For the 2022 growing season, we plan to have a limited supply of seedlings for sale at Lunar Hollow Farm (no shipping). These seedlings will be annual fruits, vegetables, and herbs, primarily, with many annual medicinals. As our first year doing this, we will be planning to start a large amount of seedlings for our own use, and will sell extra starts to friends who don't have the space or equipment to start their own seeds. This will be first come first serve, and we will designate spring pickup times (socially distanced, outdoors, most likely) for people picking up any pre-purchased seedlings on site here. We also plan to have some medicinal plant seeds for sale here on farm. We already have a lot of folks asking about the seedlings, so think they will go fast once we get our quantities set. I'm still buying seeds, so if you have any special requests, let me know! This year I purchased several new herbs (to me) from Central and South America, that I am so excited to try.
UPDATED TO ADD: If you are Interested In purchasing seedlings this spring (local pickup in Deerfield WI), please take a moment to fill out the seedling interest form so we can have a better idea of quantities as we start seeds.
I am also expanding our cutting gardens this year, so we will have some annual flower starts as well. I buy my flower seeds from Johnny's because they have the amazing earth tone flowers that I love so much.
Seeds are carefully gathered each fall from our gardens here at Lunar Hollow, processed, winnowed, and stored all winter long. We bag them in sets of about 25 seeds for those more rare seeds, up to 100 seeds per packet. Seeds will only available on farm here. Available seeds will be listed in early spring.
Keep an eye out for more information soon!
Seed Starting Plans
A few things I am excited to grow this year include:
Huacatay - AKA Aztec Marigold (Tagetes minuta), is a fragrant South American herb that is both medicinal and edible. It will likely be annual this far north, and is the plant found in Black Mint Paste you find at Latino Grocers. It is commonly used in Bolivia and Peru, and dried leaf and flower is used to make tea.
Greenthread - Thelesperma fifolium, is a dye and medicinal plant. You use the new leaves before they flower and dry them to make a tea. It also is used to make a yellow/orange dye. (as you can see from my list, I am growing a dyer's garden this year as well). This might end up being annual up here, but I do plan to save seeds so I can share to folks that use this traditionally next year.
Altai Dragonhead - Dracocephalum rupestre - I love Moldavian dragonhead balm, and this is in the same family, though looks more like Betony. It is found natively in Russia, Mongolia, and China. I have a rocky garden area where I am growing Rhodiola, so I think this will be perfect there.
Balkan Mountain Tea - Sideritis scardica - This is from the Balkan peninsula, and it is a downy, fragrant, plant. It is traditionally used as tea or tonic.
Flouncy Soapwort - Just the name alone makes me want to grow this. It is used with botanically dyed fabrics as it is super gentle, so I plan to use it in the dye garden.
Yauhtli - Tagetes lucida - Another marigold family plant of South American descent, that I have grown before and I love love love the smell.
Schizonepeta - Schizonepeta tenuifolia - you might notice the nepeta, as in catnip, and this is a Japanese Catnip used in TCM. This is a very fragrant plant that apparently perfumes buildings when it is dry. This is used for tea re: cold and flu season.
Camphor Basil - Ocimum canum Sims var. Camphor - This is a camphory sweet basil that is used often as an insect repellent.
Tinda - B enincasa fisulosus - This is a northern India fruit/veggie that is like a green tomato watermelon that is used in curries. Can't wait to try it.
Hoary Skullcap - Scutellaria incana - This is a midwest native that is used as others are used, as a nervine. I grow 3 types of skullcap, so am happy to add another.
We are growing upland rice again, this time Loto, Hayayuki, and Zerawachanica. And, expanding the oats, sorghum, amaranth, flax, millet, and quinoa this year to grow more.
There are many more new varieties I have been happily purchasing all winter, in addition to the standards that I grow every year (mullein, elecampane, astragalus, ashwagandha, etc.). I'll share more as I start seeds!
So, keep an eye out for info on seedling and seed sales for this spring - with pickup on the farm here - it will be wonderful to be able to share plants that we rarely find in nurseries!
This is the time of year I like to start slowing down. This year, we have so much going on it has been a challenge! We are wrapping up a lot of things before taking down time for the last few weeks of the year.
I thought I would share some of the big things happening this fall and winter.
1. I recently spoke with Bevin Clare on the Mountain Rose Herbs Meet the Herbalist podcast and the podcast is now live. Take a listen here.
2. Speaking of Bevin, I am now transitioning to the Chair of the American Herbalists Guild as Bevin finishes her long tenure in that role and transitions to non-officer Board role. Bevin has been a wonderful mentor and supporter in this transition, and I wish her the best. I am so happy to serve the AHG in this role. Read more about this here.
