Awaiting the budding of trees, boots caked with dried mud from the last woods walk to see what was sprouting, I sit inside remembering the feeling of summer on my skin. Early in the morning, the birds are lively outside, their songs pulling me out of sleep. The tree outside my office is showing the first signs of green unfurling shyly and slowly. The peas I planted three weeks ago are starting to show their first leaves. Everything is waking up, including the wildcrafter in me, who is anxious to get out there and find some food growing. The dandelions in my garden are just popping up, though I’ve seen them in some sidewalk cracks next to buildings for weeks now. It is a stirring time for an herbalist and gardener.
Planting seeds with my biodynamic calender, I wait until the moon is just right to seed leaf, root, fruit, and flower crops. My tiny incubation area is crowded with spilanthes, sacred basil, okra, tomatoes, and tobacco. I am working on my first real design for a garden to produce medicine for our community apothecary at Justice in the Body. This is a thrilling adventure, but I’m nervous. I do so little planning in my own garden that to finally apply some of my permaculture design skills is a challenge and a discipline. I can imagine it, though, this 40×20 foot plot of land that will be lush with medicinal perennials and stunning annual crops like calendula and sacred basil. It’s going to be a beautiful, fertile summer.