summer heat —- cooling herbs.

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summer solstice has come and gone. now, as summers heat reaches (what i hope to be) its peak, it is time to turn our attention to cooling herbs.

it may seem counter-intuitive, but ice cold drinks can actually make you hotter, and thirstier in this hot weather. ice cold water only lowers your body temperature momentarily, then as it actually cools your digestive fires, your body has to work twice as hard to warm up your digestive system, which can leave you thirsty and hotter. that being said, i would have a hard time drinking a hot cup of tea on a sweltering summer day, so let’s go with room temperature.

one of the most satisfying and delicious ways i know to enjoy cooling herbs and teas in the summer time is sun tea.

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sun tea is made by adding herbs to cold tap water, and letting them sit all day in a glass jar or container somewhere in the sun. this is an extremely energy efficient way of making a cooling and tasty infusion.

cooling herbs can help cool down our bodies. plants that are considered sour, astringent and diaphoretic can all be helpful. diaphoretics can stimulate sweat, which can aid our body in releasing heat and toxins from our skin. this is why people in hot climates often eat such spicey foods. astringent herbs are drying and cooling, which can be helpful in humid heat. think of rose. sour herbs are cooling and contracting, think of berries.

some herbs that i find incredibly useful for cooling down on a hot summers day are:

  • roses – rose petals are plentiful in the summer time, they grow wild alongside the ocean and various other places. (as always, make sure to harvest in a clean, non-polluted area, not near busy roads). roses are cooling and astringent by nature, as well as calming and healing for the heart. they can also be helpful in alleviating skin rashes, which are sometimes a sign of summer heat. if you add lemon juice to a sun infusion of roses, your water will turn a gorgeous shade of pink.
  • elderflower – a cooling diaphoretic, elderflower is wonderful for the heat, as well as fevers. as a diuretic, it can also help flush heat out of the kidneys. a delicate and lovely flower, it can be made into a delicious cordial as well.
  • mint – the active constituent in mint is menthol, which can aid in digestion and heartburn (both of which when agrivated can be a symptom of heat). it is incredibly cooling, as most of you know, and can be settling to the stomach. a cool infusion of mint is different than a hot infusion, you might be surprised.
  • chamomile – this gentle but effective cooling flower is soothing to the digestive tract, as well as anxiety and insomnia. it is helpful with inflammation and rashes.
  • marshmallow – a common garden ‘weed’, marshmallow leaves, flowers and roots are all cooling, and are actually better extracted by sun or cool water. it is a demulcent, which means it is a bit mucilagenous and will leave a mildly slimey coating on your mouth, throat and digestive organs, which can be cooling and healing to boot.
  • lemonbalm – this fragrant plant is both calming and cooling. it is citrusy in flavour, and cool in nature. it will grow prolifically in most gardens. it is also soothing to the nerves, something of mine that i find gets quite frazzled in the busy summer months. also helpful for hot flashes.

all of these herbs are safe for children and pregnant mamas. they can be made in a sun infusion, or a hot tea (which you can stir a tad of honey in if you fancy, and then refrigerate to have later as a chilled, cool tea). you can experiment mixing and blending different combinations until you find what works best for you. and enjoy.

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may’s wild food & medicine box

hey folks, if you missed out on our may wild food & medicine CSA share, this is a sneak peak of what you would have found inside. . .

we wild-craft all our own medicines and foods, and create everything we make in small batches with the finest quality and most local menstrums we can find.

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may’s box

maple mushroom elixir – firstly, this is divine. it tastes of earthy maple goodness, like deep and rich medicine of the woods. help your body ease into spring, support your immune system with anti-viral and anti-microbial properties to ward off sickness, disease and infection. help your body adapt to stress and adrenal fatigue, soothe inflammatory response, grapple with your spring allergies, get your antioxidants, and support your liver. taking your medicine doesn’t always taste this good, mushrooms especially can be a bit bitter. this is a double extracted tincture. firstly, all the mushrooms are put in fresh maple sap, and simmered for many hours on the woodstove until it becomes a dark infused maple syrup. then we have added mushroom tincture for preservation, as well as more medicinal benefits. you won’t find this anywhere else. contains responsibly wild-crafted chaga, reishi, turkeytail, maitake, oyster mushrooms, rosehips and organically grown shitakes.. . take at first sign of a cold, or as a preventative. also tasty in hot tea or carbonated water as a medicinal spritzer.

