We made it through another historically crazy month and things are looking up with the pandemic and the new administration in Washington. It has been a long, tough slog but the days are lengthening and spring is on the way. February will bring the very first flowers of spring with crocus and snowdrops peeking out of the snow. Garden centers will start stocking up on seeds and we are starting to see tulips, daffodils, and primrose in the grocery stores and perhaps the emergence of a few green leaves in the garden. Pick up a pot or bundle of blooms. There is nothing like a splash of color and scent to lift up your day.
Classes are still limited until we get a handle on the pandemic and the weather cooperates with outside classes.
Kitchen Apothecary - Oils, Salves, and Balms – ONLINE
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 11 AM-noon.
Price $25, $20 members. https://catalog.
Learn how to make your own soothing, nourishing, and healing herbal oils, salves, and balms. From easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients craft skincare ointments for dry skin, inflammation, lip balms, and more. Learn the best herbs and essential oils for your crafted creations for supple skin and gift-giving. Handout with recipes included.
This program will be recorded and held online in Zoom. Registration will close and details on how to join the sessions will be emailed the day before the program begins.
We are still in a drought, hopefully, spring will bring some relief. In the meantime, consider giving those outside trees, shrubs, and perennials a drink. Give special attention to spring bulbs and anything else you planted this fall.
One of my favorite February activities is planning the upcoming garden. I will be looking at low-water plants this year. Check out garden books, magazines, and seed catalogs for inspiration. The library is a great resource for this. Will you have edible flowers? Savory herbs? Designer vegetables in container gardens? Now is the time to make a plan.
Check out the local nurseries for open houses or just a shot of spring on a cold winter day.
A great resource for free, expert advice is your local county extension office. Master Gardeners and horticulturists are on staff to answer questions and dispense with helpful handouts. From home canning to vegetable gardens and pine beetles, they have the info. https://extension.colostate.edu/field-offices/
February 1st is Imbolc, celebrating Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of fire, and the first stirrings of spring. She provides the fire of inspiration, healing, poetry, and divination.
It is considered a time of renewal, of earth awakening from winter and life-force stirring.
Time to clear out the cobwebs and make room for new beginnings, creativity, and insight.
Light a candle during this time of growing light and take some time to figure out what inspires you. What seeds are you planting for your future?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Have you always wondered if Valentine’s Day was just another holiday dreamed up to plunder our pocketbooks? It actually started back in Roman times. Valentine’s Day greetings became popular during the middles ages and really took off in Britain in the 18thcentury. From there the retail industry took it to new heights of consumerism, with Valentines accounting for a quarter of all cards sent today.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by telling someone how much they mean to you and why. It doesn’t have to be romantic. We all enjoy feeling loved and appreciated. Give yourself some love while you’re at it.
Fun Things to Do
I wish I had more to report here but most of the spring festivals and activities have been canceled.
Hiking on all the amazing trails we have in our wild areas. https://www.alltrails.com/
Taking out expensive, beautiful cookbooks from the library and trying out new recipes. Here’s where I go for some of my favorites online. https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes If you scroll down to the very bottom you can subscribe to their free newsletter.
Herb of the Month – Chocolate
Herb of the Month - Chocolate
What’s that you’re saying? Chocolate is not an herb?
Well, it comes from plants so we are using the term loosely here. And yes, it is good for you. It contains flavonoids and antioxidants, and it is being researched for its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Dark chocolate is the best choice for benefits, the higher the cacao content, the better.
Chocolate increases endorphin production, which increases pleasure. Does this mean you should have a candy bar instead of a bowl of broccoli? No, but chocolate in moderation is a fine thing indeed. Here is one of my favorite chocolate recipes to get those endorphins going.
Recipes of the Month
"TBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
– Dr Seuss