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picture of rosemary sprigs, flat rock that has "organize & simplify" painted on it, and a pencil  on top of a paper.

I'm writing this during the first new moon of 2023, now at 1.7%. Not only is it that time of the year to focus on what goals I may have for the future, but it is also the moon time to set intentions for the upcoming month. Should I write them down? Sometimes I just think of them, and then maybe I remember them, or just forget when I get caught up with the activity of the full moon by the time it comes around.

I am currently enrolled in The Science & Art of Herbalism, and now I'm at the end of the course where I need to create my personal health profile. I started this home study course in February 2020. Even though I consider myself a home herbalist, I wanted to learn more. Who better to learn from than the Grandmother of Herbalism, Rosemary Gladstar. I was given three years to complete it. Not a problem I thought.

My husband and I took a vacation to Sedona, AZ for two weeks shortly after I signed up for the course. We stayed in a house on the river right downtown. We hiked the red rocks, and experienced both types of vortex's and never thought we would climb to the top of some of the mountains that we did. It was such a rejuvenating, and restful vacation, which we both needed. On a rainy day we stayed in, and I started the herbalism course with Lesson 1, The Nervous System. I calculated and wrote down a goal to have this course completed in two years. I figured that I could get some lessons done prior to the growing season, be able to grow more plants during the summer to study, then finish lessons the next winter, while wrapping up with plants the following year. Well, that was before I knew that a pandemic was starting to happen. Over the next 6 months or more, I didn't have all of the extra time that a lot of people had to stay home and find new activities or things to do. Not complaining, just had to work a lot and grow more plants. I also opened up the farm to visitors for classes and plant pick up. This was the first year I held the Herb Farmer Apprenticeship too. I added additional growing space, and couldn't keep up with orders. A lot of changes for all of us.

Back to the self assessment part. I can see that my 2020 goals that I wrote down didn't work, I can't remember what my 2021 or 2022 goals were, but I do know that for 2023, my physical strength and mental health are the most important areas for me to focus on. I turned 60 in 2022, and I feel really good, but I want to continue to feel good! Organize and simplify in all areas of my life will be the way to begin to tackle this. I have been cleaning and organizing my house for months! This is the first time I have been able to do this since 2020. Now that I can see through the clutter, and I have comfortable spaces for meditation, working, medicine making, food preparation, and creative spaces, I'm excited to be able to spend more time this year with PEOPLE. Yes, the farm and growing plants is still my full time gig, but taking time for fun, socializing, and ceremony are better than work, even if you enjoy your work wouldn't you agree?

For this upcoming month, it is my intention to reconnect with friends and spending some in person time with them. I also need to finish my course. I could come up with some elaborate plan for the year, but I have found that focusing on the present is where I would prefer to be. What are you up to this next moon cycle?

This was the most liked and seen post from our Instagram page in 2022. I clearly remember this day at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in Traverse City, Michigan. Even though I was VERY cold that morning, the sun felt so good on my face. I love those brisk spring mornings when the sun is out, something that all of us here in Northern Michigan really appreciate. A couple was walking by, looking at the plants. The man had a camera hanging around his neck, the woman was wearing sunglasses. There was some morning market chit chat between all of us, and then I was asked if he could take a photo. "Sure, I'm fine with that" I said. It's unusual for people to ask anymore, and I felt happy, but then also awkward, to pose. I had so many layers on that day, and felt like a big bulky marshmallow. Who cares though, look at those lovely plants! I didn't know if this couple was visiting or if they were local. Weeks go by, then I get an email with the photo attached. I didn't realize at the time I would soon get to know Don and Alison Connors over the summer while they shot a video for the farm.

What kind of writer am I? The last post I really wrote in 2022 was at the beginning of the growing season. My gosh! Growing is a full time job plus, and then trying to write something more than a quick social post has been a bit tough. This year has been FULL! And I'm grateful for that. Let's see....I came up with a brilliant idea to start a small roadside stand, which I sometimes forgot about. I will do better with this in 2023. There were some issues, such as the heat, and how to keep everything cold, in a cooler, in the sun, or how about watered? Oh, and I almost forgot, critters!!! During the later part of the season, critters were nibbling on my handcrafted soaps. I pulled a lot of materials out of the stand. If you have read this far, and you were one of the visitors to our roadside apothecary & plants, comments are welcomed!

On farm experiences. This has been such a pleasure to do. This is a 2 hour farm tour and class. Participants tour the farm harvesting herbs that will be blended into tisanes, and then create their very own unique herb/flower bundles. I offer these weekly, via Airbnb and/or Eventbright throughout the growing season. I have met so many amazing, beautiful people from many places, and truly appreciate what I learn in exchange. I was hesitant to open the farm only because I live here and treasure my privacy and "down time" when I'm not attending markets or open at the Apothecary. But this has been one of the highlights of my week, and will continue to offer similar, smaller events at the farm next year.

I can't thank the people in my life enough, family, friends, people that helped me here at the farm, customers and those that have visited the farm. Most of all, I am happy to be sharing what I love to do with all of you. Herbal Blessings and wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year in 2023!

Updated: Dec 31

First things first. If you are a gardener or farmer, is everything planted? Here at Heartwood the answer is a big no. But almost!!! Where did the month go? I’m finishing up what I typically have planted in the gardens by mid June and am also starting to sow my fall crops and those that will overwinter in the hoophouse (carrots, spinach and some perennial herbs). Pictured here is Allie and Nichole. I’m very grateful for them, their helping hands and gentle spirits. Not pictured is Mikeala who has returned this year. You will see her on our social pages. She and her husband are expecting a little one in August 😊 I’m looking forward to meeting her. Volunteers and seasonal helpers will be returning in July as are my daughter, future son-in-law and granddaughters.

Did you know about our weekly herb farm walks and bundle making class every Thursday evening? Learn more at AirBnB under Experiences. We don’t have overnight accommodations but we have fun! Making Herb/Flower Bundles with Organic Herb Farm Tour — Airbnb Experience

You can also learn more and register via Eventbrite

I heard through the grapevine we had weird hours for the Apothecary and Greenhouse. That’s because we are working or teaching, going to market, maybe on a picnic or at the beach some days. Wednesday 2-6 will continue to be the hours for July. You can also call, text, order online and pick up at the farm. We’ve also added a roadside apothecary and greenhouse! Please be patient as we work this out. It is open every day! Follow our social media pages for daily updates and inventory. Herbs of course, veggies, bulk herbs, soaps, honey (soon).

Enjoy the remainder of June!

Herbal Blessings 💚


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