We know, that for many people, winter isn’t winning any popularity contests. The cold, dark days. The endless snow, ice and slush. The shades of gray everywhere you look.
How can this season possibly compare to the verdant growth of spring, the sunshine in summer or the abundance of autumn? When you work as close to nature as we do, you learn to find ways to appreciate all that she has to offer — even when it’s a foot of snow or bone-chilling temperatures.
So, in the spirit of optimism and celebrating the season, we asked some of our team members to share their best winter wisdom. Read on to hear what our herbalists, farmers and educators have to say about dealing with cold weather and more.
What do you appreciate most about winter?
“Cozying up at home and testing out new baking recipes… Winter makes me want to nest and take care of my home, especially because when the weather is better, I’m outside gardening and enjoying the sun, not being indoors.” — Lina Watanabe, Herbalist & Marketing Producer
“The beautiful and calming snow that blankets the land. Living in Colorado, we get a lot here!” — Heather Saba, Herbalist & Educator
“I enjoy my downtime since our farm is closed for the winter. During my break, I visit my family in Japan, eat my mom's comfort food and go to soak in hot springs in town.” — Sayaka Lean, Landscaper
“The deep invitation it gives us to slow down. I’m one of those rare folks who loves winter!” — Jade Alicandro Mace, Herbalist & Educator
“The colder morning and nights, the slanting lights, and harvesting and cooking winter roots.” — Meaghan Snider, Herbalist & Educator
“Walking in the rain and foraging for mushrooms. (I live in California, so winter isn’t quite the same as it is in Oregon!)” — Autumn Summers, Herbalist & Lead Educator
“It's hard to pick just one favorite thing. I really love seeing the trees without their leaves. It gives me the opportunity to practice identifying them using other clues like their shape, bark and buds. And the lichens and mosses and evergreens are so vibrant at this time of year. There's really a different kind of beauty to appreciate on winter hikes.” — Alexis Durham, Herbalist & Botanical Affairs Supervisor
What are your self-care habits when it’s cold outside?
“Generally, I try to support the body with plenty of sleep, exercise, hot baths and nutritious foods.” — Lina
“Eating lots of steamed veggies (especially leafy greens).” — Heather
“Homemade soup. My latest favorite recipe is hot and sour soup, and my version adds lots of root vegetables like Carrot, Burdock and Daikon.” — Sayaka
“In the winter, I take cues from what nature is doing all around us and follow her lead. I schedule less, go to bed early and try to move more slowly through the world. I focus a lot on making potent food (broths and soups especially) and taking lots of adaptogenic herbs.*”— Jade
“Noticing the body’s messages. I also love to steep about 1/4 cup dried Rosehips in hot water to just cover them and let them sit for 20 minutes. I’ll mix in some Honey and add Reishi if it’s calling out to me.” — Meaghan
“Echinacea, a hot bath and lots of rest.” — Autumn
“I try to get good quality sleep. And soups and stews are on heavy rotation at our house. I also use warming spices like Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Black Pepper and Turmeric, in addition to my standard favorites like Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Sage.” — Alexis Durham, Herbalist & Botanical Affairs Supervisor