(The above photo is of moths around the light, taken on a slow shutter speed, aren’t they beautiful?)

I can’t believe that nearly 2 months have gone by since I last wrote in the blog. As you can probably imagine, it’s been a hectic few weeks, so I won’t bore you with the details. Meanwhile the gardens continue to do their thing, growing steadily, flowering, seeding, weeds happen, zucchini are ready to eat, it’s been cold & hot, wet & dry windy & still, often all in one day. After all the festivities & family time we are needing to get focussed again while the plants are flowering. We are busy processing St John’s Wort flowers into oil & into Vodka to make Hypercal tincture, the Arnica is flowering intermittently, Mullein flowers need picking daily.

Also the new vinegars we are making (to go with the Shampoo & Body Bars, nicknamed “Shoaps”) are requiring us to stockpile various herbs & Rose petals for the Winter months, as well as making up new batches. Today we’ve cooked up the Elderflower oils & Coldsore Oil made with Lemon Balm & Selfheal. Also made batches of Eczema Cream & Shaving Soap, & bottled 2 sorts of Hair Rinse Vinegars. Tomorrow we need to make more Aloe vera oil, label today’s efforts & pack orders. There’s a good sense of routine & familiarity to these regular jobs, & we always look forward to going over to the workroom & getting into it. We feel very lucky to enjoy what we do & make a living out of it, what more could we ask for?We had an out of season visitor, a Giant Puffball, Lycoperdon giganteum, which we harvested & ate over several days. You need to pick Puffballs when they are still squeaky & white inside. We just slice it thinly & fry in butter, & as Geoff discovered they are pretty good dipped in batter too. In Richard Mabey’s book “Food for Free” he writes about the potential for reproduction a Puffball has…’a single Puffball has up to seven billion spores, if all these germinated successfully & produced similar specimens, with equally successful spores, their grandchildren would form a mass 800 times the volume of the Earth” wow!

This one weighed about 1kg so was just a middle sized one. They are soporific, so too are lettuces, as you may remember, much to the Flopsy Bunnies misfortune.