Foray into Foraging l
The forest has always been a source of inspiration, peace, and health for me. Just as growing and preserving food items bring me a sense of security in this modern world. Foraging brings those two worlds together in ancient harmony.
Lately, I've been putting brown paper bags in my backpack so whenever I see plants, flowers, or seeds/berries of interest, I can harvest and take them home for processing.
Now, what I collect and how to process is the real adventure. I am blessed to have the internet and various apps to help me identify my harvests and give me a quick guide for best preservation techniques. But to be sure, I have a growing library on gardening, herbal medicine, and preservation that I am constantly studying.
As for the recent collections:
Mountain Laurel - Super toxic, but smells amazing. Made a flower essence by accident, but hey, I'm officially a witch now. I did dry some of the flowers by picking them from their stems, hanging them in a brown paper bag with holes to dry. Its only day three so we'll see where they stand in about two weeks. I just make sure to shake the bag to keep them from sticking together.
Japanese Privet - The blossoms smell AMAZING. I had to have them, they don't seem to have any medicinal use, so I laid them in the sun for a few hours, then removed the main stems and spread them on a platter to air dry in my living room.
Golden Ragwort - Apparently they once had medicinal use, even though we've been advised against it nowadays. They were blooming in abundance during my hike so I collected several and will use them for drying experiments. I isolated some blossoms and laid them on a platter to air dry (they also got sun treatment.) I hung a bunch from its long stems, tying a small rubber band to hold them together, and several bunches in a line with shorter stems. I will see which dry the fastest and keep the best.
Updates to follow.