Feed Me Seymour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 29, 2013 034

 

If you’re local to Vancouver, WA…take a guess on what this plant is, and I will pick one winner who will receive a free, handcrafted tea from Serendipity Plant Lore!!!

 

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Nettle Love and Feeding the Connection through Herbs!

Tricky Little Environmental Ideas, Animals and the Environment!

I work close with Nature, eating, growing, healing folks. I wild craft and forage a large percentage of my own food and medicine. What I do not obtain from the wild myself, I obtain from growing and raising my own food. It is all a blessed life. I participate in the cycles of life, as a co-conspirator, and a co-protector. I respect the wild, I respect the growing things, and I respect the cycles. I am lucky, I see it firsthand, work with it firsthand. Therefore, I am an environmentalist. If I harvest from a strand of mushrooms or berries, greens, roots, barks, etc., I take only what I need for myself or others in my community. I never strip wild stands. I ask permission. I harvest with care, leaving families intact. What I can’t bring to the kitchen with my own hands, I get from my local farmer(s) and fisherman/fisherwoman couple. That’s how it is!

Lately, I’ve been hearing how cows are bad for the environment. Animals of all sorts too. It seems, either industrial feedlots are good, or we can have nothing. No in-between. (Feed Lots are monstrous, but alternatives exist).

However, we’re not talking feed lots here, just generally family farm animals. Where there are no animals, there must be chemical use. Kind of funny, when you think about it? Are animals raised for food in our eco-system not being valued in favor of a new age of chemicals and desertification?  Industrial mono-culture ranches and farm practices rely on intense use of chemicals (and suffering, even for raising fruit/vegetable crops). Many vegetable foods are raised in an environment where many animals and insects (and higher life forms), are, in fact, killed. Mono-culture farming is one of the number one contributors to the massive decline of pollinators, as pollinators have no food to sustain them when fields are planted with only one crop, with a short flowering cycle. On a diversified family farm, there are seasonal food sources to carry the pollinators throughout the year.

I don’t like mono systems. Never have, never will. Where there is no diversity, there IS mostly, just the possibility of death. There is no balance, hence, no diversity, no symbiotic relationships. I am further convinced that some of the environmental perception of animals being harmful to the ecosystem, is in fact, a planted meme from chemical manufacturers. Anyone who is close in to nature, sees the ongoing change and re-balancing that provides the systems of life on our planet.

For those interested in this topic, here are some interesting talks, including from a family Olive farm where I and a group of people buy fresh pressed olive oil from seasonally!

http://villagegreennetwork.com/healthy-life-summit-chris-kerston/?AFFID=74249

http://grist.org/food/upping-the-steaks-how-grass-fed-beef-is-reshaping-ag-and-helping-the-planet/

Diversity is key. The future health of the environment, or people, and our civilizations will be a diverse coming together of practices that work with local environments, micro-climates, people. It will be individuals working in tandem in their own communities, human and non-human alike! It will be HOLISTIC!!!

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Angel Sightings!

Angel Sightings! 003It’s Spring Equinox, the Beginning…and I’ve spotted Angels amongst the live, growing beings!Angel Sightings! 001 Do you see what I see? Angel Sightings! 005I see a Friend amongst the Comfrey she bequeathed! Chillin’ in Chard,Angel Sightings! 007Spirit ALIVE! The Rhubarb too!

How magnificent!Angel Sightings! 006 Look again, the Chocolate Mint! Angel Sightings! 004The Flowers!Angel Sightings! 010I see an Angel Spirit with the Hens!Angel Sightings! 011Plants and Angels!

 

(c) 2013, Summer Michaelson, CH

Hungary BURNS fields of GMO Crops!

I found this interesting, and wonderful, for a country to stand up for its seed heritage! I’ve made this point, many times in discussions at workshops and classes, that GMO seed producing companies never take any fiscal responsibility when something goes wrong, either with farmer/animal health or the physical crops. As GMO seeds are illegal in Hungary, they have somehow filtered in anyway. I am happy for Hungary, and feel the losses of the farmers, but the losses in the future will be even greater if no one stands up.

http://planetsave.com/2011/07/21/hungary-destroys-all-monsanto-gmo-maize-fields/

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Bio-Regional Herbalism, Depth Ecology, and A Very Old System!

