The Story of the Stones

In the practice of Traditional Herbal Medicine, there is an understanding of Stones. My Grandfather Iván would sit me by the River to have me watch and listen, to teach me about our family’s healing technique. Grandfather Ferenc taught me the traditional pond stories. In these stories were the wisdoms to grow the crops, raise the animals, find medicines, heal people, and open conversing with God. Grandfathers and Grandmothers in the traditional healing ways spent much time teaching the traditions to their children and grandchildren. Not so long ago, even the common family had great strength in healing every day concerns, and called on the healers when things went beyond this everyday know-how. The Story of Stones could be quite physical, and with careful physical medicines we can break them down, but larger than that, is a story of Stones, mental and emotional Stones. Spiritual Stones too. Calcium Stones.

How do they get there and lodge in a person, place, or soul being? Where do they come from? What hard thinking placed them there, and what of lack of curiosity of the deeper waters, the deepening behind and beyond the stones?

One day, there was a beautifully flowing River. The River flowed with Swimming Fishes, Delicate Mosquitoes, and Dazzling Dragonflies. This was in the time when Dragonflies were the size of medieval dragons, and were a force of harmony among and between the stones.

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The large stones started to fill the swimming holes with more and more stones, lodging between them everywhere. The River flowed unceasingly, ever harder to get around the stones. Then one day, the River could not move anymore Stones, could not dislodge certain Stones and move them to the River Spaces where they were so needed, waited upon, depended upon. Now, the stones became stuck. Now the water looped, not so much through and between them, but around them. One day even the water ceased flowing around the hard stones. What is hard needs fluidity around it, and what is fluid needs some hardness to make the perfect Riverbank Sands.

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The Dragonflies, no longer able to direct the flows around the stones became diminished until they were very small Winged Beings. And the stones, resisting the change of all the wet washes, become drier. And such is the shame for them, for they had a future of being sparkling treasure. And the Dragon Flies? They ever remain, waiting for the chance to move the flows around the stones again, bringing the River washes of fluids back into gushing harmony.

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This story reminds me of the stuckness that can happen with a person, a society, a way of thinking, and even physically with certain types of Stones. More than anything, the Stones forgot their place holding hands with the water, the Stones forgot the Dragonflies. The Stones forgot and became stuck, making places hard.

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(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

My Grandfather’s Love Forever Lives!

My Grandfather’s Love Forever lives!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We have forgotten something very essential in our culture. Our connection across generations.

Between institutional living, daycare, eldercare, outsourcing our whole lives, we have lost essential connection in our communities.

I feel so very blessed to have lived with my Grandparents when I was young, and to have been shaped by them. They passed on very essential knowledge’s from farming, living off the land, foraging, healing, and a great dearth of knowledge.

As an Herbalist, with my training starting at three years of age, there were times I didn’t understand, and felt very, very different. What I didn’t understand as a child, was how sacred and holy the experience of our previous generations of family.

Now, that I have been thinking about this this week, and the hard sell of industrial culture to our current generation of children, I see how culture is broken when families are segregated within themselves.

This is a bid for love. I am not talking about abusive families here, I am speaking of real tradition that is handed down. My Grandfather Iván taught me the love of working with my hands, and even the most humblest of creations to eat or wear or to decorate our home were honored fully. The simple fully honored, with love. He honored everything I did, my job as a Herbalist is to honor others in the same way, I carry his love forward. 

And yet, I scratch my head, feeling so different growing up was hard to reconcile. How our culture, generally, doesn’t honor the person who cares for others, nourishes others, makes a home for people. Our culture does not honor growing things, or loving others fully, or really, living in deep connection with Spirit. Distilling this out a bit more, our culture, simply, does not seem to honor people anymore. Right to existence must be bought with the selling out of oneself to a paradigm that doesn’t see us as people, living in a shared sacred world.

There was a time, and still is, when people took care of their families, their living and their dead. As  always, when our family gathers, a chair and a table spot is left open for our departed. And we join together in many ways, here and later. Any healer, any traditional herbalist knows this. And over this, we ask for the Blessing.

Blessing over Elders and Young Ones, Blessing of love over our families, great, far and wide, and throughout generations. May one learn about the deeper blessing that lives in our hearts.

