The Impatient Herbalist

I've been making all kinds of remedies for family and friends (well mainly for myself) over many years. I decided that with the addition of a studio up here on my little bit of Mt Hood I could sell some of the items I really love to locals that want to visit. This will be a great venue for natural dyeing classes, cooking and gardening classes. A jumping off point for wild walks into the forest and making some basic remedies and food stuffs at the end of a walk.IMG_2148 But I'm impatient! I am surrounded by jars of face cream, lip balms and soaps. I've started to infuse local honey with sweet violets, young spruce or fir tips, rose scented geranium leaves. IMG_2159On my shelves are tinctures made from healing plants for the body and flower essences to help heal emotional issues. I want to share all these delights and my sweet little chicken coop is still on the list of "to be built". I think it will be late summer before I am stepping through the door(which will leave plenty of time for fall mushroom walks and classes). So later this week (Thursday to be exact) Chicken Coop Botanicals will open online! Why Thursday you might ask. Thursday is the anniversary of Gino's Restaurant. What better way to keep all the ducks in a row. Year 19 for the restaurant and the beginning of a new venture.

The online shop, as in the coop itself, will have an ever changing list of items available for sale. These will be both seasonally based and worked in small batches. In August it is finally dry enough to dye yarn and fabric outside. Each season has certain ingredients to work with, as well as certain foods and medicines IMG_2242our bodies call for. In addition, as I work on books, pamphlets and classes they will all be available under the Chicken Coop Botanical banner. All my working life, both in the restaurant business and floral and catering and yarn businesses I have been botanically driven. I've played with herbs in the garden since I was 22 and have incorporated them (as well as other plants) into every part of my home and working life. I think this next stage is a culmination of all these aspects of my life.

Check back Thursday morning for a link to the online store. And if you are on Instagram be sure to join in the virtual opening party. There will be a couple of giveaways and lots of products photos. @debaccuardi

The Podcast will be returning soon as well. It will continue in the casual format, but will go way back to the days when I talked more about the ointments, teas and the gardening I do around here. I'll talk a bit more in depth about the hows and whys of products I'm making or ingredients I'm using. Folk Herbalism is for the people, by the people and information should be easily accessible. You will have to put up with some soap box talk about eating seasonally and how prevention is so much better than treating an existing issue (it won't be the first time I've stepped up on that soapbox). I'm still knitting, spinning and there will still be a lot about these animals around here. I have also been puttering with some sewing and embroidery (I blame Creative Bug for all new hobbies). I hope you'll join me again for new episodes. I'll post an announcement and link here when At The Kitchen Table is up and running again.


Writing and writing

I have been writing up a storm this month. Just not here. I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I would be participating in the Free Write Fling with Cynthia Morris this month. Today is day 20 and I have been writing everyday in my spiral bound notebook. The most interesting writing has been coming out of me. A lot of interesting knitting/recipe collection ideas. But also a bit of poetry, fiction, processing on paper. Really interesting (for me at least)! Part of the free write process is that I won't go back and look at my writing until the month is over. For most of my journal writing I don't ever go back to look, but I know I will want to use some of the ideas in the future. It has been great to participate with a community of other Flingers online this month as well. We don't comment on what anyone is writing (if shared), but offering encouragement happens occasionally. I am finding that for myself any beach or seaside related prompt is sending me off to the most interesting creativity. Often it starts there and wanders off somewhere else. I was thinking about it this morning and realized that, as a child, my most creative endeavors took place at the beach. My sister and I had our fort in the old lumber pile my grandfather put off to the side of the cabin. In there "Mama and Jodie" eeked by on mudpies and gigantic, wild blackberries. We painted rocks gathered from the beach with water colors; repainting after every summer storm battered our artwork from the rocks. I took painting classes from a terrific artist visiting one summer from Texas. My artistic talent didn't stick, but a great love of fine art did. And the most important creative endeavor of all were those many stormy days and setting sun moments where I would sit in the bay window and stare out at the ocean wondering where those ships on the horizon were going or what creatures might be peeking out of the tumultuous waves.

Funny that today I am sitting in a city cafe with these memories instead of writing in a wind blown notebook. But that is the joy and wonder of memories. They can travel with you anywhere:)