The Days are Getting Longer!
It’s that time of year again-the holidays are over; the days are getting oh so a little longer and I am dreaming of spring. Like a lot of people that live in the northern latitudes, I have been perusing through seed and plant catalogues. The promise of spring is very exciting. Just yesterday I spotted some snowbells coming up in my backyard! Snowbells are perennial bulbs that will grow and bloom in temperatures below freezing. Mine typically bloom in January.
|Snowbells emerging 01/08/19|
Plants are sensitive, some more than others. Always be careful of where you step. Don't over-harvest. If there is a small number of certain plant species, do not harvest at all. Remember they are not ours for the taking, they have a right to exist. Plants hold an important place in the complex web of life.
2. Be Ethical.
When harvesting, remember we want to take as little as possible. We want to ensure healthy and productive plant populations. For example, do not harvest a plant while it is in flower, but wait until it has produced seeds first. You can help some plants by dispersing the seeds as well.
Don't kill the plant by harvesting too much or uprooting the plant. Some may argue that it is fine to dig up roots if the plant is an invasive species. I feel that a decision like that depends on a lot of factors. However, it is important to understand that even digging up a few invasive species can have an impact on the surrounding area.
3. Be Careful!
Know your plant species! You could seriously harm yourself if you misidentify things. For example, many people like to go out into the woods and harvest wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) in the spring. However, the Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) looks very similar to wild leeks which also comes up in the spring but is toxic. Some plants can be fatal. You need to pay attention while harvesting.
|Wild leeks (Allium tricoccum)|
|Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)|
4. Good Intentions.
It is always good to have the right intentions before harvesting. Plants are willing to assist us in healing. It is a nice gesture to ask the plants to share their medicine and thank them as well. While I am harvesting a plant, I often think of the person I intend to help too. I often tell the plant who they are helping with their medicine :-)
Putting good intentions into your plant medicine and being grateful to the plants makes the medicine much more effective, in my opinion.
Offering organic and ethically grown cut herbs.
Richter’s offers a wide variety of seeds and plants.