We recently participated in our town’s historical society garden tour fundraiser for the second year. Town residents with beautiful backyard gardens and local farms were invited to be on tour, and we agreed again this year. Paul worked hard all spring pruning, weeding, and rebuilding garden beds. At the same time, I grew plants from seed and shopped for other perennials. My search involved flowers I can use to dye natural fibers such as cotton, silks, wool, yarns (cotton and wool), and handmade papers.
My current thought about the handmade paper is making paper from the lavender stalks. I’ve been researching how to make paper from fiber pulp. It’s not that different from making paper out of junk mail. Only a few more steps are involved in turning a stalk of something into paper pulp.
I envision paper with the delicate scent of lavender embedded into the fibers is a thought that intrigues me. Will it work? Hmmm, I honestly don’t know. In the victorian era, it wasn’t uncommon for a woman to scent her notes with perfume or flower water. Would this be something you would enjoy having today? I could make notecards, and bookmarks, or sell the botanical papers to other artists much more clever than I in the artistic realm of paper artistry.
Please let me know if you are interested in any of these ideas, from purchasing the raw materials for your projects (i.e. dried botanicals for dyeing) , purchasing finished products, or even attending a class, in person or online. I would love to hear about your interests and your projects.
On Sunday, daylight savings begins, and we will be doing the final lap of winter before spring officially arrives on March 20th. Who is excited about this? We’ve made it through another winter!
The Spring Equinox is one of two days where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will have equal daylight. It’s the official start of spring and the days are noticeably longer. But did my garden get the memo its time to wake up?
Late March and early April is the time when we see the first signs of spring in our garden. Tender wildflowers start to poke their heads above their winter blankets of mulch and leaves. Flowers like crocuses, violets, and tulips are usually the first to show their faces.
I wondered if the crocus had a story or a special meaning similar to the rose and other flowers? These questions led me down many rabbit holes, and who knew this small, pretty flower had so much passion associated with it.
The book The Secret Meaning of Flowers says the crocus means attachment, cheerfulness, exuberance, foresight, gladness, jovial, joy, mirth, the pleasure of hope, visions, youthful, and gladness.
In addition, I found an article that said “crocus” means thread, referring to the long, thread-like stamens. It also stated the word also derives from the Greek word Krokos because the plant gives us saffron from its stamens.
This flower also has several love stories originating from ancient Greek Mythology.
One version says Crocus was a young man and had an affair with a nymph called Smilax. He became bored and unhappy with the relationship, and the gods didn’t like his behavior and decided to turn him into a plant. Smilax turned into a beautiful yew tree known as a slow-growing tree with hard but flexible wood. Perfect for Cupid’s bow and arrow.
Another Greek version stated that Crocus killed himself because he was so grief-stricken when the gods refused permission for them to marry. The goddess of flowers, named Flora, took pity on the two lovers and turned them into plants so their love could bloom forever.
Then there is this version that says Smilax wasn’t interested in Crocus. But the ole’ boy wouldn’t take the hint to go away. In frustration, she turned him into a flower so she could have some peace and quiet.
Then we have the great Greek love story of Zeus and Hera (the goddess of women, marriage, and children). The story goes they were “enjoying each other’s company” so passionately that the river bank they were on erupted with crocus flowers.
Since then, these two lustful lovers have been associated with passionate love. In some parts of the world, crocuses bloom near Valentine’s Day and are the preferred “passion” flower rather than roses.
The Crocus species (Crocus Sativa) has medicinal properties grown commercially for saffron and seeds all over the world. So please, please, do not go out and start chewing on a crocus plant. These plants in our yards are poisonous!
c. Sativa has carotenoids that have been shown in clinical studies to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Saffron helps reduce depression supports eye health and cognitive function.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), saffron is used for depression, shock, cramps from moon cycles, PMS, skin disorders, stomach weakness, and an appetite suppressant.
There you have it; when your crocus starts to pop its pretty purple flowers above ground, I hope you will remember they are flowers created by mad passionate love of one kind or another as well as a healing herb.
Chevallier, Andrew, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 2016; 89
I am thrilled to announce that we have just published our 5th book in our Kids Count Series Counting Trees. I had so much fun writing this book. We spent a great deal of time out in the woods and doing research about trees. By the time you finish reading this book to your little ones, they will be junior Naturalists ready to test their skills out in the woods. I’ve included a Forest Scavenger Hunt game in the book with scan codes so you can download the game and take it with you.
There are two formats, paperback, and ebook which has another bonus activity and pictures included. Books can be purchased on all platforms, libraries and retail stores. Just ask them to order it for you.
