We had a little pop-up challenge in the NM discord last night. I posted a picture of my herb cabinet and @riverflows decided we should all take pictures and put them on chain! Can do, it'll give me a reason to make a quick post.
There it is in it's expanding awesomeness! Last night I added the three jars of mullein that I harvested on our hunting trip. The larger leaves are still in the dehydrator because those stems are really hard to get dry. Much like comfrey, but fuzzier and the fuzz is less irritating. Each quart jar of mullein has an ounce of leaf in it.
Next to the mullein are a couple jars of my yarrow, comfrey, and plantain salve. My first attempt at a salve, and at a combination of herbs. I really love that stuff.
On the bottom are various dry herbs and concoctions. Yarrow, plantain, and comfrey of course. There's some dried elecampagne roots from @sagescrub, some of which are soaking in water in preparation for tincturing. There's a mullein root and leaf tincture soaking, and some of this season's dried red staghorn sumac leaves too!
I was excited to find the mullein last weekend because I wanted to make some into a smoking blend with the staghorn sumac. See, the sumac is smoked to intensify dreams, and boy, does it work, but smoking it often will make the lungs a bit irritated. Smoking mullein helps calm irritated lungs and is a treatment for bronchitis and pneumonia, which I am annually susceptible to. Now I have plenty of mullein for tincturing, smoking, and even the occasional tea!
There's one of the mullein plants I harvested, with a root that was 2m down in the ground! Incredible!
Back to the cabinet. There's some of the elecampagne tincture from @sagescrub, and some hypericum oil from @mountainjewel. @papa-pepper's toothache plant flowers are there too. Way in the back is my most used concoction: turkeytail tincture, the first medicine I ever made.
A couple of small vials of CBD oil, and some store bought echinacea and mullein capsules are in there too. I doubt I'll buy many herbs again, as I came to find out it's best to take a whole bottle of mullein daily at $30 a bottle and half a bottle of echinacea at $25 a bottle. Not quite big pharma costs, but you can see the obscene profit mentality is spreading to the herbal medicine industry. I just need some good wild supplies of each, so I'll be putting out more mullein seeds and ordering gobs of echinacea seeds for the forest garden.
My comfrey stash is very small, about half an ounce left. Not even enough for an infusion. I'll harvest more this coming week. In the spring, my three best plants will be harvested for root cuttings to propagate more comfrey. Somehow the ~50 plants I have aren't enough of this voraciously useful plant. I know just the place for it. The soil around the south hugel stayed damp all year, as I discovered on a late summer watermelon hunt. That'll be an excellent place for a comfrey and blueberry patch, as both of those plants like plenty of moisture. It'll give me a second hope for blueberries too, which all quickly dried out thanks to my low maintenance approach to gardening. (That means I'm lazy.) By count, most of what I've planted in the forest garden is actually medicinal, not food. I'll try to work on balancing those numbers out this spring, with more trees, blueberries, and strawberries. I fear most, if not all, of the strawberries have also fallen victim to my lazy take on permaculture. The Ozark Beauty patch on the north side is still thriving though! They must have been blessed with a lot of love from @mountainjewrl when she sent those original four plants.
In case y'all missed it, there's a pic of the forest garden from a week or so ago. Dressed in the golden cloak of an oakey autumn. Rain has since come over, softening the leaves for their journey of decay. I'm starting to see more rhythm than ever in the changing of the seasonal guard. There's purpose in every breeze, every cloud, every sunny day that warms the ground again so the bugs come up to eat. It's enchanting, and easy to see why people have based innumerable deities on these cycles.
The leaves I used in the swales last year have all disintegrated into loamy soil and half-filled the swales. I'll harvest it into the beds I've made with logs along the swale berms. That'll provide a nutritious planting space for next year. Perhaps some epic strawberry beds, or places for the new blackberry bushes that are propagating. God, it's good to be brainstorming about the garden again. As bummed as I get about unmanageable industrial factors, there's a distinct glow of hope in my tiny garden and my miniscule efforts here. I'm not gonna stop the damage of busted oil pipelines, but I can help heal and invigorate this small place. I can resume the managerial position of a conscious natural human, and interact intensively with this small patch, helping it thrive into a symbiotic ecosystem for it's own good and the good of my family and friends. And maybe someone else somewhere out there can see and do the same.
I can't get over the bible study Melissa and I did, concerning the Word of God. The Word of God is right and powerful, natural and profitable. Those themes are repeated throughout scripture, and I can't help but believe that those bits were translated rightly. Perhaps by accident, as those words condemn any damage that's been done in the name of Jesus over the last two millennia. They empower us to live as an example and to act in a right and natural way.
Y'all know how I feel about Christianity, and all of creation. We aren't in our right and natural place, and I think it's undeniable that the godly patriotism for industrial civilization is largely to blame. I wonder what would happen if we all tended a handful of wild space. If we left a trace, an undeniably human trace, as we were created to do. What on Earth would be healed if we followed the right and natural Word and accepted creation as our birthright?
Well, the rooster is crowing and it's almost time for church. I hope y'all enjoyed my quick post of my natural medicine cabinet and the rambling on nature that I so often get into. Have a blessed day.
All action for the good of all.
P.S. oh no, there's two roosters crowing now...