Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ok, so the sky really isn't falling.

last night, after a mini freakout (ok, who am i kidding...i went postal), i went out and trimmed off leaves affected with powdery mildew. my squash plants have it too. big surprise there, since it apparently has something to do with heat & humidity. (hi, michigan? this is sarah calling. seriously, you're killing my garden. knock it off. yeah? i know i have no idea what i'm doing, but please. spare a little mercy?)

a few things i neglected to mention in my spilled milk post:

+wes went out foraging yesterday. he got out of work early after pulling an all nighter, so instead of going home to nap, he went out to proud lake. scooped up what we're sure is probably the last of the chantrelles, and a little specimen of chicken mushroom. he's going to look into other ways to cook chicken mushroom, because as of yet, i've only had them one way that i can stomach. honestly, it truly is like eating chicken, and it grosses me out.

+went to Nature Made in Detroit yesterday, and met the hermit and self taught herbalist Gary ....W. I can't remember his last name. i had seen jim mcdonald's post on (yet another lurking spot of mine) about gary being one of his favorite herbalists, especially locally. gary's an awesome guy, and really inspired me to kick my school addiction and learn it myself. also, we talked about all sorts of alternative energy stuff, he gave me some really cool tips as far as greenhouses go, and we talked about heat pump technology.

+in poking around on other people's blogs, i discovered that yes, there are urban homesteaders. and yes, there are two within 20 miles from me whose blogs i've discovered. (this discovery was this morning.)

this makes me slap my forehead and bemoan my lack of brain power. who needs an acre to homestead? i've got a 120 X 60 lot, i'm sure i could put much more of it to good use. and why in god's name did i not think of growing stuff in containers on the patio, thereby freeing up future above ground boxes for stuff that DOESN'T grow well in containers, like greens? freaking...triple duh. geez.

+ i've learned so much this summer about gardening, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. for instance, the plantain and woodsorrel that run riot in my yard both indicate acidic soil. the clover? mostly infertile land. this helps me to figure out how to amend the soil. score!

+decided what to do about school. (inspired by DIYers the world around). There's some things that I definitely do better with a little direction and exercises, like learning A & P, pathology, pathophysiology, etc. so, for those, i'm going to continue with ACHS. just for a few more classes. after that...(thinking about something Gary said to me..."when some guy was teaching an herbal class for $300, I thought to myself, how many books can I buy for $300??"). Also, I do intend to do a summer program with Gaia over in Ann Arbor, as I think this would give me more vital hands on experience I am sorely lacking. Add in the fact that I'll have to do work study, as I'm always broke, that's more experience, both in terms of wildcrafting and cultivation. Plan to take as many of jim's classes as I can possibly afford. blogs, herblists, and websites are so invaluable to me, as people relate their experiences in the world of herbal medicine. also plan to do some stuff with other correspondence courses, but that's not going to be for a bit, as I need to finish up some stuff with ACHS, and nobody else is going to take a student loan.

+another huge duh. who's got years of experience with natural medicine? my internal martial arts teacher and good friend, rick. he was trying to tell me how to make lye when we were bowling on friday night. i had been drinking, and subsequently promised to pay him a visit. saturday didn't work out. sunday didn't work out. this week hasn't worked out. i can't even afford to spend the gas to go out there right now. not even for class. i haven't left my house aside from going to and from work in days. (also the tincturing calendula dilemma? hi. i'm an idiot. i forgot to grind the herb up. ...or just cover it in alcohol. rick says - you remember from the school of cultivation and practice, sarah. the method is not the truth. once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.)

+figured out what i'm missing, i think. i had said something before about cleavers, chickweed, and mullein. dunno where mullein came from, but i'm pretty sure that's not what i had in mind. cleavers, duh. good for sluggish lymph system. (we'll not go there now). chickweed? bigger duh. full of vitamins & minerals, especially zinc, which is sorely missing from my diet, due to vegetarianism. and the biggest duh of all? oatstraw. duh, duh, duh. good for anxiety, and extremely nourishing to the body. jim mentioned it in some emails we passed back and forth. i've read about it. it just didn't strike me.

also, need to do nutritional overhaul, for certain. i've been eating like crapola lately, with the exception of lots of fresh stuff. i just need to balance a little better, and address some gaping vitamin/mineral holes.

also planning on doing an about me post, as there is surely a reason i (usually lightheartedly) call myself a fool. all inquiries as to the nature of the beast can soon be directed there.

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