By Drew Dinges
The Spring Herbalist: A Very Good Place to Start
Cultivating Your Own Medicinal + Culinary Herb Garden
Earth Day is a bit different this year so we here at Bowood Farms are bringing the content of our beloved Studio to you in the comfort of your own home to help celebrate one of our favorite holidays. For years communities have gathered in parks and botanical gardens around the world to celebrate our beautiful Mother Earth and bring awareness to the importance of protecting and better serving our environment. Although we cannot go to our treasured Forest Park to partake in celebrations, we insist on celebrating in our virtual studio providing a digital platform. Join us, today, Wednesday, April 22nd from 2 PM – 3 PM on our Instagram for a live-streaming version of The Spring Herbalist, taught by yours truly, Drew Dinges, assistant manager and hobby herbalist at Bowood Farms.
As stated in our previous journal entry, when planning out my 2020 class schedule I wanted to round out my year of herbalist classes by doing a spring introductory course to the wonderful world of herb gardening. I am reminded of Julie Andrews as Maria in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” Let’s look at the “A Year in the Life of an Herbalist: A Season by Season Guide to Cultivating Your Own Herb Garden” class series to give you a better understanding of the trajectory of what I will cover throughout the year:
- The Spring Herbalist, which will be held in our virtual studio, an introductory how-to guide of herb gardening perfect for the novice and gifted gardener alike. We will discuss prepping and planting your herb garden beds and then take a virtual tour of a complete herbarium of the herbs grown in-house by Bowood Farms. By taking it one herb at a time, we can highlight the specific varieties we sell, share growing tips on how to help them thrive, and then provide some fun facts about each herb in order to peak your interest. Think of this as step one in your herb garden planning for the season. Once we have prepped our garden beds and planted our herbs, we sit back, tend to them, and watch them grow over the next few months. That brings us to:
- The Summer Herbalist, an exploration of edible flowers, herbal cocktails, homemade vinegars & oils, and tinctures and tonics as new and innovative ways to incorporate the gifts from your herb garden throughout the summer months. After the sun sets on yet another growing season, we transition into:
- The Autumnal Herbalist, a class centered on reaping the benefits of your herbal harvest from the season. In this class we discuss various harvesting and drying techniques and go through an array of concepts to help you incorporate the gifts from your herb garden long after the growing season ends. Finally, we round out our annual exploration of the herb garden with:
- The Winter Herbalist, a class that dives into creating herbal remedies to promote health and well-being during the winter months, strengthening the immune system and helping to ward off those pesky cold and flu symptoms that always surface during wintertime.
I hope this overview of what to look forward to in the upcoming months has peaked your herbal interests as much as it has mine. Class handouts along with a link to our online shop are included below. Download the documents, browse the online store and grab a pen and paper. For now, let’s take a note from Maria and start at the very beginning with The Spring Herbalist. Afterall…it is a very good place to start.
All My Best,
Assistant Store Manager of Bowood Farms
Horticulturist + Hobby Herbalist