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Bee Balm harvest, Happy farmer!

sheri the herbal mixtress

A life-changing event happened for me a few weeks ago. Herbalist Tony(a) Lemos (director of Blazing Star Herbal School) saw my photo of a Bee Balm plant I’d identified as having powdery mildew and told me I was mistaken. It wasn’t the disease powdery mildew but part of the natural leaf pattern and perfectly fine to use.

It took me a little while to process this. Actually, my brain is still turning it over. For years I’ve been rushing to get what Bee Balm I could harvested before what I called “the funk” (whitish spotting) appeared on the leaves. Then, I’d chop the plant down.

bee balm leaf

To think I’ve been wasting so much of one of my favorite plants for so long makes me actually pretty distraught. I am so grateful that Tony(a) gave me a shout!

So this year I waited and watched. The splotches have mostly faded away, just a bit left on one plant, and there’s been a big spurt of growth. It’s only a small exaggeration to say they had become little shrubs, full of bunches of new leaves with a couple flowers here and there.

I’ve never seen Bee Balm grow so big in my garden- though I have seen them that big when growing wild- and I guess now I know why. You don’t have to cut them down mid-season! (argh… )

Their exuberance crowded and shaded the Peppermint and Chives growing in the same bed allowing me the excuse/opportunity for another harvest. Just leaves. I left the flowers for the bees.

bee balm harvest

I’ve never had so much Bee Balm in my stash. Can’t decide what I want to make first!

 

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Win some, Lose some: Farm update

different varieties of eggplant

The farmers are hot, sweaty, and tired. A local weatherman confirmed this today, saying we haven’t had a day under 80ºF since July 8.

To my memory, most days have been over 85ºF with really high humidity. And the rain- so much rain! It’s great to not have to use irrigation but we’ve had way too much rain. Good news for the city reservoirs. Bad news for our plants.

We lost the crookneck squash and many zucchini, all the basil, a bunch of rosemaries, and the sweet peppers are struggling.

Fortunately, everybody else seems to be hanging in there. We’ve got lots of beans, patty pan squash, kale, callaloo, hot peppers, and gorgeous eggplants!

The only damage in the herb garden is from downpours that bent and broke plants, including my calendulas which are hardly budding and putting out flowers. On the plus side, we’ve harvested more mint this year than ever before. They are fat and happy.

More rain is in the forecast for the next several days. We’re trying to take it in stride but are a bit worried about losing more crops which means losing income. If you see Hawkeye, give him a thumbs-up and any positive words you can. He could use it.

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Summer Balms On Sale

elderflower skin balm

Time to clear out the Summertime Balms to make way for the coming Wintertime blends. Elderflower, Chickweed, and Red Clover skin balms are on sale now.

These all natural herbal balms are handmade at the farm and contain certified organic Mango Butter, certified organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Candellila Wax. They’re concentrated, super moisturizing, and perfect for soothing little nicks and scrapes.

Packaged in a non-breakable, recyclable tin that was manufactured in the U.S.

Normally $26.00 each, available now for $20.00 (1.75 oz (50 g) net wt.)

Sale ends September 30, 2018. Check them out in the shop.

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Summer Goodness Skin Balm

flower and root balm

Announcing a new skin balm, made with all the goodness of Summer! I’m calling it “Flower & Root”.

Roses and Carrots, plus Calendula, Elderflower, and Marshmallow in a blend of Watermelon seed oil, Virgin Coconut oil, and Mango butter.

Scented with Geranium, Frankincense, Lime, Lavender, and Amyris essential oils. Been working on this blend for awhile, and it came out really nice. I’m excited!

 

Deeply moisturizes dry skin. Gentle, creamy, and soothing. Also useful for everyday nicks and scrapes.

On sale now in our online store }

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It’s getting embarrassing…

fresh-cut Tulips from my garden
fresh-cut Tulips from my garden

Several people have asked me recently, “Are you still making your herbal products?”. It’s kindof getting embarrassing because I am making things all the time but no one seems to know…

My fault, of course! I’m not good with keeping up my newsletter and blog posts.

It’s a busy time for us on the farm right now as well, getting all the seeds started and plants into the ground.

But I do have skin balms available here in the online shop. Made with Watermelon Seed oil, Mango Butter, and Virgin Coconut oil, they are a richly moisturizing, dry skin treat. Perfect for the rough skin of gardening hands 🙂

Salves and soaps will be coming back soon.

 

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