Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's in Store at Goldthread

Those of you who are local and who have visited Goldthread Apothecary recently have probably noticed that we are manifesting a number of changes in the store this summer. For one thing, our shelves are in the process of being reorganized with categories clearly marked by new signage...

You'll also start to see more photos from our farm in Conway MA (where Goldthread's herbs are organically grown) dotting the shelves, as well as some images of our Farm to Pharmacy interns planting, harvesting, and making medicine. Of course we welcome you to visit the farm in person during our next open house on Tuesday, September 6 from 4-6pm (please RSVP to 413-587-0620 if you're coming) or get hands-on experience growing and making herbal medicine by participating in our 7-month long Farm to Pharmacy program which starts up again next April.

But I digress. Let's get back to the Apothecary!

We're adding more space for book and magazine offerings, and have removed some of the furniture in the front of the store to make space for this beautiful  new display table, custom made by Goldthread's Farm Manager, Thomas Schieffer...

You'll also be seeing some new signage in the store windows, displayed in two of these double-sided 2'x3' reclaimed wood frames built by local craftsman Jason Drew...

Goldthread is gearing up for an exciting year ahead. Come to Florence and say hello, or join us at one of our upcoming special events and classes!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An August Harvest...

The late summer weather in New England has been gorgeous lately, and this afternoon Farm to Pharmacy interns worked on harvesting a variety of crops, like these hops, above.

It was also time to harvest some of our culinary herbs — sweet basil, Thai basil, Greek basil, thyme, winter savory, marjoram...these are picked at the peak of the season and immediately brought to our drying room to ensure potent  flavor. 


We're excited to be offering our line of local, organic culinary spices to caf├ęs and restaurants this year and hoping local chefs will incorporate them into imaginative offerings.

We also began to harvest a bit of Echinacea root for tincture.

As well as tiny Elderberries, the basis of an effective (and delicious) immune-building syrup we create and offer at the apothecary.

Elderberries slowly cooking over a low flame.

As summer turns into fall the harvested rows will be cleaned up and put to bed beneath a layer of fresh hay — but not before a lot more medicine gets made!

There is still time to register for our last Farm to Pharmacy Intensive Week of the season, happening September 19-23. We'll be taking herb walks, harvesting, medicine-making, distilling essential oil, and learning from herbalists David Crow and William Siff. September is a beautiful time to enjoy the rolling hills and crisp air of Western Massachusetts, and an amazing season of harvest at Goldthread. We hope you'll join us!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Special Event at Goldthread: Activating the Healers

Join us for an evening with 

Claudia Abbott-Barish and Meghan Murphy
Tuesday August 30th at 6pm
Goldthread Herbal Apothecary

1 North Main Street, Florence, MA

Using popular education and anti-oppressive techniques, this workshop will cover a brief history of corporate power and how regulatory agencies have prevented (and continue to prevent) us from actions of self-sufficiency. Claudia and Meghan will focus on why cultivating, wild-crafting and teaching about herbs is a true act of resistance and creates new possibilities for us to create more healthy, reciprocal systems (social, economic, and political) in the rest of our lives. This analysis will include examples, past and present, of how people have used herbs and herbal medicine to resist dominant oppressive paradigms. The workshop will end with a dialogue around who and how to engage around these issues with members of our communities; what methods are inclusive and equitable, and how to reach the most people.

All workshop participants will receive a medicinal salve wildcrafted locally from plants that grow in your area.

Sliding Scale Donation for this event is $0-$10. Please join us!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meeting the Medicine

On Tuesday we distributed our first community supported medicine shares of the 2011 season — bags of nettles, chocolate mint and tulsi; tinctures of skullcap, lemon balm and California poppy; calendula and lavender oils; lavender, spruce and clary sage hydrosols; lemon balm and tulsi honeys, and fresh garlic and herbs from the fields.

To celebrate the abundance we also held an open house, and felt truly supported by the enthusiastic group of members and non-members alike who came to Goldthread to meet the plants, sample some chocolate mint tea tea, ask questions, and watch essential oil of clary sage being distilled over a wood fire. It was an amazing afternoon!

We were once again joined by local reporter Karen Brown of WFCR, who interviewed several of our members about their experiences with herbal medicine and their farm shares, and tomorrow morning the story will air at 6:30 and 8:45am eastern time on our local public radio station, 88.5 (or listen online here).

The open house was such a success we'll be holding another at the end of August when we distribute our second share. Anyone interested in seeing the farm and learning more about herbal medicine is welcome to join us!

Even if you missed the first official distribution, shares are still available for the season and can be ordered here (and we do ship). Thanks again to everyone who came out on Tuesday!