29 January 2015

Blog has moved!

Dear reader, from now on you can find the blog and the website in one place -> simperi.com .
I hope to see you there soon!

PS. Please consider subscribing to the blog when you're there - then you don't miss a thing!


13 January 2015

Successfully completed!

Hooray! On the 6th January this year I successfully completed the ten modules of the Intermediate Herbal Course, which included the study of anatomy, physiology, herbal therapeutics and the relevant examinations.
I'm eager to deepen my knowledge further. I've learned a LOT in a short time. Now I want to go back to it all, revise, build on my materia medica and get to know 'my plants' better.

If you ever consider to study herbalism, I can really recommend the Intermediate Herbal Course. I took the Intermediate Herbal Course, which is an in-depth study, but you could also start with the Introductory Herbal course. If you'd rather read into articles, monographs and connect with a community, The Herbarium is your way to go.

Learn Herbs As Food And As Medicine in the Online Herbal Course

( These are affiliate links. If you decide to buy from the Herbal Academy of New England I will get a  fee towards supporting my herbalist life and my family. )

And now I will jump back to a couple of weeks ago...
During the Christmas vacation we were to our place in France, where the foodforest is still a baby but has taken root.
Upon arrival we had wonderfully sunny, mellow days - and I got my top bar beehive ready for its first season! We didn't 'install' it in the field yet, that will happen the next time, but it's now there, ready and waiting.
 goldenrod in winter

 the last roses, before frost

I found the last nasturtiums and something orange peeking in between them. The tiniest pumpkin!

And then came the frost and snow. 
Everything was under a white glittery coat overnight.
What does an eager gardener with an impossibly long to do-list do in the case of snow?!
After some hours of being torn between frustration and awe, I snapped out of it, grabbed the camera and headed out for a track hunt. Fun!

These animals are roaming within the garden(s)...the first being our cat.

 And this one is the neighbors' dog :)

The following tracks are from our New Years' walk, outside our garden(s). Can you identify the animals by their tracks? Feel free to comment!

4 December 2014

More of natures' jewels: postcards!

I turned the best photos of the misty morning garden session into postcards. Perhaps you would like to use them as greeting cards? They are available here.

NB. the actual postcards have no logo on the photo side of the card.

13 November 2014

A misty morning

This morning it was very cold - and very misty.
As I was bringing my child to school with the bicycle, the shivers of cold soon melted into silent admiration.
The sun rose slowly above the horizon, surrounding us in white light.

On my way back, I had the idea of taking a look at the gardens of the local nature society. "But I'm cold!" I thought. And yet, the bicycle took a left turn where it should have gone right (according to my freezing toes).
I got to the gardens and I was struck with awe. And with regret of not having my camera with me.
In the following split second I was heading for my bike, raced home to fetch the camera (took some photos along the way) and arrived just as the sun came through the tree tops.

Tiny droplets hung on cobwebs, transforming the garden into a display of natures very own jewellery.
The dry, brown stems of plants with seeds on them (or not) were wrapped in watery diamonds and pearls. Perhaps I should carry the camera with me always, just in case.

As always, you're welcome to share on social media, just as long as you link your posts to this source. See "Important stuff" in the left column.

27 October 2014

Medicine making

I'm not sure which part I'd choose I love the most: the gathering, the preparing, the gentle stirring of the contents during the infusion time by rocking the jars between my hands, the filtering or the actual, finished medicine, labelled. It's one thrilling, utterly satisfying journey. Bottling smaller amounts into tiny glass bottles with pipettes. Putting some of them into our kitchen cabinet for daily use. A sigh of accomplishment and happiness - finally! Finally I'm doing this, what I was softly aching for my whole life. Turning plants into medicine, in collaboration, with the spirits of the plants. In it together.

2nd batch of herbal medicine

This time I finished making Plantain tincture, Plantain extract in apple cider vinegar, Mugwort and rose petal elixir, Mullein tincture, Mullein flower infusion in almond oil, Yarrow tincture, Elderberry elixir and Impatiens tincture.

My online study was going very slow for a period of time, as I was gathering and preparing the medicine and reading into the Plant Healer publications. Now back on track of the intermediate herbal course, enjoying it very much!

23 October 2014

Autumn at the future foodforest

The future foodforest - which is a field at the moment. 

The fruit trees are out there... And the baby walnut tree 'Chiara' :)
I was hoping to be able to make some paths into the high grass this time, but we only got as far as planting the trees, organic(!) flower bulbs and blueberries we had with us, and cutting the bramble around the field.


Here's the Elstar apple tree I planted this spring. I hope it will grow big, strong and abundant!  On the far right of this photo you can see the blue bucket of the next photo...

I admit, it is a messy photo. Jerusalem artichoke falling all over the place, a bucket to put the tubers in and behind the bucket the sugar maple that was looking so tall in my Amsterdam garden, now dwarfed by the surrounding wilderness.

 And here's some harvest! Herbs, roots and Jerusalem artichoke to take inside.

This was the second autumn for us there. Last year I didn't even make it to the edges of the field, the grass and brambles were in such a wild state until winter. This year I made my walk around and let sighs of happiness - hello Hawthorn, hello Elder, hi there Walnut and Hazelnut trees!

Hawthorn tincture is now steeping for its six weeks.

The hazelnuts had fallen out, the walnut tree stands in knee-high nettles...  Even though I was looking for walnuts, I couldn't find them on the ground. Maybe next year?