Category Archives: importance of organic seeds

Spring Sprouts

Merry meet all,

My project for herby sprouts is working!! I am amazed at how a whole huge plant can start from a tiny seed. I now have a garden on my windowsill. I’m growing snapdragons, lavender, thyme, basil, moonflower and morning glories, tomatoes, pumpkins, elecampagne from seed. My calendula overwintered and is now flowering! I also just bought black rose seeds.

I accidentally snipped a calendula flower and stem. I put the stem in a glass of water and waited and waited. Several weeks later the stem grew roots which I planted back into the same pot with the other calendula. I have three sprigs of rosemary in a glass of water to grow roots.

Patience is important when growing from seed. Try not to over water the plants. That killed my dill sprout. Just add a tiny drop of water every other day or if the seedling looks limp. Keep the starter pots by a sunny window. I have a plastic bag around the starter pots which helps to trap the water. Use good seedling potting soil. It is geared towards starting plants from seed. Let the seedlings grow on their own.

My moonflower just germinated!! It is weeks away till I can plant them but it is fun to watch them grow and help them along. I use a small clear plastic mister bottle which I have watered the seedlings with. You can also water from beneath. That prevents the seedling from root rot and dying. If you do water on the surface of the soil, add a tiny amount of water.

Small to tiny seeds lie on the surface of the soil. Water the soil prior to planting the seeds so they don’t drown. Bigger seeds are planted deeper in the soil. The sprouts still push through soil. So now we have sun, soil, water and time… what else? Love. Be gentle to your plants. Let them grow and just trust that they will grow. Before you know it, you will have a full fledged garden of seedlings waiting to bloom once the frost has passed.

Don’t disturb or transplant young seedlings. Let them grow where they are. You can if you want magically empower the seeds to fulfill your magical intention. The roots take time to be fully developed. Transplanting them too early can put the seedling in shock and damage it. They are content in the home that they germinated in. When it is time to harden the seedlings and plant them outside, then you can uproot them. Again, patience is key.

My morning glory seedlings )O(

Starting your plants from seed indoors has a few advantages. They are protected from the frost, can grace your window with their beauty and you can be sure that you will have a beautiful plant growing. If you start from seed, you control the growing conditions. You can grow several of the same plant without paying a fortune. Your plants will be ready to go once the frost has passed, saving you the effort of buying the same plants from the garden center.  

I’m starting the nasturtiums from seed outside. They are easy to grow and grow well there. Snapdragons seed heads look like skulls, which is one of the reasons why I bought the seeds. I also like the sound of the plant’s name. I’m running out of room for more seedlings. This has been a magical and fun project. 

My snowdrops have bloomed. My spring bulbs are growing slowly too. I can’t wait. 

Happy planting!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Imbolc Rite )O(

Imbolc celebration

 Merry meet all,

Imbolc heralds a promise of spring’s return. This post tells how to perform a ritual to honor Imbolc.

Prior to the ritual, take a warm meditative bath. Concentrate on purifying yourself of any lingering negativity. Smudge yourself and your home with cleansing incense like lavender, frankincense and sage.

Dress your altar and make sure your ritual area is clean and inviting. You will need the following items: candles, a bowl, ash, sand or salt, seven candles (ok to use tealights for this), matches or a lighter, your altar area.

Settle the tealight candles into the ash/salt/ or sand in the cauldron. Light the first candle. It is now ok to say a prayer or chant something.

The light returns within and without/ In the chill of winter I now seek life.

Light the second candle. Say aloud:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the third candle. Say:

This light is a boundary, between positive and negative.
That which is outside, shall stay without.
That which is inside, shall stay within.

Light the fourth candle. Say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Light the fifth candle, saying:

Like fire, light and love will always grow.
Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.

Light the sixth candle, and say:

I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one. As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun,
cover me in your shining light.
I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am
made pure.

Concentrate on the glowing candles. Visualize that the energy from the candles is healing and empowering you. Try to think of what needs  healing in your life, personal or not. Let the candles burn down and close the circle. Feel charged by the ritual. Dispose of the candles by casting them outside. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch

Credit to Abut.com for ritual information.

