Happy Summer Solstice!

 

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since I sent out our first newsletter! Here it is June again, one of my favorite months-especially as it grows warmer and the days are so deliciously long. It is 9:47 PM as I write this and there is still light in the sky. Peeking out the window, I can see the bats flying against the dark blue sky, feasting on insects. The chickens are still out, and I can hear the turkeys getting settled in their roosts.

It has been an unusually cool, very windy and long spring in Western Oregon. Last year at this time I was enjoying strawberries from our garden and this year, I am eye balling them along with the Blue Jays-just waiting for them to turn ripe. We did miraculously get the whole garden planted, which is early for us, as our ground is so wet. No sooner did we get it all in and then we had a deluge for a few days. Thank you Mother Nature! The calendula and lemon verbena over wintered this year, so we are already busy harvesting flowers. This year we expanded our calendula, chamomile, marshmallow, and yarrow plantings. We also are planting spilanthes and holy basil this year-they are still in the greenhouse. We also started some lovely lavender from seed this year, called Betty Blue, something we have never tried before. Our new greenhouse makes so many new things possible!

The spring has been cooler than my liking, but the flowers sure thrive with these cooler temperatures. The roses especially are out of this world. My daughter Ginger and I get giddy from the fragrance of all the roses as we walk about admiring all the subtle nuances in their scents and all the different colors. We have started harvesting petals to dry and use for our wild rose face mask, as well as petals for our rose petal infused jojoba oil. We harvest the wild rose petals that grow along our fence lines as well as the heirloom roses that we have growing all over our farm. I answered an ad over 4 years ago for free rose bushes and rescued about 40 of them from the bulldozer. I was thrilled to find that they were all heirloom roses and all of them survived except two. Some were so large we had to pull them out of the ground with a truck! Fragrant, abundant, hardy and disease free, they have been a welcome addition to the farm.

Ah, a rose is a rose is a rose…the soft petal face of this flower, rose is all about protection (picture the thorns) and being soft and vulnerable at the same time. Many cultures anoint new born babies with rose oil & fill cribs with rose petals-believing that rose gives a sense of protection and grace during transition from the Mother’s womb to the outside world, and it represents the true feminine-giving the feeling that “all is as it should be”. In skin care, rose offers toning of delicate tissues, especially those of the face and around the eyes. It is a great choice for face care as well as baby care. I personally have a real connection to not only the plant, but the smell of rose too-it reminds me of our Victorian ancestors and Grandmothers and helps me feel connected to all the women who were here before me.