Autumn has arrived...for me, that means time to prepare for winter blues and colds.
The end of summer is my most dreaded time of year. It is however, a good time to harvest plants and make plant medicine. One of my favorite ways to start preparing for winter and beat my blues is by brewing a big batch of infused apple cider vinegar, known in the folk medicine world as ‘fire cider’. Click here to continue reading this article.
Back to the daily grind is hella depressing. I was in serious denial of returning to my paying job as a high school literature teacher. Delusions of grandeur perhaps, but I still dream of paying my bills through my writing. I shall hold strongly to that dream. So, to ease the inevitable, C joined me and Billie on a Hudson, NY adventure over Labor(less) Day weekend.
I had contacted Rebecca, an amazing woman I studied herbs with last year to see if she had any surplus of herbs on her homestead. Rebecca lives on the Triform farm in Hudson. It is a shared living community and they have sizable vegetable and herb gardens. It turned out, that yes, there was enough herbs for me to come and harvest. C and I then contacted Tim, who runs the sweet Suminski Innski in Tivoli, NY to see if our little family could stay overnight. Tim had room for us, including the pup, so we headed upstate on Friday around noon. I am still discovering those little towns in the Hudson Valley. It is a fairly easy drive north or you can take the train our of New York City directly into Hudson.
Tivoli is tranquil, with only a handful of restaurants and a general store in town, compared to Hudson, which has dozens of eateries and more. The Inn is down a giant hill and beside the train-tracks and river. (The train passes all night long and roused C a few times, but Billie and I were unfazed). C and I enjoyed a short bike ride that looped out and around Tivoli and back into the center of town, although we did have to cross through a construction area.
We enjoyed some damn fine organic, grass-fed burgers at the town pub before returning to the Inn for the night. Billie enjoyed the hell out of running free around the Inn's property. The next morn, we enjoyed a fresh breakfast and chat with Tim and the other guests before heading to the farm. We arrived at Triform around 1030. Rebecca had time to show us around the community a bit and before we began harvesting some plants. There is something so immediately calming about plants. I was so zen in those fields of calendula, meditating, pruning, collecting flower tops. The incredible scent of fresh lavender soothed my mind, albeit temporarily.
After Rebecca's husband showed us the rest of the farm, including the Icelandic sheep that Billie did not approve of, we packed up for downtown Hudson. I reaped the benefits of Triform Farm, and I am excited to process the various plants we snipped. We parked on a side street and wandered down Warren Street, in search of the recently opened brick and mortar Good Fight Herb Co. Shop, owned by Lauren, one of my amazing herb school teachers. After a chat with Lauren in her magikal little shop, we meandered on to get some grub. We found a fantastic sandwich shop- I had a grilled vegetable sammy with fresh pesto and goat cheese and a cup of amazing pour-over coffee.
With our bellies full, we started for home but decided to make a stop off at the Walkway Over the Hudson, located in the town of Poughkeepsie. Billie was mostly behaved as we walked the 1.25 miles over the bridge and back again before hopping in the car and heading homeward. Although, I made one last stop once we were close to home, so that C could get the homemade salted caramel ice cream from Holstens in Bloomfield.
Elvis, C and I enjoyed a wee cycling tour around Montclair my final day before going back to work, which sadly did not include ice cream.
Below is a photo of C from our first geocaching adventure as well as photos of my herb-filled apartment and my handmade smudge bundles.
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.