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

More Musings on Walking the Path of Ethical Herbalism

Walking among wild things, we come to find we have aspects of all the wild beings, and we bring this all in service to the help of healing ourselves and others. While the ancient healing system seems to be out of the conscious sphere of so many caught in the cycle of living in modern society, traditional healing itself, never went anywhere. Nor is it in conflict with any other healing system or service, as in Traditional Healing, all modes of healing are considered sacred medicines…including, but not limited to animals, plants, tools, techniques, science, with a large focus on spiritual healing intertwined in all medicines that are brought forth, and carried, in the Heart.

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At times, underground, but still here. Our Western Herbalism, often a mix of European and Native American, and in which I am very blessed in the continuance of from both my Magyar and Cherokee Family, has always been an intact tradition of healing and connection with a variety of beings, plant, animal and human. With the newly found popularity again of this ancient tradition (I am so happy for the new-found love of herbal healing from so much of the public), it is also important to remind enthusiasts that this is a very in-depth tradition with a very real science of matching relationships between Beings. That is, what we do as Herbalists…we are catalysts in the relationships which we spend a lifetime to understand. This is a lifetime work. This is not fast food.

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In our instant internet age, a lifetime can seem to some, ten minutes. For those who come from families with no healing traditions, they *believe* they are reinventing the wheel and Western Healing Tradition is brand new, created by themselves. For those of us who are, at most, two generations ago from the Healer Peoples who healed with hands and all the blessings and gifts of Creation, such pronouncements can seem like an industrialized slapped in the face.

While many Herbalists make a living on practicing these arts, it is ever a life path, and a path of service for all life. It is not a business perse, and never was or is supposed to be “a business”. It is a way of living and helping and being. A way of protecting life around us. A way of understanding, and being in tune with what surrounds us. It is a way to spread love, especially to those who have lost hope. It is a way of breathing and talking, loving and reaching out to the life around us. Out of respect, and in order to sustain ourselves, we make a “living”. That is the sacred life being lived in full view.

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It takes a lifetime to learn even one plant fully, and still, we will lie on our deathbeds learning more of one plant. This is definitely, not a reductionist view of life, of living, of creation. Ethical Herbalism is a deep calling to relationship with the world, of connection, of love, of God.

I can understand how immensely frightening that is to some, who didn’t grow up with the peoples who worked with their hands, prayed with their hands, healed with their hands, and knew their communities of peoples and non-peoples in-depthly. Modern society has been here but for a blip, and has not canceled out the sum total of knowledge existing in the world. It has often fought against Spirit, or Love, but nevertheless, life is fully present as always, even in these strange times.

The person, with hands full of fire, laid over a person, is still a happening phenomenon. Not a “new” thing. A very old thing. A very old way, of living and loving with hands, with heart, with mind and a Spirit whirling large with love.

And as we walk this way, it unfolds into a deeper walking and a deeper love. And there is no happier or joyful life than that if you’re willing to put the real work in!

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

Magical Mud

Mud is a magical substance! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are no two muds that are exactly the same in composition.

Ancient Humans painted caves with mud. Muds and Clays have have been used for wound healing for thousands upon thousands of years.

Mud has been used in poultices, facial masks, packing wounds to prevent infection or used acidified to staunch bleeding, as an absorbent material for poisons internally and externally, to protect skin in harsh sun, many types provide nutrients and calcium, bug bites and stings, in baths and soaks and used with certain older massage practices.

Mud is home to watery plants such as Cattail, Willow, Rice, Horsetails, Reeds, and Lillie’s. Mushrooms grow in mud!

Mud is both Potential and Nourisher. Mud signifies a non-drought condition, a Blessing. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

(c) 2015, Summer L Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

You Must Have the Faith Of A Mustard Seed!

And as always,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

it is the little things in life, that make a life sweet, that make a life.

Love, hugs, holding hands, making food, sharing chores, healing folks, walking under trees.

What is love, and shared, reciprocal love current, is it anything otherwise?

Does the Mustard Seed choose stone to make its home? No, the seed chooses the soil, or soil tucked in a stone crack. It chooses that, guided by faith. It chooses that nourishment, not the punishment, to have what it needs for that growth.

It needs to be anchored, as storms will come and pass away, and winds will test its might.

And all those things, so small, daily acts of gratitude,

grow into a

Forest,

make a Life.

You Must

Have the Faith

Of a Mustard Seed

for a humble miracle, will grow great in time, with love water!

It is of the smallest thing, and of course, free with cost of rain and soil from the greater ground.

A small thing, a mighty thing, a grand seed planted!

