Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goldthread's November Newsletter

For those of you who aren't yet subscribed to our email list (which can be done here), we wanted to share our November newsletter...

Dear Friends of Goldthread,

It's hard to believe we're already in the midst of the busy holiday season and standing at the threshold of winter, isn't it? At the farm in Conway we handed out the last CSM share of the 2011 season, have nestled bulbs of garlic into the cold soil for next summer's crop, and are about to build a new, second greenhouse for this spring's seedlings. Both our Community and Clinical Herbalist classes are headed into their second months, and applications are already coming in for the 2012 Farm to Pharmacy internship, which begins in April.

Spice Month Ends... 

Spice Month at the Apothecary ended on November 9th with a Spice of Life Workshop. In a review on the Northampton/Amherst Herbal Meetup site one attendee wrote of the two hour class, "Bill was very generous with his ideas, suggestions, explanations of illness and how herbs and rest can help ward problems off. He sent around interesting samples of items that were available in his store and we sampled them...I felt very well taken care of in his place of business. I bought a couple of items that resonated with me, and would go back to hear more and learn more and purchase items that could do me some good that I do not have at home already." 

Spice Month is over but our organic culinary spices, grown at the farm and processed by hand, are still available and make great stocking stuffers for the locavore cook on your list! Hand processing means that none of the valuable essential oils responsible for an herb's medicinal qualities, taste, and smell are burned off and lost to the heat generated by commercial, mechanized processing — this makes a huge difference in the quality of our herbs and spices compared to larger producers, as fans of our products know. 

Immunity Month Begins! 

If you've been by the Apothecary recently you've seen our new window display and know that Immunity Month is in full swing! Inside the shop the front table is stocked with our own line of immunity-boosting elixirs, tinctures, honeys, and teas as well as a big basket of organic garlic from the farm, some Ayurvedic neti pots and nasya oil and (just in case your immunity wasn't quite ready for the season), cough syrups and teas for either wet or dry coughs. 

This month William Siff will be teaching two Wednesday night classes about immunity, on December 7th and 21st.

The first, Building Deep Immunity will focus on the best strategies for building the deep immune reserves that we need to stay healthy throughout the winter months. We will review and discuss aspects of immune function and dysfunction from the point of view of traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Western herbal theory and will discuss a variety of the most important remedies for optimal immune health, including how to prepare, when to take, and at what dosage.

In the second class, Grassroots Herbal Remedies for a New England Winter, we'll discuss some common disorders that can make living in New England during the winter quite a challenge — coughs, colds, flus, sore throats and fevers — and learn some of the grassroots remedies and strategies that can be used to help you and your family prevent and treat these unwanted winter guests. We'll discuss the most effective use of essential oils, Echinacea, garlic, Tulsi, Osha, Slippery elm, Neti pots and more. You'll walk away able to confidently use these remedies immediately to treat a range of common conditions and regain the skill and knowledge that every grandmother once knew.

Tuition for each of these 2 hour classes is $25 at the door, or pay in advance and save $5! Pre-registration is required so we can reach you if the class doesn't run. RSVP by calling 413-587-0620 or emailing

Stay tuned for next email newsletter — we'll be tempting you with a list of some of the new products arriving daily at the Apothecary just in time for holiday shopping season and getting you thinking about next summer with a special offer on our Community Supported Medicine Shares. We hope to see you soon in a class or at the shop, and appreciate your continued support.

Best Wishes, 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Snowy Open House and CSM Distribution at Goldthread Farm

I must admit that when the date for Goldthread's final Open House and Community Supported Medicine share distribution of the season was set about a month ago, I was not envisioning the gardens being covered in snow. Despite looking more like early January than early November, yesterday's temperature was actually quite comfortable and a handful of adventurous herb lovers ventured to the farm to pick up shares and take a snowy sunset tour.

The third and final share of the season included bulk herbs and teas: Lemon Lunacy, Flu Relief, Goldthread Basil Blend and Immuni-Tea; immunity-boosting tinctures of Echinacea and Ashwagandha; compounds: Elderberry Elixir, Throat Spray; Infused oils of Mullein Garlic and Lavender; Dominican Sage, Yarrow, and Balsam Fir hydrosols; Holy Basil and Lavender Sage honeys; and bulbs of this season's garlic.

The Lavender Sage Honey seemed to be a popular choice at last night's distribution. Since I was on the farm this summer as a Farm to Pharmacy intern I remember the day in July when we harvested lavender flowers and started infusing that sun and flower-filled honey...

...which is truly a taste of summer in the winter months.

I also remember the Ashwagandha root harvest...

Being on the farm from April to October gives one the opportunity to see the complete growing cycle and personally I feel far more connected to both the plants and the medicine as a result.

Speaking of connected, I baked these ginger cookies for the Open House using the locally-grown fresh ginger from Old Friends Farm in Amherst MA that I blogged about here. These were accompanied by hot Lemon Lunacy tea.

We even had a surprise guest, though he was a bit shy.

The bad news is, this was the final CSM distribution of the 2011 season. The good news is, full shares of medicine will be available until January and can be picked up at Goldthread Apothecary in Florence, MA or shipped (we will post a list of what these shares include in the near future). The best news is that we are already planning for the 2012 season of Community Supported Medicine and for continued opportunities to visit and tour the farm during next summer's distributions.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!