September is the season of golden, warm light. Just as the summer sun begins to fade, nature, the garden and the gardeners start to slow down.
It’s time to reflect on the hard work and harvesting we did during the summer season.
In September, Angelica archangelica (angelica) and Valeriana officinalis (valerian) are two of the last plants we put in the soil before winter.
We harvest Allium cepa (garden onions) and Allium sativum (garlic) this month. These two plants are commonly found in vegetable gardens, but as many traditional herbal or medical books show, they are thought to help prevent some diseases.
Capsicum annuum (chilli pepper) is another plant commonly grown in vegetable gardens. I really like this plant and its dark red color. It’s very hot, and it heats your muscles as well as your mouth when you eat it.
The most eye-catching part of the Phytolacca decandra, Radix (poke root) plant is the upper part, with its pink branches and dark-red berries. History has it that people used the dark red fruit to color white wine. The color is not stable, however, and it’s not used for this purpose anymore. We harvest the root here in our gardens.
The Prunus spinosa (blackthorn) plant needs at least one frost to bring out its sweet taste, especially for its blue fruit. Often it’s already very cold when the berries are ready. We will harvest the whole branches and then sit together inside the heated greenhouse to take off the fruits.
Sedum purpureum (orpine), is a plant grown in many front yards in Germany, but very few know about its beautiful benefits for facial care. It’s also called “German aloe vera,” because it has the same capacity to store humidity in its leaves. A very thin skin encloses the storage part of the leave. The beauty of this plant shows in September, when its lovely dark-red flower blooms. This is also the time when we harvest it for our body-care products. It possesses properties that revitilize the skin.
September is also the time when we harvest the cortex of some of our plants, including Salix alba (white willow), Cortex Berberis vulgaris (barberry). We have to take the skin off of the branches, which is a lot of work. We do it in the mornings, when it’s still dark outside.
In late September, we harvest Valeriana officinalis, Radix (valerian). It’s best to harvest it then because that’s when the plant begins to transfer all its nutrients and into the root and the aerial part dies off. During the growing season, we cut the flowers several times to increase the quantity and quality of the roots.
And last but not least, this is the time of sunflowers. We have many of them, everywhere in the garden. We aren’t the only ones who enjoy them. Insects and birds appreciate them as well!
As for me, I am going on holiday this month, climbing in the Swiss mountains. I am looking forward to it, and I hope the snow will not come so early this year.
To prevent muscle pain after long hikes, I’m taking our Arnica Massage Oil with me. It’s my favorite product this month! It soothes the muscles and relieves soreness.