stinging nettles – watching these tiny green fists unfurl and poke their way towards the sun brings me such joy. to me, the nettles represent the return of spring, and the wild greens. i know few plants who bring so much to the table, medicinally and nutritionally, and i am joyful for their return. their sting was reputedly used by soldiers who suffered long cold marches, and they flailed themselves back to feeling with stinging nettles, to help get their blood circulating. they have also been used in the topical treatment of arthritis. nettles are a blood purifier, they can lend their healing properties and help with eczema, and other skin problems. they are anti-inflammatory and a diuretic, and can be helpful with irritations of the urinary tract. they are helpful in protecting against hair loss, dandruff, internal bleeding, diarrhea, lung congestion, kidney stones, parasites, gingivitis, cancer, anti-aging. . .it really does go on and on. they are a rich source of vitamins (including B1, B2, C & K), minerals, amino acids, chlorophyll and iron (helpful for pregnant and breastfeeding women, or anyone else who might be suffering from an iron deficiency). they are so green, and so delicious. these nettles are delicious steamed or sauteed with butter (or added to pesto once steamed), added into stir-fries, or put some in a mug and pour hot water overtop for some fresh tea. (one of my favorite ways to enjoy them, steep as long as possible, or overnight in a thermos). note: they sting! handle with care. i wouldn’t recommend eating raw, unless you are feeling very brave (or you chew them very quickly). if you become hooked on nettles, please inquire about ordering more, we have a bounty of them for while they are in season, and they are really quite divine.

 

stinging nettle pesto

4 cups fresh picked nettles

2-3 cloves garlic

heavy dollop organic olive oil

dash of lemon juice

salt and pepper

steam the nettles in a bit of water, covered until bright green and tender. blend in a food processor or blender with other ingredients until smooth. add more oil or water if needed.

savour with carrot sticks, crackers, on top of eggs, added to stir fries, or anything savory. delicious.

spring tonic – this is a tincture is helpful for the transition into spring. it has a variety of uses, from spring allergies, to blood and liver tonification, bile stimulation (aiding with digestion) to helping with skin disorders. spring allergies can be a real damper, and nettles are full of antihistamines which can help soothe the symptoms. the blend of herbs help with cold and flu recovery and prevention as well. best taken before meals, a dropperful diluted in hot or cold water, juice or smoothie, morning and night for prevention of seasonal allergies, as a spring tonic, and to help with digestion. contains: stinging nettles, dandelion root & leaves, red clover, ground ivy and golden rod infused in organic alcohol.

cattails – these tasty shoots are good for the nibbling. cattails are often considered a survival food, but we do eat them at least a few times a year, when we can find them growing in clean water (not ditches). they can be peeled back similar to leeks, most of the part eaten is the white bottom part, or when it’s just starting to turn green. you will be able to tell, as it gets tougher as you nibble your way up. they can also be sliced and sauteed in stir-fries, or added to salads. sometimes we like to barbeque them, leaving all the outer leaves on, and then eating them with salt and butter. the flowers can be dried and used for flour. and the native americans used cattails for food, as well as insulation, basket weaving, and even hats. different parts of the cattail are edible in different seasons.

cattail salad

cattails sliced thinly

a dash of olive oil

a dash of apple cider vinegar

a dash of tamari

chopped chives or green onions

wintergreen shrub – shrubs are a delicious and delicate creation. they are essentially a herbal infused concentrate, a harmonious blend of organic (local NS) apple cider vinegar and honey (local unpasteurized). they were traditionally used since mideival times to help get your medicine in to ya. they are also delicious. they can be mixed into bubbly or still water, hot or cold, or added to cocktails. they are wildly refreshing, soothing to sore throats, and also boast whatever benefits of the herbs they are crafted from. this wintergreen shrub is a tonic and aromatic beverage. wintergreen is a local wild plant that has been used externally for pain relief, and internally for congestion. it is also an ingredient in many toothpastes. * do not drink if you are pregnant.

spruce chap – soothing, moistening and healing for chapped, dry & sunburned skin. wild-crafted spruce pitch (resin) is highly anti-bacteria and excellent for wounds. we infuse the spruce pitch in cold-pressed organic sunflower oil from a small farm in quebec, and mix it with local beeswax. the containers are compostable.

bay of fundy chaga sea salt – this is a truly unique and exciting new endeavor into our salty shores. this sea salt was made with filtered bay of fundy water, then simmered on the woodstove with wild-crafted chaga, to bring you a new and intriguing flavor and color. use as you would normal sea salt. savour and enjoy.