Western Herbalism is a very old system of energetics and the knowledge of physiology, spirituality, and earth wisdom, all combined, all together. In Hungary, this knowledge has been kept alive for centuries, as elsewhere.  Western Herbalism is heavily influenced by our European and Native American Elders. Our system of reading the body incorporates working with all the rhythms, and cycles, in a holistic fashion, from nutrition to administering medicinal herbs (which are most of the time nutritious too), as well as patching and mending the body. With the awesome technologies of “modern” medicine available, in true emergencies or for really complicated situations, we have that realm of medicine too. Then we have systems of herbs from many other countries on our planet. I find them all fascinating, and as a community herbalist and clinical practitioner of these arts, I am often amazed at the similarities to the depth of Western Herbalism, as well as many of the differences. For one, I cannot reasonably practice Depth Ecology using herbs being trucked around the planet. Two, as Peasant Medicine,  which is medicine and nutrition available to people without any healthcare, with healthcare, without much money, with money, as well as the common sense folks who want to prevent problems, live healthy lives, and handle the basics of healthcare that traditionally, people had the knowledge of before the “great forgetting”, I wonder why Western Herbalism is sometimes overlooked? Herbs in our bio-region, at our doorstep, by our feet, in cracks, by rivers, forests and streams. Why would we overlook these? If we’re currently in the habit of overlooking our own region in most ways, I think we will be conditioned to look over our regional medicines to something that seems more novel, harder to get, more costly, and availability dependent on political will, thinking it is better.

Method. Western Herbalists have a method, a healing process they work with. It’s not about “killing” and “dying off” of everything in site. It’s about balancing and working with the whole individual. There are basics of everyday foods and everyday medicines and physiology, we all should know. For more acute problems, the balancing and reading of the body and its own responses is every bit a science, along with a fair amount of intuition. However, most all systems of Herbalism agree, there isn’t a one size fits all regimen for anyone or anybody.

Foods are a highly individual relationship, that we have with ourselves, our farmers (whether we know them or not), our region, our water, soil and sky. Food, our herbs, are primary importance, just like our lovers, spouses, friends, and neighbors are, each individual, each different, all connecting through the heart. Plants love to be loved by us, appreciated, like we do with each other. This is a whole way of a healing lifestyle that can be closed when we consistently buy out of our own region.

It is our relationship with the world, our foods, herbs, our processes of healing, our experiences, our finely tuned developed knowing, that makes a Western Herbalist effective, and as excellent as any other system of Herbal Medicine worldwide. These are the strongest of energetics, the knowing of processes thousands of years old, and applying them with bio-regional herbalism. The heart of healing is always relationship. We cannot easily have this relationship or develop this fine tuned knowing with herbs and foods far away from us. We are responsible for tending them, knowing them, protecting their sources, and keeping them alive and healthy. Herbalism that isn’t about that, isn’t Western Herbalism, or Bio-regional Herbalism! We become responsible for the plants we use, the people we care for, a conscientious, individual approach, as no human being is common, and no form of medicine is common, or should be taken for granted. Everybody is UNIQUE! 🙂

The numinous quality of practicing as a Bio-regional Herbalist is about working with what you inherited, the space where you reside, the individuals you’re in contact with. It is not a far off or far away thing, it is here, with us now. If, I lived somewhere else, I might have inherited a tradition that was specific for another far away bio-region, but here, I proudly claim to be a practitioner of Western Bio-Regional Herbalism, and encourage those of all regions to do the same!

Be a participant in your own enveloping mystery, and heal!!! Fill the shallow with depth! Lay that dis-embodied detachment aside, out of contact, out of connection, out of the mystery, out of knowing. One may wake up and start looking around, seeing how oneself was very hurt, by not seeing the bio-region as intimately a part of ones self! Abundance lies at our feet, and that civilizations need to always look everywhere but where one is, is not healthy. That’s true scarcity, and not what Herbalism, in any form, is about!

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Springtime Herbs Class at Dee Creek Farm!

If would you like to participate, please contact this most amazing Farmer at Dee Creek Farm, Summer Steenbarger! Here is the class announcement she wrote below (which is incredibly sweet and wonderful)! I AM so deeply honored to be invited to this very precious, local, Farm that provides so much for our community and our health!!! 🙂

~Summer Michaelson, CH

>>>Tho’ I (Summer at the Farm) have been studying for 8 or so years, I feel very inadequate in herbalism beyond some basics. The beauty of plants, tho’, is that you can constantly learn – and they’re everywhere! I want to thank my amazing mentor Summer Michaelson for the hours and hours (and hours and hours) that she has invested in teaching me – as well as sharing with so many others!

