Week of February 8th, 2013- winter inventory

Friday, February 08, 2013 11:23 AM | Anonymous


Welcome to my new, weed walk, and more, ezine. Thank you for honoring me with your choice of me as a mentor.

Come on in. Because baby, it is cold out there this winter. There’s not been a lot of snow, only enough to keep the goats (and the herbalists) at home, but single digit temperatures. Brrrrr. Now’s the time to focus in on dried and preserved herbs.

Here is what I plan to do this month:

~ Inventory my stash of dried herbs and put them in date order so the oldest are used first.
~ Cut any herb that is more than two years old and still whole and mark for immediate use.
~ Make tinctures of dried roots and berries.
~ Fantasize about what I will plant in the gardens.
~ Interview prospective apprentices for live-in, live-out, and Green Goddess Week programs.
~ Launch my new mentorship site. Please join me at whatever level suits you best.
~ Finish writing my proceedings for the International Herbal Symposium

I invite you to look over my shoulder this month as I work with hawthorn and elder berries, echinacea and slippery elm.

Hawthorn (Cratageus) is one of my favorite herbs. It is so generous that all or any of its parts may be used with the same excellent results: the flowers, leaves, and berries are all medicinal. I enjoy a dropperful of hawthorn berry tincture each evening in a cup a Earl Grey tea moderated with honey and goat milk.

For years I have been making my hawthorn tincture from commercial dried berries. This year, I have a special present: hand-picked hawthorn from wise woman Eagle Song Evans Gardener! Eagle Song, master gardener, community created herbalist, and one of perennial students, sent me some hawthorn leaves, flowers, and berries that she harvested. What a precious gift.

Let’s see what we can make of the hawthorn she sent, shall we?

hawthorn flowers and leaves after infusing

Here’s a bag of flowers and leaves she harvested and dried in the spring. What a fragrance! There’s two ounces of dried herb, so we can make half a gallon (2 quarts/liters) of infusion. If you put the herb in that half-gallon canning jar, I’ll put the water up to boil. This is going to be delicious.

the sorting tray

And here’s a bag of hawthorn berries mixed with lots of hawthorn leaves. It would be fine to tincture them together (see video in expanded ezine), I enjoy the leaf infusion so much that I ‘m going to take the time to sort the berries out. Will you join me? I find this kind of work soothing to the mind and psyche. Getting something done without the slightest bit of stress. I only wish there were a story-teller with us. Perhaps we could each share a tale.

hawthorn berry tincture

Alright! Here we have a big bag of hawthorn berries. And here are some bottles. Would you like to help me fill them. Ooops, not full, since these are dried berries. Just about half full or even a little less will do just fine. And here is the vodka. Just pour it over the berries, filling the jar to the very top. Ta da! You just made a hawthorn berry tincture.

Technically, it will be ready to use in six weeks, but when I make tinctures from dried roots and berries, I like to let them sit for a year before using them. The tinctures in the photo are three weeks in the bottle and have turned a deep dark red already.

Hawthorn is said to be the ideal tonic for the “aging heart.” It is a wonderful way to lower blood pressure and to keep it at a healthy place. For lots more about this herb for the heart, and a weed walk to visit the mosses, click here to upgrade your mentorship to the Ancient Goddess Crystal Level. Click here to enter the expanded ezine if you are already at the Crystal level or above.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Green blessings are all around us.


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