Posts Tagged ‘Patricia Howell’

LHG Retreat – the rest of Saturday

November 4, 2011

Saturday afternoon, we had a special guest teacher – Patricia Kyritsi Howell of Botanologos/Wild Healing Herbs.  She arrived a little early and was brave enough to immerse herself in our fun-filled group by eating lunch with all of us.

The focus for her class was medicinal herbs and concoctions for winter colds and flu.

After a marvelous, filling lunch, Patricia served us all a calming tea – very calming….

It’s a good thing she’s such a great teacher otherwise we would have all been fast asleep on the floor!

I don’t remember the herbs but I want to know what was in that tea.  I might just serve it to some of the school groups who come visit the farm!!

Photo -op!   Such beauty, such poise ….such hams!

(Dee is sniffing one of the  cough syrups that Patricia made up for us)

Lots of note taking in this class!  I love Stephanie in this pic.

I don’t know if it’s an “Oh no!” or  “Aha!”

After the fun time we had with Patricia – we needed a brain break…

See this peaceful little cabin near the woods?

Not any more!!

The ladies all went out to try their hand, or rather their feet, at walking on stilts.

A chicken fight challenge was thrown out to the crowd.

“HA HA!!,”  said Julie.  “I laugh in the face of danger!!”

Not sure what the outcome was but…

Julie was seen “stilting” her way into the woods.

Another cry for a challenge was tossed to the crowd by Cindy Bee.

“And who dares climb the insurmountable stairs of this cabin!!?”

“Like this!!”

Lynn grabbed hold of the challenge and ascended the stairs…

And soundly claimed her victory by also DESCENDING the stairs!

“Me, me next!!  I wanna try!”

“Ta Da!!!     …Quick take the picture before I fall off!!”

Okay – enough frivolity.  Back to serious business…

The logs had been cut earlier in the day – now they had to be split.

After careful instruction from Lynn, we really did place these dangerous tools in the hands of women!

They did a great job – of course 🙂

A little more instruction…

Which was, even if your axe gets stuck in the log – always look good!

Ah, the sweet feel of success!  I heard tell that these pieces of wood were going to be mounted on the wall, right next to the deer head!

The concentration….

The sheer determination…. (I mean, look at her face!)

The finesse and dexterity…

And of course the fun!  That’s what it takes to split wood with other women!

But beware – don’t mess with the teacher!!

Again, the woods surrounding were saved by the call to dinner.

We had a true Southern dinner and it was amazing!  Still a little full from lunch, I headed to the kitchen thinking I would take a “taste” of each dish.

Oh no – not hardly!  Incredible mashed potatoes, squash casserole, mac and cheese (not from a box!), butter beans, chicken and gravy (the chicken expertly picked from the carcass) and pumpkin pie for dessert!

And as with every evening meal – homemade wine from the Winey Goat (thanks Amanda!)

We talked and laughed some more, rehashed events from the day, wrote down more quotes, cleaned the kitchen and then headed down to the fire pit.

Thanks to the lumber jack crew, we had expertly stacked kindling and wood for the fire.

Anne-Marie had bread dough left over from class that morning and I suggested we get a flat rock and put it on the grate over the fire.

“Let’s put the dough on the rock and see what happens!”

It worked!!  So with a glass of wine or “apple pie”, we toasted the day and broke bread together 🙂

We stayed by the fire for a while, laughing till we cried at times.  Then slowly, the wonderful, intoxicating tiredness of a day well spent began to take over.

One by one or two by two, the ladies ascended the hill to warm, comfy beds.

A good time was had by all and the sisterhood connection of these homesteaders was knit by the learning, laughing and sharing of the day.

Herb Walk in NC – part 2

August 12, 2010

In July, a couple of friends and I attended an Herbal Walk taught by Patricia Kyritsi Howell.  It was held at Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs, NC.

Sunnybank is an old Victorian home with a lot of character and original structure.  It’s beautiful!  This is the main hall downstairs.

And the dining room where they serve fabulous vegetarian meals family style.

Elmer has been running this place for a long time!  Sunnybank Inn is right on the Appalachian Trail as it makes its way through Hot Springs.  The majority of his guests are hikers who are more than ready for a great meal and a very hot shower!

Elmer has a lot of post cards and notes from hikers who stayed at his place on their way to Maine – the end of the Appalachian Trail.  In fact, that’s how Elmer found this inn – he was hiking the AT.

Saturday we spent the day at Max Patch collecting herbs. (see blog Herb Walk in Hot Spring, NC)  When we arrived back at the inn, we laid them out on the back deck to wilt and gave the bugs an opportunity to escape.

Drying Elderberry blooms…

After our lecture time Sunday morning, we were all excited about using the plants we’d harvested the day before.  We still had a little bit of prep work left to do.

No task was too menial for our knowledgeable teacher 🙂

We removed the parts of the plants that weren’t suitable for making salves and tinctures.

While we all worked, Jeanie sang a couple of ballads – it was wonderful and very nostalgic.

Ruth trying to calculate just how much grain alcohol she needed for the tinctures…

This was our work table…

And this was our answer woman…  Patricia was so patient!

Earlier in the day, we had put the Jewelweed in olive oil and heated it in the oven to make an infusion.

We squeezed the oil and herb through a piece of cloth.

And this is what was left.

We added beeswax to the oil infusion.

Then tested the consistency of the mixture.

Poured the mixture into the jars and voila!

Jewelweed salve!  This stuff is fabulous for insect bites and stings.  We use it all the time here at home and have shared some jars with friends.

What’s fascinating to me is that we went from picking plants on the hillsides….

To medicine in a jar in a matter of hours!

There is so much to learn in this field (no pun intended) and this herb walk only whet my appetite.  I met amazing women, received instruction from a great teacher, and spent quality time with my friends… surrounded by the awe-inspiring mountains of the Blue Ridge.

For more information on future herb walks with Patricia, visit her site –