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if you are interested in signing up for june’s box, contact me for further details. we are offering drop-off points to annapolis royal, berwick, wolfville, lunenburg & halifax. cheers!

ground ivy

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ground ivy (left), dandelion greens (top), violets (bottom)

ground ivy (glechoma hederacea) is a low creeping plant in the mint family, with dark, lovely green leaves and sweet little purple flowers. a familiar sight upon many lawns, shady areas and edges. it is said to be one of the first herbs brought over by settlers from europe, where it was appreciated for its many uses, medicinal and otherwise.

considered a weed by most, some might be surprised to find that this innocuous little plant has a wide array of medicinal uses. firstly, it is high in vitamin c, something that might be lacking in your diet after the long winter months. ground ivy can be soothing for colds, sore throats, bronchitis, flus, as well as seasonal allergies. another interesting attribute—ground ivy has been shown to be helpful for removing lead, mercury and other heavy metals from the blood and body tissues. it is being studied for treatment of HIV, cancer and hepatitis, as well as kidney disorders. topically it can be used for its antibacterial properties, as a poultice to help heal and disinfect wounds, and is said to be helpful for toothaches and ear aches.

it was also used for fermenting beer, before hops. hence some of the names, ‘ale-hoof’, ‘hedge maids’, and why ale houses used to be called ‘gill houses’.

groundy ivy can be enjoyed fresh in tea, dried for later use, or tinctured.

what i love about weeds, is that they are both gentle and effective medicine. often under appreciated and under utilized in the favor for more exotic herbs, ground ivy is another herb often forgotten underfoot, but worth getting to know.

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herbal shrubs.

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shrubs are a delicious and potent herbal infused concentrate. a harmonious blend of organic (local NS) apple cider vinegar and honey (local unpasteurized), infused with wild-crafted and/or naturally grown botanicals. they are sometimes also called oxymels, from the latin word ‘oxymeli‘, meaning ‘acid and honey’).

it is a very ancient remedy, and it is an effective way of getting medicine into you that might not be so alluring on its own. adding the additional medicines from organic apple cider vinegar, as well as honey into the equation. . .

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shrubs can be mixed into bubbly or still water, hot or cold, or make a unique addition to wild cocktails. they are wildly refreshing, soothing to sore throats, and also boast whatever benefits of the herbs they are crafted from.

we are getting to be quite wild about them. they are incredibly tangy and delicious, and versatile.

catch us at farmers markets this year, we will be sampling our seasonal shrub collection.

you can also find them in our new online shop!

 

 

healing herbal broths

 

 

 

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soup in a herbal & bone based broth. wooden spoon a gift from patchy owl

as winter refuses to unclench her icy claws from our eastern shores, my mind wanders to warm soups, and herbal infused broths.

broths are both nutritious and healing, from the inside out. they were once a staple in most houses, simmering on the back burner, considered to be a cure-all. “good broth will resurrect the dead,” says an old south american proverb. broth can be used for the flavorful and  in soups, gravies, sauces, or sipped warm as a morning or mid-day snack.

broth can help boost our immune system, nurse us through sickness, help cleanse and detoxify our bodies, improve digestion, ease joint pain, even help to heal our guts and aid with autoimmune disease.

herbs, mushrooms & seaweeds are a wonderful and nourishing addition to delicious and home-made broths. though herbs are useful in tincture form, this is a newer more potent method of ingesting herbs, while a more traditional, gentle and tonifying approach is herbal teas (infusions and decoctions), and herbal broths.

as a mindful omnivore, i tend to make my broths bone based, from grass-fed cow bones, or free-range organically fed chicken or duck bones and feet. this greats a nutrient dense base for your herbal broth, rich in iron and calcium, amino acids and gelatin. (a great resource on the powers of bone broth is sally fallon, who wrote ‘nourishing traditions’ and ‘nourishing broth’. weston price is also a wealth of information on bone broths for tooth health)

if you choose to not eat animals and are vegan or vegetarian, ignore the first part about bones, and simply start with a vegetable scrap base. as with most of my recipes, they are loose and interchangeable, depending on what you have on hand. broth is made from bones and scraps that would usually be thrown out, it is a truly useful and wonderful way to make use of them!

