Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wildcrafting -or- Gather Ye Rose Hips While Ye May

While walking Bear this week I noted that the rose hips were in prime form. So I called my friend, Anne, to see if she'd like to do a little wildcrafting with me. Wildcrafting is "the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or "wild" habitat, for food, medicinal, or other purposes" (Wikipedia) Well, I certainly felt qualified since I was only practicing. And these mountains are pretty wild. Anne was game for it, then Kent's work schedule changed so that he was able to join us. And I'd invited my sister up to spend the night and she quickly got excited about it as well.

This is like some scene from Wizard of Oz, heading down the trail to unknown adventure!

All being amateurs or novices, we found it helpful to confer on the herbs we saw. Here Kathy and Anne are discussing the finer points of Juniper berry ripeness.

What a beautiful day it was. We spent time in the woods and the meadows. Here Kathy's smile is proof of how much fun we were all having.

And our haul was satisfying for a first effort. We came home with chokecherries (which I might make into a pancake topping for tomorrow morning), rose hips, yarrow, potentella, and red clover. In another week or two we'll revisit some locations to get more rose hips and see if the Juniper berries are ripe yet.

My main guide on this wildcrafting adventure was a great book that I had picked up at the library sale, From the Shepherd's Purse. It covers identification, time of year and time of day to harvest, what to harvest, how to prepare it for different applications. Very thorough and easy to understand. It's a resource I would highly recommend!


Pokeberry Mary said...

Neat Blog! Found you at BWH, can't wait to read a little more. :)

Kristine said...

Thank you, Mary! Glad to have you join us. The blog is a lot of fun for me. Hope you find something useful here. I'm a long-time BWHer. I've had my sub nearly continuously for 16 years and have been slowly but steadily moving down the path of self-reliance. Especially in the last ten years since marrying my amazing and like-minded hubby. And if you ever want more detail about something, let me know. I try not to bore but I'm always happy to share what I've learned or tried.