hobo crow herbs, summer 2018, june’s wild food & medicine box
summer solstice has come and gone, marking the end of spring, and the blossoming of the warmest time of year. in traditional chinese medicine, summer is represented by the element of fire. summers heat can be aggravating and inflammatory; on our skin, or even our minds and tempers. this time of year i find it quite easy to not drink enough water, or to spend too much time in the sun. some find it helpful to use cooling herbs and foods, which can help cool down the body and release toxins, as well as quell some of the symptoms of excess heat, such as: excessive perspiration, agitated or explosive energy, rashes, hives or skin problems, trouble sleeping, or even anxiety.
there is something innately satisfying about harvesting and creating ones own food and medicine. something deep within us that recognizes the rhythm of the seasons. there is an undeniable connection between us and the plant world. many plants have been carried with us, across great distances, continents even, for our medicinal and edible uses. a lot of our grandparents and great-grandparents used plants medicinally in every day use, from herbal teas, cold and flu treatment, as well as culinary flavorings in their cooking (which added a host of digestive benefits). so much herbal knowledge has been passed down for centuries and centuries (though some herbalists remark that some must have been lost in the burning times, when folk-healers and wise-women were persecuted and burned at the stake, or subjected to other tortures for their beliefs and healing).
in these times, there has been such a wide disconnect of people from their food, and the land around them. but it gives me great hope to see the farmers markets overflowing with people, and the growing interest in herbal medicine, wild foods, and people wanting to nourish their bodies and minds. for truly, preventative medicine is the best kind of medicine. . .gentle tonic herbs can help keep your immune system strong (as well as eating healthy, locally grown, chemical-free foods, fermented foods and drinks, etc). i find wild medicine particularly alluring, as the medicine from these wild and resilient plants is so strong, perhaps stronger than that of it’s garden grown cousins. i think there is also something to be said about using the plants that grown around you, perhaps they are more suited to our bodies than exotic medicinals from afar? just a thought.
herbal mouthwash – a blend of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial botanicals to help fight plaque, bacteria and tooth decay. handy to keep in your bag or car for those times when you want to feel fresh, or to keep at the sink to incorporate into your daily tooth regime. can be used as needed, or before/after brushing. we have had really wonderful reviews for this stuff for toothaches, swollen gums and other inflammatory mouth issues. this can also be used externally for infected cuts, scrapes or splinters. this is made to swish and spit out, but can also be taken internally to fight infection.
elderberry rose shrub – one of my favorite summer drinks, we have taken local organic apple cider vinegar and infused it with wildcrafted elderberries and roses, and added local honey to make a divine concentrate for adding to sparkling water, wild cocktails, etc. a versatile concoction—-shrubs are also delicious in salad dressings or marinades. can be drank in hot water at first sign of a sore throat, cold or flu, or drank for pure enjoyment. a dollop to taste per drink. elderberries are a potent immune supporting botanical, this makes a great immunity tonic. roses are for the heart, and are cooling in nature, making this the perfect summer beverage.
sage & sweetgrass lipbalm – these sweet compostable tubes are filled with the sweet scent of sage & sweetgrass, infused in organic cold-pressed sunflower oil from a small farm in quebec, blended with local beeswax for that perfect consistency. for dry lips, or any dry skin in a pinch. sweetgrass is considered a sacred plant in some traditional native american cultures, and was used for purification and smudging.
joy tonic – another favorite, this blend of botanicals is cooling and soothing in many ways. calming for the nerves, these herbs help subdue anxiety and can bring a feeling of calm. you can take this as needed, or you can take as a daily uplifting tonic. can be add to sparkling water or cocktails if you so fancy.
herb & garlic vinegar – i could boast about the many qualities of raw organic apple cider vinegar for some time, but i imagine if you are one of the folks subscribing to this CSA, you probably have been around the block once or twice already, so i will just say — this mineral and nutritive rich vinegar is wonderful to have on hand for adding to salad dressings, marinades, bringing the nutrients out of sauteed greens, can be added to soup stock to help extract more of that good stuff from bones, and so on. enjoy.
sea greens – a mix of salty and succulent seaside greens. the more triangular, crystal-laden leaves are of sea spinach (in the lambs quarter family), and the peppery almost wasabi-like green is called sea arugula. the succulent long stemmed greens are what we call sea chickweed. we enjoy these greens for most of the summer, they are easy to identify and harvest, and grow along most beaches. they can be added fresh to salads, incorporated into stirfries, steamed, or put on pasta or pizza. i like this mix sauteed with butter.
lavender bundle – this lavender was hand-picked on a friends small farm overlooking the bay of fundy. lavender has long been heralded as a calming and magical plant. . .from being believed to ward off evil spirits, the plague, unwated male attention. . .this plant has had a long journey with humans across all ages and many different places. it is calming. . .relaxing, can be sprinkled into tea (or iced tea or lemonade), the bath, hung near the bed for sweet sleeps. . .some folks make dream pillows with lavender, mugwort, hops, or any combination of those herbs.
thanks for your support. we are grateful to be able to bring you these monthly boxes of herbal and edible goods, and to be able to spend our time outside in the plant world doing what we love. we are constantly striving to continue our education of herbal medicine and wild foods, experimenting with new things, recipes and plants. happy to bring back some of the old ways, there is something about trusting and depending on the plants around us that feels intuitively good. hope that you are out there spending time with the plants too, old friends and new. as usual, all of our botanicals are hand-harvested by our family, wild-harvested mindfully or grown in our gardens or on friends land. everything is made by hand in small batches.
please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments that you might have. if you would like to sign up for autumns share, please let us know asap so we can be sure to harvest enough and have time to sort it all out. thanks.
hobo crow herbs_