Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Betty Pillsbury of Green Spiral Herbs and Six Words

I was watching the morning news (getting the weather forecast of a foot of snow and freezing rain mixed in) and saw a segment on "six words". There is a book out that asked people to write their memoirs in just six words. Fascinating! http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/ Here is the link.

I thought it would be difficult, but once you start thinking about it, ideas pour out. The web site has some great six worders.

Here are some that I wrote:

Manure heaped. Blooming like roses now.

Magic dreams. Creative soul. Happy woman.

Gathering interesting tidbits. Amusement value high.

Daughter, sister, wife, mother. Big shoulders.

Magic in my fingertips. Stitch. Grow.

What are your six words????

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chick Day

The ground is frozen and we had a terrible wind storm last night but it must be almost spring because yesterday was 'chick day' at the feed store. The new day old baby chicks arrived and we were greeted by a constant chirp when we entered the store. We actually decided on three; one Rhode Island Red which is my son's favorite breed, one Wyandote, and one bantam silky for me. Now since one of the silkies had somewhat deformed legs they threw it in as an extra, so we have a 'special needs' chick now. I've always wanted a silky, their feathers are different and lack the hard rib going down the center and so they are more fluffy and hairy like. Bantams refer to miniature chickens which also have very small eggs. They will stay in the house for some time to keep warm and my husband and son have promised to take care of them since I really don't need any more work to do. We will see about that. In the meantime we really need to work on expanding the chicken run to allow for more. I'll be writing more about my animals on my blog for the next few weeks and posting pictures.

Cindy http://sagescript.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is it Spring time yet?

This is a picture of last year's garden. This year's garden will be much bigger and hopefully much better, since I have added compost and organic fertilizers to the area. The soil looks good here, but there is very little organic matter. But at least there aren't many rocks either, which is saying a lot for my area. My biggest resource is rocks.

I'm ready for spring! It is time for the cold to move on out and let some better gardening weather move in. But I couldn't wait any longer and last weekend I planted some beet seeds, and of course after this week's rain and freezing temps, I'll likely have to plant them all again. But it felt good in the meantime to be doing something in the garden besides wishing.
Roxann, NW AR
Visit me at my blog: Ozark Musings

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Story of Stuff

The theme of my personal blog today is The Story of Stuff.
There is a link on there that takes you to a wonderful presentation I plan to show my kids.:) So I thought I'd share that here too.
And once again this is very much why we do what we do in our herbal lives. And I see I still have alot of work to do in our home.

Story of Stuff at Herbwyfe

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Introducing Sarah

I'm Sarah Campbell, owner of Herbs from the Labyrinth in Lancaster PA. I grow lots of herbs in a labyrinth garden (of course!) and make a wide range of herbal products, ranging from infused oils, salves and creams to teas and tinctures. I really love making herbal cordials & will probably post cordial recipes here occassionally.

My daughter, Kara, and I have a business we call Radiance, in downtown Lancaster. We have a large classroom for yoga, bellydance, tai chi, journaling and drumming classes. We always have an art exhibit in that room too. We have a retail shop, where in addition to my herbal products, you will find many fair trade items from around the world, and some handmade things from local artisans. Kara is a massage therapist, so we have 2 massage rooms. We also house the Molly Keen Memorial Library, a free lending library of eco-feminist books.

I know it doesn't seem like it's possible that I'd have any, but that photo is of me knitting in my spare time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Honey Thyme Mustard Recipe

I have finally succumbed and posted a recipe for a mustard on my blog page,
GreenSpiralHerbs.blogspot.com It's a good recipe, but not the one I am most famous for - which will be in the cookbook I might ever put together! You can find a few more recipes and herb talk and crazy quilt pictures on my blog as well.

