the littlest alchemist
it's not often that we as a culture choose to venerate an insect, but as the only food producing 'bug', the honeybee has a special place in all our hearts. This year, we finally got our first hive, and have been blessed with the gifts of watching another species up close. Through this watching, the garden comes alive in a different light. The sound of tiny wings as they make their way from fennel one week, yarrow the next, guides me to the flowering stands faster than my wandering eyes. Watching them sip water from the little pond, and gently escorting out of the herb kitchen have given me such a deep respect for these littlest alchemists. Whispering "thank you" when our paths cross just feels right.
I'm now infusing honey with my most favorite plant of the season: lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora). Her dry papery leaves that are still green and growing offset the incredibly delicious scent as you crush them in your hands. and the tea, made with a few fresh leaves and a drip of the bee's honey: divine. transformative. deeply inspiring and peace-making. really.
And to be perfectly honest, I'm not one who often makes time to sit around and drink tea slowly. But this one, I highly recommend. Her medicine is in the moment, and has a lasting effect on the state of one's nervous system. There's some confusion about what's blue vervain and what's lemon verbena, so be sure you are picking the right plant if you go for tea. Blue vervain is a lovely nervine too, but bitter as all hell. Verbena tastes like bees dancing in the sunshine on a bright summer's day.
And just a little news….
I know many of you have been waiting (too) long for this, but I finally have a spot for you to get all the taproot syrups in the west bay, woohoo! Scarlet Sage Herb Shop in SF...
may the falling leaves help you surrender to the season,