3. I am also excited to say that I submitted my final presentation and video for my dual Permaculture and Advanced Social Systems Design Certificate (PDC) course, and will be transitioning now into more education, and teaching more on permaculture systems, social systems, and mutual aid work. Want to check out my final presentation video and PDF? It is live on the Permaculture Women's Guild page here.
4. We are having a full house solar system installed. The solar installation has been happening on cold autumn days over the past few weeks, and we are in the last stretch just awaiting 2 final panels being installed when the electrician connects us to the grid. We have 32 panels on both south and east facing rooflines. The system is an 11.85 Kilowatt system with battery storage and switch so that we utilize solar energy when it is sunny, draw from the grid when it is not, and can continue to operate even with power grid is down. This will average out over the course of the year to provide us with 100% of our power needs. We are so happy to reduce our reliance on the grid, produce our own energy, and have systems that will keep working if the power goes out. This is a part of our goal of reducing waste and reducing our reliance on the grid, that I outline in my permaculture plan, and I am so thrilled this is coming to fruition a few years before we thought we could do this.
5. Just as I thought I would like to start teaching more about social systems design, community supported herbalism models, and accessible herbalism, a few opportunities have come up, so I am working on a class outline, which I am happy about. I will be doing a deeper dive into how I can best teach this over the holidays. This all aligns with my goals of teaching more moving forward, so things are all falling into place.
We have had a lot of big health needs happening around here, so we have been taking time to be outside, bake and make, have quiet evening time, and enjoy the season. Self-care is one of the hardest things for activists and people working in community models. There is always another person or community needing support, there is always another fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. There are always more people in need. With that, it is hard to not feel guilty or selfish about taking time for our own health needs and self care when there is so much need every single moment. And, with climate change, all of this is happening back to back to back without a break or any reprieve. The saying you must put on your own oxygen mask first always seemed trite, but we must be strong and resilient to continue to do this work, and self-care is a part of that.
The point is that I am learning that it is important to take care of myself as well, because to do this community service work requires endurance and stamina for the long haul. So, teaching, family time, and also modeling self care and life balance in this model is a part of my own goals for 2022!
I can't wait to share more of the Lunar Hollow plans for 2022, including a lot of the outlines and work we have in our permaculture plan for 2022, our new water systems, plantings, outdoor classroom plans, and more!
In health and gratitude,
Autumn is the season that seems to pass so quickly. We go from summer garden to snow and while there is so much in the middle - from winter prepping the chicken coop to closing up the greenhouse for the winter - it seems to be over so quickly.
As soon as the daylight savings happens and it is suddenly dark at 4-something every evening, we all seem to slow down. The oven is on as we start to bake, soups and stews are for dinner, and we have longer quiet nights watching homesteading YouTube channels (or Korean farmer and lifestyle channels), reading books, working on our projects, and feeling a little slower as the darkness hits our moods and sleep schedules.
I have been realizing (as we all do, I’m sure) that I am working too many hours and not taking enough time for home life, family, homeschooling, and home keeping. While most people make new years resolutions, I like to make fall and winter resolutions - and consciously work only a normal work schedule and be sure to take the time I need for short days and dark nights, making and baking, family time, and enjoying the winter snow, cold, and holiday season. I have made my playlists for the dark days - Asgeir, Fever Ray, Foy Vance, and Chill Dubstep, Zoe Keating, and so many others that make the darkness more manageable and meaningful and ping the creative threads.
I have been realizing that while I am in zoom meetings 5,6,7+ hours a day, I'm missing deeper human connection and friendships. Zoom is not that, for sure, and I think COVID has intensified that disconnect (that and our need to isolate due to immunosuppressed family). People have also been less ... nice. I miss the days of blog friends, sharing our life, and seeing what others were doing - and handwriting letters, sharing, and engaging with people. So, I am going back to the idea of sharing on the blog, snippets, life, bits and pieces, and daily life, not just information or what is deemed important enough. And sharing works in progress, and daily life.
We have some winter projects planned, and I have been stitching and working on many new creative pieces for gift making, skill building, and creative outlets. I have been working on more writing, more art, and as I finalize my PDC presentation video, will start to have webinars and podcasts on making your own permaculture life plan. We have been at the hospital a lot for A, but that should slow down to monthly now, which is better for winter. So, the focus is on food, family, fun, craft, creativity, and connection.
What have you been up to? How do you handle the transition to the dark?
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, permaculture designer, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.