Grosso Lavender – picture by Nate Solberg, Scout Collective
For the next several weeks we will be harvesting our lavender to dry. If you want a fresh lavender bundle order NOW! Just click here and place your order. Once the harvest is over – dried bundles will be available for sale.
Grosso Lavender is the longest stemmed lavender we grow. It has the highest essential oil content in the buds. This lavender is perfect to put in a vase and let dry then husk off the buds and put into sachets.
Brenda will send you an email to let you know its ready for pick up. Pre-orders only. No in-person sales.
ORDER NOW! $6.75 per bunch – approx. 120 +/- of Grosso Lavender
I hope you are all well and safe at the moment. We are doing fine. Busy trying to get the gardens started again. I just saw my first dandelion blossom this afternoon! Woop! Woop! Sping is officially here when the danilions bloom.
Here is a quick video on the progress of the microgreens and shoots. It’s still a cold out so they are not going to grow as fast. But each day we are progressing! We have trays slowly sprouting.
Pre-orders will be accepted and must be paid for before pick-up via Paypal, debit or credit card. Just go to the TSF Product Menu and place your order there.
If there is a “Add to Cart” under the item – then the product is available.
All food items must be picked up – no shipping is allowed – due to state regulations. Sorry…
Food Items For 2020:
Lavender Harmony Tea
Minty Mint Herbal Tea
Lavender Bedtime Tea
Cinnamon Rose Tea (with powdered coconut milk)
Blueberry Raspberry Hibiscus Tea
Pumpkin Pie Herbal Tea
Dried Herbs, Seasonings & Mixes:
Culinary Dried Lavender
Sage and Lemon Finishing Salt
Lavender Sel de Provence
Herb Gardeners All-Purpose Blend (salt-free)
Lavender Lemonade Mix
Italian Seasoning (for dipping bread)(pending state approval)
Jams, Jellies Preserves:
Lavender Champagne Jam
Rosemary Wine Jam
Lavender Blueberry Jam
Elderberry Jam (pending state approval)
Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Honey (pending state approval)
Elderberry Syrup (pending state approval)
Lavender and Honey Cookies (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)
Rose Geranium Shortbread (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)
Rosemary Lemon Shortbread (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)
Rose Vanilla Power Balls (pending state approval)
Microgreen Grow Kits
Mini Herbal Tea Pots
Can be shipped anywhere in the US. There is a $10.00 flat shipping fee charged.
In other news – we published our 4th book – My Garden Journal: A How-To Garden Book For Kids.
This is a workbook teaching children the basics of gardening. There are lots of gardening ideas and activities for the creative gardener. Plus a seasons worth of journal pages documenting the progress of the garden.
My Garden Journal is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, libraries and retail stores who are willing to carry the book. Just ask them to order it for you.
Copies are available for pick up: $10.00. A savings of $5.99 – from the online retailers.
Email me if you have questions or pick up a copy email@example.com.
Hello Everyone! I hope you are doing well under the circumstances. My family is all hunkered down at this point. My Hubby is now working from home, and that took a few days to get him organized. I had to move out of my office so he could move in. I’m now working at a table on a dinosaur laptop for the time being. But Hey! These are some crazy times at the moment. You do what ya gotta do!
To update you on what the plan is during this quarantine – I am going to try and have greens available for pickup only. The CT State Dept. of Ag is requesting farmers to open their farmstands to the community as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a farmstand due to parking issues at our home. However, I will have microgreens and herbs available very soon – micros – hopefully by next week or weekend. All orders must be pre-paid before pick up. Due to my daughter’s immune issues, I will not be making in-person sales. I’ll post what’s available on the TSF Product Page, FaceBook and the blog as well. If you want an email alerting you that week’s cuttings, please sign up in the sidebar.
I do accept Paypal and all major credit cards. Paypal account email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Microgreens are still the same price as before $3.00 per/oz.
Other products available for sale right now are herbal teas. There are 7 different teas. Teas sell for $8.00 per jar.
Lavender Harmony Tea
Minty Mint Herbal Tea
Lavender Rose Bedtime Tea
Cinnamon Rose Tea (with Coconut Milk)
Blueberry Raspberry Hibiscus Tea
Pumpkin Pie Tea
Farm to Bath
Yes, we have plenty of soap and other bath and body products available. Free shipping is available on all orders $30 and over. If you want to pick up your order – that’s fine too, just email me your request so I can process your payment separately prior to pickup. Again, no person to person sales. All orders must be prepaid.