Blue Monday wasn’t Blue… (Wassailing)

Blue Monday Moon risees above Mynydd Cilgwyn

The TV informed me this morning that today was ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Apparently, this is the time when people’s mood is at its lowest of the whole calendar year, when people book holidays, and try to escape the drudgery of January in a rather cold and grey season. And for us, it was no such thing. Because, today was a day to go […]

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Andrew Stableford – RIP

It is with a heavy heart that I learned today of the passing of Andrew Stableford. Andrew was the course leader of the University of Lincoln BSc (Hons.) Herbal Medicine course, and pretty much ran the third year of the course. He is a light that has gone out in the herbal medine community before his time. It is probably because of Andrew that I finished my degree and became […]

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Should I have shut?

January is almost over, and with it the first month of the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. And I have a problem and a conundrum to solve. Back when all this unfolded last Spring, and the first lockdown happened, I suspended any face-to-face patient consultations and took on patients I could treat without examining them (which to be fair is most of them). And critically, the dispensary did not […]

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The Journey Continues

Mortarboard on Book

It is almost five years since I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a degree in Herbal Medicine. Since that time, A lot has happened. I’ve built a reasonably successful practice, I’ve written books, I’ve travelled the country working as both a herbalist and an EMT. I’ve taught courses. I’ve grown a lot of herbs, and seen a lot of patients. A lot changes in 5 years. I often […]

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The wonders of Conwy Seed Fair – A herbalist’s perspective

Hand collected wildflower seeds

Transcribed from my notebook scribblings, 26th March 2019  As I write this I am sitting in the afternoon sun, watching the hustle and bustle of a street fair being dismantled. Today was Conwy Seed Fair, and it dates back over 700 years. We arrived in the mid morning sunshine, pleased to see Conwy high street full of people buying plants and seeds (and other things too!). Some years it has […]

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The Queen is Dead, or Succession

Something I’ve never seen before in 6 years of beekeeping. I have top bar hives, and they stand about 18″ above the ground. Every winter a small pile of dead bees forms under the entrance to the hive. These are old bees that have died over the winter, and are removed from the hive by their colleagues for sanitary reasons. But today something bigger. The large bee on the right […]

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A Herbalist’s Valentine’s Roses

A Herbalist's Valentines Roses

An early spring day. This feels like the first day of Spring in Wales, although many would call this ‘winter’ by its meteorological definition. But how can I call this day ‘winter’? The birds are singing, the bees are flying, and all around me, plants are waking up; their leaves shooting forwards from bursting buds. It is starting to warm up; a thin jersey is ample protection from chills. How […]

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When Man’s Warehouse is Bare

Stellaria Infusing

Before Christmas, I posted about Nature’s cupboards being bare; something I wanted and needed to harvest wasn’t available to me. This time it’s something far closer to home for many; suppliers being out of stock. Perhas it’s the time of year, at the tail end of winter before the new season, but every supplier I have looked at for a recent herb order has been out of stock of something […]

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