October, November and December - wrapping up the year

Well, life has been busy as I wind down the year of 2015. I attended a workshop on "Nurturing Your Botanical Sanctuary" in October. This wonderful event brought me to the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio, where I shared thoughts and dreams with many others concerned with the preservation of endangered plants and conservation of our planet. This site, allied with United Plant Savers, is a veritable gold mine of goldenseal - so many that you really can't even count them. Add to that lots of ginseng, paw paw trees, and a host of other natives, and you get an idea of the riches that still exist in places where the land has not been stripped of its lush vegetation. A place to contemplate nature and try to keep things in focus.

Being there gave me lots to contemplate, as I begin my journey towards a possible new beginning in the wilds of Royalston. I have purchased 13+ acres there, bordering a small brook, and hope to be able to build a small earth friendly home and downsize my life. A challenge, to be sure, but I look forward to creating a new life for me, where I can be comfortable and exist on a smaller scale.

The next event to occupy much of my time was the symposium that The New England Unit of the Herb Society ran - "Let's Drink to That." This day-long symposium had wonderful speakers - Dr. Judith Sumner, Susan Belsinger and John Forti. We learned about the history of herbal beverages, how to make shrubs and other vinegars, bitters and how to use them, and a host of other interesting facts on how herbs enhance beverages. A feast was provided by Stockbridge Herbs, and we ended the day with a very successful silent auction. Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic day of food, facts, and fun!

November began with a trip to the International Herb Association conference in Fernandina Beach, FL. Again, lots of wonderful speakers, great tours to several nearby attractions, including the Okefenokee Swamp, where alligators, owls, egrets, and more brought us back to a primeval time when the land was covered by swamps and man's footprint was not evident.

It's always great to re-connect with my friends in the herb world, and to meet new people interested in plants and conservation. As I head into December, the Garden Writers meeting will have me attending New England Grows in Boston. There I will again be surrounded with people attracted to plants and the out-of-doors. All in all, a satisfactory end to the year of 2015. There will be lots of changes ahead for me, but I look forward to the challenge and hope that 2016 brings new experiences and adventures.

Stay connected,

Karen