vacation alert

June 26, 2012

Hey all,

Next week, I’m heading upstate to a sweet little inn on the Hudson River.* I’m keeping my Etsy shop open, just in case you get the urge to order something (like bug spray). If you’d like to receive any items for the 4th of July holiday week, please place your orders by this Thursday, June 28. Any orders placed during the week of July 2 will be fulfilled the following week (July 9).

Thanks and Happy Independence Day!

*Speaking of the Hudson River, and well, all waterways… NY State Governor Cuomo plans to open up hydrofracking in the Southern Tier of the state, near the Pennsylvania border. You can call to oppose the plan at 1-866-584-6799. And when you’re done unloading there, you can bombard his facebook page and twitter feed with a message like: “Please don’t endanger our health and the health of our water, air, and soil… support a ban on fracking now!”

For more on hydrofracking, check out these organizations:

Frack Action

Food and Water Watch

New Yorkers Against Fracking

Water Defense

Catskill Mountainkeeper

support the homestead at seven arrows

June 14, 2012

Last summer, my life was filled with these tiny miracle retreats up in the Catskills. Spending most of my days here in the city, any excursion to expanses of green countryside is welcome and restorative. But what made these trips special was a combination of the company, the work, and the play time. The company: Meg Paska & co. The work: weeding, sowing seeds, harvesting, squishing bugs (okay, maybe that part wasn’t so great). The play: creek wading, strawberry picking, mountain springs seeking, wildcrafting (to me this is play, even though it also benefits my work).

So when Meg told me she’d be setting up a homestead with her man Neil in New Jersey, I started fantasizing about all of the adventures I could have there, too. Of course, this project is so much more than just a good excuse for me to get out of the city. Meg will be creating an educational farm complete with livestock (rabbits, laying hens, goats), beehives, vegetable growing, and mushroom propagation. There will be opportunities for wildcrafting and harvesting from the surrounding woods and waters, too. Nearby swimming beaches, hiking and biking trails are the icing on top. The homestead will be located at Seven Arrows, a yoga retreat center in Locust, NJ. So there’s also yoga and healing retreats, too. This sounds like a place I may visit and never want to leave.

Thing is, in order to realize all of this amazingness, they need our help. The Homestead at Seven Arrows launched a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s an all or nothing affair. The last day to pledge is July 5. They’re just about a quarter of the way to their goal of $20,000. There are some sweet rewards associated with the campaign, aside from knowing your dough will be funding this awesome project.

You can pledge as little as $1 to get your name & web link on their donor page. You can pledge $25 for some lovely pressed wild plants from the area. For $30, you’ll get a Claudia Pearson-designed Buy Local Calendar Towel 24 x 27″ 100% cotton, vibrant illustrations of local vegetables. If you’re rolling in it and really want to splurge, $1,000 will get you a weekend stay at Seven Arrows complete with farm grown meals, morning guided yoga sessions and local libations each night! Plus, you’ll get a care package of veggies, eggs and goat milk! (or a basket of assorted value added goods made from farm produce. And then the top-of-the-line prize is for those with $5K to chip in: a weekend retreat for you and up to 8 friends.

Help make this dreaminess a reality! 

sensual movement & herbs, oh my!

May 22, 2012

Several months ago I began to dance. Of course, I had danced before, but never like this. I started taking bellydance, African dance, and Journey Dance. And then came Qoya. Oh, sweet release! Qoya combines the mindfulness of yoga with the abandon of free form dance. It’s emotionally and spiritually freeing. It shakes out the cobwebs and leaves room for good vibrations to enter your life. So I’m thrilled to be collaborating with the woman who introduced me to Qoya, Mishel Herrera. We’re putting on a special workshop where we’ll shower you with a delightful sensory experience – taste, feel, smell, hear, and witness the transformative power of Qoya and herbal concoctions.

Register for Qoya & Herbs

Sunday, June 3
3 to 4:30 pm
Shambhala Yoga & Dance Center
367 Saint Marks Avenue (corner of Grand)
at the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Pre-registration is recommended, ’cause this baby’s filling up fast!

Summer is a time for free movement, sensual pleasures, and plant abundance.

Let’s prepare our bodies, minds & souls for the hotter months with juicy, cooling herbal concoctions. We’ll open up our Qoya session with a lubricating, energizing & expanding herbal infusion to drink, plus some hydrating herbal creams to nourish our skin & senses.

