Packing Pollen, Packing Luggage

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If the honeybees could name this Flower, they might agree with the humans and call it “Autumn Joy” Sedum as we do.

This time of year, they can’t get enough of it or the exuberant Applemint that takes over one of the Rose beds every September. Each spring, I hope to do a better job reining in the “invasive” plants, but then I get so busy and when the dust settles in late summer and the Applemint, Tansy, and Asters are everywhere, the honeybees seem glad that I didn’t have time to tidy up these mother loads of pollen and nectar.

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I am glad that the bees enjoy the sprawling glory of the late summer gardens because there is always so much other stuff going on in the early fall here that the gardens get a bit wild by default. I have to leave the invasives to divide and multiply when the zillions of pears begin to fall off the pear trees and have to be harvested before they get too ripe, I even had more of a challenge than expected this season with keeping up with the produce that miraculously survived the Slug Wars.

This year in particular saw me packing Lizzy off to live in a cottage at a nearby farm. She is working for this farm and also here. This means that when someone named Elizabeth answers the phone here, it IS the Elizabeth who made our Camino collection of Flower Essences and now works to get the definitions for a second set that she made on the Camino this summer. All this is all good news for the farm! We are loving having her here on the phones, invoicing, bottling and shipping.

The second packing job involved getting Emily on her way back to college. She returned from her summer job at a camp on Cape Cod just long enough to pour her laundry onto the floor, sort it, wash it, and then pack up for her junior year. And yes, she was at the beach in Chatham when the great white shark ate the seal. When we call her these days, we start our conversations with our own rendition of the Jaws theme song. I guess I should just be glad she wasn’t eaten by this shark, but really I am spoiled enough to wish for more. like that her college curriculum took place in the gardens with me. Oh well.

This past week also saw us packing Will off for a camping trip that was part of starting high school. Mercifully, he came home to our nearly empty nest after just a few nights away.

Finally this week saw us packing Jess and Deb off to an Integrated Health Pet Expo in Boston. We haven’t done any shows in almost fifteen years but these two intrepid souls were game, so we went for it. Getting ready was a might process and I must say I waved Jess and Deb off the hilltop with a sigh of relief that I wasn’t going to be the one unloading the cargo at the Fitchburg Marriott .

Jess called from the show last night and sounded very cheery. They will be there all day if any of you in the Boston area and want to go meet them and see all the snazzy banners that Jess made. How much I appreciate the energy of Jess, Sophie, and Lizzie who now happily move mountains for us!

So back at the farm with the week’s orders on their way, I turned my attention to planting the garlic. This is a crop that has to go in during the fall for next season’s harvest. I also made a few more Essences and took some photos of a few Flowers that have eluded me until now, like the wonderful Bottle Gentian.

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This photo begins to suggest Bottle Gentian’s great strength at helping us hold our power and see clearly even amidst forceful change, times of chaos, or situations in which we are challenged to know our own strength. It is even good for packing frenzies. I should know.

Really, there never is a moment in the gardens or the woods when I am not bowled over by the generous and ever PRACTICAL gifts of nature, there to help us through every sort of moment. Even in a summer of rain, slugs, and packing boxes, there is so much to be grateful for!

Frosting Alert

We have been wonderfully wildly busy in the office- and yesterday when the day was done and the last package out the door, I settled into an Adirondack chair in the perennial gardens to enjoy the beautiful fall light at the end of the day.

When Jim came out to find me, what I THOUGHT he said was, “There’s a frosting alert.”

I was so very pleased.

Here the guy had been in a classroom all day trying to tame a bunch of feral sixth graders AND YET he was embracing his inner domestic goddess and was going to make us a cake WITH FROSTING.

I sat there completely content. What had been a happy day in the office followed by a happy time in the gardens was going to be topped off with FROSTING. I was hoping for chocolate.

Then he elaborated, “No Molly, what I said was there’s a FROST warning for all of New Hampshire.”

Adirondack chairs are not the easiest things to leap out of, but I was airborne in a nano second and on my way to the rest of the gardens to start covering the red shiso with season extender cloth.

Yes the shiso lives. Thank you all for your kind words about my desperate measures to save the shiso with plastic cups. The update is that the slugs learned how to climb up the plastic cups to the shiso but not before the shiso was finally about six inches tall and somehow not as tender or desirable a food source anymore.

Still, this hasn’t been red shiso’s best year here and that’s putting it tactfully, so every last leaf counts- all twenty of them……

Anyways, back in the spring when I wasn’t expecting such a rainy, slug infested summer, I planted the whole vegetable garden in a mandala shaped like a big daisy. And a lot of the daisy petals are these diminutive red shiso plants. Not the easiest thing to cover- petal shaped beds.

Nonetheless, it was a gorgeous clear evening as I covered the red shiso- it is always beautiful the night before a frost or near frost- it’s those clear skies that open the way for what Jim calls “radiational cooling” and what I call… well it is best not to say what I call it.

I was almost, but not quite too busy to notice how beautiful it was. I had Angels to plead with talk to, heaps and heaps of season extender cloth to pull out of the barn and all sorts of rube goldberg patterns to make with this cloth in order to cover every last plant.

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It was this sort of thing everywhere. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a few years will recognize how tiny the red shiso is compared with other years. Tiny but determined.

Anyways, I got up at five this morning to go out with a flashlight to see what sort of situation I had my hands on- and it was a balmy forty degrees. OH HAPPINESS! This gave me a day to laugh at my silly frosting-frost misunderstanding and feel smug about having the red shiso live to grow another day.

