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Updated: Apr 10

It's been nearly two months since my last post. How's everyone doing? We're finally emerging into spring! I picked dandelion flowers for wine on the Grange grounds yesterday and noticed hawthorn flowers blooming there, too. Mine will be a couple weeks off, I hope.

You may have noticed an abrupt change to our Herbal Basics schedule. My husband had a health scare that rearranged our lives considerably. He can't drive for a while so I'm on "Aaron time". Which means Sunday in person classes are off the calendar until July.

When I last wrote I was super excited about new opportunities that had come up. And I was really anticipating my 70th birthday. They've been a mixed bag of blessings to be sure. Seventy really is just a number, the wisdom fairy didn't pop up and bestow anything special. As the saying goes "before 70, wash dishes, do laundry, after 70, wash dishes, do laundry".

The opportunity I was most excited for was a new, weekly class at a sweet little apothecary in Dallas, Oregon exploring one medicinal plant per week. The owner planned to offer packages of that herb. I really like her and love her mission. We presented one class.

The work to do justice to one well-known-to-me-herb (dandelion), its many names, its many uses, energetics, remedies to prepare with it, and how to identify it compare to similar plants and condense that to a two hour beginner to mid level class with handouts took a full day of work. The class day was another five hours with travel. A terrible misstep on my part, but...

Iqf you're over Dallas way make sure to check out Nana's House Apothecary. Serena is building something wonderful there.

The other very nice opportunity was the chance to teach a two hour 'Pep in Your Step Spring Tonics" workshop at The Oregon Garden's Garden U. What a great place to teach. I'll be back on May 25 with "Oh, My Aching: Herbal Anodynes and Analgesics". If you attended and enjoyed the workshop, let them know.

One interesting bit of feedback I received was how much some of the particpants who'd attended the five hour Herbal Basics before enjoyed the two hour format. We couldnt squeeze in a "weed walk" in that time frame or take a lunch break but everyone enjoyed sipping on Tulsi tea during the class and had the opportunity to make a tonic tea blend and went home with a handout with lots of formulas and information. Which made me think.

Most of the thirty years I've hosted Herbal Basics it's been place based at the farm or other places I have spent lots of time in and feel a relationship to; Silverton Grange and Geercrest Farm are two of my very favorites. And we've mostly been a once-a-month, full day gathering with plenty of time to do a plant walk, spend time in the kitchen and enjoying a potluck lunch together.

The recent changes in my life made me realize there's more than one way to gather. I mean, I knew this because my ministerial studies with Emerson Institute

was all done online and through the mail 25 years ago. (Another long story). Everything done there was as sacred as anything that might have been done in a church or ancient oak grove.

So to that end Herbal Basics is going online in a two hour format once a month! I tried offering a two hour online class at the start of the pandemic but honestly I think we were all a little too distracted to get much out of it and I think the way I presented it with PP slides and too much jargon just wasn't as cozy as a more casual style.

What I'm concerned about missing is the time to discuss things and share together. Both the sense of place and really getting to know one another. BTW, I never did get a photo of our kick ass potlucks so here I am at another gathering.

I think I've addressed all of my concerns about that by setting up a free member forum (it is free but you must sign up). Not that what we discuss is secret but it is a sacred trust. There are also tiers of community membership that include extras beyond the forum and the class. Please give some thought to which workd best for you.

You'll notice I mentioned, maybe obliquely, my acceptance of the Spirit as the essence of all things. When I pass around a just taste of an herb and you learn a little bit about it, that's its spirit reaching out. If you've read the blog you know they often reflect that sense. I think sitting with the plants and tasting them is so important that I will ask you to create a Lustral Bowl of seasonal plants to keep near you during class.

And I'm offering a live streamed Nurturing Spirit Plant Meditation for Community Members the third Sunday of the month at 2:00 pm. Please join us. I'll have a schedule of plant allies we will sit with uo soon.

Whoa! This has been a long post. I'm headed to Monroe, Washington this weekend to Eaglesong Gardener's and her partner's Garden Camp

They have been diligent gardeners, utilizing layered beds while I've been a diletante, playing in the weeds. The one gift of 70 is the real "now or never".

Much more to share but this is a pretty big bite!

Hope to see you in the Forum. Stop by and introduce yourself.



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