Coltsfoot

I’m following the colts foot trail right now.  First the flowers appear, between end February and late March depending on your area, low to the ground and dazzlingly bright along the roadside, growing where there’s gravel in micro areas that are dry amidst the moistness that comes from being along the creek.  The leaves come afterward.

Black Cohosh

Actea Racemose or Cimicifuga Rasemosa, also known as Black Cohosh, Squaroot, and Snakeroot is a bitter and cooling perennial herb whose roots are known for their effects on 'women's issues' and the female reproductive system. I first heard of it as part of a labor tincture in Susun Weed's Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing... Continue Reading →

Chamomile

I start chamomile from seed, Matricaria Chamomilla or German Chamomile, and then divide the sets that come up, as the seeds are miniscule and next to impossible to plant spaced apart.  I sprinkle them on the soil as I would salt or pepper, then lightly cover them.  They germinate quickly and thickly, after which they... Continue Reading →

Hand Sanitizer

  In March, I began making hand sanitizer for my husband to carry with him to work.  Initially I started out with rubbing alcohol, glycerin, witch hazel, and essential oils, but we found this combination very drying to the skin, so I made a few changes. The CDC recommends minimums of 60% ethanol or 70%... Continue Reading →

Skullcap

I have Skullcap growing that I started from seed indoors under lights, then moved to a place in our garden near echinacea and lovage which provide a semi-shady micro-climate from their tall stalks in summer and also keep the ground cool and moist.  The Skullcap plants have been spreading from their initial spot by way... Continue Reading →

Bare Necessities: Tincturing

It's the heat of what's been a scorching day, the kind where one steps outside and within a few steps sweat begins to bead up around the hairline and next thing you know it's in your eyebrows, and you're glad to be wearing a skirt to wipe your face with. I'm headed to a slope... Continue Reading →

Plantain

Plantain is a most noble plant to be sure.  The first time we came to our abode when it was for sale twelve years ago, our son Ahmad, four at the time, was stung by a yellow jacket on the palm of his hand.  He was running and leaping on all fours and put his... Continue Reading →

Dandelion

Dandelion and violets were two of the first wildflowers that I worked with as allies; I love that their flowers are complementary colors too.  When we lived in town, my neighbor Josephine, a lovely elderly woman with violet tinted hair, gave me permission to pick both from her (unsprayed) lawn before Teddy, the mower boy... Continue Reading →

Burdock

Burdock grows easily where I live.  Under stands of tulip poplar where woods meet grass, burdock’s right there at the edges of the hedge row.  There are clumps in corners outside our house, by doorways, near the chicken coop, under apple trees, we get caught up in burs and our dog gets clumps in her... Continue Reading →

Knotweed and Morsels

Warm rainy days, cool nights, lilac's blooming, spring green bright. This is the time, after forsythia has blazed golden, gone to green, and given her petals to the ground, that the first tips of nettles emerge. It is now that most of the burdock leaves have grown enormous; the smaller ones are what make for... Continue Reading →

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