Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Save Our Forests

There are plans afoot in the UK Government to sell off half our national forests to private firms. I urge anyone who finds this as deplorable as me to sign the petition on 38 degrees. Just follow this link to have your say.

Help save our native forests from greed and destruction


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A while ago, Holly left a comment asking where I buy my herbal and medicine making supplies from. I thought I’d share this in a post in case anyone else is seeking out good suppliers. This post will mostly be of relevance to those in the UK, though many companies will of course ship internationally if you can’t find anything similar where you live.


Dried Herbs and Tinctures: Of course the hedgerow is the first stop for many of my herbs but there will always be times when you need to buy in extra herbs or ones you haven’t had time to harvest yourself. Unfortunately many companies who supply in bulk sell to practitioners only, but two I use that sell to the general public are Cotswolds Herbs, who have good quality dried herbs and at very reasonable prices though much of their stock is not organic, and The Organic Herb Trading Company, who stock a full range of organic herbs though they only take orders of £50 or more. For small quantities of dried herb or tinctures Baldwins or Neal’s Yard are probably your best bets. This does work out much more expensive in the long run though so it’s always worth clubbing together with a few other people and buying in bulk.

Herbal Plants and Seeds: Growing your own herbs is so much fun and gives you chance to get to know plants that you don’t meet in your local rambles. There are a few nurseries and stockists that do a good range of seeds and/ or young plants including Suffolk Herbs, Herbal Haven and Poyntzfield Nursery. Jekka’s Herb Farm do a great range of herbs though, as I had a bad experience the first time I ordered from them, I tend to look elsewhere first.

Essential Oils and Base Oils: Essential oils can be bought from Materia Aromatica who do a range of lovely organic oils. On the high street Neal’s Yard are also good though not quite as pure.

You can get some good quality base oils, such as olive or sesame, from the health food store or supermarket, as long as you make sure they are cold pressed and organic. For other organic base oils I go to Materia Aromatica again or, for non-organic oils, Baldwins or Aromantic do a good selection, though I have found the quality to be inferior to the organic ones. Base oils are fatty oils and, as plants store toxins in their fat cells, it’s best to get organic if possible.

Bottles and Jars: I get empty jars and small dropper bottles from Essentially Oils or Baldwins who also stock tincture bottles and other useful sundries such as measuring cylinders.

Other Bits and Pieces: For other kinds of herbal preparations I buy my cider vinegar from the local farm shop,  my witch hazel distillate from Aromantic and my honey from these amazing people at Pyrenees honey who stock the yummiest raw and organic honey I’ve tried. They do a local Sussex one from the allotments which I use most often as well as a range of delicious flavours (try the oak honey, it’s incredible) from Spain which are lovely for a treat.

I hope that list was useful to some people and if anyone has any of their own recommendations, please let us know in the comments below.

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Farewell Feathered Friend

So at last our baby gull has flown the nest. Off she went running down the road and after a few attempts, she took off, soaring above the roof tops into a bright blue world of sky and sea.

Farewell Suki, we wish you a long and happy life.

Getting ready...

And lift off...


Up and away!

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The Cry of the Gull

The cry of the gull rouses me from my slumber each morning.

It’s not as romantic as it sounds. It’s more of a high pitched squealing really, beginning at an ungodly hour and continuing until I haul myself out of bed and head into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

The gull in question is a baby herring gull who fell off our roof a couple of weeks ago and was attacked by a neighbouring cat. We picked her up and put in our our back yard where she (or possibly he) has been in residence ever since. We called her Suki, though she goes by other names too; destructo-baby, squawk-a-lot, poo machine etc.


She made herself at home almost immediately, deciding to flatten my once vibrant and upright chives to make herself a nest. She seems to take particular joy in picking up my seedlings and smaller pots in her beak and throwing them across the yard, causing irreparable damage to more than a couple of them.

A comfy bed for a baby bird

She eats more than all three cats together and bangs her dish on the ground if I’m not speedy enough delivering her line-caught tuna or seasonal sea food platter. It’s quite endearing really.

Yum yum

She’s also particularly active at the other end. I don’t know if you’ve seen photos of the Indian spring festival Holi, the festival of colours, which is celebrated by throwing coloured paint and water over everything and everyone in sight, but if you have, it’s fairly comparable to how our garden looks now. Except rather than a festival of colour, ours is more a festival of faeces, a parade of poo, a carnival of crap.

Splattered Buddha

Having said all that, we’re very fond of her and are watching with anticipation as she gets bigger and stronger everyday. She’s stretching her wings and managing some little glides now so we don’t think it will be long before she flies off to find her own way in the world. Whilst we’ll miss her and wish her well, I’m looking forward to catching up on a bit of sleep!

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Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. A wonderful opportunity for herb lovers everywhere to take a moment to express their gratitude to Mother Earth, who gives so generously and provides for all our needs.

I am of the Earth
I am a son of the Earth
I am the trees, the rivers, the rock
I am kin to the Earth’s creatures
I am kin to the Earth’s creations
The Earth is my mother.
William Ricketts

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