Homestead wildcrafting

I’ve been drooling over the course descriptions of our local folk school ever since it started about two years ago. This weekend, I finally took my first course on “spring tonics and northwest wild medicines”. It was fantastic and of course I’m kicking myself now for waiting so long.

We spent the day learning to identify and harvest local plants with medicinal properties and then extracting those properties and creating a few finished products. I came home at the end of the afternoon exhausted but way too excited not to head out with a bucket and pruners immediately. It’s been 24 hours and I have jars of yellow dock, dandelion, oregon grape, and blackberry roots tincturing (is that a verb? if not, it should be) along with a jar of dried nettles and a bowl of nettle pesto in the fridge (ok, half a bowl – it’s really tasty). I also scoped out the best patch of horsetails but didn’t get back to harvest them yet… All from a couple of short walks around the homestead. How gratifying is that?

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Completely unrelated… I’ve been derailed from my running routine for almost two weeks but I finished a full run today so hoping I am back on track. For weeks I was pleasantly surprised that my body seemed to be adjusting to running again and then suddenly it wasn’t. It was mostly some lower calf issues – not tightness, but knots so persistent that it felt like they would just cramp and give way when I tried to run. After a week and a half of arnica and ice and ibuprofen and heat and rest (and more rest), I finally saw a chiropractor and got my hips adjusted. And then figured out I could use a tennis ball to attack the knots. Sweet relief. It’s interesting how my old self-knowledge of my body as a runner is coming back in fits and starts. After more than a week of being completely mystified, a lightbulb went off about my hips and the quick knee-lift test that I used way back when. Bingo – still works!