Winter 2017 Newsletter (+important dates)
Honoring the health and extra-ordinary opportunities life presents, the irreplaceable Cathy Hope is taking a three month sabbatical. Before I detail the particulars relevant to you, please allow me to introduce myself and say a few words about Cathy and IRIS Herbal.
I, Barrie Andrews, am a massage therapist and sound healing
practitioner in Questa, NM, where I have had the pleasure of working
with Cathy as my client for several years. I trust you can support
Cathy's foray into some deeper healing and recovery from her life
changing accident so that she can fully dance again.
A few years ago, I witnessed the truly uncommon range and depth of
self-taught knowlege in aromatherapy, herbs, diet and nutrition which
Cathy shared with a unique gathering of folks spanning every decade from
twenties to seventies. Our class breaks consisted of dancing our
hearts out, led by Cathy who danced like a wild teen. Her
indomitable spirit, contagious enthusiasm, sharp intelligence and
genuine care found a home in my heart: we became close friends. In
my training in the healing arts, I have not met someone with such
practical and integrated intuitive skill in herbs and aromatherapy as
Sharing the words of one person whom I recently called to share the news on Cathy's behalf, she feels
Cathy herself in the essences. Cathy is humbly aware she is one
of a long traditon of herbalists and apothecaries steeped in the
knowledge of predecessors and colleagues. She incorporates
knowledge with thirty five years of practical experience, never
accepting received wisdom without testing against her intelligence and
observation--with astute accuracy, respect and humor. This is
truly an uncommong treasure.
Cathy is assiduously informing her clients that she is taking this
break precisely because, as she says, it is polite and the right thing
to do. Integrity. That's Cathy.
That's why she has kept her prices so low and business model small and
personal, and it is why, with (unreasonable) restrictive government
regulations she ceased selling her precious tinctures. It is the
reason she spends time on the phone with clients unbidden, unpaid.
It is also why, as I have been helping her with business records to
share the information below, so many of her customers have ordered and
referred IRIS HERBAL year after year since the early 90's.
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So, what you need to know, if you are interested in ordering prior to her sabbatical, is that the LAST DAY TO ORDER by phone or online for the full range of products is DECEMBER 20, 2017.
Let me reassure you that Cathy is returning April 1st. Please
also note that if you are ordering Liniments, Salves & Three Day Deodorant during the three
months of her absence, you can still do so on the web at www.irisherbal.com, as she has her close long-time capable friend Vera, filling orders for these products in her absence.
In the meantime, take a moment of breathing space and healing time for
yourself this winter, the fallow time. This is the time for soils
to incubate and recover--let's take the cue from mother earth. I
know Cathy has a great deal of support--physically, she is much, even
miraculously, better--but she is wisely taking time to do some deeper
healing, especially in regards to her mTBI. Thank you for your
support, and let's hope to see a video of her dancing April 1, 2018.
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Revolutionizing Cathy's already green thumb, is the technique of
hugelkulture. While this was developed in Germany, and means,
"Hill Culture," here, we buried copious amounts of wood
underground. In this climate, burying wood, compost and yardwaste
increases water retention remarkably, which reduces labor. The
results of the amazing rich soil are the tastiest veggies.
The first hugelkulture was started in the fall of 2013 and completed
just last month. Backhoe, skidsteer, trucks, and the wheelbarrows,
rakes, shovels and hands of over 30 people have contributed to creating
the gardens. This is the community equivalent of a barn raising,
at least the way Cathy does it.
The surprising results of the garden spurred the development of the
second bed in 2016. That project was post accident, and Cathy was
out there directing traffic, with her oxygen tank on. We all learned a
lot and it was an amazing, fun experience--helping her!
The photo at the top is of Cathy holding strawberries picked this
October. We are at 8,000 feet elevation and Nobody grows
strawberries outside in October here.
The second photo shows Cathy with deer fence to the gardens on
the left, snow covered rainwater collection tank and back of the second
To the right, the third photo shows Cathy's huge rhubarb in the
beds. I think the, "hugel" stands for HUGE, myself.
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