Making Plant Hydrosol with an Alembic Copper Still

Experiments in Plant Hydrosol Distillation

Oh, how I love my alembic copper still! I’ve been having such a great time experimenting with it over these past few weeks. The process of distilling plant matter in water to make hydrosol is creative and right brained, but it also engages my left brain in just the right way. It feels like alchemy,

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #9: The Weird Al

I’ve been saving this prompt idea for a time when we could all use something a bit silly and dumb and with this hot muggy weather and the early July holidays behind us, I think the time is now. This idea came to me when my dog Molly was outside chasing the squirrels that invade

Alembic Copper Still for making Plant Hydrosols

Let’s Make Plant Hydrosols: An Alembic Copper Still for My 40th

I got a handmade wooden pinhole camera for my 30th and now, with a month left before I turn 40, I have gifted myself this beautiful handmade alembic copper still from Portugal. I’ve been doing a lot of wildcrafting this season and have been experimenting with D.I.Y methods for making plant hydrosols aka floral waters

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #8: The Essence of Summer

The summer solstice (June 21) has just passed and I thought it fitting to mark the turning of the seasons. Summer is my favourite season of the year, a joyful time of long days spent outdoors soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the bounty of crops as they come into fruition. However, having just visited

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #7: In Bloom

Grow Write Guild Prompt #7: Write about one plant that is currently in bloom. Use the following questions and strategies to help spark different approaches to this prompt. Feel free to ignore this if you don’t need it. Further Notes & Questions: Go outside and look at your garden right now. What is in bloom?

Sonoran Desert Food Plants

Books to Take with You to the Desert

T-minus just a few days before we leave on our 10 day desert trip and the madness is in full swing around here. I am never again going away on such a long trip at the height of planting season. Lesson learned. Still, I figure I will stop fussing and fretting about my own garden

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #6: Landscapes

I’m thinking about landscapes this week as I prepare to go on a roadtrip through two — possibly three (we’ll see how far we get) North American deserts. I’ve always been drawn to the desert. When I think of this landscape I think of big skies, stars that touch the ground, magic, and grit. Perhaps

Herbaria May15 2013

Herbaria (May 15, 2013): One Year Later

Before I talk about the project I wanted to mention the awkward image sizes that are appearing on the site. We are in the process of a redesign and will be using larger photos in the future. I plan to post at a larger size from here on out, but it will be a bit

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #5: Listen

One rainy Saturday morning six years ago I was kicked out of my apartment while a camera crew was there filming an interview with Davin. With nothing to do and no real direction, I found myself headed towards my community garden plot, which was then just a few blocks away. The garden was (and still

pathway_rake

How to Make an Easy and Affordable Path (Part 2)

Part 1 of this two part article can be found over here. How to Make and Lay the Pathway Step 1: Define the Path I began this project two years ago so my path was already defined. To do that I laid down twine, and tied the ends to twigs to hold it in place.

molly_mulch

How to Make an Easy and Affordable Path (Part 1)

When I moved in, the yard I inherited was barely more than a lumpy patch of “grass.” My theory is that the yard was once a vegetable garden that was left to go fallow and was eventually seeded without being levelled. It was extremely sloped in multiple directions, and full of large lumps and even

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild: A Spring Day

Click here to see larger. It’s been interesting to see how differently people react to the Grow Write Guild prompts. Some people say they’re too easy; others too hard. I’m behind schedule with my responses and was very tempted to throw in a super easy one for number 4, but I promised myself from the

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