B O N E        &       V E G G I E         H E R B A L         H E A L I N G        B R O T H

  • 2-4 lbs of beef bones (marrow bones are especially nice) / 1-2 chicken carcasses (you can also save any bones from your meals, lamb, fowl or beef and add these too)
  • 4L glass jar (or foodsafe plastic bucket or ziploc) full of veggie scraps (i save my vegetable peelings, onion skins, herb stems, and any other compostable non-rotten organic veggie scraps throughout the week and stick them in a big glass jar in the freezer. this makes for a vitamin rich and tasty broth)
  • generous splash of organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (this helps the minerals in the bones break down to be more easily assimilated)
  • heaping tablespoon of sea salt
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic (to taste. garlic is amazing medicine)

i add this to a big stock pot, and add enough water to cover the bones and veggie scraps. the less water you use the stronger your broth will be, but you can always dilute it later. i do mine on the woodstove, for 12-24 hours. but you can also do it on your stove, or in the slow cooker. ideally you want it to cook for at least 6 hours, but we try and cook it extra long for ultimate absorption. there is speculation about what kind of bones to use and for how long, and it might be work looking into it for yourself, this is just what works for me. if you leave the lid off, your broth will reduce and become more concentrated.

 

this is also when i add tougher more fibrous additions that need to be simmered (decocted) longer for their medicine to infuse.

  • medicinal mushrooms – maitake, shitake, chaga, reishi, turkeytails, etc. these medicinal beauties are wonderful for helping with inflammation, aiding the immune system, helping the body adapt to stress, help with viral infections, inhibiting cancer cell growth, chemotherapy support, and on and on and on. they can all be researched separately for their medicinal value.
  • seaweeds – dulse, nori, kelp, kombu, wakame etc. we are fortunate here in NS to have access to many local and plentiful seaweeds. seaweeds are unique in that they can now provide minerals which are becoming increasingly absent from our land-grown food crops, which are grown in mineral depleted soils. seaweeds are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, iodine, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and so on. there is such beauty in our medicine from the ocean, these weeds of the sea who support our nervous system, as well as the circulatory, endocrine and digestive systems, ease nerve and muscle pain, increase our longevity. . .i could go on. (an article for another time)
  • roots – burdock, dandelion, yellow dock, ashwaghanda, turmeric, ginger. these roots are all lovely additions, for flavor and medicine. they each have their own unique and medicinal benefits for healing and supporting different body systems. burdock, dandelion and yellow dock are wonderful toning and detoxifying herbs, ashwaghanda is an amazing adaptogen (helping and supporting our bodies as they deal with stress and adrenal fatigue), turmeric is anti-inflammatory and wonderous in many ways, and ginger is warming and equally divine in numerous ways.

i will let this come to a boil, and then put on low heat. at this point, i would add more delicate and leafy herbs and materials.

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  • flavorful herbs – thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage. these culinary herbs are strongly anti-bacterial, fight sickness and impart a delicious flavor, to keep it short.
  • leafy herbs – stinging nettles, lambs quarters, dandelion greens, oat straw, horsetail, calendula, etc. these herbs add nutrients and minerals, support our various body systems, and tonifying and helpful for wound and bone healing, fighting infection, glowing skin, strong hair and nails, and so on.

this is a versatile recipe. i like to add freshly ground pepper, tamari, miso, fresh parsley or cilantro, sesame oil, the variations are endless really. the wonderful thing is that you can experiment and find out what tastes good and feels good to you.

i make a big batch of broth every few weeks. i simmer it and then cool and strain it into 1L mason jars (making sure to leave at least one inch of headspace or else your jars will break) and freeze them. they are super easy to pull out and defrost whenever you need. they will last a week or so in the fridge defrosted.

nothing like a cup of warm broth. the benefits are really too lengthy to list. . .

 

lady of the woods.

