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  • Erin


Updated: Sep 11, 2022

We returned from three weeks in the midwest yesterday. A cloud layer blocked us from seeing Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness from the plane. We've hiked there often and like to spot the alpine lakes we know and have been to from the plane.

Breaking through the cloud layer we saw Sacramento; everything was brown from smoke from the Mosquito Fire. Arriving home our front yard mugwort patch and other plants were brown and crispy from the heat wave that we thankfully missed.

Two baby butternut squashes and a pumpkin had transformed from blossoms to fruit in our irrigated garden.

This morning we got our morning light on a short walk. It was a pink disc of sun filtered through smoke and our urban neighborhood is not as idyllic as the suburban path we walked each morning on our trip, but we did get to visit the little free library our kind neighbor put up with our kids in mind and say hi to our other extremely awesome neighbor who was setting up his smoker getting ready to sell plates this afternoon of ribs and chicken.

Early morning walk with sunrise filtered through smoke from Mosquito Fire

And it is finally time to strain our herbal oils.

Kiddo has been making herbal products with me his whole life and it's amazing to see him know this oil making process backwards and forwards at only four years old!

He helped me scrub the old labels off of jars, (he's truly excellent at washing dishes!), knew the whole process for sterilizing jars and loved watching the oil drain through the muslin.

We strained the St. Johns Wort and Mugwort oil today and he had helped harvest both, dry the mugwort and cut and steep the oil.

Next up is Elderberry harvest and making my favorite recipe that includes orange glycerite, honey, ginger and cinnamon!

Ruby red St. John's Wort oil and deep green mugwort oil.

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