All posts by Molly

Community

Each morning we meet for meditation and a chat before we begin our day together, but last week we had a longer GHF staff goddess meeting. Calling in all our Angelic and Elemental helpers, we gathered to brainstorm about how, in this time of so many transitions, we can best serve you the Green Hope Farm community.

Before we began we wondered aloud. What matters as we pick our way forward through the rubble of structures that have fallen apart or are currently collapsing? To best support us all, what do we focus on? What additional Essences and Flower Essences mixes do you want? What the heck is going on?

What we usually do and what we did in this instance was extend our meditation and stay present to what rose up in us. When everyone felt ready we opened our eyes and began to share. There is always a bit of silence before ideas and thoughts spill out, but then they do, often very fast. Vicki was scribe as she (our official lady of label writing) has the best handwriting.

While we didn’t get definitive answers, especially to that last query about what the heck is going on, we did all find ourselves in agreement about what felt particularly important. Today I’ll share one topic.

Community with you felt important. You sharing your world and ideas and our sharing ours. We sometimes talk about your animals as if we know them. We carry your stories in our hearts. I can’t imagine my life without GHF friends. This community matters so much to all of us.

We realized we needed to share more of our lives here because if we get so much from what you share, perhaps you feel the same about what we share.

I love writing this blog and of course will continue on with it. As of a few days ago I’m back on Instagram too. The Instagram account for the farm is greenhopefarm . A couple years ago I got so discouraged about Instagram. I just didn’t get why people did or didn’t like a post. I still don’t. I finally gave Instagram a rest, because I was puzzling over the mystery of likes way too much. This time I vow not to even check for likes.

For now what I am going to post is video clips from the garden. That’s one of the things about Green Hope Farm. It is a real place. Every day something happens here that astounds me with its beauty.

Last growing season I took short video clips in the gardens almost every day. I put them together into a movie, hoping to share this movie with you. Then I couldn’t figure out how to download the film to any other platform. I couldn’t even get it off my phone. So I watched it a few times myself and then let that go too. But at the meeting, the group suggested I start in again taking these little clips and post them on Instagram. The rest of the crew have some ideas for content they want to add, so maybe soon there will be more than just these short videos. In the meantime, check out our Instagram page for moments of real life at a real farm.

Another Chance to Garden with Angels and Elementals (and Henry too)

It’s been in the low 30’s most mornings recently with the occasional tumble back into the 20’s. Today there is another deep frost on the ground.  Bundled in my winter coat and mittens, I’ve planted many of the vegetables in the garden.  The peas went in two weeks ago. Above is a photo of their little sprouts poking up through the ground in that determined but sassy pea way. There are baby radish and kale in amongst other greens that haven’t yet germinated.  The carrots are taking their time as carrots do. I water their bed each day because carrots like to be kept wet until they germinate.  Maybe today I will begin to see their long whispy first leaves.  Yesterday I planted onions, arugula and spinach and prepared one of many rows for potatoes. This afternoon I got my four year old grandson, Henry, to help me plant some of the potatoes. I would love to have him join me in the gardens on a regular basis and Henry is interested. Pushing a nice fat seed potato through a mound of fluffy compost was a fun task for a four year old and of course, we will celebrate any potatoes harvested as HENRY’S POTATOES.

In the hoop house and on the counters going into the main office every square inch is covered with flats of baby Flowers and tender vegetable starts like cucumbers. Their time for transplant into the garden will come, BUT NOT YET. We have another month before we can safely put out plants that would be killed by a frost

Out in the gardens, kestrel birds put on a show of aeronautic tricks, sailing and swooping from the lone plum tree in the middle of the hayfield.  Birdsong fills the air. Most mornings, a cardinal bird sits atop the larch tree with an occasional flight to the nearby gingko.  He is the primary soloist with chickadees, and robins the bulk of the chorus.

The Arbor Garden is in blossom with Siberian Squill, Chionadoxa, Hellebores, Cowslips and the first of the Daffodils.  Funny bell jars cover a number of plants with their own mini-greenhouses.  I purchased some hard to find perennials from a place in California called Annies, and they need the protection of these domes until our world warms up to the one they came from.