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Decorating for Imbolc

Sblossoms2

Merry meet all,

Imbolc is almost here!! Imbolc is the halfway point between the rages of winter and the onset of spring. For all you southern hemisphere readers, you are now entering Lammas. The Wheel of the Year spins eternally, this time it settles on Imbolc. 

Many Witches honor the Goddess Brigid at Imbolc. The traditional colours are red and white. Blood is connected with life. White reflects snow. Brigid is also tied to the colour green. She wears the colour green on her mantle and for the life beginning to stir under the snow. 

The altar decor should reflect the theme of Imbolc. Try adding spring flowers to your altar such as daffodils, hyacinth, snowdrops and crocuses. You could decorate the altar with both flowers and candles. 

Make a Brigid’s doll from corn or use a corn doll you made in the past (I don’t believe in burning them) and dress her in a white dress made from simple cotton. Add an anvil or hammer, a book of poetry, sacred animals such as cows or swans, and herbs. 

Burn lots of white candles and decorate your home and altar area in flowers. Imbolc is the first of the three early spring Sabbats. 

I wish you all a magickal Imbolc

Blessings

Lady Spiderwitch 

 

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Seeds of Hope

rosy tulips

Merry meet all,

I am just in from seed planting. Yesterday I bought some organic topsoil. I wheeled the soil home and put it all on my new garden patch. Today my garden looks beautiful even in the rain. The rocks get that sheen and the green vibrant plants stand out among the earthy rocks and soil. 

I cleared away more weeds and removed rocks from the soil. A Witch’s work is never done! I just planted hollyhocks and lilies in the garden. I hope they germinate. When they do, I will thin the seedlings more and enjoy watching the hollyhocks grow! I can harvest more seeds from the stalks come fall. The witch hazel is also coming along nicely. The flowers I planted at the base are doing well too. 

The photo above is one I took of the beauteous tulip growing in my own garden. It’s a double-petaled deep mahogany red tulip and the hybrid is called Uncle Tom, (mundane name, if you ask me.)  The scent is amazing!! I also watered the seeds and my garden with my organic Neptune’s Harvest organic fish emulsion fertilizer. 

I shall continue to post more here soon!! The Full Moon shines on June 2nd. The moon is waxing. This is a good time to get out and do some gardening!! You can plant seeds that grow above ground now, because the moon is growing full!!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Garden to honor my ancestors

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

Tonight I’m sipping coffee and I occasionally peek out to my blossoming garden. It cheers my heart to see the plants grow. I also take pride in it for a different reason. 

I am carrying on the work of my ancestors. I am part Celtic and part Viking. My maternal grandmother is from Scotland. My maternal grandfather is from Cape Breton-French Acadian. My father was Norwegian. 

They would have worked hard in a garden to provide the food to feed their families. It was a produce or perish way of life then. They would have raised livestock. I don’t raise livestock but I do have two familiars. A garden was necesary. I also know how to fish, saw wood, gather and store wood, and operate a real wood stove. I know how to identify animal tracks, herbs and berries, and cook homegrown food- and ride horses. I often practice slow cooking, as opposed to eating processed food out of a can. Yes I do know to work a coleman stove. 

Allow me to elaborate here. One time in Pleasant Bay, my sis Niki harvested some root veggies from her garden. She cooked a pot of stew and it was cooked on the wood stove. I love the sound of a stainless steel kettle rattling on the wood stove- and a woodpecker pecking at the outdoor house walls. Then I was given the pot of soup and I held the pot of stew on my lap the way to the main house, where we all enjoyed it. I mean, it was delicious. Well it was made from totally locally grown vegetables and cooked on a wood stove. What was there to not like? 

I also can sew and clean. I know you may be thinking these seem like such domestic chores- especially since last fall, I was in the kitchen literally cooking all day. But I filled glass dishes with the plastic red lids with four different soups and I was able to feed myself all winter long. 

I have a fresh stash of lentils and beans. I know what to do with them. Performing this work is satisfying because I feel like I am carrying on a tradition. I have occasionally gone camping, maybe not as often as I should. Spending so much time in Pleasant Bay has helped me appreciate going for a simple walk. Well today was rainy. I also know how to make candles, make crafts like candles, jewelry, and bind books But my main pride and joy is my garden. I fail to understand why no one started a garden in the backyard here before me. Oh well my job. And I love it! I bought a celtic cookbook to also honor my ancestry. 

