Preparing for Seasonal Change: Essential Oils and Ayurveda

Preparing for Seasonal Change: Essential Oils and Ayurveda By: Cristin McDonnell Colds, allergies, and seasonal influences seem to present themselves predominantly around December 21st , the winter solstice, and  March 21st, during the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere.  How often have you look forward to spending the holidays with family or finally having time off from work… Read more »

Messiaen’s Music, the Psyche, and Climate Change

Messiaen’s Music, the Psyche, and Climate Change Inscape and Landscape: From the Canyons to the Stars: In Celebration: A Day Long Event at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. 9 am to 5 pm. What do an esoteric symphonic piece composed by French composer Olivier Messiaen and the gathering this week in Paris of our earth’s… Read more »

Lavender Focaccia

Lavender Focaccia Lavender focaccia bread is great served as an hors d’oeuvres.  If you are looking for a fun addition to your holiday meal, this is it.  It can be served plain and dipped into olive oil or if you have made a chicken or a turkey, it turns that bird into an incredible sandwich! Besides incredible… Read more »

Protect the Common Good

Protect the Common Good Statement to Planning Commission, County of Napa, November 19, 2015 Thank you for this time of public comment. Not all counties allow this kind of participation by the public. I think it is only through processes which include the public that we are going to come to agreements which protect the… Read more »

Diluting Essential Oils for Faster Healing

Diluting Essential Oils for Faster Healing by Cristin McDonnell I am originally from Virginia.  While living in Virginia I have had minimal issues with my skin breaking out.  When I moved to California for four months, my skin did not fair well and I was continually broken out on my face.  I tried applying lavender… Read more »

Lavender Engenders Trust

Lavender Engenders Trust In a Leiden University study out of the Netherlands, lavender aroma was shown to engender a state of trust. The research reported  in Frontiers in Psychology, “A question of Scent: Lavender Aroma Promotes Interpersonal Trust,” found that individuals under the calming influence of lavender were more trusting in interpersonal relationships than individuals presented with  scents which are more stimulating,… Read more »

When People and Land Lose Each Other

When People and Land Lose Each Other These days we in the Napa Valley are spending a great deal of time on the politics of land use. I am running some previous blogs on the relationship of people and land and what happens when they are separated. Migration has torn our relationship to land, leaving deep wounds in the… Read more »

Lavender Roasted Thanksgiving Bird

Lavender Roasted Thanksgiving Bird If you are looking for a healthy way to spice up your Thanksgiving bird this season, consider lavender and other herbs de Provence. The secret is to go light on the lavender. We use Harms Cooking Stems, which have less oil, and we start out with only a few. You don’t want… Read more »

First Day of Dried Lavender Harvest

First Day of Dried Lavender Harvest Another year’s harvest blog,  but the story of where the stems come from when you order a dried bouquet, cooking stems, or loose flowers. Watch for a recipe this next week for your Thanksgiving turkey!   Almost three weeks late, but lavender harvest is finally here! We started harvesting at dawn… Read more »

The Serpent Mound Revisited

Three years ago a group of us visited The Serpent Mound in Adams County, southern Ohio, and a series of blogs came from this visit. This last week Carol McRae and I returned to work with Ross Hamilton, author and researcher of this and other “star” mounds. Below is a reprint of a blog from the… Read more »