Wednesday, October 5, 2022

INTERESTING FOLKS: Jennifer Major, All Things Good

Jennifer Major has been a resident of Blairstown for many years. Her son Jacob now 12 years old is learning how to garden, just like she did from her mom. She remembers planting seeds in her garden and watching them grow and cutting fresh herbs for her mom while preparing dinner. In a way her upbringing planted the seeds for her career as an herbalist blending teas, making tinctures, skin care products and elderberry syrup for her business “All Things Good.”

Jennifer Major in garden
“Gardening is a great alternative to the gym!” says Major

Her garden is located on the former Muckshaw Farm, at 290 Route 206 in Andover and Fredon. This land provides all she needs to grow her herbs for her products. Major hopes to educate the public, sharing her knowledge and love for all things good in the garden. Major has studies with some very renowned herbalists. Her knowledge is extensive from the healing properties of native plants and culinary herb farming.

Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the barks, berries, leaves, flowers and roots of plants in alcohol or vinegar.

Elderberry has many uses, it is an antioxidant, and it is a remedy for colds, flu, inflammation and high cholesterol as it supports the immune system.

Maybe you have seen her products around. She sells her elderberry syrup at Garrison’s General Store in Stillwater NJ. She also produces a line of skin care products that she sells locally and on Etsy. Visit her web site at https://www.allthingsgoodnj.com/.

Major’s garden is carefully planned out. No pesticides are ever used. She uses plants that naturally ward off bugs to protect the garden. Her gardens incorporate the native species, like mugwort, catnip, burdock, poke root and St. John’s Wort. Even dandelions are not discarded, their roots nourish the soil. Dandelions are cut off at the base of the plant. Tender dandelion leafs can be sautéed with a little garlic and oil for a delicious side dish.

In traditional Chinese medicine Burdock has been used as a remedy for a wide range of ailments. Burdock fruits, seeds, roots, and leaves have been used as teas for colds, rheumatism, stomach ailments, and cancer.

Major practices “No till gardening”, a process widely used in organic gardening, which saves time and is good for the soil. When a garden is tilled, the soil is broken up, which damages its structure. Tilled gardens leave the soil exposed and prone to erosion and wastes water.

The garden area is prepared in autumn, newspaper and cardboard are laid out to kill the grass. Next compost and a mulch of seasoned wood chips, straw and dried grass clippings are applied. This way in the spring the garden space is ready for planting. Check out this link for more details, https://donotdisturbgardening.com/how-to-start-a-no-till-garden-a-complete-step-by-step-guide/

Major believes of healing power of nature’s plants.
Bee Balm
Bee Balm – this plant is used for Insomnia, headaches, tooth aches, Gingivitis and much more. (below photo 3)

“The idea for my Pollinator Project began when I planted a garden for a woman in Wantage who was going through some hard times. The experience was rewarding for the both of us. This garden created beauty and a feeling of food security. This mentoring program fosters sustainability in the backyard. I think everyone should grow something” she shared.

Major’s chicken coop is made from refurbished wooden pallets. Her son loves the chickens and knows them by name. The chickens eat the bugs and their egg shells and droppings are added to the compost making an eggcellent fertilizer with eggscrement.

  • Chicken farming can be eggshausting and eggasperating
  • It can be eggciting and a source of eggstasy when taken to the eggstreme
  • It can be an eggstravagent eggsistential eggsperience

Major can be followed on Instagram and Facebook. Look for upcoming workshops in the fall, perhaps sooner. All proceeds of the workshops will go to fund the Pollinator Project.

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