A Way to Garden Radio – I recently appeared as a guest on Margaret Roach’s weekly podcast to talk about Holiday gifts to make using plants and things gleaned from the garden. Click here to listen for free. To get your Holiday gift giving started, Margaret is giving away two garden-themed tees from our shop, so head over there to get your name in the running to win.
The last prompt was tough, so I thought I’d switch to something lighter, although perhaps not easier.
Plant descriptions are essential to writing about gardening. A good description functions like a story, drawing the reader in to want to find out more and maybe even try the plant in their own garden. It’s easy to fall into repetitive traps, using the same words and phrases to describe very different plants. Gorgeous, pretty, tasty, lovely… When it comes to over-using certain words, I’m just as guilty as the next. That said, trolling the thesaurus for fancy new words to use can come off a bit phoney and does little to tell an authentic story or capture the reader’s imagination.
Smudge sticks are tightly bound bundles of dried woody, resinous herbs, that are slowly burned as a way to purify and cleanse the air. While the roots of burning a smudge stick, or smudging, is in North American Native purification rites and ceremony, they can be used by anyone to bring the woody smell of the outdoors inside.
If you have a garden, chances are good that you have enough ingredients to make at least one smudge stick. The traditional and most popular herbs used in smudging ceremonies are white sage (Salvia apiana), Cedar (Thuja), Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), sagebrush (Artemisia californica), and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). However, in my travels I have noticed that the smudging sticks available vary by region and there seems to be a lot of opportunity to branch out (so to speak) with other woody, resinous herbs including, but not limited to: Continue reading
It’s that time of year. Let’s do this!
Yee Olde Merry Basket of Preserves: A basket or box (tip: I look for good quality ones at thrift stores throughout the year), some tissue paper, a few jars of dried herbs and fruit, pickles, jam, ketchup, etc and you’ve got yourself a gift that anyone who eats food (as-in all of us) will enjoy. I give some version of this gift so often that some friends just flat out tell me what they want ahead of time. This is fine by me as it saves the guesswork.
I am currently participating in National Novel Writing Month. While the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel within the month of November, I do not expect that I will write that many words, nor do I intend to write a novel. Instead, my personal goal is to create a habit around personal, fiction(ish) writing that is not about the topics of gardening or food. This type of writing scares the living crap out of me and so I tend to find ways to either avoid it, or create blocks that shut it down whenever I find myself picking up momentum.
Writing through fear has been on my mind continuously as I push my way through this often painful and frightening exercise. I have been reminded over and over of a passage from the book, “Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work” by Haitian-born writer Edwidge Danticat. Back in the fall of 2011, this book inspired me to publish a personal story that I never imagined I would ever make public, certainly not here on this website about gardening.