I always work to build up the soil here with mulch and with compost. I put compost on various beds and dig it into the vegetable garden.  The older I get the more interested I am in soil.  Good soils is why we have any nutritional value in our food or glory in our Flowers. I screen load after load of compost to remove rocks and sticks that didn’t break down during the composting process. I never understand how there can be so many rocks in the compost when the compost is created primarily from dead plants removed from the garden after the harvest.  During these early spring weeks I cart these wheelbarrow loads of rich dark soil down to the vegetable garden. As I pass the Roses,  I promise them that they are next.  

The gardens are organic so no petroleum based fertilizer from Russia. But Russia is part of our gardens as the Arbor Garden is a sea of Siberian Squill, the blue Flower below, and so many of the seeds I grow originally came from Russia. I think so often of all the regular people in countries at war who wish for peace and keep planting their gardens.

I also think a lot about people who might love to garden but don’t live with the space I have here. A friend told me that last summer she grew potatoes in something called a grow bag. Grow bags sounds sort of ugly, but they are attractive and easy to use.  When the potato leaves died back she just emptied the bag and pulled out all the potatoes.  She got a bumper crop.  This comforted me that the joy of growing one’s own food is still possible for anyone with even a small outdoor space. Growing Flowers and vegetables gives me such happiness that I want everyone to have this option, though I am aware not everyone shares my interest in this or even any interest in this!

I recently read that during WW2 45% of all the food people ate in America was grown in backyard victory gardens.  This emphasis on vegetable gardens was alive and well in my childhood in the 1960’s. My best friend’s family was Polish.  Besides their wonderful sauna in their backyard, there was also a spectacular vegetable garden.  When I stayed for supper, Lynn’s mother would send us down to the basement to raid their amazingly organized freezer full of produce.  Hanging on a hook by the freezer was a book in which each vegetable packet was accounted.  We thought ourselves very grown up to cross off the vegetable packet when we removed it for dinner.  Theirs was the most delicious Polish food.  I am grateful to them and so many other gardeners who taught me how to care for a garden, grow beautiful, healthy plants and cook them to make fabulous meals.

As we face the end of petroleum based fertilizers and potash shortages, we have the option to solve our problems now by making our own compost, raising our own vegetables or purchasing food from farms practicing regenerative farm techniques. More and more I hear of people in food deserts growing food, sometimes on the top of industrial buildings. By necessity we have to turn away from the massively destructive ways we have farmed in the last century and go back to our roots.  I love that the seed companies selling non GMO seeds are doing so well,. I hope more and more of us will seize the day and begin to garden in harmony with earth. The Angels and Elementals of the Nature Kingdom will support all of us in any way they can if we ask for their help.

This is not just a hollow promise the Angels and Elementals give. One of my favorite stories from the years I ran classes to help people garden in conscious partnership with the Angels and Elementals was the following.  One very skeptical woman arrived for the first class.  Given her high degree of doubt, I do not know why she was there, but I am so grateful she was.  Right off the bat she told the group that she didn’t believe in these beings I was talking about.  She noted that they would have to prove to her they existed. 

How I loved her honesty and her clear request. I knew that there was nothing the Elementals liked more than a challenge like this. So I asked her to consider what she wanted for her garden and to ask the Elementals, the manifestors of all form, to send it.  Speaking with passion, she threw down the gauntlet. She told all of us gathered that she wanted a free garden- free seeds, free plants and free soil amendments.

At the next week’s class, she blew into our midst absolutely aglow.  What a wild week she’s had.  First a woman she hardly knew gave her a large and diverse collection of vegetable and flower seeds.  Next another woman gave her an entire perennial garden that she no longer wanted. There was work involved in the moving of plants, but it was a very fine garden now all settled in on her property.  In the midst of this a passing farmer with a dump truck  filled with well composted manure offered to dump it wherever she wanted for FREE. The manure had gone into the new vegetable garden as well as the new perennial beds. 

Wow!  Was this ever a wonderful example of the Elementals’ ability to manifest anything and in a humorous and over the top way at that!

That week transformed this woman’s life. She became a wonderful gardener, ever intent on co-creating with the Angels and Elementals.  She often created a labyrinth in Corn that she generously shared with anyone who wanted to walk a labyrinth. As an oil painter, her focus turned to the creation of many paintings of Angels and Elementals. She spent the rest of her life serving others as an Earth Angel of generosity.

