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summers wild food & herbal CSA share


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_
www.hobocrowherbs.com

lady of the woods.

hobo crow herbs.

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as spring begins to stretch her fingers and withdraw from winters cold and snowy embrace, one of my favorite blessings that occurs. . .is sap. as trees begin to awaken from their wintry slumber, a sweet and watery liquid begins to traverse from the trees roots to its leaves, bringing water and minerals throughout the tree. birch sap contains amino acids, enzymes, proteins and sugars, which is food for the tree in its times of substantial growth, such as leaf production.

the birch tree is known in celtic mythology as ‘the lady of the woods’. she symbolizes new beginnings, protection and renewal. birch were some of the first trees to return to the glacier leveled landscape after the ice age, and are some of the oldest known trees to exist on earth. birch has had many, many uses through the eras, for it’s wood (which is hard, light in color…

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upcoming workshop

still one or two spots left for this upcoming workshop. . .join us in beautiful bear river as we learn to make fire cider, discuss immune system support, and other herbal folklore and enjoy some tea and light fare.

stellaria media – chickweed

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this common garden ‘weed’ is a hardy and delicious wild edible. rich in vitamins and minerals, chickweed can grow all winter long cozied up in greenhouses (this is where this handful came from).

we generally don’t buy vegetables from afar, so when winter falls, we eat a lot of hardy brassicas like kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and other locally grown greens. sometimes we manage to scavenge some hardy weeds as well, like this handful of chickweed.

local, fresh greens contain far more nutritional content than vegetables that are shipped from afar. something i really adore about chickweed, is that not only is it a choice edible, it is a very wonderful medicinal as well.

chickweed is a cooling demulcent, which means it is soothing to heat and inflammation, internally as well as externally. it can be bruised (or chewed) and used as a poultice to draw out inflammation (and heat), soothe scratches and rashes, minor burns, skin irritation, eczema and fight infection. it has been used traditionally as an eye wash as well, for irritation and pink eye. it is also used internally as a tonic to cleanse the blood, flush out the kidneys, for swollen lymph glands, and for bringing relief for dry coughs. its cooling nature makes it a gentle but effective herb to reach for in times of fever, as well as heat in the urinary tract, such as painful urination. for gut health, it is high in fibre and said to be helpful for improving nutrient absorption. it’s anti-inflammatory attributes can help with arthritis, menstrual cramps and rheumatism. centuries ago it was used to draw out splinters.

in terms of edibility, chickweeds stems, leaves and flowers can be eaten with gusto. we like to add them to omelettes, salads, stir fries, and just about anything you can think of. of course, they can be enjoyed on their own as well, lightly steamed, or sautéed in good butter.

medicinally, they can be drank as a tea (or long infusion), infused in organic apple cider vinegar to make a nutritive vinegar for salad dressings, etc, infused in oil for topical use or furthermore made into a healing salve (goes well with other green allies such as plantain, marshmallow, etc), dried for later use as tea or food. some research is showing it is high in natural antihistamines as well.

the best part about chickweed, is that it grows like a weed. you can harvest from the same plant again and again as long as you leave the roots intact.

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a morning ode to weeds.

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more than ever lately i have been grateful for the medicine of the weeds, their incredibly resilient nature, and the strong but innocuous medicine that they offer, often despite their persecution and prejudice. i think of dandelion, plantain, lamb’s quarters, dock, burdock and so many other green allies who are often forgotten literally underfoot while we seek out more exotic and exciting medicinals and foods. but these weeds are plentiful, they are everywhere, from the countryside to the city, and they are absolutely packed with nutrients and minerals. the fact that they are from the land on which we walk and build our homes; it makes so much sense to make them a part of our daily lives, for food and medicine. they are here. they are healing both the land, and us, if only we let them. it is intriguing to think of eating to prevent sickness, but food is hugely comparative to medicine. to eat to stay well, rather than waiting to get sick before trying to get healthy again. when we eat the food and medicine growing wild from this land, we become the land around us, on a cellular level.

seaweeds & wild greens workshop

Eats (2)

join us as we discuss the different health benefits and medicinal aspects of local wild sea weeds and wild greens. learn to identify some of the seaweeds and plants growing on our beaches.

this will take place near black rock, which is near harbourville on the bay of fundy, north of berwick.

one or two spots left!

contact me for more details, or to reserve your spot now.

hobo.crow@yahoo.ca

or message me on our facebook page.

workshop handouts, recipes & more.

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for those of you who missed the handout from my recent workshop. . .recipes and nutritive facts below. thanks to everyone who came out! stay tuned for future walks / workshops.

