The Summer already feels like it’s starting to pass here on this little coastal valley farm. A few days out from the Equinox, the days are still warm but the light has changed and the night comes on more briskly. The Summer season has treated us well, with abundant blooms and plenty of sunshine after last year’s very wet Winter. Now the blossoms turn to seed and soon the plants will start to put their energy into their roots, preparing for the colder seasons.
Sometimes we look out on the beauty of the fields and the rolling hills and have a difficult time reconciling the wonder of our lives with the country’s deeper descent into overt fascism and racism. It feels important to acknowledge that while we are enraged and disheartened by the regressive and violent tactics being utilized both personally and structurally to maintain white supremacy, it is not new and we are not surprised. As white people, we are challenged to work towards dismantling systems of white supremacy while constantly acknowledging the ways that we benefit from them daily. When we look out on a lovely field of flowers on a clear day, we can allow ourselves joy, but not complacency. We know that there is work to be done, even on the most quiet days, especially in the pockets of our lives where we feel the most ease.
We hope that this turn in the seasons finds you well and that you are finding ways to be in both the wonder and the work.
With gratitude, Finn and Laure
Fire cider is a potent immunity tonic and this batch has horseradish from our garden, garlic and onions from Blue House Farm here in Pescadero, and ginger from Vang Family Farm in the Central Valley (ginger needs heat so it’s hard to grow on the coast) all infused in raw Apple Cider Vinegar. You can take a dose of it every day to keep you healthy or take a teaspoon every few hours at the first sign of a cold. Dilute it in water, tea or juice, sprinkle it on steamed veggies or put it in your salad dressing!
Although fire cider is a folk remedy popularized by Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s, a company called Shire City Herbs has patented the term, causing a lot of controversy in the herbalist community. We’ve decided to continue to call this remedy by its traditional name to support the Tradition Not Trademark campaign. To learn more visit: freefirecider.com
MEDICINAL MUSHROOM TINCTURE
This mushroom tincture is a mix of Reishi and Shiitake cultivated from Far West Funghi, and Turkey Tail that we gathered in the woods behind our garden in Pescadero. Medicinal mushrooms are great for strengthening the immune system, as well as knocking out a cold as soon as it starts. They are highly antiviral and will not only work against the common cold, but can also be used to treat HPV, HSV, HEP B and C, and HIV. They are also antibacterial, antifungal (good for candida), anti inflammatory (good for arthritis), and are widely renowned for their anti cancer properties (especially turkey tail and reishi). They are helpful liver cleansers too, which is an important part of keeping your immune system in good shape.
Excellent for building deep immunity, we recommend taking a small dose of this tonic every day this Fall.
DIGESTIVE REPAIR TEA
Digestive symptoms are a very common health concern that allopathic medicine is not especially well equipped to aid. Fortunately, there are many plant allies that help soothe the digestive system in moments of agitation, and can help heal the gastrointestinal tract from inflammation and damage. We find this type of internal healing is best done with tea, allowing the medicine to pass through, and come in contact with, the internal areas in need of repair. This tea is made from peppermint and spearmint for cooling and settling, chamomile as a soothing bitter to get your digestive juices flowing, calendula for it’s wound healing properties, plantain for drawing out irritants, and marshmallow for moistening. It is a great addition for anyone living with chronic digestive issues or food allergies, or just a tasty tea to keep your GI tract in good shape.
Folks with acid reflux may want to test this out before drinking a lot of it, as mints can sometimes aggravate some of the symptoms associated with acid reflux. To get the most out of your medicinal brew, you may want to let your tea steep longer to draw out more of the chemical constituents of the plants- 30 minutes to 8 hours (feel free to reheat it if you want to drink it warm), but a beverage steep of 5-30 minutes will still be medicinal as well!
ELECAMPANE AND ECHINACEA HONEY
This remedy contains Elecampane root, dug from our garden, as well as Echinacea flowers in bloom in our garden beds right now. We then added these herbs to raw Oakland honey from Queen of Sheba Farm tended by Khaled Almaghafe, a fourth generation beekeeper. Honey, as always, is a powerhouse of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties- a helpful addition in every season but an especially strong ally in the Fall. Echinacea provides a strong immune boost though its antibacterial and antiviral properties and Elecampane is also antiseptic, helpful for bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and deep wet coughs. Take it at the first sign of a cold, or use it to help get over a cold or flu quicker. This honey is especially helpful if the illness has moved into your lungs, although if you have a dry cough another remedy would be best. You can add this honey to foods or tea, or eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. We have strained the honey but there might still be some herby bits- feel free to eat these too for extra medicine! Avoid if pregnant or breast feeding.
CLEANSING AND CLEARING SALT SCRUB
This salt scrub has mugwort, black sage, garden sage and white sage, gathered from our garden and infused in olive oil, to nourish your skin after the salt pulls out toxins and sloughs off residual skin cells. We made this salt scrub thinking of Fall ritual, shifting seasons and shifting energy from some of the more external processes of the summer, towards a more inward process of Fall and Winter. Salt scrubs are a nice way to bring intention and ritual into the care you give to your own body, to slow down a more mundane practice of bathing and give extra attention and resilience to your skin.