So ask for what you need and let me know what happens! Don’t let limitations curtail you! I’ve seen the most beautiful tiny gardens, even apartment fire escape planters, co-created into such gems of beauty.   I will be rooting for you, quite unnecessarily of course, because you and the Angels and Elementals have this. I also can’t wait to hear your stories!

Flowers, Flower Essences and Dreams

There is a natural connection even symbiotic relationship between Flowers and dreams.

It’s astounding how often the language used in dreamwork is the language of Flowers. Over the past thirty five years, thousands of you have contacted us to describe a Flower that appeared in a dream you’ve had.  You’ve connected with us to see if we have this Flower as a Flower Essence.  Instinctively all of us seem to know that working with the Flower in its Essence form will both deepen our relationship with the Flower and connect us more fully with the wisdom that the Flower embodies.  Our dream consciousness is always taking us towards wholeness and integration of self.

While there are many mysteries to this, there are also some things that feel true.  Each species of Flower holds a specific wisdom accessible in its Flower Essence. The dream consciousness brings that Flower to the dreamer’s attention because it knows that the specific wisdom of the Flower is relevant to the dreamer’s situation.

In other words, Flowers are the symbolic representation of a specific wisdom as well as the literal carriers of that wisdom.

Here at the farm, we feel like Flower detectives as you describe the colors, petal shape, leaves and habitat of the Flower calling to you in your dreams.  Sometimes we recognize the Flower fairly quickly, but sometimes it’s quite the adventure for us to track down the Flower.  Photos are sent back and forth between you and us confirming we’ve figured out the puzzle or need to go back and search some more.  Sometimes you’ve done the sleuthing yourselves and know what the Flower is and what Flower Essence you need. If we do not have the Flower Essence, this is my prompting to make this Essence the next chance I get.  I hold messages from this realm to be extremely significant. I am grateful every time you share a dream of Flowers with us.

Off and on through my life I have written down my dreams.  Some stretches I do this sporadically, but during many stretches I have written them down each morning.  Not surprisingly, it was a dream that deepened my understanding of the connection between Flowers and dreams.

This dream has stayed in my consciousness with a freshness for several decades. It still reverberates within me. I believe this dream both confirms the place Flowers have in my life purpose and the way dreams also serve that purpose. 

Sometimes I’ve told people this dream from what I remember of it, but I thought for this blog I would try and find the actual written recording of the dream in one of my dream journals.  I must have really been meant to find it, because one of the first dream journals I pulled, there was the dream.  So here is the dream.

With a baby in my care and several women from my family of origin, I arrive at the college where all the men in our family of origin went to college and where my grandfather was president.  The college campus is very dark, wet and overgrown like old Victorian gothic haunted houses.  The trees are hemlock with lots of dead branches.  I recognize one of the rooms we walk by as the president’s office because it is so big with space on the walls for so much art including kid’s drawings. I do not think there is any art on the walls, just space for it.  

We decide to go to the nearby college chapel to look at my grandfather’s portrait which is hung there.  I am holding the baby through all of this, and this feels precarious for the baby.  We go through various doors into all sorts of rooms including a day care and a room full of practicing punk rockers, but we can’t find our way upstairs to the chapel.  It seems to be gone.  I travel down very dark stairs and out of the building.  The walls are moldy and damp, slimy to the touch and veined with wetness. It is a relief to leave the building.

 I go out into a side yard near a little fountain to feed the baby, and there is a patch of Pyrola Elliptica right outside the chapel in the hemlock forest.  The Pyrola Elliptica is jewel like and glowing as if lit from within and without.  It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. During the rest of the night I dream I’m going over the details of the dream to remember it better, writing down the details of the dream in the dream. Even while still dreaming I remember that Pyrola Elliptica is the Flower of dreamwork so I recognize its appearance as significant, encouraging me to continue to take Flowers and my dreams seriously.

While I’m learning to never absolutely pin down a dream to mean exactly one thing, throughout the years I have always experienced this dream as deeply encouraging. 