Mishel Herrera, founder of La Dea Vita, and Liz Neves, founder of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions, invite you to a special Qoya class.

Qoya combines the traditional benefits of fitness — strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and agility training — with a unique empowering approach that is feminine, expressive, and, most importantly, fun.

During the session, we’ll make personalized herbal bundles to enhance release & flow. We’ll wind down with a protective blend of herbs to bring us back out into the world as the radiant beings we are.

Come dance your heart’s desires & receive nourishment from healing plants.

Register for Qoya & Herbs

About your hostesses:

Mishel Herrera is founder of La Dea Vita [the Goddess Life]. LDV is a silk-road of Goddess inter-exchange of love, support, sisterhood, ideas, products, art, lifework & passion. It’s also a movement-couture line for women. Mishel desires to revolutionize the athletic-wear industry (and its ideal image of a healthy female body) by designing clothes that fit the diverse bodies of strong & healthy women. Mishel is a graduate of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. She teaches Qoya & yoga, and regularly participates in healing ceremonies around the country. She is excited to create a space for the incredible women of this community, and support them in their pursuit of their Dea Vita.

Liz Neves is a crafter, herbalist, permaculturist, and compost-turner living as close to earth’s natural rhythms as possible in the heart of the urban environment. She’s the creator of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions, a line of body care goods and herbal remedies – all handcrafted with love in her home. When she’s not creating, you can find Liz exploring the nooks and crannies of Prospect Park. (And sometimes on twitter & facebook, @raganella7.)

Learn more about Qoya…

compost with me, this sunday at hayseed’s big city farm supply!

April 30, 2012

If there’s one good thing you can do for the Earth, it’s to facilitate the process of making nutrient rich, black gold. Compost that is. And, yes, it is possible to compost in the city! Come learn how this Sunday, May 6 from 10am to 12pm at Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply. We’ll go over the basics of composting, including materials, tools, and various systems – from indoor worm composting to outdoor bin systems, and bokashi (fermented food waste).

For more information and to sign up, get ye to the Hayseed’s website!

go green! greenpoint – saturday, may 5

April 29, 2012

This Saturday, May 5 from 11am to 5pm, I’ll be selling Raganella’s Botanical Solutions in McCarren Park on the border of Williamsburg & Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s the Go Green! Greenpoint Festival – a belated Earth Day celebration! (Well, every day really is Earth Day).

There’ll be kids activities, wellness demos, and other crafters & artisans on hand selling eco-friendly goods.

I’ll be serving up free herbal tea samples, as well as all-over body cream testers. And just in time for Mother’s Day, I’ll have mini spa & pedicure gift sets.

Come on out and celebrate Mother Earth!

Go Green! Greenpoint Earth Day Festival

Saturday, May 5
Bayard St to Nassau Ave
(between Leonard and North 12 Sts)
(718) 599-0440
Subway: L to Lorimer St, G to Nassau Ave


prospect heights craft fair! saturday april 21

April 14, 2012

Oh happy day! I get to do a craft fair right in my own neighborhood. I can roll my goods right down the street to PS 9 on Underhill between St Mark’s & Bergen and set up shop. I’m excited to meet some neighbors and tell them about all of the goodies that I make.

Come on out, next Saturday, April 21, 11 am to 6pm for the Prospect Heights Craft Fair! Proceeds from the fair go to the PS 9 school arts program. There’ll be a raffle of goods, kids activities, eats, and of course lots of crafty artisans to support. Granola Lab, Sour Puss Pickles, Hecho en Brooklyn and many more local favorites will be there. Plus a barbecue sauce company that operates as a non-profit to provide healthcare to low income individuals in Norwalk, VA – it’s Snide-O-Mite!

Join us!

it’s vegan shop-up time again!

April 9, 2012

This Sunday, noon to 6pm! Get your delicious veggie-based treats at the Vegan Spring Shop-up! I’ll be there with my famous teas (including Vivid Visions!), tinctures, and other goodies, like Gonna Git You Sucka bug spray.

You’ll also find delicious eats from Brooklyn Hummus (best hummus ever!), Electric Blue Baking, Gone Pie, and Cake Bites, plus non-comestibles like Roots in Rust’s adorable air plant designs & Meow Meow Tweet’s soaps!

It’s going to be a delicious time!