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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, and versatile), for its bark (which is wonderful tinder, paper in a bind, used for tanning leather, made into birch bark canoes, and many other things), and as well known for its medicinal uses. it is said that the traditional broom of witches was made from twigs of birch. this was a tree heralded to bring courage, maternal protection from mother earth, and new life and love.

 

The first leaves on the birch tree herald the rebirth of creation and the dawn of spring. Where man has raped the land and then left it abandoned and barren, birch will come carried by the gour winds to bring back harmony and balance. It has a deep and long relationship with humans giving its sap for sweetness, wine, and vinegar, its bark for writing and containers and its oil for tanning hides. Birch wood has provided cradles, boats and roofs protecting and transporting humans for millennia.”

— Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott

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our daughter drinking maple sap, straight from the source.

birch sap is a refreshing tonic that can easily be tapped and collected (in a manner similar to tapping maple trees). birch sap yields about 80:1 sap to syrup ratios, while maple is around 40:1. hence, birch sap has not been as desirable for commercial use due to its smaller yield, however, that doesn’t mean its medicine is not worth experiencing. the sap makes a watery but slightly sweet tonic that is a gentle spring detoxifier.

as spring is waking up, our bodies can also be in a state of sluggish health, needing a bit of a spring kick. nature provides many different plants to aid in the transition of the seasons. birch sap is a gentle medicine that will not stress your body out, as other heralded ‘detox’ plants or herbs. it is an effective but subtle medicine that has been used for centuries by native americans and people across russia and scandinavia, it is not just a fad.

drinking birch sap can be helpful for complaints of the urinary system, bladder, kidneys, etc. and is said to help with conditions of gout, rheumatism, arthritis, kidney or bladder stones, swelling, fluid retention, bronchitis, headaches, wound healing and skin problems. the sap is a restorative tonic that aids the kidneys and liver to move toxins, uric acid and excess water out of your body.

the sap is considered a rich source for magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, vitamin b and c, and thiamine. in todays world, our agricultural soils are often depleted, and the vegetables that we count on to supply us with many of these nutrient, minerals and vitamins, are vacant or extremely low in them. the sweetness in birch sap comes from xylitol, a natural sweetener found only in birch that is interestingly enough being studied for preventing cavities.

birch trees are hardy and found growing throughout the northern hemisphere. birch helps to purify the blood, it can grow in polluted or toxic areas, and actually is shown to help clean the soil around it. all parts of the birch tree can be used for medicine. in general, the medicinal actions of birch range from an astringent (an infusion of birch leaves or twigs can be used to help tone the skin, and for inflammation), diuretic (increases urinary output, can be helpful for UTI’s), anthelmintic (aids in expelling parasites), diaphoretic (help your body sweat out toxins), and many more.

you can tap any kind of birch tree. we tend to tap either yellow or paper birch. each kind of birch (or even each tree!) will have slightly different sap and flows. it is a simple process to tap a tree, easy to research or ask local maple tappers about. when done properly, you are taking only a small amount of sap from the tree, and not harming or injuring it. here is a simple and easy guide to tapping trees:

http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2013/03/how-to-tap-a-maple-tree.html

update.

hey folks, thanks for bearing with us for our winter hibernation. . .we have been busy, planning, concocting, experimenting and getting lots of things prepared for the new year.

firstly, i am happy to say that this will be our third year offering our  w i l d . f o o d  &  m e d i c i n e  boxes. more info on that in the months to come, and beginning  m a y  2 0 1 8 .

we have some more exciting news in the works, but i will keep you in suspense for now. also coming this spring, an online shop!

i will be getting back to more frequent updates in the weeks to come, featuring local seasonal plants, recipes and so on. grateful for your support.

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yule time offerings.

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finally managed to get together a list of what we have been crafting, mixing and creating these last months. if you want to support local crafters and folk medicine makers this holiday season, we are happy to share with your what we currently have available.

our herbal infused oils and tinctures are infused for at least one lunar cycle, and all of our botanicals are either wild-crafted by our own hands, naturally grown in our gardens or that of friends, or very rarely traded from trusted local growers (ginger mostly). we source our apple cider vinegars, oils, beeswax and honey from as local as possible, and always choose organic. everything we create is made in small batches, with the finest of foraged and home-grown ingredients.

