As Spring rolls in, and to celebrate a new look Think Big website (isn't she pretty!?), what better time to bring you a new A Meaningful Garden guest? This post is abit special - you see, this beautiful lady knows me "In Real Life". Allison Davies and I lived at the same residential college back in the day, when we were both at university (and, ahem, she probably knows way too much incriminating evidence about me). Through the wonders of Facebook and internet-land, I've watched her travel and be a free spirit, to then land back in her home of Tasmania and put down roots with a gorgeous little family and wonderfully centred music therapy business, called Oh My Musical Goodness (or OMMG for short). Alli writes on her website...
Allison also runs a little side shoot to her Musical Therapy services - OMMG Tea! She has an amazing array of homegrown or locally-sourced dried teas available to purchase through her site, with blends hand-stitched into bags for just about everything you can think of...
And she has a very sweet offer for 10 of you at the bottom of the post (like, say, FREE TEA!).
Well, one child at school, one baby asleep – time to bust out a guest post!!
I’m so very thrilled to be writing for Think Big, Live Simply because my story really demonstrates how ridiculously easy it is to gain great fulfilment from a simple hobby.
By chance I happened upon a Permaculture Design Course in 2008 which basically spun my entire life on it’s hinges. Though much of it I didn’t retain, (I had no previous horticultural knowledge at all), it was the message of living simply and sustainably that I gained from the course that ultimately changed my way of thinking and ‘doing’.
I was living at O.U.R. Eco Village on Vancouver Island at the time and it was through living in community, taking the PDC and tending to the gardens that I developed a little crush on herbs, medicinal flowers and edible plants.
This crush revealed itself in small ways at first – a fresh sprig of MINT in my tea, BORAGE, MARIGOLD and MUSTARD flowers in the salad bowl, picking the HOPS for the home brew… but then became a larger part of my health care as herbs helped ease my headaches, improve my energy levels and say goodbye for good to my chronic tonsillitis.
It was at home in Tasmania in 2009 that the herbal tea collection started. I was offered a ‘landsit’ in a valley in Hobart – which basically meant I could hang out on a gorgeous block of land whilst the owner was away for a few months. The block I affectionately named ‘The Grotto’ was absolutely covered with healthy, huge, flat leaved PLANTAIN. I recalled hearing a story from a herbalist at O.U.R. about how she stood on a wasps nest while gardening one day – she straight away foraged around for some plantain, (found in basically every garden you come across and generally considered a weed), chewed it up into poultices, stuck them over the 40 or so bites to her legs then went inside for some plantain tea. And she needed no extra treatment!!! She was gardening again the very next day.
With that in mind I collected as much plantain as I could and spread it over the dash board and the back of my car, letting it sun dry, before bottling it up in a cute little jar and storing it for ‘one day when I may just need it’.
It just looked so pretty. So I did again, with CHAMOMILE flowers this time. And before I knew it I was constantly searching for the next medicinal to add to my apothecary shelf!
Now I have a gorgeous collection – I gift herbs to friends, use them for my family’s health care, play with them and rearrange them on their shelf. I create personalized teabags - so large that they can infuse an entire pot! And I enjoy herbal tea and cheese for happy hour.
I don’t harvest and prepare my own herbs all the time – sometimes I’m given a bag full of ROSE heads to dry out for the petals, sometimes I buy herbs from the naturopathica, a lot of them I grow myself – but no matter how they come to me the art of drying them and putting them in little bottles makes me so happy! And carefully selecting a combo of herbs, stitching them up into teabags and illustrating their tags makes me even happier!
Simple but profound joy from such a basic, costless and beautiful hobby!
To see my ever changing herbal collection and to find out more about personalised teabags come and have a look here.
And to spread the herbal love a little further I’ll gift the first ten of you to comment on the OMMGTea page, with the code ‘Think Big, Live Simply’ and your preferred blend, a teabag of your choice!
So get to it people! Head over to the OMMG website, and leave Alli a comment !