Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Herb Walk

wild strawberry
 I really have wondered about what to say about this experience.  I decided to stick with the facts and leave out my own speculation, as much as I can, since...it's me.  And my blog and my experience.

We arrived at the herb walk and split into groups, one for adults and one for younger kids.  We just had Chan, so we went on the adult hike.  I mean walk, we barely went a tenth of a mile.

The leader was one half of a 2 person herbal operation that grows, packages and sells herbs to be used medicinally, specifically by midwives.  Their website makes it seem as though they know all about all the local herbs and I was very excited to go on the walk and learn more about the wildflowers and wild edibles in our neck of the woods!


Daisy Fleabane
 Once we got going, it became very clear the leader was nervous and she admitted she did not want to be there. As we walked through the garden area, she relied solely on the signs to tell what plant we were looking at.  She would say vaguely 'this plant can be used herbally and medicinally'.  When pressed as to what part of the plant, or if it was a tea or tincture, she was never clear.  She was also non-committal on exactly WHAT a given plant did.  She commented more than once that the plants 'looked different in her garden'.

She had no idea trillium bloomed in white or that wild azalea bloomed orange.  She did not know what larkspur, fleabane, or a few other very common wildflowers were.  I could not tell if she just really did not know what parts of what plants could be used (for example, she said, 'one of the trilliums, the Sweet Betsy kind, can be used to induce labor.  I don't know what part or which one it is here, but the rest are poisonous')  or if she was out of her element and just blanking.

Greek Valerian

Little Sweet Betsy

Wild Geranium


May Apple



Jack in the pulpit

Celandine Poppy, post bloom

Yellow wood sorrel

False Solomon's Seal

  About this point, Chandler had switched from making notes to writing desperate pleas to me about how many things the woman had identified as 'wild geranium', we both counted 3 totally different plants when we compared notes later.  She wrote, "I have not learned a thing, I don't think she knows what she's doing."  So, we peeled off from the group and left before the donation jar went around.  The suggested donation was $20 each, if I had paid that beforehand, I would have been LIVID.

It's fine to not know plants or to get them incorrect, as I have before and will again, but I don't sell my knowledge for others to learn from or package and sell anything for medical use.   It's a hobby for me, though I do strive to learn when I can and be as correct as possible when id'ing flowers.
We have gotten on a crustless quiche kick, we have had various types of 'egg pie' for 4 out of the past 8 meals!

I mix 10 eggs, about a half cup of cheese and then toss in veggies and meat and pour it in a greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes at 375. To check for doneness, just jiggle it.

We have had it with spinach, turkey, flax seed, onion, garlic, turkey bacon and probably other things I can't recall

hop clover

Matt moving a turtle on across the road

Crimson clover

It's so green so suddenly.  I love the spring, even with the pollen crud and lingering headaches and the constant sniffles.  That life renews is so magical to me, each year the awakening is a gift, one that I will never ever be tired of pouring over and enjoying.