Saturday, November 24, 2007

Doing your best with what you have

Several acres with herbal beds. Herbs for immunity and herbs for flavor. Tea herbs, decorative herbs. A hops arbor with a swing or bench to sprawl out on while enjoying a favorite book and lemon balm tea. An outdoor clawfoot bathtub with roses surrounding this place to enjoy on a summers night.
These are my dreams and desires that I look forward to creating.
We are currently living in a small house on a small sloped lot in the NW Arkansas Ozarks. It is beautiful here, but for someone with little gardening experience it has been challenging.
This year the knowledge of endangered herbs became an intense reality. ALong with our herbal dreams, we had work to do to save these plants!
So we would pack our 3 smaller children into our Honda and travel the counnrysides and curving Mountain roads for land we could call home. A place to create our dream and devote a portion for endangered herbs.
The summer sun was hot and the ticks and mosquitos flourished. These insects surely loved our curiousity about all the properties we explored. We spent many days treating bramble injuries, bites and itching but I have to be honest, it was a fun expedition.
During this season, the financial institutions began to clamp down hard on granting loans for property ownership. Self employed carpenters and soapmakers are not favored easily when it comes to loaning money.
The present economy is one that is difficult for many people and we were included in those ineligible for a loan at this time. We were pretty devastated to have our dream squashed like that.
However, as fall began to roll in, we were given a quiet message of hope. We realized that maybe our land is not ideal, nor very large, but it is enough to forge through and begin a good work.
Our first endangered plants to add to our property are Black Cohosh, Goldenseal, and American Ginseng that we obtained in a UPS fall give away. We have them planted and mulched along our property and the woods edge as they prepare for their winter nap.
Nearby perilla, elder and poke are saying good night for now too.
We are delighted to have these plants on our land and check on them often as we gather chickweed and dandelion leaves for our salads.
We purchased old ceramic tiles from Habitat for Humanity and painted them to help identify the areas where these herbs are planted.
Our dreams have not changed, however we feel they have partially begun. We realize sometimes you just need to begin right where you are and watch the process blossom with time. And this lesson is what we have learned from the plants themselves.
Dont be afraid to begin where you are and grow with it. Be blessed~ Kristena

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