Only thing is, twenty four hours later I was sitting in the same Adirondack chair, enjoying the same view when I hear the very same words again from the very same man, “Frosting alert.”

So I am off again now, back to the gardens to cover my teensy tiny red shiso babies. And Jim? I can only hope he is in the kitchen making that cake!

New Flower Essences this Summer

My life with Flowers brings many surprises.

Each growing season ushers in new Flower Essences that amaze me with their power, wisdom, and healing love.

It’s a little bit like falling in love with an old friend. Many old friends really.
Roadside weeds that I have visited with for decades unexpectedly reveal the hidden depths of their healing wisdom. Familiar wildflowers tell me it is time to become Flower Essences and describe themselves in entirely unexpected ways.

Over the years, it has become clear that Nature is taking me and Green Hope Farm on an orchestrated journey. Each season, it is time for certain Flower Essences to step forward and join in to help the people and animals that we serve.

There are many mysteries behind this unfolding, but I am grateful for each Flower whose time has come.

And so far this year, despite rain and more rain, these noble blossoms have offered themselves as Flower Essences and explained their gifts.

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BurdockArctium minus
Burdock holds so much wisdom, it is hard to know where to start in describing its gifts. To begin, Burdock holds particular wisdom about the blood. One piece of this wisdom is that it helps the red blood cells with any issues of low oxygen transport capacity. This and other blood wisdom held by Burdock makes it a useful Essence during any illness especially any that concerns blood health. More generally, Burdock will help us get to the bottom of any healing crisis to bring the core issue to light, then it will offer a template for finding our health again. This skill at getting to the root of the issue means Burdock helps with any cleansing process. Additionally, this is a very supportive Essence for any illness involving issues of discernment including cancer, a condition in which discernment about what cells in the body should be grown and which should not has been affected, Burdock sorts the wheat from the chaff on a cellular level and offers information about how we can do this ourselves while also completely protecting and preserving our health. As with all Flower Essences, this is done by Burdock offering our electrical system a roadmap for these skills, one that our electrical system can copy and benefit from if it is helpful. I can’t recommend this dynamo enough and have now added it to Immune Support, Recovery, and Precious Blood.
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ElecampaneInula helenium
All issues of sunlight management especially proper assimilation of sunlight’s gifts. Elecampane will help us get the most from whatever sunlight we get when we are not getting enough sunlight. This makes it an excellent remedy for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is also helpful for those of us in regions where the ozone layer is thin. There is both a positive and a negative to living in such regions as ozone protects us from higher vibrations not lower vibrations. Our challenge is to learn to assimilate this higher vibration coming through more strongly in places with thin ozone and Elecampane can help us do this.
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Hops Humulus Lupulus I’m very excited to bring this Essence into our repetoire. First used in ancient Lemuria, Hops strongly encourages physical and spiritual growth. Its signature is its fast rate of growth. Hops can grow into a vine 20-40 feet in a single growing season. With links to the sixth chakra, Hops Essence offers helpful information to the pituitary gland, hence its connection to healthy and manifest physical growth. It also supports our circulatory system, particularly blood vessel elasticity. Linked to the etheric body, it helps the etheric body and ethereal fluidium to be their most vibrant and healthy. Hops has a playful energy that will help us find this in ourselves. One dividend of its support for spiritual growth is that it improves group interaction. Additionally, it will help plant growth when unusual weather has slowed growth patterns. As an herb it is used as a preservative in beer and as a sleep aid, but these talents do not at all suggest its immense strengths as a Flower Essence.
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LobeliaLobelia spicata
Supports us to make peace with major life decisions. This wild Lobelia helps us to get grounded and settled in our life changing decisions so we can proceed as calmly and courageously as possible. When I found a bank of this pale blue spiked beauty blooming in a place I had never seen it before, it explained its gifts right away and offered its immediate support for a situation I was working to change in my life. Soon after I found great clarity about what I needed to do and felt the strength I had been seeking for many months to do what I had to do. Consequently, I can attest to Lobelia’s strength and clarity as an ally when difficult and major change is necessary.

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MiterwortMitella diphylla
The base of this plant has a pair of leaves across from each other and a long straight stalk that bears exquisite and tiny cone shaped blossoms with fringed edges almost like snowflakes all turned in a variety of directions. This flowering stalk looks a bit like an elegant cell tower and that is the exact offering of its Flower Essence. Miterwort helps us to hear each other better especially during arguments. It is especially good for partnerships, but will support anyone who would like to listen better AND hear what is actually being said.
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StarflowerTrientalis borealis
For clarifying and smoothing the flow of electrical current in the etheric or memory body. Starflower also orchestrates a crisper connection between energy centers including the main chakras and also the secondary nadis. Consider this one if your head feels fuzzy, you feel uncoordinated as if signals are not getting from one part of yourself to another or if you feel your electrical wiring is in any way misfiring.
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White BaneberryActaea pachypoda
Blood health, offering especially helpful information to the white blood cells as it defends the body against infectious disease and foreign bodies. This new one has also been added to Immune Support and Precious Blood.
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Wild Lily of the Valley also known as Canadian Mayflower Maianthemum canadense
A pixie Flower that encourages us to remember our connection to all things wild, elemental, sacred, and true.

“The Wild Lily of the Valley that you sent is lovely. It gives me a feeling of being  deeply rooted or connected to the heart of Earth and Sacred Feminine energy.” PL Keswick, VA

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!