Bucks County Herald

Elizabeth Ludlow Bowman: Tips for the Compleat Gardener

March comes roaring in

Sunday past nor’easter – as I write this some folks are still without power though here in the Delaware Valley the sun is shining brightly, the sky a just-washed blue and snow crocus, snow drops and aconite are carpeting the ground filled with honeybees.

Two days ago snow blanketed everything but has melted in. Stay out of the garden, order seeds and get your tools ready.

I have a theory about honeybees and the disappearance thereof based on the large number of them we have seen in our organically-maintained gardens over the past few years. I think they have left the hives for places in hollow trees, walls and outbuildings where the fruit of their labor will not be taken and they won’t be trucked around from crop to crop never having a chance for familiarity, a bee-line home.

Honeybees have gone rogue. Just a theory, but they aren’t native having originated in Southeast Asia and they only constitute a small part of the 20,000 species of pollinators, most native to the United States, few of which live in a social hive setting. Most go it alone, making a space to deposit eggs, leaving food for the newly-hatched and a protected space to grow in underground tunnels or hollow stems in the periphery.

I thought I would take these pre-gardening weeks to introduce you to some of the young entrepreneurs in the Delaware Valley who are offering products and services that may pertain to your lives beginning with Locust Light Farm a small, herb farm at Gravity Hill in Mercer County, N.J a farm and food community which includes Roots to River Farm, The Farm Cooking School and the Barn at Gravity Hill, the school a really great place to learn to cook, and the Barn, a venue for special events.

Amanda of Locust Light has farming in her roots, her parents were dairy farmers, and she spent six years working on an organic farm while the idea of specializing in herbs formed within her. She has developed a line of herbal products made from her organically, sustainably grown and lovingly harvested and processed herbs.

Her product line is displayed on her website, locustlightfarm.com, and shipping is an option. Amanda has an online apothecary including several self-care products, teas and a “grace yourself line” of facial sprays and flower essences.

Amanda has developed Take Heart products for grief, using essential oils such as borage flower to help face loss and give courage. Apparently the essence of sweet chestnut helps relieve deep despair. There was a time I would have quietly scoffed at the idea that an essence would help until it was my turn to experience the effect.

Amanda teaches classes about how to use herbs in daily life with such themes as digestion and healthy sleep. Her class schedule is on her website. Her goal is to connect people to growing life.




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