Getting closer to Mother Earth – why I forage

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Salal growing on an abandoned railway line (Gaultheria shallon)

Foraging in the urban environment in which I live can be challenging…. but so rewarding! Besides the treats I bring home for use in the kitchen or in herbal earth medicine preparations, foraging activities bring me closer to Mother Earth and her cycles of birth, growth, death and regeneration. It also connects me with my roots — our ancestral grandmothers (the original Wise Women) were much closer to Mother Earth and her healing ways in local plants.

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Salmonberries, Rubus spectabilis

My walks in nature (or at least my local micro-environment!) all year round mean I observe the plant or tree at all stages of growth, from winter dormancy to spring budding and regeneration to the full bloom of summer and through the changes that autumn brings.

I see when the plant is most abundant… what other plants, animals and insects it likes to live with… what conditions effect its growth.

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Horsetail, Equisetum

I’m slowly forming relationships with the plants and am learning when it is the right time to ethically and sustainably harvest them (or not). I can plan ahead – this week Salal leaves for tea, next week dandelion roots for tinctures and horsetail for infusing as tea and hair conditioner, and so on.

And, of course, I am slowly improving my plant identification skills. Some people see weeds, I see food… medicine… a potential wound salve… and even a natural bug repellent.

If you are interested in learning more about foraging and the ethical considerations, here  are two great articles for anyone interested in foraging from the Bear Medicine Herbal’s blog “The Medicine Woman’s Roots” (listed separately below  but published in the same blog post)

FORAGING MATTERS
Presenting The Wisdom of Plant Healer & Wild Forager
Wendy “Butter” Petty

and

ADVICE TO NOVICE FORAGERS
By Wendy “Butter” Petty

🌿 Enjoy 🌿


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