I had this dream about 20 years ago when I was still in the immediate aftershock of my total break from my family of origin.  I was in grief and confusion, trying to find my way forward.  A part of me, perhaps represented by female relatives, was examining whether there was any life left in the old patriarchy.  The dream’s answer seems fairly straightforward.  The old structures were in a state of extreme decay and the chapel enshrining my patriarch grandfather was  literally gone. Maybe something could be redeemed for the children (the day care) or be reworked into something brazenly new (the punk rock session) but mostly this was a dying structure  The baby, as a possible representation of the future did not finding this visit to old terrain anything but perilous, yet I kept the baby safe, and we found our way out of the building where the baby was fed by a fountain bubbling with life and with the radiant Flower of Pyrola Elliptica glowing at our feet.  

I experienced this dream as encouraging me to keep going and specifically to continue in my life with Flowers and my focus on dreamwork. The dream supported my abiding belief that dreams and Flowers are inextricably and meaningfully linked by forces ever working on our behalf to heal and support us in our journey to find ourselves.

While many of my dreams bring messages that suggest healing to be done, this dream was a dream of affirmation right when I needed it.  I find it an astounding thing that we get this kind of gift from beyond the veil each and every night.   The last thing I do each night before I turn off my light is spritz myself with Pyrola Elliptica (and other Flower Essences too). No matter the challenges of any day, this is a moment of anticipation and excitement for me. I am about to return to the realm of dreams where my bigger self can guide me and share exactly what I most need to consider.

Authentic Self – A new Flower Essence Mix

This new Flower Essence mix is a tool to help us access our unconscious, know it, retrieve the gift of its emotional content and desires and free ourselves from any constraints to make the shifts towards wholeness and an experience of our authentic self that these newly integrated parts of ourselves encourage.

How do we reclaim our authentic self?  What is our healing path to this experience?

Our culture believes healing is the suppression of anything deemed unacceptable into our shadow or unconscious. This “healing approach” is how we lose our authentic self in the first place.  Actual healing requires us to retrieve these rejected aspects of self, hidden in our unconscious, and bring them to the light of consciousness.  Nothing in our unconscious is bad, it is just unknown. If we reclaim unconscious parts, we become conscious of all that we are.  We experience our wholeness.  We can have an authentic experience of self once again.

Our unconscious or shadow contains aspects of ourselves that we were told were not okay, maybe by our parents, maybe by other people or institutional structures. When told our natural human experiences of self and many of our feelings were not okay, we hid these experiences of self from everyone, including ourselves, deep in our unconscious.

Often our shadow contains banished feelings of sadness and anger, our repressed animal instincts (ours because we are animals and denied because of people’s discomfort with this truth), our thoughts and imaginings deemed unacceptable, our true desires and uniqueness suppressed because of expectations of a patriarchal culture.  Healing is re-owning all these lost pieces of self and bringing them together into the light and into an experience of our authentic and whole self.  

Patriarchal culture is deeply confused about what it is to be human.  Instead of understanding people are born whole and free to think, feel and imagine anything,  patriarchal culture insists we must make people good by editing them, fixing them and shaping them. What results is humans split off from their humanness and the genuine, wondrous, authentic and whole self they were born with.

As we go to retrieve these disowned parts of ourselves held in our shadow, the culture freaks out, confusing feelings with actions. Because we are each immersed in this culture we too may  have a niggling inner voice that says this retrieval work is not safe. If we own our anger, what might we do? Hurtful actions much more often spring from NOT knowing what we feel than knowing what we feel, but we are taught to believe just the opposite.

Owning what lives in our shadow and bringing it into the light is not the same as acting from the shadow. Feeling is not the same as doing.  Feeling is feeling and we are free to feel anything.

Owning our animal selves is also part of our retrieval work.  Our animal instincts help us trust ourselves to feel what we feel.  Our animal instincts help us choose wisely what to do with our feelings.  But we are taught to deny our animal selves as well.  Just consider how women are encultured to shave off all their fur.  Yet our animal instincts are deeply supportive of and inseparable from our authentic self.

It is worth saying again.  To own our shadow is not dangerous.  In fact, it is essential.  When we repress our feelings to the point of not even knowing they are there, we are likely to find out what we feel because of what we unexpectedly do or what happens to us.  When we split off from ourselves and deny our unconscious reality, it will still be expressed, only its expression will seem to come out of the blue because it comes from our unconscious.  Just think of our politicians for endless examples of this.

