the life of a country girl 🐴👩🏼🌾🌻 . . When I was a kid, my parents used to let me ride in the bucket of the tractor when they'd be carrying loads of dirt - which to me was as fun as a ride at the county fair. I always remember that now when we fire up our tractor for land chores - like mowing the orchard this morning (which was a bit of a fiasco cause our little John Deere got stuck in a swale 😳). . . My brother & sister and I grew up on a little island in the realms of Cascadia with hippie parents who had the dream of going back to the land as they'd say. A lot of the other kids I grew up with also had parents who shared a similar vision which is what brought them out to the country to live a quiet life and raise their children in a small community, isolated by the water that surrounded us. . Since I've spent a little more time in the world, I've realized what a unique upbringing that was. For instance, probably at least half of my friends (including myself and my siblings) were born at home with midwives. Until I was about 20, I just thought some people were born at home and some were born in the hospital - like 50/50. I was shocked when I found out that less than 2% of Americans are born naturally at home! . . Being raised that way left a deep imprint and those simple treasures like growing a garden and having a community you can count on are woven into my view of the world. I don't think I'll ever have what it takes to live in the city, for that requires a whole other kind of strength and way of being I'm not really wired for. But put me to work here on some land and I'm in my element - as happy as a little pony ✨🌈🐴🌲♥️ . .
As herbalists, there are certain plant people that speak to us stronger than others. There's something in our spirits that wakes up - a mutual recognition, a resonance, a remembrance of an old an undying connection and kinship. . . Maybe I'm kinda weird, but I just tend to think of the plants that way - cause they really do feel like friends and they've been there for me through the highs and lows of life, they've opened up my path, they've nourished healed and strengthened what's good within me and so much more. . . There's something about that relationship with the botanical beings that's so true, ancient and real that you'll never be able to put your finger on it. The one thing I can say is I think it's that very feeling that calls us to pick up the life of an herbalist and the calling is undeniable. . . . I don't think I'm alone here - do you have a plant that's been instrumental in your life? Do you have a story about stepping onto the plant path? Tell me all about it below 💚 .
Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) is native to the temperate Western Hemisphere. It is a common plant in the Boreal Forest ecosystem of the Canadian North and the floral emblem of the Yukon where I lived as a child. In the wild you can find it growing on forest and wetland edges, and moist meadows. It is prolific in clear cuts on Vancouver Island, forming extensive patches that can be acres in size. . . There is a magic and lightness to Fireweed that lifts the spirit and gives it strength. It is a pioneering species, one of the first plants to come in after the ecological destruction caused by forest fires or clear cuts. Fireweed promises us of the return of beauty and abundance and reminds us we are part of a community. It tells us to pick our selves up, dust our selves off and continue to shine brightly in the midst of hardship and devastation. . Fireweed is rare to find in the common materia medica yet holds promise as a very powerful anti-inflammatory herb. Both the roots and the leaves can be used for this purpose, topically or internally. The tincture has proven effective for pain due to inflammation, such as arthritis, and also for the reduction of migraines. . Herbalist Micheal Moore taught that Fireweed is a great remedy for a candida yeast overgrowth in the gut. The tea taken daily is best for this. Fireweed is a great tonifier for the small intestine and colon, helping to create the right conditions for our beneficial gut flora to flourish, this combined with its antifungal properties, make it a wonderful treatment for candida. Fireweed can be harvested as soon as flower buds appear through their flowering season. The plants can be found in full bloom now through the month of July. . . . . Words reposted from our friend @ravensongseeds who couldn't have spoken of Fireweed more perfectly ❤️ Jessy posts incredible herbal monographs like this all the time (that even include tips on growing herbs), so for the true herb nerd like me you've gotta follow her work @ravensongseeds 🌿🙌🏽🌿 . And there's more, including seeds of all your favorite medicinal herbs grown on their farm 🌱 http://www.ravensongseeds.com
Sundays on the old homestead ☀️ . . . This land was homesteaded in the late 1800's by a Swiss family who fell in love with the hills & mountains of Southern Oregon - apparently it reminded them of their home country they left behind. They were wine makers and brought with them their family grape vines which they planted here and continued their craft. . . From what they say, it was a popular place to stop by for a glass of wine on the wagon trail for miners (there was a lot of silver mined around here in Sterling creek). Now the descendents of this family have kept the original vines going and have their own vineyard in Williams where they grow these same grapes and make wine, keeping their family tradition alive. . . Since that Swiss family, there have been two other families who have tended the land, raised livestock, developed the springs and wells, built this 100 year old barn, logged the forests 😣, planted orchards and trees, dug ponds, put in swales and the beginnings of permaculture design and so much more. . . Thinking today of each era and person who's had a hand in tending this land and now of the responsibility that's in our hands to take care of it and make it better than before, to leave a beautiful abundant fertile foundation for the future generations. Remembering the stories and the reverberations of history that is held here and all of the peoples who have stewarded these lands for thousands of years before we came here.
BOTANICAL DYES 🌈💐👗Magenta hues from a Hopi Amaranth dye our friend Mattie was concocting last night. I get the blessing of seeing all the magic brews she makes with plant medicines that she infuses into the clothing she sews since we get to share this land together. . . Last night she was also making a Reishi mushroom mordant and dying dresses with blackberry and clay that came out the most incredible colors of pink, purple and charcoal 💓 . . The other day she came home with bundles of St. John's Wort she harvested in the mountains of her Montana homeland which apparently dyes three different hues of yellow & orange depending on the type of mordant you use! 🌻 . . As an herbalist, she shares a deep and reverent connection to the plants and the earth that reverberates into the living art she creates. To me as a fellow herbalist, I think it's the coolest thing in the world to adorn yourself in the rainbow hues of your plant allies, wearing their medicine with you wherever you go ✨🌿🌷✨ . For our fellow Southern Oregon locals, she's at the Ashland artisan market this weekend ☀️ or you can find her clothing and info on her other herbal offerings at juniperous.com 🌈🙌🏽🌿 and @juniper0us