I am studying the different gods and goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. That is just fascinating to me. I do have a hard time getting my hands on books and information on the Vikings so I could honor that side of my family. I hope to learn more about them. 

I plan to make good use of the raspberries in my garden in jam and maybe eat them with pancakes. I plan to grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes, potatoes, chives, garlic, rhubarb, and onions. For someone who lives on a meagre budget as I do, this is a lot of food. This includes the herbs and flowers I shall also harvest in the fall. The Witch Hazel will be cool. I haven’t planned on what to do with that yet. I can also harvest roots, seeds, and flower petals for various magickal uses. 

I let my Samhain pumpkins compost in my garden all year. The orange pumpkin was closer to the house. The white pumpkin composted over the tulip and garlic bulbs. When I raked the leaves this spring, I didn’t find the white pumpkin. I guess that is how well it composted. But the soil, bulbs and bugs would have benefitted from the nutrients from it. I did find the dried crumbling remnants of the orange pumpkin. I know it helped the soil. 

I planted snowdrops because I read they were sacred to Brigid. This is one of many ways I hope to explore and deepen my connection to my ancestors.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Season of Change

Penny

Merry meet all,

Who besides me hates winter? Let’s see a showing of witch hats. Yeah I thought you would all agree. Last night’s full moon was the last of the dark winter full moons for the season. It gets exciting from here. Spring is on its way. So you can all breathe a sigh of relief. I am. 

I think winter affects us in more ways than just seasonal affective disorder. I have not felt any inclination to do any magick at all. This is not like me. I do enjoy it. It could be because I live alone and never have any company for an esbat. It could be because it is hard to know if you are growing or not when you live alone. These things all contribute to how and when and if people perform magick. It certainly affects me. I performed a simple meditation last night. That is all I had the energy for. 

Yet I managed to manifest a cat. It sounds like I need more confidence in myself and trust in myself. So I propose to try to have more confidence and trust in myself. I do suffer from anxiety and depression, which can take over your life. I usually try to not let this affect me. I have to keep thinking Spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox occurs later this month. Who couldn’t be cheered up that? 

So I can assume that this depression I am going through could possibly by seasonal. Let’s hope so. By the way, I hope you all check out the amazing movie The Theory of Everything about Stephan Hawking. I watched that movie yesterday and I really enjoyed it. I was so engrossed in the movie I forgot about everything else. You will cheer for Stephan Hawking. He is inspirational. 

You can view the trailer here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516/

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Herbs Book- Healing Herbs

CIMG2691

Merry meet all,

I am happy to be published in a book about healing herbs. The editor of Essential Herb magazine,which I used to write for, wrote a book on herbs and included my contribution about growing ginger in the book. 

This is good news!!! It is timely since spring is 30 days away. I can’t wait to read it. I have included a link to the book below. It is not yet released till next month. 
Exciting!
Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

Link: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/healing-herbs-a-beginners-guide/9781592336500-item.html?ikwid=healing+herbs&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=4

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Sagely Wisdom

b400c-echinacea1

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here!! Sorry for the pause in the posts, but I have been so busy trying to write a novel proposal that everything else has been- and that includes my entire life, has been on hold. Now that some of the maddening, gritty work is done, I can concentrate on other things. 

…like Imbolc. I’ve germinated garden sage and milk thistle seeds so far. I put the seeds in a folded damp paper towel in a ziploc bag. The seeds germinate much faster. I found loose sage leaves at the grocery store then discovered the sage was from Israel. What? i was shocked. So I rejected the sage and instead, bought a bag of seeds. 

Now I know where my sage is coming from. My own garden or windowsill, which I prefer. The sage from Israel would be useless to me. The magic properties that sage is known for would be long gone. The power of the herb would barely exist by the time it reached Canada. I couldn’t believe it. I would rather grow my own, which is highly possible as I have a garden. 

