The Botanicals Times

Mark's Farm Update
  The demand for high quality organic medicinal herbs is rising. This is good news for us herb farmers. But it also means that we have to increase our ability to produce these botanicals.
 One of the factors in producing large amounts of quality herbs is the ability to dry them effectively. I have never met an herb farmer who has enough dryer space. Talking about dryer space may sound a little boring but at Pacific Botanicals our capacity to dry herbs effectively and efficiently is critical to producing a quality product for our customers. Our fresh herbs are immediately put into the dryers as soon as they are harvested. We are very careful to monitor the drying time and temperature for each herb so that it is not susceptible to microbes brought on by moisture. This year, to meet this demand, we are building another dryer.
 We produce tons and tons of herbs each year from the soil on our farm. In order to maintain its health and vitality we need to nourish it. We do this in two basic ways. First we add soil amendments like boron, sulfate of potash, and compost that we make on the farm. In addition to adding soil amendments we practice long term crop rotation. We plant cover crops like red clover, oats, and alfalfa which fix nitrogen in the soil, add organic matter, and break up compaction.
  In many of our fields we seed oats and red clover at the same time. The oats grow up more quickly than the clover. By the time we are ready to harvest the oats, (oat tops and oat straw in the milk stage) we have the beginnings of red clover starting underneath the tall stalks of oats. We harvest the oats and give room to the clover to come up and be harvested later in the season.
  At Pacific Botanicals we constantly strive to improve our farming practices. It makes it challenging and a lot of hard work but the satisfaction of supplying our customers with the botanicals they need make it worth it.
  I hope you and your family get out and enjoy the summer season. Warm regards, Mark

- Mark Wheeler, Founder, Pacific Botanicals

Toni's Window Our Healing Intention
  Looking out at the gray sky still heavy with the last snow of spring I see the wild landscape is still sodden. I long for the sun. I have to use my imagination to see that in a few short months this same ground will be filled with ordered rows of brilliantly colored organic herbs. And, I think isn't this the essence of hope? To look at where you are and even if it is dark and dreary to see something good, that we either know or can imagine, that lies ahead.
  Sometimes my job is just plain hard. Technology has become such a part of business today that we can't avoid its demands and its inherent problems. And then there is all the paperwork and dealing with regulations...and on and on. But what keeps me inspired, what lifts me out of the day to day grind and into inspiration, is the hope that we bring to peoples' lives. The hope that comes from the earth in the form of the herbs we grow and the teamwork that goes into producing them.
  At Pacific Botanicals we work with the deliberate intention to farm sustainably, and responsibly, and then trust in the earth to bring the healing plants to life. Each thing we do has this intention. From harvesting the organic seed, to the germination in the greenhouses, to the meticulous watering and monitoring of the starts, to planting at the optimum time, soil nourishment, responsible harvesting, milling and shipping. We do our best to work in harmony and respect for nature's processes. It is a choice we make everyday. We don't have to farm or run our business this way. But we do because, not only is it the right thing to do, it also brings hope and healing to our customers.
  When we bring in new people we invite them to embrace this intention and talk about how they might make a personal contribution to this healing mission. We talk about how this work matters, how people matter, and how healing matters. The other day I was talking to a customer in Japan. She was telling me of the inspiring courage and strength of her people. How they have come together to help each other in recovery from the devastating destruction of the tsunami. She talked to me about the bright light of hope that shines amidst all the rubble. I was so inspired. Hope matters. It is something we grow here at Pacific Botanicals. It makes all the difference.
  Blessings of hope and healing. Have a great summer.

-Toni Corrente-Evans, Chief Operations Officer


1Dulse Flakes
  Palmaria Palmata
  The first mention of dulse was 1400 years ago; St Columba and the monks of Iona, Scotland ate it. The Irish call it "dillisk" and you can buy it as a snack food in some pubs. Dulse contains up to 20% protein, high quantities of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, beta carotene and iodine.
To order click here.

1Nori Flakes Porphyra spp
  Nori is loaded with the natural element iodine which is essential in helping your thyroid gland create thyroxin which regulates the functions to burn fat and sugars. This is essential in helping support heathy metabolism. It also supports healthy skin and hair.
To order click here.

