by erin stewart sm (236 of 53)

Behind the Scenes – Feb. 2019

Well hey there! It’s been awhile since I just checked in with a more personal note here on the blog, so I wanted to take some time to do that today. How are you doing? How have you been progressing with your own business and personal goals? Is there anything I can support you in as you continue to learn and work toward them? Are there any specific topics you’d like to see me write about this year?

I’d really love to connect with you, so please leave a comment at the end of this post to introduce yourself if you’re new or to let me know how things are going for you. =)

We’ve had a couple of snowy days this winter, but nothing that stuck around for very long. I love the mild winters here. Falling snow is one of my favorite things – I love how still and peaceful and quiet snow is as it blankets everything – but I don’t like to drive in snow, so I’m kind of glad it only lasts for a few hours at a time.

Jon and I have been working on a few different things over here. I just started my first batch of seeds over the weekend! This time of year is always exciting for me. When the holidays are over, I start to get a little antsy for the spring but once those first seeds go into the soil in February, the sense of anticipation really hits me. I start my first round of seeds 12 weeks before our last frost date here and then I follow up with more rounds of seed starting every two weeks after that.

I wanted to be able to bring you along with me while I started seeds this year, so I filmed a video showing you what I use to start seeds and the different varieties I started this past weekend. It’s a little relaxed and chatty, but if you want to watch it, I’ve uploaded it here for you. =)

Click here to watch the video and see what I’m growing this year.

I’m thinking about doing these behind-the-scenes type gardening videos throughout the year. Is that something you would be interested in seeing? I have a few more rounds of seed starting to do before spring comes and then after that I’d like to film some behind-the-scenes garden tours and harvest videos and such. Please let me know if that’s something that you’d be interested in watching. I know some of you like to garden, but I’m not sure how many of you do!

If you do like to garden, you might be interested in the seed swap I’m hosting! I participated in one that another gardening friend hosted a few weeks ago and thought it was so much fun. I sent out a lot of my favorite herb and veggie varieties and the package I received in return had some really interesting heirloom varieties in it. It even had seeds for papaya and castor beans and some rare pumpkins, among other things like calendula and dill! I enjoyed the swap and connecting with the other participants so much that I decided to host a swap of our own so all of us garden-lovers over here could connect too. Today is actually the last day to sign up to participate and I’d love to include you! You can find all the details and sign up here. (I’m including lots of favorites from my own garden – pictured below – and some fun extra goodies in my contribution to the swap!)

Aside from getting seeds going, my main project right now is getting the certification program ready to open for enrollment. It’s taken me a little longer than I would have liked to finish it up because I’ve added on a couple more modules of content than I had originally planned for (they were modules a lot of you were asking for, so I wanted to make sure to include them). It’s making the program even better, but knowing that I’m running behind the deadline I had set for myself is a little bit stressful for me. Thanks for being patient with me while you wait! I know a lot of you have checked in wondering when class is going to be opening. If you receive emails from me on Tuesdays, you’ll be amongst the first to know when the enrollment date is announced. =)

I sincerely hope you’re doing well, that you’re safe and warm and healthy, and that your year will be filled with the most precious and beautiful of blessings. Thank you so much for supporting our small business, leaving us sweet comments, sending such kinds words in your emails, and being such wonderful friends.

With much love,

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Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

Want to learn more about herbalism and aromatherapy?

AromaCulture Magazine is filled with educational articles, case studies and recipes written by practicing herbalists and certified aromatherapists. New issues are published each month and issues are available individually or via subscription. Visit for more information.

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21 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes – Feb. 2019”

  1. Hi, I enjoy reading your information and love recipes you share. I am relatively new to essential oils, and am learning. We do love to garden. and try to grow a lot of our own food. We have a sage plant that we have moved with us 3 times, started 14 years ago, still as healthy as ever!! I have also planted a lot of herbs, which we have harvested and use in for cooking and medicinal use. So, that’s a little bit about me!

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Mary! Your garden sounds lovely and what a special sage plant!

  2. Is that sage you’re holding (2nd pic). If it is, it looks WONDERFUL. How do you get it to grow so beautifully? My sage is looking so sad I can barely look at it without suffering. It’s full of holes, have used different sprays (eco and non-eco friendly) but worms just love it. Any tips? Thanks! Patri

    1. Erin Stewart

      It’s white sage – Salvia apiana. It’s a desert plant in my native state, but here in the PNW, I’ve found that growing it in good, well-draining soil keeps it happy. =) Have you been able to identify the pest that’s eating at yours? Sometimes if you know the species, you can look up the predators that naturally help get rid of them in your garden and then plant things that attract those beneficials.

  3. Hi Erin!
    I’m Patricia, live in Florida, and have two beautiful daughters of whom I am very proud 🙂

    First, I have to say I absolutely love your magazine! Due to financial setbacks, I’m going to keep my subscription as long as I can – I know it doesn’t cost much but I recently went through a divorce, so I’ve been thrown for a loop. Second, I would really like to sign-up for your course, but because of the above, it won’t be possible. Third, I will join in on the seed swap. I have some wonderful seeds from last year that I would really like to share and swap. Take care and keep up your wonderful work. Blessings, Patricia

  4. I enjoyed watching the video and would be interested in future videos. Before we moved to our current house five years ago, we grew a lot of different things. The place where we live now has 10 acres, but most of it is woods and hardwood swamp. There was an above ground pool that we took out last year to give us more space for a garden, so this year we will finally be able to get started. Our last frost isn’t until the end of May and we can’t wait to get outside and start planting. Right now we’re getting everything together so we can start some of our seeds in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing the different plants and the seed companies that you use. It gave me some new inspiration.