WILD WEEDS NUTRITIVE FACTS (from katrina blair’s book: the wild wisdom of weeds)

vitamin c – chickweed, dandelion, marshmallow, lambs quarters, amaranth, purslane, dock

vitamin e – knotweed, purslane, plantain, dandelion, clover, dock, grasses

iron– amaranth, dock, lambs quarters, dandelion, mustard, clover, mallow

calcium – dandelion, clover, lambs quarters, amaranth, purslane, grass, plantain

magnesium – lambs quarters, marshmallow, knotweed, mustard, grass

manganese – dock, purslane, lambs quarters, amaranth, grass

potassium – clover, lambs quarters, thistle, amaranth, dandelion, mustard, plantain, grass

anti-depressant – purslane, thistle, chickweed, marshmallow, mustard, knotweed

anti-inflammatory – grass, amaranth, chickweed, marshmallow, purslane, plantain

omega-3 fatty acids – purslane, mallow, plantain, knotweed, chickweed

digestive – amaranth, lambs quarters, dandelion, dock, grass, plantain, mallow

pms / menopause – clover, purslane, mallow, plantain, chickweed

R E C I P E S

green juice

  • 4 cups greens (dandelion, dock, chickweed, lambs quarters, amaranth, purslane, mallow, knotweed, plantain, etc)
  • 3 cups waterblend the greens and the water, strain out the juice, and enjoy the green liquid right away to help mineralize, hydrate and alkalanize your body. the pulp can be used as a green face mask, or anywhere else on the body that might need some healing and anti-flammatory action.

weedy pesto

4-6 cups wild green weeds

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice / organic apple cider vinegar

blend and enjoy, add more oil or lemon juice to taste.

dandelion root latte

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted dandelion roots (you can also use chaga)
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • tsp honey
  • bee pollen


simmer roots (don’t boil) in water for 15-30 min, until you have a dark coloured tea. put oil, cinnamon, salt and honey in blender, add strained tea, blend until frothy, top with bee pollen (optional) —-bam. enjoy.

green chips

a few handfuls of wild greens (dandelion, plantain, etc)

  • olive oil / sesame oil
  • (tamari – optional)
  • sea salt

toss greens in oil and salt, spread out on parchment paper on a baking sheet. place in a greenhouse/dehydrator/oven at low temperature until crispy.

herbal vinegar

  • 1 large glass jar
  • organic raw apple cider vinegar / kombucha vinegar
  • wild-crafted / garden grown herbs / garlic, onions, hotpeppers, etc. (optional)

chop herbs roughly, add to jar and cover completely with vinegar. cover with a bit of parchment/waxed paper and lid. allow to infuse at least one lunar cycle.

herb infused honey

  • leaves or flowers
  • honey

roughly chop herbs, add to a glass jar, cover until jar is full with honey, let sit at lease one lunar cycle. warm honey slightly to strain, then use as needed.

basic herbal syrup recipe

  • 2-3 cups plant material
  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 cups of honey

in water, simmer the plant material at low heat until you have a strong tea. reduce by about half for concentration. add honey. you can add a small amount of a tincture or alcohol as a preservative. refrigerate and use as needed, for food or medicine. this recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger batches.

herb salt

  • garden herbs (oregano, thyme, lovage, parsley, basil, rosemary, etc) / juniper berries / evergreen needles / wild bay, etc
  • sea salt

combine in a blender and spread out in a thin layer to dry. stir once in awhile.

 

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upcoming workshop.

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hey folks — i will be doing a workshop this upcoming august 12th, on wild food as medicine. i will be doing a plant walk, discussion on wild plants, and explaining how to work these wild allies into every day life as both food, and medicine.

there will be a great cast of characters speaking on a variety of topics, and there will be herbal vendors as well, and lots of good things going on. hope to see you there!

july’s wild food & medicine box

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and suddenly, it was july. summer always seems to sneak up on me. from the slow pace of winter, to springs wind-up, into the complete full bloom of summer—-of which we are currently in the midst. hope you all are remembering to stay hydrated as summers heat reaches its peak (yes, i am a total mum). our bodies literally cannot function without water. many symptoms of dehydration are common and unnoticed, some being dry mouth, aches and pains, headaches, moodiness, dizziness, eczema, and so on. i like to take my daily tinctures in my big morning mason jar of water. it is an extra measure of getting your medicine into you, to drink a good amount of water upon rising.

impermanence is something that resonates for me this time of year—-there is this push to be harvesting, infusing, preserving, drying everything at its peak time of harvest and medicinal potency. and then, just as suddenly and miraculously as its blooms first opened; it is gone. it can, at times, feel like quite the scramble, as often the window is quite short, and so fleeting. summer is a true mix of chaos and beauty; the intensity of it all.

