Autumn Inspiration

Blooming Prickly Pear

The late autumn harvest this year has provided a dose of much needed inspiration! It’s always exciting to see how the world of nature and the myriad of gifts that it gives us becomes manifest in ideas, something new. So many times, we get stuck in the same patterns over and over again. We eat the same foods, shop in the same places, say the same things, have the same arguments and frustrations – over and over again. The problem is, we don’t take even a moment each day to open our eyes and look. Instead, we put our heads down and keep going on the same unforgiving, mindless track.

When we lift our eyes and look at the natural world around us, inspiration is waiting. Sitting in nature or strolling leisurely through a garden, park or wilderness area is all it takes to realize the potential that is there. When surrounded by nature, it is easier to find the strength inside to step into something new. Regular doses of nature absorption provide an ongoing source of energy to keep the momentum going when we decide to turn onto a new path in life.

What the autumn harvest brings each year is something different. Some years, the pear tree is abundant and requires a lot of time to take care of. Other years, the grapes are full and raisins become the focus of our attention. Perhaps the raccoons will gather the fruit before we get to it and then we’re left with little to do (like this year with the persimmons).

 

Prickly Peak blossoms

This year, we had a huge Prickly Pear harvest. We like to call it Sabras (the Hebrew name). This fruit is unique and often unappreciated. The process of harvesting, including pruning, the prickly pear is quite labor intensive. Ofer spent days cutting, trimming, sweeping (with his sister Dina’s help!) to complete the harvest.

 

 

 

 

Pruning the Sabras
Cutting the pads off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning the spines off the fruit
Bowl of Sabras

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sabras’ beautiful colors, soft texture and unusual flavor stand out in the garden. Once again, excess awakens creativity! So, we got busy. A new flavor for our new product Sugi Garden Sippers was born!

Sugi Garden Sippers are made in a variety of flavors – mint, mulberry, sabras and fennel. They are delicious made with fizzy water or champagne over ice or just tipped into a small glass for sipping.

Sabras Sippers
Fennel Sipper over ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another new product that the garden inspired this year is freshly dried herbs. This is a mix of Marjoram and Zaatar that was originally used by our son, Yo’el, when he would gussy up his pizza. This was so tasty that we started using this combo in a larger variety of ways –  for roasted turkey, sprinkled in tomato-based pasta sauce, over sauteed vegetables, in cheese bread and more…

Marjoram and Zaatar
Zaatar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marjoram and Zaatar bottle

 

Food is our usual interest when we harvest the various plants in the garden. However, these culinary plants are multi-purpose. Many herbs are also used in skin care. The combined  healing powers of Pitcher Sage, Calendula and olive oil give us the wondrous new Calendula Sage Oil. The sultry scent of the native Pitcher Sage plant adds a light fragrance to our already popular Calendula Oil. This is another new product that is great for gifts this holiday season!

Look for all of these products at this year’s

Holiday Boutique at Rodger’s Ranch in Pleasant Hill 

Saturday and Sunday,

December 1 & 2.

 

 

Garden Pitcher Sage
Pitcher Sage blossom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drying Calendua
Sugi Garden Organic Calendula Oil

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