o f f e r i n g s :
l i p b a l m s (made with organic cold pressed sunflower oil from quebec infused with local wild-crafted and organically grown herbs, and local beeswax. these are in compostable, paper and wax recycled containers)
– sage & sweetgrass lipbalm
– spruce balm
s a l v e s (most come in small and large, while supplies last. all are crafted with organic, cold-pressed sunflower oil from a small farm in quebec, and local beeswax)
– three tree healing salve ( spruce, pine & fir, smells like the woods and great for cuts, scrapes, splinters and as a chest rub for congestion )
– boreal balm ( local bear fat, infused with spruce pitch, local beeswax. amazing for healing, anti-bacterial and good for respiratory, kidneys, etcetcetc )
– aches and pain salve (st johns wort oil, cayenne & wintergreen, good for arthritis, nerve pain, sore muscles etc)
– dream balm ( a dreamy infusion of mugwort, chamomile, rose petals, elderflower, hops, lavender, rose absolute. rub on your temples at night to aid in deep relaxation, and to send you off to sweeter places anytime you might need )
– calendula salve ( this stuff is amazing for wounds, burns, eczema, rashes, babys bum, sore nipples, the works. gentle and effective )
– aches n’ pains salve (arnica, wintergreen, hot peppers infused to help bring relief from aches and pains, and to promote healing of muscles, tissue, bruising and other discomfort)
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s m o k i n g . b l e n d (just a few left, coltsfoot, mullein, nepeta, peppermint. helps relieve lung congestion, coughs and bronchial irritations. nice substitute for tobacco)
t i n c t u r e s
(all tinctures come in 50oz dropper bottles and are tinctured in 40% vodka)
– angelica (coughs, colds, digestive remedy, for pre-menstrual bloating and cramps, to regulate and bring on a late period)
– yarrow (coughs, colds, flus, fever. nice to have in the house for when you start to feel sick)
– nerve tonic (a blend of calming, nerve-nourishing and soothing herbs, to help combat anxiety, and promote relaxation. can be taken morning and night for best results.)
– sleepy tonic (a medley of sleepy time, gentle and effective herbs. this one has great reviews, safe for little ones as well)
– immunity elixir (this immunity boosting blend of herbs and wild-crafted medicinal mushrooms packs a potent wallop to the immune system, helping to fight off infections and colds, as well as intended to shorten the length of down-time that goes along with illness. contains: chaga, reishi, propolis, elderberry, elderflower, yarrow, ginger with a bit of sage infused honey syrup. take as needed, store in the refrigerator.)
– herbal mouthwash (a refreshing and minty blend of herbs to kill bacteria, soothe inflammation and toothaches! leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean. contains: mint, sage, propolis, willow & oregon grape. )
– joy tonic (a blend of herbs to help keep the winter blues at bay)
– other tinctures available, can also do specific blends as needed, inquire for more info.
h e r b a l . v i n e g a r s
( herbs infused in organic local apple cider vinegar. great for salad dressings, marinades, etc )
– fire cider (an old folk remedy and a potent immune system tonic. can be taken daily to help promote digestive health and keep colds at bay. it can also be used by the spoonful at the first hint of sickness, or added into cooking, salad dressings, tea, cocktails, etc as a daily preventative. contains: 100% local nova scotian ingredients, locally grown ginger, garlic, hot peppers, onions, horseradish, thyme, oregano and sage in boates organic apple cider vinegar, with local honey. ) ALMOST OUT
– chanterelle & wild bay
– stinging nettle
– wildberry
– raspberry rose (its even more amazing than it sounds)
h e r b . i n f u s e d . h o n e y
( wild-crafted or organically grown herbs infused in local nova scotian honey. )
– evergreen
– lavender
– rose
– summers end (a blend of wild-crafted and home-grown flowers, a taste of sweet sweet summer)
s h r u b s
(shrubs (or oxymels) were once considered a herbal folk medicine cure-all. they were drank to promote longevity, gargled for sore throats, drank for arthritis relief, to clear phlegm, and. . .they are delicious! ours are made with boates organic apple cider vinegar infused with herbs, and local honey,. shrubs can be added to bubbly or still water, or sipped on their own. each bottle will make about 25 drinks.)
– elderberry rose
– evergreen
– peppermint
s m u d g e . s t i x
– juniper or cedar
– sweetgrass braids (few left)
s e a w e e d
– wild harvested nori ( nori is very high in protein, calcium, vitamin c, iron, magnesium, potassium, the list goes on. it can also be eaten as a snack, sprinkled onto salads, stir fries, or added into soups. seaweeds are extremely nutritious and said to help with inflammation, boosting the immune system, aiding in detoxification of the body, and nourishing the skin.)
d r i e d . m u s h r o o m s
(wild-crafted nova scotian sun-dried mushrooms, nutritive and medicinal, can be added into soups, stock, re-hydrated for stirfries or risotto, etc)
– hedgehogs, maitake, matsutake, reishi (some available powdered as well, great for gravy or soup)
– chaga (drank as tea, or can be added to broths, chaga is an immune boosting, liver supporting, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer)
o d d s . a n d . e n d s
– dream wreaths ( whimsical hops vines, lavender & mugwort wrapped into a dreamy wreath, to be hung above to bed to promote deep sleeps and sweet dreams )
– lavender bundles
– styptic powder (stop bleeding and heal your cuts & scrapes with this herbal powder. keep in your first aid kit, sprinkle liberally on any cuts or scrapes. naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.)
– breathe easy ( roll on bottle with organic sunflower oil and a blend of essential oils for relief of congestion, coughs, colds, sore throat, etc)
– aches and pains (for those deep muscle tissue aches, pains and sprains, arnica is helpful for relieving pain, promoting healing from trauma and bruising, and other injuries. can be liberally rubbed on the body to relieve pain. contains organic sunflower oil infused with arnica, and organic essential oils.)
b o n e . & . a n t l e r . j e w e l r y
(hand-crafted bone, feather, tooth, antler & other wild found jewelry, necklace pieces, earrings, keychains. etc)
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. . . . .
if i haven’t mentioned what you are after, drop me a line, i have likely forgotten half a dozen things, and i am happy to custom make blends.
. . . ..

