Early this morning I decided to finally cut up the dried lemongrass, remember the lemongrass – labor of love post? It was warm in the kitchen so I took my bundles of lemongrass, a large bowl, clippers and a cup of coffee to the front porch to enjoy  the early sunshine and crisp air.

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The view from my front porch inspired the name of our farm but I do not know why I am not out there as much as the back yard. It is so beautiful and peaceful. 🙂

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As I sit to patiently cut the lemongrass into tiny pieces, I ponder the events, happenings and memories both good and bad that occurred in 2014. Most of the news programs bring the bad events of the year, why not the good, why is it always the gloom and doom! Yes there were some bad times in 2014 for us but I will not focus on them as I am grateful for the many blessings God has brought to our lives and look forward to what 2015 has in store for us.

Yes 2014 started out really darn crummy! John was out of work for two and a half months, no unemployment, no farmer’s markets. It was a tough start but we were faithful, I WAS faithful. I had friends and family that were faithful, we prayed, we believed, we trusted.

It got better of course, new jobs, new starts and new opportunities! In March I was helping my friend Cyndi, of Lazy B Farm, set up a class with Patricia Howell, who we love so much and was so excited to be there, actually I was lucky to be there thanks to my good friends!! Patricia asked me when I would take her Herb Program and I told her it would take a miracle or winning the lottery for me to attend the year long program. AND she said, as most of you already know, “Would you like to be my assistant and attend the program?” Yep the rest is history. I finished and graduated from the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies a few short weeks ago. Ready to continue my life as an herbalist. 🙂

Herb classes at the farm always make me smile, thinking back to all the classes with happy students learning and exploring the world of Herbalism especially seeing certain plants for the first time and realizing they too have those plants at home to help them medicinally. 2014 brought classes in Backyard Medicine, Natural Beauty Products, Wildcrafting Jams and Jellies, Herbs for The Immune System, Breadmaking and Medicine Making 101. I even had the privledge to take an enormous amount of people(more than expected) on an Herb Walk at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. Very cool!

The Farmer’s Market this year was fabulous as usual, meeting new faces and seeing old friends.

I got my first wholesale account at Rinse Soap in Monroe with my Herbal Salves. Wowsi!!!

chickweed salve

My son is in 12th grade, our last year of homeschooling. He did amazing on his ACT exam and got into Piedmont College for dual enrollment and accepted as a student for his Freshman year 2015-2016. Awesomeness!!!!!

We did have some loss, my Gram lost her battle to cancer in September at the age of 89. She was my most favorite person in the family. I love her and miss her dearly. 🙁

Our old dog Lightning passed away too – 14 years old. We have Luke – sweet, protective Lukey!

We still have chickens – 8 total at the end of this year but they are not laying eggs. Grrrr….6 may be around the age of 4 so dinner soon??? 2 are only 8 months old so do not know what their prob is.

Realized I grow herbs better than veggies.

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Comfrey
Comfrey

 

 

Hee Hee Hee. My garden will be even bigger next year but mostly my favorite medicinals like Holy Basil, Nettle, Calendula, Lemon Balm, Yarrow, Burdock, Chamomile, Echinacea and St. John’s Wort. There are more but those especially. Of course I will have to plant tomatoes and basil. You should have seen hubby’s face when I told I wanted to plant the entire horse riding arena with fruit trees and herbs – priceless!

My shiitake mushroom crops was bigger than I ever expected, can’t wait to innoculate more logs.

shiitakes
shiitakes

New things I learned this year?

How to identify turkey tail and oyster mushrooms, how to tincture more precisely, garbling herbs, cooking in an iron skillet(I know, finally), make kale powder, grow burdock, cabbage, okra, learn new medicinal plants, how to plant a million(ok 142) beets in rows at the UGarden, drying all of my own herbs, make lacto-fermented pickles, make apple cider vinegar, make my own tea blends, make homemade vanilla, how to be more accepting of people with different beliefs as well as be more open to new ideas, and to be even stronger this year in my own faith. I am very thankful for all the many blessings I have received.

I made a bunch of new friends –

celebrating my birthday with my new herbie friends!
celebrating my birthday with my new herbie friends!

One of my new friends, Noelle(You must visit her cool blog – The Fuller Life) invited me to volunteer with her at the UGarden (University of GA) and I got to work with her and Maisy for about 6 weeks on Wednesdays. We worked in the Medicinal Garden and the Culinary Garden. Oh and planted beets 🙂

planting beets!
planting beets!
Me and Noelle at the American Herbalist Symposium
Me and Noelle at the American Herbalist Symposium

What about you? Any new things that you learned or cool memories of 2014? Let me know, I would love to hear them. 🙂

As I finished my lemongrass, I snapped a few cool photos of hubby walking up the drive with his newspaper, Luke and the horses nearby. So sweet – I love this life!!!

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Enjoy – Have a Happy New Year,

Anne-Marie

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