As we near to the solstice tomorrow Tuesday 21st we come to a period of stillness and reflection. The sun has been slowly coming closer since the winter solstice and now will have reached it's full potential. From the solstice onwards the sun will be slowly moving away again ready for winter. A time for the ripening of strawberries.... What great things have you achieved since the winter that are ripening and coming to fruition? Have you achieved some your goals if you set any? Where did you lack enthusiasm or courage? Did you stand up for your truth, what you believe in always?
There is so much abundance in nature at the moment that I want to remind you of, to keep a look out for...blackberry flowers are blooming so make a mental/physical note of where they are so you can retrace your steps come the autumn when the fruits appear.
There are so many elderflower flowers too everywhere, just waiting to be ripe in the autumn, to feed the birds, insects and us if we get there quickly enough!
I will be making elderberry immune boosting syrup for the winter, and will be taking orders from anyone soon that would like some. More information to follow.
Look out for wild cherries....save some money and forage your own (please check they are cherries! Pl@ntNet app or similar are good to check plants before you consume.).
The roses are in bloom, they smell amazing, take time to take a sniff when your out, they all smell different. I have been collecting my petals, drying them and looking forward to my mum's lavender in the autumn and making some rose and lavender bath cleansers.
My favourite smell to date is this beautiful shrub. A sweet mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius L.) I first found this plant in a historic garden, it climbed around a trellis and the smell was just amazing so I ask the gardener what it was, and then I bought one. If that smell could be bottled I would buy it, but like most things nature it is not easily duplicated, like the eyes that see the sunset or the moon so clearly but the image is lost with photography (unless you have a super camera that is!)
It has been very exciting selling some of my 100% natural first aid kits and getting some feedback from happy customers.
"Love being able to use naturally sourced ingredients and it's fascinating to learn about all their benefits and how they work" Amanda, Bromley. Kent
"I recently spent a little too long in the garden and felt a bit 'crispy' on my face in the evening. Before bed I applied some mallow salve, which is soothing, cooling and hydrating and wow it was lovely and the next morning it was feeling a lot better."
Elaine Roberts (should I be reviewing my own product, humm...).
Right now you may see mallow in full bloom (see above), beautiful pink flowers and a haven to bees and other insects.
Here is a reminder for you all of the wash I would recommend for all your fruit and veggies, especially shop bought soft fruit, which a lot of the time will be treated with chemicals (unless organic) so it does not get eaten by crafter health conscious critters and can also travel from Europe and further a field.
Fruit and Vegetable wash
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in 1 litre of warm water (so it dissolves) soak the fruit for 10 minutes and then rinse with clean water.
Artificial sweetener - a sweet poison?
A word of warning about artificial sweeteners - Since 2018 when the U.K. introduced the sugar tax, companies have been getting around the problem by mixing sugar and artificial sweeteners. Sucralose, Acesulfame-K and Aspartame are the most common. So if the drink/squash says 'no added sugar' it will be sweetened entirely with the above sweeteners. Most soft drinks will have a mix of both artificial and natural sweeteners except full fat Coke Cola, Appletiser and the more expensive canned drinks like San Pellegrino which contain Steviol Glycosides (natural sweetener).
After reading Sweet Poison by Dr Janet Starr-Hull and subsequently buying her next book which I have yet to finish, I am sure that artificial sweeteners are no good for us. Dr Starr-Hull was diagnosed with Graves disease and after a diagnosis from the doctor that she should have her thyroid irradiated so it know longer worked and would be on medication for the rest of her life she decided to take matters into her own hands and thoroughly researched her condition, after studying nutrition and looking at her diet she decided to ditch the diet coke and low fat artificially sweetened 'diet' foods, and to her amazement her symptoms which included migraines, cold sweats, and a racing pulse among others disappeared...then came her long research into the safety of these drugs, and drugs they are. Made in laboratories. They may not create adverse reactions like Janet's which are highly noticeable but can cause with long-term use many unpleasant symptoms like headaches, diabetes, stomach upsets, fatigue and general malaise. The sad fact is that the cheaper drinks contain the most amount of rubbish and now the general price of 'full sugar' products is going to be higher too but don't be persuaded by the price. We are natural beings and we need to maintain a natural lifestyle in my opinion. Natural food, natural clothing (cotton, linen), natural sun cream and skincare and natural living at home. At least by eliminating what we can we reduce the amount of toxins we take in and put in our environment.
To finish....while the days are warm and the sun is shining take time to spend a few minutes each day without your shoes, standing of the earth, see nature through renewed vision and pay attention to all around you and remember....