The solstice is past. Already morning light streaming into the bedroom comes in just a just a touch later now. The nightly light show of June’s fireflies gives way to the cicadas starting to drone their high note of summer. The days shimmer with the kind of heat and haze that makes afternoon siestas in the hammock mandatory. It’s the time of year when words like ‘verdant’ and ‘lush’ are an understatement. My life in particular has become downright bucolic recently.
My partner Andrew and I have had the amazing fortune of renting the house on the Just Food property where my 1/2 acre garden is located. We moved in at the beginning of June and a month and a half later we are unpacked and in awe of our new living arrangements.
Being here is a dream come true. My commute to the garden has shrunk from 12 km to .5 km. I am surrounded by 150 beautiful acres of fields, forests and streams right outside my back door. (This pic was taken through my sunglasses. You can just make out the roof line of the house to the right of the barn.)
I have a porch and a big front yard with a hammock under two shady trees. The kitchen is bright and cheerful. (This was taken around 6:00 am just as the first rays of sun came into the kitchen.) The living room is cosy. The bedroom is a simple haven of peace and tranquillity. I have an outdoor laundry line!!! The compost is right outside the kitchen door. Sometimes I see deer walking across the yard.
I love what the place has to offer in terms of my workspace and flow. My apothecary is three times bigger and so much better organized because of the extra space. There is more room for workshop and class space. I can offer longer, more in depth classes that have both an outdoor and indoor component, which means classes are not limited by weather and participants can gather and process plants on site all in the same class.The house is very accessible by public transit and there is a stop less than a minute away on a major route that can take you downtown in about 20 minutes. The post office, grocery store and library are a 5 minute bike ride away.
I’m so thrilled to have this space to steward, respect and care for, for as long as I am here. This feels like the proverbial next chapter in my life and for the Wild Garden, and I am excited to see how the story continues to unfold.
And as always, for those of you who have followed me on this journey, for a little or a long time, I am grateful. Every encouraging word and helpful tidbit of feedback bolsters my heart. I am honoured by each CSA member, student and class participant with the opportunity to share my love of the plants and to spend yet another day dedicated to work and study that brings me joy. Thank you for sharing in this, and if you’re in the neighbourhood, do come and stop by the farm to say ‘hi!’
The Just Food Farm Stand launches in two weeks on July 26th. This year it will run on Sundays up until Thanksgiving from 10 am to 3 pm. You’ll have a fantastic selection of local, organic veggies, honey, ferments, herbs, teas and more! We just started a Facebook page here, where you can stay up to date on our special events and what we have on offer each week.
This year’s weed walks have been very popular, selling out quickly. I looked at my schedule and managed to squeeze in an extra date. There are only four spots left for this one!
The Explorations in Plant Healing classes have been such a delight to host. Imagine spending an entire day immersed in and experiencing one plant in depth. The combination of field botany, nature awareness, theory and practice had one participant comment, “Thank you, Amber, for another wonderful session in the Exploration in Plant Healing series last weekend. I enjoy every part of the experience, especially the outdoors foraging on the farm and later making medicine together in the farmhouse. I also appreciate the attention we give our focus plant through reflections and researching the Materia Medica. It’s a magical place to be for the day!”
Spots are filling up in for the Foraging Families class coming up in August. This will be a fun-filled day of learning about wild plants, playing games and exploring the outdoors.
The Summer CSA is in full swing. I love planning for and preparing the boxes each month. And I’m already looking ahead to the fall anticipating wild crab apple butter, all things goldenrod, sticky New England Aster flowers, elderberry syrup, delicious dandelion…
Register for the Fall CSA here.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and taking time to enjoy the wild and weedy things!