4.3.13 Spring's Awakening: Portland Apothecary

Bud 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
We awoke to a light dusting of snow yesterday, like the last faint, frosty gasp of winter exhaled over the awakening landscape. The snowdrops— always the first sign of spring, along with the red-winged blackbirds—have come up under the river birch. The perennials are stirring and we've begun to plot this year's garden narrative: eggplant here, squash there, less shiso, more chervil, perhaps one more raised bed...The blood quickens, strange dreams visit us in the night and our skin itches with the change of season. To ease myself through this transition, I signed up for a share from Portland Apothecary's Spring CSH (Community Supported Herbalism). A big box was awaiting me upon my return from vacation, full of medicinal tinctures and elixirs to help me "move through the seasons with health and awareness." Everything is lovingly handcrafted by Portland-based herbalists Elie Barausky and Kristen Dilley, and the products are accompanied by thorough and beautifully written instructions and recipes. I can't wait to see what they have planned for summer!
Apothecary 790 xxx
love potions
The Spring Share focuses on supporting the liver and gallbladder in their work of spring cleaning after a long winter, readying the body and mind for spring and preparing for the awakening from the depths of winter's slumber. It includes a vinegar with mineral rich parsley, horsetail, nettles and dandelion; a liniment for overworked muscles containing local plants, essential oils and flower essences; an elixir of wild rose, white peony and hawthorne flower to open the heart and calm the nerves; and a liver-supporting tincture to help process fats, take the edge off any brittle emotions and support the body's smooth function.
Tea 790 xxx
tea time
As I'm writing this, I'm enjoying a fragrant and delicious cup of the nutritive tea with nettles, oat straw, dandelion, lemon balm and violet leaf, rich in minerals and vitamin C. It's both soothing and refreshing.
Soap 790 xxx
raise the bar
Their Forest soap with cedar and vetiver has a fresh, earthy scent.
Scrub 790 xxx
clean slate
The Detoxifying Salt Scrub with geranium, grapefruit, sea salts and clay is ideal for stimulating the lymphatic system and sloughing off dead skin. The scent is most invigorating. I like to rub it on dry skin right before I get into the shower.
Snowdrops 790 xxx
first responders
Daily forays into the garden reveal—upon close inspection—signs of incipient life. Snowdrops are the advance guard that heralds the change of season.
Rhubarb 790 xxx
rhubarb sends up tender furled heads shot through with pink and bright red
Angelica 790 xxx
angelica has an early maroon blush that soon gives way to brilliant green
Mint 790 xxx
even the smallest leaves of mint immediately release their sharply fragrant oils
Green 790 xxx
from the most gnarled and hairy depths emerge the most succulent green buds
Prepare for the beauty that is spring. Let the rain kiss you, as Langston Hughes writes. Rev your engines, ladies and gents, for spring has sprung.


YES! I should be receiving mine soon! I can't wait. With my GAPS/ Candid diet my liver needs extra support. Thank you for turning me on to Seinberg and Portland Apothecary. I have a young farmer friend who is studying herbalism this year (and was accepted into Naturopath college in Washington) who would love to do a similar CSA in the East here in a few years. Love this movement!
tamika on April 3, 2013 at 9:31 am —
So glad you've discovered Sara and PA!
laura on April 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm —
Lovely homage to this most exciting time of year. I can't wait for spring to creep just a little farther north.
David on April 3, 2013 at 9:33 am —
It's on its way to you, David!
laura on April 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm —
Thank you for this sweet post about our CSH Share! So happy you are enjoying the remedies, and your pictures are gorgeous! We haven't even taken pictures yet, so thank you!
Kristen Dilley on April 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm —
My pleasure, Kristen. Thank YOU for your beautiful work!
laura on April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm —
"Let the rain kiss you"! my new mantra when we warm up enough for rain! thank you Laura. My sap is rising and freezing, in spite of new love (grins), for we have perhaps 80% snow cover (of a foot or more) yet alas ......
Karen O on April 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm —
New love...hmm...how spring-appropriate!
laura on April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm —
love the rhubarb rooster! ("rhuster"?) and the CSH notion....quite dubious that spring will actually materialize but will take your word for it.
Janet on April 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm —
Rhuster! Love it.
laura on April 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm —