Introduction to Wildcrafting

Anyone who lives in this beautiful part of the world will know what I mean when I say, where the Hell is Spring? It’s been a long winter and I am so eager to get outside, planting and wandering. In Rupert, I have seen the first Great Blue Heron of the year, plus turkey vultures, a hawk of some description(too far to tell) and the yard is filled with starlings, grackles, and the unmistakable sound of spring – the redwings. Out with Dan early this morning I heard a lone Canada goose, and I do think he sounded disoriented.

But the weather has been unpleasant – teasing us with a sunny afternoon here and there, then back to the gloomy grey skies and yet.more.snow. My little patch of crocuses will pop up, say hello and almost as quickly be covered in wet, slushy snow. I have rarely been as  restless for sun, warmth and..wandering.

The class this Sunday is a kick-off to the season and sets us up for the walks ahead. Wildcrafting is wonderful, and the Hills are rich with medicine – but, there are guidelines to follow, tools you will need and some commonsense practises to bear in mind.  Part one of the class will cover all of this,  and after our break we’ll go over 25 local plants you can absolutely expect to find easily enough, and how to  make use of them.  The plants we’ll cover are:

Dandelion

Burdock

Plantain

Evening Primrose

Stinging nettle

St. John’s wort

Boneset

Gravel root

Yarrow

Chickweed

Motherwort

Mugwort

Solomon’s Seal (true and false)

Elder

Blue Vervain

Self heal

Mallows

Shepherd’s purse

Goldenrod

Mullein

Trillium

Comfrey

Raspberry leaf

Hawthorne

Coltsfoot

New England Aster

Cleaver’s

Agrimony

various Violets

and the Tree Medicines;Alder, Birch, Elm, Willow, Poplar and more.

That was more than 25…methinks.

This is an Introduction to Wildcrafting and by no means covers the plants we will be able to see when we start the walks locally. Last year I found Bugleweed (Lycopus americana) Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Spikenard (Actaea racemosa) all very close by, not that I took any! but it’s thrilling to see.

A few pictures from last season’s meanderings:

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Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, in all her radiant loveliness

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Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum), White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)and probably a little baby Fraxinus(Ash) –  early growth, last year

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Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata, in my gathering basket last summer. I can’t wait for the summer!

Looking so forward to seeing you all, and to cocoa-quinoa cake, with wild rose syrup too of course.

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