Summer has offered to do a class here at the farm (my house) to share her experience and knowledge with all interested. We’ll continue a series of classes over the next several months – and beyond!

“This herb class will be based on spring time herbal/plant tonics and makings, because this is the time our bodies transition from our winter-time metabolism to the spring/summer season, the new plants of spring support this transition (closer in with the growing/harvest cycle).”

Be prepared to smell interesting smells, taste interesting tastes, and get your hands dirty with folklore!

This instructor is a wealth of information, and could answer nearly any question, I’m certain (tho’ won’t hold her to it). She’s easy to understand, and makes all of these things so simple & normal and encouraging. She has been a long-time customer of Dee Creek Farm, and a committed Locavore in our community, with two boys needing maximum nutrition to keep their health maintained.

Registration required.

 

 

Love Your Body!

Cleansing the body, of hate and fear, is of good use. This keeps our bodies working as they were designed!

Many “instant” approaches to feeling good, are designed to keep YOU as a repeating customer for the same health issue. Think about that! What’s more important is fanning and promoting the healing mechanisms in the body (vitality),  into cohesive cooperation. The more extreme the diet, and distance from whole foods, the more liver and kidney cells die. Think about that, the more you fast for a feel good effect, the more you reduce your liver, kidney and intestinal capacity in its future processing of hormones, chemicals, and metabolic by-wastes! In healthy bodies, waste is eliminated. Only in a damaged body, due to viruses, lifestyle, medical condition or environmental insult, is this process interrupted. Healthy membranes require real nourishment, real nutrition. Healthy bodies require movement, joy, love, sunlight, clean water, pure foods. Healing membranes in the gut reduces metabolic waste in the body. Good nutrition provides plenty of anti-oxidants for diffusing poisons. A lifestyle, full of Faith, Joy, Love and Care for Others, a lifestyle full of growing things, a lifestyle that holds sacred and precious the meaning of life, is true Health!

Remember, a toxic body is one in which the organs of excretion are damaged, due to illness, unhealthy lifestyle, environmental influence. With true healing, we build up these organs to the healthiest state possible for the individual. Harming them, to heal them, only reduces their efficacy even more overtime, leading to an even more reduced capacity to fulfill their function. Many of the effects of ongoing fasting present with tooth, hair loss and fragile bones, ten years down the road, as well as susceptibility to infection and a damaged immune system. When we change our diets against whole foods, we harm out intestinal inhabitants, losing many precious balances of organisms, even parasites die off too much or become out of check (needing more of the same treatment again). This can lead to ongoing bowel inflammation down the road, and decreased organ function. The health problems that occur from many of these diets and supplements are especially harmful for women, and are often introduced at a time when a women’s body needs whole foods preparation (like for menstruation, pregnancy, menopause). Living healthily, is the best lifestyle choice one can make, and is the very best detoxification one can choose! It’s nice to get help into a new lifestyle, or for consultation to directly address the underlying causes that need healing, but the point of all this is to heal the causes, and transition into a healthful, and nourishing life!

I hold a challenge to each of you, to hold up health, and work for health, by holding dear, the fundamentals of life, nourishment and joy!!!

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Peruvian Aji Amarillo Peppers, Hungarian Immigration Stories, and Spiced Love!

Ooh la la! Lately, I’ve been on a pepper kick. We’re makin’ tacos, they’re Hungarian tacos, we’re making casserole, well, it’s a Hungarian casserole! We’re making salad, it is Hungarian salad. Paprika is the number one spice in this household! As it is, the plethora of different types and strains of Paprika peppers is out of this world! Every region of Hungarian Paprika is a bit different, a bit more complex in one way or another. Well, that’s it. This is one herbalist that is now on a pepper kick, that just won’t simmer down!More Love! 009

Everywhere, I want to try new peppers! I wonder how much of this is genetic, things I just didn’t understand growing up. So, a little Family History. My Family immigrated from Hungary during the Hungarian Revolutionary War. After much effort, they came to America, by boat. They came, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They came leaving a massive family behind, but it was the only choice. They came for FREEDOM! They came to America, with only the clothes on their back, that’s the official family story! Not true! They came as a FAMILY, with the clothes on their backs, Hungarian pepper seeds in their pockets, and a bag with a few Hungarian Folk Dolls. But WHY? How important are seeds and Hungarian Folk Dolls? Seeds and Dolls, is that what you take when you’re escaping the clutches of DEATH and on a long trek of uncertain, precious survival?

