Monday, 28 November 2016

Apples in the snow

There's a post by this title over on my other blog. It's sort of a wildcrafting post, but it's a little woo, too.

If you don't like woo, don't go there.

Monday, 21 November 2016

St John'swort, topically.

Poor St John'swort. Pigeon-holed by the popular press as an 'herbal anti-depressant' (which it's not, really, except when it it is, sorta, although not how you'd think), it has so much more to offer!

Among other things, it's antiviral, it's a liver herb, it's a nerve healer and it's cheering. For so many issues we humans come up against, some small and irritating, some large and life-altering, St J is often the answer.

Here is a case study from the 'large and life altering' category, from someone near and dear to me. Well, not all that near, as she is now living thousands of miles away .. but certainly dear, as she's my sister!

Here's Catherine's story, in her own words ..

"More than three years ago, I was injured in a rather spectacular traffic accident.

I suffered a compound fracture to my right wrist, which in layman’s terms means the bones were sticking through the skin. I had emergency surgery that night and a second one a couple of weeks later.

Part of my radius bone was replaced by what I think looks like a fork.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Foraging for Black Walnuts

Here's a little foraging and garbling tale from Paul, on the finicky business of handling black walnuts.

A few years back a friend from Kentucky gave me some black walnuts from his folks’ farm. I was immediately addicted. I helped him gather some in Ottawa last year, but wanted my own supply. Our little village should have some walnut trees, I reasoned, but had no success locating them, because I was looking for a HUGE tree, like the massive one in an old part of Ottawa we saw last year.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Late fall foraging

We seem to be having what the country folk call a 'long, open fall' here; no snow yet. And as this comes on the heels of the best wild fruit summer we've seen in our 10 years here, I am one happy camper these days.

I keep going for walks and coming home with the likes of this:

Top - dandelions
Left - nettles good for eatin' (and we did) Right - rosehips and wild grapes for juice

Thursday, 6 October 2016

About those nettle seeds ..

(Yeah, I know I said I was kinda done with this blog. Then came all that talk of nettle seeds and a bunch of emails full of questions on how and why and where to find them.. and here I am again .. )

First, let me say that maybe nettle 'seed' is a misnomer. I catch those little beauties when they're still green on the plant, before they would be viable for growing. So I suppose, really, they're the fruits. I guess. Nettle seed for growing would be brown. Can you eat the brown ones? I'll go out on a limb and say yes, especially as I know of other nettle enthusiasts who specifically wait until they are brown before harvesting. But they drop off the plant so soon after ripening, you gotta be quick.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Garbling the message

Herbalists use the word "garble" to describe the process of preparing plant material for use. Dictionaries call this definition "obsolete". (sigh)

To everyone else, to garble is to mix up words or ideas so badly that the original meaning or intent is obscured.

I can tell you, when it comes to all things herbal, the message out there on the internet is garbled in the second sense. Pretty badly, too.

Friday, 5 August 2016

"Herbalists have always been strange"

That's a line lifted from a talk by the much loved herbalist David Hoffman that I just tripped over on youtube.

Here's part one: