Happy 2017 folks! I hope you all enjoyed as much of 2016 as you possibly could; I know for certain that it was quite the year for me. Lots of changes were lingering underfoot that managed to push their way to the surface. I have been extraordinarily busy the last 9 months, as is evident due to the lack of posts that I have been writing, although I’ll have you know that I would have much preferred to have had the time to do so. (more…)
The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) hardly needs an introduction. It is one of only a few plants that the vast majority of those inhabiting temperate climates worldwide can easily recognize. Many of these same people are very likely to have interacted with dandelions in a meaningful way as well, whether as a child wishing upon the wispy seed heads or frustratingly attempting to remove them from a garden.
Yet as you will see, this lowly weed is not only both edible & medicinal but is also an excellent conduit in which we may learn about ourselves as a species, how we have fundamentally changed the world’s ecology and how we should best react to our changing environments and landscapes. Understanding the life cycle of and experiencing dandelions first hand as an edible or medicinal herb will help to shed light on what this one plant among countless others can teach us.
I can’t believe that it took me this long to get back into mead making. We’re talking at least a couple of years, which is considerably longer than what I would have preferred. Upon having my first glass of this ferment, which is brewed with no more than ‘one handful’ of dried yarrow herb I am pleasantly surprised by how much I missed mead and didn’t notice. I totally let mead making slide and am firmly committing to not letting that happen. I encourage you all to hold me accountable. (more…)
Acorus calamus, more often known as calamus root or sweetflag, is a relatively uncommon but widely distributed grass-like plant that grows along the edges of marshes and the margins of quiet lake shores throughout the north temperate world. (more…)