1/4 c. dry yellow mustard
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
1/3 c. white wine
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. white wine vinegar (or thyme vinegar you made yourself)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 c. cold water
2 tsp dried thyme

Put dry mustard, seeds and wine in blender and blend until well combined. Let stand for several hours so flavor develops. Then, add honey, vinegar and salt. Blend. In a small saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the cold water to make a paste. Stir in remaining water and whisk well. Add mustard mixture from blender. Cook and stir until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in thyme. Makes about 2 cups.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Greetings from Georgia

Is it spring yet? Living in the south doesn't mean warm. Today, a blustery wind kept the temperature around 27, and turned my thoughts to the garden. I know, I know, all you people in the frozen north and midwest are thinking you would LOVE to see 27 degrees, but for this southern girl, it is COLD! My love of gardening began when I was a little girl (although I didn't realize it until the Mother Earth News era of the 70's rekindled it). I remember my grandmother pitching coffee grounds, eggs shells, and old tea bags out the back door into a flower bed beside the house. I don't think she called this composting, but anything she attempted to grow flourished. A few years ago, an Herb Conference was held in town, and my interest in herbs was sparked. A number of the people on the merry blogsters group were involved, and have continued to be included in my circle of friends. As a result, I started my online business Gardenchick a few years ago, and have expanded this to include my brick and mortar business The Jasmine Moon, which I started in May of last year with my daughter in law Ashley. My blog www.gardenchick.com/garden-blog is a mixture of garden tips, recipes, the joys and trials of running a business, with a little life stories thrown in. I occasionally write for the Essential Herbal Magazine, and give talks on various garden themes for local garden clubs.

Thanks Tina, for the opportunity to belong to the Merry Blogsters.


Howdy from Arkansas!

I tried to make this post yesterday, but our server here at work wasn't letting it go through. So, I'll try again...

Our farm lies in the heart of the Boston Mountain range of the Ozarks in Northwest Arkansas. We're way off the beaten path, so it presents a strategic problem when I'm trying to organize my business as many folks are not going to want to drive their vehicles six miles down a gravel county road. However, it also presents a unique environment, because it is not in a developed area, for those who desire to experience the healing plants growing in a natural and wild ecosystem. My business focus is beginning to cater more to those who want to spend entire days immersed in nature, organic gardening, and learning to identify, harvest, and utilize medicinal plants. Most will be found growing wild and we will discuss the ethical issues of responsible harvest, but some will be cultivated as part of my organic CSA garden. Another niche I would like to develop caters to those who make flower essences and plant spirit medicines. We have an excellent location for someone who wants to spend quiet meditation time with special plants, such as ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot, black cohosh, wild ginger, and many other healing plants that grow in the Ozarks.

It is great to be part of this blogging community and I hope to become more refined in vision and goals for my business, since writing about it forces me to re-examine exactly what it is that stirs my soul in what I do. Each time I struggle for a business description, I understand more clearly my role as a facilitator between plants and people.


Roxann, Kingston, AR

Hello from Sagescript Farms

Science is my passion. Since childhood I have thrived learning about the natural world around me. This passion inspired me to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and continue laboratory research in cancer cell growth. Through that experience I learned several things that guide my current work; disease is easier to prevent than to treat, medical research allows little time for raising a family, the science of herbalism and how phytochemicals interact with human physiology in incredibly interesting, and I am more comfortable in a lab that includes a garden and a workshop.

My herbal business requires attributes that I cultivated in scientific research; creativity, intuition, logic, and scrutiny, and allows me to develop new skills. In my natural health business I make and sell skin care and health care products, educate on issues of health and grow herbs. Another important part of my business is testing products for safety through microbiology assays on emulsions and other skin care products. You can learn about my products and services at http://www.sagescript.com/. I also do medical writing and teach anatomy & physiology and other science classes at local colleges.

After recently realizing my dream to move to a small acreage property I look forward to new adventures in sustainable herb farming with plans of having lavender as my main crop. Teaching gardens and a classroom are included in my farm plans which I will be writing about on my blog.
Cindy Jones of Colorado

Greetings and Blessings

I am Kristena Roder. I run an online shoppe called Dreamseeds that is spread out in different places
Etsy Shoppe

The Little Shoppe

Dreamseeds at HC

Dreamseeds is my soap business that helps keep me home to raise my children. I am so blessed(although poor...lol)

I am 41 and the mother of 7 children, 4 were born at home. I also have 2 stepkids and 2 grandaughters. I am a cervical cancer survivor to which treatment put me into menopause. That has been a trip to say the least, but I must say that although it is a hormonocoaster, it calls a woman to a different place. And it is a good place.
So, this has caused me to be so much more aware of my community and working as an herbwife/herbwyfe(i like "y"'s)
The weekend of February 9, 2008 I was awarded a full scholarship to
Birth Arts International
So the journey continues to unfold before me. I feel a calling to at least try to create positive change for the world. This scholarship took me by surprise, but it would be foolish to not accept the offer for furthering my education.

