Archive for the ‘herbs’ Category

Easy recipe alert! Some scrumptious goat cheese… on toasted baguette with some fresh basil pesto, roasted tomatoes will be what you are craving all season. Yum!



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Fragrant. Colorful. Healing. Delicious. — growing lavender makes for a very versatile addition to any garden!


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When you see a statue of a saint in a garden, more than likely it will be of St. Francis, with a bird usually in his hands or on his shoulder.


St. Francis may have been the protector of birds and animals in the garden, but the actual patron saint of gardening was a monk named, Saint Fiacre. Since medeival times, Saint Fiacre has been recognized as the real gardeners patron saint.


Fiacre was raised in a monestary, and it was here where he learned and became a most skillful user of the healing properties of herbs. Once he earned fame for his knowledge and usefulness of plants and healing abilities, thousands flocked to him.  Once realizing what was happening, Fiacre fled the area for more solitude, where he  established a hermitage where he built an oratory in honor of the Virgin Mary and a hospice where he received strangers.  He himself retreated to a solitary life, preferring a life of prayer and manual labor in his gardens.

Once again when word spread of his healing abilities and ‘miracles’, people began flocking to him for foods, healing and wisdom..

He once again was venerated by followers (which is how and where I believe ‘ social media’ truly came to form. 🙂 and so it was decided  a monestary was to be formed.  The monestary grew vegetables and fruits to feed the hungry, and cultivated herbs and flowers to aid in the healing of the sick.  Visitors to Fiacre’s garden brought along with them seeds and plantings from afar, and so, his ‘solitary gardens’ grew and became famous throughout Europe.  After his death, visitors to his monestary claimed that it had healing powers.  The shrine still remains a destination today with pilgrims near and far, seeking relief for many ailments.


Saint Fiacre is depicted in art and statuary today as an elderly man, carrying a spade… when truth be known, Fiacre was a gardener and an herbalist, in a time when herbs were not just pretty or tasty–but rather, an essential part of medicine.


I believe as the followers that made their way to Saint Fiacre’s Monestary in the healing properties of a garden. He will always be with me, in mine.


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The month of May consumes me with such joy. It’s the busiest month of the year for me with readying the farm, preparing for farmers market, and life in general. It’s what I wait ( though impatiently 🙂 all winter long for!) I suppose being a May Day baby has its perks… but how could anyone not pause when seeing these wonders of nature.


We finally saw some rain, and with it, everything just popped up and out of the ground it seems overnight. It’s during this time I will put the farm, and responsibilities on hold, (and not feel guilty for a moment) simply to capture and visit the beautiful surrounding of woodlands and my home gardens. The season is so short.. I know I’d regret it, if I missed this precious time.


It’s hard to say which I love the most, because many hold a personal history, or remembrance or a meaningful time in my life. Others, I simply just enjoy their form, colors and humble, though striking stature. But in my mind, they all bring me back to my woodland gardens on our beloved farm.


The trilliums are striking this year. The Solomon’s seal, Lady slippers, Blood root, May apple, Bleeding hearts, Lily-of-the valley,  Black cohosh, Wood violets, Colombine, Hepatica, Elderflower,  Purple loosestrife, Claytonia, Marsh marigolds and Jack-in-the-pulpit… steadfast in their role in Mother Nature’s master plan, in spite of our worst winters–to endure and continue to go on. Maybe this is why I love them all so very much; their dedication, stamina and purposefulness in this world.


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….. parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Can’t get the song out of my head today 🙂


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IMG_4868Whenever we see the word “herb” most of us think of small, fragrant plants that Grandmother grew in a corner of the vegetable garden: Basil, thyme, rosemary, mints, dill, savory, sage, parsley, chives, anise and marjoram.  The word, however includes all plants that do not develop a woody tissue.  It was perhaps 100 million years ago when Mother Nature executed one of its major miracles and evolved the enclosed seed which contains all the chromosomes essential for the growth of a complete plant organism.

Tens of thousands of species of herbs help make our flowering world.  The leaves of grasses, flowers, weeds, annuals and biennials are soft and succulent, not stiff and enduring like the needles of pines, hemlocks and spruces. The hard, encased seed is the basis of the herbs that clothe our fields and meadows, uplands and forest glens.  For even as the massive oak develops its seed in a hard shelled fruit, so also does a tiny violet nestling unseen among the thick-growing grasses of the meadow.


The violet who will lift its blue cheerful face to the golden sun in these upcoming warm Spring days is a fragile plant, but when Spring, summer and fall have passed into eternity, it has a time-tested method of protection while zero temperatures freeze Earth’s breast.  The life power of the violet and countless other small herbs simply withdraws into the roots of the plant beneath the soil surface.  In the dormant roots, waiting for time to be fulfilled, is a force man cannot comprehend.  Too often we walk unseeingly; we look but we do not see.  None of us can understand the mystery of life, but each of us can feel the glory that is all about us.  When you walk the countryside in these up and coming warmer months heading our way, you will be surrounded by the wonder of herbaceous life.  Tread gently.


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