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Rosemary

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Blog, Media | 6 comments

Rosemary

The rosemary flowers positively glowed this year. They caught my eye like never before as I visited yards, landscaped parks, and even the State Capitol grounds. Down on my hands and knees, I explored their tiny bluish flowers with intricate spots, their needle-like leaves, their spicy invigorating fragrance. I use rosemary almost daily and I thought I understood all of its virtues. Yet when it captivated my full attention this year, I realized it was time to delve deeper. In studying rosemary, I have immersed myself in the rich history of plants and people working in partnership. Few plants...

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Willow

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Blog, Media | 15 comments

Willow

On the bands of the river, I am cloaked in a thicket of willow. Its protective branches reach out over the water, providing shade and shelter to birds, mammals and fish. Deer have grazed on the delicate spring growth. The sound of bees and other insects feasting on willow pollen and nectar hums over the trickling sound of water. I remember that not long ago these banks were ravaged by flood, and marvel that willow has transformed muddy chaos into vigorous growth and order. Name: Salix species. Salix is derived from the Celtic “sal” for near, and “lis” for water. It could also be derived from...

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Wild Berries for Winter Vitality

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Blog, Media | 8 comments

Wild Berries for Winter Vitality

We are in the thick of winter. It has been cold and rainy for so many weeks that it seems this season might never end. My mind longingly travels to summer when wild blackberries drip from the vine and strawberries are hunted like treasures under lush leaves. Luckily we have harvested and preserved some of summer’s bounty. It is the fruits of our labor that make this season bearable. Frozen huckleberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are added to our breakfasts and desserts. Salal and thimbleberry fruit leather is a delicious snack. Dried leaves from huckleberries and hawthorn...

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Yarrow

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Blog, Media | 10 comments

Yarrow

Yarrow was the first plant I fell in love with.  I recall picking bouquets of feathery leaves and starry flowers from the banks of the Columbia River as a young girl.  The smell was complex and invigorating – an invitation into a world that expanded my human parameters. Since then, yarrow has been a constant friend & teacher.  Through striving to know it, I have delved into physiology, plant ecology, history & spirit medicine.  The mystery and complexity of one plant is enough to spend a lifetime exploring. Other names:  Squirrel’s tale, millefoil, warrior plant, thousand...

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Hawthorn

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Blog, Media | 25 comments

Hawthorn

Hawthorn is one of the first plants I gravitate toward when I needed strength, protection and nourishment. I craved it when I was pregnant with my daughter– probably because it helped my heart and blood vessels, which were under enormous pressure. I have seen it ease other types of pressure to the heart including grief and anxiety. The leaves, flowers, and blood-red berries all have medicine and can be prepared in many ways.   Other names:  Crataegus douglasii (Native Black Hawthorn or River Hawthorn) Crataegus laevigata or C. oxyacantha (European Hawthorn) thorn apple, May flower...

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Western Red Cedar

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Western Red Cedar

  I spent a fair bit of my childhood perched high in an old cedar tree. I felt held in those dense swooping branches, as if in the arms of a mother.  Camouflaged by lush bows, I could view the world from a safe vantage point – my wily brother and his friends unsuspecting below.  Since then, cedar has remained a friend and guardian.  When I venture to other places in the world it is the cedar tree that I miss most – its smell and shape a hallmark of home. Scientific name:  Thuja plicata Identifying Cedar: Cedar is a distinctive tall evergreen tree with a drooping leader, a wide...

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