Harvest Pondering


I hadn’t planned on writing today. I have a long list of harvest chores that needs doing aaandd, once I started working with the Tulsi, I knew I’d be sitting here writing to you.

This love letter started when I began straining the Tulsi honey. I LOVE Tulsi honey and medicinal honeys are one of my favorite medicine-making methods. I don’t do many medicines this way since not all constituents are easily extracted in the water-based honey.

But Tulsi, yes.

Fresh harvested Tulsi

The Tulsi had been infusing all week in the honey. Each day I would walk by and flip it upside down. Today it was ready so I needed to remove the plant material. I usually let the honey drain through the strainer and then squeeze by hand as much of the honey as I can from the plant material. Once I’ve scraped the bowl and strainer into my collection jar, I take all of it, including the plant material, out onto our rock wall in the front of our house to offer back to all the critters who would benefit from the honey bee’s hard work, including the honey bees themselves. They all need this extra flower-juice-energy this time of year and they are quite adept at getting it off all of the sticky surfaces.

Honey goodness for the critters!

This completion of the circle, this giving back to the world supporting me feels good and right.

The plants teach us over and over again about generosity and giving away. We are here because of the abundant generosity of the green world. Our job is to remember our roots and continue the giving, back, out into the world.

For example, last weekend I traveled to a fellow plant lover’s home to teach a group of herbalists. I traveled with my medicines, which included seeds I would give away, and medicines for the host teachers. We had beautiful Tulsi in the garden, so I harvested big bouquets and put them in water in a five gallon bucket. I’m not sharing this to point out my special and unique virtuosity. ☺️

I arrived home with an abundance of hand made medicines gifted to me, soap and a big beautiful bouquet of Anise hyssop. I share this with you because it is normal behavior of folks who know where our abundance comes from and want to honor the source of it by giving it away.

Kris processing the Anise hyssop.

As humans we do our “good work” by using our hands to make medicine and we are blessed again when we share it with those around us. I am reminded of this lesson over and over when I am with my plant-loving clan, the people with dirty fingernails, the herbalists, the gardeners & the farmers.

I love my plant-loving people. I love their generous and kind hearts. The second nature to show up with something from the garden or the apothecary. To share the abundance the plants offer with others. This one simple act of sharing the harvest is our medicine.

Our way home.

I encourage you, when you’re feeling down, discouraged, hopeless, make something and give some of it away.

These lessons are medicine.

Teach them.



I'm a researcher, educator, guest lecturer, and co-founder of Heartstone Center for Earth Essentials in Van Etten, NY.