Aromatherapy is the fastest way out of your head and into a more measured, peaceful place. The sense of smell is one powerful message-delivery system, allowing us to tap into a powerful fusion of smells, memory, and emotion—a phenomena you’ve probably experienced countless times.
Why does it work? First, a definition: very (very) simply, aromatherapy is the use and study of aromatic essences on one’s state of mental and physical well-being. It takes advantage of the unique way our bodies assimilate and download information carried by the volatile oils that make various substances, well, smell-able, for lack of a better term. Read More
I think we can all agree that we’re not living in the easiest of times. Luckily—as I tell my herbal clients and students—there’s an herb for that.
Fiddleheads are out! Searching for these edible beauties is a great way to spend time outside on these beautiful spring days! There are many different varieties of edible, yet-to-unfurl ferns around the world, but here in Maine, our springtime delicacy is the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). These young ferns, most commonly found near creeks, rivers, wetlands and moist woodlands in early spring, look like small green fists punching their way through the soil. The main way to identify the edible fern is to look for a “U” shaped stem. Once you have found a patch, harvest them when they are 6” or so from the soil, and the frond is tightly curled, leaving a ½” stem “tail.” Read More
One of the biggest things I’ve learned at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is what I don’t know. They say that’s the first step in knowing- well we’ll see about that. What I might know about though, are a few common mosses found in Maine that are distinctive, easy to ID, and will get you on the road to learning more about moss identification! Read More
There is nothing young children love more than creating art for their friends and families. As an educator, I have a collection of drawings, potholders, paintings, and small sculptures children have created for me out of things they find around the house. One way I’ve found to take this creative side of children into the woods is by having them create nature bracelets while we hike.
If you’re here, you’re probably interested in plants (just a lucky guess…). And while we might be a dab hand at growing them, what about brainstorming unique ways of using them? So, with that in mind, let’s talk skincare.
I awoke this morning listening to the cacophony of birdsong. The spruce edges were filled with rapid twitching movement as new spring arrivals jockeyed for position at the feeding stations. In that moment, I felt grateful for the steadfast traditions of nature in the face of such uncertain times.
Amidst the morning chaos, it occurred to me that there was one feeder missing—the hummingbird feeders. These tiny magical creatures have always been some of my favorites. I thought about these little birds, weighing about as much as a penny, making their way 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. It’s no surprise that they might be hungry when they get here! With their arrival happening in the first week of May, it might be time to dig out the feeders and check my “hummer”-friendly plant list for spring.
These days, if we’re not flexing our culinary muscles baking sourdough (the new social media sensation) or making whipped coffee, we’re probably spending increasing amounts of time staring into our pantries, wondering how we can cobble together one more meal before venturing out for groceries.
Our Manager of Food Services, Ginger Dermott, is no different. “The other night, we pulled together rice bowls from limited ingredients,” she told me. “I feel like rice bowls are a super fun and easy way to include all the food groups into one meal.”