As you may or may not be aware we have moved to a new house, well castle really. Not being rich enough to live in the actual castle (even though our neighbours are amazing) we live in the gate house next to it which is attached to part of a barn conversion. It’s a truly self-sufficient place with all the water coming for a local spring and electricity supplied by its own windmill, it has its own chickens and Apple Orchard. We also have views for miles, on good days we can see from where we live across the Firth of the Forth all the way to Perth, truly stunning. On bad days the wind can reach 100mph and we can see the fog unroll like a goose down duvet across the lowlands and coast.
Alas there are some drawbacks when transplanting yourself into new land with its own particular ways, different weather systems and spirit of the place to get used to. I have to admit, I’m probably what folks might call “superstitious” about things when moving into a new place. I make sure I say hello to everything in the new house and its surrounds, it’s like introducing yourself to the new place just as you would your new neighbours. I guess it allows us to get the measure of each other and see how we are going to get along. I also give everything a huge clean with home-made herbal cleaners (more about that in another post I’m sure!) and take it easy as I settle in just paying attention to the small things. I know things are going ok when the cats have returned to normal and they will go in every room.
It’s also really important to go out and find what grows in the local environment and hedgerows. Get out and ramble, and forage and wildcraft and spread native seeds, no matter what the season is – find out whats where and whats what. It’s a chance to speak to local farmers about what pesticides they use in their fields and how it may affect any wildcrafting that will be done in the spring. I call this my rambling and forgers or wildcrafting diary. I do this for at least one whole year when establishing myself in a new home. It allows me to feel and understand the ebb and flow of nature around me, note storms and seasons and other signifiers of when the ember or cross days have arrived and become accustomed to the spirit of place and what plants and others things might be able to be wild crafted from around me.
Each months entry you will find in the links below. I hope you find it interesting if you live in the area or it will inspire you to do the same where you live.