Solstice passes. And now the green begins to ebb, to wane. Ever so slightly. The sun has reached its peak and so has the green. They grow and die together. Now the light begins to ebb.
The green has feed its own roots and are now food for others. I eat you and you eat me. Notice the holes in the leaves where insects have feasted. Whole leaves sometimes eaten to the bare outline, shadow of dissolution coming. Fungus, smut, mold, mildew, rot take their turn at the table, to feast on the green. Leaves shrink as flower stalks emerge, wither as fruits ripen.
Too late to harvest any more nettle to dry for infusion, though the soup patch is still providing our monthly kettle of nettle soup. Some of what we didn’t get to cut to dry (because it was too rainy too many days in a row) will go to seed. Nettle seed is a medicine as well as a “grain,” so I don’t chide myself if I don’t harvest as much for infusion as I’d hoped to.
The new live-in apprentice
is harvesting 25 red clover blossoms every day (that is sunny). (Me too.) A little every day really adds up. My daughter Justine got the jump on the weather with her harvesting. She already had lots of lovely red clover laid out to dry before it started raining . . . and raining, and, yes . . . raining.
A past live-out apprentice
participated in the Summer Solstice Great Remedies class this weekend. She said she knows she can’t pick enough herb to make her daily quart of infusion, but she harvests what she can anyway. She puts a little of her own harvested herb in with the purchased herb when she makes her infusions. She envisions that handful of herb she has harvested herself will communicate with the commercial herb; she knows that it will deepen her connection with the infusion when she drinks it. Speaking of infusions, she has been giving them to her elderly mother, who is now off all but one prescribed drug. Ah, I love nourishing herbal infusions.
And speaking of the Summer Solstice Great Remedies class, we had an amazing day. We made nettle soup, went on a weed walk, harvested cronewort, garlic mustard, giant chickweed, five-finger ivy, red clover and white clover blossoms, creeping jenny/ground ivy in flower, violet leaves, shiso, and wild oregano for our salad, and to top it off, we make motherwort tincture, lemon balm vinegar, catnip vinegar, St. Joan’s wort tincture and oil, and plantain oil. Green blessings were everwhere we looked.
I am happy to bow to requests for pictures of the baby goats. Here they are. Enjoy the warm weather. And all the green blessings that abound.
~ Baby Goats ~