I got fired up to make this new mix one day when many women shared with us stories of overwork and disregard by their families, colleagues and society at large.  Sadly, there are many days like this, but on this particular day the stories were so over the top there was smoke coming out of my ears. In the heat of the moment, I wanted to make a mix to help women be more bad ass in response to the negative things happening to them.  However the longer I considered how a new Essence could truly serve us, the more I felt it needed to help us go within to heal ourselves, not build tools for external battles. In this instance, the issue is not entirely what people expect of women, but how women believe in these expectations.

I was reminded that when we get embroiled in events in the external world (and who doesn’t?), we are preoccupied by the symptoms not the cause.  Things arise in the external world because our inner world is not known to us and our inner wounds are not healed. Our unconscious holds our inner wounds.  If we do not bring these wounds to consciousness and attend to them, these wounds will pull into our lives difficult experiences to illuminate themselves.  The question becomes what do I really believe about myself and how do I heal the wounds these beliefs have caused not why do other people do what they do to me.

C.G.Jung said, ”The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.”  Another way he expressed this truth was, “Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct you and you will call it fate.”  If we have felt powerless, Jung’s truth restores us to an understanding of our own power.  We are always free to resolve things internally, and thus we always have power to transform ourselves and how we experience our lives.  To know that external events are life trying to show us inner places to be healed is so different than feeling a victim of chaotic events.

There are many ways to access our unconscious and bring its contents forward to be integrated into our consciousness.  I am partial to the gift of Flower Essences and the gift of dreams.

Flower Essences embody the wisdom of the inside job, because that is their territory. They ring vibrational notes in our energy system bringing our unconscious into the light.  They remind us of who we truly are and show us the way to be that once again.  They have no volition to change us.  We must do this work for ourselves, but they are like a lighthouse in the fog guiding us precisely where to go.

Dreams are another generous gift life gives us.  Every night they bring unconscious material right to our door.   Dreams come from our unconscious and bring communication from this realm to reveal how we really feel and who we really are.  Dreams do not lie. Yes, I know they may seem obscure and nonsensical, but they are the purest information we have about what is really going on in our lives. They do require focus and patience, however the more we consider them, the more gifts they give us. Our efforts to consider what our dreams reveal are vital.  Dreams never tell us something we already know.  They always take us forward towards wholeness. If we think we have healed something, our dreams will give us feedback about whether this is true.  Not only do dreams mirror back to us challenges, they also deepen our awareness that we are sacred beings participating in a sacred experience.

The distress of many women fired this Essence into being so let’s talk about women. Women learn very early, sometimes even from birth, that despite surface rhetoric that we matter, few people or cultures feel this is true.  We get the real message very early. Our job is to take care of everyone at the expense of ourselves.  If we feel anything but joyful about this, it is not okay.  Our natural feelings of anger and overwhelm and our natural desires to express something besides nurturing others get pushed into the shadow where they drain us as any unfelt feeling or desire does.  If we retrieve these feelings and desires and own them as valid and natural, we take back precious life energy used to suppress these feelings.  We find ourselves able to act on the information of our feelings and desires. We can choose to do less and say no. We can choose to express much more of ourselves. Without guilt we can unbind ourselves from cultural constrictions like the societal demand that women always be nice. And to mention dreams one more time, we may assume we no longer believe the culture’s bias but our dreams may tell us differently and once we know how we really feel, we can heal ourselves more fully.

Here are the Flower Essences in Authentic Self with a short take on why they are in the mix.

Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean– We need an inner life where we are radically free to think and feel and imagine anything. We deserve this freedom. This Flower Essence helps us live in the full expression of this freedom.

Cosmos– If we retrieve our genuine thoughts and feelings from our unconscious, we can choose what we do with this expanded and more authentic sense of self.  Cosmos helps us translate our felt experience of our authentic self  into an explicit verbalization of what we need. Supported by this Flower, we can speak from the heart with the full authority of our being.

Pyrola Elliptica– This beloved Flower helps us access our dreams. Our culture dismisses dreams.  To most people it would just seem odd that people from the ancient world in places like Delphi felt dreams were the key to healing. Let me say once again some reasons dreams are so important.  Dreams show us the unvarnished truth.  Dreams show us how we really feel.  Dreams never waste time telling us something we already know.  They always bring forward aspects of self both unseen and unloved. Dreams help us form a relationship between our consciousness and our unconscious. As we bring the unconscious to the light of consciousness, we retrieve precious lost parts of ourselves and we find greater wholeness and a more integrated and authentic self. 

