Google+ What I Made Today: Appreciation and Honor with Reason

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Appreciation and Honor with Reason

March has been a month of focusing on green things. Between starting seedlings, planting cool-weather crops, wild harvesting, and preparing the tax nuisance, all things green have been in the forefront of my mind and my will. Some of the tasks are more pleasurable than others. Know what I mean? 

I've been enjoying wandering my little acre and observing my rooted friends awake from their mild winter slumbers into this early spring. Odd weather aside, I'm always delighted to see the return of this little green ally, Hypericum perforatum, known in the Wise Woman Tradition of herbalism as Saint Joan's wort, yet better known in the conventional world as Saint John's wort. It took me years to convince her to make a home on my little acre. She's now making herself quite at home, showing up around the "lawns" and in my main vegetable garden too. I've learned to give her authority in her choice of rooting, and she grows where she choses, with limited intervention from me. Though I do remind her that I appreciate her playing nice and sharing with our other rooted friends.

Yesterday I harvested this non-native wild invasive, Allaria petiolata, commonly called garlic mustard. My goal was to clean up some the "proper" gardens and to start the first batch of garlic mustard infused vinegar.

So the the whole plants were washed, the roots separated and chopped, add to a quart jar, topped with as much aerial plant matter as would gently fit and filled it up with apple cider vinegar.

In eight weeks or so I strain, filter, bottle (and label) it to use as is or to mix with other infused vinegars. I love using this super-abundant plant in this way, the root vinegar reminds me a bit of horseradish, and I have added it to many a Fire Cider variation over the years.

As the season progresses I'll continue harvesting this plant to ferment and dry the roots, to use the leaves in various pestos and dry some as well. And to infuse more vinegar too.

When it comes to our non-native invasives, I choose to step-off the track of convention, which has enjoyed too-long a history of demonizing Nature. Instead I choose to learn more about them and how to work with them, to appreciate them for what they have to offer, and to honor the truth that they're here for a reason.



Phillip Allen said...

Apart from the flavor aspect, what are the indications for Allaria?

Unknown said...

It's shaping up to be a beautiful morning and you've inspired me to go dig up a bit of my own garlic mustard.

Sarah said...

Love your posts. Can't wait to one day have my own backyard with all the surprises. Till then I enjoy my two raised beds. I just uncovered and greeted my returning plants. <3

rose of Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

Phillip, for me, at present, the indications would be a broken relationship with nature... to heal of our attitudes towards weeds and invasives and bring us closer to our connection with our Natural environments and the seasons.

Aces, Terri! I usually start harvesting as soon as I spot them, before they're even thinking about throwing up their flowering stems. Once they so, it's a fast and furious effort!

Though I do my best to collect as many seeds as possible, to add to mustard mixes. Another YUM I neglected to mention. Probably because I'm doing my best to not think of that stage of growth. Not until they do, at least! :D

Tammie Lee said...

it is lovely to hear of your spring activities. I also am noticing the tiny growths that are happening. The next few days will get up around 60F for the first time this year and I imagine things will really start growing!

your vinegar looks and sounds wonderful!

Valerie-Jael said...

Glad everything is growing in your garden here. I love watching for the first shoots of green, it's a magical time! Hugs, Valerie

Unknown said...

Yum, looks like my wild friends are behind yours in waking. I keep taking my bud walks and honoring each as the wake.

GlorV1 said...

I really enjoy hearing about you walking your "little acre." That's wonderful. Look forward to seeing the fruits of your fun labor.

Rick Forrestal said...

Great post.
Happy April.