We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden. 

My passion is in the herb garden - growing and learning from medicinal plants. This winter I was called to an herbal oasis on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean --  Kaua'i, Hawaii. 

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The Kaua'i Farmacy was birthed by a family driven to empower others with access to the healing power of potent, organic herbs. On their small farm, along a lush riverbed on the north of the island, a wonderful diversity of plants are grown, harvested, dried in a solar dehydrator, packaged, then sold from their 'Tea Wagon' at a nearby farmers market.

The Tea Wagon offers fresh brewed herbal infusions and cold-pressed juices of ginger, turmeric, starfruit and whatever the daily harvest may be. 

Here I volunteered with daily farm work -- planting lavender & ashwagandha seedlings; fertilizing with neem & spirulina; cleaning and sorting galangal ginger & yacon; mulching between cacao & papaya trees, harvesting gotu kola & tulsi; juicing all kinds of goodness to create herbal elixirs. 

Gotu Kola is an herb used to rejuvenate nerve and brain cells, aiding memory and meditation. It leaves are used to promote longevity; in traditional Chinese medicine it's name indicates "The Fountain of Life."

Tulsi is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat colds, coughs and flu. According to Ayurveda, tulsi cleanses the respiratory tract and soothes bodily stresses with it's antioxidant properties. 

Galangal root is common in asian kitchens and has a stimulating effect on the digestive system, much like ginger does. It is recommended for stomach troubles such as indigestion and nausea.  

I take home with me the teachings of the plants, as well as the incredible feeling of peace which permeates that magical garden -- the memory of waking to simmer in the dawn, full moon sinking behind the mountains in pale morning light, listening to bird songs and walking through a jungle of coconut palms, towering ginger and sugar cane. 

Life started in a garden, and to the garden we will return. 

Look forward to fresh Kaua'i Farmacy tea at the cafe this season! Carrying home Mamaki Chai from the farm - a delicious blend of Hawai'ian nettes (mamaki), allspice, cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass, tumeric & tulsi - good medicine made with Aloha! 

Love,

Kristen

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