please inquire for prices, or to make an order. WE ALSO DO CUSTOM ORDERS

we ship to anywhere in canada.

we are also doing some winter markets as well, so it really is while supplies last.

thanks for all your support folks!
* also, worth mentioning that we are very open to bartering and part-trades, money isn’t everything, we would rather trade hand-made goods, foods, organically raised meat, etc, etc. try us. .. .

the winter blues, vitamin d & st. johns wort

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winter time. winter blues. this time of year, our bodies are getting a bit confused. we are not spending as much time outside (or very little for most of us), and the majority of us are lacking in vitamin d. vitamin d is something that our body in the summertime, is able to convert from the sun. however, when the days get shorter and the weather colder, we might have to look otherwise.

some of the symptoms of vitamin d deficiency are: fatigue, poor immune system health (getting sick often), depression, slow healing wounds, and even muscle, bone and back pain. some of these symptoms sound vague, but i can see it in myself in these dark months, the need to amp up my ingestion of vitamin d.

so what are some safe and affordable sources of vitamin d you may ask? i tend to steer away from supplements and pills, as i don’t believe that they are as readily absorbed as more natural and direct sources.

MUSHROOMS! edible and medicinal mushrooms have the unique ability to transform ultra-violet light into vitamin d. but firstly, they must be placed in the sun. you can do this with dried or fresh mushrooms (shitake, maitake, chaga, reishi, etc), we like to sun-dry our mushrooms for ultimate vitamin d uptake.

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some other important natural sources for vitamin d would be: sustainably harvested fish, eggs from organic free-range chickens or ducks, grass-fed raw milk or butter, and ethically sourced cold pressed cod liver oil (though it seems the better the quality, the more expensive it is, making it not really an option for us).

being outside, even though often it seems like a struggle to get there, ( especially when going outside involves layering multiple jackets and sweaters and mittens on multiple children ), is truly the best medicine. soaking up that vitamin d from the sun is the best way of getting that powerhouse of goodness into your body.

seasonal depression is a whole other boat. sometimes the winter blues run deeper than the surface of nutrient and vitamin deficiency (though they can definitely be a contributor). adaptogenic herbs can be helpful, as they can help the body adapt to stresses and changes and provide extra support throughout the seasons. tulsi (holy basil), ashwaghanda, and milky oats can be helpful, as well as other herbs such as: roses, lemonbalm, st. johns wort, and so on.

