It has taken me so long to plant my little garden here. There was far too much information coursing through my mind—ecotones and hedges, guilds, layered food forests, medicinal companion plants, swales and ponds and microclimates. I would gaze out at the muddy clay of this unfamiliar soil and feel too overwhelmed to start.
Or, more truthfully, too fearful of making a mistake. Of not building a garden complex enough, beautiful enough, after all of these years of landscape design and permaculture training. Garden after garden that I’ve designed, labored over, loved, and left behind. After a while it hurts. So I built no garden here.
But somewhere I read this, or heard this—I forget now where— “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” And I realized that I was doing what I have done far too often in my life, letting my desire for perfection inhibit me from acting at all. Continue reading
it’s been quite a week around here–first mama nature threw us a one-two punch of freezing rain followed by freakishly summery weather, and then everyone around me began succumbing to variations of fever, flu, and pneumonia.
(favorite conversation of the year, tangentially:
me: my head really hurts. i think it’s all the temperature fluctuations.
friend: headaches are usually a symptom of repressed guilt.
me: i’m pretty sure it’s the temperature fluctuations.
friend: it’s repressed guilt.
me: it’s global warming.
friend: it’s repressed guilt about global warming. )
For a while I tossed down my elderberry tincture (thanks, Michelle Wilde!) and drank my kombucha and nettle/hawthorn/red clover infusion and I was fine. But after two days of tending sick offspring, my throat started to tickle. And then I woke up sounding like Brigitte Bardot.
When we lived in California, there was a lemon tree in the backyard that, due to wonderful positioning against a south-facing wall and the location of the compost pile on its dripline, produced ALL YEAR LONG. And in those golden days, when I got that old tickly-throat-brigitte-bardot feeling, I would climb for a few lemons and brew up a pot of lemon-garlic–raw honey tea.
But lemons don’t grow in this bioregion. So I’ve been experimenting, and here’s what I’ve come up with for an antibiotic/diaphoretic/antimicrobial/vitamin-c-boosting powerhouse of a stop-the-cold-now tea: Continue reading
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioicea) is a miracle herb.
It embodies the permaculture principle “the problem is the solution”: nettle juice heals its own sting. Taking a few minutes to contemplate that can unleash a lot of insight. Continue reading