Crofelemer: Connecting Ethnobotany, Conservation, Biocultural Diversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and Global Public Health.

In this webinar, ethnobotanist, Steven King, PhD, will discuss his work creating a sustainable harvesting program for Croton lechleri, (the source of Crofelemer) for use in Crofelemer, the first oral botanical drug approved by the US FDA. King, in particular, will talk about his work with international partners and indigenous and local communities on conserving biological diversity, recognizing intellectual property rights, and meeting global human health care needs.

Dr. Steven R. King is an ethnobotanist who has conducted field research on the use of plants for food and medicine in the highland and lowland regions of South America, Africa and parts of Southeast Asia over the past 42 years. Dr. King holds a Ph.D in Biology…

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