About once a week I travel the 40 minutes out to where my family’s ranch is located, to harvest medicinal native plants. I had been looking forward to this trip because it had been a few weeks since I had last felt its solstice due to the holidays. I had a late start to the morning, and arrived out there right before noon.
There was some paperwork that had to get done before I could walk among the plants (yes….I do have to work out there, too). I sat with my father at an old moldy picnic table on our cabin porch, downwind to the comforting smell of his cigar. As he reviewed the inventory of 4 native plant companies, we talked about plants. Simultaneously, I scrolled through tens of thousands of pictures he had on his computer of the ranch. Some dated back to when we first got it. The bittersweet pictures of us young kids with shovels in our hands were interspersed throughout the years. I was compiling a folder of “the best” ranch pictures that I was going to save and possibly use on my website. Watching the years go by on iPhoto, I saw my son re-born and re-grow up on the ranch, driving the tractor on my brother’s lap before he could walk and fixing the road before he was mature enough to understand why it needed to be fixed. Amongst the nostalgia, I found what I was looking for; some of the best medicinal plant photographs out there, quality comparing to reference books. Scrolling down through one of the many controlled burns we have on the ranch, I almost missed the blood red pedals of the native medicinal Cardinal Flower. I stopped, enlarged it, and engaged my father in some more “medicinal plant talk”. I mentally noted where he vaguely remembered the photos being taken, and saved the ones I was looking for to later be transferred to my computer. Continue reading The Willow’s Smile
Goodnight Moon butter was thought up as the trend of Essential Oils continues to rise. I was told by a friend that my sons sleepless nights would be FIXED if I applied Lavender Essential Oil to the soles of his feet. Now I do love Essential Oils, but this is completely out of control (like every new trend). Essential Oils can sometimes be dangerous; if ingested, given to infants, misused. For the most part they are safe, however unfortunately, they are just a small fraction of the healing capabilities of that plant! Wellness Mama has a great post on the risks and proper uses for essential oils, that I encourage all to check out. Continue reading IMO: Essential Oils
The wind was chilly, at least to me, a Florida girl through and through. 70 degrees warranted long yoga pants, a jacket, and tennis shoes- no barefoot gardening for me today! I hugged my arms in, criss-crossing my jacket as I shuffled to my “spot”. It is what I get to wake up to every morning, where I see the sun reflect its early morning glow to its late afternoon haze. It is the bank of the river but best of all, my “spot” is hidden by a hundred year old Podocarpus tree. The old tree provides shade to my forrest medicinals and a back rest for me when I sit in my spot. The grass was illuminated by the reflection off the water, while I regrouped. The morning was spent getting JW off to school and my mother off to work (she wakes up ridiculously early but is still always late getting out the door). The stress of running two lives is forming knots up my neck.
Although I would like to have a target date for when the website is finalized and my store is ready for the world, I simply cannot give one. I am a one woman operation; what started as a passionate hobby has now turned into a business, so I can share with you my knowledge and remedies. My son will always come first on my priorities, but my healing garden is a close second. The house always gets neglected and the laundry is piling up. I have to keep my shelves stocked at OwlButterfly, what I will always use as my brick and mortar.
This means healing remedies are always in the works and as my business grows (eek!), so does the demand for more products. I am working through the night to ensure my message is spread. We are in a time of health crisis; facing antibiotic resistant illnesses and allergy rates are at an all time high. The answer is not, of course, to continue to rely on the same companies who got us into this mess. If we learn to respect and responsibly use Florida’s vast plant community, we can optimize our health naturally.
If you would ever like any additional information on Florida’s herbs or my products, please email me or visit The OwlButterfly. I frequently update both my Facebook and my Instagram!
I do this because I love it. I share it because it works.