Today I will immerse myself in another free online herbal course from the Herbal Academy!! This is another basics course but will cover the main themes of what it means to be an herbalist. The course is free, but I did purchase the study journal. This way I will have a comprehensive way to journal & record my studies. It is the second online course that I will have completed; the first was the Introductory Herbal Course where I finished the class by starting this blog to present my herbal monographs. Here is the monograph that started it all: Bee Balm Lemon Monograph.
This free course has me so excited. Being a stay-at-home mom makes it difficult to pursue the herbal education I would like because there are always expenses that take precedence over my continuing education. I feel guilty racking up more debt since I have yet to completely pay off my undergraduate degree. My dream would to be able to complete every course that the Herbal Academy Online offers; but clothes, food, school expenses, extra-curriculars, and household needs are the necessities at this point.
As I embark on this exciting journey, I will be sure to document it here. This is a vital way to communicate with future customers and my blog followers on what steps I am taking to become a more well-rounded, educated, and hands-on herbalist. Sharing my knowledge just makes it more real and helps me retain it more successfully!
A few things I want to document and share with you today are a new book I’ve been reading that I absolutely love, some new gardening & herbalist discoveries from my experiences this year & a recent mishap that shows how my herbal tinctures help me to keep my cool even when disasters happen.
The book that has opened my eyes to the mysteries & magnificent wonders of nature is called: The Hidden Life of Trees. I am about halfway done with this book and every chapter is another treasure trove into the amazing discoveries that have been made about trees, forests, & all the intricacies that live above and below the surface. It is one I would highly recommend if you have a love for nature & all that it does for life and existence on earth. It is allowing me to form a greater understanding of how established, old growth natural forests including trees, fungi, plants, and critters of all sizes work together in amazing ways to communicate and help one another in times of need.
As far as my garden goes, it was a bit slow to start this year; for the most part because of the lack of rain. There is nothing quite like regular rainfall to make a garden productive and a lack of rainfall, even with pretty regular waterings, just is not the same and seems to keep it from growing to its full potential. The only bugs I’ve really had to contend with this year is the infamous Japanese Beetle and I’ve relied on checking my plants several times a day, especially early to mid-afternoon, for these buggers and picking them off my plants. Then I have the satisfaction of tossing them to the ground and stomping on them.
Something new I’ve discovered this year is that my LED grow lights have dual purposes. They not only have substantially helped my seed starting success and process, but they are now helping greatly with drying flowers & cayenne peppers. I discovered if I place things on top of them they do an amazing job, due to the heat that is emitted, at drying these things for me! This helps so much because the climate here during the summer is very humid most of the time so hanging things to dry is a much longer process and sometimes leads to mold growth if I’m not very careful. This is definitely a wonderful discovery and relief for me.
As with any work there are sometimes mishaps, and the other day I had a doozy. It was early morning right after finishing my breakfast and halfway through my cup of coffee. I decided, after glancing up at the window in the dining room, that it was time to gently shake my oil infusions. The thought crossed my mind, as I remembered back to when the makeshift shelf of rope and a thick yard stick tilted and my newly watered plants fell and scattered wet soil everywhere, that it might just happen again. Then a voice in my head said, “Don’t risk it, you have a bunch of sandwiches to make!”
You see, my daughter has been doing this wonderful free music program at school; Music for the Sake of Music. She is somehow going into 5th grade this year. How did that happen? Well, she is taking oboe lessons and part of the deal is that every parent provide at least one meal while the program is going on. This morning was my day to make sandwiches for 25 music teachers, and the time was just around the corner to get started.
After shaking one or two of the oils, it happened, the shelf tilted and 4 glass jars full of flowers & oil went flying onto the wooden buffet right below the window. It was an absolute disaster, at least it seemed at the moment. Broken glass is just the worst and one of the jars broke right on top of a thing full of change and all over the wood & floor. Dangerous and definitely NOT what I needed at that moment. Why didn’t I just listen to the voice in my head?
In the end it got cleaned up and the two shards of glass I did end up getting in my hand quickly were taken out and luckily no tiny shards were left stuck in the skin. I’ve had that happen in my foot, and it is painful and frustrating! My husband was gone when it all happened but came home halfway through my disaster and had kind words and helping hands to offer. In the end it all got cleaned up, the oil came out & off of most things other than my book I was just telling you about, and luckily only one of the four jars broke. It really could have been so much worse!!
When things like this happen it is a reminder that working hard also means dealing with messes & mishaps from time to time. It was a lesson that is forever implanted in my head and made me realize it was finally time to permanently remove that makeshift shelf once and for all!! Now my oil infusions are sitting in the light on much sturdier pedestals.
My online shop: BackyardHerbHealer has been getting some visits but no sales yet. I’m trying to stay positive. By the end of the week I should have my tinctures for sale at the local store too. No matter how much I sell, I still absolutely LOVE this journey and all it continues to teach me about myself, the environment, & the herbs I’ve grown to connect with in so many rewarding ways!!
Have a beautiful rest of your day!!=)