st johns
st. john’s wort, the sunshine plant, has received much attention for it’s support and easement of seasonal depression, as well as anxiety. st. johns wort has been used for centuries to help deal with the blues, irritability, pms and is now being studied for its anti-viral components. topically, st. johns wort is a very useful healing remedy for nerve injuries and pain, swelling, mild burns, aches and pains, and varicose veins. it is also said to be helpful with some of the emotional strain that occurs along with the symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine or alcohol. the buds of st. john’s wort, when squeezed, yield a dark red blood-like substance, this is what is tinctured with the aerial parts, this is where the medicine resides. there is something delightfully tangible about being able to see such a unique and rich color on your fingertips, the medicine somehow seems more real.

folk healing is an intuitive and historic way of treating and healing people and animals. it has been passed down for generations and generations by many healers throughout the ages, across the world. it is not always recognized by scientifically minded organizations (or the church, back in the midieval times, which was a precursor to the witch burnings, but that’s a whole other story on its own. . .) it is an age old art, imbued with much experimenting, note taking, care and devotion to the plants that grow around us. when things are mass-marketed or grown in mono-cultured huge quantities, i feel like the medicine loses some of it’s resonance. i believe that medicine is made with the hands of the people who know you, and care about you, who put their time and concentration and medicine into the plants that they are extracting it from. it is made in small-batches, perhaps even indicated by the cycles of the moon. there is something rich and deep about folk healing that has been woven by the gnarled and scarred papery old hands of so many women and men across this world. i am indescribably grateful to play the smallest of parts of it.

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y u l e t i d e . b o x

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hey folks, we now accepting reservations for our last wild food & herbal medicine box of the year . . . . the y u l e . b o x ( coming late december 2017 ) ;
 
a winter offering of herbal wares, seasonal remedies, wild harvested preserved seasonal food, and other hand-crafted surprises. it will come in a basket to keep, with a descriptive, folklore laden newsletter explaining the contents within, recipes and their uses.
 
some of the things you might find inside the yule box include:
 
– a bitters blend ( a digestive remedy for the holidaze, for when you thought you wouldn’t eat too much turkey. .. and then you did. . .also helpful for liver support)
– a herbal salve with boreal infusions
– a ridiculously delicious shrub for adding to cocktails or bubbly water
– high-quality wild foraged mushrooms.
– and other surprises. . . .
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as usual, we are focusing on locally nova scotian wild-crafted or grown plants, as we believe that the plants growing around us can provide the majority (if not all) of the food and medicine that we need. winter is a time of year where just like most of the plants outside, our energy tends to go inward, deep down to rest in our roots. more time to perhaps sit by the woodstove, to dream of things to come, and to nourish our hearts and bodies and rest from the busy, whirling energy of the summer now gone by. allow us to bring you a taste of the boreal forest, it is filled with food and medicine. . .learn more about what is growing wild around us.
reishi
 
regular size share – $80 (includes a basket)
small size share – $60 ( “ )
 
do not delay, reserve yours soon, as there is a limited quantity available. drop us a line, or an email at hobo.crow@yahoo.ca to inquire, or reserve yours now.
 
yule boxes also make lovely gifts for dear ones and family, one of a kind locally made herbal creations for health and well-being. these can be mailed anywhere in canada, you simply pay the shipping.
 
deliveries will be late december, to the valley (berwick and wolfville), halifax, and the south shore (bridgewater area). if you don’t fit into those areas, we can likely work something out.
 
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also open to doing custom orders for yourself or friends and family, message me for more info, if you would like herbal support for certain issues or ailments.
 
everything we craft is from locally found, mindfully harvested plants, (either wild-crafted, or grown by us or trusted friends) seaweeds and mushrooms. when it comes to honeys, vinegars and other menstrums, we source as locally as possible, from within our community, or at least nova scotia (other than our oils, which are sourced from an organic farm in quebec, as local as we could find). we create unique herbal wares, crafted with care and reverence, from our hands to yours.
 
*** we are open to barters and part-trades, money is just a convenient form of currency, and we are happy to accept otherwise. some things we are interested in are: grass-fed beef organically raised beef or pastured pork, ethically hunted deer, massages or other body work, tattoos, hand-crafted pottery, clothing, knives, etc, etc. try us, we are happy to discuss alternatives to money, we love trading.
babayaga