Eyes of Mary– This beloved helps us see in overview with loving detachment.  It helps us look at external events as galvanizing us to action instead of further disempowering us.  If we see clearly what is going on within us and acknowledge our inner reality’s reflection in the outside world, we know better what we need to do and what we don’t need to do.

Ixora, Carry Less, The Letting Go Flower, Puenta la Reina & Los Arcos– Many times knowing what we need to do is knowing we need to say no.  These beloveds help us say no.  They help us know we are entitled to say no. They work like highlighter pens to show us when and how we need to say no. They help us know we have a right to say no even if it means disappointing people, acting “aggressively” or defying patriarchal authority and “the rules.”

Roses are the perfect amalgam of generous, fragrant, numinous beauty and appropriate boundaries. It feels right that five Roses wanted to help us find this fantastic new amalgam of conscious and unconscious parts which means both numinous beauty and thorns. 

Alex Mackenzie Rose – This Rose helps us have the courage to do what we need to do.

Alchymist Rose– There is alchemy when the unconscious material we have retrieved translates into changes in our lives. This Rose helps us with the metamorphosis.

Wild Rose– Retrieving our wholeness is a messy project. It’s messy when you take back all parts of you formerly hijacked by a patriarchal inner and outer world. Wild Rose helps us be at ease with the turbulence and stay true to the whole being we have rediscovered.

Henri Martin Rose & Dog Rose– We are animals with instincts that deeply support us.  These two Roses, with their connections to bears and dogs, help us begin to re-own our animal selves.

Moonlight Datura– Our very being roots us in nature. This one helps restore to us our deep connection with the moon and the cycles of the moon, planets and stars.  This empowers us to trust our instincts and our right brain awareness of our connection to all things

Fireweed– Even if we are burnt out and exhausted by all that has gone before, we can restore our inner fire so we are fired up to make the changes we need to make.

Trailing Arbutus– We may feel frail but like this Wildflower, we have a tenacious, irrepressible determination to be true to ourselves and experience our deep and abiding oneness.  Let this tough beauty escort us on our way.

Georgette Heyer, Maple Syrup and Me

One might accuse me of being a bird witted, ninnyhammer when it comes to waiting for a watched pot to boil, but it’s a vexatious part of a havey cavey business.  I’m talking maple syruping. I’m talking finishing the sap after it’s gotten the old rake down in the outdoor boiling pans and is just about syrup. This process alone can put one in the deuce of a pucker.

While some may be junketing around the countryside enjoying rustication on a spring day, I must to the boiling pans. This often takes me into the suds.  It’s no flummery to boil down forty gallons of sap to just a whisker over a gallon of golden libation. Today’s haul is NINETY gallons of sap to boil down. This sets me up to be Friday faced by day’s end.

But not by a long chalk is this the worst of the matter.  The sap then goes into the house for a final finish boil.  This is a bit of a whisky frisky. This is when the old rumgumption begins, because first nothing happens and nothing happens and nothing happens.  The sap sits in pots on the stove, and it’s as much of a yawn as a proper jaw-me-dead to wait for the boil.

But then, suddenly it’s the worst hobble ever, because one paper skull or pea goose turn away from the pot always occurs JUST when the boil happens.  Then the sap goes all over the stove, the floor and every last frippery in sight.  Smoke alarms, burnt sugar, seething pots- it’s a horrid collation.

To give us petticoats our due, it is a rare hubble bubble of a project even for a pink of the ton. And if the pot fell to the care of  a half sprung shuffler?  Why, I’ve seen the most odious little bounce let a boil go, and sopped up the mess myself, make no mistake.  So, no matter the sure card that is at the stove, a bumble cloth of a boil over is bound to happen. Yes, even when you keep a focus bang up to the nines.

My solution of late? Georgette Heyer and her books about the Regency period in England. With one of her witty tomes perched over the skimble skamble of the boiling pot, I’m never in a quake nor falling into the dismals.  Instead I laugh with a gurgle and keep the watched pot under perfect control. I’m diverted with one eye on the pot and the other on my heroine’s handling of every loose fish in London. So far it hasn’t left me caper witted or flying up into the boughs. So far it’s resulted in some excellent syrup.