MAY 2014
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Green Blessings ...
with Susun Weed

Get Outside
Green greetings from the baby goats and from me!

I'm the one with dirty hands kneeling in the garden. I'm the one stretching my neck up to take a hands-free bite of the fresh tender growth of the spruce. I'm the one watching the bluebirds bring beetles to their brood hidden in the standing dead tree. I'm the one rolling in the grass and breathing in the scent of lilac and honeysuckle. I'm the one giggling and laughing my way into sleep each night. I'm the one with the glass of iced nourishing herbal infusion at her side.

Which one are you? Are you the one wondering about herbs and where to start? Are you the one who thinks the plants are talking to her? Are you the one who's planning a fairy garden? Are you the one adding weeds to your family's salad? Are you the one who's confounding the doctors with the rapid resolution of your incurable problem? Are you the one looking for sage advice? Are you the one who wants more green blessings in your life?

Let's journey together. Let's delight our palates with herbal recipes. Let's keep ourselves healthy with simple, safe herbal remedies and nourishing herbal infusions. Let's connect the physical and the metaphysical and remember that our bodies are sacred. Let's relearn our place on the earth, remember the joy of existence, and reweave the healing cloak of the Ancients. . . together.

Dandelion Wine
In words and photos

On a bright, sunny day, when the bees are flying about and gathering nectar and the fields and lawns are golden, pick 4-5 quarts/liters of fresh dandelion flowers.

Go home as soon as you are done picking and put your flowers immediately into a large non-metal container (crock, ceramic-lined pan, plastic bucket). This is your fermentation vessel.   Boil 5 quarts/liters of water and pour it over the flowers.

Put a clean kitchen towel over the top of your fermentation vessel, fastening it with a large rubber band. For the next three days, remove the cover once a day, and stir well.

On the fourth day, strain the blossoms from the liquid through a plastic colander, collecting the liquid in a large ceramic-lined pan. Put flowers in the compost or throw them outside.

Add 3 pounds/1.5 kg white sugar and 6-8 pieces dried organic lemon and orange rinds. (Fine to use fresh if available.) Bring to a boil; turn heat down low and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Pour back into your fermentation vessel. Add 2-4 tablespoons organic lemon juice. Cover.

While your brew cools, toast a piece of whole wheat bread. (It will take many hours to cool, so find something else to do as well.) When the brew reaches about 98-100 degrees F (28-29 C), or blood temperature, soften 1 tablespoon dry yeast in a little of the warm dandelion liquid and spread on your toast. Float this, yeast side up, in the brew. Cover. Observe your wine while it works, at least once a day for the next few days. Just how long it takes to work depends on a great many factors. Be patient.

When the bubbles are very small and not making much noise, the dandelion wine is done working and is ready for the next step. Big bubbles and lots of small pops mean the wine is still working and not ready to go into bottles yet.

Strain the citrus peels and yeasty bread from the dandelion brew through a plastic colander, collecting the liquid in a non-metal container. Return the liquid to your fermentation vessel. Allow to settle for 12-24 hours.

Wash 6-8 wine bottles of various sizes with hot water and unscented soap. A bottle brush is incredibly helpful. Fill the bottles just up to where the shoulder meets the neck, not all the way to the top. Put a balloon over the neck. Label.

The balloons will inflate as secondary fermentation continues its work. When the balloons deflate, pull them off, one by one and replace with corks. (Soften corks by soaking in hot water for a few hours.)

Store in a dark cool place for at least six months. It is traditional to open a bottle to celebrate winter solstice, but dandelion wine ages very well. I have a bottle, given to me ten years ago, labeled "25 year-old dandelion wine." Wonder how old it will be when we finally open it?


Shamanic Skills Corner: Self-esteem
Self-esteem is created within myself.

Self esteem is not a prize that someone confers on me.

I pay attention to what others think of me, listening carefully to their feedback, but others' opinions of me neither feed nor impair my self-esteem.

Self-esteem comes from keeping my word, every time.

Self-esteem comes from doing my best, every time, in every situation, small as well as large.

Self-esteem comes from taking responsibility for my words and my actions. No excuses.

Among shamans, self-esteem is based on impeccability.

I strive for impeccability in every aspect of my life.

NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed.
The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $19.95
For excerpts visit:




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