Winter is a time of rest and regeneration. While we may be called to hibernate, we are also being encouraged to plan and organize. This year my winter season began in autumn. This was due to personal commitments I had set for myself — one of those included expanding my knowledge of healing plants. So while my blog has been a bit quiet, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been bubbling with ideas to share. On the contrary, I have a list of drafts and ideas that are waiting for the continued spark to be birthed into existence fully.
One day this summer my youngest said to me, “I’m craving a milkshake.” I agreed that one did sound good on that relatively warm day. However, that is something we rarely purchase. So my next thought was to make one at home, but we didn’t have any ice cream. I wonder what happened to all the ice cream in the freezer?
My home state, California, is currently experiencing multiple wildfires. Additionally, at this time, there are wildfires burning in other states and even other countries. Regardless of how far you are from the actual fires, there is a possibility that some of the smoke may reach you. And you may not even see or smell smoke, but the particulate matter that is carried by the smoke can pose a health hazard. You may feel it in your eyes, sinuses or lungs.
Spring does not enter quietly. It’s as if all the seasons gathered together in a wavering crescendo of warm sunny days, blustery wind, rain, and even the occasional snow. It’s the final push before the new season emerges. We are shown glimpses of this in the garden. The plants and critters don’t need a calendar; they know that the seasons are shifting.
The herbs grown in my garden are used for both culinary and medicinal preparations. There are times that I may need to purchase some as supply doesn’t meet demand. This is often the case for basil, an herb that I use almost daily in recipes. Over the years I have been able to roughly estimate how much we use during the winter months. So with that in mind, while I harvest and dry what’s growing in the garden, I also order fresh basil from my CSA to supplement the harvest.