Vegan Spring Shop-up

Sunday, April 15
noon to 6pm
Pine Box Rock Shop
Grattan St, Bushwick BK
Off the Morgan Ave L 

this saturday: brooklyn homesteader’s backyard homesteading bootcamp

April 2, 2012

With Spring now upon us, the time is ripe to dig in and start growing! Learn how to veggie garden, keep chickens & bees, homebrew, and so much more this Saturday with Meg Paska of Brooklyn Honey & Brooklyn Homesteader. I’ll be leading an afternoon session on making your own body care goods and cleaning solutions (including laundry soap!).

Come on out and get dirty, and then get clean!

Brooklyn Homesteader’s Backyard Homesteading Bootcamp (Spring 2012)

Saturday, April 7, 2012 from 9 AM to 5 PM

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Sign up on EventBrite

Ever wanted to learn how to grow, make and preserve your own food in a small space but need some hands-on guidance to do so?

Join Meg Paska, the “Brooklyn Homesteader“, on her own turf as she teaches you how to raise chickens, keep bees, grow a garden, compost, forage, can, pickle, preserve and homebrew all from her tiny Greenpoint homestead.

Coffee and homemade donuts will be served in the morning before the class commences.

It will tentatively go as follows:

-Building Raised Beds and Planning a Vegetable Garden


-Chickens 101

-Food Preservation (Freezing, Drying, Canning, Fermentation)


-Beekeeping 101

-Wild Edibles

-Homebrewing basics

-DIY Home and Body Care

WIND DOWN with local beers and Q&A

Attendees will get hands on experience in all aspects of the above mentioned topics and will leave with care packages of assorted goodies! (Books on the subjects covered, seeds, canned and pickled items from the class, etc)

Please email with any questions.

Students are expected to bring notepads and pens, dress in light color clothes, be able to climb ladders and are willing to sign a waiver, as we will be getting up close and personal with stinging, venomous insects, boiling hot jars of food and eating weeds from the nearby park.

All other materials are included in the cost of the class.

Sign up here!

Meg Paska is a writer, Huffington Post blogger and instructor at such fine institutions as The New York Botanical Gardens and Third Ward. She currently manages apiaries for hospitality groups and farms in the NY area and has a book on Urban Beekeeping due out on Chronicle Books in early 2013.

urban herbology – a study of 3 local green allies

March 26, 2012

We’re reconfiguring this workshop a bit. It will be every bit as juicy, just a bit more concise. Stay tuned for updates!!

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

I’m über excited to announce this workshop series I’m co-teaching with Sokhna of MamaSutra…

Urban Herbology: A study of 3 local green allies

A weed is described as “a plant out of place.” We say, there’s no such thing!

Come explore the habits and virtues of 3 plants that grow right here in our urban environment:

red clover, burdock & dandelion.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) courtesy Wikimedia.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) courtesy Wildman Steve Brill.

Together we’ll discover their medicinal, culinary, cultural, spiritual & historical uses. Get a deeper understanding of our lovely green allies over the course of the growing season. Use all of your senses to enrich your relationship with these healing plants.

Email me for more details liz (at) raganella (dot) com.

Burdock root

About us

Sokhna Heathyre Mabin is a yoga teacher, doula, herbalist, performance artist & mother of 2 wild geniuses.  At the tender age of 19, Sokhna Heathyre delved into the study of plants & herbs through beer & wine making, though it was her move to NYC that truly awakened her kinship to the plant people. Sokhna is the “mama” in MamaSutra Loving Arts~an interaction of the natural life systems of yoga, herbs, art & thriving.  She handcrafts all of her herbals in her kitchen & rooftop. Contact her @

Liz Neves is a crafter, herbalist, permaculturist, and compost-turner living as close to earth’s natural rhythms as possible in the heart of the urban environment. She’s the creator of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions, a line of body care goods and herbal remedies – all handcrafted with love in her home. When she’s not creating, you can find Liz exploring the nooks and crannies of Prospect Park. (And sometimes on twitter & facebook, @raganella7.)

back 8 extraordinary greens

March 19, 2012

My friend Jenna Spevack is embarking on a cool social experiment/art experiment/farming project. It’s called Eight Extraordinary Greens and it’ll kick off in May. But she could use a little green now to support this cool green project. Learn more about it in this video, and chip in if you can. I can’t wait to see how it all goes down!