Just like that it’s undoubtedly Fall! As usual, I’m not sure how this happened. After Funk sings, “Sometimes summer gets away way too fast!” and in the case of Newfoundland, I believe that we could easily replace sometimes with all the time. When I used to live in Portugal the summers were so long and hot that I was craving sweater-weather by August! In Newfoundland, I try to pack so much during the very short summer months that some things get left behind. That’s the case of this wonderful blog that I love to write, but I’m starting to realize that in the summer it takes the back seat while all the summer things materialise at once.
This summer we finally finished our hugelkultur, built 2 raised beds, and planted our garden for the first time at our new place. We had relative success. Herbs like sage, flat-leaf parsley, and oregano grew very well. The strawberries plants looked extremely healthy but we picked all the flower buds to make our strawberry yield higher next season. Greens, potatoes and tomatoes were OK but we totally failed on the carrot, turnip, rutabaga, and radish department. Carrots never passed the seedling stage and the other root vegetables were only skinny little lumps and bolted very early in the season. Our beans that we planted around the fence also did not thrive. A few things we are going to try next year is building a loop house on the raised beds and keeping the row cover longer. Also, we desperately need to take down a few trees. The mature maple trees that surround our backyard are lovely but they keep the sun out in much of the space. We have such a short growing season that we really need that sunshine helping our veggies along the way!
It probably didn’t help our garden that we went to Portugal right in the middle of the growing season. But what a great time we had! The kids loved spending time at the beach and eating as much pastry and gelato as my family would provide (which was A LOT!). For me, one of the highlights was finding a local herbalist, Fernanda Botelho. I ended up meeting her during an edible walk she led just outside of Lisbon. I learned so much about the resemblances of the wild herbs found in Portugal and Newfoundland (like plantain, nettle, and yarrow), and the differences (wild nasturtiums, capers, and horsetail). I also couldn’t resist telling her about SeaBerry and how I was working with wildcrafted herbs to create more conscious skincare products.
SeaBerry Studios was in fact much on my mind during the summer. Botanical Beauty was a workshop I hosted for the first time with my friend and herbalist Felicity Roberts. The workshop was a full day event. In the morning we walked around Signal Hill identifying wild herbs. In the afternoon we used those herbs to make some potent skincare. It was such an accomplishment offering this workshop after a year of collaboration.
There’s also a Big SeaBerry Surprise coming up soon! Preparing for the Botanical Beauty workshop and the edible walk in Portugal totally re-candled my interest for wildcrafted herbs and how their use can make skincare that much more powerful. I have been working hard with some big local minds to put together some very special products that will be ready in time for your Christmas shopping. I can’t wait to share more really soon. In the meantime, you can follow along on the SeaBerry Facebook Page, Instagram, or better subscribe to the Small Batch Newsletter. It will be awesome, I promise!