nova scotia has scores of wild medicine and food, from native plants to introduced invasives, they seem to all have their place on the table, medicine cabinet, or even simply as food for our pollinator friends the bees. it is easy to get trapped in the convenience of the grocery store and to completely forget what is growing here, and so fresh, abundant and rich in vitamins and nutrients.

this months box includes the following:

c h e r r y, h a w t h o r n e  &  r o s e  e l i x i r – something so simple sounding, and yet incredibly divine, this elixir is perfect for the heart, and the summer heat (and the emotions that can sometimes come with it). cherry flowers, hawthorne flowers & rose petals combine to bring you a potent and yet wildly delicious dose of relaxing, nerve soothing, anti-inflammatory (physically or emotionally) and cough relieving medicine. try it when you need a pick me up, or find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety. hawthorne and roses are a tonic for the heart. they are known to pacify heart issues, from high blood pressure to heartbreak. we have infused these flowers in brandy, and mixed in rose infused honey for an extra dose of roses. i could go on about roses for a long, long time. .. an often underestimated medicinal. take as needed, can also be added to tea or water, yogurt, smoothies, go wild. refrigerate, but do consume within the next few months (though it should be fine longer).

h e r b a l    m o u t h w a s h – a blend of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial herbs in an alcohol base. contains sage, peppermint, oregon grape, willow and propolis. a natural alternative to chemical mouthwashes, propolis is antimicrobial, and is being studied for its deterrent effect against plaque, gingivitis and tooth decay. swish around in your mouth and then spit out to leave your mouth feeling minty fresh and clean. perfectly portable for impromptu needs, i keep one in the car, and one by the bathroom sink. this is one of my favourites.

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i t c h   s t i c k s – this handy version of our itch-be-gone-salve features some cooling plants to bring relief from itchy skin, bug bites, bee stings, rashes and other skin irritations. these green plant allies are naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and soothing to itchy, dry, irritated skin. can be applied topically to any rashes, minor cuts, stings, bites, etc. contains: organic cold-pressed sunflower oil from quebec, local beeswax, plantain, mint, goldenrod and marshmallow leaves.

w i l d b e r r y   r o s e   s h r u b – shrubs, oxymels (or drinking vinegars) are a blend of apple cider vinegar and honey, infused with herbs or trees or fruits, to be added to sparkling or still water, or mixed into cocktails. this shrub contains blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, saskatoon berries & wild rose petals, infused in local, raw organic apple cider vinegar, with local honey.

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s p r u c e  s a l t – a well-loved favourite, this is created by infusing spring time spruce tips with sea salt, letting them dry and meld in flavour. this is delicious sprinkled on roasted veggies, salads, venison, fish, or anything that you fancy sprucing up. bad pun.
f i r e w e e d   b u n d l e – this lovely boreal herb has been used in russia and parts of europe as a tea and tonic for centuries. it grows across canada, and is the official flower of the yukon. it is commonly one of the first pioneering plants to return after a forest fire. cooling, blood purifying and highly anti-inflammatory, it is helpful for skin irritation, can be made into a tea and used as a wash for redness and acne. the spring shoots are similar to asparagus, and the leaves make a lovely tea. in russia it was fermented similar to the process of green/black teas, and called “kapor tea” (or ivan chai), which was used for stomach aches, and very high in vitamin a and c. the further up north fireweed grows, the more vitamin c it contains. studies have also shown that fireweed can help encourage good gut bacteria, and is actually anti-candida. traditionally, first nation peoples drew upon it for digestive upsets and intestinal worms, or drank it as a pleasant and relaxing tea. this bundle can be used as needed for tea, or in the bath, or (when you are sure it is completely dry), garbled between your hands to crush it into smaller pieces, and stored in a jar for winter use.

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daylilly buds – a rich source of iron and protein, day lilly buds can be eaten raw or cooked. traditionally in asia they have been dried and used as a thickener in soups. they were also used for their medicinal value, as pain relief in labour, for fever, detoxifying the blood, and as a sedative. intriguing for what some would assume was a common garden ornamental. these buds are absolutely delicious sauteed with butter and garlic until tender. can be added to stirfries with other veggies, or eaten alone as a snack.

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thanks for your support. you enable us to continue to pursue a greater understanding of our wild surroundings, traditional crafts, foraging, herbal medicine and allow us to carry on our way of life.

i wanted to say again, that we are very open to trades, partial and complete monthly exchanges. some things we are interested in are: grass-fed beef, free-range eggs from organic fed chickens/ducks, herbal meads, organic local fruit, bones (from grass-fed beef, etc), ethically hunted deer/moose, etc, etc, etc. try us, we are happy to discuss possibilities, and don’t want you to miss out on wild or herbal wares due to lack of money.

if you are interested in signing up for august’s wild food & medicine box, drop us a line. more info: click here.