(c) 2015, Summer L Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Breaking the Spell of Poverty Consciousness

Poverty Consciousness…what is it? To get to a deeper layer to this inquiry, one has to ask some questions, and question some assumptions!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

According the Merriam-Webster dictionary, POVERTY is defined as a lack of something, renunciation, scarcity and lack of fertility.

Dictionary.reference.com states that POVERTY is a state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support and further goes on to offer that POVERTY is a deficiency of necessary or desirable ingredients, qualities, etc. as well as scantiness and insufficiency.

Furthermore, the definition of POVERTY on indigenous peoples and small villages often precedes the actual conditions that produce POVERTY or economic devastation of places and peoples.

Think about that for a moment….when we label people as poverty stricken, or make poverty some strange away ideal to place on people…what exactly and how exactly are we, as people, defining others or telling them where to be while simultaneously trying to lift them from that condition? Insufficiency is completely opposite of sufficiency.

Sit with this for a moment longer. Definitely, I am not saying people are not in poverty or spiritual poverty, but think about the limitation that puts on anyone’s psyche….especially a depressed person, a starving person, any person, or even, should a small child hear and internalize. Poverty Consciousness precedes isolation and social exclusion, a further cause of disenfranchisement of a group or certain peoples.

Many people live in POVERTY WITHOUT subordinating to the idea that they, themselves, are in poverty. Yet, there are people on the wealthier end of the spectrum who believe they are always in poverty. Poverty Consciousness is a state of Heart. Poverty Consciousness is a state of Mind. One can live in real material poverty, but be extremely wealthy in a state of Heart and Mind.

All peoples should have access to safe water, food, basic healing and shelter. But beyond these basics, there is the troubling idea of poverty consciousness that is literally unknown to most indigenous and village peoples across the planet, until we introduce the concept to them.

It is, indeed, a limitation placed on the psyche that bars the simple practice of gratitude, and loving and caring within groups, as well as the abundance of love coming from the Divine. Often, people in poverty consciousness quit sharing their gifts of Spirit or wealth, as they are living in a psyche of lack, a psyche of emptiness.

I know this is a challenging post, but if we sit with this for a moment, the full impact of what these words mean and can do, and how limiting they are on growth of Spirit, we will understand the power of the WORD, and when working with others, will help them heal by connection with an abundant way of thinking and being, and not reinforcing a consciousness of poverty…essentially, a precursor to increased poverty and depression. We never help others by minimizing them with such labels. Poverty is passive, breeding more of its own kind, and puts people who are truly struggling in the position of passive receiving without the strength to fill up and share back with abundance, whether materially or spiritually. So, when we help people and communities, we help them up on their feet, not undermining them further into collapse.

When we start to understand Poverty Consciousness as a metaphor for lacking fertility, a whole new meaning of the word Poverty dawns on us, and we may be more careful with its use!

And with gratitude we are all raised up. Love, singing, sharing and caring are some of the fruits. A better way to love people up! Let us eat the bread and fishies together! And drink our herbal teas, which cost so little, are free to those with the eyes, and bring out abundance of sufficiency in the human form.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

Medicine of Roses

This past week, Herbal Apprentices made Medicine of Roses, collected from their own home gardens and wild, on a forest path. The teachings of Roses are many and varied, and the same with the various parts and aspects of Rose.

One of the aspects that come most to my mind, was a thorough looking at the whole plant. What beautiful flowers we commune with and dance with! What amazing medicine for the heart! But, sometimes, when we look deeper, we see a deeper aspect shared by the Rose.

The Rose shares the story of its whole being with us. Sometimes, after a beautiful flowering, the branches may brown. We may wish for this flower to grow again, but it will not. And so we stare, at the branch turning brown, in a touching despair.

And then the hope, the Light of the Divine shines forth! We trim the branches that do not look so hot, their time being done, their dance already played. For the quiet death of a Rose Plant can happen by holding onto these branches too long.

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Overtime, if left unattended, the plant grows large and wiley, with many dead and dying branches, with no new growth allowed through for a chance in the sun. It may be a beautiful discovery on some old forest path, but a deep shame can pervade the air, of flowers that never had a chance to be because the Rose Tender, or the Forest Spirit, would not let those branches go.

Looking at the plant in such a whole fashion, we can see what needs to go, that is dying off a bit, and let the new ones grow! It is the Divine Rebirth of such possibility! Do you see the Faith of the Rose? Does the Rose Tender have such Faith?

And the Rose Blossoms make medicines, that heal that Divine Tear or Eye Tear, mending the Heart so Fine, so capable of new love, of loving with a different branch, the old branch fertilizing the root of the Rose Being again.