I live in NW Arkansas about an hour and half north of Roxanne actually. I live in a town called Bella Vista which is the Ozark hills near the Missouri border. This is the home of Walmart, or pretty close. Bentonville is our neighbor so most folks that live here are either retired or Walmart employed.

My husband and I went furiously in search of land all summer last year only receive a non approval from the bank...this is when things in real estate began getting bad and our income to debt ration did not qualify us.
So we said heck with it. We have been here 5 years remodeling the house. Now its time to do work outside. We are trying to create an herb center here which basically means we are making beds to grow herbs, and planting endangered herbs too. And also leave room for classes/consults etc.... so Dreamseeds Herb Center is what we call it to incorporate everything we hope to do on our tiny lot in the hills.

I am teaching Intro Herbalism classes and working on a podcast show as well.
I feel pretty stretched and just about the time I think I cannot endure anymore, I take on another task. So I think I fit in here very well...lol

Dreamseeds Family Site
My Blog

Lime Shortbread cookies

Last week, a "patrol" of us - Sarah, Kara, Maryanne, Roe, and I - went to visit the Int'l Gift Show in NYC. It was great fun, and we saw lots of wonderful new products and got some great ideas. We even ordered some things for our various businesses (which would be the point...).
In one section, they were selling an array of gourmet foods. Aisles and aisles of booths, with samples set forth to tempt us into purchasing. Since we don't do anything with gourmet foods, we breezed through pretty quickly. A couple of the trays did catch our eyes though, and one in particular - Key Lime Shortbread cookies - was worth a nibble to me. They were delicious!
When I got home, I decided to try them for myself. Using google, I found this recipe. There are many choices for recipes, but this one seems to be the one they are all based upon.

It isn't exactly the same as what I tried in the city. Those were small nuggets, tossed in confectioner's sugar. These are small disks, glazed with a zippy blast of lime. Still wonderful, though.
I changed the recipe slightly. Instead of key limes, I used regular limes. I also added about 3 drops of lime essential oil to the batter, after reading a review elsewhere that said the lime flavor wasn't very strong.
For the glaze, I doubled the amount of lime juice.
They are darling little cookies that pack a lot of flavor. I sent a batch off in the mail to my embattled tax guy in the frozen north, and saved a couple dozen for the hungry horde here at the house.
One more tip - ever since I first used parchment for baking cookies, I wouldn't go without again. These cookies in particular need parchment. They are so light that you don't want to risk breaking them with a spatula, and with the parchment they slide right off.
I'm thinking that they would be great with just a couple of teaspoons of minced, fresh spearmint mixed into the batter. Maybe we'll try that in the summer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Green Spiral Herbs in the Blog!

I'm Betty Pillsbury of Green Spiral Herbs. I grow 300 varieties of herbs in my teaching gardens in upstate New York. The gardens have been certified a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary. I also make and sell value-added herbal products such as Healing Comfort Salve, Wrist Rub, Right On The Kisser Lip Balm and lots more. I teach extensively about herbs and have an Herbal Study Program. Please visit www.GreenSpiralHerbs.com to find out more. Additionally, I am an award-winning textile artist and teach and lecture about crazy quilting and hand embellishment. That part of my life can be explored at www.BettyPillsbury.com

Hello from Dixie

Hello from Possum Creek Herb Farm. Winter has given way to spring...for just one day. Sunny skies and warm temps are drawing me outside to meander and take in the fresh air. I know it is only a tease and that we will have several more weeks of winter. Here at the farm it is always spring in the greenhouses. Now in our tenth year of business, we gird up our loins for another bustling wholesale season. With five greenhouses between biz partner Pat and myself we are confident that we will meet all orders that are coming in.

We really didn't start out this way. The "plan" was to grow a few herbs, sell them at the farm on Sundays and maybe do a show or two. Well, that was many, many moons and several thousand plants ago. Now the farm is more wholesale than retail business. We retail our plants at the local farmers market and online. Wholesale is a national operation with several new accounts this year. The farm continues to stay closed to the public as there is not a clean hand to run a cash register or answer a phone.