I wanted to buy the sage to steep in a teapot and do my sacred magic circle of sage tea all around the perimeter of the apartment here. But I wouldn’t use sage leaves from Israel. Sage is known for increasing longevity, aiding in protection and offering wisdom. How much of the natural wonderful properties remain in it by the time it is on the store shelf? Not to mention that the leaves are sprayed with a pesticide and preservative. Ugh Who wants that? 

Ah I am now left to the wonderful chore of growing my own. I have a young sage plant in my garden but it is buried under snow. I won’t harvest from a young plant I will wait till it is established. I can’t wait to plant my seedlings in the garden in the spring. 

I often read my copy of Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs. I love that book. I couldn’t live without it. It is an excellent reference book that should be on the book shelf of every serious Witch/ Pagan or Hedge Witch. 

Grow local! Grow your own herbs. My Genovese Basil was unintentionally uprooted this fall so I potted it up and brought it indoors. I can’t believe how it is flowering. The plant gets lots of sun from the southern window. My sage seedlings are growing next to it. Soon I shall have a few lovely sage plants blossoming in the garden, when spring arrives. I will have all the chemical-free sage  I want for casting protective magic circles!! 

I’ve been reading and enjoying Raven Grimassi’s articles in Witches and Pagans magazine. I now have new fun ideas to try on my herbs and plants thanks to him. I want to buy his books. I like his approach. I hope they include more of his writing. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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The Basics of Seed Storage

Merry Meet All,

I talked the other day about the safety of our food supply. To avoid purchasing seeds from companies like Monsanto, and doing damage to your garden, consider creating and saving your own seeds. When you grow veggies, flowers, and herbs this year, during the harvest, store the seeds to save for next spring.

This also works well if you know you purchased organic plants in the first place. If you didn’t, then continue with organic practices.

Keep seeds dry and cool. Never store seeds, herbs, roots or bark in damp jars, as that causes it to mould. Keep seed packets in Mason jars. I disagree with storing seeds in plastic, as chemicals leach from the plastic into the seeds and herbs. Be sure the Mason jars are sterile and have tight-fitting lids. The refrigerator is a good place to store seeds and the pantry cupboard. Simply store the seeds in the jar and leave in a dark area out of direct sunlight.

Seeds from self-polinated, not hybrid, plants can produce the exact same crop as last year. If the plants are pollinated by bees, the plant will not grow to be the same plant in the next season. Also, hybrid varieties do not always breed true.

Plants are either perennial, biennial, or annual. Annual plants such as lettuce and tomatoes flower and mature seeds in the same year.

Biennial plants such as carrots and beets are harvested in the summer but do not produce seeds until next year. Biennials do not produce seed pods till the next year. Perennials bear seeds year after year.

Do not use heat to store your seeds. They need to be kept cool and dry. Here are tips on saving vegetable seeds.

For vegetables such as tomatoes, squashes, and melons, gather the seeds when they are fully ripe. Scoop out the seed and store in a well-ventilated place. Beans and peas can be left on the vine till they are dried. Corn should be left on the vine till the kernels dent. Potatoes and onions can be stored in open boxes or other mesh bags where the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Other types of seeds can be gathered when the fruit is fully grown. Remember to collect seeds from only the healthiest plants. By doing that, you will create a special sub-variety of crops that are adapted to your climate.

Remember to label and store the seeds -once clean, as soon as you have harvested your bounty. Also, some of the seeds may closely resemble each other. Know what you harvest and store them separately.

You can store seeds in paper envelopes and Mason jars. Be sure to label the jars and envelopes. Be sure the jars are clean and bone dry.

How long do seeds last? This chart will tell you

Aspparagus 4 years
String beans 2 years
Broccoli 3 years
Cabbage 3 years
Carrots 4 years
Cucumber 5 years
Lettuce 5 years
Onion 2 years
Peas 2 years
Pumpkin 6 years
Radish 3 years
Spinach 5 years
Squash 4 years
Tomato 3 years
Turnip 3 years

Some seed storage fluctuates depending on how, where, and when they are stored.

Now you know to select seeds from organic companies and store seeds for a delicious crop of veggies to bring to your dinner table. Mmm I can already taste it!! Tomorrow we will look at storing flower and herb seeds.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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