we all have a plant that calls out to us. for some it's a beautiful peony flower, a magnolia, or a coffee tree. mine is a linden tree.
i harvested linden in the early morning of the summer with my son strapped to my chest in a carrier while my husband and daughter slept away the sunrise. in less than two weeks time i harvested six pounds of linden and received one bee sting.
now that i have children and a family to take care of, a home to keep, i have to prioritize my time. seriously prioritize. what i have found to be the most important activity to me and for my family is gardening. growing plants has given me deeper understanding of plants as food and medicine more than any book or class i could take.
before i had children, twig and leaf was very important to me. branding, growing my online presence and clientele while maintaining a safe personal life distance was what my world revolved around. it wasn't until i became more submerged in herbal culture that i became passionate about using local, sustainable and organically grown herbs. the more i learned about how herbs are grown, harvested and transported, the more i wanted to keep it local.
there seems to be a big slow flowers movement, but not so much for herbs. we have slow food, slow home, but where are our slow herbs?
it has to start somewhere. educating ourselves on the bounty of botanicals that surrounds us in our day-to-day life is a big step toward slow herbs. every morning i would harvest linden, i would be asked by inquisitive passerby what i am doing. i would have them first smell the flowers to appreciate the honey-scented sticky blossoms. then i would briefly explain how i use them and why. every person would be thankful for having learned something new.
the most repeated sentence i heard was "oh, i've never seen this tree before."
yes you have.
look around! really, honestly, take the time to smell the flowers.