Alas – summer in the Colorado Rockies is such a quick, brilliant burst of color and foliage, and a whirlwind of harvesting, weeding, gardening, and taking in as much sunshine as you can. Last week my household got up at the customary hour of 6:30 in the morning and we could see our breath standing on the porch. You can smell the musty air, you can feel it crunch on your skin, you can see it in the raspberries that popped a full month early, and the red clover that wasn’t as abundant as last season…winter is right around the corner.
I am grateful for the turning of the seasons – right when I think I’m too tired to go out and harvest, mother nature’s cold snaps remind me to get it while I can. I smile to myself thinking of all the writing that I will get to catch up on, and the books that I need to finish, and long, lazy autumn days sipping Mountain Mama tea and watching the clouds change their floating viscosity.
The beautiful, ironic contrast of impending autumn means a quick hustle to get every last bit of the good harvest, garbling (processing raw herbs for long-term storage) at all strange hours of the day and night, and finishing all those ambitious summer projects. Here are a few of the things we’ve been up to at the Homestead:
Holistic noxious weed education and removal – talking to folks about the edible and medicinal properties of common weeds like dandelion, thistles, and mullein; harvesting these plants where they have overtaken hillsides, mountain tops and gardens; and turning our bountiful harvest into potent medicines like our Deep Breath tea (a delightful blend of mullein, mint and mugwort) and Dandelion Blossom Syrup (as delicious as it sounds)!
Used medical equipment drive – since May of this year, we have picked up 19 pairs of crutches, 17 walkers, 5 braces (knee, back, etc.), 3 wall-mount support bars, 3 walking boots, 3 shower chairs, 2 gait belts, 2 raised toilet seats, 2 humidifiers, 2 canes, 2 shoulder slings, 2 wheelchairs, 1 commode, 1 portable in-home electric lift, 1 portable in-home oxygen concentrator, and various other useful medical items such as physical therapy equipment, sterile bandages and wraps, chuck and pads, etc.
The estimated retail value of these donated items exceeds $5,000 – which is really an amazing figure when considering most durable medical equipment is purchased brand new, very often out-of-pocket, and used for a very short time.
Thanks to grant funding from The Mountain Forum for Peace, we will be extending this program through the fall and expanding our ability to store and inventory equipment, and get it to the people who need it most.
If you are in Colorado, it’s worth coming “up the mountain” to see what The Holistic Homestead is manifesting this fall!
Wild Weed Walk for families and children ages 6 and up. This is a free event sponsored by the Nederland Community Library, our last chance to see what blooms wild and wonderful in our own back yards!
Roadside Herb Stand Labor Day weekend – come and taste, and smell, and try on the herbal creations we’ve been so busy concocting all summer (just in time for leaf season, too)!
Sacred Smudge Sticks, Herbal Lore and Ritual Crafting at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center’s 16th annual Enchanted Forest. Come and make some magik with the Homestead September 24th!
The Holistic Homestead is a Colorado Nonprofit Organization dedicated to increasing health literacy, building healthy communities and advocating for the medically underserved. Did you enjoy this article? Are you subscribed to get a free e-mail every time we publish fresh, original content? Would you like to receive our hard-copy printed monthly Newsletter in your mailbox for just $1 / issue? Click here and make a donation of $12 today to start receiving your monthly newsletter, and to help us continue to pursue our goals!