mayacama mama

My Favorite Things in July

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I’m amazed everyday that these beautiful sunflowers in our garden grew from tiny seeds. Anyone know how to make sunflower seed butter from sunflower seeds? It’s a popular food with Zoey and Zane.


Stephen sent me this New York Times article How Walking in Nature Changes the BrainIt’s a quick read if you haven’t already read it. I should swing daily on our tree swing as good medicine for my body. I wonder if swinging on a tree swing changes your brain.


For my Yerba Woman Herbal apprenticeship program, I had to choose an herb to study in depth to present to our class in November, the last month of the program. One of the first plants I noticed on our property up behind the guest house and near the shed was a soft, furry green plant growing in a rosette pattern in the ground. It was only later when I was reading Rosemary Gladstar’s book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health that I realized the tall flowering stalks with yellow flowers was mullein (Verbascum thapsus). At the end of our first herbal class when I had to choose an herb to study, it was fairly obvious I had to learn more about mullein because it was growing all over our land. In the photo above, you can see a group of mullein stalks to the left of the shed. There was a bunch of mullein on the dam by the lake that flowered in June, and I meant to harvest the flowers to make an infused oil, but I missed my chance. They do not flower for long. Then this past week while out walking on the east road, I was pleasantly surprised to see a circle of mullein growing around a pile of old, discarded vineyard stakes. Her circle of beauty in the midst of unwanted scraps made me smile and gave me hope and encouragement. Some people find winter a difficult month to get through, but for me the heat of summer wilts me and depletes me of energy. Mullein is teaching me to find the beauty in the middle of the mess.

Author: Jessica Adriance Cowan

I'm a wife, mama of a daughter and son, a lover of writing, and budding herbalist.

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