Crimson Sage Nursery Newsletter
Planting a Medicinal Garden as an act of Resilience
Spring is coming quickly and although February can normally feel quite wintery, this year it has been sunny and dry!! This does not bode well for our Mediterranean climate in the far northern corner of California. We need rain and snow for everything, including humans, to thrive in the long hot summers here! In the meantime, I pray for rain and enjoy seeing an early Spring popping up all around with crocus blooms and buds swelling on the trees. My new flock of chickens are laying tons of eggs and feasting as they scratch around the nursery finding grubs and slugs!
Having been a farmer in one form or another since 1983, it has become increasingly difficult to anticipate the weather or weather patterns and as such, what is already a rather stressful game of predicting the expected pattern has turned into a complete mistrust of any normalcy! The fact that we are having a record breaking Dry February could mean we are in for the most severe drought yet or that it will rain heavily all of March and April or something in between these two extremes. Planning your plantings and crops accordingly is very stressful and difficult and all Farmers deserve a huge acknowledgement for their incredible ability to continue to produce high quality food and plants in the face of these ongoing climactic challenges. That is what I consider True Resilience!!
The Dictionary Definition of Resilience:
“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness or the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.”
As we face the many challenges ahead on this planet we call home, the word that keeps coming up is resilience!! Challenges from Climate Change to Global Pandemics to just keeping up with technology and a society that is moving so fast all the time. We are constantly being called upon to be resilient and cultivate our resilience, but truly how does this resilience that we need so badly translate into daily life and what does resilience have to do with Herbal Medicine or planting a Medicinal Garden??
Being empowered to use herbs for your own well being and the health of your family is a major step in being more resilient!! Tonic Herbs that are easily grown, thrive on neglect and come back year after year no matter the weather are the most resilient herbs. At the same time, those herbs taken daily help our bodies gain more resilience so we can recover quickly from whatever challenges us or drags us down. These herbs build up our core, our blood, our life force, and our nervous systems and gives us the ability to be way more resilient through the challenges of today’s world! The first step in this process is spending the time to grow these plants yourself, nurturing them and getting to know them through the seasons and witnessing firsthand how resilient some of these plants can be. There is a deep sense of satisfaction growing these Perennials that return year after year to nourish your body and build your own resilience!
Some of my favorite herbs in this category include the following:
Stinging Nettles: full of minerals to fortify the body
Red Clover: another mineral rich blood builder
Yarrow: ultimate first-aid herb and indispensable for breaking a fever
Marshmallow: the root soothes and protects the gut and digestive system
Skullcap: nourishing for the entire nervous system
Echinacea: help to build the immune system
Elderberry: the berries are one of the most potent anti-virals
Elecampane: the root is my favorite remedy for an unproductive cough
Blue Vervain: the leaf and flower deeply nourish the nervous system helping us through all sorts of emotional upheaval
Comfrey: this mineral rich plant can help mend your sprained and broken body allowing a speedy recovery! Chop it back and it’s back in no time – a prime example of resilience
Meadow Arnica: another bruise and sprain healer indispensable in the first aid kit
Mint: the best digestive tonic around
Lemon Balm: Helps keep the spirits up and aids digestion as well
The list goes on and on… I hope this is the year you all start growing some of these medicinals! If you are a beginner gardener, start small. Plant a few planters or just one raised bed! You will be amazed how much harvest and cups of tea you will get from even one plant and they will come back year after year if cared for reasonably! There is no better way to cultivate resilience in our selves and our world than planting resilient healing plants, tending them as we tend ourselves by spending peaceful time outside watching your Herbs grow!!
Welcome to our 2020 season! We will begin shipping plants as soon as they are large enough and sturdy for shipping, usually in Late March, weather dependent as always.