For HUNGARIANS, these are EVERYTHING! The basis of old fashioned life in Hungary. Raising one’s food, healing, spinning ones cloth, embroidery, song and dance. My Hungarian last name is very difficult to pronounce, something I do not share with many, but it is Takacs (pronounced with stress on first syllable Taa-kaschhh). We are farmers, herbalists, weavers, spinners, storytellers, horse people, and often have been Carpathian Basin nomadic for two thousand years. My FAMILY comes from the Western Ural Mountains, Veszprem, and the Transylvanian Alps (Hungary), and everywhere where our family was deposited in the Carpathian Basin, every region, had its history preserved in its saved seed, its saved sewing, its saved designs, its saved music, its saved dancing, and saved ancestral songs.

SO, when my family left Hungary, they were only able to bring the THREE most important, and cherished things that this world provided for them….our family, our seeds, and our dolls from every region that our family lived/lives. See? The importance? How our FAMILY keeps a family line from disappearing, no matter the war, oppression, change of political climate, fads, change of language?

So, what does this have to do with Peruvian Aji Amarillo Peppers? I’m starting to taste a new significance to what and where peppers come from…who they belonged too, what families in what regions kept them alive. Even if I do not know the specifics for your region, I am curious! I want to know how things of great value come to be preserved in our precious world by precious small people, the peasants. It is not the big people, the corporations that really control our people’s history, it is the actions of every single real person, in real delight with the gifts of life, in rhythm to the cycles of life. This is what is important to me! Heirloom Aji Amarillo Peppers are my new special love, and if you have some heirloom seeds of these with a story, or Paprika peppers, would be thrilled to do a seed exchange with you, wherever your peppers are from!!!

Let us LOVE the most important things on this planet!!!!!! The glitz of what is causing harm isn’t nearly as shiny inside as it appears on the outside, and some of the most humble of peoples, preserve our future inheritance of life everyday! There are many passages in all HOLY books about this! My peoples, the Humily Peoples of Hungary!!!

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson, CH

Authentic Indian Masala Chaat!!!

Not made up, processed, boxed, or otherwise anything…this is authentic hummus-like spread!

I take 2 cups of organic chickpeas, and soak them overnight with a squirt of apple cider vinegar. I usually wait until they start a little sprouting before cooking, for best effect! I rinse these babies in fresh water, then put to cook on the stove with 1 gallon of water (I like to make sufficient quantities at a time, you can reduce quantities). I cook these on a low heat for about 3 hours. When close to finish, I add a TBSP of baking soda and cook for another half hour. Meanwhile, I boil 2-3 large, peeled potatoes. There should be around 3-4 cups of liquid by the end of cooking, do not drain, mash into hummus. I then take some cooked, scraped tamarind pods, and add this meat to the mix, about a cup total. Add a handful of roasted chilies or fresh jalapenos (finely diced), to the pot, to your desired preference. Mix in your two cooked potatoes. Add the juice of three limes and the following spices; fresh, crushed garlic, paprika, crushed coriander seed, crushed cumin seed, fenugreek leaves, ginger powder or very finely minced fresh ginger, crushed red pepper. Drizzle with ghee, or olive oil, and there you go! Terrific, simple, no food processor even needed! Yes, hummus was made prior to food processors! heehee

Ingredients:

2 cups organic chickpeas,

tsp apple cider vinegar

1 gallon of water

2-3 large, peeled potatoes

Tbsp baking soda

4 or so scraped tamarind pods

generous handful, to taste, of roasted green chili’s or fresh jalapeno (or both)

3 limes

crushed garlic, paprika, coriander seed, cumin seed, fenugreek leaves, ginger powder (or very finely minced fresh ginger), crushed red pepper

Ghee or Olive Oil for drizzlin’!

Enjoy, from my Indian Inspiration! Affordable, very easy, very nutritious, very medicinal, very filling! PS, you might want to down grade the heat just a pinch if you’re not used to spice! Full spice, it’ll make your hips shake! That’s why they dance so much in India, got it? 😉

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

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