My Little Herb Farm
I mentioned last time that I've been using my Thursdays to grow and harvest a lot of the herbs that I use in my dispenasary. I have a small plot of herbs at Meadowsweet Organics (which I used to help run) at Kilgour on the Falkland Estate, well 11x 30m beds of herbs, which isnt really that small, it's kind of like a wee herb farm. I've also got a handy little caravan there, which I use for processing the herbs that I grow.
Here's an update of some of the seasonal things I've been up to there..
I've been propagating a lot of skullcap herb this year becuase it's one of the herbs I use the most of in my dispensary, it's a rare native herb to Scotland, but very expensive to buy in when I run out of my own supply. It's traditionally used for calming and strengthening the nervous system and in my experience it is very magical at doing that. I've grown some from seed and some from root cuttings and going to plant them out into the field this weekend..
I've been harvesting some of the early summer herbal leaves that I use a lot of including raspberry leaf, mullein leaf, marshmallow leaf and ladies mantle. I harvest these and dry them or tincture them to prescribe to clients, or use in the herbal tea blends that I make.
This year I have downsized a lot and stopped producing large amounts of herbs for wholesale because it was becoming quite stressful and difficult to make a living from doing because of the amount of labour involved and competing with cheap dried herbs prices from Egypt and Poland etc. I got a smaller herb dehydrator; and downsized my herb growing space to the requirements for my own herbalist practise, which makes things a lot more managable.
I really enjoy spending the day alone outdoors with the plants and I think it's an important practise for a Herbalist to spend time growing or foraging herbs in addition to working with people and prescribing them. I am dreaming of having all these different elements of my herbal practise together one day; my home, clinic room, dispensary and growing space and making it into a really nice place for people to come to. For now I am spread out across Falkland and the estate travelling between Pillars of Hercules, Meadowsweet Organics and my home in the village by bicycle.
On the cycle home yesterday I stopped to admire the elderflowers that are in bloom just now, they make a really delicious herbal tea or cordial and are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and decongesting amoungst many other uses. I prescribe them for lots of things this time of the year as well as roses, which are also in bloom just now!
Today I've been working in my herbal dispensary upstairs at Pillars of Hercules Farm shop mixing herbs and doing phone consultations and catch ups with clients. Remember that you can book a skype herbalist consultation with me on Friday mornings if you would like to work with a herbalist.
I also made some more rosehip, elderberry and hibiscus syrup last week, so look out for this on my website shop. It tends to sell out quite quickly, but I'll let you know when it;s there.
Have a good weekend (go and find some elderflowers!)