Archive for Blogging

Back online. Maybe for real!

Hi folks.

We had a nasty hack infecting the server this blog lives on.

I’m partway through cleanup — this blog is online again (let me know if parts are broken), but the herbwifery forum is proving harder to fix. I am working on it, when the toddler allows!

Thanks for your patience.

(Maybe this will get me blogging again, for real!)

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The youngest herbwife.


Miss Jean Louise, our June baby. Keeping me busy and happy.

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Growing things.


So I’ve been busy lately.

Not a lot of energy for blogging (building a human is a bit tiring, apparently).

But I was inspired to go to a meeting of local folks interested in food and farming today. It was lovely to see so many different people ready to start new local food projects!

Maybe I will be motivated to blog, now that I’m about to have an infant to take care of. (I never claimed to make sense.)

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While I’m hiding, here’s something to check out.

The Herbwife’s Fiancé has his own blog now.

(Yes, that’s the Herbwife’s Fiancé, recently upgraded from the Herbwife’s Boyfriend.)

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Home! Springtime! Daffodils!

I am so glad to be home.

San Francisco is paradise, but paradise makes me nervous.

I am very glad to be back in a place where the only meyer lemon marmalade I can find is the one I made myself!


We aren’t immune. And we shouldn’t be.

Glory, Hallelujah, I am in possession of a functional computer!

As soon as I finish transferring my data from the old hard drive, I’ll be posting all my pretty pictures from the last few weeks of One Local Summer.

In the meantime, remember my posts on the human ecosystem, way back when? I was going on about how the human body is not an isolated organism, but a complex ecosystem (think gut bacteria) as well as an element in larger ecosystems (think kaleidoscope).

Well, lately I’ve been thinking about the absurdity of the term “immune system.” Immune to what? There’s so much baggage tied up in that name. It assumes human bodies are at war with their surroundings, that a healthy human interface with the world is based on staying pure, “immune” to the non-human. Ridiculous.

We really have only the fuzziest idea how the human ecosystem works. And the more scientists investigate, the less it looks like humans are at war with the non-human. Scientists used to think that “germs” were universally dangerous. A lot of people still think this way. Hence (dangerous) antibacterial soaps. Thing is, your skin is covered with helpful bacteria — they’re calling them “commensals” now — and if you kill them, you throw the whole ecosystem out of balance.

We really have no idea what the consequences are when we alter these complicated systems. I bet it never occurred to you that your gut bacteria might make you less likely to get kidney stones.

And what about worms? They’ve been in the news lately as a potential treatment for “autoimmune diseases” of all sorts.

We evolved as groups of critters, not as separate entities.

So. Any suggestions for a new name for the system that governs human ecological balance? “Interaction system?” “Interface system?” I can’t think of anything that sounds right.

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The face of the earth.


I am back.

I hope.

(I have been having a personality conflict with my computer.)

(So far, the computer is winning.)

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Twitter twitter, tweet tweet.

So, I’m trying out this twitter thing, aka microblogging.

(Guido,  Kiva and Darcey have been doing it too, which makes it more fun — a little virtual herbalist party.)

I’m posting about the food I’m cooking and whatever herbal mischief I’m up to at the moment.

I’m going to try to put the feed on the blog, too, but that may take me a few days.

In the meantime, enjoy the minutiae!

PS: The May blog party theme is Spring Greens, hosted by Darcey. Posts are due May 15th.

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Guest Post: Passion Honey from Robin Rose

Robin RoseWelcome to the first ever guest post in the Herbwife’s Kitchen!

Robin Rose Bennett is a lovely plant person, herbalist, and teacher from the New York / New Jersey area. This post is her contribution to the Aphrodisiac Blog Party. (My own contribution should be up this evening.)

Here’s Robin Rose:

I’ve been teaching a class every February for years now called Herbal Love Medicine for Valentine’s Day. Each year I cook up a brand new Passion Honey, inspired by my own favorite aphrodisiac or sensually pleasing herbs, along with the input of the students after we’ve spent nearly 2 hours looking at, talking about, sniffing, and tasting the herbs and preparations I’ve brought in.

I’m always a tiny bit nervous that this new and different honey may not come out right — but it’s exciting, too, not to know what it will be like. It always comes out somewhere between really good and truly wonderful and delicious. The Passion Honey we made last week was off the charts!! I don’t actually measure anything as I’m creating, but these are my best guesses as to the amounts. As I go along, I stir and sniff, and stir and sniff. Highly recommended technique for cooking!

Robin Rose’s Passion Honey – February 2008

(All the herbs are organic and all are dried, unless otherwise noted.)

To 1 quart of organic dark buckwheat honey add approximately:

1/2 cup Orange blossoms*
3/4 teaspoon grated Nutmeg
2 tablespoons Damiana
3-4 tablespoons Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Jasmine
2-3 tablespoons Maca root powder
3/4 ounce Rose glycerite**
1 teaspoon crushed up Cinnamon sticks***

We all tasted it and declared it amazing (as our knees grew weak). Normally I cook it on low for 30-45 minutes. We didn’t even do that as I’d run out of time. Now I have the pint that’s left steeping/infusing at room temperature at home, looking forward to what will happen to it as the flavors meld. Of course my sweetheart and I are sneaking in for tastes now and then because it’s simply irresistible.


(For those who prefer things simpler — that’s usually me — one of my favorite past Passion Honeys was Roses and Vanilla beans in Linden Honey. It’s a yummy one, too!)

* Orange blossoms can be hard to get. You could put in crumbled or powdered sweet orange or tangerine peels instead — it won’t be the same, but still delicious.

** This rose glycerite was made with red (Rosa gallica), pink (Rosa centifolia), and Moroccan roses.

*** Cinnamon powder would be easier — I had sticks with me.

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