The year is flying by.
The heavy frosts from last week have taken my runner beans and the ashwagandha I have grown in the raised garden beds for the first time. We harvested the second sowing of ashwagandha at the October workshop and all the roots were divided up amongst the attending apprentices to either dry or tincture. These garden roots will be tinctured in vodka, when I find a moment to thoroughly clean them and chop them up into sizable pieces.
I am still harvesting the fruits of the large plants grown on my patio. They have loved the hot weather and even complained about the lack of water at some points in the year. Usually the adult plants prefer their world to be fairly dry, unlike their immature seedling selves. These roots will be washed and dried ready for decoctions in milk and rose petals or overnight cold water macerations.
Last month I gave a talk to Headless Cross Mothers Union in Redditch. There was a huge horse chestnut tree in their car park so it was easy to talk about the uses of conkers and bark. I talked about the bag of herbal remedies I'd taken on my writing retreat "just in case" although the only remedies which had been used were the grapefruit and Seville orange bitters and the nerve pain salve which ended up being slathered on a culinary burn to very good effect. The ladies smelled the fire cider vinegar with wrinkled noses but were quite impressed with the elderberry and rose petal elixirs, even asking if they could make some from their own garden roses.
Next week I'll be giving a herb talk to Shirley Tangent, the female part of the Round Table family. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas about herbal remedies for winter ailments.
It's the time of year for applications for the 2019 Springfield Sanctuary Herbal Apprenticeship. It is open to anyone in the UK who can make the commitments and wants to learn about herbs. We have a wonderful community of like minded individuals who enjoy coming together and sharing their enthusiasm. It's a joy to see them develop and go on to create their future dreams.
If anyone is interested in the apprenticeship, please contact sarah at headology dot co uk for further details. The closing date is December 9th 2018.