Stay Awhile

benchTake a seat and stay awhile, there is a new bench in the garden!  We discovered a whole new perspective on the plants when we dug out a new seating area under the pine tree.  The shady side of the garden will soon become active with a classroom space, mushroom beds and increased area for shade dependent medicinals.  Hella love to Mel for her crafty building skills, great ideas and photo credit!

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All In A Day’s Work

Spring brings a sense of urgency to the garden.  The past few weeks we have turned beds of annuals and planted out starts we’ve been nurturing for several months.  Maca and calendula mingle in a sunny spot.  Yarrow wasn’t so productive in a big patch so we moved her to the boarders of the garden in hopes of increasing vitality and flower production.

ImageThere was a lot of excitement as the season brought color to the garden.  In April apple blooms were breath taking alongside borage’s blues, comfrey purple and enough orange california poppy to compete with the Wizard of Oz.  But the best is yet to come: white sage, echinacea, and chamomile are all at their peek while mugwort, sunflowers and elecampane are still to come!

ImageLast weekend we harvested lavender buds for an infused oil.  Best medicine is made just before the flowers open, which happened quickly from all the heat we’ve getting.  After a few days of drying we add them to an organic olive oil to macerate in a warm window for a while.

A Call for Arms

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Do you want to learn more about growing medicinal herbs?  Garden and technology help is needed to get us through the abundance of spring and summer.   We are looking for passionate individuals to help our work efforts at Guerrero Street Gardens.  In return we offer a unique experience of socially aware, politically charged and ecologically restorative work for the heart, body and mind.  No experince necessary, only a willingness to learn and work with the plants.  To become involved in the local medicine movement please write to us and inquire about a part-time internship.

Winter

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There is a secret spreading across the hills and valleys of this city.  It started with the cherry trees.  The plums are next.  Apples are soon to follow.  I get the feeling of great potential this time of year.  My mind wonders from one excitement to the next as I thumb pages of seed catalogs.

It feels a bit discouraging to scan the garden.  Most of our crops are perennial and thus are still in the midst of a long winter’s nap!  With the little rain we got this week oxalis and a wild lily have flushed the garden with an unwanted green and yellow.  Echinacea is entirely under ground — easily mistaken as dead to the untrained eye.  Mullein appears to have frozen in time, no noticeable growth.  Vitex has lost most of her leaves and looks more like a couple of sticks in the ground than a bush.  Yet Self-Heal keeps the faith alive, she slowly spreads green runners and leaves across the dark earth.  I’m surprised at the array of yellows and oranges from a calendula patch I planted late last summer.  I saw a bee today!

It smells like January in the morning when the morning fog sits low and the wind starts to pick up.  But where is the rain?   The garden tasks are fewer but with a greater impact.  I pruned the fruit trees, grape vine and extended the garden beds a bit.  The sun makes a low sweep across the sky, leaving much of the garden in full shade.

Slowly the days grow longer but for now I use the sun moving west as a reminder to wrap up work in the garden.  I spend a few hours a day on the computer; I am working on a plan to sustain the work I do at Guerrero Street.

Support Radical Mycology

website-sidebarAs part of our garden pharmacy, we hope to eventually grow medicinal mushrooms at Guerrero Street Garden.  Mushrooms, and their underground network of mycellium support the growth of strong healthy plants and have been used globally for centuries to make potent medicine!  Mushrooms are incredible tonics; they can help reduce stress, illness and even fight cancer!  However, most medicinal mushrooms found in commerce are shipped from China.  At GSG we want to see local mushrooms make local medicine.

Our source and support of locally grown medical mushrooms comes from Peter and the Radical Mycology network.  He is currently running a crowd funding campaign to help fund the writing and publishing of a unique book on fungi to create positive personal, societal, and ecological change.  The book will include info on mushrooms for cultivation, bio-remediation, food and medicine.  Support the mycelial network with a donation, or by spreading the word like spores with friends on facebook or twitter.

Check out the crowd funding campaign here.  As we approach the mushroom season, let the rain begin!