Cats, Fruit, and Medicinal Herbs

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The kittens are turning into little prowling rodent hunters. They are so cute! Muire is the dominate male, growing bigger and more cuddly every day as he plays in the grass, batting at wood chips and stalking his sister. Luchia is sleek and supple, outmaneuvering her brother’s onslaught and lurking in dark shadows watching for an opportune moment to pounce.

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In the green house, out tomatoes loom, heavy green leaves hide yellow flowers which turn into the bright red fruit we adore. There will be a good harvest this year, with many jars of red sauce to be canned later this fall. Our apple trees hang heavy with young fruit of another kind. They are wonderful trees awaiting another year of pruning as they ripen their gifts of red, gold, and green. Peaches are ripening up too, after three rounds of thinning to prevent branch damage from the weight of so much bounty. The leaf wilting bacteria on some of the tree have not diminished production, but a treatment of organic spray will tend the tree through its budding out next spring.

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Down in the lower beds, a variety of wildflowers and pollination species bloom with multi-color brightness. The native plants put in earlier this spring are now leafed out and growing with enthusiasm. We’ll need to give them a watering soon, as rain is not in the forecast for this month. In summer, The Pacific Northwest earns a good spell of dry weather, demanding frequent watering in the gardens to keep them green and lush. I’m so glad the established fruit trees are stable enough to need no extra water. Our grey water systems feed the roots of our orchard with a slow drip dampness to keep the fruit lush.

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There are ripe raspberries along one of the hugaculture beds. The red berries are a great breakfast treat while weeding.

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Near the raspberries is the pond, still holding water and supporting a great many living things. The fish are still within, schooling to the surface in early evening to glean bugs from the surface. I’ve been picking off bullfrogs again this year, though none have been close enough to shore for personal harvest. We’re not hearing them sing, and i intend to keep it that way.

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The bounty at Leafhopper Farm continues, with a work party planned for this weekend. We’ll be building an outdoor kitchen for our campers, including visiting WWOOFers. I’ll post an update on our progress early next week with photos of the changes. Any time people work on building something here, there is great immediate change. The plants grow much more slowly, but the lush green carpet of divers plants is no less transnational, though perhaps harder to see at once.

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This bed holds a collection of fodder plants from a mix to enhance pasture space. Radish dominates the thick growth, paired well with kale, turnips, and calendula. The radish pods will be harvested and put in with pickles during canning in the fall. This mix has also provided a lot of good pollination material, and I look forward to sewing more of these seeds at the end of summer in hopes of another harvest before the first frost in November.

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of harvesting our lavender. On the table you’ll also see sagebrush Artemisia tridentata from the east side, wild catnip Nepeta cataria, and some mullein leaves Verbascum thapsus. I’ll be using these medicinal plants to make herbal remedies for the natural medicine cabinet. Most of these plants will be put into tinctures which are alcohol based. The alcohol acts as a solvent, releasing the chemical compounds from the plant which we can then take in small amounts to receive the healing properties that might not otherwise be released from the plant when ingested.

With all this wonderful material around us for healing, nutrition, enjoyment, and fun; no wonder the natural world is truly a lifetime of adventure and learning. I look forward to sharing more!

 

One thought on “Cats, Fruit, and Medicinal Herbs

  1. Susan Esco Chandler says:

    What beautiful lavender!
    Many thanks for this update…we were thinking about the pond and your dry spell.
    And it all sounds great! Congratulations!

    Like

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