Sage, the herb, is a perennial member of the mint family that was originally cultivated in the Mediterranean. We grow a lot of sage on the farm and it seems to love our ‘Mount Vernon very sandy soil’. It is heartier than some of the other mint family herbs we grow, like rosemary, and we have been harvesting a lot of it in these early fall days.
This time of year I crave sage and I find that it helps me to settle into the fall season. The combination of sage and butternut squash is one of my favorite meals. Here is a good recipe to follow if you have not had these two together before–it is simple and gluten free. The warmth and sweetness of this winter squash coupled with the clarity and calm that sage brings helps me transition back inside after a lot of activity outside on the farm. Each bite is a homecoming of sorts and a surrender into new fall routines.
Often people confuse sage with sagebrush, which is a healing shrub we find east of the mountains. Both plants are aromatic and have applications in traditional ceremony and medicine. However, sagebrush is actually in the genera Artemesia and is a relative of medicinals like wormwood and mugwort.
To be sage is to be “wise through reflection and experience.” Sage as food and medicine is powerful. The regional herbalist and teacher Rosalee de la Foret gives an excellent description of sage’s medicinal uses here. It can be used in food, but also take as a tincture or tea. I know that for me just the smell of sage sends me into a very relaxed and reflective place. This is always appropriate for my mood in the fall as I start to look inward on my experience and growth over the past year.
I hope you are enjoying sage right about now as we move into November. I don’t know about you, but I am a bit overwhelmed by the news this past week both locally and nationally. I am spending more time savoring sage to help remember what is important to me in this world.
See you next month my friends! Thanks, as always, for reading. We will be offering more plant and cultivation classes next year as well as art classes too. Stay tuned for updates! Before I go here is some sage advice from a poet I recently discovered:
“Every now and then we enter the presence of the numinous and deduce for an instant how we’re formed, in what detail the force that infuses every petal might specifically run through us, wishing only to lure us into our full potential.” -Mary Karr, Lit