hello, november

it's supposedly fall here, in the 70 degree days with no frost. 

twig and leaf is sold out for the season, and we will return next year with some new herbs, some the same. my efforts are all in to bringing slow herbs to life. business cards are ordered. very official. 

right now, since it is the end of the growing season, a lot of gardens and farms haven't added their herbs to the database. (www.slowherbs.com) and i haven't reached out to have some added. 

also, twig and leaf's online shop is down until the next spring harvest. 

conscious consumerism; a community of people who care.

as i grow and my passions morph and become clearer to me, so does the evolution of twig and leaf botanicals become more and more what embodies my calling. 

what i am passionate about is bringing local organically grown herbs to everyone. making these very basic foods and medicines available to anyone and everyone. what this entails and what i need from you is a community of people who care. 

the slow herb movement is the idea that we shouldn't have to buy our spices from the big box chain store. the herbs from these places have been sitting on a shelf for weeks or months, after being grown in soil drastically different from yours, with differently regulated growing conditions, being harvested mechanically or by someone underpaid (or under traded), and being put to dry, handling and packaging and shipping-all to sit on the shelf in the bright fluorescent lights of a store, until you pick it up and bring it to your kitchen. 

we as conscious consumers should be able to put herbs in our food that are locally grown where we want our food to come from. the eat locally food movement should apply to all of our food. 

twig and leaf botanicals will still exist in a local way. providing a door to local companies and individuals to access slow herbs. until i get slow herbs up and running, please feel free to contact me on this website. 

and yes, this month, i think this is 9 years of having my business, i decided that i no longer want to make herbal tea blends. please read the "about" section of our website to read more about this change.

reflection on consumption

each year i end up growing more food for my family, more herbs for my business, and wildcrafting more from the beautiful mountains we call home here in Colorado. and each year i appreciate more of what i consume.

i feel like you don't truly appreciate what you consume until you see the entire process of how it comes to be in your hands or swished or chewed in your mouth. 

consumption, for me, begins when you plant a single seed and watch it germinate and it grows into something sturdy and definable. when a plant is ready to be harvested, either after at least 3 years of continual care for echinacea purpurea root or by pruning thyme as it spreads across my raised beds every spring, i take particular care in transporting the leaves, flowers, roots or berries back to be washed or tumbled then spread out in a single layer to be air-dried or dehydrated for several hours or days. then herbs are packaged in mason jars and stored out of direct sunlight until i ship or deliver them to my customers. 

there are no chemicals sprayed, no weird or questionable processing, nothing added. all of my herbs i grow organically, in soil that i build up every year and is rich with life. 

it takes me at least three full years of growing the echinacea purpurea plant until i uproot it. using the root of the plant before then will not benefit you or the plant. three years of nurturing a beautiful flower, then just pulling it out of the ground. all for a tea. 

i feel like we really don't understand the energy that goes into making a tea, or we take for granted the tea bag we just toss into our mug at night. each one of those botanicals was grown with purpose and harvested with intention. 

the next time you see a cheap box of tea at the grocery store, think of its origins. were those herbs from in china, india or egypt. how do you think they were grown? how old do you think those herbs are? who picked them? what kind of soil were they grown in? 

 

sculpit or stridolo growing in my garden

while we prepare...

as i prepare to have my second child, our shop will have the option for biodegradable bags for tea by the 1/4, 1/2 or pound. this will keep our tea available to you and make life easier for me to not have to make tea bags and label tea containers. 

frost date

as our frost date approaches (farmer's almanac claims this is tomorrow) I have been harvesting our vegetables and delicate herbs before the cold claims their leaves black, their fruits shriveled.  

my favorite tomatoes this season are pink bumblebee. an heirloom cherry tomato. It has the perfect acidity and produces pretty pink almost striped fruits. these plants were prolific for us and I have managed to save many seeds for next year. 

today, my daughter and I pulled the last of our carrots. 13 pounds of a beautiful bounty.  

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dry beans

I decided to focus on only a few dry beans this growing season, 

Jacob's Gold, zolfino, and cannellini beans. 

leaving beans to yellow and dry in the garden is hard.  

its not the prettiest sight but certainly is rewarding once you give them a shake, 

hear the rattle in the pods.  

pull them from their roots and bring them home to shell.  

my little girl loves this.  

below, Jacob's Gold. 

 

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yacon progress

it has been a slow season for us Colorado gardeners. a very wet May has made harvests slower, crop yields not as bountiful. but still our gardens thrive through attentive love.

this was my first year attempting to cultivate yacon root, a delicious tuber I use in our restore tea. It is quite hard to find in North America, being native to Peru and other regions in South America. even though our season has been slow, my beautiful yacon plants are starting to bloom and beneath our soil are producing many tubers for me to harvest come the colder season. I can't wait to share the bounty. 

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mullein musing

pinching tiny yellow blossoms from mullein stalks, 

wildcrafting along clear creek, before the mouth of the canyon. 

I brought sand toys for my patient daughter, who makes trips from the thick pebbled sandy bank with her purple bucket full of water. 

I take note of the progress of flowers. mullein flowers unhurriedly sprout from the second year plant. five blossoms here, twelve on this one, three on this. 

she calls three two one

we chase spinning plastic shovels before they're carried downstream.  

feeling the weight

bending in the garden, a morning prayer before the sun bakes my back into a confetti of freckles. 

i am 7 months pregnant, feeling the weight of this child more every day. hotter days, swollen feet in sandals. hosing the dirt from limbs. reveling in the cool of the water. 

thump-bump, flip. my womb is kneaded.  

my daughter, almost 2 1/2, plucks blue cornflowers, her gardening ritual. the stray pink or purple flowers are reserved for her strawberry blonde hair. 

a second pregnancy differs from the first. counting down the weeks, instead of up. 

mr. October will arrive, an end to the harvest.