And such is the dance of a heart so fine, for if it never loved, the Rose would not put forth blossoms, it would prefer to skip to the browning before the blooming, and life would be but a withered mess with no possibility.

But, as ever, where there is Faith, there is Hope. Where Hope is Conscience and Charity. Where there is Charity, there are brown branches renewing the roots, in an act of Love so great. And the green tips grow, producing more branches, and more Roses. No two the same, but one delightful Being.

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And such, Love is Renewed, and the Heart mended!

(c) 2015, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Of Bluebells and Cornflowers

This morning, comes to my mind, a very Olde Family story.

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In the Mountains, such as my Family lived, and later, where I with my pack of dogs and my Beloved lived, there was a beautiful little glade filled with wildflowers. These wildflowers would jump out at me, wild yellow pea flowers, stunning lavender blue cornflowers, and the bluest of bluebells alongside shamrocks with blue flowers. So many shades and colors of blue, the wild peas interspersed were like the rays of sunshine streaming through the blue petals dancing in a protected mountain breeze.

This little glade was unseen against the courser of eyes….such as eyes who would be looking for grander examples of beauty or riches. Eyes that see what they want to see. Eyes looking for some glory to spend elsewhere, not seeing that God provided for free, a wealth of great measure. These eyes see no wealth in the field. No Spirit in the field.

For a short time, under early summer moonlight, the white bluebells and harebells would come up. Their Divine Purpose to drink in the moonbeams to radiate outwards in the day, in an unmeasured amount, with unmeasured love. The Organic Moonshine during the night helped oversee the development of the seeds, which would drop to the ground and be next year’s baby plants.

And in this dance, the pollinators swing their hips, their waists and their legs, in the Holy Work of pollination. This dance so intimate, so bare petaled, with tiny toe points and petal steps.

And the Divine Love was there, all set up, planted and dancing, and the only cost was to go look, and inhale with awe. This story, of Mountain Wildflowers, is the story of deepest love. But one has to sometimes focus the eyes from courser to finer lens to truly see. Where love is repeatedly evasive, remember it may be the eyes, for love is just there, sitting in the glade, in the sunshine, moonshine, winds and Flying Being toe tips. It is there on the inhale and the exhale, and the meanderings of the larger soul in which we all live in.

This is an Olde Family story from tradition, back in the time when stories were still told around the kitchen fire, and bread was made with love…

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson CH

All Rights Reserved.

Sunning in the Heart Beat Sunshine of Meadow Soul!

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Netted!!!

It’s been awhile, and far too long between musings, but living in such a seasonal way between sun-dances, my heart and soul have been taken up with the seasonal tasks of a wild forager and healing companion to many.

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For there are seasons to everything, of rest and work and this is definitely a season for work!

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The Mason Bee Trinity Love!

Lots of hiking, walking, rolling in soil, knees deep in mud looking for treasures, hearing the wind whistle through the new growth of tree buds. Many wildflowers have been out, and significant meetings with many beautiful pollinators. Mason Bees joined our family this year as well, and the familiar daily ritual of harvesting Dandelion Leaves from our yard for our Family has definitely been a delight of the season!

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Ben Love with Mango Love!

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I keep posting this photo out of joy!

Some of the beautiful experiences of recent times with Botanical Students have been to be very close to a family of Deer for quite some time, watching several Bald Eagles this spring, identifying the differences between Coyote scat, Deer, Raccoon, Elk, Bear and Mice droppings, taking pictures of Salamanders and Newts (and their cute little bottoms), listening to songs of Meadow Larks, watching the flights of Red Tail Hawks, and coming home at night to a Parrot in our own house, that via my son Ben in February, officially joined our Family.

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Biscuitroot LOVIE!

Bright Sunshine and Winds blew us over to a Student’s Botanical Haven she is restoring in the Columbia River Gorge, and drippy days in coastal forests ‘shrooming, both gaining and losing personal items spiritually as well as physically, and watching a herd of Elk and communing with a very singular orange beaked Shore Bird that grabbed at our hearts in an amazing way!

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Eyes Wide Open, Heart A Flutter!

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This Guy Was A FLIRT!

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This photo posted purely out of jealousy from the Shore Bird photo! WARNING: No matter what she would have you think, this is NOT a Shore Bird!

We also smooched with a Turkey Vulture, and made love with Hummingbirds, and buried noses in the scents of many types wild carrot family members. We ate joyful foods in meadows singing love, and sighted Horton the Elephant’s prized plant that he cared for so much!