    1. Erin Stewart

      How exciting that you’ll be getting your garden going again this year! Our last frost is mid-May, so not too far off from yours. I definitely have spring fever right now. =)

  5. Hi I am so glad I recently purchased an issue of your aromaculture magazine, so much wonderful content. I’m also inspired by your blog and especially love reading your monographs. Thanks for sharing your seed starting video, very inspiring all the varieties you are growing! I’m currently out of town so will be sorry to miss the seed swap. Would definitely be interested in watching more gardening videos. I live in Georgia and enjoy growing herbs and am interested in distilling.

    1. Erin Stewart

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the magazine and blog, Lisa! <3 How do you like Georgia? We were talking the other day about the possibility of moving to the south sometime in the next few years if our fire seasons here continue to be so intense. How are your winters and summers there?

      1. Hi Erin
        I really like living in our area near Athens, Georgia. I’m sure fire season is a big concern. Our summers are very hot and humid. Our last frost date is about mid April. The 90 degree temps can begin in May and go thru Sept. First frost date is usually end if Oct. Winters are pretty mild with freezing temps at night, but generally no snow in zone 8. There are several CNG and organic farmers in Georgia.

  6. Hey Erin!
    I’ve recently signed up for your newsletter and am just now getting a moment to read through them.Lots of exciting changes going on around here. One, not the least of which is a move to our life’s ambition…a farm! We are looking forward to growing organically – and running my aromatherapy business from home. I greatly appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge.
    Thanks for supporting healthy living!

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Cathy! How wonderful for you! We dream of a farm too – hopefully in the next few years, we’ll be able to purchase one and expand our efforts a bit. =) I’m so glad you’re enjoying the newsletter and things. Best of luck to you!

  7. Hi Erin and Jon,
    the video journal on gardening is a nice idea to keep people in the loop and encourage home gardening. I live in North Texas and since winters are generally unpredictable and late frosts dates are unreliable, I start out with cool-loving plants (spinach, lettuce, english peas) and seed them in our raised beds and then buy a few of the heat-loving plants to put out in April and hope for the best. I really admire the families who can rely on their gardens to feed their families year round (including my folks while growing up in Kansas in the 50s and 60s). We are slowly expanding our small town front yard gardening which hasn’t brought any complaints so far. We have to use hardware cloth before filling in with soil because of moles and gophers, and so far we have put in about 96 sq. ft. of herb/veggie garden. Just about what I can keep up with in the summer heat with the fire ants and bermuda grass invaders! I’m hopeful that the nasturtiums will do better for me this year!
    Happy gardening, Meredith

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Meredith! Jon is from Texas (we lived there for a little while) and his grandparents lived in Kansas! Your garden sounds lovely. The hardware cloth trick works well for folks around here too! I hope your garden does well for you this year. =)

  8. Judi Petersen

    Hi Erin,
    I so appreciate you and Jon, and the work you are doing with gardening, herbalism, aromatherapy, Aroma Culture, and supporting these growing and wonderful marketplaces. On Jon’s latest podcast, which I listen to most days on my commute home, he mentioned you graduated from Aromahead Institute. Good for you! I am finishing up my ACP program with them as well, and will launch my business this year. It is very exciting to be part of the aromatherapy community.
    We just moved to northern Nevada and this will be our first growing season here – another new learning experience. I’m looking to grow some medicinal plants and make some tinctures and infused oils. I guess it is time to get the seeds started!
    All the best to you and Jon in all you do.

    1. Erin Stewart

      Thanks Judi! I completed Aromahead’s ACP program several years ago and loved it. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it too. =)

  9. Lesley kramer

    Hello Erin,
    I’ve been receiving your magazine since May 2017, and have listened to the podcasts since the beginning….thank you for such wonderful food for the soul. I live in NYC, but grew up on a farm, sorely missed. I get my hand into cooking with herbs and formulating. I haven’t started seeds in years, but watching your video has me excited to jump in. Please keep up the garden videos!!!

    1. Erin Stewart

      I’m so happy to hear that, Lesley! Thanks for the encouragement. Do you like NYC? I’ve always wanted to go there for Christmas but haven’t done it yet. =)

  10. Hi Erin,
    I think that the behind the sceens gardening video would be a big help to the world of plant lovers.
    I always learn so much from you. From your last video we went out to buy the heating pads because we do not have a small greenhouse yet. You always seem to share little tricks and important imformation to make a project successful. Thank you for your help. looking forward to the next video.

    Joan Sorita
    montesnao Wa.
    Animal Aromatherapist

    1. Erin Stewart

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Joan! I hope those heat mats work out well for you. They seem to be working quite nicely for me, so I’m happy with them so far. =)

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