Jamaican Dogwood Bark
Piscidia piscipula

  Jamaican Dogwood is most suited for supporting treatment of conditions related to pain, tension, and nervousness. It is sedating and calming, allowing the body to relax and sleep peacefully, supporting pain management. Testing has shown that bark extracts also have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. To order click here.

Organic Papaya Leaf Carica papaya
  Papaya Leaf contains a remarkable protein-dissolving enzyme called papain. If you suffer from indigestion or heartburn, give Papaya Leaf a try! The enzyme in Papaya Leaf also breaks down wheat gluten and carbohydrates for extra digestive protection.. To order click here.

  Ashwagandha, (Withania somnifera) is one of the most highly respected botanicals in the 5,000-year-old Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India. In Sanskrit Ashwaganda means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion. wIt has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness. In fact, it's frequently referred to as "Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties (although botanically, Ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated). In addition, Ashwagandha is used to enhance sexual potency for both men and women.
  Ashwagandha is classified as a rejuvenative tonic ("rasayana") in the Ayurvedic system. It is widely used in modern Western herbalism as an adaptogen-a substance that can help our bodies healthfully adapt to physiological and psychological stress, thus increasing our resistance to disease.  The active ingredients in Ashwagandha are alkaloids and withanoloids. It's the withanoloids within Ashwagandha that give it all its medicinal qualities. Withanoloids consist of steroidal molecules which act to fight inflammation. Both Ashwagandha and Ginseng stimulate the immune system, stop inflammation, increase memory, and help support and maintain general health and wellness. It is known to increase the production of bone marrow, semen, and inhibit the aging process. The climate here at Pacific Botanicals is perfect for growing high quality organic Ashwagandha.

So Much Bigger Than Us All.
  I am walking down the dirt track. It is no ordinary day. The Calendula and the Echinacea stretch out to the horizon. If there are angels they must be dazzled. Looking down upon the waving blankets of yellow, and orange, pink and rose, deep red and green. A pallet more vibrant than anything we could make on our own. And the way everything moves. If I am still I can feel it everywhere. A subtle gravity pulls me toward it. If I surrender I can sense it. The fertile earth has a vibration. Slithering worms move through it. A sheen of moisture moves over it and rises up from it and into the air. The rich smell of it surrounds me in a vapor. It reminds me of being a child, hearing frogs in the gully, and playing outside.
  Every thing that is occurring here is occurring under the broad bright sky. As far as I can see...All this beauty is freely given. Even though nothing lasts forever. Even though the sadness for time passing and the fragility of the body can be unbearable. Here, under the sky, is the precious gift.
  If I could slow myself down with long deep breaths that would last for years maybe I would see all of my life happening in the time it takes to turn my head. Looking out at colors and shapes, feeling the brisk wind of love and loss, the rise of eros and the passionate hunger for being ascending in the heat of the day. Here the shimmering edge of sunlight. The cool expanse of blue. The riveting intensity of the present. Here between the rows of the life giving plants...I feel it. Don't ask me what it is. My hold is loose upon it. But it is unmistakable.
  When I look up and let go of all my wishes there is the great constant sky and I am still beneath it. The sky does not judge me. It embraces me. Allows me. Forgives me over and over and illuminates all the days of my living right down here among the flowers, the seething ground, and the penetrating tendrils of the shaking roots. Here in the fresh new sun of spring I see that the sky is so much bigger than us all. -DE.

Thoughts for the Spirit
  "The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind." -Katherine Mansfield

  "When we walk upon Mother Earth, we always plant our feet carefully because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground. We never forget them" -Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation

  "You don't have to ask a child about being happy, you see it. They are or they are not. Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. Talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind."-Jeanette Winterson

  "When one cannot be sure that there are many days left, each single day becomes as important as a year, and one does not waste an hour in wishing that that hour were longer, but simply fills it, like a smaller cup, as high as it will go without spilling over."-Natalie Kusz

  "We all live in two realities: one of seeming fixity, with institutions, dogmas, rules of punctuation, and routines, the calendared and clockwise world of all-but-futile round and round; and one of whirling and flying electrons, dreams, and possibilities, behind the clock."-Sidney Cox

  "We are traveling with tremendous speed toward a star in the Milky Way. A great repose is visible on the face of the Eath. My heart's a little fast. Otherwise everything's fine." -Bertolt Brech

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