Tea blending for my Herbal CSAers… #Wildcrafting #Foraging #Gardening #Local (at Burdock & Rose)
Bowl full of Hawthorne berries. #wildcrafting #herbalmedicine #foraging (Taken with Instagram at Burdock & Rose)
Minding her thorns. Hawthorne. #Wildcrafting #HerbalMedicine (Taken with Instagram)
Gathering in the sunshine. Collected petals of the Rambling Rose in the open fields of Leelanau’s Port Oneida today.
St. John’s Wort is in bloom right in time for Summer Solstice- even despite our cooler spring in Michigan!
~my don’t bug me slather~
I’m making it in small batches now and available by special order ($14.50/4oz - Local Grand Rapids only, please).
About the don’t bug me— I’ve traveled with my essential oil combo and I’ve tested it out in the Yucantan, Brasil and here in Michigan … Husband also has it in his first aid kit he takes to Africa & Asia (though he’s known to tailor his own blends, changing the formula a bit).
It’s a synergistic essential oil blend of Lavender, Idaho Tansy, Citronella, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Tea Tree Oil, Citrus Blend, & Spearmint. Carrier oil is my wildcrafted blend of ethically harvested Plaintain & Chickweed in EVOO.
I’ve just started adding my EO blend in a base of my wildcrafted Plantain and Chickweed infused carrier oil to make it a dual purpose slather for bug avoidance as well as a bite soother (for someone like my daughter who is sensitive to the bites).
That said, it’s specifically crafted as a dual purpose slather. Before bug exposure we apply to exposed skin and bottoms of the feet. For babes under 2 apply to cottonball and attach to clothing. For existing bites, we dab on to experience Plantain’s ability to soothe the itch. I also find that the Chickweed also cools inflammation caused by scratching….
It’s not DEET, however. So, it does have it’s limitations. In areas with Malaria, we add it to the blend… Cuz malaria sux.
But we don’t have Malaria here, so I find it’s fine for Michigan. And it’s not one of those creepy poison sprays. Oh, and wear long clothing in the woods….
Making an infused herbal oil from the Plantain (Plantago spp) I harvested this morning. Will be used in my salve making…
*nourishing my community with herbs*
Today I finished deliveries of my organically grown and ethically foraged dry herbs to peeps in my herbal CSA this week… Oatstraw, red clover, nettles, raspberry leaf, yarrow, wild oregano, thyme, mint, sage and goldenrod… oh my! Both nourishing herbs for infusions as well as herbs that can help soothe when feeling under the weather.
I am glad to be able to share my love of our local plants in this way, and delight in having a community of people that want to partake in growing the *plant love* with me. I am excited for the snow to melt back so I can take them into the field for plant and foraging walks so we all may deepen our understanding of the plants that live around us…
Motherwort. Plant walk on.
Making salves with my handmade infused oils of wildcrafted Goldenrod (left) and St. John’s Wort.
As August ends and the last of the elderberries dry on the bush, I offer an ode to the Elder - one of my great plant allies. I first fell in love with the Sambucus canadensis on a summer’s eve last year at Trillium Haven Farm, as I filled my baskets with the Elder’s delicate blossoms and dried them for my winter’s tea.
The soft flavors of the infusion of the flowers provided me great relief in the cold months from aches, chills, and malaise; and I’ve come to quite enjoy a cup of the tea when the chills come on - usually adding in a heaping handful of yarrow blossoms and a good drizzle of local honey. I’ve even taken to rely on this hot infusion during the high heat of summer to ward off those pesky summer colds.
This season, I’ve been delighted to find that the small elder trees in my own gardens are growing prolifically, and I’ve sought out my own secret elder groves where I been so lucky to wildcraft its flowers and berries.
As a measure to prepare for the winter ills, I’ve put up a considerable amount of elderflower tincture (as well as dried the flower heads), elderberry tincture, infused elderflower (& yarrow) honey, and elderberry elixir. I look forward to using these wonderful preparations in a rotation along with other plants to keep my family well such as the boneset and yarrow — just a few other amazing plant allies I have by my side.
Bring it, influenza. No Tamiflu, thank you. I’ve got my family protected by the Elder.
And while I am not recommending that the Elder can treat or cure any specific illness or disease (because the FDA wouldn’t want me to recommended anything of the sort), I certainly would be sure to seek out the Elder if you don’t know it already. It’s an amazing plant and a good one to know. And abundant and local. Can’t beat that.
If you wish to read a bit more about this great plant, take a moment to enjoy the writings on the elder by my teacher and Great Lakes herbalist, Jim McDonald and another writing by Southwest herbalist, Kiva Rose — whose recipe I’ve adopted check it out!
On my shelf: Samuel Thayers’s “Nature’s Garden” and “The Forager’s Harvest.”
Elderberries!!!! Will make up a bit more Elderberry Elixir (shown) for wintertime, dry some, and maybe a special batch of jam for a friend.
Wildcrafted berries of Sambucus nigra for an elderberry honey elixir.
Topping off jars of wildcrafted herbs.