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Horton and Herbal Students Hear a WHO!

Smelling Pine and Nettle Feet, our Hearts spread deeper in a day of Elder Love, and we sat and worked with certain Live Love Medicines.

My Sons have found the brilliant sun of loves outside of themselves and inside, and we feasted on the freedom of free ranging Spirits in the Soul of the Divine World so large!

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LOVE!!!

Drinking the droplets of water through ancient mosses, we give praise to Holy Water so free and abundant. The dew of flowers, the wet sticking stamens of the spring, the water dribbling in crevices, the dew of the Emerging Spring Heart!

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Holy Water!!!

Abundant Eggs!

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A Pastured Egg A Day, Keeps the Health Marketing System Away! 🙂

A plentiful pantry!

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Not much space, but a lot of simple abundance! 🙂

Wild and Purple!

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Up To The Sky!

Distant Horizons!

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Tranquility!

Hearts FULL of Joy, Heartfull Joy, Heart Joyfull, Joyfull Hearts!

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Processing Herbs with Love, Prayer and Devotion!

Forest Love!

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Long Ago, Someone Planted Love!

Tasty Findings!

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Treasure!

The Pantry under the Floor.

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Finding nourishment with a little picking!

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Winterweed Love! Winterweed Seed!

Winterweed Love! Stellaria media…also known as Chickweed is nowadays considered a pesky garden weed. Where did this idea come from? Is there any possibility that this new, culturally ingrained idea worked its way into the modern lawn-scape so as to be sold products to fight with it? If you have Winterweed Love or Starlady Splendor…don’t fight with her! Make peace with her, feed yourself for free and glow with the vitamins and minerals she provides! I know I have written and spoken much about Stellaria media, but looking out on this frosty day to a pot outside with fresh greens that mysteriously appeared, I couldn’t help it!Angel Sightings! 001

Winterweed is one of Stellaria media’s common names…because she often appears here and there in winter. In fact…she appears all over the place…from Alaska down to Mexico! She has…what appears as ten white petals…which are actually five petals that are deeply lobed. Her pointy…oval leaves grow in opposite pairs along her stem. A significant identification can be made when one examines her stem closely…there will only be one row of hairs growing along one side. As we remember…that individual plants sometimes have slightly different characteristics…we won’t be surprised when we see a stem that has a secondary hairly line that is much smaller opposite. This may or may not be there…but both are Winterweed. There is another plant called Mouse-ear Chickweed or Fuzzy Chickweed (Cerastium fontanum spp. vulgare) which is fuzzy all over!

Winterweed is one of the seven spring herbs that is used in the Festival of the Seven Herbs in Japan on January 7th…a celebration for the coming spring by eating the few greens that are starting to peak through..combined with rice. This celebration helps to bring health and longevity into the spring season and the year ahead…and it is little wonder! Winterweed helps the kidneys with its diuretic actions and paves the way for better digestion with its slightly laxative qualities. Full of vitamins and minerals, including trace selenium, it is a preferable choice to any bottle of vitamins! To prepare a nourishing infusion…steep one ounce of dried herb to a quart of water for four hour hours or overnight. Strain and drink in the morning.

Winterweed makes a great poultice for rashes and skin complaints as well as rheumatic pains. Helps to bring mother’s milk in and to increase its richness. The whole plant, including the precious seed, is a favorite of chickens and has the added benefit of making chicken eggs most nutritious as well as helping to eliminate egg binding problems in layers if access is regularly included in a free range chicken’s diet. Even the old wives say that chickweed is good for reducing weight, and modern science shows us that she contains fat dissolving saponins. She makes wonderful skin healing ointments, salves and lip balms.

Winterweed especially loves to grow in damp, well drained areas, and especially overturned garden soil/pots and fields. She is numerous, plentiful and free. Her leaves makes great nutritive vinegars, which eaten raw in a salad or tossed at the end of a stir-fry or soup, gently cooked in rice or taken by the teaspoon before a heavy meal is a boon to digestion. She has a pleasing and green flavor, and in this herbalist’s opinion, tastier than many cultivated greens! Did I say that she is free? Giving only to those who find her free spirit and let her thrive when garden plots and pots aren’t in use. She pops in and out with the seasons…here…over there…now here…so let her move where she will…garden when its time…let her live…eat her when its time…and you will have a cycle and circle of Winterweed Love that nourishes and tonifies with Love!

(c) 2011-2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

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