In our free time we write for The Essential Herbal, our website, Possum Creek Herb Farm, and our blog. We also work in our own gardens and on occasion, nap under the shade tree. See you around in cyberland.

Possum Creek Herb Farm

Waving Hello from Long Island

I’m Geri from New York Attitude. It’s an honor to be hanging out with such skilled artisans of scent, texture, and taste, as well as students and teachers of herbal medicine.

Although I’ve been passionate about trying to capture the universe in various media since I was a girl, it seems that I’ve awakened to actually living in only the past few years. Something happened—a personal renaissance of sorts—that now leaves me breathlessly exploring a dizzying variety of creative avenues, all as quickly as possible.

One of my earliest loves was fragrance. Perhaps you, too, had that moment as a child when you discovered that soap didn’t have to be white, wrapped in commercial paper, and always the same scent. The first time I opened a box of rose-fragranced guest soaps, I swore I’d never go back to the supermarket stuff. And of course, I needed to sample all the types there were … and then learn how to make them. Finally, my family informed me we were not going to be able to finish all the bars I produced, not even in a lifetime per family member, and would I please stop producing it. So I did the only sane thing—I decided to sell it! I make only what I would want to use, with the highest-quality ingredients I can find. Recently I’ve been leaning toward creating mostly essential oil soaps, but I still love blended fragrance oils and will never leave them. You can see a variety of what I’ve got at my new shop.

There’s a new obsession in my life: fibers! Last summer, I learned to spin on a wheel and began to buy lots of pretty handpainted fibers. Of course, I needed to sample all the types there were … and then learn how to make them. Yup, I’m drowning in fiber! So my little shop now offers handpainted rovings and batts for the spinning wheel enthusiast.

Best of all, I get to write for Tina at The Essential Herbal Magazine … and she doesn’t even charge me for it! It’s fun being the Suburban Herbie, commenting on herbal life in the burbs. So far, nobody has complained about my ramblings, which leads me to think I’ll be able to get away with a couple more in the upcoming issues.


Hi There!

Hi there! I'm Tina's sister and former partner in our retail shop, The Herb Basket. Our shop was sold in 2000, but we still work closely together in our separate businesses.

Tina, of course, publishes The Essential Herbal magazine and I enjoy putting it all together every other month as her "Layout Director".

My business is called Lancaster County Soapworks, Etc. We've been making and selling soap since the early 90's when we were the herb ladies at a Renaissance Faire. Tina and I have been making soap together for so long that our soapmaking sessions resemble something of a ballet with each of us knowing exactly what the other will be doing and swooping here or there to take care of the next step! Although we experiement from time to time, because we sell wholesale/in large quantities, soap is something of a production item.

To satisfy my creative side, I started making jewelry a few years ago and eventually learned the art of lampworking which is making glass beads by melting glass rods at a propane/oxygen torch. My lampworking/jewelry website is Torchsong Studio and I also have a blog where I show beads and finished jewelry that may or may not make it to the website.

Finally - Tina and I combined many of the items we sell on our separate websites in one place, The Sibling Group, so that we could offer a number of items that would help to meet a $40 minimum order for free shipping!

Now that the intro is out of the way, I can think about writing about all the fun, interesting and wacky stuff we do here that is sometimes connected with business!


The Blogsters Collective !

Another of Tina Sams', owner of The Essential Herbal Magazine, brain storm!

From the Blogsters list, we have all gathered here to share our thoughts, hopes, dreams, and things we create and do in our business.

So, welcome to all who visit, we hope that you enjoy our group.

SunRose Aromatics is my creation, which is celebrating 9 yrs in business. Essential oils are my passion, importing these precious materials from around the globe.

Essential Oil blends, Massage * After Bath & Body Oils, whipped Shea Butter cremes, Handmade aromatic Soaps, Incense, AromaJewelry, Diffusers and much more.

Above is our new 'Ageless Elixir Facial Formula' which is wonderful for all skin types, especially, in this frigid cold weather.


Who are we?

There is a small group of us who have banded together to learn the ropes of blogging. Some of us play with herbs all day, either growing them, blending them, or creating things with them. Some of us dabble with oils. We soap, we dye fiber, and we run our own businesses.
We are all friends from various parts of the country and thought it would be fun to share a blog. This should be FUN!!!