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Harvesting Beauty
10/8/2009 2:56:04 PM

In October it turns cold again. This is the last month of the year that our workers are outside in the medicinal garden, mostly preparing for winter and bringing inside the plants that are sensitive to the cold. Of the plants that stay outside, we cover some with leaves and other natural materials to protect them against the frigid temperatures and, later, the snow.

Even though October can be cold, it’s the month with the least amount of rain, and it can be so beautiful, too. The garden often looks very pretty, although in a way that’s considerably different from the summertime. The loveliness now comes from the colorful leaves, delicate seed pods and the sometimes strangely decorative appearance of a plant that's dying, where the basic frame is all that remains.

The list of what we harvest in October is very short. As I mentioned, most of our work involves preparing the garden for winter.

The Tuberus FlowerIn some cases, one can treat the Helianthus tuberosus (tuber) as a vegetable, but when used in a certain pharmaceutical process, it also acts as a medicine. This plant can be very tall — nearly three meters! The flowers remind you of a sunflower.

The Valerian FlowerWe harvest the root of the Valeriana officinalis, Radix (valerian) plant. When the upper part dies, it transfers all its nutrients into the root, and the concentration there becomes very high. The medicine we make from this plant, Avena Sativa Compound, helps calm people and aids sleep. The smell of the root when we harvest it is very intense, but fortunately the smell alone does not make us sleepy when we're working.

Blackthorn BerriesOctober is also a month of harvesting fruits, such as (blackthorn), which is used in our (blackthorn), which is used in our Almond Facial Oil, as well as Cydonia oblonga (quince) and Crategus monogyna (hawthorn), found in our Hawthorn Tablets. Moreover, it’s a time for harvesting cortex, for example BarberryBerberis vulgaris (barberry), used in our Sinus Allergy Formula, and Salix alba (white willow), used in many of our specialty medicines, including Digestodoron for soothing digestive upset. Normally we cut the trees in the afternoon, and in the mornings, when it’s still cold, we remove the cortex from the stem.

The Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh) plant keeps us company during the entire summer with its nice flowers. How beautiful! In October we harvest its roots. We wait until the whole upper part is brown and dead, which means that all the nutrients have transferred themselves into the root. The medicine we make with it, Marjoram Compound, helps ease the symptoms of menopause and makes women feel more comfortable.

Also at this time we bring out the compost made from animal manure. And, of course, we do lots of weeding so we have clean fields through the season.

My favorite product to use in October is the Rosemary Soap. To counteract the feeling of being suddenly cold again, a warm bath is the best way to spend an evening.

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